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Seeking God


January 22, 2024

The Compassionate Plea of God

"Jesus Christ, Prince of Peace for All Nations" CU National Fast 2024 Devotional 

By grace ann arvey, director of christian union america

"'Say to them, As I live,' declares the Lord God, 'I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live; turn back, turn back from your evil ways, for why will you die, O house of Israel?'" – Ezekiel 33:11

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January 15, 2024

An Utterly Amazing Gift

Praying Before Reading Scripture 

By Julie Weber (2016), Updated & revised by erin conner (2024) 

The intake of Scripture and the practice of prayer are both spiritual disciplines Christians are called to engage in daily and diligently. Should we ever combine the two and pray about our Bible reading?

 Writer Kristen Wetherell, in "Unlocking the Bible," suggests that we can and should pray before we begin our study of the Bible.

She writes, "Reading the Bible before praying is like putting the cart before the horse. The proverbial horse is the Holy Spirit of God, who empowers and enlightens our Bible reading as we mine the depths of his Word. The proverbial cart makes up our willing eyes and hungry hearts, the Spirit-led choice to crack open our Bibles and pursue his everlasting truth. The cart must be pulled by the horse; our efforts to read must be motivated and helped by God’s grace and power. Christians come to God’s Word willing and hungry because he first made us willing and hungry to receive—but only he can enable us to receive. This is why we ask for help before we start reading." 

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January 11, 2024

A Princetonian Call to Action

Alumni Spotlight: Kenneth Jasko, '78, Chair of CU Nova Alumni Board

By Erin Conner 

On Sunday, January 21, at 5 pm EST, the Christian Union Nova Alumni Board is leading their quarterly virtual meeting for alumni and friends of the ministry via Zoom. Campus updates and student testimonies will be shared to take a closer look at how God is working at Princeton through Christian Union Nova's student leadership ministry.  

The CU Nova Board is a team of Princeton Christian alumni who desire to see the Gospel of Christ shine brightly at Princeton University and who seek sweeping spiritual transformation for its students, staff, and faculty. Kenneth Jasko, '78, Mike Vincent, '10, Vince Naman, '82, Edward (Ted) Duffield, '58,  Tiffany Agyarko, '23, and Betsy Salazar, '10, currently serve on the Board and are committed to furthering the development of programs focused on alumni, as well as furthering the following objectives: advancing God's work at Princeton University, transitioning graduates well, and developing Christian leaders to influence our nation for God's glory, helping to bring revival.

Ken Jasko, the Board's Chair, invites all interested Princeton alumni to join this movement.  

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January 9, 2024

Walking in His Marvelous Light

Columbia Students Emboldened for Christ

By erin conner, writer and communications associate

Craig Holliday and Viviana Hinojosa, the Ministry Director and the Women's Ministry Fellow at Christian Union Lumine, loaded up a bus full of 33 Columbia University students and took them on a trip an hour north of New York City to the Warwick Conference Center for their '23 fall conference. This incredible time of fellowship, worship, Scripture reading, and prayer was built around the theme "Marvelous Light," based on 1 Peter 2:9: “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light” (ESV). 

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January 5, 2024

Pray for Peace

"Jesus Christ, Prince of Peace for All Nations" CU National Fast 2024 Devotional 

By matt bennett, founder and president of christian union 

"First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth." -1 Timothy 2:1-4

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January 2, 2024

The Beauty of Being in the Body of Christ

A Note of Gratitude from One Student Leader at Yale

By yoska guta, '25, christian union lux 

For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function so in Christ, we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. -Romans 12: 4-6 (NIV)

The last two years that I’ve spent with Christian Union (CU) Lux at Yale have been a blessing to me. Through this Christian community, I’ve not only grown in my personal walk with God, but I’ve also seen and experienced what it truly means to be in the Body of Christ. I’m tremendously grateful for and blessed by the way God has brought this group of people together and shaped each of us to form one body, each member belonging to all the others for the benefit of each other and for the glory of God. 

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January 1, 2024

Obedience Begets Joy

Christian Union America Devotional 

By michael Racine, writer and ministry fellow at christian union lux at yale 

People have a lot of different theories about when and how the various books of the Bible came into being. Nonbelievers especially may prefer to distance the written record from actual eyewitnesses to the events depicted—questioning authorship and positing late dates of composition—because, naturally, it is easier to sidestep the demands the Bible places on us if we can be persuaded that it is an unreliable witness. As the serpent proved in the garden of Eden, it’s a short and easy route from Did God really say…? to dismissing God’s words outright (Gen 3:1–6).

