Saturday, December 31, 2011

Rally #5 is about to start! Harry Reeder, "Multiply your One Life"! join in at

Friday, December 30, 2011

Tripp Lee can apparently speak the gospel as well as he raps the gospel. He brought the heat. Great day at conference today! #conatcon
Watch tonight's main rally message live!! Tripp Lee and Sho Boraka

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Interested in watching Conference live? .
Chandler is on again tonight @ 8:00 (7:00 central).

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Interested in watching Confernece live?
Have arrived in Chatanooga! Conference here we go! pray for our time, and for our campus time tonight together

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Currently in Toma, Wisconsin stopping for a moment. Chatanooga, TN here we come!!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

STP Dudes

I don't think I ever posted any pictures of the SDSU peeps from this Summer's "Summer Training Project (STP). Yikes. Here we are, midway through the summer on the beach in SC. What a fantastic experience, myself included!

From left to rigyt: Ian Wilson, Caleb Nordquist, Ryan Buse, myself,
Emma DeJong, Christa Juntunen, Leah Miller

Monday, December 12, 2011

Soiree Stuff

So, as I reflect on my lack of blogging, I realized I hadn't blogged about the Soiree event since it happened!
Long story short, it was a huge success. Over 50 girls came, all the food came together with around 30 men to make the night a smashing hit.
One of the best things was that around half of the girls that came were from the dorms are not involved in Equip in any way. We were able to give them a unique display of what it means to truly serve and honor them as women. We also took an opportunity to explicitly preach the gospel, which for many of them they were not familiar with at all.
The night is a boat load of work to pull off, but we are amazed each year at how much fruit is produced from providing such a unique atmosphere for these girls.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Ps...its easy to have a loud fan base when ur entire town goes to the game and brings all their dogs with 'em...please dont burglarize the entire town of Dawson
Blackjacks win! 35-14!!
In Minneapolis for my HS football state campionship game at the dome with mother. good times, go Blackjacks!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Reasons Class

"See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ." Colossians 2:8

There are many ways in which we (as believers and as Equip in general) seek to be faithful and aware of the warning Paul gives here to the church at Colossae.

One way we do it is in our class we call "Equip Reasons". We are laboring to equip the 20 some students coming this semester to know what they believe and why. The next few weeks we are going over the traditional arguments for the existence of God. We hope to enable them to think critically through worldly philosophy that scoffs at God's existence. We see them growing in their confidence to "demolish strongholds and lofty opinions that raise themselves up against Christ."

It has been a huge blessing to have Mike teach this class! Please keep praying that God would be working in the minds and hearts of those attending, both unbelievers, Christians, atheists, agnostics alike.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Soiree Video

Soiree, the elegant dinner party that the guys put on for the ladies, is November 18th this year! It is a fantastic opportunity for the guys to serve the gals, demonstrate chivalry and share the gospel with all.
Pray for it this year, as the guys are busy planning and dreaming up new and better ways to serve and entertain the ladies for the night!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Reasons Fall 2011

So far this semester, we have had 7 weeks of Reasons. I SHOULD have posted the very first week but better late than never.

Mike Berhow, my buddy and part-time volunteer staff for Equip, is teaching this year. It is all about "Epistemology", which is the "theory of knowledge", how we know what we know and how we justify it or not.

That might sound thick but it is super crazy important. It has been really good so far and very helpful. On average, there are 20 students coming, each of them seemingly growing in their critical thinking and really being challenged to grow in "loving the Lord with all their...minds".

Anyways, here is a picture of tonight's meeting!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Boom! Wiper blades fixed with thanks to my uncle...amazing what having working blades will do...

Friday, September 30, 2011

Desiring God Conference was GREAT!

I'll keep it in brief, the conference was amazing!

We had about 35 people there, all of them experiencing several hours of Rock solid, challenging teaching on mission and missions.

There are several stories that can be told, but since I committed to writing a blog entry today, I must make it quick so that I can actually get it done.

Therefore, I'll be done.

More soon!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Back in Brookings after a long and awesome conference weekend!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Just listened to Jeff Vandersilt on "missional communities", a must listen!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Almost on our Way!

We are less than 24-hours away from the Desiring God Conference Trip 2011!

This is our biggest year ever in terms of number of students going, with almost 35 people who will be rockin out in Minneapolis this weekend at the conference!

It has been way over due for me to post on my blog, so I hope this excites those of you who follow me and what is happening at Equip. There is SO MUCH to say about this year already, many new students, lots of fruit and exciting stories to share from events and various small groups, Bible studies and things happening in the lives of students being challenged by the gospel. I will have to wait, however, for I have alot to complete today for the trip tomorrow!

Pray for:
1) Our two caravan times, 7:30am and 1:00pm, that they would be good and safe, and the conversations would be edifying
2) that we would all grow closer, learn a lot, and grow hearts for missions!

