School

 
 

A Letter To My BCM College Students, Both Past and Present

Dear College Students,

My first day of college is fast-approaching and the dreams of being a college student I had as a little girl are about to become a reality. It is truly unbelievable. To say that you have been an important part of my life is an understatement. You mean the world to me. I don’t know that I will get the opportunity to speak with each of you and tell you how much I love you. I might not get to share my memories of that time when I hit you with pool noodles and then brought you ice water to make up for it. Or the time when I sat in on your small group and talked about what God was doing in my life through a message. Or those impromptu jam sessions in the Big Room where I got to stay up extra late because my Daddy knew just how much I loved making music with you. Needless to say, I have wonderful stories to tell about all of you. I remember how we met. I remember when you told me your favorite color and that you liked red skittles the best. I remember watching you grow spiritually in college and thinking “I want that to be me one day”. I promise I can never forget you. It’s safe to say I still vividly remember close to 14 years of students. If you ever believe you went unnoticed, let me prove you wrong. I did my best to see all of you. Not just physically acknowledging your presence, but trying to understand who you were and how God could use me to encourage you.

I wanted to thank you for always being there and listening. I wanted to thank you for showing me what real friendship looks like and what real transparency means. I want to emphasize that you challenged me spiritually with both positive and negative things. It wasn’t your “perfection” and maturity as a Christian that grew my own faith- it was the recognition that you were all imperfect people saved by grace. It was the realization that God was present in every circumstance, strong enough to save, and powerful enough work bad things for our good and his glory.

I am writing you this letter to say goodbye to all of you- at least for now. I know I will see many of you again, but there may be a few people that I might not get to see. I wanted all of you to know that you have made a difference in my life and for that I am forever grateful. I will treasure all of the memories I have made with each of you. You hold a special place in my heart. I am on the verge of finally experiencing BCM as a true college student, a thought that is both exciting and saddening. I will no longer be the one to watch carefully as you grow from timid freshmen to confident seniors. I will no longer get to experience the joy of watching you share your testimony at Impact as a sophomore when you were too scared to speak in front of anyone as a freshman. I will not get to see you grow into incredible men and women of God like I have been accustomed to in the past. Instead, I will be the one growing. I hope to have younger students looking up to me, watching as I mature in Christ. That reality is frightening and wonderful at the same time. I am trying to look joyfully toward the future, live presently where I am, and hold the past close to my heart all at once.

Please know that you have been the best group of students ever. I wouldn’t have asked to be a part of any other campus ministries than the ones at Midwestern and Valdosta State Universities. I am going to miss you all terribly. Keep me and the BCM at UNG in your prayers. If BCMs prayed for each other, just imagine what God could do at college campuses all across the state of Georgia- all across the nation! Prayer is so powerful. Never take it for granted. In fact, I want to say a pray over all of you now.

 

Dear God,

I pray that their faith will continue to grow. That they will trust You with both the big and small things.

I pray that they will love each other and not let insignificant quarrels divide them.

I pray that the Devil will not have a foothold in their ministry.

I pray that they will humbly submit themselves to a life of prayer and fight hard against the enemy with Your strength and not their own.

I pray that they will believe with all they are that You are good even when circumstances are not.

I pray that each of them will know Your presence and know that they are never alone.

I pray that they will put You above all else and that they would allow You to have control of every part of their life.

I pray that when life gets chaotic, they will run to You first.

I pray that they will trust You and know that Your plans for them are good.

I pray that they would refuse to settle for what is good and instead chase after what is best.

I pray that they would surrender all their relationships to You and allow You to work in them as You want.

I pray that You would clearly show them the people they need to hold accountable, the people they need to keep in constant prayer, the people they need to be intentional with, and the people they need to witness to.

I pray that they will be obedient to You. No matter what it may cost them. No matter where You may lead them.

I pray they would submit themselves to Your plan.

I pray that when your Holy Spirit moves them to do something, that they would do it without question. Forsaking their own pride, casting their fear aside, and allowing themselves to be completely obedient.

I pray that they would trust You for the right words, and not their own eloquence or lack thereof.

I pray that they would be faithful and stop being afraid.

I pray that they would choose honesty over their own pride.

I pray that they would be transparent with one another and that they would never pretend that they are perfect people who have their lives together, because that is a lie.

But I also pray that they would share their faults appropriately and tactfully, with the intention of letting in the people who would keep them accountable and challenge them to go even deeper in their walk with You.

I pray that they would share You with their campus like they never have before.

I pray that their hearts would be broken for the lost.

I pray that they would be guarded against self-righteousness and pride.

I pray that they would build one another up in love and that their love for one another would reveal the truth that they are Your children.

I pray that they would never get caught up in merely doing good things and being a nice person for You.

I pray that they balance their actions with words so that people will know they are followers of You because of what they do and because they’ve shared with others what You have done in their life.

I pray that they would have a unquenchable passion for Your Word, and they would hunger to know You more and more each passing day.

I pray that they would love You more today than they did yesterday.

I pray that they would continually put on the full armor of God so that they may stand against the Devil’s schemes.

I pray that they might know that they are in college for more than to get an education; they are there to be lights for You.

I pray that they would remember that obedience to You and a willingness to follow You is a powerful thing.

I pray You will do something they couldn’t possibly imagine- even if is not what they thought it would be.

I pray You would do a mighty work in their lives.

I pray that at the end of this school year the only thing they can say is “to GOD be the glory, great things HE has done.”

I pray that they will experience both Your power and presence like never before.

