Hey guys. Hi. Hello there.
Summers are a funny thing. And not to be pessimistic, but I’m not really a fan. I find this particular season exhausting -- there’s just so much to understand: Ice cream is at its most vulnerable, yet also in the highest of demands, pumpkins are growing, but we’re not allowed to flavor lattes with them yet, and black skinny jeans with sweaters aren’t received by society very well.
But now that I’ve thoroughly given my two cents on the season we’re all in, listen to this relevant gem here while I do the same with the season that we’re individually in.
Currently, I’m paying a visit to a place where I tend to find the idea of our God a little unfathomable, or perhaps, doubtful. If you take a second, you can probably think of a similar place in your own life, whether it be a state of mind, or a physical place. I’m certain you’ll recognize it, but if not, just hit rewind until you find the part where there’s a lot of staring into space and questions you won’t ask yourself.
That place--I’m a frequent visitor.
Jesus, this is the part where I stop talking to you, and I get up early on Sundays, so I can catch my reflection, and watch myself stay home again this week, too. This is the part where I don’t know where my Bible is. It’s not gone, it probably just fell under the bed a few weeks ago, and I haven’t bothered to reach for it yet.
When David wrote Psalm 63 in the desert of Judah, there were probably a thousand other places he’d have rather been. We can probably relate, because as Christians we’ve all kind of capitalized on the desert as a symbol of despair. The place without water, where everything just really sucks.
Where is your desert? Are you there now? Or maybe on your way? Whatever the case, answer this: How long is your stay?
David’s body is giving out in the desert. He’s a king that has suddenly become very little. He’s scared. And he stares into space a lot. Still, he writes this:
“I have seen you in the sanctuary
and beheld your power and your glory.”
David’s body is giving out in the desert. And yet he recalls a time in which this wasn’t the case. A time when he was in the sanctuary, with a great and powerful God. And suddenly, he remembered that not one person ever said that the sanctuary wasn’t mobile.
Screw the desert.
This is not the time to forget what God's done before because you’re skeptical of what He can do now.
So until the next Thursday evening on campus, if you find yourself in the desert, take a second to assess how deep you are in the sand--then establish and put in the work that is needed to get back to a new place--one where you’re confident in the water your great and powerful God will bring. The one where you have enough strength to know that you’re already in the sanctuary -- with God.
BASIC Prayer Team Leader
Dog lover, chai tea addict, A.A. Milne enthusiast.
- Summer BASIC // BASIC is all summer long! Check out the graphic below for details.
- Want to get Involved?// Join a Life Group and become more involved with the people in your community!
- Buisness in the Front, Party in the Back//Check out Backyard BASIC on Friday, June 8th at 330 Oregon Rd. Join us for free food, games, and more! Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you need a ride or want someone to go with.
- The Global Leadership Summit// August 9th - 10th. You're invited to gather with thousands of leaders across North American for The Global Leadership Summit at Orchard Hill Church. Click on the graphic below to register. #summerlearning
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Summer is approaching fast, and you know what that means. Change. Now, change isn’t really my thing and I’m sure at least some of you can relate. You may be moving your whole dorm room back to your homes. Your best friends may be leaving while you remain in Cedar Falls. You may be going overseas for 3 months. Whatever it may be, things are changing.
In the past I’ve struggled with change. It seems like whenever I move places, God doesn’t come with me. He seems to disappear altogether and it takes me days, weeks, even months to get in touch with Him again. And right when I find Him and things get comfortable, something else changes. This whole process is ongoing. It’s stuck in a continuous loop and… I’m tired. It’s exhausting. And I don’t want my life to be exhausting. It should be full of Life. So how can I.. how can WE make a change in how we handle change?
Friends, the answer is Jesus of course. Now, this seems like super simple. Mostly all of us have heard, “Jesus is with you wherever you go!” And man He sure is, but do you recognize that every day? Do you act like Jesus is with you every second of your lives? Heck, I sure don’t. It is for sure a daily decision you have to make. Every time you wake up in the morning you have to say to yourself, this day is for Him. You have to make your eyes open to what He has for you. And you have to know that no matter where you go in life, God is with you throughout all of it. He’s there when you fail a test. He’s there when a family member passes away. He’s there when you are at BASIC, sitting in those familiar seats. He’s there when you fill up your car with gas. He’s there for every..stinking..moment.
