A Thousand Miles (Tuesday)

by Hannah Alford

On campus, we can get in a rut just thinking about ourselves and our needs and wants. How many times a day do we say the word “I” when Paul calls us to be servants of God under the direction of Jesus. Romans 12:1 states. “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God- this is your true and proper worship.” Sacrifice is a word with heavy connotation, usually negative people think of sacrifice as having to give something up, or loss of some kind; but this is not the sacrifice that Paul is referencing. This sacrifice although it does carry loss, has a glorious gain in the end. On Tuesday nights you sacrifice study time or going out to go to Wesley and that’s wonderful! But to truly live by Paul’s advice the best way to praise God is to serve others, give up our time to help those who need it. Maybe you don’t have much time to give, then you could do something simple like pray for someone else while walking to class, you are serving the person who you are praying for and are bettering that person and yourself through prayer. Finding ways to serve can be hard, but once you find the joy in serving you become closer to God and the community you are supporting!

A Thousand Miles (Monday)

….and you were sad, very sad without the usual crowd. Check out today’s devo! (there’s no more cringe-worthy parodying, promise)

by Ruth Hallstead

There are people in this word that will drop everything the second they are needed by another. That somebody you can call (and wake up) at 2 am who will listen to your existential crisis, who will wake up at 4 am to take you to the airport, who shows up at your door with cookies when they hear you’ve had a rough day, that person who would walk 1000 miles to rescue you. They don’t do it for recognition, they do it because it’s who they are, it’s their way to show love. While somedays they may move mountains for you, other times they simply say hello, and that’s enough. It’s not big, and they may not even remember doing it, but it made your day. The focus today though, is for you to be that person for someone. God asks us to “love our neighbors”, and simply showing up is one of the best ways to do that. Even if you can’t fix your friend’s broken pipe, you can mop up the water, you can be a shoulder to cry on in frustration, you can simply be present as living proof that they are loved. Serving others is hard, but still harder is helping with the little things, the in-the-moment, personal crises. Sometimes it seems like you’re not doing enough. You’re not in Houston, cleaning up flood waters; nor are you in Mexico, attempting to salvage things from the rubble of earthquakes; you’re not even in a homeless shelter in Tuscaloosa. It may not seem like serving others when you send someone a text wishing them a great week, but you are. John 3:30 says that “This is the assigned moment for him to move into the center, while I slip off to the sidelines” (The Message). God is the important one. No job is too small to be important, because that’s not what it is about, that’s never what it was about. God is the star, we are simply the stage hands making his love known to the world.

What’s Your Name (Thursday)

Mark 5:21-34

Do you ever feel like you’re so busy you might explode?  Just me?  When I get overstressed, my first move is to lock myself away in a study room and tell my friends that I’ll see them another time.  Far too often, my work comes first and people come somewhere way at the bottom, after I’ve passed my test or finished just one more essay. At the outset of this story, Jesus was pretty busy – He had just gotten into town, there was a crowd surrounding Him expecting great things, and He was on the way to heal a girl on her deathbed.  I’m stressed out just thinking about the pressure.  But, in the midst of all the chaos, He stops everything when he feels a tug on His hem.  He made time to listen and care for this woman.  If He had had tunnel vision on his task, he might not have even felt her reaching for Him, but by being available to the Lord’s interruptions and making time to really listen to this woman’s complaint he was able to change her life.  As someone who is trying to learn how to be more like Jesus, I feel pretty challenged by this story.  How often have I maybe missed something the Lord was trying to do because I was too wrapped up in my own schedule? Where, in my life, can I be more intentional about learning someone’s name and story?  

What’s Your Name (Wednesday)

by Hannah Alford

Names don’t just give us our identity, but they connect us with others. Under God’s name we can form relationships with everyone we meet, whether or not they believe in God’s name for themselves. John 1:12 says Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—” As long as we receive God and believe in the power his name can accomplish, we become connected to all of those that are trying to serve God’s purpose. On campus, this means inviting your friends who maybe don’t go to church often to come to worship with you, or even just inviting them to come to an event that might not be worship based. As students we are the ones that can make the biggest difference and really enact change on campus since we are the ones who can actually really see the impact. It’s not a question of “Who’s going to do this?” it’s “When can I start?” Those of us that have already received God’s name can spread his love until as children of God, we fulfil the purpose that God has been pushing us toward since we were first created.

What’s Your Name (Tuesday)

By Haley Smith

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
‭‭Romans‬ ‭8:38-39‬ ‭NIV‬‬

From the start of creation (Genesis 2:18) it was made known that we should not be alone. As Christians we are told all the time to be in fellowship, to join other believers and that we can be greater when we are in community with others. But we all feel lonely. Even if we’re living in community- but especially when we’re not. I mean we’re told to grow with others in our faith. So now I’m alone and failing at being a “good Christian” right? We go through periods of feeling utterly by ourselves. It could be just a few hours of loneliness, or it could be months where we feel as if we don’t have anyone to turn to. Here comes the hope though. In those times, that’s when it is most important to cry out to Jesus. That’s when it is so important to be in the word and listening to the things God says about you. He tells you that you are wonderfully made and you are loved. I know that has gotten me through some pretty tough times (@highschool) and continues to be something I remind myself of as often as I can. But here’s the even more important piece. Just think if you felt alone or were going through times in your life where you felt you had no one, and you didn’t have a relationship with Jesus? What would that be like? This is just one of the countless reasons it is so important for us to share our joy in Jesus with others. Allow others to know that they are loved and are never, ever alone. It could be exactly the kind of hope someone needs.

What’s Your Name (Monday)

 jesse mccartney GIF

We promise Jesus is more enthusiastic about getting to know you then Jesse McCartney is in this gif…

by Ruth Hallstead

John 10:3 “He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out”

I had only been on campus for a few days when I attended my first Wesley event, and I was a bit nervous walking in. As soon as I walked in the door, I was introduced to one of my favorite things that Wesley does—give out nametags. I really want to know people’s names, but I never remember them, and I’m always hoping there will be a casual way to get reminded of their name without letting on that I have no clue what it was they initially told me. At Wesley, I can focus on talking to people without worrying that I have already forgotten their name (at least for a bit, obviously I need to learn everyone’s name eventually) two words into the conversation. When I went to my second Wesley event a few days later, some people remembered my name and I was given another name tag. Both of these actions made me feel like I mattered and that I was expected to come back. When people know your name, it’s really hard to escape, to be antisocial or to try and go it alone. It is a powerful reminder of love when someone greets you by name and instills a huge sense of belonging in you. God’s love is like that. We are individuals whose names matter—it is written that He calls us by name in John, Psalms, Isaiah, Proverbs, and numerous other places. He’s not going anywhere, and He fully expects us to come back and stick around for a long time. Our names matter, they are uniquely ours. While you may have a name twin (or lots, depending on your name), no one wears your name like you do. Follow His example as you go about your week: learn some names and get to know the child of God behind each name at Wesley and around campus.