Friday, December 10, 2010

It's difficult blogging from an iPhone.

This morning I write to you from my iPhone. I love this little gadget and it works much better than my computer. However, it is tiny and not the best for long writings. But this is the device I have to write from.

This past Sunday I ran in my second 1/2 marathon! It was an amazing experience. My time was 2:38:14. A decent improvement from my last race. I felt so much stronger in this race. I am pretty sure that I am hooked on running. People have been asking me when I will run a full marathon. I am very content with the challenge of 13.1 miles for now. I already am planning on running another 1/2 in March. I would love to get my time under 2:30.

I have spent the last few days attending one of my favorite events - Divisional Staff Meetings. Yes, I just said these particular meetings are some of my favorites. At DSMs I am challenged to grow but in the context of a loving community. I am reminded of all the talents and gifts the staff in my division have. I am very blessed to work alongside such amazing people. I really do love my job.

Speaking of loving my job, what kind of job send people to China to hang out with students? Mine does!! In a few hours I will leave for the airport. I get to spend the next two weeks traveling around China with a couple of international students that are attending UNLV. I am so excited to learn about the culture. It will help greatly with evangelism in the states. I am also looking forward together a better grasp on how I can help prepare Chinese international students to go back to China. On top of the great ministry experience China is just going to be an awesome place to visit.

I probably won't have internet service while overseas but I will make sure to take notes so I can post later. I'm am very excited and grateful for my upcoming travels! :)

Monday, November 15, 2010

Catching Up

Well, another few months has passed without a blog update. What can I say? The blog has been a low priority.

Last weekend the UNLV staff hosted our first conference. The DIP was an inner city experience to learn about our ethnic identity, Biblical justice and God’s heart for the city. We took 23 students through the conference. The weekend was great. Student’s eyes were really opened. But this is a big issue (part of the reason we call it a dip.) This starts a big journey for our fellowship. I would consider the DIP a success.

The thing I learned most from the DIP though is that I continue to appreciate my job more and more. I love seeing students out of their comfort zone and experiencing another side of God’s heart. It is amazing seeing students become passionate about something they didn’t care about before. I love being able to take students on this journey. I love seeing them become passionate about something God cares about. I absolutely love it.

On another note, I have greatly enjoyed running! I completed my first ½ marathon on October 10, 2010. My time was 2:53:20. Not bad. I was just happy that I actually ran a ½ marathon! I am really proud of myself for sticking to training for 10 weeks. My goal of building discipline into my life is happening, not only with running. On top of that I have signed up for the Las Vegas Rock n Roll ½ marathon! It is December 5th. I can't say that every morning I wake up and can't wait to run, but I do have days that I am excited to run. I can't say that every run is easy, but I do feel stronger. I can't say that I have a good pace, but I am running. I am a runner.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

It Has Started!

I feel like I have a legit reason for not blogging the last few weeks. School started! It started last Monday actually. This is one of the most craziest, funniest, exciting and most stressful times of any campus ministers life. On top of that the couple of weeks before school started were a bit crazy in my personal life.

A couple of weeks ago we had our leaders retreat in St. George, UT. It was beautiful and great to get away from Vegas with some of our coolest students. We also had an amazing retreat fellowship-ing and learning about prayer.

A week later school started. So we had our information table set up outside and we had what we call a proxy station set up. A proxy is an interactive art/ evangelism tool that we use on campus. They are great for meeting new people and geeting the conversation going. We had some amazing students running the proxy and the information table. This years proxy was called Body-Mind-Soul. It basically asked a series of questions concerning all three topics. Students could respond by placing stickers or using a dry erase marker.

Our students did great! I have never seen so many students passionate about reaching their campus. We were never short handed. One student in particular showed up on the first day, wasn't familiar with the Proxy but dropped off her backpack and immediately started asking students walking by if they would like to participate. She even got several skateboarders and students with headphones in to turn around and come back to see the Proxy. It was amazing. On top of that we met 6 students who want to know more about Jesus. 6! That is more than we have ever had in a school year!

Our first fellowship meeting is tomorrow night! I am really excited to see what God is going to do. We now have a Large Group Team just to help out on Thursday nights. They are a bunch of creative girls. They are helping with the ambiance, slides, greeting new people, helping people get connected, a lot of stuff. These girls have been working really hard this last week and I am so excited to see what it will look like tomorrow. Also, the Small Groups are gonna rock! I am leading a team of ten amazing leaders. They are going to reach the campus in unaccountable ways. They are going to do things that I can only dream of doing. They are leading their first studies tomorrow in Luke 5. And last but definitely not least, we have two students committed to help us learn and grow in prayer. This year has already been covered in prayer. I am excited to see us as a fellowship of prayer. We have weekly prayer meetings and will be practicing different types of prayer.

