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Aletheia - (ἀλήθεια - "Truth")

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You are my Vision

 


Happy Friday from Rend Collective!
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Growing Strong

 

I’ve always believed that difficulties have a unique way of strengthening people.  I still believe this is true, but I no longer believe it’s guaranteed.  In other words, I now believe that difficulties can have a unique way of strengthening people.

The difference may seem subtle, but it’s more than a minor nuance in a sentence.

Trials, struggles, and challenging life seasons present an opportunity for increased dependence on God and trust in His Word.  When the storms cause us to cling more tightly to Him, our faith is bolstered.  When we witness the firmness of our foundation, we grow stronger spiritually.

This strengthening, however, can’t be taken for granted.  While hard times have strengthened me, I have also experienced the difficulties hardening me.  Resilience and perseverance are not synonymous with callousness and resentment.

When our view of God shapes our understanding of our circumstances, we grow strong.  When our view of our circumstances shapes our understanding of God, we grow hard.

My bad day doesn’t make God a bad God.  But if I choose to look at God through the lens of my circumstances or emotions, I will inevitably become hardened and bitter.  Projecting my situation on God causes my confidence in Him to wane.  If, on the other hand, I choose to look at my circumstances through the lens of God’s character and His promises, I will find myself trusting Him more deeply.

A clue that I’m growing hard is when my sensitivity to God’s Word decreases and I am bitter about my circumstances.  But when I have a tender heart toward the Bible and I embrace life with confidence in God’s goodness, I am seeing evidence of increasing strength.

The difficult circumstances of life can, to borrow a phrase, make you bitter or make you better.  Trials can cause you to grow hard or grow strong.  Strength is developed through the constant, humble acknowledgement that God is God and God is good, no matter where I am or how I feel.  As David put it in Psalm 16:5-6, “Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup; you make my lot secure.  The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance.”

God’s work of strengthening us is demonstrated by our ability to honestly say, regardless of circumstances, “The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places.”  Pleasant, not necessarily because of where we are, but because of Who goes before us.

Written by: Abbey Le Roy, MA in Theological Studies from CIU's Seminary and School of Ministry

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Waterfall

 


Have a great weekend everyone!
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Meet Nayquan

 
CIU Rams

Nayquan Wilson is a sophomore here at CIU and is majoring in Business & Organizational Leadership. He also plays on the CIU Rams basketball team! No matter your passion, CIU will equip you for your career and for life.

“I chose to come to CIU because it was a unique opportunity to enter an excellent business program, play basketball, and more importantly, grow closer to God.” -Nayquan

Join us for Open House on August 7 and see how CIU will prepare you for your life of impact!

Register for CIU Open HouseAugust 7, 2014

 

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Man Of Sorrows

 

 

See the stone is rolled away
Behold the empty tomb
Hallelujah God be praised
He's risen from the grave

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Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus (Look Up)

 


Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full in His wonderful face
And watch the world grow dim
Standing next to Him
In the light of His glory and grace
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Meet Arsida

 

Arsida
Arsida Ndoni is pursuing her M.A. in Clinical Counseling here at CIU. She is not only being prepared for her career, but also for her calling!

"People are worth investing in. Material things and success will fade away, but the impact we
have on people is eternal. CIU has taught me that and is preparing me to make a difference in
the lives of others through counseling.” – Arsida 


Join us for Open House on August 7 and see how CIU will prepare you for your life of impact!

Register for CIU Open HouseAugust 7, 2014

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When the Crazy Kicks In

 


Happy Friday and Happy Weekend everyone!!
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Desert Song

 


All of my life
In every season
You are still God
I have a reason to sing
I have a reason to worship
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Blessings in the Desert

 

If you’ve been a Christian for any length of time, I’d be willing to bet you’ve experienced a “dry” season in your spiritual life.  Lack of spiritual enthusiasm, a sense of merely going through the motions, and unperceived growth are a sampling of symptoms of the spiritual desert.  These seasons can be brought on by sin and decreased sensitivity to the Holy Spirit, but just as often – if not more often – they are characteristic of the natural ebb and flow of life in a fallen world.

As I recently contemplated the reality of the spiritual desert, I was reminded of the unexpected blessings found therein.  In my experience, the greatest blessing of the desert is that it creates a renewed thirst for the Living Water.  Additionally, these seasons increase my satisfaction in the Living Water.  Not only do I thirst for Him; nothing else will quench my thirst but Him.  It’s the spiritual equivalent of running a marathon in the summer heat and then being offered a cup of coffee at the finish line.  I love coffee, but running a race creates a thirst which can be quenched by water alone.

Another blessing in the midst of the desert is that the discomfort is actually a sign of life, often a much-needed reassurance.  Only living beings thirst.  It’s tempting to feel dead in the desert, but the thirst is a timely reminder of an existing spiritual pulse.

I’ve been prone to resent the dry seasons in my spiritual life, but I am reminded afresh that God is both willing and able to use every situation and season for His glory and my good.  I never desire the desert, but as God would have it, there is priceless Treasure to be discovered in the least likely of places.  As Charles Spurgeon memorably wrote, “In the deserts of affliction the presence of the Lord becomes everything to us.”

In the place I never want to go, my heart draws nearer to its Prize.  What a gift!  What a God!

Written by: Abbey Le Roy, MA in Theological Studies from CIU's Seminary and School of Ministry

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