Two years ago I was in a Bible study with some other college friends. Instead of doing New Year’s resolutions, we decided to pick one word that we wanted to focus on. We were asked to pray about it and report back to the group when we felt drawn to a ...
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Upcoming Events & Announcements


The Power of Releasing Your Life to God

Two years ago I was in a Bible study with some other college friends. Instead of doing New

Year’s resolutions, we decided to pick one word that we wanted to focus on. We were asked to

pray about it and report back to the group when we felt drawn to a certain word. My word was

release. My whole high school career I felt in control. I had an awesome group of friends and

excelled in academics and athletics. When I got to college, I struggled immensely with my

emotions. Places such as the dining center, volleyball court, and classroom began to trigger

anxiety attacks. I became situated on the perceptions others had on me. I decided to seek help

and eventually went on medication to help regulate some of my thoughts and emotions. I hated

not feeling in control. The word “release” seemed fitting for the goals that I had for myself

mentally and spiritually that year.

 

Just like any habit, my mindset on situations, people, and things was not going to change

overnight. I took it step by step in my walk of releasing my grip on the ladder of life. I needed to

take a step down from my ladder and let God take control. (Thanks to the amazing Alice Shirey

for this advice). It was terrifying, frustrating, and incredibly hard. I am still working on releasing

my control to this day. When I feel my thoughts and anxiety rushing in, I remind myself of my

favorite verse. Isaiah 41:10 “Do not be afraid for I am with you, Do not be discouraged for I am

your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.”

This verse literally rides with me wherever I go. It is taped to the right of my steering wheel in my

car. I find myself leaning on this verse and viewing these words as the ultimate picture of God.

My helper, my rock, and my shield when life seems too hard to handle. I have found that

regardless of the situation, this verse can make you feel as ease knowing that something

greater is working in your life.

 

Fast forward a year to July 12th, 2019. I was sitting in the hospital with my family. My grandpa

was battling a long, hard journey with cancer and we were told that he was starting his journey

towards walking with God. Everyone gathered around him and we started to play some of his

favorite songs. His breathing started to labor less and less. My grandma was sitting on the bed

next to him and leaned down to give him a kiss. She whispered in his ear, “Bill, it’s time to go be

with God.” She leaned back from kissing him on the forehead and his breathing had stopped.

My grandpa was trying so hard to fight and hold on to be with us longer. He needed someone to

tell him to release his control to God. One of my favorite people was also battling with control of

his life. His ability to let go and trust God in that moment when he wanted to stay with his family

was truly inspiring for everyone in the room. A powerful moment that all of us will remember.

Let God free you from all of the stress, anxiety, worry, scheming, and fretting. Trust God and

how much He cares for you!

God Bless!

 

Abby Staebell
Wartburg College Senior 
Will never been seen without a piece of EXTRA Gum in my mouth, Loves a good belly laugh, 
Passionate about loving and teaching little minds

 

Abby S

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What's Happening?:

  • Large Group BASIC // We recognize that this is a tough and strange time for everyone. Even though we cannot meet in person, want this community to continue to be a blessing and light to others. Starting this Thursday at 8:00pm, and continuing through the rest of the semester, BASIC is holding large group meetings through Zoom! Let's live out what it means to be the Church as we worship together. #AloneTogether #MoreThanAPlace #AllAreWelcome
  • Life Groups // Looking to get more involved with a faith community? Joining a Life Group is a wonderful way to meet new people and share God’s love! Click the graphic below to sign up for a virtual Life Group! #LifeGroupLove #Community
  • Podcast // Miss a BASIC teaching or want to hear it again? You can now find all of our teachings on all of your favorite podcast platforms, including Apple PodcastsSpotify, Google, and more! Click the graphic below to learn more! #Listen #BLESS
  • Sunday Morning Worship // During this time, we ask that you help us practice social distancing by joining us for online services at Orchard Hill Church and Nazareth Lutheran ChurchOrchard Hill Church will be live streaming services at 9:15am and 10:45am, and Nazareth Lutheran Church will be streaming services at 9:00am on Sundays. Click the graphic below for more information! #SundayWorship

Click any of the graphics below for more information!:

Thursday Large Group Slide

LifeGroup2019 2020

The BASIC Podcast Slide

Online Services

 

      
 


Finding Our Focus

“Neither height nor depth, nor anything else is all creation can separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:39)

This past Saturday I attended a local IF:Gathering, an amazing global women's conference, for the Cedar Valley area. I have attended this event the past couple of years and each year I learn a lot about both myself and Jesus. I highly recommend all of you college-aged girls go to the IF:Gathering next year. There's something so incredible about seeing what God is doing thorugh IF firsthand. I promise when you leave you will be changed! This year's theme and focus was on Romans 8, each of the speakers spoke about a couple of the verses from this chapter. 

