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Esther Ruiz: A Tale of God's Unfailing Provision – Azusa Pacific College



“From my mother’s most cancers prognosis to monetary obstacles, my desires of attending APU gave the impression unattainable. However God is my supplier, and he noticed me thru.”
Esther Ruiz ’22 slightly actually grew up within the church. After immigrating to the US from Guatemala and El Salvador, her oldsters planted a church in Los Angeles and poured themselves into ministry. Right through her early life, Ruiz spent numerous hours staring at her ma and pa fashion carrier till she too started volunteering with Sunday college and serving to with worship.
“When I used to be 12, I consciously made up our minds that I sought after to apply Jesus,” mentioned Ruiz. “I knew I cherished him as a result of how he impacted my lifestyles—now not simply because my oldsters cherished him.”
Her religion persisted to develop in highschool at the same time as her oldsters stepped clear of ministry to concentrate on their circle of relatives. In 2015, her mother, Vilma Orozco, made up our minds to pursue her Grasp of Divinity at APU along running as a full-time nanny and number one caregiver for her circle of relatives.
Ruiz would come house from college and watch her mother diligently finding out and writing her papers. Along with her mother as an inspiration, she started to dream of at some point attending faculty herself.
However in 2017, stunning information got here to their circle of relatives: her mother used to be identified with breast most cancers. Ruiz witnessed her mother faithfully agree with in God and proceed attending her APU categories, regardless of dwindling power and chemotherapy remedies. In the meantime, Ruiz took on taking good care of her more youthful sister, on most sensible of completing out her senior yr of highschool and filling out faculty programs.
Her desires of attending APU temporarily gave the impression unreachable. When a highschool monetary counselor checked out the cost of attendance along Esther’s lifestyles state of affairs, she advised having a look at a neighborhood faculty as an alternative.
“I walked out of that workplace decided not to surrender on APU,” mentioned Ruiz. “My God is a supplier. I grew up with little, and God at all times supplied sufficient. I knew he may do it.”
At house, she got here throughout APU’s Multi Ethnic Management (MEL) Scholarship alternative. Taking a jump of religion, she carried out—securing an interview amongst 19 different candidates. On a wet morning, Ruiz’s mother, her consistent supply of enhance, placed on her wig and nicest get dressed and drove her to campus.
“I have been on APU’s campus sooner than, however just for my mother,” mentioned Ruiz. “This used to be my first time coming to a school with myself in thoughts. It used to be so particular to have my mother there through my aspect.”
God opened the door, and Ruiz used to be granted the scholarship: bringing the cost of enrollment down so considerably that she temporarily dedicated to wait APU as a liberal research primary with a distinct training focus and a management minor.
However God used to be now not executed but. When Ruiz arrived on the first MEL assembly, it used to be introduced the scholarship had greater in quantity. As the start of the college yr unfurled, further grants emerged.
“I stopped up now not paying a dime all the way through my time at APU,” mentioned Ruiz. “God noticed me, his kid, and declared me sufficient, offering for my wishes in supernatural techniques.”
Prior to lengthy, Ruiz started to thrive as an APU pupil, experiencing a way of belonging inside her multi ethnic management cohort. From collecting along side the crowd as soon as a month to interact in deep conversations about social justice and racial reconciliation to serving to advance sure trade on campus, she grew from a timid freshman to a assured lady. She attended chapel, invested in an area church, and began a membership referred to as Educators of the Long run.
In 2019, Ruiz’s mom graduated along with her Grasp of Divinity and used to be additionally declared cancer-free.
“My mother discovered the inducement to overcome most cancers thru this college, ” mentioned Ruiz. “APU used to be life-giving for her. She would lay within the hispanic seminar school rooms along with her eyes closed being attentive to her professors, feeling the power to stay going.”
Impressed through her mother’s power and perseverance, Ruiz has plans to turn out to be a trainer who serves low-income scholars within the Los Angeles space. When she noticed her mentor, Danelle Woodman ’20, practice for prestigious graduate faculties to pursue her grasp of training, Ruiz started to dream giant.
“Danelle used to be the one lady of colour I knew individually heading for graduate training,” mentioned Ruiz. “She impressed me to achieve for the celebs and practice.”
Her APU professor, Aurora Matzke, PhD, senior affiliate provost, coached her thru programs and essays to use to the College of Southern California. Matzke didn’t know, on the other hand, that Ruiz used to be additionally quietly making use of to Stanford—not sure and hesitant concerning the consequence. To her wonder, she won an acceptance name in early March.
“The acceptance, after all, got here with a hefty ticket,” mentioned Ruiz. “I consider praying in APU chapel in the course of the worship carrier. I sang the phrases of the tune as a declaration: ‘I’ve observed you progress the mountains, I’ll see you do it once more.’”
And God did it once more. Esther attended a monetary assist session for Stanford in tears as she heard of scholarships which might quilt the entire price of the year-long Grasp’s in Schooling program.
“None of this might had been conceivable with out God, ” she mentioned. On Would possibly 7, 2022, Ruiz used to be first in line on the undergraduate graduation rite, proudly donning her cap and robe, and when the sign used to be given, she opened the college gate main a brand new magnificence of distinction makers towards a brilliant long term. “He’s my supplier. It’s been a fantastic adventure—from the professors I’ve realized from to the neighborhood I’ve constructed. I’m in a position to move out and make a distinction as an educator.”
Posted: June 3, 2022
Abigail Reed ’20 is a contract creator residing in Oregon. [email protected]
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The Friend Who Sticks Closer than a Brother




