Follow Christ, Lead the Way
Unexpected Packages image

by Amber Ginter, Senior, English Major

You know, with the Christmas season coming about, families cutting down trees, and Hallmark producing the most romantic, sappy, love affairs they can think of, it is no surprise that the month of December is full of emotions. For some of us, these emotions are pure joy and bliss. They embody my dog Buddy with his huge eyes and eager smile to see what’s next in store. With a wagging tail, glorious bark, and friendly charisma, no one could be more excited for Christmas. However, for others, the holidays bring about some different emotions.

They stir up the pain of loneliness, longing, and nostalgia for the things once had or not yet achieved. And that got me thinking a lot about Jesus’ birth, and how the people expecting him were quite disappointed when a small baby in a manger was born, rather than a powerful King commanding cities and tearing down those in its way. At that moment, I’m sure the people felt a slew of emotions similar to that of our own. They were happy, for a baby was being born, but they were also suddenly stirred and confused, frightened and upset, angry, and misunderstanding. How could this which they were waiting to arrive finally be here, but meet none of their hopeful expectations? Let alone that, how in the world would this small baby go on to save the world and why?

Baffling our minds and hearts, perhaps we too if alive at the time of His birth would have questioned the same intentions, doubted His presence, and been blinded by the gift wrapped in a different packaging than we wanted. And you know what that’s taught me? That sometimes, the things we long for most arrive in the moments and ways that we least expect it. They show up in the broken hearts, the loss of jobs, the pains of arguments, and the misfortunes of our faulty human lives. And because we expect different, because we long for something more, we get disappointed and often miss out on some of the most beautiful blessings He has in store.

Yet, don’t we already know that God knows what we need when we need it, more than what we want when we want it? I wrote about it in a blog once, but if we trust that God will provide, doesn’t that mean believing all the details and plans that follow that?

Learn to see the grace and mercy behind the unexpected gifts you receive this year: The beauty behind the heartbreaks, the lessons behind the waiting, the treasures below the longings, and the love within the package wrapped as a baby boy entitled to save the world. It won’t always look like what you want it to, in fact, it might seem the opposite, but don’t take it for granted. The people of Jesus’ time didn’t honor the treasure they were given until it was too late. They failed to see the beauty of a smelly stable, shredded cloths, and a quiet baby lying in the manger; this season, don’t make the same mistake. The best is yet to come in those unexpected packages.

Articles of Interest

Students Serve Alongside WGM in Uganda image

Students Serve Alongside WGM in Uganda

Students Serve Alongside WGM in Uganda image

Published: October 16, 2019

At the end of May, a team from Ohio Christian University traveled to Uganda to serve alongside World Gospel Mission missionaries already working in the area. This trip would best be described as a vision trip rather than the typical mission work some may think of. The team got to see many different ministries the missionaries are working with as well as support them through fellowship and prayer. During the two weeks the team was abroad, they worked with a wide range of ministries, one of which is known as the Dignity project, providing women and girls with reusable feminine products
At the end of May, a team from Ohio Christian University traveled to Uganda to serve alongside World Gospel Mission missionaries already working in the area. This trip would best be described as a vision trip rather than the typical mission work some may think of. The team got to see many different ministries the missionaries are working with as well as support them through fellowship and
At the end of May, a team from Ohio Christian University traveled to Uganda to serve alongside World Gospel Mission missionaries already working in the area. This trip would best be described as a
Gerald Murphy Encourages Revival image

Gerald Murphy Encourages Revival

Gerald Murphy Encourages Revival image

Published: October 16, 2019

Gerald Murphy (’13) had one goal in mind for the campus of Ohio Christian University as he spoke during Fall 2019 Revival Week, and that was to have an encounter with Christ. Murphy, a graduate of Ohio Christian, encouraged students to let go of their former selves and take on their new identity as sons and daughters of God. In order to take on this new identity, Murphy said that one must first stop self-identifying as a sinner saved by grace. “If you continue to call yourself a sinner,” he said, “you’re going to keep acting like one.” Next, one must stop relying on their own actions
Gerald Murphy (’13) had one goal in mind for the campus of Ohio Christian University as he spoke during Fall 2019 Revival Week, and that was to have an encounter with Christ. Murphy, a graduate of Ohio Christian, encouraged students to let go of their former selves and take on their new identity as sons and daughters of God. In order to take on this new identity, Murphy said that one must
Gerald Murphy (’13) had one goal in mind for the campus of Ohio Christian University as he spoke during Fall 2019 Revival Week, and that was to have an encounter with Christ. Murphy, a graduate of
Ohio Christian Hosts Youth Explosion image

