Monday, January 26, 2009

Welcome Back to WKU: String Bikini's and It's great to be you!-- Wesley Foundation E-letter (Methodist Campus Ministry)

Dear Friends,


It is awesome to be back on the hill, and yes, we are back on schedule for our regular times this week (weather permitting of course).  Tomorrow night we will have WORSHIP at 6:30pm.  The praise team from Christ UMC led by Marco Ballesteros, Jr. will be leading us.  Our service will also center around praying for the semester and the year, consecrating it wholly to Him and asking His blessing upon it.  Come and be filled with His love!!!!!!!


Also on THURSDAY night we will have our free meal and program beginning at 6:30pm.  It should be a wonderful time because Todd Misenor from WKU’s health and fitness lab will be sharing with us about how faith and fitness fit together, as well as what opportunities are available at WKU’s Preston Center.  Todd attends Broadway UMC with his family.


Of course if there is an ice storm and it is dangerous to get around, don’t!  But I will send out a notice if we officially cancel any events.


Now For Sami’s Ramblings About Jesus:


As a girl, I have struggled during my life with many things that girls struggle with.  The desire to be pretty has always been one of those things.  At least when I was younger, before babies, and certainly before becoming an old married woman.  Now Tim is the only one who I really, really want to impress.  As long as I am presentable, I could care less for ooh’s and ahh’s from anyone else.  But it didn’t used to be this way.


I remember one day when I was thirteen years old.  I was walking down the road from our home in the country toward our neighbor’s house.  The property our house was situated on backed up to Old Hickery Lake in Lebanon, TN.  Most of our neighbors were retired and spent their time fishing during the week.  During the summers we would gather at one of their houses, eat fried fish and hushpuppies, and enjoy the many outdoor activities that go along with lake living.  This particular neighbor had a swimming pool in their yard.  My brothers, sister, and I spent many afternoons there swimming, having dog paddling races, and playing “Marco Polo.”  On this particular day I could see that our neighbor had a guest.  I was so far away that I couldn’t tell who it was, but I did see that is was some girl in a string bikini, sun bathing on the pool deck.  I wanted so badly to be able wear one of those myself.  And in the stillness of my heart I prayed a prayer that only a thirteen year old girl could come up with, “God, I want to look like that.”


Eventually my walk brought me closer to the swimming pool.  It was with dismay that I finally recognized who the sunbather was.  Why it wasn’t a girl at all.  It was a middle aged woman.  And furthermore that was definitely NOT the body I thought I wanted.  Up close it really began to lose its appeal.  It lacked tone; it sagged; it bulged in all the wrong places.  From a distance it looked great.  Up close I decided really quickly that I was more than pleased with my own.  So have you ever heard of back pedaling prayers?  “Uhm, God?  You know that prayer I prayed just a minute ago?  Can I take it back?  I mean really, PLEASE don’t answer it!  I am very happy with what I have.  PLEASE don’t give me a string bikini filled with THAT!”


So what do string bikini’s have to do with Jesus?  Well, let me explain.  I spent a lot of my younger life wanting to be someone else.  As a pre-teen and teenager I felt awkward and shy.  I never really felt like I fit in.  I looked with longing at the lives of other girls in my Jr. High and High School, wondering what it would be like to be them.  I even envied the lives of other girls in my youth group.  I never felt pretty enough, popular enough, smart enough, talented enough, good enough.  Nothing in me seemed to be enough.  But the mercy of the passage of time is that it clarifies so many things.  I believe this is one of the great gifts of Facebook.  I have gotten to see many of the folks I went to highshool with.  And while it is so nice to see them again, it has revealed something of great worth to me:  I am glad to be who I am.  The realization came when I was reflecting on the Facebook reunions.  It was as if God asked me, “Now would you like to be any of them?”  And the answer that came back was no, I am glad to be exactly who I am.  Not that the lives they are living are bad.  They’re just not mine.  And God has filled mine with all the things that give me the most joy of all.


The gift of new beginnings is that we once again have a new opportunity for God to reveal how He lovingly made us for a single purpose, how who we are fulfills something that no one else can, how we are a labor of His love in design and destiny, and how we fit perfectly into His plan.  This is a time to step back and offer all that we are to a God who loves us so passionately, who crafted us so intentionally, and who guides us so specifically.  There are so many good reasons for why He made us the way He did.  And He alone can turn our regrets and what might have been’s into reasons for praise and celebration, because He uses even those to reveal His goodness and glory.  I just know that His story in your life is one that is worth knowing.  It is one worth sharing.  It is one worth celebrating.  So join me Tuesday night as we consecrate who we are and all that remains as yet unlived into His hands.  Join me in inviting His touch into our lives and let’s celebrate together the One who has the power to redeem it all.  Here’s to not having that prayer answered all those years ago.


This is me hoping,




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Sami Wilson

Campus Minister/Director

WKU Wesley Foundation

United Methodist Campus Ministry