End of the Semester Update

Posted: December 14, 2011 in Uncategorized

Dear friends,

Christian Student Fellowship at Old Dominion University has had a great first semester on campus.  Over the past few months, David Van Buskirk and I have had the privilege of meeting and working with a group of students on a regular basis.  We look forward to continuing to develop relationships with these students next semester and continuing to meet more students in an effort to share Christ with students across the campus.

The ministry now has the standing of an official student organization on campus.  With this status, we have gained an increased amount of recognition on campus, and we are now able to reserve rooms for meetings and participate in student organizational fairs.

We have also completed the process to become members of the University Chaplin’s Association on campus.  We currently have provisional status but will obtain full status at the end of the spring semester and will be recognized as faculty members on campus.

As previously mentioned, we pray that the Lord would guide us in expanding the ministry during the spring semester.  We are planning to continue weekly Bible studies on campus and are also attempting to plan social events with students in order to help the students grow closer to one another as they grow closer to God.  We are also in the process of planning a spring retreat.

We are blessed to have a group of individuals and churches who have committed to supporting the ministry on a regular basis.  Loyal supporters, both prayer and financial, allow this ministry to operate on the ODU campus.  We are very grateful for the sacrifices that are made each month that make this ministry possible.  There is a great need for ministry on the campus of ODU and we are thankful for those who partner with us to meet this need.

As the year draws to a close, we would like to make the opportunity available for additional individuals and churches to partner with the ministry by making a special end-of-the-year donation to help the ministry have the funds to go into the New Year with necessary resources.  Also, we would like to go into 2012 with a larger body of supporters in order to continue to strengthen the ministry.  In order to do so, we need individuals to commit to monthly donations and continual prayer for the ministry.  Your donation will have a direct and significant impact on the ministry opportunities provided to students at Old Dominion University.  I am confident that God has more great things in store for the ministry and the support of loyal individuals is necessary to make the ministry as successful as possible.

If you would like to partner with the ministry by making a one-time special gift or a recurring monthly donation, donations are tax deductible and can be made online at cmov.org under the support tab or by mail to the following address:
College Ministries of Virginia
P.O. Box 3280
Richmond, Virginia 23228

Please include my name on the memo line when writing a check or donating online to ensure that your donation is sent directly to the ministry at Old Dominion University.  Please feel free to contact me or gain additional information about the ministry at one of the links below.   Thank you for your love and support.  I look forward to keeping you updated with the progress of the ministry.

God Bless,

Tyler and Anna

Seeing how my last post on here was about my car, I figured that I’d do another post about cars. Now you’re thinking “but Tyler, this post is about your childhood, how could cars be something from your childhood?” And my answer to that is this…







Now in case you can’t automatically tell by the awesomeness of that picture, these little guys are called Micro Machines. I was NOT a Hot Wheels kinda kid…at all. There were very few of them in our house if there were any at all. BUT, there were tons of these amazing little guys. My brother and I would spend hours and hours of our lives playing with these. We had a huge carpet that had a city layout on it. It had roads and buildings and all sorts of things that we were able to drive our little cars around on. Later on, I got   the Micro Machine van, which folded out to be a 3-D version of that little rug that we played on.

This is what it looked like when it was the van…fully functional wheels so you could drive it around as well…if you were into that kinda stuff! And this is what it looked like when it was opened up…

I know…it’s amazing! The other great thing about Micro Machines were the commercials. The dude in the commercials was known for how he spoke and everyone knew what commercial it was going to be as soon as they saw that guy on the screen. Micro Machines built their company on this guys ability to talk fast…and it worked.

These things were probably some of my favorite toys when I was a kid, and provided hours of entertainment and special time spent with my brother. I loved it and I loved when he would play with them with me. I think we ended up giving them to a friend of the family for her son when we both got too old for them, but I wish we had kept at least a few of them back for nostalgic reasons.

Until next time…God Bless!

- Tyler


Posted: November 11, 2011 in Uncategorized

So last week I had some wonderful car issues and when I got home LATE at night I said there were details to come. Well…these are the details.

Let me start off by saying that I own a 2000 Chevy Malibu that I got when I was 19 years old. It was already 5 years old when I got it and the only reason I got it was because my last car went out of commission. My parents surprised me with it while I was at school and I LOOOVED it. I’ve been through a lot with this car and it’s taken me many many places. I say all this to say that I am NOT ungrateful to this car for all its hard work, and also to say that I am completely aware that most of the problems with the car are BECAUSE it’s gone through so much with me and I’ve driven it a LOT.

