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Led by Stephanie Lien, AUHS Librarian

“After Thanksgiving I feel like everything goes by pretty fast. We’re heading straight to the end of the year and I’ve been thinking about beginnings and ends,” said Lien, “This whole school year has been a continuing cycle of changes so I’ve decided to pick quotes from the Bible that reflect on renewal,” said Lien.

Attendees sat in a circle, read the following passages out loud and shared what the excerpts meant to them on a personal, professional and spiritual level.

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

“Every single one of us was created by God therefore we begin and we end by God,” said Dr. Sisi Chen, Director of Institutional Research and Assessment.

The biggest change that every human being must go through is death. But God is with us in every step of the way, including the final stages in our lives. We should not fear death because it is not the end, it is only the beginning. When the day comes for us to pass away, we will “go back to God, our Father,” said Chen.

Chen also emphasized how essential our relationship with God is in everything we do in life.

“When we are close to God, no matter what we have experienced, tomorrow will always be a new day,” Chen said.

Jesus Christ came into this world to reconcile humanity with God. Not only should our spirits be open to God’s love, but our hearts and minds as well.

“Sometimes you have to let old stuff out of your heart and out of your mind in order to make space to learn new information that could help you,” said Brian Cuffey, AUHS Maintenance man, “I think that’s pretty much what God is saying to us. Get rid of some of that old stuff that’s inside you. Let God in your heart and let Him guide you.”

Proverbs 20:21 An inheritance gained hurriedly at the beginning will not be blessed in the end.

In a world of instant gratification, many of us tend to forget the virtue of patience and hard work. The pressures, trials and tribulations that we experience in life allows us to have the capacity to appreciate what we have and to keep what we earn.

“If we did not put any effort into getting our job position, money or other material things, what we acquire cannot be deep and it cannot be rooted down. So all of these things become very shallow,” said Dr. Kim Dang (Hon.), AUHS Founder, “When the wind comes, you will get blown over and in the end, you will have nothing because you didn’t learn any life lessons.”

Dr. Dang congratulated everyone at the prayer meeting for helping the school achieve its CCNE accreditation.

“All of us worked so hard for the CCNE accreditation. When we got it, it felt great because we earned it; it wasn’t handed to us.” Dr. Dang said, “This school is 23 going on 24-years-old and our success didn’t come overnight. Because we work from the bottom up, we know that we create opportunities for people who wouldn’t get normally get many opportunities otherwise.”

Revelation 21:4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, no crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.

As the year 2016 draws to a close, it is important for us to reflect on the past in order to grow from our mistakes but to always move forward in the direction of Christ. There is always hope of a better tomorrow because of God.

“When Christ was crucified he said, ‘It is finished.’ But for us, it is not finished when the bell rings for 2017. It will be a new beginning for us and there’s a lot of work left to be done,” said Dr. Mercy Popoola, Dean of School of Nursing .

We are able to “enter into God’s rest” because Christ’s death “finished everything,” said Pastor Gregory Johnson, AUHS Co-founder.

“The problem that we have sometimes is that we don’t realize that it’s finished, that we’ve already won, that we’ve already had a victory. Anyone that passes through this world and goes into the next, (will be) with Jesus. But we don’t always see it that way,” Pastor Johnson said, “The world wants us to believe that it’s not done when it actually is done. All of us already have the victory, all of us already have the healing, all of us already have the prosperity. All we need to do now is accept God.”

Ephesians 4:22-24 To put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.

It is never too late to change for the better because God forgives all who seek Him. You don’t have to wait until the end or the beginning of the year to turn over a new leaf.

“Many of us have done things in the past that were not of God. They were probably things that you regret doing by making mistakes, sinning or just being human,” said Cynthia Chambers, Financial Aid Adviser, “But once you get through those times and you acknowledge that Christ is your saviour, you can become a new person, a new spirit and a new mind. You don’t have to hold onto the things that you’ve done wrong.”

People have the ability to change and grow everyday. All it takes is self-reflection and empathy.

“Sometimes you say things as a joke but then you realize your words really did hurt someone. Be the bigger person, go to them and see their point of view,” said Dr. Marilyn Uvero, Vice President of Operations and Development, “Little changes can be significant at the end of the day as you move forward in how you deal with people and in making sure that you treat them as kind as you want them to be treated.”

Growth does not come from things that are often kind, pleasing or delightful. Growth comes from the things that are sometimes grating, caustic and difficult.

Pastor Johnson referred to 2 Corinthians 12:8 where Paul asked God to remove the thorn from his side and God said, “My grace is sufficient.”

“God is saying, ‘I don’t want to remove the thorn, I want you to grow from the thorn, I want you to become better because of the thorn,’” Pastor Johnson said, “Our tendency is to avoid thorns, to remove it as quickly as possible. But sometimes it’s that thing that makes you pay attention.”

If you get a thorn in your foot, you pay attention to your foot. If the thorn is not there, you don’t pay attention to your feet and you don’t you pay attention to where you walk.

“Our grace is that God will allow even our thorns to help us grow in the moment and to look at it as something positive so we can become better people,” Pastor Johnson said.

Thorns can come in many forms, including required college courses.

“(Students) can skip and drop classes because they don’t like their final grades. But it doesn’t mean they won’t have to take the class again,” Pastor Johnson said, “You can drop, disengage and quit as much as you want. You can close off the door and close off the communication, but if it’s a required class by God, you will take that class again in order to graduate.”

Ecclesiastes 7:8 The end of a matter is better than its beginning; Patience of spirit is better than haughtiness of spirit.

Patience is a virtue. All things in life, whether it’s work, school or relationships, requires kindness, tolerance and self-restraint.

“A lot of times we push ourselves to be the best, to achieve this and achieve that,” Cuffey said, “We try to do it so fast. We try to get it done as quick as we possibly can because we try to move onto the next thing. Sometimes God is saying slow down, have some patience.”

Everything that happens in our life has a reason but we may not know what that reason is until our task is finished.

“Sometimes we like to drag our feet on certain things that we don’t like to do in the beginning,” said Dr. Dang, “A lot of us at AUHS are asked to do tasks that we might not even like and a lot of times we aren’t even told why we’re doing these things. But there’s a plan and when we finish it we realize why. The end result is getting grants, making the students happy and allowing our students to get into grad school.”

About American University of Health Sciences

AUHS is a Christian based, minority-serving university, which educates students for careers in the healthcare professions. AUHS emphasizes the values of faith in God, love of humankind, and belief that all people have a right to healthcare and deserve a good quality of life based on wellness of body, mind and spirit. The university celebrates diversity, and reaches out to groups currently underrepresented in healthcare and research. AUHS provides the undergraduate and graduate curriculum, hands-on practical training and supportive environment required to create competent and compassionate healthcare professionals.

American University of Health Sciences is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC), 985 Atlantic Avenue, Suite 100, Alameda, CA 94501, 510.748.9001.

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