From everything that was spoken and prayed about, Romans 8:39 was the verse and session that struck me the most. I thought that because I had heard this verse so much that I knew the meaning. It seems pretty straight forward, God loves us and nothing can stop Him from loving us. We may not always feel like this is true, but this verse tells us so. However, it wasn’t until I watched Sadie Robertson Huff speak at IF that I really internalized this passage and understood the deep implications of it in my life.

Sadie talked about the conversation between Jesus and Peter after Jesus has been resurrected from the grave. (John 21:15-23) This was a redeeming conversation for Peter where Jesus asks Peter if he loves Him three times to counteract Peter's previous 3 denials of Jesus. After this amazing moment between them, while Jesus is still sitting across from Peter, Peter turns around to John who is standing behind them and asks Jesus, “What about John? What are you doing in his life?” 

Looking at my own life, if I am being honest, I do this too. I focus on what Jesus is doing in other people’s lives, it may not be a conscientious choice but it happens. However, in these moments when we “turn” and are comparing or focusing on someone else's seemingly amazing lives, we really miss what He is going or just got done doing in our own lives! We miss that Jesus is sitting right in front of us and wants to have a personal conversation with us. 

In my own life, I catch myself comparing everything about myself to others. This person was just offered a job by a school district or this person has amazingly clear skin and perfect clothes. Social media only makes this worse, we compare the raw unedited version of ourselves to the perfectly edited version of someone else. 

So maybe it is not the height or depth that makes us feel like we don’t deserve or are not worthy of Jesus’ love. Maybe it’s actually just your head focused in the wrong direction that makes us think that Jesus doesn't love us and is not working on our lives. 

We have to take our eyes off of each other and focus on Jesus.

I am going to leave you with the same question Sadie left, 

Who is going to distract you from Jesus who is sitting right across from you?

Ashley Darling, 
UNI Senior, Currently Student Teaching
Aspiring Photographer, Skittle Fanatic, Got to meet and talk to Jennie Allen!

Ashley Darling

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What's Happening?:

  • Sanctuary // In the midst of homework, studying for midterms, and juggling our everyday life, it's so easy to forget to make time to rest. On March 12th from 8:00 - 9:15pm at Orchard Hill Church,  BASIC will be providing a place of peace with reflection, prayer, and musical worship as you rest in Jesus and leave your worries behind. Join us at 7:15pm for a free meal before the service in the church's Coffee House next to the Community Center. Bring a friend! #Sanctuary #BLESS #Eat
  • Podcast // Miss a BASIC teaching or want to hear it again? You can now find all of our teachings on all of your favorite podcast platforms, including Apple PodcastsSpotify, Google, and more! Click the graphic below to learn more! #Listen #BLESS
  • Life Groups // Looking to get more involved with a faith community? Joining a Life Group is a wonderful way to meet new people and share God’s love! You sign up for a Life Group in Cedar Falls or Waverly (both on and off campus)! Sign ups start Thursday! #LifeGroupLove #Community
  • Sunday Morning Worship // Join us on Sundays for church at Orchard Hill, Nazareth Lutheran Church, or Orchard Hill’s campus in Waverly! See the graphic below for service times and worship locations! #SundayWorship

Click any of the graphics below for more information!:

SanctuarySpring2020 Slide

The BASIC Podcast Slide

LifeGroup2019 2020

Church Services.ohc.naz.waverly

      
 


More Than a Place

I was lucky enough to grow up in a church my whole life. The church I was raised in promised to take care of me when I was baptized at 6 months, and they have always been my safe haven whenever my life was going down hill. Northminster Presbyterian Church has never been considered large. To many in Ames, it’s just known as the church right next to the high school, so when I first saw Naz and Orchard, I was blown away about how many people went to one church. The most I have ever seen on a Sunday morning was probably around 100 on special events like Christmas and Easter. However, whenever those certain events did happen, I always made sure to look my best because I believed I had to impress everyone (hence the picture of 4-year old Natalie in one of the pictures below!)