“The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.”
He’s in our midst. He will show Himself. You just have to wake up and say, “My eyes are open for You, Jesus.” So please remember that this summer, friends. Even though you might not have that intentional friend that asks you for coffee every other week to talk about Jesus, know that God wants to talk to you all the time. Even though we won’t meet for BASIC every week, know that He goes beyond BASIC. And He goes beyond UNI. And He goes beyond the oceans you might be crossing. And He can go beyond the chained gates of any heart that wakes up and says, “Today is for you, Lord. And I know you’re in the midst of everything I do.” There is nowhere His Spirit won’t go. There is nowhere you can hide from His immense love for you.
So let’s get out there, and live this finals week, live this summer, and live this life for Jesus. Who’s with me?
UNI Sophomore (in 3 dayzz!!), thrift store expert, owner of 20 hats
- SUMMER FUN // BASIC hosts various events throughout the SUMMER--including LIFE GROUPS (click here to sign up!)! Check out the graphic below for details! #outdoors #fun #friends
- SEE YOU ON SUNDAY // At BASIC we really value community!! If you’re looking for to get connected this summer, join us at any of the church services listed below!
- WANNA BE IN THE LOOP? // Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and the blog for updates and encouragement!!
- WANNA JAM OUT? // Love the musical worship at BASIC? Listen to the music all summer long on Spotify @basicatlang!
- URBANA CONFERENCE // December 27th - 31st // St. Louis Missouri // As Moriah Cooper shrieks, “This is a LIFE changing experience!!” Step out of your comfort zone with cultural musical worship, challenging teaching, and SO MANY PALS during Christmas Break. Email Tate or click on graphic below for more details!!
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a couple thursday nights ago, i was at BASIC. and i usually sit on the left, in the front row, four rows in, but this night i chose to sit by myself in the back. i was feeling kind of sad and was looking forward to simply sitting and listening to stories from spring break.
once the final story was shared, the band started the intro to the song “reckless love” and i was PUMPED. i’m honestly someone who is constantly worried about those around me and i was really really ready to focus on me and Jesus.
and then. out of NOWHERE -- i had to go to the bathroom. so bad.
it was almost as if my insides were screaming: BLADDER BLADDER BLADDER BLADDER.
i tried to convince myself to hold it -- cause honestly i’m pretty good at that.
but then it happened again: BLADDER BLADDER BLADDER.
i told myself that if i ran fast that i could make it to the bathroom and back before the end of the first verse of the song. so i sprinted.
and i went to the bathroom. and i noticed the faucet was left on…THAT’S WHY GOD HAD ME GO TO THE BATHROOM. #savewater #savetheearth
jk. but i did turn off the faucet. and i walked out of the bathroom.
and at the SAME TIME one of my pals was walking out the other bathroom.
he’s name was jack** (changed name for confidentiality reasons).
and i could tell that something was up. and that he wasn't okay.
long story short, jack and i ended up sitting in the hallway in lang. he told me about some really really hard family news that he had just found out and he hadn’t told anybody yet. he was honest. and real. it was definitely a conversation that the Holy Spirit knew that we both needed.
my point? JESUS USED MY BLADDER FOR HIS GLORY.
jk. but in all seriousness…
it is so powerful to take a step back and see how God’s timing is always perfect. (Isaiah 55:8-9) sometimes it might not make sense to us (aka: needing to go to the bathroom on the middle of your fav worship song). but, He is always up to something. He knows the bigger picture. and He knows exactly what each of HIs Children need (aka: a honest conversation in the middle of BASIC in the hall of lang).
soooo….here’s my encouragement:
pay attention to the little nudges that God puts on your heart. whether that’s to walk a different way to class or to call your mom or to bring your classmate a donut or to sit in a hallway with a friend.
and then engage in conversation. ask people how they, God's Child, are doing. tell them that Jesus cares about them.
or tell them that you, God's child, are having a hard day. that you need to hear some Truth. that you need a hug.
