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

Religion Dept. Event Connects Students and Faculty   image

Religion Dept. Event Connects Students and Faculty

Religion Dept. Event Connects Students and Faculty   image

Published: December 14, 2015

Every fall, faculty and students from the Ohio Christian University Religion Department come together for Christian Ministry Connect (CM Connect). The interaction between the professors and students foster fellowship, encourage discipleship and provide an opportunity for everyone to catch the vision of ministering the grace of God through the good news of the gospel to a world broken by sin. This annual event provides the opportunity for ministry students to acquaint themselves with the different majors and activities offered by the department and to connect with professors and
Every fall, faculty and students from the Ohio Christian University Religion Department come together for Christian Ministry Connect (CM Connect). The interaction between the professors and students foster fellowship, encourage discipleship and provide an opportunity for everyone to catch the vision of ministering the grace of God through the good news of the gospel to a world broken by sin
Every fall, faculty and students from the Ohio Christian University Religion Department come together for Christian Ministry Connect (CM Connect). The interaction between the professors and
OCU Hosts Mission Emphasis Week 2015 image

OCU Hosts Mission Emphasis Week 2015

OCU Hosts Mission Emphasis Week 2015 image

Published: November 24, 2015

The Ohio Christian University’s Religion Department, in partnership with World Gospel Mission, hosts an annual missions conference during a week focused on global missions, called Missions Emphasis Week. Professor Jamey Gremillion (OCU’s Intercultural Ministries Program Director), Andrea Williamson (WGM’s Student Involvement Director), and Dr. David Lattimer (Missions Superintendent for the Churches of Christ in Christian Union) worked tirelessly to expand the global perspective of our students and to challenge them to be a part of the Great Commission call of the church. God used
The Ohio Christian University’s Religion Department, in partnership with World Gospel Mission, hosts an annual missions conference during a week focused on global missions, called Missions Emphasis Week. Professor Jamey Gremillion (OCU’s Intercultural Ministries Program Director), Andrea Williamson (WGM’s Student Involvement Director), and Dr. David Lattimer (Missions Superintendent for the
The Ohio Christian University’s Religion Department, in partnership with World Gospel Mission, hosts an annual missions conference during a week focused on global missions, called Missions Emphasis
OCU Launches Toler Leadership Institute  image

OCU Launches Toler Leadership Institute

OCU Launches Toler Leadership Institute  image

Published: November 23, 2015

Today, Ohio Christian University is pleased to announce the launch of the Stan Toler Leadership Institute— the flagship project of Toler Leadership in partnership with Ohio Christian University. Rev. David Dean will lead the institute as the Church Relations Director, adding a new resource tailored to developing leaders. Through the Toler Leadership Institute, Dean and Toler will work to strengthen the tie between Ohio Christian, the local church, and OCU students. The launch will consist of lunch, a meet and greet with Stan Toler, and conclude with a lecture, Intentional
Today, Ohio Christian University is pleased to announce the launch of the Stan Toler Leadership Institute— the flagship project of Toler Leadership in partnership with Ohio Christian University. Rev. David Dean will lead the institute as the Church Relations Director, adding a new resource tailored to developing leaders. Through the Toler Leadership Institute, Dean and Toler will work to
Today, Ohio Christian University is pleased to announce the launch of the Stan Toler Leadership Institute— the flagship project of Toler Leadership in partnership with Ohio Christian University
OCU Prepares Church and Community Leaders image

OCU Prepares Church and Community Leaders

OCU Prepares Church and Community Leaders image

Published: November 4, 2015

Ohio Christian University is a blessed community of leaders who are impacting the world. How does OCU and the church impact society today? The answer to this complex question is not man-made yet involves all of us! For the church to impact society, there must be a powerful visitation of the Holy Spirit, which radically changes men and women’s hearts toward God. From the prophet Isaiah to Saul on the road to Damascus, the Lord uses transformative experiences to inspire spiritual leaders. These leaders challenge entire generations to action. In Isaiah 6, Isaiah experienced a
Ohio Christian University is a blessed community of leaders who are impacting the world. How does OCU and the church impact society today? The answer to this complex question is not man-made yet involves all of us! For the church to impact society, there must be a powerful visitation of the Holy Spirit, which radically changes men and women’s hearts toward God. From the prophet Isaiah to
Ohio Christian University is a blessed community of leaders who are impacting the world. How does OCU and the church impact society today? The answer to this complex question is not man-made yet
More than 700 OCU Students Pay It Forward image

More than 700 OCU Students Pay It Forward

More than 700 OCU Students Pay It Forward image

Published: October 15, 2015

More than 700 Ohio Christian University students paid it forward by serving the local church and community last week during OCU’s annual Church Service Day. Student teams assisted with landscaping, painting, cleaning, organizing, and general maintenance projects at 44 locations in Pickaway County and the surrounding areas including the Ted Lewis Museum, the Pickaway County Welcome Center, Crossroads Church, First Baptist Church, and Heritage Nazarene Church.  At Ohio Christian University, we make paying it forward to the community a priority. The local church and community has been
More than 700 Ohio Christian University students paid it forward by serving the local church and community last week during OCU’s annual Church Service Day. Student teams assisted with landscaping, painting, cleaning, organizing, and general maintenance projects at 44 locations in Pickaway County and the surrounding areas including the Ted Lewis Museum, the Pickaway County Welcome Center,
More than 700 Ohio Christian University students paid it forward by serving the local church and community last week during OCU’s annual Church Service Day. Student teams assisted with landscaping