I ask these things in Jesus name,

Amen.

 

I love all of you so very much,

Mackenzie

Categories: Change, encouragement, prayer, relationships, School, students | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments
 
 

The Following: Leading Well (Part 2)

Proverbs 14:28 (MSG)

28 The mark of a good leader is loyal followers;
leadership is nothing without a following.

**********************************************

This is the second lesson that God is teaching me regarding leadership. The verse really speaks for itself, you are not a good leader if you have no followers. It makes a lot of sense, you don’t to talk to people you don’t want to hear speak. You don’t hang out with people you don’t like. You don’t follow people who don’t lead well. Because this next year, everything will be new to me, I will see how many people follow me.

I will post things about Youth camp later this summer, but I wanted to shine a light on the commitment that I made to my youth group while I was there. Each night, we would have a worship session and then the speaker would stand up and give the message. That night, the message centered on this question, will you be able to walk across a graduation and have people say about you, I can follow her because he/she follows Christ. He/She constantly seeks after what God desires of him/her and I know that he/she is going to be on the right track, I know I can follow him/her because of their relationship and closeness with Christ.

My youth pastor posed this question, and what I heard was a call for leaders to rise up in the youth group. I stood. It is a big responsibility to have an entire youth group looking up to you and watching your actions to see if Christ is evident in your life, but for a while I could hear God calling me to do something more with my youth ministry. The teens in the youth group were being poured into, but it was hard to tell if they were pouring anything out. It was time to start a revolution, beginning with me, because I was willing to let God use me to change the church attitude both in myself and in others. I asked for accountability, because if I’m leading, not only do I need people following but people alongside me to point out things in my life and bluntly tell me; Mackenzie, if you carry this on any longer, you are going to be leading people into sin.

I’ve been gone for most of the summer, and I haven’t had a chance to notice if my commitment had produced any followers. I may not ever see the people who seek after Christ because my relationship with him changed them. I hope I will be able to look back across the graduation stage and look back at people who have followed me as I followed Christ and know that even as I step out into the real world, I will continue after what he asks of me with all I am, no matter the cost.

I want to be able to lead the people at my school this next year and the people in my youth group this summer and for the rest of my high school years, and if I notice that I have no followers, I know it’s time to back off and let someone else do the leading, while I follow.  With Christ at the center of everything I do, I want to lead people to walk in his ways, and get up people out of the pew and onto the road. If you always live your spiritual life in one place with no risks, you’ve never really lived at all. And besides, I need some followers. You can’t lead if no one is following.

Categories: Change, christianity, Church, communication, encouragement, Faith, God, God, Holy Spirit, Jesus, leadership, learning, life, people, purpose, School, students, summer, teens, Trust, Uncategorized, words, youth group | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments
 
 

Completions and Complications

I have thoroughly enjoyed writing this blog, and before you go off on me about not writing for a few months, hear me out. I have this class that was a little behind grade-wise in AP U.S. Government and Politics (most of you know where this is headed) but before you go thinking that I’ve failed the class, I want to clarify that we are talking about a perfectionist (me) who “failed”. In other words, I was making a B and my 4.0 average began to slip down the drain. I’m not bitter that I was temporarily grounded from my blog, because I felt the same. Taking an AP class consumes a lot of your time, and like the usual me, I couldn’t get my priorities straight, and so my parents straightened them out for me. You have no idea how glad I am to be back and how glad I am to be able to write about the pieces of my life you missed this past month, and also about all the experiences I will have this summer. It’s going to be epic, just saying.

I titled this “Completions and Complications” because it sums up life for me right now, pretty well. As I have had the chance to read other’s blogs and let them pour into my life, I realized that I enjoy reading blog posts where people are real. Not the fake “I’m doing fine” not the teaching of what they learned about Jesus this past week, but when they sat down and said, look, my life is a mess. I don’t know why you’re reading this, but it’s for a reason. It’s hard for me to write this. It’s deeply painful to sum up what’s going on right now, but healing can be painful and I’m going to write and learn and listen until the very end. Join me if you want to. It inspires me. Because I never for one moment think; “wow, they don’t have it all together” or “their faith must be really weak because they can’t trust him with this”, instead I think, “I want faith like that”. It takes a lot of confidence to put out the things you are struggling with at this season in your life. You suddenly become more vulnerable than you’ve ever been, and it’s scary. Like stepping out on a limb that you’re not sure will hold you up. I’ve made the decision to write like that. I’m stressed. I’m worn out. I’m being pulled in a thousand different directions. I don’t know why you’re reading this, but it’s for a reason. It may be hard for me to write like that. It may be deeply painful. But healing can be painful and I’m going to I’m going to write and learn and listen until the very end. Join me if you want to.

The school year has ended and I cannot believe how many close friends I have made just in this school-year alone. This summer will be difficult to begin, I’m going to miss those dear friends so much, and they will always have a place in my heart. I’m finally beginning feel that I have accomplished something. I still have so much that I have to learn, and so many things that God has to pull out of my life. Just as the school-year ended, he put a pin-point on a fear I had lived with for a long time, and I was able to begin to overcome it. As this summer begins, expect to see shorter posts with more content, for as many days as possible. Thanks for coming on the journey this far, in June my blog will be 6 months old.

Categories: AP Civcs, Change, christianity, communication, converstions, failure, Faith, God, God, Holy Spirit, Jesus, learning, life, listening, people, prayer, reality, relationships, School, speech, stress, summer, teens, Uncategorized, vacations, words | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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