Thanks so much, I hope to write some follow up blog posts soon!

ps. the picture is from our last year's trip....I'll upload the new one after the conference.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Staff Training with COM

So, Brandon (the other Equip staff) and myself are up in Minneapolis from Wednesday until Saturday evening. We are joining Campus Outreach Minneapolis (COM) for their staff training. I spent the month of June with COM in South Carolina for their Summer Training Project, along with 6 Equippers. It was an amazing experience, and I learned a lot hanging around the COM staff guys and asking them questions, learning how they do things and why and whatnot.

Anyways, Paul offered to me to come join them for their staff training during this time now, and they were of course open for Brandon to come too, which is super great. We got here yesterday at 9:30am, and the day was great, talking through all the various stuff, and introducing Brando to all the guys, getting to know them and getting a good feel and understanding for how they do ministry.

Pray that our time would be beneficial, although the Lord has already blessed that to be the case, and pray that our relationships with the CO guys would grow.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Headed off for a weekend of leadership training, pray it would be prductive and refreshing, & the gospel would be centered in our ministry!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Student Leadership Training Weekend

This weekend, we have our leadership training weekend. It consists of a bunch of things, from going over Equip vision, teaching more about discipleship, Bible study training, evangelism training and a bunch more.

This is perhaps the most excited I've been for one of these weekend training times. I think part of the reason is because of the time we are planning to spend on reflecting on our vision and whether or not the events and activities we do actually fulfill the purposes God has placed before us.

For instance, we do several social events throughout the year. One common tendency of social events is for them to turn into nothing but fun and entertaining times with friends. Now, there is certainly nothing wrong with having fun with friends or being entertained in and of
themselves. However, it becomes so very easy for these events to become ends in themselves. The student have fun, and everybody has a little bit of social fellowship, all the while true outreach and mission mindedness is lost.

I could apply this to virtually anything, including large group meetings if we are not careful and intentional about how we do what we do. Therefore, we have a list of everything we do, and this weekend we are going to spend a couple of hours reflecting on each and every one of them, asking what purposes they have served, what purposes we think they should serve, and how we plan on going about making that happen.
As an encouragement, I was looking at our annual "Soiree" event, and noticed that about half of the girls that came were not involved in Equip, nor did I (personally) know them at all. That was exciting to me, seeing the outreach that the girls intentionally did. Pray that this would increase and the gospel would be spread through events like these. If not, pray the Lord would convict us to 'cut the fat', get rid of whatever we need to get rid of, and use the time differently.

We are doing a bunch more, including listening to a gospel message together from STP this summer, having the STP students share and reflect on their expereince this summer, serving us in what they learned and wanting to apply it to Equip ministry this year.

So, I'm excited for this weekend, we will be in Madison, SD, in a big house that Central Baptist let us use last year for a worked super well.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Headed to aberdeen for about 18 hours...going to lake day with FBC tomorrow!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Last Bethel Intensive Week Ever

Most of you know, but I have been working my through seminary for the past three years, and I am now about 24 days from being totally and completely done...except for the next few years of loans I have to pay back, of course.

It is a bitter sweet feeling. I greatly look forward to having an extra 15-20 hours every week, and not having papers, projects and tests constantly hanging over my head. On the other hand, as I ended my last week, I realized just how much I have enjoyed and benefited from my Bethel education. There has been time where what I mainly concern myself with is the criticism and negative things that I have seen and experienced (such as not enough Church History classes, for instances). However, I was reminded by this last class by just how much I have indeed learned and benefited. I’ve gained incredibly valuable relationships with classmates and professors. I’ve grown a ton in the past three years of being stretched and challenged in my convictions, whether weak or strong. My last class was indeed very challenging, and not like how I expected it to be.

So, thanks to all who have prayed for me and to everyone that supports me, since seminary has been a large part of my life these past three years.

I don’t plan on moving or doing anything different than what I am currently doing, Equip! I get asked “what are you going to do now” quite often, which has been unexpected. I went into seminary with the intention of learning and growing myself, being better equipped to equip others, and by God’s grace, that is exactly the same plan today. This isn’t to say the Lord might not draw me elsewhere in the future potentially, but I love Equip and have a large conviction about what we are doing. It has been great, and now I’ll be even more time to devote to serving and equipping college students.

ps...the video has virtually nothing to do with this post, except that the school year IS indeed coming soon, something like 29 days left! We have a little timer on the website right now, which has been updated and renovated...I rebuilt it, made it stronger, faster than it was before (ala ‘The 60-million dollar Man’).

Friday, July 29, 2011

Oficially done with my last intensive week of seminary! Indeed a very bitter sweet feeling...

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Is this blog awesome?

Is this blog awesome, some may ask?
The yes, just ask these two people:
(who happen to be my little niece and nephew, Alayna and Mason)

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Flight from Atlanta to Minneapolis has been delayed by almost 30-minutes...arhg...

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

STP 2011 Weeks 1 & 2 on Vimeo

This video is obviously out of order, but I never posted it the first time. So, here is a quick look at the first two weeks of random footage at Project!

STP 2011 Weeks 1 & 2 on Vimeo

‘It is the most important thing. Period.’ | Summer Training Project

Here is a quick blog post that Emma wrote that week on the STP blog about one of Matt Reagan's talks. The talk itself was super helpful, very convicting about how much more I need to simply trust and rejoice in the good news that Christ has "rescued me from the domain of darkness and transferred me [us] to the kingdom of his beloved Son".