Ohio Christian Hosts Youth Explosion

Ohio Christian Hosts Youth Explosion image

Published: July 29, 2019

Ohio Christian University was happy to host the Youth Explosion camp on July 25 through 28. The camp was organized by the Marion Christian Center’s Youth Ministry. The event was meant to provide the opportunity to experience God in a real and impactful way. “This year, the theme is that God made them special and how to discover their gifts and talents to glorify Him” said Marion Christian Center Lead Pastor Perry Payne. Each day of camp kicked off with a student led devotional going over the Beatitudes of Jesus followed by real life breakout sessions. After lunch, students
Ohio Christian University was happy to host the Youth Explosion camp on July 25 through 28. The camp was organized by the Marion Christian Center’s Youth Ministry. The event was meant to provide the opportunity to experience God in a real and impactful way. “This year, the theme is that God made them special and how to discover their gifts and talents to glorify Him” said Marion Christian
Ohio Christian University was happy to host the Youth Explosion camp on July 25 through 28. The camp was organized by the Marion Christian Center’s Youth Ministry. The event was meant to provide
Easter - the Extraordinary Found in the Ordinary image

Easter - the Extraordinary Found in the Ordinary

Easter - the Extraordinary Found in the Ordinary image

Published: April 18, 2019

By Rev. David Brown, Associate Professor, Religion
By Rev. David Brown, Associate Professor, Religion
By Rev. David Brown, Associate Professor, Religion
Youth Leadership Conference Focuses on Engaging Youth Culture image

Youth Leadership Conference Focuses on Engaging Youth Culture

Youth Leadership Conference Focuses on Engaging Youth Culture image

Published: January 11, 2019

On Thursday, March 7th, Ohio Christian University is hosting an all-day Youth Leadership Conference focusing on Engaging Youth Culture. The program is ideal for all church pastors and youth pastors. Focused breakout sessions will cover these key topics: - Mental Health and Suicide - Refreshing your Ministry - Developing World Changers by Partnering with Non-Profits - How Media is Shaping your Students - Working with Church Leadership Keynote speaker Dr. Walt Mueller is an authority on youth culture and family issues. Mueller is the founder of the Center for Parent/Youth
On Thursday, March 7th, Ohio Christian University is hosting an all-day Youth Leadership Conference focusing on Engaging Youth Culture. The program is ideal for all church pastors and youth pastors. Focused breakout sessions will cover these key topics: - Mental Health and Suicide - Refreshing your Ministry - Developing World Changers by Partnering with Non-Profits - How Media is Shaping
On Thursday, March 7th, Ohio Christian University is hosting an all-day Youth Leadership Conference focusing on Engaging Youth Culture. The program is ideal for all church pastors and youth pastors

Archived Articles of Interest

Partnership Provides Online Higher Education for Missionaries image

Partnership Provides Online Higher Education for Missionaries

Partnership Provides Online Higher Education for Missionaries image

Published: November 16, 2018

Ohio Christian University (OCU) and World Gospel Mission (WGM) are pleased to announce a new partnership that provides education opportunities for WGM full-time missionaries, missionary volunteers, staff members, retirees, and their children. The partnership provides a tuition discount for OCU’s online programs: Adult and Graduate Studies Program (AGS) for adults and OCUOnline Plus for 18-24 year-olds. "The AGS program is perfect for missionaries in their second career who want another degree to help them in their field and for missionaries who followed God’s call before completing
Ohio Christian University (OCU) and World Gospel Mission (WGM) are pleased to announce a new partnership that provides education opportunities for WGM full-time missionaries, missionary volunteers, staff members, retirees, and their children. The partnership provides a tuition discount for OCU’s online programs: Adult and Graduate Studies Program (AGS) for adults and OCUOnline Plus for 18-24
Ohio Christian University (OCU) and World Gospel Mission (WGM) are pleased to announce a new partnership that provides education opportunities for WGM full-time missionaries, missionary volunteers
Caleb Friedeman - Religion Professor

