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

Archived Articles of Interest

Dr. Benny Tate Shares Inspiring Lessons in Leadership

2018 Pastors Conference Shares Lessons in Leadership

Dr. Benny Tate Shares Inspiring Lessons in Leadership

Published: April 27, 2018

The Pastors Conference of the 2018 Leadership Forum provided inspiring sessions that shared valuable lessons in pastoral leadership. The Conference began with inspirational worship led by Ohio Christian University’s ABLAZE student music and vocal group singing spirit-filled songs and hymns of praise.  Their performance created a beautiful time for experiencing the Holy Spirit’s refreshing presence. Keynote speaker Dr. Benny Tate, Senior Pastor of the Rock Springs Church in Milner, Georgia, presented encouraging instruction on how to “Build a Healthy Church in a Chaotic World.” In his
The Pastors Conference of the 2018 Leadership Forum provided inspiring sessions that shared valuable lessons in pastoral leadership. The Conference began with inspirational worship led by Ohio Christian University’s ABLAZE student music and vocal group singing spirit-filled songs and hymns of praise.  Their performance created a beautiful time for experiencing the Holy Spirit’s refreshing
The Pastors Conference of the 2018 Leadership Forum provided inspiring sessions that shared valuable lessons in pastoral leadership. The Conference began with inspirational worship led by Ohio
Tony Perkins Receives Faith & Liberty Award

Family Research Council's Tony Perkins Receives 2018 Faith & Liberty Award

Tony Perkins Receives Faith & Liberty Award

Published: February 21, 2018

The Ohio Christian University’s School of Business and Government’s Center for Faith and Liberty presented its seventh annual Faith
The Ohio Christian University’s School of Business and Government’s Center for Faith and Liberty presented its seventh annual Faith
The Ohio Christian University’s School of Business and Government’s Center for Faith and Liberty presented its seventh annual Faith
No Other Name

'No Other Name' Author to Speak at OCU

No Other Name

Published: February 13, 2018

Ohio Christian University's Religion Department will host a presentation and discussion on “Divine Healing” on February 28, at 7:00 pm in OCU's Maxwell Library.  Presenter Dr. Edward Williamson is author of  No Other Name, a book that chronicles his late wife Loretta’s battle with cancer.  Dr. Williamson is father of OCU Religion Professor Ben Williamson.  Dr. Williamson is General Superintendent of the Evangelical Methodist Church and chair of the Board of Trustees for OMS International. The Evangelical Methodist Church has churches in Southeast Asia, Europe, Mexico, and Canada, in
Ohio Christian University's Religion Department will host a presentation and discussion on “Divine Healing” on February 28, at 7:00 pm in OCU's Maxwell Library.  Presenter Dr. Edward Williamson is author of  No Other Name, a book that chronicles his late wife Loretta’s battle with cancer.  Dr. Williamson is father of OCU Religion Professor Ben Williamson.  Dr. Williamson is General
Ohio Christian University's Religion Department will host a presentation and discussion on “Divine Healing” on February 28, at 7:00 pm in OCU's Maxwell Library.  Presenter Dr. Edward Williamson is
Student Profile:  Sophia Donaldson is Conquering the Calling image

Student Profile: Sophia Donaldson is Conquering the Calling

Student Profile:  Sophia Donaldson is Conquering the Calling image

Published: February 7, 2018

If asked a year ago if she would ever consider going on a mission trip to Cambodia, OCU sophomore Sophia Donaldson would have exclaimed, “You were crazy!”  Yet, today, Sophia with 12 other adventurous students is set to be on mission in Cambodia, May 29th through June 12th, 2018. Unlike some participants, Sophia has felt a clear calling from God to undertake this mission.  Playing guitar since age ten, but not serious about it until this year, Sophia strongly feels God wants her to go to Cambodia and play music for the people. It’s that simple and clear.  Despite initial doubts, she
If asked a year ago if she would ever consider going on a mission trip to Cambodia, OCU sophomore Sophia Donaldson would have exclaimed, “You were crazy!”  Yet, today, Sophia with 12 other adventurous students is set to be on mission in Cambodia, May 29th through June 12th, 2018. Unlike some participants, Sophia has felt a clear calling from God to undertake this mission.  Playing guitar
If asked a year ago if she would ever consider going on a mission trip to Cambodia, OCU sophomore Sophia Donaldson would have exclaimed, “You were crazy!”  Yet, today, Sophia with 12 other
Serving the Great Commission image

Serving the Great Commission

Serving the Great Commission image

Published: February 7, 2018

  The Great Commission is a directive that Ohio Christian University and World Gospel Mission take seriously. Through OCU’s Student Center in 2018, World Gospel Mission Student Involvement Director Natasha Grimmett will be leading three separate teams of OCU students around the world to join in the long-term work that God is doing. The first trip is schedule for March 2-9 to Choluteca, Honduras. A team of nine students will be serving alongside long-term missionaries there to complete a variety work projects and support the children’s ministry. The second team will be serving in
  The Great Commission is a directive that Ohio Christian University and World Gospel Mission take seriously. Through OCU’s Student Center in 2018, World Gospel Mission Student Involvement Director Natasha Grimmett will be leading three separate teams of OCU students around the world to join in the long-term work that God is doing. The first trip is schedule for March 2-9 to Choluteca,
  The Great Commission is a directive that Ohio Christian University and World Gospel Mission take seriously. Through OCU’s Student Center in 2018, World Gospel Mission Student Involvement