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

Seniors honored at Awards Chapel 2016 image

Seniors honored at Awards Chapel 2016

Seniors honored at Awards Chapel 2016 image

Published: April 22, 2016

Ohio Christian University held its inaugural Awards Chapel on April 21, 2016. More than 100 people were in attendance for a time of worship and recognition. Students in the top percentage of their class were inducted into Sigma Beta Delta, Delta Epsilon Chi, and Epsilon Pi Phi. OCU was also pleased to announce the Josias Rodriguez scholarship award recipient, Victoria Bobb. Dr. Dave Garrison was awarded the Faith and Liberty award for his efforts in establishing the School of Business and Government. This high honor is also held by various other faith leaders, such as Dr. James Dobson
Ohio Christian University held its inaugural Awards Chapel on April 21, 2016. More than 100 people were in attendance for a time of worship and recognition. Students in the top percentage of their class were inducted into Sigma Beta Delta, Delta Epsilon Chi, and Epsilon Pi Phi. OCU was also pleased to announce the Josias Rodriguez scholarship award recipient, Victoria Bobb. Dr. Dave
Ohio Christian University held its inaugural Awards Chapel on April 21, 2016. More than 100 people were in attendance for a time of worship and recognition. Students in the top percentage of their
Students Honored at Ministerial Banquet  image

Students Honored at Ministerial Banquet

Students Honored at Ministerial Banquet  image

Published: April 11, 2016

Ohio Christian University took an evening to honor students and faculty in the Ministry department at the annual Ministerial Banquet on April 11, 2016. Over 50 guests were in attendance for dinner, worship lead by the Intercultural Department, and an awards ceremony. Various students were scholarship recipients, thanks to multiple generous donors. In addition, top students were nominated for titles such as Ministry Student of the Year, as well as up and coming Ministry Student of the year (for underclassmen).
Ohio Christian University took an evening to honor students and faculty in the Ministry department at the annual Ministerial Banquet on April 11, 2016. Over 50 guests were in attendance for dinner, worship lead by the Intercultural Department, and an awards ceremony. Various students were scholarship recipients, thanks to multiple generous donors. In addition, top students were nominated for
Ohio Christian University took an evening to honor students and faculty in the Ministry department at the annual Ministerial Banquet on April 11, 2016. Over 50 guests were in attendance for dinner
Students Participate in Poverty Simulation  image

Students Participate in Poverty Simulation

Students Participate in Poverty Simulation  image

Published: April 7, 2016

The Ohio Christian University’s Intercultural Department was pleased to have VISTA (Volunteers In Service to America) facilitate The Poverty Simulation on last month. The Poverty Simulation is intended to be an “immersive experience that helps participants increase their knowledge and understanding of the dynamics of poverty.” According to their website, “The Poverty Simulation is a unique, enlightening experience that helps individuals begin to understand what life is like with a shortage of money and an abundance of stress. It moves people to think about the harsh realities of
The Ohio Christian University’s Intercultural Department was pleased to have VISTA (Volunteers In Service to America) facilitate The Poverty Simulation on last month. The Poverty Simulation is intended to be an “immersive experience that helps participants increase their knowledge and understanding of the dynamics of poverty.” According to their website, “The Poverty Simulation is a unique
The Ohio Christian University’s Intercultural Department was pleased to have VISTA (Volunteers In Service to America) facilitate The Poverty Simulation on last month. The Poverty Simulation is
OCU Welcomes WGM Coordinator to Campus image

OCU Welcomes WGM Coordinator to Campus

OCU Welcomes WGM Coordinator to Campus image

Published: March 25, 2016

Ohio Christian University’s Global Café was pleased to welcome Dr. Joy Phillips as a guest speaker on February 25, 2016, as she shared her passion for reaching out to those in Kenya and South Sudan. Phillips currently serves as World Gospel Mission’s Coordinator of Compassionate Ministries.Having worked with WGM for almost 30 years, Phillips explained how her perception of the mission field changed over time. While in college, she prayed, “God, I will do whatever you want me to do – but please don’t send me to Africa!” Obviously, her life took an unexpected turn when she felt the call
Ohio Christian University’s Global Café was pleased to welcome Dr. Joy Phillips as a guest speaker on February 25, 2016, as she shared her passion for reaching out to those in Kenya and South Sudan. Phillips currently serves as World Gospel Mission’s Coordinator of Compassionate Ministries.Having worked with WGM for almost 30 years, Phillips explained how her perception of the mission field
Ohio Christian University’s Global Café was pleased to welcome Dr. Joy Phillips as a guest speaker on February 25, 2016, as she shared her passion for reaching out to those in Kenya and South Sudan
OCU Welcomed Siran Stacy to Campus image

OCU Welcomed Siran Stacy to Campus

OCU Welcomed Siran Stacy to Campus image

Published: March 22, 2016

Ohio Christian University was pleased to have former University of Alabama football star Siran Stacy as a guest speaker on Tuesday, March 15. Siran delivered a message in chapel services, urging students to make changes to their lifestyles in accordance with scripture. “God wants me to tell you: put your life in order!” Siran said; he went on to describe inconsistencies among the recent generation. He suggested that some students may be struggling with living orderly lives for Christ. “Some of you are masquerading as Godly people on weekdays, while acting like sinners on the weekends
Ohio Christian University was pleased to have former University of Alabama football star Siran Stacy as a guest speaker on Tuesday, March 15. Siran delivered a message in chapel services, urging students to make changes to their lifestyles in accordance with scripture. “God wants me to tell you: put your life in order!” Siran said; he went on to describe inconsistencies among the recent
Ohio Christian University was pleased to have former University of Alabama football star Siran Stacy as a guest speaker on Tuesday, March 15. Siran delivered a message in chapel services, urging