Monday, September 23, 2019
Jaclyn Blackford is a Liberty alumni and enjoys writing, encouraging people to pursue their dreams, and using digital media to create change. She is married to her best friend from high school. From Orlando, FL, her and her husband now live in Lynchburg, VA.
To this day, if you were to ask me what one of my biggest fears is, I would instantly respond with “snakes!” Fear in objects or events are easy to spot. Fear of heights, singing in public, spiders, the list goes on. But what about fear that does not manifest in objects or activities, but in our subconscious thought processes? What about the fear of being left out, the fear of not being enough, the fear of letting people down, the fear of failing? Those fears, in my opinion, control our lives and the things we do.
A few weeks ago, I had one of those dark clouds over my head for a few days. In almost everything I did in the present, or everything I dreamed to do in the future, I never felt enough. I didn't feel qualified. I felt that I was overlooked and misread by certain people. My inner thoughts went a little something like this:
I am not creative enough or smart enough for what I am doing.
I am misread and misunderstood too often.
No one sees my desire to lead.
I am not like "insert name here," and the list goes on.
Am I the only one who has these thoughts on repeat some days? I stopped and had to evaluate where these negative narratives were coming from: Has anyone told me I am not smart or creative? Well, no not really. Has anyone said I am not like _____? Nope. Has someone told me I am not a leader? Well, not directly. Okay, Jaclyn, then where are all of these lies and fears coming from?
And to you who is reading this, where are all of these fears coming from? If God says we are enough, then who would try to say we are not? The enemy is out to kill, steal, and destroy anything that God is trying to heal and form in you. If no one personally said those things, we have listened to that little voice in our head. Fear is a liar. If you feel fear, it's not from God. God's perfect love casts out all fear (1 John 4:18).
What fear is crowding your life? Finishing your degree, a new position at work, raising kids, finances? I want to encourage you with three things today:
1. Do not let fear stop you.
I’ve been trying this new thing: If it scares me, I am going to conquer it. But you can't always do that alone. Tell someone you trust about your fears and watch how they encourage you to do it anyway. When you don’t have people around, go to God’s Word. The Bible is full of God helping fearful people become brave. Don’t let the excuse of fear stop you.
2. Recognize (and kill) fear before it spreads. Fear will try and stop everything God is trying to do. I talked about having so many doubts about my talents and my dreams (maybe it’s your degree or certain classes you are avoiding), but I had to stop it before it got a hold of me. If you let fear stay around too long, it can really negatively impact your life. It all starts in your self-talk. What is your self-talk today? Is it filled with jealousy of others, insecurities about your job? Fearing failure of your assignments? Tell those thoughts to stop.
3. Live in freedom. "You who are young, make the most of your youth. Relish your youthful vigor. Follow the impulses of your heart. If something looks good to you, pursue it" (Ecclesiastes 11:9).
Fear makes you think about all the things that can go wrong before you pursue something. The Bible tells us to live vigorously! To follow the impulses of our hearts, to pursue the things that look good. This defines a life of freedom! We are no longer slaves to fear.
I pray that you would be set free in Jesus name to live the life of adventure that God has called you to, to go after the things that intimidate you. Find people around you to encourage you to new levels. I couldn't have broken the chains of fear in my life without my family and my husband. Fear wants to stop everything God is trying to do, but fear is a liar.
"You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free."
Galatians 5:13Posted at 8:04 AM | Comments (0) | Permalink
Thursday, September 5, 2019
Elissa Rogers is currently working on her dissertation focus on Family Business Leadership for her Doctorate of Business Administration (DBA). She has completed two masters' degrees with Liberty University, and her advice is taken directly from her own experiences.
The first day of a new class may seem like a long time ago or may be quickly approaching. Getting and staying organized are some of the keys to successfully completing your semester. I am an online student who loves having a physical piece of paper in my hands to guide my assignment completion.
These are the steps I take to get organized for a new class:
Planning your semester gives you a rough idea of what is expected of you, and when various assignments are due.
Posted at 11:39 AM | Comments (1) | Permalink
Thursday, August 8, 2019
Wait for the Lord. Psalm 27:14
It may seem and easy thing to wait, but it is one of the postures that a Christian soldier cannot learn without years of teaching. Marching and quick-marching are much easier for God’s warriors than standing still. There are hours of perplexity when the most willing spirit, anxiously desiring to serve the Lord, does not know what role to play. Then what shall it do? Vex itself by despair? Retreat back in cowardice, turn to the right hand in fear, or rush forward in presumption? No, simply wait. Wait in prayer, however. Call upon God, and spread the matter before Him; tell Him your difficulty, and plead His promise of help. In dilemmas between one duty and another, it is best to be humble as a child and wait with simplicity of soul upon the Lord. It is sure to be well with us when we feel and know our own folly and are genuinely willing to be guided by the will of God. But wait in faith. Express your unstaggering confidence in Him; for unfaithful, untrusting waiting is just an insult to the Lord. Believe that if He keeps you waiting even until midnight, He will still come at the right time; the vision will come and not delay. Wait in quiet patience, no rebelling because things are difficult, but blessing your God for the privilege of affliction. Never grumble against the second cause, as the children of Israel did against Moses; never wish you could go back to the world again, but accept the circumstance as it is, and put it as it stands, simply and with your whole heart, without any selfish agenda, into the hand of your covenant God, saying, “Now Lord, not my will, but Yours be done. I do not know what to do. I am at an end of myself, but I will wait until You part the floods or drive back my enemies. I will wait, even if You test me for a while, for my heart is fixed upon You alone, O God, and my spirit waits for You in the deep conviction that You will still be my joy and my salvation, my refuge and my strong tower.”