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December 27, 2023

Joy and Sorrow

Following the Word, Not the World in the New Year

By Erin Conner


Joy and suffering can coexist. The Apostle Paul's example, along with many other godly leaders in Scripture, illuminates that when one surrenders a worldly mindset for a godly one, he or she can indeed experience the joy of the Lord, even in the midst of sorrow. This life-giving principle is a timely one to recall during the holidays, when a palpable expectation exists for everything to be abundantly joyous and when many people are carrying a heavy sorrow in their hearts. "When Your Heart Goes Dark," a recent article in Desiring God written by Greg Morse, powerfully explores how a Christian can have hope and joy in suffering. The antidote is to fix one's thoughts on God, for it is the thought-life of man that dictates the state of our soul. 

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December 15, 2023

A Christmas Message and Invite

Christian Union America 2023

By chuck hetzler, phd, vice president of biblical theology

"And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, 'Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!'” –Luke 2:13-14

Can you imagine the shock and amazement the shepherds must have felt when, out of nowhere, a throng of mighty angels appeared, filling the night’s sky with God’s praise? What a glorious spectacle that must have been when Jesus’ coming was announced! 

Think about His second coming! Heaven will once again break into earth. Without warning, the Lord Jesus will visit humanity once again, but this time in the fullness of His majestic splendor! 

On this Christmas at CU America, we pray that you and yours will be those who have "loved His appearing” and are “hastening the coming of the day of God” in lives of holiness and godliness (2 Timothy 4:8; 2 Peter 3:11-12). 

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December 14, 2023

A Plentiful Harvest

Stanford Student-Leaders Labor in Love

By annalisa lim, '24, vice-president of christian union caritas 

And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore, pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest. -Matthew 9:35-38  

In the Santa Cruz mountains of California, six Christian Union Caritas leaders gathered in preparation for the freshman campaign. We delved into the book of Matthew, using the ministry of Jesus to guide our own in the upcoming fall quarter. I recall coming across the words, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few,” and Susan, one of our ministry fellows, highlighting the significance of this passage: it is a promise that God could use us six students to gather the harvest on a campus yearning for Christ. It was also a prayer for more laborers; after all, Christ had radically transformed lives through the faithfulness of His twelve apostles. 

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December 12, 2023

It Is Not About You

Devotional on Being a Godly Vessel

By justin yim, ministry director, cu gloria law at harvard law 

"So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” – Romans 10:17 

One of the greatest joys of being a pastor was (and continues to be) coaching and mentoring young pastors-in-training. I’ve had the privilege of mentoring a good number of seminary students who were cutting their teeth into local church ministry. And in the process of our mentoring relationship – just as Jesus did it with His disciples by sending them out two-by-two – there came a point when I asked for him to preach their first sermon to the congregation. Inevitably, in the week before that Sunday, in a moment of existential panicking whether the sermon was good enough, I would have the same conversation that was given to me when I was a young seminarian: “It’s not about you.”

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December 4, 2023

A Story of Character and Influence

Student Spotlight: Caroline Parente, '24, Brown University 

By Erin Conner 

Strength and honor are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come. She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness… she eateth not the bread of idleness… favor is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised.- Proverbs 31: 25-30

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November 29, 2023

For Such a Time as This

A Devotional to Prepare Our Hearts for a New Year

By Dr. Marcus Buckley, Ministry Director at Christian Union Vita at Cornell

"And they told Mordecai what Esther had said. Then Mordecai told them to reply to Esther, “Do not think to yourself that in the king’s palace you will escape any more than all the other Jews. For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” Then Esther told them to reply to Mordecai, “Go, gather all the Jews to be found in Susa, and hold a fast on my behalf, and do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my young women will also fast as you do. Then I will go to the king, though it is against the law, and if I perish, I perish.”  Mordecai then went away and did everything as Esther had ordered him." -Esther 4:12-17

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November 27, 2023

Seek the Prince of Peace

Join Our 21-Day Fast 

By chuck hetzler, PhD, vice president of biblical theology 

 
Is Israel’s current war a sign of the end times? How should we, as Christians, think about the war? What can and should we do?

 

Christian Union is calling all American Christians to start the year with a 21-day fast, Tuesday, January 2, through Monday, January 22, 2024, to humble ourselves and seek God in light of the current events in the Middle East.

 

The upcoming CU National Fast is titled "Jesus Christ, Prince of Peace for All Nations." Christian Union faculty and staff will write devotionals based on Scripture, which will be sent to all signed-up participants by email each day of the fast. 