I understand that many did not have the same experience I had growing up in the church. The first person that comes to mind is my mom. Both my grandparents are religious. My grandma actually grew up Catholic, but she didn’t want her kids to grow up the same way, which led to her never really wanting to find a new church. I once asked my mom how she felt about this. She just informed me that she always knew God was in her life, and she knew that Jesus died for her. She just never had a way to go to a physical church. Thankfully, my dad and her were able to find Northminster. 

Hearing this story from my mom, I learned that the physical church does not need to be a necessity in a Christian’s life. I believe most of us who grew up Christian know the famous Bible verse of “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them” (Matthew 18:20). This verse was constantly taught in my church, and the same goes for a prayer group I am apart of. To this day, I can still hear my pastor’s exact words of “the church is not a place, it's a people.'' 

So what is the church to me? It’s more than the building itself that makes me feel welcome (trust me, that place gets really spooky at night!). The church is the lessons I’ve learned from so many elders and of the members. The church is the people of Northminister and BASIC. To this day, I am still lucky to have a church always around me. When I first came to UNI, I was unsure I would be able to find a new church family, but God thankfully led me in the right direction. BASIC is unlike any other college ministry that I have ever seen because they really do honor the fact of building relationships and serving God. I chose this ministry because they were welcoming, kind, and the perfect second place to my home church. So what is church to me? It’s home. 

Natalie Lawrence
UNI Freshman
Cashew survivor, Spanish learner, Book enthusiast

  Natalie L 1  Natalie L 2

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

What's Happening?:

  • FOUNDATIONS // 8:00pm Lang Hall // Come join us this Thursday as Alice Shirey continues our FOUNDATION series. We will be exploring the questions about the foundational parts of the Christian faith this week with the question: "What is Church?" Bring a friend! #AllAreWelcome 
  • Stories from the Seats // Sharing stories is an important part of the BLESS model we practice here at BASIC. This Thursday, come listen as Chelsea Eilers shares her Story from the Seats during BASIC! #BLESS #Story
  • IF Gathering // What if women of all ages gathered together to share their stories and talk about Jesus? Come join us March 7th from 9am - 4pm at Nazareth Lutheran Church for a weekend of listening to speakers, eating, sharing, and being honest. For more information, click the graphic below, or check out the IF Gathering’s facebook page for the Cedar Valley!
  • College - Aged Lunch // Join us Sunday, March 8th after the 10:45 service at Nazareth Lutheran Church for our French Dip and more!!  Bring a friend and your appetite! #BLESS #Eat
  • Sanctuary // In the midst of homework, studying for midterms, and juggling our everyday life, it's so easy to forget to make time to rest. On March 12th from 8:00 - 9:15pm at Orchard Hill Church,  BASIC will be providing a place of peace with reflection, prayer, and musical worship as you rest in Jesus and leave your worries behind. #Sanctuary
  • BASIC Teams // Looking for ways to BLESS your community? Join one of our BASIC teams! Click the graphic below to sign up & learn more! #BASICEvents #BLESS
  • Podcast // Miss a BASIC teaching or want to hear it again? You can now find all of our teachings on all of your favorite podcast platforms, including Apple PodcastsSpotify, Google, and more! Click the graphic below to learn more! #Listen #BLESS
  • Life Groups // Looking to get more involved with a faith community? Joining a Life Group is a wonderful way to meet new people and share God’s love! You sign up for a Life Group in Cedar Falls or Waverly (both on and off campus)! Sign ups start Thursday! #LifeGroupLove #Community
  • Sunday Morning Worship // Join us on Sundays for church at Orchard Hill, Nazareth Lutheran Church, or Orchard Hill’s campus in Waverly! See the graphic below for service times and worship locations! #SundayWorship

Click any of the graphics below for more information!:

FOUNDATIONS Alice

Chelsea Slide

IF 2020

French Dip

 SanctuarySpring2020 Slide

BASIC Teams

The BASIC Podcast Slide

LifeGroup2019 2020

Church Services.ohc.naz.waverly

 

      
 


Running Together

Of the many struggles we encounter daily, I would argue that comparison is one of the worst, and an easy way to encounter comparison early on is through sports. I ran track all through middle school and high school. I knew throughout the whole time that I wasn’t the best and I wasn’t planning on being so either. I was mostly in it to stay in shape and spend time with my friends. I was put in shorter distance races because I couldn’t do much more (haha) but something I remember distinctly is how we would all takeoff at the same time, but everyone would be in completely different places about halfway through. By that time, you easily could predict who was gonna take that first place spot. It’d be at this point that I would just start breathing harder and mentally give up, thus slowing down. It’s so easy to compare yourself when there are such distinct placements. 