Morning and Evening by Charles H. Spurgeon. Revised and updated by Alistair Begg.Posted at 2:13 PM | Comments (0) | Permalink
Thursday, July 18, 2019
Aaron Arch is in his first semester at Liberty University and pursuing a Master of Science in International Relations. Originally from San Antonio, TX, Aaron joined the Army 14 years ago. He met his lovely wife, Julia, in South Korea and has been married for 4 years. They love cooking, traveling, and sharing the gospel to all who will listen.
I noticed that quite a few of you have been out of school for an extended period of time and are feeling overwhelmed. I want to encourage you with three things.
I want to first encourage you by stating that I took a two-year break from classes following the completion of my bachelor's degree, I have thus far earned an associates degree, bachelors degree, and professional certificate in human resource management—all online while working in the military, which is a near 24/7 commitment. If God made a way for me to accomplish these things, He will do it for you as well!
Second, and more importantly, I want to encourage you using the infallible, written Word of God:
John 14: 26-27 (KJV) states, "But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." (27)
God knows the desires of your heart and His divine will and purpose will help you successfully complete this course, and ultimately your degree. Be strong and courageous and the God of righteousness will lead, guide, and comfort you every hour.
May God bless and keep each and every one of you as you carry on in your studies.
With all sincerity and blessings!Posted at 10:27 AM | Comments (1) | Permalink
Friday, June 28, 2019
My name is Justin Harriman, and I recently received my master's degree in Human Services Counseling: Executive Leadership. I am the quintessential family man who enjoys time with my family. I have two young children (1 girl and 1 boy) and my wife and I have been together for 14 years and counting.
When I was taking my journey through Liberty University, I suffered from bouts of depression and anxiety. I had two children under the age of 5, a full-time job, a wife that was being neglected, a house that was being neglected, dogs that were being neglected, and I had a to-do list 4 miles long it seemed. However, my family was supportive which was my saving grace, along with prayer to our Lord, Jesus Christ. They knew that this was only temporary and that the finish line was going to yield us a windfall of opportunity. This came true for me in May. I graduated with a 3.96, I got a promotion at work with a substantial pay increase, I now play with my kids all of the time, my dogs get walks again, and my wife and I spend much-needed quality time together. Also, my to-do list around the house has shortened to only 2 miles long!
Please understand that this is only a temporary phase of your life, and the windfall at the end is better than a pot of gold! God bless you and good luck with your journey!Posted at 2:04 PM | Comments (4) | Permalink
Monday, May 20, 2019
The majority of your first semester is figuring out how this new thing called "school" is going to somehow be placed into the busyness of your life. Your first week is filled with excitement and by the end of the week, you wonder how in the world you're going to complete every assignment. It's normal to have these feelings and you need to give yourself some grace. But know you will succeed, and it gets easier. It's going to take a few weeks, maybe even a month to find what works for you: where will you do your homework, what time of day, whether weekends are rest or for playing catch up.
In the midst of it all, remember that there are tens of thousands of other students who have already been through their 1st semester and made it through. You can find them on Yammer and in our Facebook group, and today, you can find a few right here in this blog:
When I began in January of 2018, I was incredibly nervous as well. I hadn't been in school for 15 years and I was very nervous about the learning curve. I held on to those nerves, and I am now set to graduate in three weeks with a 3.96. My tips are to let your nerves propel you to never being late with an assignment, completing all assignments, learning to read efficiently (I never read a book word for word, I summarize main points and translate them into my own words). Just believe in yourself and you will crush it! Good luck to you through your journey with Liberty. It can be life-altering if you fully engage in it.
Here is my tip of the day: Many students who will start at Liberty will be students who have been absent from school for many years. Okay... you're feeling a little bit intimidated right? Liberty’s online format makes it easy to learn. E-books are easy and you can set how many courses you're going to take. If I could tell you one thing: Don’t be afraid. Just take your time. Start with UNIV104. It will show you what to expect and how to navigate Blackboard. Liberty’s Academic Advisors are a great source for course info. Don’t try taking a full load the first semester. Remember why you're here.
