march newsletter: celebrating the laps

March 18, 2007

A shout out for the photo goes to carajune. I looked for a photo with a finish line and found this one on Flickr.com What a hoot!

Celebrating the Laps

This is what I want. Big letters. Larger-than-life Mountain Dew cans. The FINISH line. Cue screaming fans, the band and the flag-wavers in the stands.

I’m a fan of closure. I’m the woman who likes to check things off my list. I’ve even been known to add something to the list just so I could check it off.

Here’s my dream world: I come in to work and boot up my computer. The screen blinks to life and announces, “Angie, it is finished. All those various projects your team has been working so hard on? All the loose ends are tied up. The Staff Web has reached completion. The Campus Crusade missionaries now have the best of everything your team can give them. Their lives will be easier because you’ve put valuable tools and help at their fingertips. Nicely done.”

Cue trumpets.

But in reality I turn on my computer and it painfully reminds me of the 82 tasks on my list. (The problem with being an idea person is that there’s never any lack of ideas!)

I wonder if you crave that finish line, too. Whether you’re single or married, with kids at home or not, working or retired, that finish line calls us. It beckons us to believe that we’ll be happy or relieved when we reach it.

But I’m learning a new lesson: to celebrate the laps. This came about on our team one day when we had the ah-ha that our job (in communications with our 5,000 U.S. missionaries) was never going to be over. There wasn’t a finish line. So we decided we’d intentionally rejoice when we completed a “lap” of the race.

What a great parallel to my spiritual life, too. So often I take inventory and my heart cascades with the realization of how far I still have to run.

Then Jesus encourages me with a reminder that I’m not who I was when I began on this asphalt. No, I haven’t arrived at the finish line, but I look more like Jesus than when the gun first fired. That’s something to celebrate—God’s work in my life! It’s my job to run with perseverance the race marked out for me (Hebrews 12:1). It’s His job to provide the strength to do that.

If it was only about the finish line, we’d immediately be ushered into Heaven the moment we place our faith in Christ. But it’s not.

It’s about the laps we run in between. I want to run with a joyful heart, enduring the runner’s cramps, enjoying the view and looking out for opportunities God brings across my path as I tread.

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more changed lives

February 14, 2007

Here’s an update about what God’s doing through the BeyondTheUltimate.org Web site:

Stats (as of 13.Feb)

  • Unique visitors – 210,791
  • Visitors who indicated that
    they received Christ – 1,368
  • Visitors who moved on to a followup site – 710
  • Visitors who went to a special e-mail page where they could request more information – 1,320

  • Changed Lives From BeyondTheUltimate.org

    February 7, 2007

    934 Indicate a Decision to Trust Christ

    On Friday, February 2, Campus Crusade placed a full-page, color advertisement in the USA Today Super Bowl special section as part of the Beyond the Ultimate outreach. 

    The ad featured both head coaches and points readers to a special Web site, www.BeyondTheUltimate.org.

    Featuring articles and streaming video from players and coaches who share their stories and talk about their faith in Jesus Christ, the Web site has been a tremendous success.

    Stats (as of 06.Feb)

    • Total site visits – 176,249
    • Visitors who indicated that they received Christ – 934
    • Visitors who moved on to a followup site – 510
    • Visitors who went to a special e-mail page where they could request more information – 958

    How People Found the Site

    • 122,333 – typed “BeyondTheUltimate.org” into their computer
    • 24,294 – in an e-mail they received, they clicked on www.beyondtheultimate.org, which was included in the e-mail
    • 7,536 – typed in a search phrase on Google and clicked on our ads
    • 4,210 – typed in a search phrase on Google, Yahoo, etc. and clicked the link, shown in the search
    • 17,876 – were visiting other Web sites and clicked on a link to www.beyondtheultimate.org

    jr./sr. weekend

    February 1, 2007

    I had three college women crammed in my Escort tonight. It was glorious. Kind of like my first years with Campus Crusade, working at the U. of Colorado-Boulder. Same car, too. Surreal.

    Tonight was the first of three days we have 40 college juniors and seniors in Orlando, schmoozing them (ok, the right answer is “encouraging them to seek the Lord’s direction”) to consider serving with us at headquarters.

    They are studying in a variety of fields: journalism (woo hoo!), I.T., business, graphic design, event planning, and more. A highlight – two students I recruited at the Dallas conference are here! Mason and Valerie.