‘It is the most important thing. Period.’ | Summer Training Project

Monday, June 27, 2011

Highlights of Week 3 and 4 on Vimeo

Thanks to a most talented video guy on project, here is a tast of the last couple of weeks. It looks way cooler than perhaps it actually gives information about the last couple of weeks...but here you go, here is the hotel and area around the hotel and stuff. Cool, you can totally hear my voice playing the game right at the beginning of it.
Highlights of Week 3 and 4 on Vimeo

Friday, June 24, 2011

Doing bible study training this morning and about to go to a staff social time...good stuff

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Low Country Boil

In a couple of hours, I will be enjoying some Southern food, beef, potatoes, corn, shrimp and all sorts of stuff all thrown into a pot and cooked. Tonight is the weekly social at the Project, and tonight is called "Low Country Boil"...should be fun.

Things have been super challenging and super great in SC.
I've been really convicted on several various things, including a big conviction on how much I put my identity in ministry and the "success" I have in ministry. This has been an idol of mine, and the Lord has been progressively displaying this to me, rebuking me kindly in my idolatry, rather than trusting in the gospel. Or as Paul said, "He HAS delivered from the domain of darkness, and HAS transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son[!]." Wow! This is the gospel, if we are in Christ, this IS NOW a reality, and we should "sing with thankfulness in our heart to God" over this truth, and it has been happening more in my life lately.

So, a week from today I will be back up North, spending a couple of days in St. Cloud with my mom and brother and sister in law, which should be really fun. Then I'll be back in Brookings sometime around the 5th of July, ready to push forward towards some Fall planning for Equip, and hopefully spending a ton of time travelling and meeting with friends and people that I hope will be excited to join my partner team as I raise financial support. Please keep this in your prayers for my sake, as I am hoping to raise $1,100 of monthly support yet this summer (well, actually about $900 more).

(the picture is just another pic of the CO staff training times each morning...we are studying John Frame, it is super great, makes me want to read a lot more John Frame)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Doctrine of the Word of God

These few days, we the staff (CO staff and myself) are studying the book, "The Doctrine of the Word of God", by John Frame. It has been really good so far, I'm realizing how much more I want to read Frame! He has been really helpful in understanding a few things like God's word communicated through words and the significance of that.

Anyways, sitting in this for the morning all morning today, then am hoping to get a bunch of fundraising calls done tonight and finish a few things that are in the shoot for getting ready for Fall.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Random Pics

Here are a few pics of some events and some of the fun stuff that is planned to gather students and have some fun while on project.

Fellowship and Theology

Since Emma is simply a better writer than I might hope to be, I'm posting the link to her latest (2nd) blog post from STP.

On a more personal note, I can't believe it is already June 15th! I am going to be back in SD super crazy soon.
My time here, however, has been absolutely amazing!
Here is a brief rundown of whats been going on so far:
  1. I've been able to learn a whole lot from these COM staff guys, how they do ministry, their hearts for the gospel and their openness and brokenness before the Lord, which has been very helpful.
  2. Every thursday night the students have a scheduled 'social', in which this last week was the "boat social". Very funny, and a great time for them to build relationship and get to know each other right away at the beginning of the project.
  3. I've had a few day training with the staff of COM, (Campus Outreach Minneapolis), plus several days of training and discussion with about 50 other CO staff from all over the place, (Georgia, D.C., Virginia, etc.). Each morning we would all gather, listen to 2-3 different speakers teach on various topics ad break into small groups to talk. A few of the message were:
  • the way we should view the involvement of CO (Equip, in my case) in local churches
  • being gospel centered rather than ministry centered (which was super convicting, I've got a lot to pray about and change in my own heart)
  • rightly treating rest and sabbath.
  • Discipleship vs counseling (which the 'vs' was in-fact not actually a 'vs')
I'll keep it brief, but simply put, I am so super thankful for your prayers and for everyone on my support team that enables me to be here and learn and have an immense time of growth and development. I already know that it is going to make a big difference in my heart and ministry outreach back at SDSU! If it weren't for people like you, these kinds of opportunities would not happen, and the experience and growth would be a lost opportunity.

So, please keep praying for the students, that they would develop friendship and be challenged by their time in the word with others, as well as their time in one-on-one's, being discipled and taught in this jam-packed two-month time!

(The picture is a few students from Michigan State U, from University Reformed Church. John Saunders, their college pastor, has been a super big encouragement to me, and is simply a really godly guy. At the end is Christa Juntenen, a sophomore at SDSU...what a pose.)

Monday, June 6, 2011

Several Days in South Carolina

South Carolina is great! The beach is warm, the sun is hot, and the humidity is just ridiculous. The weather has been great, and way more importantly, the time down here has been really good with students. There are a total of 6 Equippers down here, then another 190 some MN students from COM area. Ryan, Caleb, Ian, Emma, Leah and Christa have seemed to really get started off well.

