"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to proseper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11 A little over a week ago, I was able to travel to Rocky Mountain National Park and be a part of ...

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Out. Of. The. Water.

 

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to proseper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

A little over a week ago, I was able to travel to Rocky Mountain National Park and be a part of the support staff team at Rocky Mountain High, a high school student gathering that happens every three years.  A couple of us ended up going on a hike.  But not just any hike, we were hiking in the Mountains.  In Colorado.  And our destination was...a lake?

Now I’m from very north Iowa, so I’ve seen my fair share of Minnesota’s 10,000 lakes and let me tell you, I was not exactly, what you would call, excited when I found out we were hiking the mountains to see another.  On top of that, right as we set out, large clouds began to form and we soon realized that we were about to get soaked.  And guess who didn’t bring any rain gear?  But, regardless of the things, I was in Colorado, so I knew it couldn’t be that bad.

As we approached the lake I had formed this idea of what it would be like.  I envisioned a meager sized pond at the base of a mountain.  The view would be alright, as long as you walked right along the edge of the water.  But I didn’t feel like we’d hiked high enough to have a view worth taking pictures of.  As we made it out of the forest and walked up to the edge of the lake, the surroundings took my breath away.  There was a gorgeous lake, molded perfectly in the middle of a small valley in the mountains.  Everywhere you looked you saw a new view.  Each view even more spectacular than the last. And by the time we had arrived the clouds had cleared up and we didn’t feel a single drop of rain. I am at a loss for words even writing this because there are just some things that you can’t explain.  But the part that gets me, and why I even brought this adventure up, is that no amount of imagination could have given me even the slightest idea what I was going to witness on that mountain that day. 

Recently at a RightNow Media conference, which is not too different from Rocky, I was given some advice that has deeply impacted me. During the middle of a worship set, an individual asked me how I was and what I wanted to do with my life. Now when I say “during the middle of a worship set”, this individual literally asked me a question during the chorus of my favorite song that week.  But, being a college student, I’ve had to answer this question to nosey relatives before.  So I gave him my rehearsed answer and waited to see his questioning glare, followed by the 411 on all the types jobs I should do.  But instead he nodded, smiled, and told me “Whatever your dream, be it as specific or as broad as you want, dream it big and watch how God will blow that dream Out. Of. The. Water.”  Before college three years ago, I wouldn’t have been able to fathom all of the experiences I’ve had and people I’ve met.  I definitely would’ve laughed if you told me I’d be involved in a campus ministry.  Heck, I might even have laughed if you told me I would be a Christian on fire for Jesus.  

When we think about our future, whether we’re an avid planner or we fly by the seat of our pants, we all get ideas and dreams about what we hope to do and accomplish.  Inevitably with any dream, there will be delays, difficulties, and dead ends.  Now if anybody had a right to be discouraged, it was Noah.  Do you know how long it took Noah to build the arc?  Roughly 100 years.  Could you go 100 years on a project without one word of encouragement from anybody else in society?  Noah trusted God.  And when he heard God's warning about the future, Noah believed him even though there was no sign of a flood.  I bet there were many days that Noah didn't feel like going to work.  But nevertheless, he never quit.  He kept faith.  He dreamed big.  

Friends, whether you’ve had the best summer of your life, or you frankly can’t wait to be in school, I pray this is able to give encouragement for whatever you are facing in your life.  Whatever you pray for your future to hold.  Pray expectantly, pray boldly, and pray big, whether that be something small as seeing God's creation in a new way such as the lake in Colorado or tackling a big project like Noah, because God is eagerly waiting to blow your plans Out. Of. The. Water.

Dan Happel
UNI Junior 

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What's Happening?

  • COUNTDOWN UNTIL THE FIRST NIGHT OF BASIC: 25 DAYS. Get ready, people! Mark Thursday, August 24th at 8:00pm on your calendar and join us for the first night of BASIC of the school year. Come check BASIC out and join us for a party on the lawn afterwards!
  • Pella Day Trip // THIS Saturday (August 5th) // Join us to go jet skiing, fishing, kayaking, swimming, and more! We will also be grilling out, playing yard games, and "hanging out" in hammocks. There is no cost! ALL are welcome! Invite a friend and contact Derek Kimball at 319.939.1909 to reserve your spot—it's going to be a BLAST!
  • Summer Life Groups // Are you wanting a community to do life with this fall? Start building that community this fall by going to a Life Group this summer! Visit this link for details and to sign up. #BLESSmodel #community
  • Join us for church! // Check out the graphic below for the times and locations of church services at both Orchard and Nazareth.
  • LAST SUMMER EVENT: Global Leadership Summit // August 10 -11 // This is an incredible opportunity to grow in your leadership skills! Click on this link or email basic@uni.edu for more details!

