Welcome to the House Collective Blog Series!
I’m a student. I’m a collegiate athlete. I’m a youth pastor’s wife. I’m a friend, sister, daughter and employee. My life encompasses several roles I fulfill on a daily basis which is often very challenging. How on earth do I manage it? To be honest, I don’t know. A year ago, I never would have been able to accomplish this much. However, the lessons I have learned over the years prepared me for this time and I have a hunch these few lessons are the secret to my success.
Spring is a season of new birth, warmer weather, and in America’s public schools, standardized testing. Several springs ago I was a high school English teacher. The day arrived when all 10th graders across the state of South Carolina would take the first of a series of tests called the HSAP (High School Assessment Program). At my high school where 99% of our student body was African American and most of the students were eligible for free and reduced meals, this acronym spiked fear in students and teachers alike. We knew we were a low performing school: our standardized tests scores for the past few years were extremely low. No one wants to belong to a low performing school. Low performing schools drag down the mean for a district’s more affluent schools and prompt district administrators to eye the principal, teachers, and students with suspicion and resentment.
Each year at Columbia International University, a group of students majoring in Youth Ministry travel to Costa Rica to work side-by-side with a local church and explore this amazing country. The experience gives them skills in leading and serving others cross-culturally.
If “hospitality” was an inkblot in a Rorschach test, my first thoughts would be: Southern, superficial, stilted, and fake. I instinctively think of Southern ladies sitting on their porches, sipping sweet tea and gossiping about everyone in the neighborhood. I think of Hilly Holbrook, Elizabeth Leefolt, and Skeeter from Kathryn Stockett’s The Help playing a game of bridge. I think of Emily Gilmore from Gilmore Girls, entertaining guests with her perfect manners and polite dinner conversation.
Before I went to college that was all I knew of hospitality. To me, its denotation was being a perfect hostess, setting an extravagant table, and striving to impress all of the guests. And its connotation was very negative. Then I went to college and learned how wrong I was.
kindled. produced by Christine Benz
Last Thursday night, we took time to tell stories. Everyone loves to hear a good story; moreover, everyone loves to tell a good story. Whether it's to a large group or to a few close friends, there is something special about crafting a tale full of suspense and wonder. Humans are storytellers by nature. We want to feel heard and valued. There is something unique about looking into a friend’s eyes and knowing you have them completely captivated. Stories are essential to our nature because stories are essential to God’s nature. All of humanity is a divine novel. God uses man as a living narrative, to tell of creation, fall, redemption, and new creation.
Eighteen guys lined the sides of my hallway last night. Seated with their backs against the cinderblocks, they passed cream sodas around and the pop of carbonated beverages filled the air. What followed was a series of thanks and praises as one-by-one these hallmates shared pieces of their hearts. They told stories about late night trips to cookout and joked about the frivolous games they had played. They shared memories and laughed; but it didn’t end there. The men also shared serious words of gratitude toward those who had made their freshman year something special – who had made it something different. Some of those guys came into CIU with baggage. They were worried about fitting in at college, wrestling with anxiety, healing from grief, and
Daniel Mallard is a senior forward from Greensboro, N.C. Daniel has served as a three-year starter and part of the leadership team. Coming into his senior season, Daniel is the CIU career leader in goals with 32. During his sophomore season, Daniel led the team with 20 goals and five assists, finishing second nationally in goals. “Mallard” as he is known by his teammates, also holds the distinction of being the first player to sign with the Rams prior to the inaugural season. He also scored the first goal in program history on a diving header as the Rams won their inaugural match 1-0 against Toccoa Falls College.
What follows is a journal entry from 2005. The first part sounds bleak. I was knee-deep in a depressive episode and couldn’t slog my way out. I’m posting it to show you how depression expresses itself in the minds or emotions of some Christian workers you may know or encounter. Yet it’s far from an exhaustive list of symptoms.
The second half offers a biblical rebuttal of sorts. It’s how I “preach to myself “ when despondency descends. Faith, not despondency, had the last word that year. By God’s grace, I’m still going strong
Welcome to Blue & Gold: a mixture of advice for incoming freshmen, student life highlights, and professors' insights into living with a biblical worldview. In short, everything a CIU student needs to know or a place to inform yourself before you apply!