As the dust begins to settle after Spiritual Emphasis Week (SEW) and life resumes as usual, it is easy for people to begin to forget how God revealed himself during the event. The key is to take time to apply the messages that were presented. During Adrian Despres’ last talk of the week he encouraged students to implement what they learned into their lives. On Monday night sophomore Tammy Kreis said, “He spoke from the viewpoint of one of the thieves crucified with Christ. He told it with a lot of passion and vividness and it was a completely new way to think of the crucifixion story. I'm not sure why, but I think that's something that is going to stick with me.” Junior Baysia Cox said the “four chairs” message given on Tuesday morning required her to take a deep reflection of her life. “At first I thought it was silly to compare my faith with a chair but it just made so much sense after it was all over,” she said. “It made me make even more changes in my life to bring others into Christ.” Freshman Luke Eichorn was also challenged by the chair message. “I learned that the church as a whole seems to be getting more and more self-focused,” said Eichorn. “God showed me that I have not been spending enough alone time with him the past few weeks.” On Tuesday night Despres gave a talk about how people should really celebrate Jesus’ birthday. To summarize it, he said that Jesus has given so much that it should compel every individual to give up something as well—a relationship, a sin, a past experience, etc. Junior Meredith Martin was impact by that particular message. “It was a great challenge to give the things I try to control up to Jesus,” she said. Freshman Ali Carstens said she learned how important it is to have her life revolve around God. “I realized how much more I need to trust in God and make everything I do and think pleasing and honoring to him,” she said. “God revealed Himself to me this week through Adrian. I was able to connect with his messages so well and God just showed me there is so much more I have to live for. God showed me the importance of living for Him and living my faith out loud.” On Wednesday night Despres emphasized the importance of not letting this week just be a “spiritual high” because zeal without knowledge isn’t good for a person. He encouraged students and staff to implement certain tools to help them grow in their relationship with Christ. He emphasized getting into the Word and memorizing Scripture, having an accountability partner, and finding new ways to remember to pray. Martin, Eichorn and Carstens were challenged by the enlightenment of how important and powerful prayer is. “The tips of praying every time there is a siren, putting names on shoes or glasses, or hanging something in your rear-view mirror is a great way to work on praying without ceasing,” said Carstens. In the days and weeks to come it will be important to recall the words God gave Despres to share with the campus and apply what was learned in everyday life. Cox agrees and believes the timing of the previous week was a part of God’s plan. She said, “God works in mysterious ways and I think Spiritual Emphasis Week came at the perfect time in everyone’s life, because everyone has a new swagger that they didn't have before last week.”
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