Saturday, December 20, 2014

Senior Spotlight

The last Wednesday night large group of the year.  We did a 15-20 focus on the three graduating seniors.   They shared about the ways in which they've grown the past 4 years, advice they'd give their freshmen selves, their plans for the future and other responses to aspects of their lives as believers in college.  It was a bitter-sweet time.

Josh Boomgaarden, Kimberly Scholl, Ashton Pleasants

End of the year Party

We had a white-elephant gift theme at our end of the year party at Equip a few nights ago.  Close to 40 students showed up, and Jino taught a few more people a game in which I can't pronounce, but which is a fun game of "pass the sign"... 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Back to the Future - Take 1: True U(niversity)

In the following short series I'll be posting some pictures and short description of some past events. Since I haven't been keeping up with posts quickly after these events all year, this'll be the next best thing. 

First up: True U

Simply put, we've been considering the question "Does God Exist?", approaching it from primarily 'scientific' evidences.  I won't attempt to try and replicate the arguments here, but suffice it to say it's been great and I think helpful for the small group (6-9) of students who have been attending.  

Of course, arguing for God's existence is certainly not the means by which God brings unbelievers to saving faith, nor is getting some final 'scientific' evidence to finally have confidence in one's faith the goal.  No.  God grants repentance and God's spirit draws unbelievers to himself.  However, especially for Christians, it is a marvelous and invigorating study to see the truth Romans 1:19-20 even in the intricacies of the cell and astronomical vastness of the cosmos, "For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse."

Also, I find myself simply worshiping and exulting in the amazing creativity and design of God that we find in, for instance, the exquisite engineering in the cell and DNA. It's truly awesome.

We watch a lecture about 30 minutes long, then discuss for 45 minutes or so. 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Jump...jump around

Two quick things:
1) I have been super slack on blogging updates this semester so far.  For that, I apologize.  I am aiming to change that for the rest of the semester...
2) Starting with today's little fun trip to "SkyZone" trampoline place that is mainly designed for 6-12 year olds, but serves just as fun for 'big kids.'  We had nearly 25 students come, and it was a fun time, with a few new people that aren't connected to the ministry at all.  Please pray that some of the relationships might actually develop and we could followup a bit with them.  It was a good time, not least of which is car rides down with can provide some great opportunities for starting friendships.  But also nailing students in the face during dodgeball is of course fun, too...

Friday, September 12, 2014

All sorts of stuff

During the beginning of the year we always try and provide some opportunities for students to have some various fun together.  This usually entails volleyball, group games and various activities sprinkled throughout.  We encourage our leaders to cultivate relationships during these times.  We had some good turnouts these past couple weekends, with volleyball on both Saturday mornings, a game night two fridays ago, and this past Friday night a fire at Brandon and Erin's place.  They were all well attended, with quite a number of new students getting involved.

Please continue to pray for relationships to form, and for Bible studies to be blessed with the gospel being made clear, students getting saved and fruit growing from these times.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Off and Running

We had a blessed first Large Group meeting two nights ago!  


I was very happy with the turnout, something just short of 60 students came to our large group meeting, with the vast majority of them being brand new.  

Brandon spoke on the gospel and an introductory message about 1 Corinthians, which focused predominately how just how much Americans are like the 1st century Corinthians.  It was quite interesting and remarkable to see the similarities!


What does the title mean, you might ask?  Well, thanks for asking, it means "Campus and Community Fall Festival".

It's a fairly important afternoon for us to connect with students (mainly freshmen) at the beginning of the year.

This year, we had something like 200-300 surveys that the students filled out, out of which we kept short of 100 that responded with something like "yeah, I'd like to learn more about God", or "I'd like to join a Bible study", etc.

It's exciting, the opportunities that we have from days like this.  Please pray God would equip us to continue to followup well with these and many more students!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Post BBQ

It's 9:36, and its been a long (but fantastic) day, so this will be short.  But in a nutshell (which I'll expand in a few days), the BBQ and engagement with students today was very blessed!  We had over 110 students present at the BBQ, and engaged with 200-300 at the Fall Festival yesterday.  
Anyway, here are some quick photos, I'll add more soon.  

Please pray that God would...
  1. be drawing and softening hearts to hear the gospel, repent and treasure Jesus in the coming days.
  2. be granting us the students that he would have be involved in Equip this year.  We currently have over a dozen Bible studies, and are almost already maxed out on those.  Needles to say...
  3. pray that God would give us faithfulness and perseverance.
Enough for now, Praise God for his greatness!  I'm reminded at just how insignificant we are, yet our heavenly Father loves us and cares for us.  I want students to know him, pray that they would.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

A few hundred more

While I'm at it, I'd ask you for prayer for our upcoming Campus and Community Fall Festival (C2F2, as they call it). 

