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Amanda Harman: A Writer on a Mission

Amanda Harman: A Writer on a Mission

Amanda Harman is a passionate writer, ready to impact the world of creative writing and literature. 

“Christians can and should use literature to impact the world around us.”

Amanda Harman grew up in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and graduated on May 7th with an English Literature and Creative Writing degree. Since childhood, she has enjoyed family life, venturing in the mountains, and exploring the ever-widening world of literature. Amanda has also been a member of Calvary’s Nikao Leadership Institute for four years, in which she received individualized training in a variety of leadership contexts: “Calvary has helped me to see how the biblical worldview should impact all parts of my life, and I have learned how to execute writing in a way that points readers toward God. Because the Bible itself is literature, we as Christians can and should use literature to impact the world around us.” 

Amanda’s interest in creative writing began when she was in high school: “I took my first creative writing classes at Calvary, and they opened amazing new paths for me. I have written short stories, poetry, and even creative nonfiction. Not only that, but Calvary has helped me get experience in editing and article writing for their website, which makes it much easier to apply for jobs.”

In her last couple of years of attending Calvary, Amanda has been able to tutor students in a variety of subjects, which has given her amazing opportunities to share her knowledge, gain real-world experience, and encourage other students toward success. “There was one student a couple of years ago who worked with all of us tutors at one point or another,” Amanda reflects, “We worked with him diligently to push him away from academic probation and onward toward graduation. It was an incredible experience, and I love that I was able to be part of it.” 

When thinking of experiences that have impacted her at Calvary, and lessons she has learned through her time of being a student, Amanda states: “There are so many things, it’s hard to pick just one: the amazing mentors I’ve been blessed to work with, the opportunities to write and edit, the trust placed in me from the very beginning with my experience in Calvary’s Nikao Leadership Institute… It’s all been so wonderful in preparing me for the future.” She continues, “In particular, I am so grateful for Mr. Thomas Crank and The Warrior’s Pen giving me the opportunity to be on an editorial board. It’s an experience that has opened many job opportunities for me.” 

“In the immediate future,” Amanda says, “I am excited to get a job in my field of study and start working. More than anything, though, I am thrilled to marry a fellow writer (and the love of my life) by the end of this summer!” Today, through Amanda’s gained experience as a writer, tutor, and servant-leader, she is well-equipped to enter her world of study with a firm, biblical foundation to stand upon. 

 

 

Amanda graduated with highest honors as an official member of the Nikao Leadership Institute. 

Camy Crank’s “Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow”

Camy Crank’s “Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow”

Camy Crank is a new author with a big story.

“Sometimes God doesn’t change our situation because He is trying to change our heart.”

In the truest sense of the word, Camilla (“Camy”) Crank is a warrior. In 2015, she was diagnosed with breast cancer, and after five years of chemotherapy, surgery, radiation, and hormonal therapy, she was given a terminal diagnosis. Camy is married to Bob Crank, a mother of three children and grandmother of three grandchildren, and “fell in love” with books while reading them to her children during their growing up years. Today, she is an author of her first-ever published book, inspired by her real-life journey of what she lost, and what she gained through her breast cancer.

“I don’t want cancer,” Camy remembers thinking in a state of shock when she was first given her diagnosis. She prayed there would be another explanation to the growth in her breast, and told her husband, “I’m not afraid to die.” “Then don’t be afraid to live,” Bob had answered. She knew he was right. Camy later learned: “Choosing to live was a conscious choice that I was going to make over and over again.” Understandably, Camy’s diagnosis was a huge shock to herself as well as everyone in her family: “I was walking through life, taking care of my responsibilities, living the life I felt God called me to when BAM, I hit a bump in the road—I found out I had breast cancer.”

Yet, little did she know at the time, breast cancer would become a “high point” in her life, drawing her closer to God, her family, and her friends. Camy states: “People often say that God won’t give you more that you can handle. But in reality, He does give us more than we can handle so that we will learn to lean on Him and not just rely on ourselves.”  Camy emphasizes the truth that “No matter what, God has the final diagnosis.”

Camy’s book, Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow provides an insider’s perspective on the sorrow, resilience, and hope that can be found in the most unfavorable, and even terrifying life experiences. The lessons she shares with her readers are gems that are to be taken captive and treasured in the heart, as well as the soul.

(Quotes in this article are taken from Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow.)

Review from Amazon.com: 

This book was written by a friend of mine. I was connected with her through my son and his wife and she started emailing me when I was going through my breast cancer treatment. The book is an inspiration to anyone that reads it. Her strength, courage, endurance and amazing faith in God will change lives forever! Mine is changed and it is such a blessing to know her. Reading her book helps me to be thankful for each day and grateful for every single thing, no matter how small. I encourage anyone who has breast cancer or knows someone with cancer to purchase this book. I have had the blessing of being able to visit with Camy twice now and she is a blessing to me and anyone who reads this book. Thank you Camy Crank!”Carla D. Khatib

Camy is ready to share her story of survival and hope. Order your copy of Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow on Amazon! 