The first night started off with a bang.
After an 8-hour drive on the 2nd day (for the students), they arrived to lots of hype and fanfare, to be followed by confusion and hysteria trying to figure out their room situations, food, work and all sorts of things. The first night we all had worship and a kick-off message describing the 'project' and what they might expect the following few days.

Today then, Monday, is the first day of work for most of the students. I participated in the CO staff training this morning, which was more-or-less evaluation of the trip and the beginning of project, talking about students and their needs. It was very encouraging to see how they operate things, and way more encouraging to start to get to know their hearts for God. Also, I'm very much looking forward to learning a lot from them, both the staff and the student leaders. They are all really cool people, and I am liking a lot of what I'm seeing.

So, there is much more I could and perhaps should be saying, but for now, there is a good and brief overview of what has been going down so far. There are lots of time for Bible study, leadership training, Bible study training, evangelism and training, 'life training', and 'theme training' meetings throughout the evenings and on Wednesdays. (the theme is "Awake", taken from 1 Thess 5:6).

Keep praying for the students, that they would grow just a ton and that the Lord would grow them to bring back a further love of the Lord and excitement for ministry to SDSU!

I've attached a short video clip of the hotel and courtyard area (I've always wanted to use that word, 'courtyard' in a context that makes me feel like C.S. Lewis or something). All or most of the students are all out at work right now, save for Caleb, who working at McDonalds from 6:00-2:00, so his schedule is considerably different than most. He is seen here swimming in the

Monday, May 30, 2011

Myrtle Beach, SC

After about 24 hours of driving the past two days, I am not finally in SC! Myrtle Beach is beautiful so far, although we spent the last several hours building lofts, moving furniture, moving refridgerators around the project site.
Lots of work, and been getting to meet and get to know dozens of new people, and that has been just great.
Keep me in prayer, as we prepare for the next 2.5 days for the rest of the students (150-ish) who will be showing up on Thursday in the afternoon. Lots to do before then!

(Above is one of the palm trees outside my door)

Saturday, May 28, 2011


In 15 minutes, I take off for Minneapolis, then tomorrow morning will leave for South Carolina for Summer Training Project. I'll be in SC till about July 2 or so, and so would love your prayers!

Also, I'll be blogging on (hopefully) a regular basis, so if you are interested in keeping up, check often. (Emma DeJong, an Equip student leader, will also be down there, and she has got an internship with the project, ans so will be updating the STP blog on a regular basis, which will likely have way more information than my blog.

Hope to see you in July!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Additions for 2011-12 & June!

So, I have two quick things:

1) Please pray for our Fall 2011 preparations...yes, preparations even now! Specifically (for now), please pray for the construction and implementation of what I'm calling Equip "U", U= University. In a nutshell, what we are wanting to do is categorize the things we do that most specifically fall under the category of 'Christian Education'. One of these things is the Reasons Class that we have taught for the last three years (mostly). But, and this is the prayer request, the addition for this Fall is going to be what we are calling "Mini-Seminar Saturdays" (MSS). The basic thrust is going to be a certain number of hours (5-8ish) on a given Saturday during the semester, in which we will have lectures, small group interaction, Q&A, and just as much jam-packed learning as we can do on a given subject. In effect, we want to further our equipping to SDSU students, and this is one way that we are very hopeful will help us do just that.

The topic list is large and growing, and I'm hoping to get some serious clarity soon as to what we focus on. The plan is have two of these MSS's (I know, we might need a different name), one in October and then in November. If the Lord wills, I'm very confident that we will be able to do some serious education to the glory of God, that students would be further enabled to humbly and passionately proclaim, explain and defend the gospel!
(the pictures are from our Reasons class this past year)

2) I leave for South Carolina in 7 days! Yikes. I'm very much looking forward to it, for I think both the (6) Equip students coming will benefit from it greatly, as well as myself. I'm looking forward to learning as much as possible from the COM (Camus Outreach Minneapolis) staff guys as possible. Please pray for me while I'm there, that my fundraising, Seminary work, and planning for next year would thrive the whole time as well! If you want to keep updated with what is going on during the project, follow it on this blog:

There isn't anything there yet, but soon there will be.

Anyways, hope to see you guys soon, especially since I'll be gone for June!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


Okay, so it isn't actually [fun] raising, I just love the way that works.

But, I am now fully engaged in FUNDRAISING for the summer! For whomever of you keeps up with my blog postings on my ministry life, you may or may not know how big a part of my life that fundraising is...especially in the summer. all of this is to say, please pray for my fundraising efforts this summer!

Specifically, pray that fundraising would be more than simply raising funds, but that God would bless me with financial and prayer partners that are excited and moved by the vision of Equip, and want to see more and more college students reached and equipped to proclaim and spread the gospel of Christ, during their college years, and especially the rest of their life. When people who are passionate about that support me, it makes all the difference in the world in how I go about doing ministry with their support.

