“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they shall be satisfied” Matthew 5:6
I’m deeply challenged by these words. What do I hunger and thirst for other than the righteousness which comes through faith in Jesus? Where do I find my satisfaction outside of the presence of God? Whatever it is, wherever it is, may it never be! You alone have the words of eternal life. You alone can satisfy my soul. You alone can save me from the deep, dark pit of my sin and rebellion. You alone can deliver me into the joy-filled presence of my Savior. Where else can I turn for satisfaction? Accomplishment? Approval? Friends? Family? No! It is a burden they cannot and should not ever have to bear. When I say to my wife, “You are my source of satisfaction in this life. If I can’t get my satisfaction from you, I will not get my satisfaction at all.” What a burden for her to carry! Or how about my kids? It’s even more unbearable. May I never be so selfish and so blind to say to anything or anyone other than the King of Glory, “You are the satisfier of my soul!” He can carry the burden and He can deliver on the promise, “I alone can satisfy!”
O God, You alone are my joy and prize. You alone satisfy. I confess I am so easily satisfied by lesser things. I am so quick to turn to entertainment, accomplishment and leisure. Have mercy on me in the form of a fresh filling of Your Spirit leading to a fresh fire for more of You in my life. In the precious name of Jesus. Amen
I know it’s been a bit since my last post. Honestly, I’m walking a fine line between “It’s not worth the time because no one reads this.” and “It’s better to do something just in case.” So, I’ll do my best to walk that line well as we move forward.
For this post I wanted to bring you in on one of our family’s favorite activities; hiking in Upper Bidwell Park at sunset. The past two Saturday evenings we’ve managed to get all the kids out of the house and into the great outdoors and we’re so thankful for it.
This season of ministry has been particularly difficult between students not coming in the numbers we would hope for, students choosing their own desires over God’s plans, student leaders being burnt out and so on. Nothing particularly tragic, just the realities of college ministry piling up on us a bit.
And so, we’ve found that few things feed our soul like quality time with family, hiking around in the hills overlooking Chico as the sun sets on another day. It’s definitely not something that goes off flawless. Cambria has accrued many bumps and bruises, Tobin is constantly scared of Mountain Lions, Leona stops every five steps to pick flowers, but it’s surprising how refreshing it is when we stop to be thankful for even the small blessings from God. Which, when we really think about it, aren’t small at all. Sunsets, children, family, health, and the beauty of Creation; each of these things is reason to worship the Giver, with a thankful, joyful, full heart, no matter the more challenging circumstances of our lives.
I wanted to quickly ask for your prayers. Tomorrow, Freshman begin moving into Residence Halls and our student leadership retreat begins. We are desperate for God’s Spirit to move in our midst. Please join us in praying for the hearts of Freshman and new students. Please pray they would be receptive to the gospel and ready to walk with Jesus for a lifetime. Please pray for our retreat and time of training for our student leaders to be refreshed and encouraged. Pray it would be a catalyst into the next few, very intense, weeks of ministry. God bless and thank you for your prayers.
I (Josh) just finished my Apologetics class and I was deeply challenged and encouraged by the content. One of my assignments was to write an article directed toward a non-Christian audience dealing with some apologetics issue. I wrote my article on religious pluralism, the idea that all religions are essentially equal or at least equally valid. You can read the pdf version here. Feel free to leave your thoughts. Thanks!
Happy Summer everyone! Just wanted to give a quick update on our summer assignment here in Ft Collins. We’ve had a fantastic summer so far. One highlight was our stop in Jackson, WY on our drive out. It was absolutely beautiful. We had a great time hiking and biking through God’s magnificent creation as a family! It was definitely a memory we will all carry with us for a lifetime. Well, maybe not Cambria, but oh well:) Seminary classes here in Ft Collins have also been very enjoyable so far. Josh is taking Apologetics and has been deeply encouraged and challenged by a fresh defense of the Christian faith. Adrienne is currently taking Biblical Interpretation and has enjoyed learning how to dig deeper into the Scriptures in order to properly understand and rightly apply the truths of God’s Word. She is also playing on intramural softball and beach volleyball teams and having a blast putting her skills on display. The kids have been enjoying themselves swimming, biking, and playing with friends as well, despite the fact they’ve been sick most of the time we’ve been here:( Please pray for the coughing and runny noses to clear soon! Thank you so much for your love and support. We’ll be sending more updates soon, as well as posting one of the articles Josh wrote on Religious Pluralism for his Apologetics class. In the mean time, check out this video of the kids chasing prairie dogs in Jackson Hole.