When I started in January, I was afraid there would be a huge learning curve and I'd mess up! If I can do it, you can do it. Watch the Blackboard online tutorials... it really helps, and download the app on your phone. The app is super easy to navigate and I use it a lot. I use Blackboard on my computer to do assignments and tests. One other tip: when you're doing your discussion board posts, do them first in Microsoft Word, then put them through Grammarly to check for any errors. After that, copy and paste into your thread in Blackboard. Be sure to cite all your work, even in discussion board posts. You will be fine. I'm 51, so it's all been new to me too!
Time Management is vital. I thought I was too busy to be a mom, a wife, and a student, but once I sat down and made a schedule of everything I did in a day I found a lot of wasted time. My first semester was crazy with trying to get everything done. I was staying up late to study and working on school work all weekend. Once I learned good time management skills I was able to get all my school work done in a few hours a day three to four days a week and have my weekends free.
For more encouragement, relatability, and tips for online students join a Yammer group by degree program, location, stage of life, and more! www.liberty.edu/yammerPosted at 12:29 PM | Comments (0) | Permalink
Monday, May 20, 2019
Kylie Hoffman is a 21 year-old graduate of Liberty University Online. She is graduating with her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology: Criminal Psychology.
Being a first-generation college student, the thought of attending a university seemed like a dream that was always out of reach. Further complicating my college dream was the challenge of being married to a soldier in the U.S. Army. I was in a unique situation as an army wife, transferring from an on-campus atmosphere to a fully online program at Liberty and moving to North Carolina from Washington state. While the obstacles were stacked against me, with God and my family by my side, I not only was able to attend college but be on the verge of graduating with my bachelor’s in Psychology: Criminal Psychology with the honor of Summa Cum Laude.
While I was grateful to have found LUO, I was skeptical on how attending an online university would compare to a campus in regards to retaining the information and making friends. I was reassured when I began taking my first courses and discovered how in-depth each class was. Each professor was not going to let a lack of a physical classroom get in the way of giving students the proper learning experience. However, I found the social aspect to be lacking, which was probably the hardest part about being a student of LUO. I then found the website “Yammer” that allowed me to communicate with fellow students and be a part of the Liberty community.
To someone just starting out their degree, I encourage you to understand that this is not going to be easy. Chances are, you are attending an online university because your situation is not perfect, but that’s okay. Your journey is going to be hard, beautiful, unique, and one that you will not want to miss for the world. There will be tough times, and there will be times when you are not sure if it is worth it to keep going. But I am here to tell you that it is. Persevering and completing your degree is something that no one can take away from you and an accomplishment you will cherish for the rest of your life.Posted at 12:29 PM | Comments (0) | Permalink
Monday, April 15, 2019
Ashley Grubb lives in Iowa, and in her free time, she reads, participates in 5K races for various charities or organizations, and spends time with her three dogs and mother. Her family's support helps during the tough times.
I am 32 years old and made the decision that I will get older no matter what--I can get older doing what I'm doing now, or I can get older while finishing my education.
My first semester with Liberty University was in July of 2018. I took two classes, and I thought I could manage them just fine. However, I felt rushed in the readings and had a hard time keeping up with the homework. Having to read three chapters out of two books and make sure that you can get the discussions done or paper done in time was very stressful. I managed, but I honestly say that it was all because of God. I went one more semester with two classes until I understood that I could take one course at a time as a doctoral student.
I feel like God has helped keep me going and has helped me as far as I am. I think that as long as you focus on God and pray as you continue your education that God will bless you and help you through the difficult times.
For future new students my best suggestion would include the following:
Homework will always want to pull you away from family or friends, but never use the excuse that you can’t pray or spend time with God because of school. He is the reason why you are here--to earn an education in which you can use to reach others who may not know God. Lastly, be aware that God may put you in one direction and turn you to another direction. He is putting you there for a reason. Best of luck.Posted at 2:24 PM | Comments (0) | Permalink
Monday, April 1, 2019
Monday, April 1, 2019
By Shericka Cullin, LUO Student studying Bachelor of Science in Psychology
Heavenly Father! I just thank you for who you are.
at 1:16 PM |
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For my classmates, my brothers and sisters… Father, I pray that your glory falls fresh on them today, draw out every fear, every bit of anxiety and any thought or plan that would cause them to be distracted or even deterred from what you have already declared perfect on their life. For your word says that Your grace is sufficient and Your strength is made perfect in weakness.
Many in this season feel burnt out, overwhelmed, beyond tired, frustrated, maxed out, ready to give up, asking why and probably have never cried as much in any other season of their life. But Father, today, we take captive those thoughts of negativity and align them with your will and for those who do not know how to take captive their thoughts and align them accordingly, teach them Father. Holy Spirit, intercede!
It is ok to acknowledge weaknesses, because God is our ever-perfect & ever-present help. Father, I thank you for the power and the authority to speak against tactics (plans, plots, maneuvers, schemes, deception, trickery) of any kind from the enemy. Your work is finished Father – we are more than conquers because you love us and on that we will stand.
Heavenly Father you are amazingly awesome, and I thank you! In Jesus name Amen.