So, this afternoon and all evening I've been writing thank you letters and organizing a bunch of stuff on my computer to start calling and meeting with people this summer. Shown here is Mike Berhow, the recent returnee to Brookings, along with his wife Becky. Mike, if you didn't know, was a staff member two years ago, and will be volunteering some of his time to teach and help do some ministry this next year and more to come, hopefully! Please pray that Mike and Becky would get involved and be blessed as they transition back to life here in Brookings.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Meagan's Testimony

On my newsletter I have a small excerpt of Meagan's testimony, and would like to share the whole thing here:

"February 17, 2011 was the first night I had entered the doors of 1st Baptist Church for Equip. I had no idea what to expect. A couple of friends had invited me to go along with them that Wednesday night. Everyone I met was very friendly and something about that place just felt homey. We sat in a small room and sang a few songs, prayed, and then Brandon spoke about Christ for a while. When Brandon was done he asked us all to bow our heads for prayer. Right then the room became warm and what seemed like every single sin I had ever done in my life had flashed right in front of me. My heart began to beat really fast and just felt heavy. My whole body was heavy, like someone was sitting on my shoulders and I was desperately trying to stand up with them forcing me down. Tears fell from my eyes at a rapid pace I had never seen before. Every time I wiped them away on my sleeve another ten drops were ready to fall. I didn’t quite understand exactly what was happening to me, but when we went back to my dorm room my friends Michelle and Tom, both amazing Christian friends of mine, came up to my room and talked me through what had happen to me. I remember every time I would say something Tom would flip through his Bible so fast to show me a verse that proved that God had made me new that night. All I could think about was how badly I wanted to go to sleep and wake up the next day living my life a complete 180 from what it had used to be. The change was so drastic that all of my friends tell me they don’t even know who I am anymore.

I’m a completely new creation! I had grown up sitting in a pew every Sunday calling myself a Christian. How ignorant I was to believe that I was a Christian just because I went to church on Sunday, ate the bread and drank the wine, sang the songs they asked, and tried to stay awake as my Pastor went on and on. Every now and then I would get a slight idea about opening my Bible, but it never lasted long. I would compare myself to my friends and the choices they were making and tell myself, “I’m a good person.” But until that night at Equip I had never noticed how disgusting my sin truly was. I give God all the credit for what He did to me that night at Equip!

Equip has helped me so much since that night. I have made many new wonderful friends who make great accountability partners to keep me on track with reading my bible and staying in worship. Luke gave me a helpful perspective on how as a Christian I am in a constant spiritual war with my own sins. We want to kill and defeat our sins so we can be closer to God and try to be like Jesus. I’m discovering what it means to be a Christian and making those changes in my life, defeating my sin and making a better relationship with God. Equip has been a great tool that God has given me to becoming a better Christian."

Thursday, May 5, 2011

First and Last Bonfire of Spring 2011

The end is here...bitter sweet.

It is always a difficult time for me that past three years at the end of the year. On the one hand, having this time to prepare for next year and to take some time 'off' is incredibly needed. On the other hand, the students all (mostly) take off for four months, and it is hard. I have so much fellowship and time with them throughout the year, that it makes it a very hard time.

So, please pray that:
1) the Lord would bless my fundraising endeavors this summer
2) That all the necessary preparations would be made for next year
3) That I would draw near to the Lord and trust in his grace, feeling the truths that I profess in a deeper way

Our last event was fun, even though we got all rained-out for the most of it, we had a great time in the garage of one of the married couples in Equip. They volunteered the place for the party, and it was a great way to end the year!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Nearing the end, but not slowing down

"God is a moral monster, who has entire civilizations killed by the hands of Israel"
"God aborts more children every year in the womb than do humans by abortion"
"I simply see no evidence that God exists, and in fact see the world exactly as I think it might be based on the assumption that there is no God"

A week ago from last night, Brandon, several Equip students and myself attended a lecture event called "Morality: With and Without God" the above quotes are but a sampling of.
The speaker was a self-professed atheist and secular humanist, who was sponsored by the atheist/agnostic group on campus, called "Saafe" (skeptics, atheists, agnostics, freethinkers, empiricists).
There is much that could be said about this event, from the fairly heated reactions from some of those attending (although the majority of the time was level headed and not heated at all), to the fact that we were up till 2:00am with the guy and some other atheistic students eating wings and nachos at Cubby's. But, the main thing that I want to stress is simply how serious of a thing this sort of thinking is, atheistic thinking that is.
Here on SDSU, an incredibly conservative and religious place (compared to many university settings), we have students being persuaded by the kind of logic and thought process presented by this speaker. If you (as my wonderful and devoted reader) are not familiar with atheistic influence or arguments, then my main point is to highlight just how dangerous it can be. Because, here is the thing, although Brando and I sat there the whole time just internally shaking our heads at the very low-level of argumentation that they guy used, there were many students cheering and being greatly encouraged in their unbelief. This is scary to me. Not scary because I think that he had any real arguments on which to stand, but scary because even his arguments were apparently persuasive and encouraging to those who had similar beliefs.

Furthermore, there were many Christians present that night, and there were several times when their responses and questions reflected a very low level of understanding and critical thought. This isn't unique to SDSU, this is simply the state of critical thinking and biblical understanding among believers in this country. Sometimes I was more impressed with the thought process of some of the unbelievers than that of the believing students (whom I usually knew personally).

