Alyssa Sellers


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Lessons of Love: Start with a Smile

Smiling

 

Downtown Portland is filled with people who want something from you.

They want your name on a petition, they want you to buy their new product, they want you to sign-up to support an international child or an environmental cause, they want your money for a Tri-Met pass, dog food, beer, weed, human food, a hostel, etc., or they want you to repent and follow their Jesus who hates a long list of people groups they have proudly printed on their sandwich boards and canvas signs.

Residents of this economically diverse neighborhood will encounter at minimum three requests a day for something from them. Consequently, residents of this neighborhood don’t look up. They don’t make eye contact. They don’t engage with one another. Continue reading

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When Love Looks Ridiculous

Finals Survival Kits

There are elements of the ridiculous about you…” ~ Mark Darcy in Bridget Jones’s Diary

On an open suitcase filled with 40 brown paper bags hangs a hastily handmade sign stating, “Finals Survival Kits” in the hallway outside a meeting room in a hotel in downtown Portland. My life is a little ridiculous. Hours of work and a surprising amount of struggle have resulted in this strange tableau.

Once a term we collect donations from members of The Groves Community to create these kits, these small brown paper sacks filled with exam supplies, pencils, candy, granola bars and cracker and fruit snacks. After I purchase the supplies based on revenue collected, we gather to assemble the kits. Students pick them up on the following Sunday to hand out to their friends during class the week before finals. This is our tangible way to share God’s love with the students in our neighborhood of downtown Portland. Well, this time 40 out of the 30,000 students.

And now, as I stand in a worship service singing about the sacrifice Jesus made for me, I think of how tiny and ridiculous this offering in the hallway outside is in comparison. Continue reading


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Space and Time: One of the Reasons I do College Ministry

Almost 11 years ago I sat in the front of a car at the Lake Charles Boardwalk and officially ended a two-year relationship with the one man who has ever seriously considered marrying me.

It was one of the hardest decisions I ever made. I wasn’t sure if I would ever be loved that much by another man, but I knew that he and I weren’t best for each other. I made it holding on to a truth that the life I was currently living was not the one God wanted for me so I said no to this man and journeyed on with Jesus.

After 10 years and multiple relationships, I am nowhere closer to marrying my helper than I was then but I have had an amazing adventure.

It’s funny how big this one decision was/is still in my life. It shaped a lot of the woman I have become. I left that relationship through the faith that God wanted to give me something different, that God wanted to give me his best. I still believe this. This pivotal moment, this moment that set my life on a completely different course, happened in college. This has a lot to do with why college ministry means so much to me, why Portland State University has never left my heart.

During the fall term when I made this decision, there was a church and a retreat and, therefore, space and time for God to meet with me. Space and time for God to pull me aside and remind me of how much he loves me how much he cares for me and how much he is faithful.  To remind me how he never left and still wants to give me his best.

God moves people – sometimes we don’t have to do anything but be there.
 

This is why I raise support for what I do. This is why I’m OK with barely paying my rent every month. I want to be there, to give students space and time to meet with God and continue on their journeys becoming the incredible men and women God created them to be.

Students helping students move in at Portland State ~ September 2012

Don’t overlook the obvious here, friends. With God, one day is as good as a thousand years, a thousand years as a day. God isn’t late with his promise as some measure lateness. He is restraining himself on account of you, holding back the End because he doesn’t want anyone lost. He’s giving everyone space and time to change.” ~ 2 Peter 3:8-9 The Message

So you want to support my position:
1.Go to Give section of www.thegroveschurch.com
2.Click the Donate button to give online via PayPal
3.Write PSU Position in the special instructions section

PS: Today is the first day of classes for the Fall Term at Portland State. Go Viks!