Monthly Archive February 2019

Conversations on Campus February 2019

StudentLife Delft

StudentLife Delft is going for conversations every week at the campus. This week we had a few first-year students that joined us for the first time. This is a group of students from different student organizations and church backgrounds. It is always exciting to go for the first time. The students had good conversations and found it a good way to share what they believe.

 

Passionweek Rotterdam

For the very first-time students organized at the Erasmus campus a mission week, in The Netherlands we call them “passionweek.” A few students attended the lunch talks. The evening talks that were organized at a cafe in the city were well attended. We had conversations with students that had many good questions. StudentLife is helping students organize the follow-up meetings for those interested to meet again.

 

 

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Ask God One Question

An opportunity to ask God ONE question

This was the question we asked students at a university mission in The Netherlands a few months ago:

“If you would have the opportunity to ask God one question what would it be?”

In this mission event, students had the opportunity to listen to talks about the meaning of life and God during lunch. Lunch was provided by the SEARCH committee. The students appreciated this opportunity and came with good and challenging questions to the meetings. These were rather small meetings of about 20-40 students at each meeting.

The topics of the lunch talks

Students selected the topics for these lunch talks. These topics give us a glimpse of the type of questions students are asking. Here are some of them. Is faith just a fantasy? or, Is a fulfilling life possible without ultimate purpose? and, what kind of relationships do I need to be truly happy? These are important questions that demand a reasonable answer.

More questions students asked

Here are 13 questions students would ask God. I walked around the university and collected these questions before giving my talks. It was interesting to see the first reaction of the students when they heard the question I mentioned above. It was fun to do. But I also sensed the pain, confusion, and frustration in some of these questions. My heart went out to these students.

  1. How can I be rich, healthy and happy? (this was amusing)
  2. Why does war exist?
  3. Why does life suck for some people and not for others?
  4. What will happen after I die? (more students asked this question)
  5. Why?
  6. Why things go wrong?
  7. Is the Bible true?
  8. What is the story all about when God asked Abraham to sacrifice his son? (which of course he never did, but is a good question)
  9. Why did God create the world/universe?
  10. Why is there so much inequality?
  11. How long will it take for Jesus to come back?
  12. Did God intend the world to be as it is now?
  13. What is the purpose of life?

Looking for honest, authentic answers

But where can someone find answers to these type of questions? Here are some links that could help. A wise man, Jesus, once said, “seek and you will find.”

Links

A short but useful book. The gospel of Mark

Short answers 

Longer answers

 

Lent week one – Reflections by Dietrich Bonhoeffer

It was a few years ago when a friend of mine was diagnosed with cancer. He was a young man full of energy and life. A few months later he died. I still remember the moment I heard the news about his illness. I was filled with sorrow and started to grief. The same day I attended a worship service at the university I was studying. It was Ash Wednesday. The minister asked one of the teachers to come forward and kneel down. Then he made a cross on his forehead from ash he had in his hands. It was a stern reminder of our mortality! But it also helped me process my grief and find help in my sorrow. During this lent period I will upload weekly posts with thoughts and quotes from my reading, especially the book mentioned in the notes.

In the church calendar, the “Lent” period is a few weeks before Easter. For this year, 2019, it started on March the 6th with Ash Wednesday. Here are some quotes from Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s reflections on the Christian life. The book is divided in six weeks, 5 Lent weeks plus the Holy Week that leads up to Eastern.

Ash Wednesday

“God deceives no one.”

“Each of us has his or her own cross, ready, appointed, and appropriately measured by God.” Matt. 4:3-4. Psalm 51:1-3

Prayer

We should not take prayer for granted. “We pray to the God in whom we believe through Christ.”

Prayer is “the petition of a child to the heart of the Father.” Matt. 6:5-6

God is not a matter of mood

Don’t wait until you are in the right mood in order to pray. God “is still present even when we are not in the mood to meet with him.” “Interaction with God must be practised.” Bonhoeffer thought that “the morning prayer determines the day.” Psalm 5:3. Prayer does determine the day. It is an important part of living out the Christian faith.

Meditation

“In meditation, God’s word wants to enter us and remain with us.” Bonhoeffer encourages us to continue and meditate regardless of having an extraordinary experience while meditating. “To be silent does not mean to be inactive; rather it means to breathe in the will of God, to listen attentively and be ready to obey.” Psalm 119:15-16

 

Notes

– The quotes are from the book “God is on the Cross: Reflections on Lent and Easter.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s reflections are chosen for Lent and Easter.

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