Rev. Tom Zobrist: A Man of Ministry

Rev. Tom Zobrist: A Man of Ministry

Calvary gave me a solid foundation of Bible and theology on which all of the ministry God has given me has been built.

 

During this year’s Calvary Commencement Ceremony,  Rev. Thomas (Tom) A. Zobrist will be receiving his Honorary Doctorate of Divinity. Additionally, Calvary will introduce the Zobrist Family Scholarship in recognition of Tom and his wife Cindi’s exceptional contributions to Calvary University and their deep and enduring ties to the Calvary community. The purpose of the scholarship is to provide financial support for those who, like Tom, actively demonstrate a passion for full-time ministry. 

Tom has been a pastor for nearly 35 years since he graduated from Calvary University in 1987. After just one year of internship, he was called to pastor Liberty Bible Church, a small storefront church in Eureka, Illinois. Over his years of pastoring, he has watched his once small church transform into a lively home of over 500 members: “We are a mission minded church from which many of our blessings come. We have an excellent leadership team there including two pastors that are also Calvary graduates, and we have many mature men to disciple our younger men.” Tom has also had a hand in ministries outside pastoring his church: “IFCA International, Calvary University, Brazil Gospel Fellowship Mission, and Adelphos USA are all ministries I have been able to serve for many years. I have grown to love the people and places and am thankful to the Lord and to LBC that I have been able to be a part of these ministries.” 

Tom’s experience of attending Calvary was both invigorating and challenging. He was a father of three children at the time, balancing family, work, school, and homework all at once; yet to this day he is incredibly grateful for the impact Calvary made on him both personally and professionally. He reflects: “Calvary gave me a solid foundation of Bible and theology on which all of the ministry God has given me has been built. The practical classes offered for pastoral ministry were all so valuable that I have kept all of the notes from every class and referred to them over the years.” As a young man, Tom looked up to many of the men that were leaders at Calvary during his educational journey, and he strived to reflect a life that exhibited dedication to the Lord as they did. Two men in particular, Dr. Madison and Dr. Langmade, impacted Tom’s life as a believer long after he graduated from Calvary. “I also have to mention one Board of Trustee member that first told me of Calvary and took me for my first visit,” Tom reflects, “Wilbur ‘Bud’ Miller was an elder at my home church and he remained my friend until the day he was promoted to glory.” Ultimately, through many men of faith at Calvary, Tom learned the importance of passing on knowledge and he experienced a new generation of leaders for the church: “That is why I encourage young people to consider Calvary, where they continue to teach the same theology after 90 years.” 

Concerning his ministry and career journey, Tom says there were “many hard knocks along the way”, but despite it all, he had many pastors help him in times of need and he had a church that was gracious and showed love toward him regardless of his flaws: “God used them all to refine me and make me a better servant of our Lord.” He goes on to say that there are so many accounts of impact he has had as a minister that he would have to write a book to share them all, but one of the most amazing experiences he had was baptizing his 79 year-old mother while her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren watched. “Our church continues to grow at a rapid pace and it is exciting to meet new families and watch them get excited about the Bible. I hope to work with more young aspiring pastors to help them gain the experience they need to serve in the local church.”

 

The Zobrist Family Scholarship will be given in honor of both Tom and his wife Cindi, for their deep and enduring ties with Calvary University. 

2022 Commencement Speaker: Richard Bargas

2022 Commencement Speaker: Richard Bargas

A certain sense of fulfillment came to me when I realized I was a small tool God used to impact the lives of men who are ministering to people I would never have made contact with otherwise.”

 

Dr. Richard Bargas is Executive Director of IFCA International, an association of like-minded individuals, churches, and organizations of which Calvary University has been a long-time member. Before his current leadership position with IFCA, he was involved in pastoral ministries in Southern California for over 25 years. He also trained men in seminary for over 12 years while balancing his role as pastor of his church. Richard’s experience of being in the academic world and the church has brought him to the firm belief that the church needs the academy, and the academy needs the church. He states: “Theology used to be considered the ‘queen of the sciences,’ and the clergy used to be among the most educated people in society. For various reasons, this is no longer the case, but I still believe that the Church is best served by well-trained ministers who love God and their neighbor.” 

Dr. Richard Bargas’ ministry was especially impactful through his discipleship of young men. As a pastor, he recognized that many churches are weakest when they do not have a plan to develop future leaders within the church: “This also extends into the home where fathers are unaware of how to lead their homes, and young men often need help in transitioning from being boys to men in a way that is reflected in Scripture and not simply in our culture.” During his discipleship ministry, Richard trained men to be preachers, leaders, elders, missionaries, and church planters: “I believe that this sort of training within the church is necessary to fulfill what Christ says when He gave us the Great Commission to not only bring people to the knowledge of saving faith but to teach them all that He commanded.”