(Click on any of the graphics below for more details!)

SummerBASIC2017

summerlifegroupsupdated

churchservicesjune2017

globalleadershipsummit

      
 


Encourage One Another

One of the worst feelings to face in your spiritual walk is discouragement. I’m sure I’m not the only one who knows how isolating it feels to have lost hope and to feel like your plan is just not working out—knowing that you’ve yet again, placed your hope in this world instead of in heaven. 

To have taken leaps in your faith and in a single moment, revert back to old habits—it’s the worst.

In my spiritual walk, I’ve faced trials of many forms that have helped to shape who I am today. Each one has taught me a little of who I am and who God is. But in the middle of these seasons of trial, I was focused on how discouraged I felt, instead of looking to God. It has taken lots of time, prayer, and encouragement from others to see that God has used these to strengthen me.

The book of James reminds of this: “Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:4. As followers of Christ, we’re told that we will have trials in this life. Our response to these trials is what really counts. We need to be a people that, when facing trials and discouragement, can build and lift each other up.

Encouragement is defined as the act of trying to stimulate the development of an activity, state, or belief. Well, this was my first choice definition (Google gave me 3). This definition speaks to a huge part of our lives as believers—growth. Anyone remember their high school math teacher going on about the “growth mindset?” When it’s applied to algebra, I’m not convinced (I will never know what “x” is—and I’m fine with that), but as a community of Jesus followers, this “growth mindset” is GOLD. When we gather with the intent of taking another step toward Jesus, we encourage others to do the same and we please God too. 

The main takeaway is this: We all face trials and we get discouraged. As a church and as children of God, our job is to encourage our brothers and sisters in their faith—in all walks of life. Place your hope in heaven, friends. And realize that there is nothing you could ever do to make God love you any less—not even a little.

“But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:31

Allyn Oxley
UNI Junior 

_____________________

What's Happening?

  • River Float in Decorah, Iowa! // THIS Saturday (July 8th) // If you would like to join, please text Sara Rockow at 515-227-6291. The cost is a low $10 for a day full of community, sun, and fun!
  • Summer Life Groups // FRIENDS. Want a community to meet with weekly this summer? Visit this link for details and to sign up. #BLESSmodel #community
  • Join us for church! // Check out the graphic below for the times and locations of church services at both Orchard and Nazareth. **Please note that Nazareth has changed their worship times!
  • MORE summerBASIC Events // Check out the graphic below for more details on the EXCITING happenings of the summa! #decorah #pella #globalleadershipsummit
  • Global Leadership Summit // August 10 -11 // This is an incredible opportunity to grow in your leadership skills and travel to Chicago with an awesome group of people. Click on this link or email basic@uni.edu for more details!

(Click on any of the graphics below for more details!)

SummerBASIC2017

summerlifegroupsupdated

churchservicesjune2017

globalleadershipsummit

      
 


Holy Spirit on the Move!

This summer I am humbled to be working at Riverside Lutheran Bible Camp as an adventure counselor, and I just finished my first week with six lovely campers! God showed up this week in so many amazing ways. Wow.
 
The six fourth graders that I worked with this week showed me the importance of child-like faith. They were incredibly filled with joy, humility, and faithfulness in their hearts. The Holy Spirit was at work through mundane things. I got to listen and pray with a camper who said that "it clicked" after watching the Gospel Mime. God clicked. The Gospel clicked. Clicked in her heart and in her mind and that was such special moment to be apart of.
 
My fear going into this week was that my campers wouldn't absorb anything and all of my energy throughout the day would go to waste. My fears were obliterated by God's love and grace through all things. God moves through all situations; meals, Bible studies, all camp games, morning runs, long walks to the ranch, and games of carpetball. 
 
After this first week at camp I am absolutely sure about two things. One, kids + Jesus can transform your heart more than you ever thought possible. And two, the Holy Spirit is on the move every single second of every single day. 
 
As a camp counselor you get one week to to plant mustard seeds in your campers lives. Every so often you get to see the moments that "click" and other times you don't get to witness the fruit. Most importantly, seeds are being planted and the Kingdom is expanding. 
 
I would encourage you to look for opportunities to plant seeds this summer---wherever you are working / living / spending time. Seek out opportunities in your everyday life that can point others to Jesus! He will show up in far greater ways than you ever anticipated. 

Olivia Pederson
Wartburg Sophomore
#WartburgBASIC 

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What's Happening?