I often find myself in this same comparison mindset when it comes to life in a few aspects. It can be so easy for me to look at people who are similar to me and then try and decipher who is the “better me” even though we are totally unique (enneagram sevens raise your hands woot). All through high school, my mantra was always “live your best life!!” and I easily became intimidated or jealous when I thought someone was living MY best life (my goals/character strivings) better than I was. When I have the same passions as someone else, I look at their skills and wonder why I am even trying to “compete.” Sometimes it is even to the extreme of “who loves Jesus more.” 

There is a story in the Bible that comes right after the Last Supper in which Jesus has just finished telling them that one would betray him (becoming the “worst” among them) and they immediately start arguing over who would do this. Very soon after, they start arguing over who will be “the greatest” among them (Luke 22:24). It is so easy for me to do the same thing. I look at all the good people in my life who are obedient to God, and then wonder “is God as pleased with me as He is with that person? Who does He love more?”

Something I wrote down in my notes just a few days ago was “I think I am jealous of Jesus because He is the only one who loves us more than anybody else has, does, or ever could.” Meaning, I want to be the one that loves and is loved most. This can become unhealthy as soon as it becomes a competition. We are given these strong influences as people to RUN ALONGSIDE US not AGAINST US. It is so important to overlook comparisons, but even more so when it concerns those that are on the same mission as us. We are to unite and run together, encouraging each other, and focusing on the biggest goal: inviting ALL people to run alongside us in pursuit of living with and living for the Creator of our souls. And in the end, He will say to each of His faithful lovers, “well done good and faithful servant.” !!!

Sarah Frantsen 
UNI Freshman
Enthusiastic person, Napping queen, Ocean lover

Sarah F

__________________________________________________________________________________

What's Happening?:

  • FOUNDATIONS // 8:00pm Lang Hall // Come join us this Thursday as Kevin Jones continues our FOUNDATION series. We will be exploring the questions about the foundational parts of the Christian faith this week with the question: "What is Church?" Bring a friend! #AllAreWelcome 
  • College - Aged Lunch // Join us Sunday, February 23rd after the 10:45 service at Orchard Hill Church for all of your favorite southern comfort foods!!  Bring a friend and your appetite! #BLESS #Eat 
  • IF Gathering // What if women of all ages gathered together to share their stories and talk about Jesus? Come join us March 7th from 9am - 4pm at Nazareth Lutheran Church for a weekend of listening to speakers, eating, sharing, and being honest. For more information, click the graphic below, or check out the IF Gathering’s facebook page for the Cedar Valley!
  • Events Team // Want be part of the team that plans and prepares for all of BASIC's super fun events like? Click the graphic below to join the Events Team or contact Sarah Frantsen at frantses@uni.edu for more information about how you can BLESS others through BASIC 's events! #BASICEvents #BLESS
  • Podcast // Miss a BASIC teaching or want to hear it again? You can now find all of our teachings on all of your favorite podcast platforms, including Apple PodcastsSpotify, Google, and more! Click the graphic below to learn more! #Listen #BLESS
  • Life Groups // Looking to get more involved with a faith community? Joining a Life Group is a wonderful way to meet new people and share God’s love! You sign up for a Life Group in Cedar Falls or Waverly (both on and off campus)! Sign ups start Thursday! #LifeGroupLove #Community
  • Sunday Morning Worship // Join us on Sundays for church at Orchard Hill, Nazareth Lutheran Church, or Orchard Hill’s campus in Waverly! See the graphic below for service times and worship locations! #SundayWorship

Click any of the graphics below for more information!:

FOUNDATIONS Kevin

Southern Comfort College Lunch

 IF 2020

Events Team

The BASIC Podcast Slide

LifeGroup2019 2020

Church Services.ohc.naz.waverly

      
 


Receiving Christ

We’re almost a month into the new decade and a new year. If you’re like me, you probably prepared some New Year's resolutions going into 2020. Personally, I decided to choose a word: authentic. In a world that is surrounded by perfection in the form of social media, being authentic is sometimes the last thing that’s depicted from the images across our screen. Even deeper than that I find sometimes I’m not even authentic with myself. But how am I supposed to accomplish this lofty goal? 

