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Archive for the ‘Mentoring College Students’ Category


I’m not sure how to say this – and say it well. But it is something that I want to say to the marrow of my heart.

God has blessed me by sending people throughout my life to mentor, encourage, pray, bless, to open my eyes to what it means to be the daughter of the King. I hope that I have passed those blessings forward – tagged someone with the same generosity of spirit with which I was tagged.

Yet, it is the generosity of spirit of those who have Jesus Loved my sons that, well, make my heart feel like bursting.  Words like thankful and gratitude fail to express my heart thoughts.

God’s People ( and you know if anyone has People, God does) who mentor as a brother in Christ, or a Spiritual Mother or Father, a laborer God sends with a message, people brave enough to hold to accountability, Jesus Loving without merit – when they touch my son’s lives – well – my heart grows and grows, kind of like the Grinch’s heart in the book – until I have learned that my heart has the capacity to love as many people as much as I possibly can – and more than I can imagine.

I find myself saying, “I wish you were a part of my family” –  and then I realize – well, they are – that what I am feeling is what being a part of God’s family feels like. Talk about Power Families – God’s Family is The Power Family of the Universe!

And that generosity of spirit that touched my sons’  lives and mine – well, the greatest gift I can give that giver is to Pass It Forward.

That message really hit home in early September. Our college minister who had been at our church when my oldest son was in college suddenly died. Thirty-one years old with wife and month old baby girl – well, he left us behind – beat us to the finish line.

He was not a laborer who said things like, “When someone approaches me, I automatically wonder what they want from me.”

Nor did he say, “There are people with bigger problems. I don’t have time for yours.”

No watching the clock with an “I-gotta-go-mentality.”

My son gave me a great compliment one day a few years ago: “I just discovered that talking with you is like talking with Jonate. There’s never a 5 minute conversation. You just have to settle in for awhile.” He said it in a way that made me feel pretty awesome.

Someone who wants to sit down with you, give the Holy Spirit time to bubble up in dialogue – that’s what Jesus Love is all about.  Not because you’re somebody important in the community, but because God whispered, “All my children need to come home to me – the ones easy to bring and the ones determined to stray – I want them all.”

This young man mentored my son with a generosityof-spirit mentality that reached out, “God placed you on my path today. I want to help you before that problem gets any bigger. God has plans for you – big plans and little plans.” And he would start by listening and end by praying.

Laborers like that look in likely and unlikely places – to love God’s kids, teens and young adults enough – to always be on the look-out, on the watch, heart open, ready to reach. Just seed planting moments.  Or seed watering moments. Encouragement and accountability moments. True friendship moments. Not necessarily Evangelist moments, but moments that lead there.

My other sons need mentors like that. I want my sons to become mentors like that, too! (of course, if they could sing and praise God like that – I would be blessed speechless!)

At Jonate’s memorial, the college ministry building was standing-room only. It was a room full of touched lives – and, as I looked, I thought that, yeah, we were left behind – but he left us each something to pass forward – seeds invested directly and indirectly.

Hundreds of college students Jesus Loving others, like Jonate Jesus loved them. Hundreds of students Passing it Forward to Hundreds of others. That would be the most awesome thank you of all!

Has someone touched your life? Blessed you? Don’t just hold it in a sweet memory. Look into someone’s heart. Maybe a stranger, someone who annoys, someone easy to love, someone difficult to love – and spend that time – and Jesus Love them – like this amazing young man.

Pass it Forward!

Please view the video (it’s a first for bluecottonmemory – I’ve so been wanting to share this with you since September). Jonate is leading praise and worship. I used to tell college students about the college ministry and the praise and worship leader who sounded like the lead singer from Hootie and the Blowfish. Whether he led worship on campus or the main church, the amazing, mighty presence of God just enveloped. If you’ve ever wondered how to handle the “bad things happening to good people,” this will mean even more to you.

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