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Engage with Grand Canyon University's (GCU) vibrant Spiritual Life community and take a deeper look at the various ministries that are happening around the world, in your backyard and on our campus. From weekly devotionals to Chapel highlights and features that reflect God's work in the hearts of our students, staff and faculty, each article is presented by GCU's Spiritual Life team and our special guests. We hope that God will challenge and encourage you through His words and the stories about His people that inspire us all.
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Category: Spiritual Formation
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Summer break provides you with time to enjoy your favorite activities, socialize with friends and vacation with family. However, this doesn’t mean that you have to stop serving others and evolving spiritually, and there are plenty of ways to help other people and practice servant leadership during your vacation. Read on for advice finding ways to continue serving and honoring God this summer:

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By Lionel Williams
CCSC Program Manager, Student Development & Outreach

Recently, I’ve had the awe-inspiring experience (compliments of Pastor Tim Griffin) of listening to an amazing woman of God by the name of Sister Rosemary Nyirumbe. She powerfully described her benevolent commitment to protecting and restoring the lives of over 400 Ugandan women who escaped the clutches of human sex trafficking.

As each powerful story was presented, I found every listener in the room (including myself) riveted to her every word. My eyes became moist as she declared, “I am helping to restore the image of God in them.” Intermittently glancing at the engrossed GCU faculty, staff and students, I remember thinking, “Here’s a person who is living out her purpose!”

Now that’s something to ponder for moment. What is my purpose?

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By Jennifer Johnson, EdD
Program Director, Strategic Educational Alliances 

“If your dream doesn’t scare you, it’s too small.” (“Chase the Lion,” Mark Batterson)

In the book “Chase the Lion” by Mark Batterson, we are challenged to embrace the courage it takes to pursue great dreams and trust that God will walk alongside us.

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By David Butler
Coordinator, Learning Lounge

After I finished my undergrad degree in 2015, I had the opportunity to start full-time at Grand Canyon University working in the Office of Student Development and Outreach. A quick 90 days went by, and I was blessed to begin the Master of Business Administration program.

The format between the undergrad and graduate programs is different, and both have their strengths. I liked the master’s program format because I was able to take one class at a time every eight weeks. Our evening cohort met on Tuesday nights from 5:30 – 9:30 pm, with a dinner break. I was able to finish classes one after another, with a two-week break around Christmas, in about 18 months. There have been many experiences over the past several months, but one that is special to me occurred recently.

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By Sheila Jones
Program Manager, Strategic Educational Alliances

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” (James 1:2-4)

I recently lost my dad to cancer. Like so many stories we hear almost daily, it was a heart-wrenching journey to watch someone I love wither away to cancer.

Cancer may have taken my dad, but it gave me more than I could have ever imagined. 

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By Tacy Ashby
Senior Vice President, Strategic Educational Alliances

“We ask God to give you complete knowledge of His will and to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding. Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and your life will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, you will GROW as you learn to know God better and better.” (Colossians 1:9-10)

March, April and May bring about several birthday celebrations in my family, from the very young to the old. My birthday happens to be amongst those birthdays, and I always enjoy observing how we all respond to the passing of one year to the next, each with our different perspectives of the passing of seasons and time, living and life.

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By Lorin Marchese
Coordinator, Strategic Educational Alliances

I am so blessed because I have a family that I know loves me no matter what – and I believe that I show them how much I love them too.

This is wonderful and frankly easy when everyone is being kind to each other and being the best person they can be. But what happens to a family when that isn’t happening?

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By Jared Ulrich
Worship Manager, Department of Spiritual Life

What worship songs are we singing ?

This is, by far, the most frequently asked question I get as a worship leader. And the minute people don’t approve of the song list for any given time of worship, I typically hear about it right away:

I don’t really like that song. I just don’t connect with it.

I just can’t worship to that song.

“That song has bad theology.

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By Jared Ulrich
Worship Manager, Spiritual Life Department

When you hear the word “worship” what do you think of? Do you think of singing songs to Jesus? Do you think of a church service? Christian music maybe?

Have you ever stopped and thought about what worship really is?

Think about that for a second. Everyone worships something.

You don’t have to be religious or spiritual to worship.

Everyone worships.

The question isn’t whether or not you worship. The real question is WHAT do you worship?

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By Quin Jackson
Local Outreach Student Leader

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” (Romans 15:13)

On April 20, 2016 Kayla Castro, a freshman at GCU, suffered a severe hiking accident where she fell 60 to 100 feet off Camelback Mountain. She was immediately admitted to Honor Health Scottsdale Osborn Medical Center and stayed there for the next 10 days, unconscious and undergoing many surgeries, surrounded by friends and family.

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By Dina Lundblom
Coordinator, GCU Strategic Educational Alliances 

“I am leaving you with a gift – peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So, don’t be troubled or afraid.” (John 14:27)

Do you ever feel like you are treading water? Or, for every item you scratch off your to do list, it seems like two more are added? Or, maybe you just feel genuinely worn out?

I know it happens to me. I think life is just simply busy, no matter what season of life you are in. We want to be the best we can be in our classes, at work and with our families. We think of the future, and we worry about today and what’s happening this week or even this year.

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By Kara Sutton
Bachelor of Arts in English, Honors College

“Nobody can tell you what you can and cannot do.”

“Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young.” (1 Timothy 4:12)

As college students, we are often fueled by thoughts like these. Whenever we feel down, the world tells us the remedy is to build up our ego. However, I believe the world is infiltrating the church and the Christian community with such thoughts as well. The go-to is always self-confidence, and this is even attempted to be backed up biblically as you can see in the above statements.

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