Learning Contentment: The Quiet-Hearted Child

Posted by Hailey Williamson on Feb 29, 2016 8:30:37 AM


The following is adapted from a paper I wrote on The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment. Jeremiah Burroughs presents the illustration of a quiet-hearted child in one of his chapters and this idea has dramatically affected the way I look at life:


Perhaps the greatest struggle in the Christian life is that of discontentment. We are called to be in the world, but not of it – so where do we fit? We long for heaven and eternal rest with God; at the very same moment we wish to feel settled and at rest in this life. Contentment in all things, like that which Paul speaks of in Philippians 4:11, seems elusive. The heart longs for rest but naturally rushes forward in life; it is not content to wait for what it truly wants. It is impatient, hurried, troubled, and restless. Burroughs compares our hearts to a child to help us better understand ourselves: Say there is a child who wants a piece of candy. Unfortunately, he has worked himself into a frenzy in his desire for it and he cannot be calmed down.

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There is Grace in the Grammar

Posted by Rachel Hust on Feb 24, 2016 8:32:01 AM


I’m an English major and a self-proclaimed grammar nerd. Why do the mechanics of the English language excite me? I don’t know. That’s just how God has wired me.


When I study the Bible, I write down entire verses or passages of Scripture and mark them up in my journal. An arrow here, some underlining there, and a few scribbled notes in the margins.


Recently, during one of these episodes, the grammar nerd in me started to notice something. The apostle Paul was a big fan of using the passive voice.

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Grief in Community

Posted by Josh Blanchard on Feb 12, 2016 3:22:28 PM

Every good story has an inciting moment. It’s the part of the story that gets the hero off of his couch and into the unknown adventure. Often it’s a challenge from a mentor, like Gandalf knocking on Bilbo’s door, or Hagrid chasing down Harry on his 11th birthday. Sometimes inciting moments are great opportunities. Maybe a position for your dream job opens up, or maybe you get bit by a radioactive spider and you have to save the world. Most inciting moments though, are of a third kind, the kind we don’t like. These are the moments where everything seems to fall apart. Batman, Superman, and a thousand other stories begin with indescribable loss. These moments force our hero to action, because to remain stagnant would lead to demise.

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Christ-Centered Community is Marked by Sacrifice

Posted by Hailey Williamson on Feb 10, 2016 8:45:20 AM


When I think about my personal experience in the community here at CIU, there are two specific days that stand out in my mind; two moments where I felt loved and cared for in the middle of deep brokenness. What I love about these moments is that they involve a group of friends who I’ve grown close to over the last few years and who know me well.


When I was a sophomore, I went through a particularly hard experience. I had been pouring into a friendship that ended unexpectedly and left me grasping for answers that I couldn’t find. I remember coming back to my room one evening and finally breaking down with two of my friends. I don’t know what plans they had for their evening, but I know they gave up their own preferences and “to-do” lists to

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The Risk of a Biblical Worldview: CIU's Philosophy Degree

Posted by Josh Blanchard on Feb 8, 2016 10:07:36 AM


As a rule, I am anything but indecisive. Unfortunately, when deciding my major I broke that rule more than once. I applied for Youth Ministry, enrolled majoring in Intercultural Studies, switched to Bible Teaching, and then again to Humanities. Going through four majors is one thing, but what is worse is the fact that I’ll be changing majors again soon. You see, right now I’m studying humanities, but only in preparation to study philosophy next year. The reason I’m still in humanities is because our philosophy degree does not actually exist yet. It is technically still waiting to be cleared by the board. But, for all intents and purposes, it will actualize next semester - my senior year.

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Roommate Rhythm

Posted by Rachel Hust on Feb 5, 2016 3:34:09 PM

It is freshman move-in day and you have exchanged emails with your new roommate, but you have never met her in person. A trail of balloons and posters lead you to the check-in table where you sign by your name and are handed the key to your room. You take a deep breath, grab the first load of boxes from your car, and head toward your room: it is time to meet the person you are going to be living with for the next year.


The door is unlocked and your roommate is already inside, unpacking with her family. You say hello and all of the various family members exchange greetings. Next, a flurry of handshakes and the usual “Nice to meet you,” “How are you?” and

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A Lesson Learned is a Lesson Earned: Surrender

Posted by Janai McMaster on Feb 2, 2016 2:51:27 PM


Woody Allen said, “If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.” I am a planner through and through. I wake up every day beginning to think of a daily agenda and set goals that I wish to accomplish. If I want a day off, I have to plan not to have a plan. What some might call controlling I would call organized. At the young age of fourteen, I had a plan. I had my life figured out and knew what I wanted and when I wanted it. I bet God laughed at my plans that day. I laugh now when I think of those plans.


The agenda for my life was a series of accomplishments I somehow thought would lead to a satisfying life. Accomplishments like graduating with honors, playing collegiate soccer, living in Colorado. It was all about what I wanted for my life and I wasn’t going to yield that to anyone; not even God. 

Over the course of the next several years, every plan I made was foiled. I tore my ACL twice in one year preventing me from playing soccer. My family moved away from Colorado. My relationships failed. For one reason or another, all of my plans didn’t work out leaving me with two options: fight or surrender. 

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The Power of Literature

Posted by Dr. Sandra Young on Jan 30, 2016 5:02:00 PM


The power of the pen is often talked about and celebrated.  But years ago, as a rookie high school teacher in an urban public classroom, I witnessed the power of literature. Just recalling the miracle of that long ago afternoon supplies enough motivation and energy to keep teaching--even on those days when my students are yawning or daydreaming, signaling to me that they would rather be somewhere else, anywhere else, but in a classroom analyzing a poem or a short story.

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Dive Deep: Encouragement for Building Community

Posted by Hailey Williamson on Jan 27, 2016 8:30:20 AM


If I could only give you one piece of advice for college, this is it: dive deep and hard into the community around you.


Coming in as a freshman is all sorts of things - terrifying, exciting, new, overwhelming, freeing. There's so much going on and you want to experience it all. Even an 8:00 AM class has some exhilaration to it (at least for the first week before coffee becomes an absolute necessity). There are hall events, the beach trip, Waffle House runs, pranks on your RA, small group conversations. Ways to get involved with the community are placed right in front of you.


Freshmen, get involved in these things! Stay out too late sometimes at Waffle House (not past curfew though), go on the beach trip, hang out in your RA's room, and eat chips and salsa past your bed time. These things, especially early on, set you up to

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College at 16: Why CIU?

Posted by Josh Blanchard on Jan 25, 2016 11:04:07 AM


How I got here is not important. I could ramble on about how my unique mix of rigorous international education and homeschooling made it possible, but I don’t want to bore you, so we’ll jump right in: I came to college at age 16!


My first week here felt like it was straight out of a novel. I was finally at CIU, and was over a year younger than the next youngest in my class. I had to explain myself every night I went out, because even though I had a car I couldn’t drive after 9:00. Thankfully for me my older brother was a senior at the time, which meant it took all of a day for him to inform the entire campus of my age. There was no getting around it. I was in over my head and everyone knew it.

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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!



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