So, although in many ways we are already brimming with freshmen names and will be striving to minister to as many as we can in a qualitative way as possible, we will be at C2F2 on this coming Monday, having a few hundred more names of students to engage with, follow-up with, share the gospel and invite into fellowship and to hear the word preached on Wednesday evenings at our large group. 

Please pray God would continue to bless  our efforts and that all we do would be with a heart to please our Heavenly Father, to bring him praise by the delighting and treasuring of him by his children. 

(The photos are of the extra 600 surveys I just prepared)

Bible studies everywhere, and not a drop to...drink

So, we have a new situation here at Equip for the beginning of a Fall semester.

Not only do we currently have 12 Bible studies ready to go for the fall (times, locations, leaders, etc.), but those Bible studies are nearly 80% filled with (mainly) incoming freshmen and returning upperclassmen Equippers.  This is unprecedented for us.  We have not only never had this many Bible studies in one semester, we have certainly never had them nearly filled before the semester actually starts.  We are planning on have 75-100 students involved in these small group Bible studies.

So please pray for us.  We have several new changes this year, this one about Bible studies not least among them.  We will be meeting on campus for about 80% of our Wednesday night large group meetings, which might be a bit iffy whether we can fit into the room we currently have reserved.

Good things and great things.  God is good.  Please pray that we would continue to "make the horse ready for battle", knowing that the victory belongs to the Lord.  Please pray that we would continue to be diligent and faithful in the watering and planting that God calls us to do.
It's old, but it's a Bible study directly below our large group meeting room

Monday, August 4, 2014

The Godward Focus of Faithfulness

I preached at Dawson Covenant Church (DCC) yesterday. (I can't find any better pictures...)
  It is the church that Emma and I have, for a year now, been adopted as one of their "domestic missionaries".  We are grateful and excited for this, and pray that the gospel might increase and be more known as a result.   It also happens to be the church where my mother is a member, which means I am gladly familiar with many people in the church since my 'younger days'.

I spoke on God's Faithfulness and, with a little help from Piper, entitled my sermon "The Godward Focus of Faithfulness".  The Piper help was that I completely stole the title from a short article Piper wrote, which I forgot to mention yesterday [so, DCC people: "I stole the name" :) ].

Anyways, here is the article which gave the impetus for piggy-backing on the 125 years that DCC is celebrating as a church.  It's point is primarily this: God is faithful to his name and glory before he is faithful to us.  He is most ultimately concerned with his glory, more than anything else.  This is good, because it means we (if you are in Christ through faith) get Him in all his fullness of joy for all of eternity.  It is the best news there can be.

So here it is...

The Godward Focus of Faithfulness

One of my long-standing dissatisfactions with the focus of biblical theology is the habit of tracing God’s faithfulness only as far back as his covenant-keeping. Righteousness (tsedeqa) is portrayed as covenant-keeping. Love (hesed) is portrayed as covenant-keeping. Faithfulness (emet) is portrayed as covenant-keeping.
This has an ill-effect. It skews biblical revelation by making God’s relation with man seem more ultimate than God himself. There is always something more ultimate than God’s faithfulness to his covenant, namely, God’s faithfulness to God.
If we are faithless, he remains faithful—for he cannot deny himself. (2Timothy 2:13)
Here is how Jeremiah pleads for God’s covenant-keeping mercy:
“Do not spurn us, for your name’s sake;
do not dishonor your glorious throne;
remember and do not break your covenant with us.” (Jeremiah 14:21)
Beneath covenant-keeping there is a more ultimate foundation: God’s allegiance to his name—God’s jealousy for the honor of the glory of his throne.
This emphasis on God’s allegiance to his own name and glory behind his allegiance to his covenant and his people, is desperately needed in a day when we are spring-loaded by nature and culture to make ourselves ultimate: “Of course, God will keep his covenant, he made it with us!”
There is a great biblical antidote for our pride. God keeps covenant for his name’s sake:
“Thus says the Lord God: It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act, but for the sake of my holy name” (Ezekiel 36:22).
John Piper (@JohnPiper) is founder and teacher of and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. For 33 years, he served as pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is author of more than 50 books.

Friday, July 11, 2014

"The horse is made ready..."

"The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but victory belongs to the Lord." Proverbs 21:31

Quick update on the summer orientation sessions outreach.  They've gone great!  You can see me here in this great photo, so you know it's good...

As of now, we have 600+ names of incoming freshmen, and we project we'll have 800 or so by summer's end.
So positive things, so many possibilities for relationships and salvation to occur!

Here's a smattering of some of the summarized info so far:
Out of the 600 names, and on a 1-10 scale (10=highest)...

