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Grace and peace from Palo Alto!

In what has become his classic work, The Reason for God, Tim Keller offers a compelling picture of the nature of faith: “It is not the strength of your faith but the object of your faith that actually saves you. Strong faith in a weak branch is fatally inferior to weak faith in a strong branch.”

Warm greetings from Palo Alto!

“You are what you love.” Or so claims Christian philosopher James K. A. Smith (in his book by that title), which we recently considered together as a community.

I don’t mean you are the things that you love, but you are the sum of your loves—your actions of loving and desiring. You are not primarily a “thinking thing” (a res cogitans, in the language of Decartes), but a loving and desiring thing. Our thinking is no doubt crucial to who we are, but it is subservient to our loving. Our thoughts are means to the end of—and culminate in—our loving.

Greetings from Palo Alto!

I was recently rereading a book chapter that God used to get me through a very tough semester when I was a freshman in college. In the last chapter of The Normal Christian Life, Watchman Nee reflects on the story in the Gospels (only a few days before Jesus dies on the cross) when Mary comes to a dinner uninvited, breaks an alabaster jar of ointment—worth a staggering amount—and anoints Jesus with the jar’s entire contents (Mark 14:3–9). Even the disciples were indignant and cried out, “Why this waste!” Judas’s voice may have been the loudest among the disciples (John 12:4–6), but he was not alone (Matt 26:8–9). Nee remarks, “Human reasoning said this was really too much; it was giving the Lord more than His due.”

Nothing is yet in its true form.
            C. S. Lewis, Till We Have Faces

This short, but loaded statement from Lewis’ reimagining of the Cupid and Psyche myth contains a good measure of hope, but also a fair amount of challenge. We are creatures in process, striving toward Christlikeness, often stumbling along the way. As our students endure the midpoint of the winter quarter (and the school year!), they have a keen sense that their lives are yet not in a true and final form. God has begun a good work in many lives on this campus, and He will carry it to completion through His Son. 

Happy New Year from Palo Alto!

This December we and our students have been reading a new Advent devotional—Come Let Us Adore Him, by Paul Tripp—which we gave out at our Christmas party at the beginning of the month.

Hello from Palo Alto!

We have arrived at the middle of the fall quarter for Stanford, and it has been an incredible first several weeks! Our Freshman Welcome fall kickoff resulted in connecting with a great group of freshman men and women who are exploring God and growing in their faith through the ministries of Christian Union Caritas -- Christian Union's ministry to students at Stanford.

Greetings from Palo Alto!

The incoming freshman class just arrived at Stanford on September 19th! Christian students across campus are pulling out all the stops to welcome these freshmen to Stanford and to the various Christian groups on campus. For many of these freshman, they will either get plugged into Christian community during the first few weeks of college, or they won’t at all during their four years here. These weeks are a pivotal time in their lives!

Summer greetings from the Bay Area!

The students and team in Palo Alto are in the middle of our summer rhythms, enjoying a slightly different pace and landscape. While this is a great time to refresh, we also expect God to continue His work in the lives of our students while they are away from the demands of school.

Greetings from Palo Alto!

Summer starts late for Stanford students, but it is finally here. Our pace of life will be a bit different between now and September 19 when the incoming freshman arrive on campus. Please pray that the intervening months are refreshing and productive for us!

Dear Friends and Family,

As the rhythms of studying and assignments crescendo at the end of the Spring Quarter, our students face the reality that freshmen year has been not just new friends and fun experiences—it’s also a lot of hard work! Through this, we are grateful for the incredible start the Lord has given us this inaugural year with Christian Union Caritas -- Christian Union's ministry to students at Stanford. Our original freshmen guys’ Bible Course is thriving and connecting deeper with one another and with God. Also this quarter, we have launched a women’s Bible Course led by Garrett’s wife, Susan.