It’s been over a year since I last blogged and there are numerous reasons why. Regardless, the catalyst that compelled me to begin again was the encouragement and training I received while attending the Mom’s Heart Leaders Intensive Training August 5-7, 2010 in Colorado Springs. Many thanks to the Clarkson family/ministry for their vision to equip and encourage moms to return to God’s design for the family. Once I am able to fully process the wonderful events of this training I promise to share more.
However, God impressed on my heart to share the below as an encouragement to my older daughters, the future generation of leaders on college campuses, and whoever else reads this.
When my older girls, Caryn (21) and Courtney (19), were young, I had them memorize 1 Timothy 4:12-14 (NIV) Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity. Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching. Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through a prophetic message when the body of elders laid their hands on you.
I desired to give them a vision for greatness and I wanted to set a God standard for them. This past year they have lived out this verse well despite people questioning them including their parents, church leaders, and friends. When questioned, the girls would respectfully reply, “We answer to someone higher and must walk in obedience to His calling.” They are devoted to Jesus and it was not important to them to be understood by others. They have a vertical focus verses a horizontal/worldly focus. The cost has been great as they have lost some friends and have been misunderstood. However, their obedience has been such an example to me and I have been humbled by the steadfastness to their calling.
God graciously reminded me of 1 Timothy 4:12-14 last Wednesday night when I had 25+ college students, including the girls, who were attending the Austin Student CPx training, into our home. I thought I would have them over to bless them with a meal and ended up being the one blessed. They arrived around 6:30pm and by the time they left after midnight I was exhausted but my soul was honestly refreshed. I wish I could say my motives had been pure but I was still trying to understand this two-year-old ministry called Student CPx. Last year my daughters went through the Student CPx 10-day training in Austin and made many radical changes in their lives. They decided to leave our traditional church of 3,000+ to start a house/simple church. To start a conversation they would go up to strangers and say something kind to them. They would even asked to pray with those injured for healing. These actions opened the door to share their love of Jesus to individuals who typically might not ever walk through the doors of a church. I believe because their faith was genuine they were showing love by their actions and others received it. I didn’t understand their actions or what they were doing at the time. However, I knew both girls passionately loved Jesus, sought Him daily through His word, prayer, journaling, and quiet time. Honestly I envied all the time they spent in His presence. It was because of their discipline and spiritual foundation we, their parents, could trust the direction they were being lead even though we did not fully understand it. Did they sense our faith was not good enough for them? It was hard to not take their decision personally as a criticism for how we brought them up and I deeply missed worshiping together as a family. However, I saw the joy they exhibited as well as their wisdom and commitment they had while continuing to meet in their simple church regardless of the skepticism they encountered. I think with any new movement there is an apprehension as to whether it is legit but all new ministries have to start somewhere.
Fast-ward to this past week as Student CPx was back in Austin conducting their 2nd training but this time Caryn and Courtney were helping to facilitate, serve, and lead it. When asked If I would prepare a meal I thought why not have them into our home which would allow me to meet some of the students and maybe get a better feel for this ministry especially since Courtney was now part of their traveling team and both were more fully invested in this ministry. Yes, Courtney will be traveling around the US to various college campuses this Fall with Student CPx. Currently she is in Phoenix and then will head to Portland to encourage and equip students. God indeed has called her out of her quiet, timid, and guarded self. She is a self-professing “x-introvert.” Check out her blog to follow her adventures http://courtneywerner.wordpress.com/
Today I write having a much better understanding of the ministry my girls are serving with. I not only have peace but excitement for the impact they are having on college campuses. Last Wednesday I had several students share with me the impact the girls have had on their lives. It was hard not to be proud of how God is using them. Many friends have asked me what Student CPx is and I never really knew how to answer until now. Briefly, it is a 10-day experiential training school designed to give students the tools and experiences to plant networks of simple churches on their campuses.
The students I met were not ordinary; they were extraordinary. The reality of the lyrics from the song Hosanna flooded my mind as I watched and listened to these students share:
I see a generation
Rising up to take their place
With selfless faith
With selfless faith
I see a near revival
Stirring as we (they) pray and seek
We’re on our knees
We’re on our knees
These students were passionate about their love for Christ. They bubbled over with joy. I was deeply moved as they sent out one of their own as he was leaving the next day for college. He would be ministering on his campus in KS among Native American Indians. You could sense the love and confidence with which he was being sent. These students were real with their emotions and not caught up in how they looked to anyone other than their Father. They indeed taught me with their life: by word, by demeanor, by love, by faith, by integrity. It will be exciting to see what these students do on their campuses and elsewhere around the world.