That being said…here’s the story. I had been visiting with Anna in Greenville and had to drive AAAAAAAALL the way to Richmond to help with worship at VCU…a long drive that I wasn’t looking forward to. I drove over to I95 and as soon as I jumped on there, the light came on for my thermostat. This was no big deal, I’ve had this happen several times and knew how to handle it. I pulled over at a gas station, poured plenty of water over the engine and put some more coolant in…good to go!

I made it about 80 more miles down the road and it happens again, so I had to pull over on the side of the road. I go pop the hood to let the engine cool down and just wait. Once I was able to open up the coolant, it was AAAAAAAALLLLLL gone again. I finally gave up and put enough water in there to get it off the road to somewhere I could leave it and called to see if someone could come get me. We got it arranged and I got to Richmond for worship…end of the day.

The next day I called to find a garage to work on whatever was wrong and found one. I had to drive from Richmond back to where my car was to get it to the garage (around 45 minutes…not too terrible) and then right back to Richmond. They had told me that they could get my car fixed either by that evening or by early the next morning, and that it would only cost about $350, which was close to $700 cheaper than everyone was saying it would be online, so I was pretty happy. I waited the rest of the day for a phone call saying that it was done, but it never came. I was still ok with it because I was thinking it would be early the next day. The next morning we headed back over to my car figuring that it would be done soon. My ride had to get back to Richmond so I just stayed at the station because hey, my car was going to be done soon anyway right?…..WRONG!

To sum up what happened that day, I ended up at the station until about 9:30 that night. I had to have my thermostat, head gasket valve, water pump and a belt replaced. It ended up costing me $500 which is STILL cheaper than it said online, but still wasn’t a pretty sight for me to watch that money come out of my savings account…that I am using for my honeymoon. I missed a board meeting for the ministry, another meeting at the school and we had to cancel our Bible study that night because Dave’s son was sick and I wasn’t there to cover for him. There was no internet there so I couldn’t do any work…I just had to sit there at the station and wait. I got home at 11:30 and went right to bed.

I don’t want to complain (too much) that my car got fixed a little bit later than I thought it would. At least it didn’t take a week or anything like that, and I have my car back now and it’s running to the best of its ability. I’m just worried about the next time something goes wrong. The car has had a LOT of repairs on it over the years: alternator replaced twice, LOTS of new tires, the started has always had trouble, and now this new list of repairs.

So the plan now is to start saving up for a new one. Anna and I have looked around a little bit and found some good deals in the area. There’s some good cash deals and some other ones that wouldn’t be a HUGE loan to take out. We’re just planning on taking the Malibu as far as she’ll go and when the next big repair comes, just buy a new one. We’re HOPING it will make it a while longer, but we’ll see. The tricky part if we have to buy the car sooner rather than later is balancing it with other expenses. We’re trying to get pre-approved for a house so a car mixed in there wouldn’t work out too well, which is why we’re trying to save up and do cash for the car if at all possible.

I know I usually don’t write this long and I’m sorry that you had to go through all of that! I want to finish up by asking you guys to pray about the whole situation. Pray that the car lasts a little while longer, and if it doesn’t, pray that we can find a good deal on a good car. I thank you guys for your support of me and this ministry and hope that you’ll continue to pray for and support us!

Until next time…God Bless!


Way-Back Wednesday #7

Posted: October 12, 2011 in Uncategorized

Another tv show from my childhood has been on my mind for this post…Rocko’s Modern Life. This show ran for 3 years from 93-96 and I loved it. Little did I know that it was NOT a child’s show whatsoever. It’s a very adult oriented show, but you never notice it as a kid because you don’t get ANY of the jokes that they tell. Here’s the intro to the show just to give a little taste of how messed up this show was! Crazy huh!?

The other thing that I find interesting about the show is that it’s got two fairly “well-known” actors in it. Carlos Alazraqui, who is best known by me from the show Reno 911, and Tom Kenny, who has many voice-acting roles under his belt, but none QUITE as well known as this guy…

…that’s right, the guy that does the voice for Spongebob was in that crazy show! All in all, the show is WEIRD! Watching the show as an adult is even more interesting, now that I understand all the jokes, lol. It was interesting back then and it’s even more interesting now! My advice to anyone reading this…if you have kids, or ever plan on having kids, DO NOT LET THEM WATCH THE SHOW!! They might just turn out like me, and I’m pretty sure no one out there wants that!