His ministry has made a powerful impact in his personal life, too. Several weeks ago he made a trip to California for ministry and experienced a “joy-filled time” hearing how God had been greatly working in the lives of his brothers and sisters in the faith. He reflects: “My heart rejoiced as I heard the evidence of God’s continued work of grace in their testimonies. We felt like we were back home again and we could have stepped right back into that ministry because our hearts were knit together through the gospel and the shared ministry of serving Jesus together.”  

In addition to his service in the local church, he has had the privilege of working with seminary students for years, watching God take them all over the United States and the world: “A certain sense of fulfillment came to me when I realized I was a small tool God used to impact the lives of men who are ministering to people I would never have made contact with otherwise.” He goes on to say that his ministry with IFCA has changed many of these opportunities, but in many ways, it has also expanded them: “Whereas I impacted a limited number of people in a single church, I am now afforded the opportunity to lead and encourage thousands of churches and Christian workers all over the world.” Truly appreciative of Richard’s long-time service in ministry, Calvary University is thrilled to have him empower and encourage graduating students at this year’s commencement ceremony.

 

Richard has been an outstanding man of ministry, both in the local church, and as Executive Director of IFCA International. 

Alumni Update: Rob Jordon

Alumni Update: Rob Jordon

Rob Jordon recieves his Biblical Counseling diploma at the 2021 Spring Commencement. 

“People won’t care how much their pastors know until they know how much their pastors care.” 

Rob Jordon, a Biblical Counseling graduate from Calvary University, has recently written a book, launched a website, and been promoted to be the leader of the Mental Health and Wellness Group at Amazon. Rob is Youth and Worship Pastor at his local church and graduated from Calvary in 2021 with a degree in Biblical Counseling; he also has a degree in Biblical Studies from Ethnos360 and is currently in the Master’s program at Grand Canyon University for mental health counseling. 

In his recently published book, Blueprints for Caring, Rob presents the concept of individuals becoming the person that they once needed or desired in their growing up years. “Writing the book was a wonderful exercise in applying all that I’ve learned through Calvary University’s writing courses. Personally, it allowed me to take a felt and seen need—the anemic ability of the local church to do soul care—and build a foundation of how we can meet that need practically.” He goes on to say that many people have been impacted by his book as they too have felt this need as vocational pastors. Others have been challenged by the book, realizing the need for this kind of ministry in churches today. Blueprints for Caring “…crosses the borders of theological camps and denominations and focuses on the ‘working faith’ found in James 1 & 2. The scaffolding for the book came from an idea shared by Garret Higbee in ‘Scripture and Counseling,’ as he explains the possibility of the church to be a hospital for those who are struggling,” Rob explains.

Describing his newly developed website, TheBuildingProject.org, Rob says, “From the onset our goal and focus has been on people, not a denomination or a physical building.” The goal of the ministry is to bring the practical education of biblical counseling and counseling skills to church and ministry leaders to better care for the people God has entrusted to them. Rob goes on to explain how The Building Project seeks to equip pastors and elders for the equipping of the saints, as described in Ephesians 4. “The groundwork and foundations have been laid, and the last bit of prep work for these Blueprints conferences is wrapping up. My vision is to be able to travel to local churches or fellowships and offer this training as early as Fall 2022, as well as continue to produce content for the encouragement and training of the church.” At the moment, Rob and his team are patiently waiting for God to make those connections, as well as “finding some pilot sites where we can observe and note any changes that may need to be made in this curriculum.” 

In Rob’s leadership position at Amazon, he has had impactful experiences that have grown him tremendously as a leader in his field: “Being asked to lead the Mental Health and Wellness group at my Amazon site was an honor and I have been able to see some progress in my immediate sphere of influence as an advocate for mental health. This has truly been my missions field working with people of all worldviews.” He goes on to say that he has had the privilege of presenting the Gospel to those he shares with, as he engages in discussions such as identity, LGBTQ+ topics, depression, and suicide. Some of those he’s had the opportunity to speak with include “a driver who had come back in rage, but was able to leave our discussion feeling understood and encouraged; employees who have struggled with anxiety and PTSD feeling understood and supported; a transgender coworker who had a horrible experience with the church and is trying to understand why God made them the way they are but is still willing to ask questions and talk about God because they don’t feel judged.” Rob believes this has been a wonderful opportunity for him to bring the love of God to lost people and, from a professional standpoint, “…promote mental health and the resources offered by Amazon…to help create a culture shift around the shame of talking about mental health.” 

Rob mentions that his education at Calvary University has been hugely influential in his job opportunities, and he attributes all his success to what God has done in his life through Calvary and its counseling department. “Biblical counseling has at its core the heart of discipleship. No matter what field or ministry a student feels led to go into, the most important aspect of any ministry or business, as far as Christians are concerned, is our love and care for them.”  

 

Rob Jordon has been taking up exciting career opportunities since he graduated from Calvary University.