  • "Interested in growing closer to God": 29% (174) said '10'.  
    • An additional 38% put between 6-9 interested level.
  • "Interested in gathering with others to learn about God": 17% (105) put a '10'
    • An additional 34% put between 6-9.
  • "Interested in considering the reasons you believe what you believe": 24% (146) said '10'!
    • An additional 37% put between 6-9...notice a pattern?
  • "Want to be contacted regarding the above interests?": 41%(247) said "yes!". 

What does this all mean?
        "Fruit!"  Well, maybe not.  We have clearly been granted an opportunity, and right now it means that God might indeed grant true, lasting gospel fruit from the 247+ students that have requested that someone follow-up with them.  Would you please pray that God would grant...

  1. Wisdom and power to do what we ought. We only have 2 full-time staff (Brandon and I), and a few dozen students involved to varying degrees.  We desire to follow up with these students in a faithful way, a way that keeps mentorship/discipleship at the center, keeps local church at the center and so much more.  We want to be able to minister as effectively and qualitatively as possible.  We don't want to sacrifice this for a mass-appeal outreach that in the long run actually neglects the personal, intimate relational ministry that we have come to believe in so much.   
  2. An amplified love of the core thing, the gospel of Christ.  Pray God would grow our heart not to grow our ministry, but to grow in our love of him that would spill over to more and more people who are still in their sin.

Brandon explaining Equip to a freshmen guy
Brooke,  Jon and Taylor volunteering

Jon and Karissa volunteering a couple weeks ago...who are now engaged!

Filling out one of the surveys

Thursday, July 10, 2014

A Booby Trap in the Christian Budget | Desiring God

A Booby Trap in the Christian Budget | Desiring God:

A couple tid-bits from this very helpful article:

"Because of what the Bible warns about wealth, Christians quickly become some of the most vigilant about their incomes, investments, and donations — and that is a good and right trend as a whole. There is a brand of budgeting, though, that wears the heroic cape of Christianity, while masking a secret infatuation with money. A love for money can look like a love to have or a love to spend. A love for money might also reveal itself in an obsession with saving or even giving money away. Christian, have you fallen in love with the money you refuse to spend?"


"We have a lot to say to the hoarders and spenders among us, but let’s remember money can seduce even the savers, those with the tightest fists and strictest budgets. A cheap lifestyle might be free from lots of things, but spending less is no guarantee of freedom from the love of money. Only a superior love for Jesus can buy you that."

I recommend reading the whole thing, it's not much longer than this.

'via Blog this'

Friday, June 27, 2014

How to Get Things Done in a Gospel-Driven Way: What's Best Next in 500 Words - What's Best Next

I've been helped a great deal by this book so far.  I'm only half-way through it, but it continue to just rock me!

Here is his 500 word summary, which is quite good and I hope whets your appetite to buy this book!

How to Get Things Done in a Gospel-Driven Way: What's Best Next in 500 Words - What's Best Next:

'via Blog this'

Wednesday, June 18, 2014


Our orientation outreach has increased 300%! Or...whatever going from 31 surveys to 108 surveys is, that's how much it's increased.  30, 61, 108, then finally last night we had another 100 surveys will out! So just about 300 surveys fill out now!

We are happy with the increase and are praying that God might draw the right number of students and right students into our community early this coming Fall.  We already have an email campaign started for the students who said "yeah, contact me and email me this summer".  From the first three orientation sessions we emailed over 110 students an html email with some real basic introduction to Equip, and some helpful tid-bits about Brookings and other helpful things.

Praise God, and please pray that he might be drawing and working on these students' hearts to love Jesus and be convicted to get plugged into the ministry early.  We are excited to hopefully even have several bible study locations already set up and ready to go in some of these students's rooms.


Thursday, June 12, 2014

Orientation begins!

Summer is more than off and running, and just two nights ago the SDSU summer orientation sessions began.  

Why does this matter?  Because most of the 2014-2015 Freshmen will be at these various session all throughout the summer, and we have less than 2 hours each time to make some early contact with them.  
Tuesday was our first one and we already  have 31 who filled out a survey and many that we spoke to.  Out of those 31, there are only seven that said they weren't interested in any way.   This is encouraging, because most of the questions on our survey are something to the effect of "are you interested in growing closer to God", or "...interested in studying the Bible with others?".  so to have 24ish students who are at least professing to be interested is a great way to (already) start recruitment and outreach for the Fall!

PLEASE pray for us as we have several more orientation sessions, almost all of which occur in June.  Pray that God would be honored by our efforts, that we'd rely on him and his power, and that he would grant us more freshmen to be involved than we have ever experienced before.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Storm Mountain

We got back from our Spring break trip this past Wednesday night. The trip was great, lots if bonding, a service day in Rapid, some service et the camp, lots of games and hiking and all sorts of time together.

We also hike up Harney Peak and Storm Mtn. This was taken on top of Storm, the few of us who went up the day it was nearly 70 degrees out!