So, as you might guess, this was greatly inspiring and convicting for me, to continue doing what I'm doing, and pray that more people would get behind the need that our college students have to really understand what they believe and why they believe it. Please continue to pray that God would be pleased to bless our efforts here here at SDSU, and that our hearts would be further set on fire for His glory. I want to continue Equip's influence, that more and more students would come to know Christ personally, and be so equipped to carry that message to their family, friends, classmates, co-workers and the world.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Personal Study Time

I'm currently studying ancient church history for my seminary class right now. On the one hand, I'm very excited to be done with school work (including this class), for it adds so much time and energy to my days. However, on the other hand, it has been a terrific source of learning and development in my life. Personal study time has proved to be insanely influential in my faith and development of my ability to teach and lead others. This specific study happens to be through a seminary, but I hope and pray that when my seminary studies are done (June 4th graduation, baby!), that I'll continue to push myself and devote large amounts of time to learning and growing in my understanding of all the things God calls me to, from Church History, to theological issues, to leadership and how to best structure the things God is giving me stewardship of.

All this to say that personal study time is just so important to not stick in whenever you have time. Rather, it should be as disciplined a practice as an athlete exercises or as a medical practitioner stays current with developments in medicine (shout-out to the rest of my immediate family).
Furthermore, every Christian should be doing this, no matter what vocation they might find themselves in, reading and learning from those who surpass us is incredibly important in personal growth.

So, that is what I have been doing for the past 7 hours or so, minus a bit of time to interact with the locals...such as this handsome devil across from me, Mr. Isaac "almost-graduated-graduate", who has been involved in Equip for a few years now, and is interviewing for various jobs right now. He will also be spending the night on my couch, as he does a couple times a week right now, finishing up school.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Desiring God Book study guys

So, as promised, here are the guys who are involved in the study of "Desiring God" that I've been leading this semester. Honestly, it has been just an amazingly blessed time so far, verychallenging and has caused a ton of great conversation and discussion over the Word of God. Piper is a gifted author, and he has helped me immensely in seeing some really important things in God's Word. He is doing the same thing for these guys so far, and it has been super cool to be able to serve them in this way.

Pray that the rest of the book, something like 4-5 chapters left, would be blessed, and that the guys would remain faithful to reading each week, producing very fruitful meeti
ngs with each other.

Preaching at Intervarsity Tonight

I'm preaching on Ephesians 6:13-14 tonight, serving the campus ministry group "Intervarsity", which most people are aware of. I had the opportunity to serve them last semester by speaking on Isaiah 61 (I think), and now I'm very excited to preach on Ephesians 6, which will mainly be "we are at war" and that we need to fight and fight rightly in order to win and not die! (hence Rom 8:13, for instance)

So please pray for me, that God would anoint my mouth to preach clearly and concisely, and most importantly that He would make my words more than my words, but would come with power and change hearts and minds, convicting of sin and bringing joy through Jesus Christ.

Also, I thought I'd throw up some pictures of my office, just for kicks. The top is the long shot of the office, the desk in the far end is mine, while Brandon (the newly added staff from this summer) sits in the near one...although, we spend maybe 15% of our time in the office, it is still incredibly useful).

The next picture is our DVD rack, which we loan out DVD's and watch them quite often with students for teaching purposes.

Finally, and obviously, is my bookshelf. The top left corner is full of some of the resources we buy to give out to students, while the rest are various books of mine, many of which I have not read, but the fuller the bookshelf is, the smarter I look...and I need all the help I can get (joking...sorta).

Thursday and Friday, here I come!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Saturday Night Leadership...done and done.

So, this weekend's leadership retreat was a super great time, relaxing & exhausting all at the same time.
Most importantly, we had a very productive time, and all the guys had a truly good time hanging out with each other. Although these students represent only a small amount of the friendships that exist within Equip, it was great to see the time of fellowship be good and fruitful. There are several more students involved in Equip that have a great amount of influence and leadership, including involvement and leadership in worship music, as well as several others who are just highly involved and make a huge impact. We are excited to add a few more next year, as there are some promising up-and-coming leaders.

But all these guys are truly on fire for the gospel, so pray that God would give us the ability to lead them well, serving them and building them up to make them as effective and fruitful in the 'work of ministry' as they possibly can be.

On a personal note, I am very excited to see the plans God has realized in my life as Equip grows.

Just btw, the retreat was at the "Blue Cloud Abbey", which is a Roman Catholic monastery up N.E. of Watertown. I have been going there for probably almost six years now, and it has proved to be an amazing place for private study, devotion, relaxing and reading. The atmosphere was just perfect for what we had intended this retreat to be.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

First Night of Leadership Meeting

So, the Blue Cloud Abbey is a big hit, as I knew it would be. I love this place, and the students are certainly enjoying it as well. Just wanting to post a couple of pictures from our time tonight, and ask you to keep us in your prayers for tomorrow, that God would maximize our time together. Tonight was amazing, full of prayer, reflection about this year, and lots of excitement. The rest of the guys are busy playing "Monopoly Deal", and the rest playing a game of "Mafia".
So, God has been pleased to give us a great time of love and fellowship, everyone more than getting along and loving each other!

