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The Punchline of a 15-Year Joke

Hello again, my friends!

15 Years Later...
Well guys, the thing I was most worried about in doing the apprenticeship has finally come... Giving a sermon! (Or in this case, 1/3 of a sermon in partnership with the other 2 UTD apprentices.) I distinctly remember as a kid looking up at the pastor of my childhood church thinking I would NEVER do that. I would never want to stand up in front of so many people and give a sermon, and I would never be able to do so! I wonder if God chuckled a bit when he heard me thinking that, knowing where my path would lead 15 years later. Luckily, the staff in FOCUS have been extremely gracious with tips and training in helping us conquer our fear and communicate authentically and thoughtfully through sermons.

Even with all that training, I was nervous and even emotionally numb when the time came and I realized my only hope was to pray and ask God to speak through me in spite of my incapability. God answered that prayer! It went way better than I could have hoped and afterwards, tons of students and my fellow ministers came up to me and expressed how meaningful the talk was to them. How good are the gifts our God gives to his kids when we ask! I'm now fired up to give another one (this time a full 20-minute sermon) to the FOCUS staff & any friends who want to come participate on December 17th! I'm both excited for another opportunity to speak on behalf of God, as well as receive advice and encouragement from the other experienced ministers about how to communicate even better moving forward!


If you want to watch the first sermon, let me know! A friend recorded it and I'd love to share it with you. It's about 12 minutes long and is about being a servant who follows Christ's example!


Pizza Theology
After a 1.5 year COVID break, FOCUS finally got to do one of our biggest traditions - Pizza Theology! Once per semester, all the FOCUS campuses across DFW will come together to hear an in-depth teaching on a particular theological topic. During an intermission half-way through, we'll take a pizza break to have fellowship with one another and make friends with students from the other colleges! This fall, the topic was "How to Think Like a Christian." Two of our pastors, Garret and Brandon, covered a brief history of philosophy, changes in culture, and how our paradigms can skew our perspectives of the world around us. It was so thought-provoking and meaningful to me and the 300 students who came!

I hope you're growing familiar with these faces! These are the guys in my core (small group) who meet once a week and have become close friends! They all gave up their entire Sunday afternoon to come to Pizza Theology in an effort to "love God with all [their] mind" as Jesus commanded in Matthew 22:37. As per tradition, from left to right we have Nhala, Elijah, Jacob, Sion, Jared, Solomon, and myself.

I hope another thing you're growing familiar with is just how thankful I am for you! Without you, all these things I've been learning, growing in, and experiencing in ministry would not be possible. Thank you for your prayers, thank you for your financial gifts, and thank you for your emotional support as I work to answer the call our good God has placed on my heart to the best of my ability.

Your brother,
Taylor



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