Making Scripture Personal

Scripture for Life

“Here at PCC, college life is full of all kinds of academic, spiritual, and recreational activities. Because of this, it’s easy to compartmentalize our lives,” said President Troy Shoemaker during chapel in February. “If we’re not careful, we can forget that God’s Word is our resource for more than just church or chapel. Scripture is for life—the foundation for our everyday decisions.”

To help the student body renew their appreciation for the power of God’s Word and share it with others, Dr. Shoemaker encouraged students to “look at the Bible again for the first time—to see Scripture and how God’s Word is meaningful in your life every day.” Chapel ended with a Scripture for Life challenge, asking students to find verses meaningful to their daily lives and express them in a creative way.

Throughout the month, nearly 700 students accepted the challenge, sharing original music compositions, artwork, digital designs, poetry, essays, and personal written testimonies. So many students participated that two chapel services in March were set aside to showcase 20 of the best creations. Of the entries, four stood out for how the students expressed biblical truths.

Josh Williams (Jr., GA) made a music video of his original song, “He Just Happens to be my Father” based off of Romans 8:15. His three-octave range allowed him to overdub his voice, creating a quartet from just his voice. “I am amazed that God would use my song and allow me to be blessed by winning this contest,” he said.

Dave Ham (Jr., KY) created a drawing in stipple, a technique creating a picture from tiny dots of ink. “Vessels of Clay,” based off of 2 Corinthians 4:7, depicted a woman carrying a large pot on her shoulder. Although the picture took him around 40 hours to create, he felt it was worth his time to share the message. “We carry a treasure in our vessels—the message of Christ and salvation—and can share it with others.”

Jenneth Dyck (So., VA) produced a digital design by making a kinetic typography video “Faint Not” based off of Isaiah 41:10 and 13. Her video combined simple animation with infographics and visually pleasing text to encourage Christians to “fear not” because the Lord is holding them up.

Corene Jarrell (So., AL) shared her written testimony about her battle with Cystic Fibrosis and the encouragement that Isaiah 41:10 has been to her. “I rely on God’s strength every day for not only my medical needs but everything else as well. He has been and always will be there for me,” she said.

At the close of chapel, Dr. Shoemaker asked these four students to stand with him on stage. He announced that these students would receive scholarships to cover the rest of the school year’s college tuition, and surprised each of the other finalists seated on stage with a $500 scholarship.

As Dr. Shoemaker wrote in the spring edition of the PCC Update, “The lasting value of giving God’s truth proper place in our lives is much greater than we could ever imagine.”

He’s My Father

by Josh Williams

Faint Not

by Jenneth Dyck

Personal Testimony

by Corene Jarrell

At just two months old, I was diagnosed with the genetic lung disease Cystic Fibrosis or CF for short. Cystic Fibrosis may be characterized as a lung disease, but it actually also affects the digestive system, reproductive system, eyesight, bones, immune system, and it can also cause arthritis, diabetes, cancer, and osteoporosis. In the 1900s the survival rate for CF patients was incredibly low, most children only living to the age of seven. Today, most people with CF can look to living until their early 40s, if their health has been managed correctly. When I was diagnosed, my doctors told my mother that she shouldn’t expect me to live past ten years old. Although my mother wasn’t a Christian yet, she still believed that there had to be more to my life than dying at a young age. By God’s blessing and mercy, I will be turning 22 years old this year, defeating all odds set by my doctors.

Growing up, I knew I was extremely different from my peers. I couldn’t play like all the other kids, or go out with friends as much as I would have liked to, or even go to school on a daily basis. By age 20, I have had over 30 surgeries, three feeding tubes, and over 15 catheters placed in my arms. I can’t even count how many times I have been in the hospital for extended care. I have never weighed more than 100 pounds due to my body being unable to digest food properly. As I get older, my body continues to shut down. There is no cure, no miracle surgery or pill, and there is no government funding for research.

I say all that to say this, God has been good. Up until I left for college, I hated my disease. I was bitter towards God for allowing me to be born sick. However, under the care and love of Pensacola Christian College and my closest friends, I have learned that God gives the difficult battles to His strongest warriors. By His mercy, I have defeated so many odds and trials that have come my way. Each day He gives my broken lungs air, my paralyzed stomach the miraculous ability to puzzle doctors by halfway digesting food, and my bones to continue supporting my body despite the osteoporosis. He has given me the opportunity to witness to doctors, nurses, janitors, and even other patients. My CF specialist calls me his “Miracle Case”, because I should not have lasted this long. Oh, but God is good.

I have had nights where I was terrified of what my life will hold, but thank goodness the One who holds my life has a perfect plan. In the nights and days that I have been afraid or weak, thinking that my disease is just too strong, I think of this verse:

“Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.” Isaiah 41:10

My God is good. I could have never made it this far without His strength. He is my God, my rock, my shield, my never-ending hope.

I may have Cystic Fibrosis, but Cystic Fibrosis does NOT have me. My disease may be strong, but my God is STRONGER. I have no fear, I have God.

Vessels of Clay

by Dave Ham

Vessels of Clay by David Ham

Published 4/5/2017