Leadership Meeting, yo-holla!

So....April is going to be a pretty crazy time:
  • This weekend: Leadership meeting till early Sunday morning
  • Next weekend (1st-2nd): Men's conference in Brookings we are participating in.
  • Next-next weekend (8th-9th): Youth Retreat we are bringing some college students up near Redfield to minister to some youth, for a little 1.5 day type thing of learning, play and gospel teaching.
  • Next-next-next weekend: Rock Climbing & Camping (RCC) retreat, in which is awesomeness, but lots of planning.
  • Next-next-next-next weekend: Easter, yeah! Nothing this weakened, expect dyeing on my couch from the past four weekends, and also celebrating the risen Lord!
  • Next-next-next-next-next weekend (29th): Summer Training Project prep weekend, which means a trip to Minneapolis for the majority of the weekend, which will undoubtedly be just a great time.
Needless to say, weekends during the Spring semester tend to get filled up with stuff. Praise God that I love what I do, and that he has given me people in my life to enable me to do it!

Most importantly right now, please pray for this weekend. It is our leadership retreat in which we are inducting (hopefully all of them) our new prospective student leaders. We have never had it in March before, and I think it might become our annual time. Pray that God would light passion and devotion in the leaders' lives to want to serve their peers and others next year.

And here is a picture from our RCC event last April, which we had something like 36 people show up to on the Saturday:
And I can't help myself, here are some super-sassy pictures of our o-so-stylish 'Booth Board':
This is one place that has had considerably more fruit come from it than I ever would have thought! We have met so many people at the booth, including a few of our current leaders, and some of those who we are considering this weekend (Emma, Hanna, Ryan, Tyler, Leah,, seriously, more than half of them!) Pray that God would continue to be pleased to send us amazing and solid students through this presence, as well as many more conversations with unbelievers.

Einstein Bros. Bagel

One place I have started to meet with students and hold Bible studies and whatnot is in the new (this year) eating area in the Student Union area, with an Einstein Bagels food joint in it. Virtually every single time I'm in here, it is incredibly busy.

Today, I'm meeting with Josh for discipleship and then meeting with four guys for a book study of "Desiring God", by John Piper.
This book has done a bunch to rock my world, incredibly challenging and insanely rewarding for my faith.
As would have been seen below, if I had remembered to take the picture, is Josh, Caleb, Evan and Brown, the guys in the book study.
They have all expressed that they have really enjoyed it, and at many times they have been very challenged by the truths taught in it. (btw, if you have never read Desiring God, I super highly recommend it.)

Today is chapter 5, "Scripture", which is of course just amazing.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Random Study Time

So this is Cottonwood, the coffee shop in Brookings which is essentially my second office. When I want to study but also enjoy an occasional break to interact with people, I usually go here.
It has proved to be a great place to meet new people, talk with students that I normally might not, and simply enjoy as well. Today, I am studying next to Carl, a Junior at SDSU and a guy I've known and met up with for the past couple of years. He is a great guy, and is seen here posing for my picture, in which I told him to look smart...jk, I didn't say that to him.

Today, I am finishing up my two papers for class, studying for my final exam in "Prophets" class that is tomorrow, and hopefully getting all sorts of little loose ends wrapped up.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Collision Spring 2011

What might I be doing on a Friday night of March 18th? Watching a movie, perhaps?
Well, sometimes, but last night I spent a bit over 8-hours of discussion about the nature of belief, God and explaining and arguing his necessary reality to 30-40 college students.
This took place at our second "Collision" event, in which we partner with the atheist/agnostic student group on SDSU campus.

We came together last night to discuss the question, "What do you believe, and why do you believe it?" We first split into 7 small groups, where everyone shared their responses to this question. This was incredibly fruitful, for the intent was not to argue and convince one-another, per se, but simply to share one's personal beliefs and reasons for them.

We make very clear at the outset that this is not meant to be a debate in which we rip each other's heads off, but share why we believe what we believe about the nature of reality, God, faith, etc.

Many friendships began, many opportunities to truly understand each other, and lots of great conversations.

However, what makes this so unique, and, I think, what makes this such an amazing opportunity, is that we make very clear the point of this is not simply to have interesting conversation, but to want to arrive at truth. For my part, I told the students that "If Christ is not the truth, then I shouldn't want to believe in him, and dont' want to be a Christian...if indeed he isn't true". I mean this with all my heart, because the nature of faith is bound up with whether or not Christ is actually the "way, the truth and the life", and the apostle Paul leaves us little room for any other responses (1 Cor 15).

So, from about 7:00pm - 3:00am (this morning), I was interacting on these issues, explaining what the Bible says and sharing the gospel with people at Perkins till these wee hours in the morning, and it was indeed a very blessed time, not to mention very fun as well!