Welcome back to the Paynefam sight! Before you go any further, if you have not already, please sign up for our email updates on the right hand side of our site. Clearly this website has not been a source of consistent communication from us and that’s something I’m hoping to change. I can’t make any promises with everything else going on in life but I figured this post would be some form of accountability. Most likely I’m sending this message off into the abyss but I’m counting on the abyss, some how, some way to keep me accountable to this task. I want this site to be a place for consistent updates on life and ministry and also a place for Adrienne and I to share what we’re learning and what curveballs we’re swinging at as life’s crazy journey moves forward. So, if you’re reading this, let us know by leaving a comment! Maybe knowing it’s not my personal diary will keep the content coming! Keep your eyes open for updates as our summer journey to CO and beyond begins. God bless!
One of the students on our trip made a great video capturing many of the fun moments and some of the serious moments from our trip. We thought you might enjoy it. Please know that this video does not reflect the proportion of time we spent telling people about Jesus:)
Adrienne and I joined staff with Cru for many reasons. We believe the college years are an incredibly critical time for a young person to commit themselves to following Jesus. We want to see the Gospel change lives. We see the need for the truth of who Jesus is and was to be clearly proclaimed in an environment which is becoming increasingly hostile to God’s Word. Our own lives were dramatically changed through our involvement with college ministry as we began to grasp, for the first time, that the Gospel was not just for our own salvation but for the salvation of all who would call upon the name of Jesus. These reasons and many others were what initially motivated us and still motivate us today. But, the one reason I believe motivated us more than any other was the reality that the college campus is an incredibly strategic sending ground for the fulfillment of the Great Commission in our lifetime. When college students get a passion for Jesus and His command to take the Gospel to all nations, wonderful results come forth. Chico students are no exception to this reality and we’ve been deeply encouraged to see many of the students we’ve invested in over the last seven years take their passion for Jesus into many segments of society and the far corners of the world. One of these sending opportunities which has arisen in the last year is our commitment to reaching college campuses in Puerto Rico. Last summer Chico State students stepped onto college campuses in Puerto Rico for the first time in Cru’s history. At that time there were no other Christian ministries reaching out to these students, no one sharing with these students about the love of Jesus Christ and the hope of salvation found only in His name. Our team last summer was able to make a number of contacts and gather much helpful information which they were then able to pass along to the team of three Chico students and four others who committed to serving Jesus in Puerto Rico for a whole year. This team has established ministries on four different campuses, seen around 20 people come to faith and started numerous weekly Bible Studies on campus. This summer Adrienne and I have the opportunity to take a team of 12 more students to Puerto Rico to continue the awesome work God is doing there. We will be assisting with established ministries, sharing our faith daily, looking for opportunities for new ministries to get started, and investing heavily in the students we will be taking with us.
In order to do this work, we are asking you to prayerfully consider partnering with us through regular prayer and a one-time financial gift. The full cost of our summer is going to be around $7,500. This covers travel, housing, food and ministry expenses for our family. Would you consider giving $50, $100, $200 or any other amount in order to help meet this need? We believe the Lord has called us to take part in this work and we trust in His ability to provide. Thank you for considering what part you could play in reaching these students with the love of Jesus. We look forward to seeing how God uses the faithful partnership of His people to do great things this summer. God bless you and thank you again for your faithful partnership over the years!
Below: Chico students in Puerto Rico over Spring Break in March.