I will defiantly be blogging about our first fellowship meeting and all the events we have going on this weekend.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

A month later....

I laugh because my last blog I talked about lack of discipline with the hope that I would blog more often. Here it is a month later…. Anyways, I’m back and ready to give this a try again. And I think I need to make the blog public. Even though I don’t feel comfortable letting everyone read my ramblings, I think if it were public then others could ask me about it. There would be more of an accountability if the blog were public.

I am preparing for the 2010 fall leaders retreat. I am really excited. Mattie and I greatly miss Spencer, but I think this is a forceful opportunity for us to grow as leaders. This is also the school year that I have been waiting for. The last two years we have completely changed our structure. They have been great foundational years. But I have been looking forward to year three. This is the year that there will be breakthrough on campus. Breakthrough for our student leaders, breakthrough in prayer, breakthrough in reaching the campus, breakthrough in our fundraising (both of us are working hard at FD.) I believe it. The scripture that came to Mattie is:

Isaiah 61:1-4
The Year of the LORD's Favor

1 The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me,
because the LORD has anointed me
to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,
2 to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor
and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the LORD
for the display of his splendor.
4 They will rebuild the ancient ruins
and restore the places long devastated;
they will renew the ruined cities
that have been devastated for generations.

This passage has been implanted on my heart not only for our fellowship, but also for my personal life. I not only believe that God is going to show up in crazy ways I freakin’ expect Him to. And as I learned last spring, that God’s timing is never my timing, that I must be faithful with the work that has been given to me and wait.

The passage on my heart today is:

Psalm 4
For the director of music. With stringed instruments. A psalm of David.

1 Answer me when I call to you,
O my righteous God.
Give me relief from my distress;
be merciful to me and hear my prayer.
2 How long, O men, will you turn my glory into shame?
How long will you love delusions and seek false gods?
3 Know that the LORD has set apart the godly for himself;
the LORD will hear when I call to him.
4 In your anger do not sin;
when you are on your beds,
search your hearts and be silent.
5 Offer right sacrifices
and trust in the LORD.
6 Many are asking, "Who can show us any good?"
Let the light of your face shine upon us, O LORD.
7 You have filled my heart with greater joy
than when their grain and new wine abound.
8 I will lie down and sleep in peace,
for you alone, O LORD,
make me dwell in safety.

I think this is a Psalm that I am going to need to keep close to me this year. There will be days of distress but I am to trust in Him. I love verse 8. Only He will have a safe place for me to sleep in peace, no matter what the circumstances are.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Lack of Discipline

So I haven't blogged in a while. I am not sure why. But I never really knew what to write about. On one hand it seems like nothing of interest has been happening and on the other hand I feel like I have been busy and haven't had the time to sit and write. But thinking about it now both of those excuses are total crap. I have had plenty of time to write but I haven't really had anything of interest to write about.

The last few days I have spent a lot of time reflecting why I have let several things "fall through." I lack discipline. It sucks to admit. And it sucks to think that I need more discipline. At the beginning of the year I wanted to practice fasting more often. I fasted once. I also wanted to read more books this year. I have started about a dozen books and have finished one. I am great at starting projects but not great at finishing them. I do not like delayed gratification. It takes too long to see results. I like short term goals. I like instant gratification. I don't have many long term goals. I don't think this is necessarily a bad thing but it can't be good.

The lack of this blog is a result of my lack of discipline.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Colorado Move

Last Friday the entire Butler clan (all pets included) loaded up into three vehicles and moved Momma Butler to Colorado. It was a long 2 day drive, two flat tires, many stops to let the dogs out of the cars, but we made it. For a few years my family has been praying that my mom will be able to return to Colorado. It has been amazing watching God plan this move. Things fell into place very nicely with His timing. It will be weird not having my mom close by, but I know it will be good for her to be in Colorado and soon for her to begin a new journey of her life with her new husband. Lately people have been asking me what us kids think about our mom getting remarried. I think it is a transition, and yes, there are and will be weird moments. I also think that the Butler kids have gone through some tough times and our mom getting remarried wont be one of those difficult times. It will just be different. I realize that I don't really know this man that plans to marry my mom. But I do know that she is happy. And that is all that I could ask for her.

I will miss my mom. I will miss having the dogs, cats and horses close by. But I will enjoy spending time in Colorado when I get to visit.