I am very thankful to be able to serve the students in this way, providing such a unique opportunity for the refining and challenging of their faith, as well as challenging and explaining the gospel and the teachings of Christ to unbelievers. Please pray that the future events are equally as blessed, but most importantly the relationships made will grow and produce many opportunities!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Humility, where art thou?

Being that this blog is intended on being a routine account of my personal life of ministry, I can't help but share a scriptural exhortation that has been insanely helpful for me.

Humility. As I pray for the Lord's anointing for tonight's message on apologetics, there is always a part of me that sinfully is self-worshiping and seeks glory for myself. For me, speaking and preaching can become this, but the Lord brought 1 and 2 Peter back to my mind.

2 Peter 1:3 says "His divine power has granted to us all things that pertains to life and godliness..."
God has granted to us, he has granted to us all things that have to with with life and godliness. This is amazing. I have nothing of my own, for it has been granted to me. If I have godliness in my life, it is because the Lord granted it. If I have life, it is because the Lord has granted it.

1 Peter 4:10 says, "As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace..."

Whatever gift I might have, it is because I have been given it. And what is more, it is still not even mine, I am still simply a steward of the gift. The gift belong to God, I am merely called to us what is His, to be a guardian of it, to be a custodian of it, to be a steward of what is in every respect the Lord's. Amazing. When I start to truly think and believe this, pride and self-glorification is absolute insanity, and completely irrational!

Apologetics tonight

Tonight, I am giving a short message on "Apologetics" at a Campus Crusade for Christ (Cru) lare group meeting here at SDSU's campus. I've been prepping for several days now, and I'm very excited about it, since apologetics has been a fairly significant part of my life and the formation and growth of Equip for the past 6 or more years now.
Unfortunately, 'apologetics' is an extremely misunderstood and badly applied thing. There are very few people who both understand what apologetics really are, and also use them in a way that is helpful for relationships and the sharing and explanation of the gospel. That is part of my goal for tonight, to stick the right understand and application of them in the Cru student's minds.

If you happen to come upon this entry before tonight, please pray for a clear mind, a convicted heart for the glory of God, and a responsible use of my 20-30 minutes (although they are used to 15 minutes, I will simply not be done in that amount of time :).

Also, pray that I could serve the students in such a way, that they would be more excited to be truth seeking, honest and humble believers, especially in their interactions with unbelievers as they seek to share the truth of Christ over the next several weeks.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Pray for my Summer plans

Although I will be shooting out a newsletter with all the latest in the very near future, I thought I could ask for prayer and inform everyone that there are some big developments for my summer plans. Partnership with prayer and financial partners is a huge part of my life, for by it I live and am enabled to do ministry and the work that God has allowed us to be apart of here in Brookings. This is why it is a big deal for me to take a month of this summer and spend it in South Carolina on what is called "Summer Training Project". It is a longer story, but we are sorta partnering-up with a ministry called "Campus Outreach", which is giving us the ability to send students on a 2-month project full of Bible study, leadership training, evangelism and training, worship, constant community and, hopefully, an extremely vamped up time of growth in their faith.

I will be going for the first month as Equip staff, as do all the staff of CO (Campus Outreach), which is a big deal, given that I spend the summers committed to fundraising.
However, ultimately, I am very convinced that it will be absolutely worth it, from the experience to sit under college ministry guys who have far more experience, both in fundraising and in ministry in general.
So, please pray for this trip, as there are lots of preparations to complete.
Also pray for the students coming. Pray that God would grant us 12 (!) students to come with me, and is already almost the case.

I am very excited for this development this year, and am waiting to see, but think that this summer training project just might become an important staple for the life and growth for our students here at Equip SDSU.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Honestly, one of my favorite places on earth

Here is a typical chunk of my day:
I try to spend a good chunk of time in study and personal education, so that I can be better equipped myself to equip students better...much of this time comes from work at Seminary, which overlaps of course. Tonight...Mike's coffee shop, finishing up my exegetical paper on Jeremiah 29:1-14.

But, not even a week ago I was on the top of Storm Mountain... I've never been up the mountain in the winter, so this was an awesome blessing!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Fellowship time the last night of Spring Break

Last night in the lodge, a very relaxing and blessed time of community and fellowship.

Spring Break Trip to Black Hills

We just got back from our recent spring break trip to the Black Hills. We spent 5 days at "Storm Mountain Center", a church camp which I spent many years at, both as a camper and many more as a counselor.
It was a fantastic time, a really awesome mix of students, 9 of them total. We spent time in a study called "Battling Unbelief", hiking, prayer, making our own meals each day, going to Mt. Rushmore, going to "Jewel Cave", and spending lots of time talking and getting to know each other.
I was really happy with the turnout, it was a great time of relaxation, and even more importantly, a really great bonding time for the students.

Brandon and Erin were both able to make it, bringing their newest son Jonathan with them, which was awesome.

Thanks for your prayers for this trip, it was a really great time and it was like 1/4 of the cost it was last year!

I will post a couple of follow up videos to give you a taste of the time we had in the following few days.

As you can see in this video, we hiked up Storm Mountain a couple of times, this was at about 6:30am, in which we were able to see the sunrise!