  • Cliff Jumping Day Trip // THIS Wednesday (June 21st) // Meet at Orchard Hill Church at 8:30am for a day of fun in Nashua! We will be swimming, fishing, and eating ice cream at Dairy Treat! Please text Carter Moore at 319-480-1444 if you are planning to come. There is still room in the vans -- or you can meet us there! 
  • Summer Life Groups // FRIENDS. Want a community to meet with weekly this summer? Visit this link for details and to sign up. #BLESSmodel #community
  • Join us for church! // Check out the graphic below for the times and locations of church services at both Orchard and Nazareth. **Please note that Nazareth has changed their worship times!
  • MORE summerBASIC Events // Check out the graphic below for more details on the EXCITING happenings of the summa! #decorah #pella #globalleadershipsummit
  • Global Leadership Summit // August 10 -11 // This is an incredible opportunity to grow in your leadership skills and travel to Chicago with an awesome group of people. Click on this link or email basic@uni.edu for more details!

(Click on any of the graphics below for more details!)

cliffjumpingdaytrip

summerlifegroupsupdated

churchservicesjune2017

SummerBASIC2017

globalleadershipsummit

      
 


YOU are so LOVED this summer!

happy, happy summer!!

God is super rad and is working in each and every one of us, even when we don't see Him in any aspect of our lives. this past year was one of the hardest of my life; i experienced a lot of darkness and loneliness. through the times when i did not see God working in my life at all, He really was. looking back He was in the smiles of strangers, the hugs from close friends, and in the flowers and the trees. He was in the lonely times transforming my heart to seek Him harder and deeper.

we are broken humans in need of a Savior. we are broken humans in need of the love from Our Father. love that is patient and kind; love that does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. it does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the Truth. love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

as your summer continues, remember that you are loved by the Savior of the universe and there is NOTHING that can separate you from His eternal arms.


Chelsea Eilers
UNI Sophomore

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What's Happening?

  • Backyard BASIC // THIS Friday (June 9th) // Come join us at 330 Oregon Road in Cedar Falls as we enjoy the summer together with free food, games, and a bonfire. Email basic@uni.edu if you have any questions! ALL are welcome!
  • Summer Life Groups // It’s not too late to join a Life Group for the summer! Click on this link for details and to sign up. #community #growth #Jesus
  • Church on Sundays! // Both Orchard and Nazareth will continue to have services throughout the summer. The church service times at Nazareth are changing on June 11th. Check out this website for more details!
  • MORE summerBASIC Events // Check out the graphic below for more details on the EXCITING happenings of the summa! #cliffjumping #decorah #pella #globalleadershipsummit

(Click on any of the graphics below for more details!)

SummerBackyardBASIC

Summer Life Groups Begin May 22

Church Servies ohc.naz 1

SummerBASIC2017 

      
 


Isaiah 43 & SummerBASIC!

Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are Mine.
When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.
Since you are precious and honored in My sight,
and because I love you,
I will give people in exchange for you,
nations in exchange for your life.
Do not be afraid, for I am with you.

[Isaiah 43: 2,4,5]

No matter what your plans are for the summer---whether you are studying abroad or working at a camp or going home or traveling for an internship or staying here in the Cedar Valley---don't forget that you have a Great God who is going with you. He is a God who is not just at BASIC or Life Groups or Sunday mornings, but wherever you are going----His love, joy, presence, and peace is already there. What a beautiful promise that we have to hold onto this summer and beyond! 

What's Happening?

Although the academic year is coming to a close, BASIC will continue to provide a variety of opportunities to stay plugged into this community this summer!

  • SummerBASIC // See graphic below. // Follow BASIC on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook for more details in the future!
  • BASIC in Waverly once before the school year ends! // May 18 // 211 W. Bremer, Waverly, IA. 
    7:00pm: FREE supper & fellowship.
    8:00pm: Get a glimpse of our worship community with music, teaching, prayer, and a student testimony!
    9:00pm: Conversation and questions with Jesse, Rachel and Carter for anyone who is interested!
  • Life Groups // starting May 22 // Sign up here!
    Lindsay McDonald: Thursdays at 6:30pm // 3709 Knoll Ridge Drive (Food Provided) // GIRLS
    Andrea Pingel: Mondays at 6:30pm // 2201 Thunder Ridge Blvd Apartment 5A (Food Provided) // GIRLS
    Tate Offenburger: Thursdays at 6:30pm // Orchard Hill Church Prayer Room (Food Provided) // GUYS
  • Join us for Sunday morning services at Orchard Hill Church and Nazareth Lutheran Church!

(Click on any of the following graphics to learn more about BASIC Happenings!)

SummerBASIC2017

Wartburg BASIC

LifeGroupsSummer2017

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