On a different note, I have really been enjoying running. I usually just appreciate the sense of accomplishment at the end of a run. I don't really like running itself. But today when I woke up I was exciting to get to the gym to do my four miles! (I think this is because last weeks 4 miles was a great experience.) I was looking forward to making my body work. Sure, there were still times that I wanted to stop and be done. Yes, I did walk some of the time. But I still did it. I was able to get four more miles done. I will be really happy when four miles starts to feel like one mile. I am still excited for the half marathon. I still doubt myself a little that I will actually be able to do it. But everyday I feel my body getting stronger. I figure that is a good thing :)

(I wanted to post some pictures of Colorado, but I haven't figures out how to do that yet. Maybe some other time!)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

(Unofficially) Started Training

Today I unofficially started training for a half marathon. I say unofficially because the training doesn't need to start until ten weeks before the race. The first race is October 10th in California. (Yes, I said the first race! I also want to run the half marathon in Vegas in December.) I started early for a couple reasons. First, I am ready to be disciplined and get into shape. I have been very lax the last few weeks about going to the gym, meaning that I haven't gone. I am disappointed that I haven't been to the gym because I was actually doing quiet well and starting to feel stronger. Oh well, I started again today.

I think having a reasonable goal, like a half marathon, will be helpful with being disciplined to go exercise. Secondly I'm scared that I wont be able to run 13.1 with only ten weeks of training. I figure I might as well get a head started since I have the time. I am pretty excited for the race. There are a handful of other staff that are running so it will be fun to train and run with them.

I haven't figured out if I even like running. Some people really like running. They enjoy the process and the run itself. I think I just like the sense of accomplishment at the end. I hope that in a few weeks that will change and I will enjoy the process of running. It would probably make running a half marathon a lot easier. :)

Today was a 2 mile run. I feel okay about it. It is going to take my body a few days to get use to working out again. Tomorrow is a cross-training day, not sure yet what I want to do but I don't think it will be running.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Calling to Ministry (Inspired by InterVarsity’s FD Manuel)

6 "I, the LORD, have called you in righteousness;
I will take hold of your hand.
I will keep you and will make you
to be a covenant for the people
and a light for the Gentiles,

7 to open eyes that are blind,
to free captives from prison
and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness.

Isaiah 42:6-7

I have always known that I wanted to be involved with ministry and specifically with missions. When I was 18 I went to Mexico for a soccer mission’s trip. Sharing the Good News and loving children as a reflection as the Father’s love was the most fulfilling thing I had ever experienced. I loved being able to use the gift and talent of soccer that God had given me and use it to glorify Him. I didn’t want to go to college but wanted to get involved with missions right away. God almost had to push me through the door to go to college. That is when I found InterVarsity. I immediately fell in love with IV missionary focus to reach the campus and thus the world. IV taught me about God’s heart for the poor and injustice issues. God’s heart for the poor is all over the Bible, yet I never heard about it growing up in church. I got involved with a great community that taught me what it means to love sacrificially. I learned how to pray. Not just talking to God, but listening to Him, intercede for others and to pray for healing. I had great friends and leaders who were my mentors. It felt very easy and natural to join IV staff. During my discernment process I had to make sure that I wasn’t choosing the safe option, by joining staff. I love being on staff. I can’t really explain the incredible peace and reassurance from the Holy Spirit that I am exactly where I am suppose to be. I love seeing students get deeper with God. I love it when God convicts them on an issue and they repent and rise to the challenge. I love seeing them take risks to be a light, if that means talking to a neighbor in class or going on a summer mission trip. Remembering my calling excites and encourages me. I am not sure how long I will be with IV. But for now I see the need at the UNLV, Nevada State and CSN and I am excited and humbled that God has chosen me to be a minister of the gospel to college students.

Thank you God for letting me have a role in your plan to reach college students in Las Vegas. Please remind me of the joys when times get hard. Let my heart reflect your heart for students and for the campuses. Let my ears continue to hear your voice for wisdom, direction and how to lead. May my actions bring you glory. Amen.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Why a blog?

I have been thinking that it would be great to have a journal. I am not sure why, I am not a journal-er but I have been feeling a need to write. I thought a blog could be a good way to get some thoughts out and "on paper," its a lot cooler than a journal, and it could let other people in on my life if they choose. Sometimes it is helpful to write out what you are feeling and thinking. I also am writing a letter, review, etc., for IV. It usually takes me forever to articulate a thought in my head and for it to make sense "on paper." I thought this could be a great place for me to simply practice writing. I'll admit, I'm a verbal processor. This blog may not always be pretty and the structure maybe confusing. Stories may not always make sense but hopefully over time the writings will be a lot better.