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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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By Quin Jackson
Local Outreach Student Leader

“That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death.” (Philippians 3:10)

Christianity is unique for many reasons, one of them being the characteristics of God. God is the beginning, the Creator of the entire universe and the final victory over evil and death. Colossians 1:16 reminds us that, “For by Him all things were created, in heaven and on Earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities – all things were created through Him and for Him.”

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By Lauren Abraham
Communications Major, College of Humanities and Social Sciences

“And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” (Colossians 3:17)

Thanksgiving has passed, and we are now entering the Christmas season. As shoppers line up outside of stores to score Black Friday deals and the hustle and bustle of the holiday season begins, it is easy to lose sight of what it means to have a thankful heart.

As Christians, it is important to remember that we are called to have a thankful heart all year long, not just on Thanksgiving. Psalm 107:1 says, “Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!”

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By Lauren Abraham
Communications Major, College of Humanities and Social Sciences 

“Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow.” (James 1:17)

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, we are most likely looking forward to spending time with friends and family, and of course, having Thanksgiving dinner!

When we think of the Thanksgiving holiday, we think of one special day out of the year. However, as Christians, we have so much to be thankful for all year long. If we are not careful, we can miss the blessings God has given us on a daily basis.

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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

“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20)

“Who are you?”

That question alone leads to many expectations, comparisons and, quite honestly, failures.

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By Lauren Abraham
Communications Major, College of Humanities and Social Sciences

“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.” (1 John 4:7-8)

In life, it is easy to love those who agree with us and support our beliefs. When we surround ourselves with like-minded individuals, we feel comfortable and at ease. However, when we encounter someone with opposing views, we may feel defensive, which can lead to conflict.

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By Quin Jackson
Local Outreach Student Leader

“For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’” (Galatians 5:13-14)

There is truly nothing like working alongside a community of fellow students who have the same passions as you. I, as well as all of the other student leaders in Local Outreach, have a love for others and a passion for serving. Local Outreach is a department within Spiritual Life that is divided into eight different ministries, all serving a unique demographic with their own mission. Through these ministries, the people of Phoenix are impacted by GCU students on a weekly basis and are shown the love of Jesus Christ.

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By Quin Jackson
Local Outreach Student Leader

“For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” (Hebrews 12:11)

The adventure of following Jesus brings out a lot of different emotions. There are times when we are on fire for the Lord, His presence feels strong and we have received tangible miracles or blessings from Him.

In these times, our relationship with Jesus feels easy and so full of love. As a result, spending time with God through prayer, reading the Bible and worship becomes easier as well. In fact, spending time with Jesus comes naturally, and no longer feels like the drag or obligation it may have felt like in the past. We live our lives fully embracing the joy He gives us, exactly how He calls us to do.

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By Quin Jackson
Local Outreach Student Leader

“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made in perfect love. We love because He first loved us.” (1 John 4:18-19)

As Christians, it does not come as a shock when we are reminded that we are loved by God. It is an elementary concept, and there are times when we wholeheartedly believe it and we feel the love He proclaims. However, there are also times when Jesus seems silent, and the extent of His love is put in question.

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By Lauren Abraham
Communications Major, College of Humanities and Social Sciences

“For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1)

In life, new seasons often bring about new changes.

This fall, you might have left home and started your college journey. With this transition has come many changes, and you might be experiencing mixed emotions. Leaving something behind can be hard, but starting something new can be exciting.

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By Quin Jackson
Local Outreach Student Leader

“Do not be misled: Bad company corrupts good character.” (1 Corinthians 15:13)

So many of us have the misconception that we, unlike the rest of society, are independent people and are unsusceptible to things of the world.

The truth is that we are all easily influenced by everything around us, even if we do not see it ourselves. Our friends, the music we listen to and even the humor we take part in can alter who we are as people, and this definitely has an effect on what we say, do and think. 

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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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