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

Tyler Forney Leading SOS Project

Student Profile: Tyler Forney Is Learning Service over Self

Tyler Forney Leading SOS Project

Published: August 27, 2019

Building safer houses, constructing new roofs, and laboring in Tennessee’s hot summer sun isn’t routine for OCU Junior Tyler Forney. What is routine is witnessing about Jesus, having a heart for Youth Ministry, and placing others' needs above his for the glory of God. Choosing to spend his summer with Service Over Self (SOS) in Memphis, Tyler, along with 40 other young adults, spread the Good News to middle and high school students and learned to be an SOS team leader. An avid OCU community member, Tyler appears happy-go-lucky, working for SAC, serving as a hall chaplain, and walking
Building safer houses, constructing new roofs, and laboring in Tennessee’s hot summer sun isn’t routine for OCU Junior Tyler Forney. What is routine is witnessing about Jesus, having a heart for Youth Ministry, and placing others' needs above his for the glory of God. Choosing to spend his summer with Service Over Self (SOS) in Memphis, Tyler, along with 40 other young adults, spread the
Building safer houses, constructing new roofs, and laboring in Tennessee’s hot summer sun isn’t routine for OCU Junior Tyler Forney. What is routine is witnessing about Jesus, having a heart for
Rev. David Dean, Graduate

Graduate Profile: Rev. David Dean

Rev. David Dean, Graduate

Published: August 27, 2019

Upon graduation in Theology from Ohio Christian University, David Dean entered Olivet Nazarene University’s Church Management program and earned his Master's degree. Since then David has been an evangelist in many churches, camps, and colleges, as well as a servant in mission fields for 25 years. Since 2015, Rev. Dean is serving as OCU’s Director of Church Relations and Executive Director of the Toler Leadership Institutes. He is also the appointed Chairman of the Commission on Evangelism and Discipleship for Churches of Christ in Christian Union. Previously, David was Senior Pastor
Upon graduation in Theology from Ohio Christian University, David Dean entered Olivet Nazarene University’s Church Management program and earned his Master's degree. Since then David has been an evangelist in many churches, camps, and colleges, as well as a servant in mission fields for 25 years. Since 2015, Rev. Dean is serving as OCU’s Director of Church Relations and Executive Director
Upon graduation in Theology from Ohio Christian University, David Dean entered Olivet Nazarene University’s Church Management program and earned his Master's degree. Since then David has been an
Students serve with World Gospel Mission in Argentina

Students serve with World Gospel Mission in Argentina

Students serve with World Gospel Mission in Argentina

Published: May 16, 2016

Ohio Christian University students had the opportunity to minister abroad in Argentina during Spring Break 2016. Professor Jamey Gremillion, OCU’s Intercultural Ministries Director, led the team of six, which included Liliana Burgos, Ben Caplan, Andrew DeMint and Lindsey Lawler, along with Jammie Wilhelm, who serves as an AGS Director and Professor. The team had the privilege of remodeling a kitchen for an elderly woman who feeds nearly 60 neighborhood children every weekday. In two days, the team removed the old cabinets, storage area and counter-tops, replacing them with a custom-
Ohio Christian University students had the opportunity to minister abroad in Argentina during Spring Break 2016. Professor Jamey Gremillion, OCU’s Intercultural Ministries Director, led the team of six, which included Liliana Burgos, Ben Caplan, Andrew DeMint and Lindsey Lawler, along with Jammie Wilhelm, who serves as an AGS Director and Professor. The team had the privilege of remodeling a
Ohio Christian University students had the opportunity to minister abroad in Argentina during Spring Break 2016. Professor Jamey Gremillion, OCU’s Intercultural Ministries Director, led the team of
OCU WGM Argentina Task Force Team 2016 image

OCU WGM Argentina Task Force Team 2016

OCU WGM Argentina Task Force Team 2016 image

Published: May 13, 2016

On February 5, 2015, a WGM Missionary couple serving in Argentina came to OCU’s Global Café and shared their vision for reaching young adults. Due to the sensitive nature of their work, we will not use their names. Their ministry was so exciting to our students and Professor Gremillion that they returned to OCU on the following Monday and Tuesday to speak in a few select classes. This couple has discovered a unique way to implement a program similar to what has been called Community Health Evangelism (CHE) at WGM. This type of outreach seeks to meet the felt needs of non-believers in
On February 5, 2015, a WGM Missionary couple serving in Argentina came to OCU’s Global Café and shared their vision for reaching young adults. Due to the sensitive nature of their work, we will not use their names. Their ministry was so exciting to our students and Professor Gremillion that they returned to OCU on the following Monday and Tuesday to speak in a few select classes. This
On February 5, 2015, a WGM Missionary couple serving in Argentina came to OCU’s Global Café and shared their vision for reaching young adults. Due to the sensitive nature of their work, we will not
Mike Butto of the West Side raises his arms in prayer as he and dozens of other gathered for the National Day of Prayer observance ceremony on the steps of the Statehouse on Thursday

Ohio Celebrates Faith and Freedom on National Day of Prayer

Mike Butto of the West Side raises his arms in prayer as he and dozens of other gathered for the National Day of Prayer observance ceremony on the steps of the Statehouse on Thursday

Published: May 5, 2016

Kali Smith wasn't going to venture out into the gray, chilly Thursday. She wanted to take a nap. But, instead, the 24-year-old German Village resident felt called to attend the Ohio National Day of Prayer observance outside the Statehouse. "God was definitely pulling at my heartstrings to come here, and I'm really thankful that I did," she said. "It was definitely rejuvenating and very educational, and they stayed true to God's word and the reality of Jesus. So I loved that. It was powerful." The Christian event was as much patriotic as religious. Along with saying prayers that
Kali Smith wasn't going to venture out into the gray, chilly Thursday. She wanted to take a nap. But, instead, the 24-year-old German Village resident felt called to attend the Ohio National Day of Prayer observance outside the Statehouse. "God was definitely pulling at my heartstrings to come here, and I'm really thankful that I did," she said. "It was definitely rejuvenating and very
Kali Smith wasn't going to venture out into the gray, chilly Thursday. She wanted to take a nap. But, instead, the 24-year-old German Village resident felt called to attend the Ohio National Day