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November 19, 2023

Repent, for the Kingdom of God is Near

A Closer Look at Jesus' Call to Repentance

By Erin Conner 

Repentance is a beautiful word. It is the name of the road that leads out of darkness. It is the name of the road that leads to life. It is a Biblical concept that, depending on the type of church we grew up in or currently attend, may seem harsh, foreign, or antiquated. As a true follower of God, deep and ongoing repentance, the act of turning away from sin to wholeheartedly following the Lord, is a life-giving spiritual discipline. 

 

From a deep immersion into Scripture, we find that God never intended for repentance to be a spiritual discipline of the past. God never intended for his people to ignore His commands. In fact, Christ said, “If you love me, keep my commandments.” (John 14:15) He never intended His people to be “of the world,” obeying the world’s “commands” while neglecting His. (Romans 12:2) We find God never intended self-worship (or any other form of idolatry) to co-exist with the worship of God. From a deep immersion into Scripture, we also find that God never intended for people to go through the motions of repentance without a contrite heart.  

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November 10, 2023

A Community of Light and Truth at Yale

CU Lux Men Unite During October Recess

By Demilade Omolade, Class of 2026

October recess is a breath of relief for all Yale undergraduate students. Held halfway through the fall semester, it serves as a temporary solace from the constant demands of classes and an opportunity to enjoy a slower pace of life.

While some students traveled out of Yale, the men of Christian Union Lux who remained in New Haven enthusiastically anticipated the lock-in they would have at their ministry center, the James W.C. Pennington Center, lovingly referred to as "the Mouse." The instructions were simple: "Get to the Mouse at 4 pm sharp; we’ll be leaving for our mystery location at 4:10 pm."

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November 2, 2023

They Will Know Us by Our Love

College Students Struggle as Israel-Hamas War Continues

By erin conner

 

"By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another." -John 13:35

Many of our nation’s colleges and universities have been in a state of turmoil since the October 7 attacks against Israel. Christianity Today’s recent article by Emily Belz, “As Campus Threats Rise, College Ministries Look for Ways to Help,” takes a closer look at how Christian Union and other ministries are responding. 

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October 31, 2023

Space to Pray and Grow in the Lord

2023 Reopening of CU Vox's Ministry Office at Dartmouth

By Erin Conner

Tim Pillsbury, previously a local Associate Pastor with deep family roots at Dartmouth, started his new position as Ministry Director at CU Vox this spring. He had one task in mind: to create a space at Dartmouth to equip students to wholeheartedly seek God.

As Pillsbury began to prepare for CU Vox’s open house event on March 30, 2023, which was held a few days after the start of Dartmouth’s ten-week spring term, he decided the storage closet in the ministry center was not an effective use of space. “It seemed like such a waste to have this room devoted to storage when what students need is prayer,” he said. So, Pillsbury converted an empty storage closet into a vibrant prayer room filled with Bibles, books, instruments, and the elements of Communion.



During the open house, when students toured the rooms of the ministry office, they expressed the most excitement about having access to a space devoted for prayer. Francisca Fadairo, ‘25, decided that she and her friends would consistently use this room during the spring term, and they have.  “CU Vox has provided us with a space to pray for campus. We come here together to pray for a revival–  for people’s hearts to return to God,” Fadairo stated. 

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October 27, 2023

The Power of a Seeking God Lifestyle

Highlight: CU America member, Erika Lamara Garrett, LMFT  

By Erin Conner

 
“It was the fall that saved my life,” Erika Lamara Garrett explained. In January of 2020, at the age of 33, Garrett fell. The injuries she sustained from this fall confined her to a bed and made her dependent on others to perform basic daily activities. Despite the desperation of her circumstances while on bed rest, she sensed the Lord telling her, “Erika- you will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.” 

 

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October 25, 2023

Stand Firm

By Rev. Jeffrey Walsh
Ministry Director, Christian Union Lux at Yale University
 

Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand Firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God... – Ephesians 6:13-17

"Sergeant, I forgot my rifle in my room," one team leader radioed as we drove out of the front gate of our Iraqi-based compound in March 2004. Our mission: to carry out a covert assignment with a clandestine operations team from the National Security Agency. I was surprised when our team leader realized he had forgotten his rifle. We always ensured we had all the required equipment before starting any mission. However, I suggested that he find a solution, and we continued our journey without returning. This decision would be one of my life's worst decisions. Roughly three hours later, we would meet the enemy, and two people would die due to not bearing the most essential weapon in the arsenal.  

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