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Archive for Saturday, January 19, 2008

Faith forum: How can college students incorporate God into their lives?

January 19, 2008

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Profess your faith, not your family's

The Rev. Dave Davis, director of church outreach, Ottawa University:

This question could just as easily be asked of any person. In our society we are all busy, so how do we incorporate faith?

Because a college student often is striving to attend classes, do homework and hold down a job, we think they are MORE busy than others. I don't see them as more busy but just as busy as the rest of us.

One thing that first must be viewed as a college student is whether the faith is really their own or is it the faith of their parents or grandparents. If the faith is their own, he/she will not have a problem because it is already the major component of their life.

As a result, the student will be doing his or her own devotions; will be finding or starting a small group Bible study; or will be attending worship services on campus and/or in a local church. In addition, the student will be participating in organizations that encourage and promote spiritual growth like Fellowship of Christian Athletes or Campus Crusade for Christ.

You see, if the faith in Christ is real then it will be a priority and one will make time. Being busy is not an excuse. Scripture encourages the believer to "seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness then all these things will be added" (Matthew 6:33). A college student must be willing to say no so that her/his life can be balanced. To me, if a person is too busy for the Lord then she/he is too busy and their life has problems. Without Christ we can do nothing.

- Send e-mail to Dave Davis at dave.davis@ottawa.edu.

God has already found you in your busy life

The Rev. Ira DeSpain, campus pastor, Baker University:

This is a great question, and I have several suggestions:

¢ First, try to remember that God is already in your busy life. God has found you, even if you don't think you've found God. Psalm 139 beautifully states all the places where God is surrounding us.

¢ Read a Psalm a day. The Psalms are beautiful poetry of devotion, fear, hope and anger. There are 150 of them, so if you read one a day, you'll read all of them twice each year. They are not long, and you may find yourself connecting with them.

¢ Multi-task. People talk on cell phones while they are driving or walking. Try doing that with prayer. Pray while you're driving or walking. No need to close your eyes, please! Because God is near, God is always accessible for conversation. Your prayers don't have to be elaborate, just honest.

¢ Find an accountability partner. This can be a classmate, roommate, spouse or friend. It needs to be someone you trust who is also interested in incorporating God into a busy life. Agree to meet once a week for 20 minutes. During that time, share with each other how successful or unsuccessful you have been the past week in reading a Psalm a day or multi-task praying.

¢ Find a campus ministry. The people there are also busy students who are trying to incorporate God into their busy lives. You will find great support there for your spiritual journey.

People in love find ways of making time for each other. You have the same opportunity of finding creative ways of relating to God who loves you very much. What plans can you devise?

- Send e-mail to Ira DeSpain at ira.despain@bakeru.edu.

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