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

OCU Welcomed Robert Spencer and Samuel Whitfield to Campus image

OCU Welcomed Robert Spencer and Samuel Whitfield to Campus

OCU Welcomed Robert Spencer and Samuel Whitfield to Campus image

Published: March 18, 2016

Ohio Christian University was pleased to welcome both Robert Spencer and Samuel Whitfield as guest speakers on Thursday, March 17, 2016. They agreed to answer questions facilitated by Dr. Garrison, and later responded to questions from the audience. The speakers tackled a relevant question: Is Islam a religion of peace Robert Spencer spoke first, citing the main issue with Western culture as the inability to deal with Islam openly and honestly. “America is stigmatized against honest discussion…” he said, sharing a story about a media store employee who was hesitant to turn in a video
Ohio Christian University was pleased to welcome both Robert Spencer and Samuel Whitfield as guest speakers on Thursday, March 17, 2016. They agreed to answer questions facilitated by Dr. Garrison, and later responded to questions from the audience. The speakers tackled a relevant question: Is Islam a religion of peace Robert Spencer spoke first, citing the main issue with Western culture
Ohio Christian University was pleased to welcome both Robert Spencer and Samuel Whitfield as guest speakers on Thursday, March 17, 2016. They agreed to answer questions facilitated by Dr. Garrison
Don’t Hold Back - Missions Chapel 2016  image

Don’t Hold Back - Missions Chapel 2016

Don’t Hold Back - Missions Chapel 2016  image

Published: February 3, 2016

Ohio Christian University’s Religion Department was pleased to host Carolyn Knight for the first Missions Chapel of 2016. In addition to Carolyn’s 10 years as a pioneer evangelist and church planter in East Africa, she served stateside as a college professor in Missions and Counseling. During her time of teaching, she felt the leading of God to be involved in making a difference in the arena of sexual exploitation and currently directs the ministry Light In Darkness — an anti-human trafficking, strip club ministry focused on witnessing to women trapped in that lifestyle. Carolyn’s
Ohio Christian University’s Religion Department was pleased to host Carolyn Knight for the first Missions Chapel of 2016. In addition to Carolyn’s 10 years as a pioneer evangelist and church planter in East Africa, she served stateside as a college professor in Missions and Counseling. During her time of teaching, she felt the leading of God to be involved in making a difference in the
Ohio Christian University’s Religion Department was pleased to host Carolyn Knight for the first Missions Chapel of 2016. In addition to Carolyn’s 10 years as a pioneer evangelist and church
Hundreds of Students Renew Faith Commitment at Spring Revival  image

Hundreds of Students Renew Faith Commitment at Spring Revival

Hundreds of Students Renew Faith Commitment at Spring Revival  image

Published: January 29, 2016

Ohio Christian University students, faculty, and staff gathered for the beginning of spring semester by starting off the new year with three days of spiritual challenge and growth. OCU was honored to have Dr. Jim Lo—current Indiana Wesleyan University professor, former IWU Dean of Chapel, and missionary—speak words of wisdom about seeking, prayer, and forgiveness. Hundreds of students made or renewed their commitments to the Lord throughout the services.  We are truly privileged to have had such an outstanding response and revival on our campus and among our students. and was
Ohio Christian University students, faculty, and staff gathered for the beginning of spring semester by starting off the new year with three days of spiritual challenge and growth. OCU was honored to have Dr. Jim Lo—current Indiana Wesleyan University professor, former IWU Dean of Chapel, and missionary—speak words of wisdom about seeking, prayer, and forgiveness. Hundreds of students
Ohio Christian University students, faculty, and staff gathered for the beginning of spring semester by starting off the new year with three days of spiritual challenge and growth. OCU was
Ohio Christian Online Ministry Degree Ranked in Nation’s Top 20

Ohio Christian Online Ministry Degree Ranked in Nation’s Top 20

Ohio Christian Online Ministry Degree Ranked in Nation’s Top 20

Published: January 14, 2016

Ohio Christian University’s Adult and Graduate Studies online Ministry degree ranked in the nation’s top 20, according to OnlineSchoolsCenter.com — an online, higher education resource. Students in Ohio Christian University’s online Bachelor of Leadership and Ministry program have many opportunities to direct the flow of their education through a concentration that is most suitable to their needs, and to work closely with a diverse group of peers and professors. Students have many baccalaureate program options: Biblical Studies, Church Planting, Organizational Leadership,
Ohio Christian University’s Adult and Graduate Studies online Ministry degree ranked in the nation’s top 20, according to OnlineSchoolsCenter.com — an online, higher education resource. Students in Ohio Christian University’s online Bachelor of Leadership and Ministry program have many opportunities to direct the flow of their education through a concentration that is most suitable to
Ohio Christian University’s Adult and Graduate Studies online Ministry degree ranked in the nation’s top 20, according to OnlineSchoolsCenter.com — an online, higher education resource.
University Recognized as a Top 20 Online Bachelor's of Ministry Degree Program image

University Recognized as a Top 20 Online Bachelor's of Ministry Degree Program

University Recognized as a Top 20 Online Bachelor's of Ministry Degree Program image

Published: November 18, 2019

Press Release from OnlineSchoolsCenter.com: Ohio Christian University has been named a Top 20 Online Bachelor's of Ministry Degree recipient for 2019.  Students in Ohio Christian University’s online Bachelor of Leadership and Ministry program have many opportunities to direct the flow of their education through a concentration that is most suitable to their needs, and to work closely with a diverse group of peers and professors. For those interested in earning the Master’s degree, OCU also offers an impressive Master of Arts in Ministry program, with its own concentration options, to
Press Release from OnlineSchoolsCenter.com: Ohio Christian University has been named a Top 20 Online Bachelor's of Ministry Degree recipient for 2019.  Students in Ohio Christian University’s online Bachelor of Leadership and Ministry program have many opportunities to direct the flow of their education through a concentration that is most suitable to their needs, and to work closely with a
Press Release from OnlineSchoolsCenter.com: Ohio Christian University has been named a Top 20 Online Bachelor's of Ministry Degree recipient for 2019.  Students in Ohio Christian University’s