Joyful Lips in Higher Education

O God, you are my God, I seek you, my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry & weary land where there is no water. Psalm 63:1

InterVarsity Christian Fellowship’s Graduate and Faculty Ministries desires to see you flourish as you follow Christ and pursue the academic or professional vocation to which God has called you. As you may remember this is in the context of InterVarsity’s larger vision to see students and faculty transformed, campuses renewed, and world changers developed.

November 8-10, the NorthEast Regional Staff Team of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship’s Graduate and Faculty Ministries gathered to refresh the lives of, deepen the connections of, further equip, and sharpen the direction of one another in our shared campus mission/call.  What did we “do,” study, explore, and challenge one-another with at InterVarsity’s Camp Toah Nipi (New Hampshire)?

  • Prayer. We offered our lives to the Father in prayer framed by the Word of God as a people of God called to serve Him in Higher Education.  If you would have joined us, you have encountered times of
    • Silent reflection and shouts of joy
    • Psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs:  Psalm 63Psalm 42. The Aidan Compline. Dona Nobis Pacem. Nothing But the Blood of JesusGetty Music. Spirituals in round. …
    • Praise and cries of grief
    • Laughter and tears
    • Individual times with God, anointing prayer, and holy huddles of intercessory prayer
    • The people of God from babies to saints of God who blessed us with their testimony/wisdom.
    • The beauty of creation.  You likewise would have found the soft rain which we experienced as reflective of Spirit of God pouring down upon our team.  No doubt God is refreshing us for a new work together.  To God be the glory!
  • When studying and praying Psalm 63, by lectio divina shared in community, the Lord impressed upon me the phrase Joyful lipsI spent significant time meditating upon our call as followers of Christ to give testimony to the blessing and love of the Lord in the dry and weary land of Higher Education.
    • May God the Father grant us a life/soul which never stops seeking, thirsting, and exalting the One who has been (and continues to be) our help through His Presence, Word, Spirit, People.  Let us come to the rich feast, unashamedly giving praise, trusting the Lord, and inviting others to rest in the God who alone is sufficient to meet us in (and transform) our head, heart, and hands.  Amen.

More coming in future posts, but for today I’ll wrap up with the encouragement to regularly seek after God in prayer as part of the people of God on your campus. As you do such, avail yourself of the below reflection questions from the NorthEast Regional Staff Team’s Conference:

  • From the last few months for what are you most thankful?
  • What struggles or burdens have you been carrying?
  • How has your understanding of God grown in the last six months?  Have there been any circumstances that have caused you to re-think what you know of God’s character?
  • What has been happening in your community/family?
  • Of what emotion or feeling have you been most regularly aware?
  • Around what have you experienced joy? sadness?
  • How would you describe your prayer life at this time?  What are the “big” prayers you are holding before the Lord?
  • For what in your academic* life are you most excited? most anxious?

Note:  If you do not currently have a prayer community, we encourage you to join and/or form one.  If that does not appear as a possibility in the near future, please email us to let us know how we can pray for you.

*Note:  originally ministry life.

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Tom Grosh IV

Tom enjoys daily conversations regarding living out the Biblical Story with his wife Theresa and their four girls, around the block, at Elizabethtown Brethren in Christ Church (where he teaches adult electives and co-leads a small group), among healthcare professionals as the South Central PA Area Director for the Christian Medical & Dental Associations (CMDA), and in higher ed as a volunteer with the Emerging Scholars Network (ESN). The Christian Medical Society / CMDA at Penn State College of Medicine is the hub of his ministry with CMDA. Note: Tom served with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship / USA for 20+ years, including 6+ years as the Associate Director of ESN. He has written for the ESN blog from its launch in August 2008. He has studied Biology (B.S.), Higher Education (M.A.), Spiritual Direction (Certificate), Spiritual Formation (M.A.R.), Ministry to Emerging Generations (D.Min.). To God be the glory!

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