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

 Advent: A Season of Expecting Unexpectedness image

Advent: A Season of Expecting Unexpectedness

 Advent: A Season of Expecting Unexpectedness image

Published: December 22, 2017

by Amber Ginter, Senior, English Major “While Joseph and Mary were in Bethlehem, the time came for her to have the baby.  She gave birth to her first son. She wrapped him up well and laid him in a box where cattle are fed. She put him there because the guest room was full.” (Luke 2:5-7, ERV). In Luke chapter two, the prophecy of the Messiah described in Micah 5:2-5 is fulfilled.  Here, though Luke is primarily concerned with the oppressed and how Jesus is going to help them, Bethlehem becomes a pivotal location for an unexpected baby lying in a less than expected stable. Anticipating
by Amber Ginter, Senior, English Major “While Joseph and Mary were in Bethlehem, the time came for her to have the baby.  She gave birth to her first son. She wrapped him up well and laid him in a box where cattle are fed. She put him there because the guest room was full.” (Luke 2:5-7, ERV). In Luke chapter two, the prophecy of the Messiah described in Micah 5:2-5 is fulfilled.  Here,
by Amber Ginter, Senior, English Major “While Joseph and Mary were in Bethlehem, the time came for her to have the baby.  She gave birth to her first son. She wrapped him up well and laid him in a
Former OCU President's Tribute to OCU Grad Dr. Stan Toler image

Former OCU President's Tribute to OCU Grad Dr. Stan Toler

Former OCU President's Tribute to OCU Grad Dr. Stan Toler image

Published: December 13, 2017

By Doug Carter, OCU President 1980-1989 Forty-seven years ago (1970) at the Taylor County Camp Meeting in Central Georgia on a hot July day, my wife and I were the missionary speakers representing our ministry to Native Americans in Arizona with World Gospel Mission. There was a quartet singing in the service–a group of young preacher boys representing Circleville Bible College (now Ohio Christian University). One of the lads was very small in size with a gracious smile and a perfect haircut. When the offering was received, he pledged to give $5.00 monthly to our support in spite of
By Doug Carter, OCU President 1980-1989 Forty-seven years ago (1970) at the Taylor County Camp Meeting in Central Georgia on a hot July day, my wife and I were the missionary speakers representing our ministry to Native Americans in Arizona with World Gospel Mission. There was a quartet singing in the service–a group of young preacher boys representing Circleville Bible College (now Ohio
By Doug Carter, OCU President 1980-1989 Forty-seven years ago (1970) at the Taylor County Camp Meeting in Central Georgia on a hot July day, my wife and I were the missionary speakers representing
Salvation Army Red Kettle - Doing the Most Good!

Dean on Generosity - Kicking Off Salvation Army's Red Kettle Campaign

Salvation Army Red Kettle - Doing the Most Good!

Published: November 22, 2017

"How to do the most good?"  On Nov. 14, Rev. David Dean, Director of Church Relations for Ohio Christian University, addressed this question to Fairfield County business leaders assembled at Lancaster Country Club to kick off this season's Salvation Army Red Kettle Campaign. Reminding participants that altruism—thoughtfulness of the well-being of and generosity to others—means giving, Dean explained, “Studies show the happiest people are the most generous."  He elaborated on this theme, explaining that the “Generosity Factor” is a characteristic of people who give generously:  Those
"How to do the most good?"  On Nov. 14, Rev. David Dean, Director of Church Relations for Ohio Christian University, addressed this question to Fairfield County business leaders assembled at Lancaster Country Club to kick off this season's Salvation Army Red Kettle Campaign. Reminding participants that altruism—thoughtfulness of the well-being of and generosity to others—means giving, Dean
"How to do the most good?"  On Nov. 14, Rev. David Dean, Director of Church Relations for Ohio Christian University, addressed this question to Fairfield County business leaders assembled at
Top Counseling Schools Ranks OCU 8th of 20 Best!

OCU Online Pastoral Counseling Master’s Program Is 8th in Top 20!

Top Counseling Schools Ranks OCU 8th of 20 Best!

Published: November 16, 2017

TopCounselingSchools.org has ranked OCU’s online Master Degree in Pastoral Counseling 8th among the top 20 best programs available! According to Top Counseling Schools’ evaluation:  OCU’s program is “One of the most affordable pastoral counseling master’s programs online on our list is the online master’s in ministry from Ohio Christian University. This 34-credit hour program is designed to equip students to analyze situations and choose proper interventions to help others cope with crises, exploring pastoral care and counseling topics. Some of the classes offered include history of
TopCounselingSchools.org has ranked OCU’s online Master Degree in Pastoral Counseling 8th among the top 20 best programs available! According to Top Counseling Schools’ evaluation:  OCU’s program is “One of the most affordable pastoral counseling master’s programs online on our list is the online master’s in ministry from Ohio Christian University. This 34-credit hour program is designed to
TopCounselingSchools.org has ranked OCU’s online Master Degree in Pastoral Counseling 8th among the top 20 best programs available! According to Top Counseling Schools’ evaluation:  OCU’s program
David and friend at African mission site.

Mentor Leaders' Rev. David Whetstone Speaks during OCU Mission Week

David and friend at African mission site.

Published: October 23, 2017

Rev. David Whetstone, founder of Mentor Leaders, is a featured speaker during OCU’s Missions Week, October 23-26, on the university's main Circleville campus. Mentor Leaders, based in Nolensville, TN, is a non­profit organization using community-based efforts to bring aid, restoration, and sustainability to global neighborhoods. Mission Week presentations are being held in OCU's Detty Chapel.     Mentor Leaders has teams in Togo and Haiti who are providing emergency aid, restoration—supported by education, financial investment, and relational development—, and sustainability
Rev. David Whetstone, founder of Mentor Leaders, is a featured speaker during OCU’s Missions Week, October 23-26, on the university's main Circleville campus. Mentor Leaders, based in Nolensville, TN, is a non­profit organization using community-based efforts to bring aid, restoration, and sustainability to global neighborhoods. Mission Week presentations are being held in OCU's Detty 
Rev. David Whetstone, founder of Mentor Leaders, is a featured speaker during OCU’s Missions Week, October 23-26, on the university's main Circleville campus. Mentor Leaders, based in Nolensville