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

Dr. Walter Kaiser, Jr. Speaks at OCU Event image

Dr. Walter Kaiser, Jr. Speaks at OCU Event

Dr. Walter Kaiser, Jr. Speaks at OCU Event image

Published: August 26, 2015

Dr. Walter Kaiser, Jr. Speaks at OCU Dr. Walter Kaiser, world-renowned Old Testament scholar, was the guest lecturer at Ohio Christian University’s Religion Faculty Retreat that took place August 18, 2015, in the Maxwell Library. Dr. Kaiser shared his view on how a Christian university functions in tandem with the Gospel saying, “I’ve endorsed the concept of a Christian university because I’ve been all my life in education, and I sense that that’s a great mission to put the whole concept of Christianity [into practice.] Yet, it focuses in on a “uni”-versity — a one song —so
Dr. Walter Kaiser, Jr. Speaks at OCU Dr. Walter Kaiser, world-renowned Old Testament scholar, was the guest lecturer at Ohio Christian University’s Religion Faculty Retreat that took place August 18, 2015, in the Maxwell Library. Dr. Kaiser shared his view on how a Christian university functions in tandem with the Gospel saying, “I’ve endorsed the concept of a Christian university
Dr. Walter Kaiser, Jr. Speaks at OCU Dr. Walter Kaiser, world-renowned Old Testament scholar, was the guest lecturer at Ohio Christian University’s Religion Faculty Retreat that took place
More Than a Job image

More Than a Job

More Than a Job image

Published: July 9, 2015

With the economic state of the United States as is, it would be an understatement to say that a majority of the populace is intently focused on securing employment. As an adult, it is a crucial part of being responsible. However, in adapting to the daily routine of work and family, we can often get trapped in an obligatory mindset, only thinking of our job as a means to an end.Marilyn McFarlin, a full-time foster parent and babysitter from Pennsylvania, had initially begun her career with this mindset. She loved serving young kids and found it fulfilling; however, she recognized the
With the economic state of the United States as is, it would be an understatement to say that a majority of the populace is intently focused on securing employment. As an adult, it is a crucial part of being responsible. However, in adapting to the daily routine of work and family, we can often get trapped in an obligatory mindset, only thinking of our job as a means to an end.Marilyn
With the economic state of the United States as is, it would be an understatement to say that a majority of the populace is intently focused on securing employment. As an adult, it is a crucial
Not Done Yet: Continuing the Lord’s work in Papua New Guinea image

Not Done Yet: Continuing the Lord’s work in Papua New Guinea

Not Done Yet: Continuing the Lord’s work in Papua New Guinea image

Published: June 29, 2015

A Google search of  “Papua New Guinea” brings up countless images of indigenous people in in traditional dress; articles about cannibalism, sorcery, and sexism; and an undeniable sense of other, foreign, and different. Mountainous, fertile, forested, landscapes dotted with villages highlight how vastly different this island nation is from its more industrial counterparts. According to Dr. David Lattimer, PNG is “the kind of place that if you ever visit, you won’t ever forget.”It would be easy to abandon such an isolated nation to its own devices, allow it to continue down a path of
A Google search of  “Papua New Guinea” brings up countless images of indigenous people in in traditional dress; articles about cannibalism, sorcery, and sexism; and an undeniable sense of other, foreign, and different. Mountainous, fertile, forested, landscapes dotted with villages highlight how vastly different this island nation is from its more industrial counterparts. According to Dr.
A Google search of  “Papua New Guinea” brings up countless images of indigenous people in in traditional dress; articles about cannibalism, sorcery, and sexism; and an undeniable sense of other,
OCU Teacher Education Student With a Passion for Missions image

OCU Teacher Education Student With a Passion for Missions

OCU Teacher Education Student With a Passion for Missions image

Published: May 14, 2015

Ohio Christian University Sophomore and Early Childhood Education major Allyson Jones has grown up being involved in ministry.  Her family has always served together, whether in pastoring or missions work.  Her dad is the President of GO International giving her the chance to travel to Mexico, Colombia, Guatemala, the Dominican Republic and Trinidad.  This year she will be returning to Trinidad with a team of OCU Students over Spring Break and will be going to Costa Rica in May.   “I absolutely love what our family does,” said Allyson. “I get to meet so many amazing people through
Ohio Christian University Sophomore and Early Childhood Education major Allyson Jones has grown up being involved in ministry.  Her family has always served together, whether in pastoring or missions work.  Her dad is the President of GO International giving her the chance to travel to Mexico, Colombia, Guatemala, the Dominican Republic and Trinidad.  This year she will be returning to
Ohio Christian University Sophomore and Early Childhood Education major Allyson Jones has grown up being involved in ministry.  Her family has always served together, whether in pastoring or
Biblical Marriage is Beautiful image

Biblical Marriage is Beautiful

Biblical Marriage is Beautiful image

Published: April 28, 2015

I stand for traditional marriage (one man and one woman for life). I love marriage with my beautiful wife of 28 years and my two sons from the United States and Guatemala. What a privilege to enjoy this God-designed institution called marriage. The traditional family unit has made America great and brings so much peace to my life. As the debate on marriage rages, many elected officials on both sides of the aisle render comments in support of or opposition to the definition of marriage, with some sending news-breaking statements while both political pundits and peasant commoners discuss
I stand for traditional marriage (one man and one woman for life). I love marriage with my beautiful wife of 28 years and my two sons from the United States and Guatemala. What a privilege to enjoy this God-designed institution called marriage. The traditional family unit has made America great and brings so much peace to my life. As the debate on marriage rages, many elected officials on
I stand for traditional marriage (one man and one woman for life). I love marriage with my beautiful wife of 28 years and my two sons from the United States and Guatemala. What a privilege to enjoy