Faculty Profile: Dr. Caleb Friedeman

Caleb Friedeman - Religion Professor

Published: November 1, 2018

Dr. Caleb T. Friedeman recently joined Ohio Christian University’s Religion Department as Assistant Professor of Biblical Studies. A disciple of Jesus Christ with a passion to serve the Church as a pastor-theologian, Friedeman brings to the department the heart of a pastor and the mind of a scholar. Friedeman holds a B.A. in Ancient Languages from Asbury University, an M.A. in Biblical Literature from Wesley Biblical Seminary, and a Ph.D. in Biblical Theology (New Testament) from Wheaton College. His doctoral dissertation focused on the Christology of Luke chapters 1 and 2 and its
Dr. Caleb T. Friedeman recently joined Ohio Christian University’s Religion Department as Assistant Professor of Biblical Studies. A disciple of Jesus Christ with a passion to serve the Church as a pastor-theologian, Friedeman brings to the department the heart of a pastor and the mind of a scholar. Friedeman holds a B.A. in Ancient Languages from Asbury University, an M.A. in Biblical
Dr. Caleb T. Friedeman recently joined Ohio Christian University’s Religion Department as Assistant Professor of Biblical Studies. A disciple of Jesus Christ with a passion to serve the Church as a
Awaken Ministries Headlines Fall Revival image

Awaken Ministries Headlines Fall Revival

Awaken Ministries Headlines Fall Revival image

Published: September 12, 2018

Garrett Howell, founder of Awaken Ministries, opened OCU's Fall Revival with a message highlighting how to escape ‘strongholds’ that weigh down people from satisfying their hunger to live Christ-centered lives.  He likened these ‘strongholds’ to buckets filled with bricks that people carry with them that contain their worldly, sometimes demonic, habits and obsessions, such as with pornography or comparative envy to others. These ‘strongholds’ may become so heavy they weigh down individuals and keep them from moving forward to fulfill the potential of their callings.  In the days
Garrett Howell, founder of Awaken Ministries, opened OCU's Fall Revival with a message highlighting how to escape ‘strongholds’ that weigh down people from satisfying their hunger to live Christ-centered lives.  He likened these ‘strongholds’ to buckets filled with bricks that people carry with them that contain their worldly, sometimes demonic, habits and obsessions, such as with
Garrett Howell, founder of Awaken Ministries, opened OCU's Fall Revival with a message highlighting how to escape ‘strongholds’ that weigh down people from satisfying their hunger to live Christ-
Dean Joe Wuest

Dean Joe Wuest Recognized with 2018 Ruth Bamford Award

Dean Joe Wuest

Published: July 30, 2018

The Association for Christians in Student Development (ACSD) honored Ohio Christian University’s Assistant Vice President and Dean of Students, Joe Wuest, M.A., with the 2018 Ruth Bamford Award.  Dr. Edee Schulze, ACSD’s president, explains the award’s significance: “The Ruth Bamford award is presented annually to individuals who have served in the field of student development less than 15 years, who have provided outstanding leadership and service to ACSD and their home institution, as well as contributed significantly to the field of student affairs.  Especially important is
The Association for Christians in Student Development (ACSD) honored Ohio Christian University’s Assistant Vice President and Dean of Students, Joe Wuest, M.A., with the 2018 Ruth Bamford Award.  Dr. Edee Schulze, ACSD’s president, explains the award’s significance: “The Ruth Bamford award is presented annually to individuals who have served in the field of student development less than 15
The Association for Christians in Student Development (ACSD) honored Ohio Christian University’s Assistant Vice President and Dean of Students, Joe Wuest, M.A., with the 2018 Ruth Bamford Award.