Until next time…God bless!


Some new stuff has been happening with CSF and I wanted to keep everyone up to date. We had some paperwork that we had to fill out to become a student organization at ODU. We had to get 10 student signatures of people that want to support the group (it was harder than it sounds!) We also had to put some information down about the group. Well, we FINALLY got all of our signatures, we got all of our information filled out AND we met our faculty advisor. We turned in all of our work a few weeks ago and got a letter not long after that we are a student organization with provisional status. This just means that we have 6 months of being a student group but not REALLY being a student group. We have some events that we’re required to do (service projects and different things like that) and at the end of the 6 months, the student council will meet with our student leader and vote on whether they believe we should be a full-blown student organization. It might SOUND like a big ordeal, but we were told there’s no reason they shouldn’t approve us, so we basically have it! So there you have it, we’re moving along pretty well and hopefully we’ll just keep on going! Please please PLEASE keep praying for Dave and I that we’ll be able to make an impact on ODU’s campus and help this ministry grow!

Until next time…God bless!


A New School Year

Posted: September 28, 2011 in Uncategorized

I know that it’s time for a new Way-Back Wednesday today, but I wanted to get a “real” post out since it’s been a while. The new semester has been going at ODU for almost a month now, and CSF started off the school year with a retreat. We had 10 or 15 people show up total, but this was at different times throughout the retreat. It was a good number to start things off with and everyone involved seemed to have a really good time.

We’ve also started Bible studies for the students where we’re going through the book of John. This has been an up and down activity. Dave and I are both very excited to be doing what we’re doing and to build the relationships with the students, but we’ve not had the best luck with students turning up. It’s been very off and on with people showing up one week and not the next. Dave and I were both told not to take stuff like this personally and it’s nothing to do with us, and I understand that, but at the same time, it IS a little disconcerting when we have no one there. I know that a lot of these students are “busy” but at the same time I want them to understand that making time for God is very important, and that college is a very important time for them to develop these spiritual habits so that they can stick with them for the rest of their lives. This is the reason Dave and I are doing what we’re doing.

On the good side of things…we just finished up another retreat this past weekend. We took a trip to Nags Head and stayed at Son Rise Church of Christ. Our plans got messed up a little bit because of the rain (we were going to have a beach day), but a little extra free time and some bowling filled the void very nicely. There were about 25 people total that attended from CSFODU, CSFVCU, MACU and a few other colleges. Chris McCarthy joined us and brought an amazing series of messages throughout the weekend, and I got to lead the worship with a few of the students. The week finished off nicely with a worship service on the beach and a cookout for lunch. I think that service on the beach was probably my favorite. My hands felt sticky on my guitar because of the sea air and I pretty much couldn’t hear ANYONE singing…BUT, I could SEE them singing. Every time I looked out at the students it was an awesome sight to see all of them singing along with me…made my heart happy. Also, this cookout is where one of the funniest moments of the weekend for me happened. One of the students stood up from her chair to get more food and knocked her drink cup (which was COMPLETELY) full over and it fell right on top of me and ended up completely soaking my shorts. It might not sound as funny reading it, but trust me, it was!

All in all, things are going well so far, despite the regular setbacks of starting a new ministry. Our next big thing that we’re planning is tailgating for the upcoming homecoming football game for ODU. We’re hoping to use this event to get some of the supporting churches involved with things and give them a look at the new ministry and the campus. Please keep us in your prayers as we continue throughout this semester.

Until next time…God bless!


Way-Back Wednesday #6

Posted: September 14, 2011 in Uncategorized

When I was a wee child, I had a ridiculous amount of irrational fears, but really no more than any other kid. I was scared to death to be in a dark room. I would turn every light in the house on just to walk to the bathroom. It got to a point that my parents wouldn’t let me turn on the lights because it was ridiculous, so I decided to sprint from the living room to the bathroom when I had to go. If I was home alone, I would just hold it until mom or dad got home.

When I would take a shower I would NOT turn my back to the back of the shower. Also, I wouldn’t close my eyes to wash the shampoo out of my hair…I had a system so that I could keep my eyes open the entire time to watch the door in case anyone where to come in. Apparently, when I was a kid I thought I lived in the world’s most unsafe house or something, and that my parents would just let ANYONE waltz in to get me!

