God loves you

The Austin Stone Church – God With Us
April 3, 2011

Yesterday’s sermon was really touching. It focused on 2 facts that, as Matt says, our hearts are underwhelmed by:

  1. God loves you
  2. God is with you

You hear these statements all the time, so they may not mean anything to you anymore. Ideally, one should feel complete security knowing that God is with them and that God loves them no matter what they do or don’t do. God’s approval is not moved at all by your wrongdoings and failures, and nothing will ever change that. Matt related this to his relationship with his 6-year-old son; his love for his son is unwavering, no matter what. This made me think of my Dad and how my Dad loves me so much. My Dad loves me so much that he’s always thinking about me when he goes grocery shopping, he’s always wondering about me and how I’m doing, he’s supportive of everything I do, he forgives me for all my wrongs, and he (to his own detriment) can never say no to what I want. I feel so secure knowing that my Dad will love me forever, and it hit me in that moment that that’s the security I ought to be feeling about God, the father. Matt said that God has promised unending aid to his children, and he will fulfill.

Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land. For I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you. –Genesis 28:15

I’m starting to think that God’s promise is a pretty sweet deal.

Rez Week at The University of Texas

Coffee house performances, free speech boards, and prayer tents galore!

Prayer tent and crowd in worship with UT tower background. Photo credits: Alex Wang

This year is the 16th Annual Rez Week, held for Christians of different backgrounds, denominations, and traditions to get to know one another. I walked by the displays this morning on my way to and from the gym, and I was pretty impressed with all of the set-up. Somehow, they’ve managed to create a warm, cozy feel to the Gregory Gym plaza by setting up a prayer tent and tables/chairs for a “coffee shop” and hanging artwork donated from various individuals. I walked into the prayer tent for a minute to sit and think, and the reason I felt comfortable doing so was because it was such a welcoming environment.

Most notable are the huge free speech boards that are standing in place with colored chalk. Members of the campus community walk by and write responses on the boards to a set of prompts (e.g. How do you feel about absolute truth?). These are meant to create dialogue and help people understand what students think and feel about their faith.

Free Speech Boards; Photo Credits: Alex Wang

Today’s the last day for all festivities, which makes me realize that I’ve missed out on a pretty sweet set of activities that I would have really enjoyed. Maybe next year!