The Friend Who Sticks Closer than a Brother

Embracing True Friendship: The Friend Who Sticks Closer Than a Brother

Friendship is a valuable asset that enriches our lives by providing companionship, support, and a shoulder to cry on. But have you ever had a buddy who goes above and beyond—someone who remains closer than a brother? In a world where relationships can be fickle, a friend who sticks by us through thick and thin is a rare and priceless gift.

More Than Just Blood Ties

Consider the tie between siblings, which is based on blood and shared history. Consider a buddy who is more than just a family member. “One who has untrustworthy friends soon comes to ruin,” says Proverbs 18:24 (NIV), “but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”

This verse describes a friendship that goes beyond basic conditions. It’s a bond founded on trust, loyalty, and real concern for one another.

Continuous Support

Consider a buddy who is present not only during happy times but also during difficult times. This type of friend is unconcerned about changing circumstances or personal gain. They provide their presence, encouragement, and steadfast support.

Jesus expresses the core of such friendship in John 15:13 (NIV): “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. This selfless affection serves as the foundation for a lasting connection.

Journeys Together

Consider a friend you’ve shared many stages of life with—the highs, the lows, and everything in between. This shared experience forges a link that extends beyond surface-level exchanges. The value of companionship is brilliantly captured in Ecclesiastes 4:9–10 (NIV): “Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. If either of them falls down, one can help the other up.”

A friend who sticks closer than a brother is someone who goes beside us through life’s ups and downs, lending a solid hand and an ear to listen.

A Mirror of God’s Love

As a symbol of God’s love for us, consider the buddy who sticks closer than a brother. God Himself offers an unbroken, unchanging, and everlasting companionship. “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord,” says the Bible in Romans 8:38–39.

God’s love is the ultimate paradigm of true friendship—a love that is not conditional but remains faithful regardless of what happens.

Conclusion: Value true friendship.

A friend who sticks closer to you than a sibling is a treasure to be treasured. This type of friendship is founded on love, trust, and mutual care rather than convenience or shared interests. May we seek to be that sort of friend to others in our lives, just as God offers us His unfailing love.

In a world where relationships can be fleeting, let us create friendships that will endure. Let us be the sort of friends who are present in both joy and sadness, who offer unconditional support, and who mirror God’s unfailing love. We are reminded of the beauty of true friendship, which clings closer than a brother, as we welcome and cherish these unique and valuable ties.

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The Just God




The Just God

The Just God: The Divine Balance of Justice and Mercy

The concept of justice is intertwined with the fabric of human society. We seek justice, responsibility, and reparation for wrongs done. But have you ever pondered a God who is not only just but also perfectly just? The Just God is a lighthouse of truth and righteousness, providing a profound awareness of justice and kindness that transcends human comprehension.

Justice in Pursuit

Consider a world where wrongdoers go unpunished and the disadvantaged have no recourse. The pursuit of justice is a natural human goal that reflects a feeling of rightness and order. And if we as humans value justice, how much more should the Creator of the universe, who is completely just?

According to Deuteronomy 32:4 (NIV), “He is the rock; his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. He is a loyal God who does no wrong, who is straight and just. This verse reveals God’s character, which is characterized by unwavering justice.

Justice and Mercy in Balance

Consider yourself in front of a judge who holds you accountable for every action and decision you make. Imagine that same judge showing mercy and giving you a second opportunity despite the evidence against you. The just God is kind as well as just.

This delicate balance is captured in Psalm 103:10–11 (NIV): “He does not treat us as our sins deserve, nor does He repay us according to our iniquities. For his love for people who fear him is as high as the skies are above the earth. God’s justice is balanced by his unending love and kindness.