What I’ve learned in the first month of the new decade and a new year is this: I have no idea how to be authentic and I’m not doing a very good job with this goal. Quite frankly, when I realized this it bummed me out and I felt defeated. But I hear God saying, give it time and be patient. He reminded me of this with Lamentations 3:22-23: Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. 

God used this verse to remind me of the grace He extends to us every day. He loves us, He is compassionate and He is full of grace. In the same way I was reminded to receive His love, receive His compassion and receive His grace. I still don’t know what being my truest, authentic self may look like. But we aren’t asked to figure out these things on our own. By receiving these things from God and allowing Him to hold our hand and be our guide, our goals become more attainable. Not because He’ll make them easier or because all the challenges are thrown away, but because He is willing to help us and guide is to the person/place He wants us to be. 

I don’t think that it’s too late to set goals for this next year. In fact, what might God be trying to tell you? What is He trying to walk beside you through? Are you allowing Him to be your guide? 

Digging deep and asking yourself these questions can be daunting and challenging, but if you allow yourself to receive His love, receive His compassion and receive His grace; these questions will become less daunting and challenging. Don’t be hard on yourself when you aren’t measuring up to who you think you should be, but instead turn to those three things and allow yourself to receive them.

Becca Roskam
UNI Junior
Future teacher, Friends enthusiast, Next top chef

Becca R

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What's Happening?

  • FOUNDATIONS // 8:00pm Lang Hall // Come join us this Thursday as Ed Baker kicks off our FOUNDATION series. We will be exploring the questions about the foundational parts of the Christian faith starting with the question: "What is the Bible?" Bring a friend! #AllAreWelcome 
  • Gathering in Waverly // TONIGHT // Our student organization BASIC in Waverly is hosting a campus-wide worship event at Wartburg College! This event is meant to be a time to engage in an intentional community, worship, and listen to a message. Bring a friend! #AllAreWelcome  
  • Camp Night // Join us this Thursday as we welcome representatives from various camps around the area. They will be available before an after BASIC to answer any questions you may have about their camps and how you might be able to BLESS and serve others through a camp experience! #CampNight #BLESS #Serve
  • College - Aged Lunch // Join us Sunday, February 9th after the 10:45 service at Orchard Hill Church for all of a Mexican Fiesta!!  Bring a friend and your appetite! #BLESS #Eat 
  • Prayer Team // Here at BASIC we follow the BLESS model. One way we BLESS others through our Prayer Team. Some of the ways the Prayer Team BLESSes others by praying over the seats before BASIC, praying over each prayer request you submit, and offering prayer partners in the hall during the last part of BASIC. Click the graphic below to sign up, or contact Breana Knight at knighbab@uni.edu for more information! #PrayerTeam #BLESS #BeginWithPrayer
  • Podcast // Miss a BASIC teaching or want to hear it again? You can now find all of our teachings on all of your favorite podcast platforms, including Apple PodcastsSpotify, Google, and more! Click the graphic below to learn more! #Listen #BLESS
  • Life Groups // Looking to get more involved with a faith community? Joining a Life Group is a wonderful way to meet new people and share God’s love! You sign up for a Life Group in Cedar Falls or Waverly (both on and off campus)! Sign ups start Thursday! #LifeGroupLove #Community
  • Sunday Morning Worship // Join us on Sundays for church at Orchard Hill, Nazareth Lutheran Church, or Orchard Hill’s campus in Waverly! See the graphic below for service times and worship locations! #SundayWorship

Click any of the graphics below for more information!

FOUNDATIONS Kurt

BASIC Waverly Gathering

camp night 2019 Jan30

Mexican fiesta Feb 9 2020

Prayer Team

The BASIC Podcast Slide

LifeGroup2019 2020

Church Services.ohc.naz.waverly

      
 


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