Amy Petersen, ministry wives ministry partner for Oklahoma Baptists, delivered the chapel message Oct. 27. The service took place inside Raley Chapel’s Potter Auditorium on the OBU campus in Shawnee.
Petersen shared about how to bridge the gap between your belief in God and how you live your life.
“You know things about God, but…does he connect with your life?” she asked the chapel attendees. “There’s often a disconnect between our theology and our reality.”
According to Petersen, people with this disconnect may not notice or even care that it exists, but there is so much more for people in a power-filled life, where the gap between theology and reality is bridged.
To answer the question “How do we do that?” she directed students to God’s word, specifically to Psalms 3:1-4. Petersen noted how this Psalm reveals David's theology, his reality and how to connect the dots between the two. From this, she drew three principles on how to connect theology with reality: see the facts of your reality, name your emotions and believe the truth.
Petersen advised attendees that in order to truly see the facts of their reality, they must admit to themselves the secret sins, friend drama, family drama, sinful pasts and any other elements of reality that they are trying to hide or avoid.
“In order to move through it,” she said, “you have to bring it to light.”
She then discussed the importance of naming their emotions. She noted that emotions do not make us weak, rather, they come from a place of strength. “There’s a freedom found in being able to name an emotion,” she said. She talked about how through naming our emotions, we can acknowledge our current state and move on to the truth.
Next, she focused on how to actively believe the truth of God, specifically pointing out how David applied this principle to his life as shown through this Psalm.
“For every emotion he identified,” she said, “he attached a truth about God to it.”
She encouraged the students that when they feel defenseless, they should acknowledge the truth that God is their shield. When they feel hopeless, they should see that God is the one who lifts their heads.
“That's how you can bridge the gap between who you know God to be and how to live your life,” she said.
“My prayer is that within your reality, that you’ll be able to see who God is in it,” she said. “That you will trust him, that you will believe him and that you will bridge the gap by inviting him into your space, inviting him into your life, inviting him into your reality.”
She concluded the message by challenging the audience members to implement these tactics into their daily lives.
“I hope that you will allow the Lord to speak to you in this truth for the days to come,” she said. “Because he is good, he is loving and he has a great plan for your life.”
Petersen serves Oklahoma Baptists as the ministry wives ministry partner, supporting ministry wives in the 1,600 Southern Baptist churches across the state of Oklahoma. Over the past 25 years, she has served as a middle school teacher and corporate trainer, and she has been heavily involved in ministering to others through writing and teaching Bible studies, speaking at events, discipling women and serving as a ministry wife alongside her husband in full-time church ministry.
She is married to Brandon Petersen, dean of students and vice president of campus life at OBU. The two met while students on Bison Hill and both are OBU alumni. She previously spoke on campus in April 2021 as a guest speaker for Courage and Connection, an event hosted by OBU First Lady Jill Thomas.