    This is a pivotal time in their lives and I’m excited to be a part of it. Please join me in praying for them as they hear from leaders, meet staff members who serve in their area of interest and for our car rides back and forth from their hotel to the office.


    super bowl ad in USA Today

    February 1, 2007

    beyond-the-ultimate.jpg

    Here’s something exciting my team has been a part of working on…

    On Sunday, February 4, millions of sports enthusiasts around the world will tune in to watch the ultimate game in professional football as Tony Dungy’s Indianapolis Colts face Lovie Smith’s Chicago Bears.

    Athletes in Action, the sports ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ, has teamed up with both head coaches and several players to create an opportunity for them to use this historic stage to talk about their common faith in Jesus Christ.

    Full-Page Newspaper Ad and BeyondTheUltimate.org Web Site

    On Friday, February 2, Campus Crusade has placed a full-page advertisement in the USA Today Super Bowl special section. The ad features both head coaches and points readers to a special Web site, www.BeyondTheUltimate.org.

    The Web site features articles and streaming video from players and coaches who share their stories and talk about their faith in Jesus Christ. Additional articles and a clear presentation of the gospel create multiple opportunities for site visitors to learn how they can begin a relationship with God and receive God’s love and forgiveness.

    A sample of the ad appears on the bottom of this e-mail. You may also view the ad online.

    How You Can Participate

    • Encourage everyone you know to visit the Web site www.BeyondTheUltimate.org
    • Post a copy of the USA Today ad on your church bulletin board
    • Bring a copy of the ad to your Super Bowl party
    • Forward this e-mail to others to let them know about this opportunity
    • Pray for many people to experience God’s love and forgiveness

    pizza & students

    January 3, 2007

    ops-luncheon.jpg

    The bad news: we didn’t run out of pizza.

    The good news: we had a great group of 23 students at the luncheon! I was challenged by many of them who, when introducing themselves and saying why they came to the lunch (besides the free food), they said something along the lines of, “I want to keep my options open for after college, realizing that God might have plans for me to use my major in ways I hadn’t planned.”

    Please pray for me and two students at dinner time:

    • Tonight I’m taking Mason and Jarron to dinner to woo them, using delicious Tex-Mex as my weapon of choice. Mason is interested in writing for Worldwide Challenge and Jarron is over-the-top about joining us as a computer programmer. I’m pumped!

    Praises:

    • Max, at The Print Place, was a gift from the Lord to me yesterday regarding the booth mayhem. I nabbed keys from a friend and a map from the front desk and prayed that I’d find a place to print out signs for the booth. I ended up in a part of town I didn’t see on the map and, lo and behond, found a sign that said The Print Place. Max with his long blond hair and unrushed help, printed out what I needed. I listed out other errands I needed to run and he whipped out a highlighter and plotted the best route for me. I hopped in the car and found everything at Albertson’s and Office Depot, just as he told me! I laughed along the way, seeing it as from God – a direct answer to your prayers about the booth. It’s assembled and turned out pretty good, considering the circumstances.
    • I ran into a friend from Orlando here at the conference – a friend I didn’t even know was here – and we had dinner together and caught up. A sweet gift from God amidst your prayers for my loneliness. I’m feeling more encouraged.

    recruiting in dallas

    January 2, 2007

    Yes, I saw the sun rise in Dallas this morning from my 16th floor room. (Yes, Mom, I really did. It helps that sunrises are later this time of year.)

    I’m here in Dallas at one of 10 country-wide, regional Christmas conferences for college students.

    No, I’m not going back to school. I’m here on behalf of our headquarters, along with my new friend Amanda, to recruit.

    We’re meeting with students who have an interest in finance, technology, communication and Human Resources (a.k.a. “operations” roles). We’re encouraging them to consider serving the Lord full-time with those talents after graduation.

    There are many students who think being a Campus Crusade missionary only means working with college students. Amanda and I are excited to expose them to the options and challenge them to join us!

    Prayer requests for today:

    • For safe arrival of the 700+ students who be arriving today from Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas and Oklahoma. (The main session is at 7pm Central time).
    • For our booth assembly. We have a screwdriver…but no screws. Hard to pitch the backdrop without ’em. Pray that we’d be creative with how we MacGuyver (sp?) it…or if we should find a plan b.
    • For us to run out of food at our luncheon tomorrow. Seriously! That will mean that more students come to hear about operations opportunities than the 25 we’re planning for. I’m fast on my feet and can always scurry downstairs to pick up more sandwiches.
    • For new friends for me here as I know all of 3 people and am fighting some loneliness. Kind of like being the new person at a family reunion. 🙂