God works in the most unexpected, beautiful ways, friends.
pray that He would nudge you in new way today and then share stories of what He does!!!!
post-grad, enneagram type 2 wing 3, culver's cheeseballs eater (join me!!)
What's Happening? (Click on any of the graphics for more information!!)
- ONLY TWO WEEKS LEFT // Thursday, April 19 at 8pm // Lang Hall // Erica Fernandez, a senior communications major, will be teaching about how Jesus calls each of us! Challenge: bring someone NEW -- your group project members, your roommate, your coworker.
- HIGH SCHOOLERS // All high schoolers are welcome to Picnic on the Porch and/or BASIC. What an INCREDIBLE way to experience what it can look like to continue your relationship with Jesus in college!!
- FREE SUPPER // Thursday, April 19 at 6:30pm // 604 W. Seerley // BASIC students are opening their home to FEED YOU egg bake, toast, fruit, and juice. Plz come.
- SERVING AT A NURSING HOME // Saturday, April 21 at 9am // Click here to see how a few hours of your time can share God’s love with the folks at the nursing home!
- FREE LUNCH // Sunday, April 29 after 10:45a service // Orchard Hill Church // Picnic Party and BBQ. You will want to be there. ‘Nough said.
- FREE DONUTS // Sunday, April 29 from 10 - 10:45a // Nazareth Lutheran Church // Start off finals week by hanging out with Sara Rockow and Kristina McBurney in the Fellowship Hall between services!
- URBANA CONFERENCE // December 27-31 // St. Louis, Missouri // You don’t want to miss this. Incredible musical worship, speakers, and atmosphere. INVITE ALL YO FRIENDS. (Scholarships available! Email Tate.)
You’re not alone, My love. (click to listen & read)
I had no idea of what I wanted this blog post to be about and then I found myself in the second stall of the first floor bathroom in the CAC at UNI, where I saw these words written on the wall. You’re not alone, My love. I guarantee you that the writer of those words was not expecting me to take some big meaning out of it, but in typical Jazmine fashion, I took it and ran (not literally we all know I don’t run).
Those words are the words I crave to hear, I have always had a crippling fear of being alone. There have been parts of my story that before this year I felt were so ugly, ugly in a way that made me unlovable. Unlovable enough for people to run for the hills, and then I would be alone. So I hid in my controlled box, I would say what I thought others wanted to hear, just so they would stay. I hid parts of myself that I thought were “too much” because I wanted them to stay. I was a surface version of myself because I couldn’t bear the idea of feeling more alone than I already did.
Something that has taken me close to 22 years of life to realize is that I have never been alone nor will I EVER be alone. My Father in Heaven who knows me by name (I bet He even spells it right too) and calls me His Beloved has always been holding on to me, ALWAYS including every dark corner & every anxiety attack that found me my first semester at UNI. He is also there in every joy filled moment-- especially as I held on to a friend from class as she felt God for the first time. My Heavenly Father has been holding on to me and will never let me go.
I finally gave God my control of hiding and running and where my life was going and who I was going to become. This happened when a speaker at BASIC asked broken-people to stand. I knew this was me and ironically the moment I thought I was going to feel most alone I felt most loved. That was a terrifying moment (standing up & being myself), that meant being Jazmine on full volume, and that can be a little much for some people. The girl who loves to love people, who is extremely loud at inappropriate times, grumpy on occasion, extremely awkward on the regular, brave, vulnerable, and every single mood in between. I was scared to be me, but I was too tired of faking it to give any more glossy words, or actions. If people wanted to leave they could.
In giving up control, I not only gained this extremely precious relationship with God, but through that process He has given me so many beautiful humans that have been holding on to me too. They have been holding on to the real Jazmine, the one on loud volume going full speed, and they are still holding on. I can’t put into words, how unbelievably happy that makes my heart.
“There is no shadow You won’t light up and no Mountain You won’t climb up coming after me.”
I will always be thankful He came chasing after me, even in my darkest corner. You're not alone, My love.
