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 firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
- 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!!)
Listen to this song as your read and scroll::
I am in a rut.
That phrase played over and over in my mind as I drove home from work the other day. A few weeks ago, I was asked by a friend to write for the BASIC blog. I’ve struggled with what to write about ever since. It was too easy for me to write about all the times God has shown me love and compassion and grace, but it was too difficult for me to delve too deep into my testimony. Instead, I’m choosing to tell you about how God has helped (and continues to help) me out of my rut.
According to the dictionary, the word ‘rut’ is defined as being “a habit or pattern of behavior that has become dull and unproductive but is hard to change.” Maybe some of you can relate to this? It’s a clawing, nagging sensation in the back of your mind. You aren’t doing enough with your life. It feels like no matter what you do, no matter how hard you try… you are left feeling unsatisfied with where you’re at. At the end of the school year last year, I decided I needed some time away from school. It was expensive, I wasn’t entirely sure of my major, and I wasn’t making any sort of social connections with my peers. I spent my summer at home doing something I love -- working at a summer camp.
Following camp things became a bit dry. I wasn’t constantly surrounded by my peers. I have three wonderful roommates, but they have lives away from the apartment. I’ve bounced between two jobs: one I really enjoyed but had to leave due to circumstance, and the other I absolutely loathe. Ultimately I feel like my life hasn’t been fulfilling lately. I’m not in school and I hate the work I’m doing.
But God calls us to so much more than this!
Prior to graduating high school, my youth pastor shared a bible verse that has stuck with me throughout the years. In Jeremiah 29:11, the writer states, “For I know the plans I have for you”, declares the Lord, “Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.”
This simple verse is packed with so much hope! God is not calling us to sit back and watch our lives fly by! God wants us to be proactive and live with excitement and hope! He wants us to look forward with anticipation for our lives, but also for when He returns to take us with Him to live eternally! Until that day, God expects us to delight in everything and not be complacent!
You’re probably wondering, “Well, what can I do to make this happen?” So I’ll leave you with some words of hope and encouragement. First of all, you’re not alone! Through BASIC we are surrounded by a group of welcoming, loving people that will help you. There’s always someone! There is always hope in the Lord, too. He’ll never let you down. It may not feel like it all the time, but God is always with you. Additionally, if anyone needs someone to chat with and a good listener, you’ve got a friend in me. I’d love to listen to you!
It’s okay to feel like you’re in a rut! In some cases, they’re probably a good wake up call as to where you’re at in your spiritual journey. And you know what? God meets us in the middle of all of it. God never lets us down, and God never lets us live this life alone.
I’ll leave you with words from Joshua 1:9 -- Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. (Reflect on this blog by clicking here for a free printable coloring sheet!)
draw-er and stargaze-er, Gospel Mime member, Harry Potter enthusiast
- SANCTUARY // Thursday, March 8 at 8pm (doors open at 7:45) // Lang Hall // No homework, no drama, no midterms, no expectations -- just come sit and be! Our music and creativity teams have been working together to create some AMAZING and INTERACTIVE stations for you to be, listen, and respond to God. Bring a friend -- you don't want to miss it! #sitting #singing #silence #solitude
- NO BASIC NEXT WEEK // Spring Break // Thursday, March 15 // Enjoy your week -- whether that's staying in Cedar Falls, going on a mission trip, or going home! God is with us EVERYWHERE. #clickthepinklink Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org where can YOU see Him working during your week!!
- OPEN MIC NIGHT // Thursday, March 22 at 8pm // Lang Hall // WELCOME BACK. We want to hear all that God was up to during your spring break -- whether that was special time with your family, a kiddo's laughter in another country, a conversation with a coworker, etc. COME AND SHARE. plz. #BLESS #story
- COME HANG OUT WITH US ON SUNDAYS // Join us at Orchard Hill Church or Nazareth Lutheran Church. Worship times are listed on graphic below!
- CREATIVITY TEAM // Fun fact: you don't have to be "good" at painting or drawing or being artsy to be part of Creativity Team!! Anyone is welcome to join this awesome team that helps form creative elements to allow humans to experience God is a variety of ways at events such as Sanctuary, Fall Bash, and Love Does. This is a GREAT way to get plugged into a fun, hands-on community. Click the graphic below to sign up!
