Monday, October 19, 2009

Apple Days--Wesley E-letter (Methodist Campus Ministry)

Yay!  It’s sunny outside!  I am so happy to see the sunshine.  Even though it is still cold, it is just so good to not be surrounded by gray.  So our Fall Retreat didn’t work out.  It’s okay because we will reschedule for Spring.  And after thinking about it, being in the middle of nowhere with no cell phone coverage, late in pregnancy, and engaging in activities like low elements, rappelling, and folk dancing, with no idea how to get to a hospital, while being responsible for other folks as well, was probably a bit ambitious.  I could almost hear God laughing when I booked the retreat and activities, “Yeah, right!”  Anyway, I got to participate in our Kentucky Annual Conference Higher Ed meeting this weekend instead.  Bonus!  We will be able to have a retreat in the spring, and it will be great.  Let’s look forward to it!  J


Going on this week:


Tuesday we have worship at 6:30pm.  We will be looking at the final part of our messages on “Free + Food = Grace.”  We will look at the promises God’s grace makes us, how they endure over time, and how we can trust that God will bring good things into our lives through our trust in Him.


Thursday we will have free food at 6:30pm and our regularly scheduled program.  It will be good to just hang out and open God’s word together.  We will pick up where we left off in our study of “The Lord’s Prayer.”  Come and join us for a great time!


Next Week:


Coming up we have our special Halloween activities!!!!!!  Yay!  Spooky!!!!


Trunk or Treat will be on Wednesday on South Lawn from 11am till 4pm.  Dress up with me and help me hang pumpkins from the Mini Van as we hand out free candy on campus to students walking by DUC.  This is so much fun!  Let me know if you are willing to help!


Spook Dinner & Karaoke is next Thursday night.  We will meet for our regular time at 6:30pm.  Dress up in costumes (best male & female prizes will be awarded).  We will in engage in our traditional spook dinner; your only hint about the menu is that I will be cooking.  It means so much to me to be able to cook for you, so bring a friend.  Woo Hoo!  Afterwards we will have a karaoke contest.  I will work on getting some updated CD’s with 90’s music.  J


Now For Sami’s Ramblings About Jesus:


Today was a really cool day.  I got to spend the morning with Noah, my oldest son, at his school field trip to Jackson’s Orchard.  I am so thankful for the flexibility to be able to do this.  My parents were never so blessed during my grade school years to do that sort of thing.  It really meant a lot to me.  It reminded me of the old Mastercard commercials:  Cost of field trip: $5; cost of bag lunch packed by school: $1.65; cost of making sure little brother got to do everything big brother did: $3:  Cost of being with my little boy in the crisp Autumn air on a hay wagon, covered in smiles, holding baby pumpkins: priceless.  My heart just seemed to be bursting with gratitude.  All I could think was, “Thank You God, for these precious moments.”


At one point we got to go out to the apple trees and pick an apple off the branches.  Once we found Noah’s apple he held on to it with the greatest of care; he watched over it; he made sure he didn’t drop it.  And when it was time to get on the bus and his teacher asked the students to put their apples in the plastic bag, he was more than reluctant to give it up.  As I ponder this it brings to mind David’s words from Psalm 17:7-8: “Wondrously show your steadfast love, O savior of those who seek refuge from their adversaries at your right hand.  Guard me as the apple of the eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings. . . .”


As I was driving to the Wesley from the Orchard, I recalled worship last Tuesday night.  In the middle of our closing song I had the strangest sensation of God’s heart just bursting through mine.  In my mind’s eye I could see each face gathered there and love for each person just surged through my heart.  We were singing the phrase, “O God let us be a generation that seeks, that seeks your face O God of Jacob.”  And I was struck by the realization that God seeks us, seek our faces, and beholds each of our faces with such love that we barely comprehend.  It was all I could do not to go around the room and hold each face there in my hands.  I somehow just wanted to communicate to those gathered what God was showing me about how He loves them personally, with intricate detail and appreciation, with wonder too awesome to tell.  But because I didn’t want to freak anyone out, I just tried to explain it in words.  Maybe I chose wrong.  But here is what I am certain I am not wrong about:  Just as Noah held on to his apple with the greatest of care, watched over it without letting it leave his sight, making sure he didn’t drop it, so God watches over each of us, guarding each of us as the apple of His eye.  But unlike Noah, at the end of the day He does not have to surrender us to the grocery bag; He will not ever surrender us; we always belong to Him. 


When it was time to go this morning, it kind of caught us off guard.  I tried to give my big boy hugs and kisses as he got on the bus. It didn’t work much.  Noah is more of a high five kind of guy.  Always has been.  I told him that I had to go back to work.  He seemed to be upset.  He wanted his grandparents and cousin to be able to go to the park and eat lunch with him.  I was confused about whether they would be able to or not.  And so I watched him climb the steps to the big yellow bus and find a seat next to the window.  As I walked around to see him through the window on the other side, I saw his teacher come and sit with him, the disappointment registered on his face, tears pooling in his eyes.  I know that in the grand scheme of things, some disappointment and confusion about the end of a field trip is not a big deal, but seeing my tender hearted boy with tears in his eyes broke my heart.  Luckily grandparents, cousin, and little brother were all able to join him for lunch and the moment passed, yet I can’t help but still feel that same ache I felt when I remember watching him through that window.  Again it brings to mind words of scripture, from Psalm 103:13:  “As a father has compassion for his children, so the Lord has compassion for those who fear him.  For he knows how we were made; he remembers that we are dust.”


Nothing going on in your life is too insignificant for God’s attention.  His love for you encompasses even what you believe is the most meaningless detail.  And if it is something that affects you deeply, you can be assured that it also affects Him.  He may have a different perspective than you do; He may have wisdom that you need to hear and you may not want to.  But you can rest assured that God’s heart is moved with compassion for you, the same way my heart is moved with compassion for my children.  If I can be moved with tender love for my little boy Noah, when I am an imperfect woman who loses my patience with him way too often, then you can trust that God who is perfect, and never loses patience, is moved with tender love for you.  So when you are stressed beyond belief, your perfect internship has just gone by the wayside, your best friend hurt your feelings over some stupid misunderstanding, your parents don’t get what you want to do with your life or why it will take an extra semester to get the degree to do it, your significant other forgot your anniversary and has been writing more on someone else’s Facebook page instead of yours, you can know that God is with you and loves you even in the midst of all your craziness.  When your heart hurts, He hurts for you and with you.  And He longs to wondrously show His steadfast love to you.  So be encouraged.  You are an apple in His eye too.


This is me trusting,




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Sami Wilson

Campus Minister/Director

WKU Wesley Foundation

United Methodist Campus Ministry



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