UNI Junior, Social Work Major, and The Greatest Showman enthusiast
- BACK AT LANG // Thursday, April 5 at 8pm // Lang Hall // We are back in Lang to kick off our LAST SERIES of the semester. (I’m not crying. Are you crying?) Tate Offenburger will share about “I AM KNOWN” from the book of Ephesians. Taylor Lemon will be also be sharing her story!!
- SEND NORTH MISSIONARIES // Jim and Marissa Stamberg serve with SEND North and will be sharing about opportunity to join in their mission at BASIC on Thursday. SEND North (Alaska/Canada) has over 70 missionaries in Alaska and Northern Canada who are seeking to "Make Northern Disciple Makers" among the unreached people of the North. Several SEND North missionaries work full time as teachers or medical workers in order to provide a platform for living in these remote villages. We also have short term ministry options (such as summer Bible camps). Click graphic below for more details!
- INTERNATIONAL CONNECTIONS TEAM // This team of people who are all excited about cross cultural relationships. We spend time together every other week praying and encouraging each other in the ways that we can better reach out to our friends from all over the world. We also host events for the international community which include international food and Gospel relationships . If you want to reach out to people from other cultures or just be encouraged to speak the Gospel truth everyday, send us an email at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
- FREE SUNDAY LUNCH // Sunday, April 8 at 11:45am // Bethel Hall (Door 7) at Nazareth Lutheran Church // Pulled pork BBQ sandwiches, baked beans, scotcheroos, chips, and fruit!! Whether you attend Orchard, Naz, another church, or no church … ALL ARE WELCOME.
- BASIC IN WAVERLY // Sunday, April 8 at 8pm // St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, 717 W Bremer Ave, Waverly // Come ready for a fun night of worship and community. Mitch Black will be sharing his story and Brian Steenhoek will be teaching on prayer from John 17. Invite your friends!
- THRIFT STORE PROM // AfterBASIC NEXT Thursday, April 12 // Gym (Door 6) at Nazareth // Ridiculous dancing, outfits, and raffles. You won’t want to miss this.
- NAZ WORSHIP NIGHT // Saturday, April 14 at 7pm // Bethel Hall (Door 7) at Nazareth // An hour of musical worship to come just sit and rest -- kind of like a mini Sanctuary Night!!
- WAVERLY FINALS STUDY NIGHT // Tuesday, April 16 from 6pm - Midnight // Waverly Campus Office Space, 211 W. Bremer // Get off campus to a new study environment! Free coffee, pop, food, TV, wifi, and couches!! BRING A PAL.
- HE > ME TSHIRTS // $15 -- Order online by clicking graphic below!
(Click on any of the graphics for more information!!)
UNI Freshman, chicken-nugget obsesser, ocean-lover, Jesus-enthusiast
THIS WEEK //
- Maundy Thursday, March 28 at 7pm // NOT AT LANG // Orchard Hill Church // 3900 Orchard Hill Drive, Cedar Falls
- Student Stories: 5 Student Speakers will be sharing their stories about the power of the Gospel and the HOPE that Jesus provides in each of our lives.
- Gospel Mime: Come re-live the night before Jesus' death with us through seeing the Last Supper and Garden of Gethsamene brought to life through Gospel Mime.
- ALL ARE WELCOME -- community members, family, friends, co-workers, etc.
- Good Friday, March 29 at 7pm & 9pm // Nazareth Lutheran Church // 7401 University Ave, Cedar Falls
- Student Stories: High school students have stories too! Come hear how God has been at work in these students' lives as we remember the night Jesus was crucified. #BigHouse
- Easter Sunday, April 1 // (See graphic for various services below)
- It's no joke!! JESUS IS ALIVE!!! After a somber week, come celebrate this HAPPY DAY that Jesus has defeated death to bring us eternal life!! ALL ARE WELCOME.
NEXT WEEK // Thursday, April 5 at 8pm // Lang Hall // Do you ever ask the question -- who am I?! Our last series of the semester (i'm not crying are you crying) will help us answer this question through the eyes of Jesus in the book of Ephesians. Tate Offenburger will start us off with I AM KNOWN. You won't want to miss it!!
(Click on any of the graphics for more information!!)