- TRY PIE // Buy pie just in time for Easter! #yourmomwillloveyou // Try Pie is a social enterprise structured youth ministry that uses employment as an opportunity to engage and equip young women for their futures. They recently got a storefront in Waterloo. WAHOO. Visit trypie.org for more information and to order yummy, homemade pies. #noregrets #peachblackberrypieismyfav
- WHAT'S NEXT // Stayed tuned for more information on two vibe events quickly approaching. 1) an exciting, show-stopping AfterBASIC (3/22) #THEGREATESTSHOWMAN and 2) a powerful Maundy Thursday service (3/29) including 5 students sharing their stories and aspects of a Gospel Mime portraying the night before Jesus was crucified. ALL ARE WELCOME.
(Click on any of the graphics for more information!!)
I am a lover of stories. For so long I have sought out stories of joy and beauty to be my place of refuge when I was in places so opposite of that. But when I entered worlds of hard, broken stories I wanted to flee those worlds because it reminded me too much of my own brokenness. For so long I would run as far as I could from my brokenness, my heartache, my mental illness, and my pain. I thought at those times that I was running away from darkness and towards Jesus, but recently God has been calling me to seek Him in those hard places.
When I read the Bible I seek for God in those stories as the hero, because I already know He is there. Sometimes I can’t find Him right away and I have to trust that He is there, but He is always in every story. The Bible is filled with stories just like our own, and because of that we can trust that we have a hero too. Romans 8:31,37 tells us that we have a loving God who fights for us so that we can come out of the battle more than conquerors. We don’t have to flee the battle to find Jesus, we can leave the battle as something even bigger than conquerors because our hero is already in the middle of the battle fighting hard for His beloved child. When we learn to stop running and to be still, we give God the space to move in big and miraculous ways. Sometimes it can be hard to see Him, but when we are in a battle we are always creating a hero somewhere in that story. If you let anything other than God be your hero, the battle just becomes more daunting and you allow yourself to carry too big of a weight on your own shoulders. We were never meant to fight alone, so seek Him with everything in you and let Him be your hero.
As a girl who loves stories, I need to learn to love my own. And I need to learn to not only know Jesus in my story-but to know Him as the hero. We need to fall in love with all the broken pieces of our story; the beautiful pieces that we don’t even know are broken, and the pieces that are so broken they knock us down and physically hurt us. We need to fall in love with all the broken pieces because that is where our God, our Hero, is.
Life Group Leader
UNI Junior, Elementary Education Major, lover of Starbucks
What's Happening? (Click on any of the graphics for more information!!)
- JUDGING OTHERS #ufffta // Thursday, February 22 at 8pm // Lang Hall // Join us for for fifth week in our Sermon of the Mount Series! Sara Rockow will be guiding us through Matthew 7:1-6. BRING A FRIEND!
- GAME NIGHT #afterBASIC // Thursday, February 22 from 9:30 - 11pm // Lutheran Student Center (On the corner of University and College St). Heard there are loads of games happening, FREE FOOD, lots of laughs, Banana-grams--- plus more! It'd be a GREAT event to invite someone to, especially someone new! #monopoly #snacks #friendship
- ALERT: DONUTS & FRIENDSHIP // Sunday, February 25 from 10 - 10:45am // Nazareth Lutheran Church // Sara Rockow and Kristina McBurney wanna hang out with YOU and eat donuts this Sunday in the Fellowship Hall at Naz. Be there. Also -- join us for the 9:00am or 10:45am church service! Email email@example.com if you need a ride!
- WE WANT TO SEE YOU MORE THAN ON THURSDAY NIGHTS // We hang out on Sunday mornings too!! Join us at Orchard Hill Church or Nazareth Lutheran Church. Worship times are listed on graphic below!
- RAISE YO HAND IF YOU HAVE SOCIAL MEDIA // @everybody. BASIC is in need of awesome humans to join the PROMOTIONS TEAM. You know all of the facebook posts, instagram posts, tweets, and chalkboards? Yeah, YOU can be a part of making that happen!! Click the graphic below or email Leah McCune at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more and sign up!!
- LOOKING AHEAD // NEXT Thursday, Derek Kimball will finish our Sermon on the Mount series! Sanctuary (an entire night of musical worship and stations) will follow on March 8. AND THEN IT'S SPRING BREAK PEOPLE. #holla #clickonthatpinklink #itisworthit #noregrets