STAFF PICKS: BOOK EDITION

We are starting a new series where we ask our staff, students, and alumni what books, music, and more they would recommend to others. In this edition, we asked some of our staff what book has stuck with them recently, and this is what they said.

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Jackie Greenhall: Your God Is Too Safe

This book breaks down the unhealthy ways we view God and helps us give application on daily habits that will help people walk with a bigger view of God.

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Alyssa Trail: The Cure

The book deals with guilt and shame. It’s the best book I have ever read on this topic, and it is transforming my relationship with the Lord every day.

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Brian Trail: How People Grow

I loved this book because it revealed my love and appreciation for authors who can share and unpack Biblical truths as well as show how clinical data reflects and displays those same truths.

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Will Baird: The Explicit Gospel

This book was really instrumental for me in grasping the depth of the gospel and the staggering implications of God sending His Son to take our place on the cross. Even after walking with Christ for a while, this book helped me to see the gospel in a whole new light, and has helped me tremendously in understanding and being able to explain it in a clearer and deeper way.

Super Senior: Matt Aurednik

Matthew Aurednik
Wofford College
Environmental Studies, Soccer team

HOW DID YOU BECOME A CHRISTIAN?
I was raised in a Christian home, but I never understood what it meant to have a relationship with Christ until I got to college and surrounded myself with guys and mentors who loved me and kept me accountable. I struggled freshmen year with identity and eventually hit rock bottom during the middle of spring. It was over spring break that year that I rededicated my life to Christ and started thinking with eternity in mind. I committed to Leadership Project, and for the last three years my life has been changed because I know Christ and He knows me.

HOW HAS YOUR TIME IN COLLEGE SHAPED YOUR FAITH?
When it comes to my faith, college has provided everything that I needed, starting with community. I found a core group of guys early on in freshmen year who began keeping me accountable. When I became a true follower of Christ, I was surrounded by like-minded individuals who were passionate about their own faith as well as aiding the walks of those beside them. Together we learned about how to read scripture, why it's important to pray, how to steward our time, how to share the gospel, etc. I have learned to think more eternally not only for myself but for others.

WHAT IS YOUR VISION FOR YOUR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE?
I want to find community as soon as possible and use whatever platform God gives me to share his love with those around me.

WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR YOUR FELLOW STUDENTS?
Find a solid group of girls or guys who will walk with you throughout college. Be vulnerable, serve wholeheartedly and don't waste your time on trivial matters. We are not here for very long, so make the best of it!

Super Senior: Forrest Rogers

Forrest Rogers
Clemson University
Food & Nutrition Science

HOW DID YOU BECOME A CHRISTIAN?
I became a Christian when I was 5 and was raised in a Christian home, but once I got to college I just started doing what I wanted to do. My freshman and sophomore years were not spent living out the faith. Junior year, I met Landon Tucker who is on staff with CO and started to get involved with his bible study he was starting up. With the combined efforts of small group, reading the Bible, and a few major personal events, I finally realized that I could not be living a double life any longer. So I decided to be all in for Jesus in November of 2015, and I have been walking steadily with Him ever since.

HOW HAS YOUR TIME IN COLLEGE SHAPED YOUR FAITH?
Over the past year, I have grown so much in my faith. This has come from a combination of small group and community, going to New Years conferences and Leadership Project, and leading my own small group of freshman boys. I now see the realness of the gospel and the need to spread it to my friends; I also see the need to lead young Christian men in the pursuit of their relationship with Christ. Finally, I see life as a selfless pursuit of what God wants, which has affected many different aspects of my life (what I spend my free-time doing, relationships, post-graduate life, etc.).

HOW ARE YOU THINKING ABOUT LIFE AFTER COLLEGE?
Life after college is going to be tough. I currently live in a house of believers, surround myself with Christian community throughout the week, and have CO staff that I can go to when I need insight or counsel. The issue is that when I leave college, I will soon realize that the world outside of Clemson is not saturated with people of my similar age and likemindedness. I will need to get plugged in with a local church and seek community there. I know that it will be harder than what I am used to here at Clemson.

WHAT ARE YOU DOING AFTER GRADUATION?
I will be attending physical therapy school at either Western Carolina in Cullowhee, NC, or The Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston.

WHAT WENT INTO YOUR DECISION?
I have known that I wanted to do PT since freshman year. As far as school choices, both Western and MUSC have Campus Outreach programs that I can get plugged in with while I am there for 3 years.

WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR YOUR FELLOW STUDENTS OR THOSE ENTERING COLLEGE?
Don’t wait to get involved with a ministry, whether that be Campus Outreach or another campus organization. I waited until my junior year to get plugged in, and that was a huge mistake. The Bible teaches on the importance of community all throughout the New Testament. We are not meant to go through this life alone. Commit to a group and the people within it, and I guarantee that your spiritual life will grow.

Super Senior: Jess Goergen

Jessica Goergen
Presbyterian College
Psychology major, English and Spanish minors, lacrosse player

HOW DID YOU BECOME A CHRISTIAN?
I became a Christian early in my childhood, but recommitted my life to Christ during college. After tirelessly seeking other things to satisfy me like athletics, social life, and perfectionism, Christ kept calling me back to Him. Even during my constant searching and avoiding, He never stopped being faithful and consistently reminded me of His unfailing love for me.

HOW HAS YOUR TIME IN COLLEGE SHAPED YOUR FAITH? 
College has really helped me mature spiritually, especially through discipleship. I now view life as a means to know more of Christ. Every experience, every person I meet, is part of a divine plan in that Christ is to be glorified and made known. This gives purpose because it takes all the pressure off of me to make something of myself, and rather gives me freedom to live life to the fullest, as God intended.

WHAT IS YOUR VISION FOR YOUR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE? 
I hope to take part in world missions and go to grad school for clinical psychology. While the timing of both of these is uncertain at this point, I know that God has plans for me in both vocations because of the passions and skills with which He has equipped me.

HOW ARE YOU THINKING ABOUT YOUR FUTURE CAREER? 
God has given me a set of skills and passions unique to me (as He has with everyone), so wherever God sends me to use them is where I'll go. While right now is a season of uncertainty, I know that God will provide and make known the specifics. I am excited to see what God has in store for me.

WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR YOUR FELLOW STUDENTS?
My advice would be to work hard in your studies, build your skills, but do not get caught up in them. The same goes for athletics. Take the time now to build relationships with people and get to know Christ more. The biggest thing that God has taught me this year is not to worry. Everything will work out regardless of if you stress or not, so don't be anxious about temporary things! 50 years from now, are you really going to remember how prepared you were for that exam and how much you stressed over it, or are you going to look back on the times when you truly lived life as God intended (i.e loving God and loving others)?