The Redemption of Justice

Consider a debt that you will never be able to repay—a debt of mistakes and wrongs that weigh heavy on your soul. In His perfect justice, the just God provides a solution. God provides a mechanism for justice to be served and redemption to be offered through the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ.

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” says Romans 3:23–24 (NIV), “and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. This is an example of justice being met via the redemptive act of Christ’s sacrifice.

A Call to Justice

Consider a society in which justice is not simply a notion but a way of life. In our interactions with others, the just God calls us to exemplify justice. Micah 6:8 (NIV) states unequivocally, “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. What does the Lord expect of you? Act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God.”

Living justly entails treating people with fairness, compassion, and respect, as the character of the just God requires.

Finishing: Adoring the Just God

The Just God asks us to comprehend the breadth of His justice—a justice that supports truth, requires accountability, and strikes a balance between mercy and justice. God’s justice and mercy merge in the person of Jesus Christ, offering us redemption and restoration.

May we turn to the just God as our ultimate standard as we traverse a world that frequently grapples with issues of fairness. May we seek His wisdom and counsel in order to live justly and treat others with love and justice. We find not only a paradigm of perfect justice but also an invitation to experience the transformative power of His kindness when we embrace the Just God.

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The Pleasure of Serving Others: A Pathway to Achievement




The Joy of Serving Others: A Pathway to Fulfillment

The Pleasure of Serving Others: A Highway to Contentment

Have you ever ever felt the nice and cozy glow that effects from lending a serving to hand to a stranger, the enjoyment that lasts for days after the act of kindness? That emotion offers a way of the pride of serving to others. The straightforward act of serving to can give us a sense of function and pleasure in contrast to the rest in a society that incessantly pushes us to place our consideration on ourselves.

The Want to Serve

Believe a society the place everybody labored to fortify the lives of people of their instant neighborhood. The need to lend a serving to hand, proportion a load, and supply comfort is on the core of carrier. The instance used to be established through Jesus Himself when he stated, “For even the Son of Guy didn’t come to be served, however to serve, and to provide his lifestyles as a ransom for plenty of.” (NIV, Mark 10:45)

Serving others is extra than just a nice deed; it is a way to emulate the compassion and love that Christ proven for us.

Discovering Pleasure in Selfless Giving

Believe spending time with the aged or going to a neighborhood refuge to hear their stories and cause them to really feel essential. Those tiny acts of kindness won’t appear to be a lot, however they be capable to make any person’s day higher, create relationships, and toughen a sense of group.

A better feeling of pleasure emerges after we set aside our personal issues and be aware of the wishes of others. The Bible admonishes us, “Every of you can use no matter present you’ve gotten won to serve others, as trustworthy stewards of God’s grace in its more than a few paperwork.” (NIV) 1 Peter 4:10 We specific the particular talents God has given us through serving others, and it’s in those deeds of carrier that we discover authentic pleasure.

Have an effect on Unmeasurable

Take into consideration the impact if all of us realized to experience serving to others. If we take a bit spoil from our tense schedules to lend a hand a neighbor, supply a sympathetic ear, or donate cash to a reason we reinforce. Small acts of kindness have the facility to unfold, sparking a sequence response of generosity and optimistic exchange.

In step with the NIV translation of Matthew 25:40, Jesus stated, “Actually I inform you, no matter you probably did for this sort of least of those brothers and sisters of mine, you probably did for me.” No longer simplest can we fortify the lives of other folks we serve, however we additionally perform Jesus’ command to like and deal with the ones round us.

Development Relationships and Connections

Believe the sensation of camaraderie that comes from cooperating with others to reach a shared purpose. Folks come in combination via carrier, growing ties and friendships that differently won’t have took place. It serves as a reminder that we’re all part of a broader group, and that group would possibly take pleasure in the acts we do.

Serving others permits us to peer the arena from many angles and to realize the demanding situations and victories of other folks round us. Our lives are enriched and {our relationships} are deepened through this sensitivity.

Conclusion: Discovering Contentment Via Carrier

Every people has a skill that is able to be opened: the pleasure of serving to others. It serves as a reminder that our lives are meant to be about extra than just our personal pursuits; they’re an opportunity to fortify the lives of others.

Let’s thus embody the pride of serving to others, if it is by means of deeds of kindness, volunteering, or simply being conscious about their wishes. The easy act of serving would possibly supply mild and hope in a global that every so often turns out overwhelming. As we emulate Christ and prolong ourselves in love, we no longer simplest exchange the lives of others but additionally revel in a deep feeling of success and enjoyment that overflows into our personal hearts.

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