What this particular blog is about though is a fear that has actually become a joke with my family over the years. This fear had such an innocent start that it’s almost ridiculous. I was outside looking at the stars one night and I mentioned how one set of stars looked like a “horse figure”. Now, my family was really good at taking normal things and making them scary for me (I know I sound like a pansy but I swear I’m not!). They would do this by just repeating things over and over until it was annoying, and then finally, scary. What added to this is that I have a very overactive imagination, so I would get these very vivid images in my head and end up scaring myself. One example of this is a “horror” movie we saw about cats. This movie was NOT scary by any means…but they continuously meowed and for some reason it became creepy to me. Back to this new constellation I had found, this “horse figure” in the stars and my parents thought it was so funny that they would randomly refer to the horse figure in conversation. This turned into them referring to the horse figure as some monster that was going to come after me (I know my family sounds mean in this story, but I promise that they love me very much and were just teasing me…I was just very easily scared). My family still to this day doesn’t know why the Horse Figure was so scary to me, but I would FLIP out when they started talking about it and I would run out of the room with my ears plugged (I’m seriously laughing as I’m typing this!). The reason it was so scary is that in my mind, I had dreamed up this monstrous horse thing that would come after me if anyone talked about it.

My family finally stopped when I went to my mom privately and asked her very sincerely to stop talking about it, and she promised they’d stop. Throughout the years though, as I got over all of these irrational fears, the Horse Figure would make random appearances in jokes and prods at me. I LOVE the fact that I can look back with my family at all these weird, crazy, irrational things that I had going through my head and laugh about it, and I promise, I’ve grown out of 99.9% of these fears…I’ll let you imagine what I’m still scared of!

What irrational fears did you have when you were younger?

Until next time…God Bless!


Fall Newsletter

Posted: September 5, 2011 in Uncategorized

Dear Friends,

I am excited to tell you about my experiences over the past few months as I have been working to prepare for the kick-off of the new Christian Student Fellowship ministry at Old Dominion University.

The summer began with a golf tournament fundraiser on June 10th.  There was a great turnout of golfers and a good deal of sponsorship money came in on the day of the tournament or before.  All of the CMOV and ODU ministry board members as well as many others who will be helping get the new ministry off the ground were present to show their support and enthusiasm for the new ministry.

I also spent a couple weeks at Camp Rudolph this summer.  CSF was the “mission” each week and I spoke to the campers about the new ministry at Old Dominion and the importance of ministries on college campuses in general.  I had a great time with the campers and enjoyed investing in their lives throughout the week.

Josh Smith, campus minister with CSF at Virginia Commonwealth University, David Van Buskirk, and I have been meeting regularly over the summer months to plan events and regular Bible study meetings for the fall semester.  We have also been completing managerial tasks, such as developing informational flyers and setting up a new website for the ministry.

Dave and I have been making an effort to meet students and staff at Old Dominion University.  We participated in a campus-wide movie night event, helped with freshmen move-in, and attended a football game in an effort to meet students on campus and to distribute information about the ministry.  Dave and I are continuing to correspond with local churches to meet members of their church who will be attending ODU this school year.  We are currently working with students and staff at ODU to become a registered student organization on campus in order to participate in organizational fairs and to reserve a regular meeting space on campus.

It’s now to time get started on campus!  Bible studies are planned to be held on campus on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays each week.  There is also a worship gathering to be held every other Monday evening at a local church.  Finally, we will be hosting a retreat in Nags Head, NC on September 23-25.  This event is an opportunity for students to grow deeper in their relationship with Christ and other members of the ministry.

I am eager to see what God has in store at ODU throughout the coming year.  I look forward to partnering with a network of supporters financially and in prayer for the ministry.  I am confident that God has great things in store and the support of loyal individuals is necessary to make the ministry as successful as possible.  If you would like to make a one-time donation or financially support me on a monthly basis, donations are tax deductable and can be made online at cmov.org under the support tab or by mail to the following address:
College Ministries of Virginia
P.O. Box 3280
Richmond, Virginia 23228

Please include my name on the memo line when writing a check or donating online.  Please feel free to contact me or gain additional information about the ministry at one of the links below.

Thank you for your love and support.  I look forward to keeping you updated with the progress of the ministry.  If you would like to receive letters or receipts via email, please fill out the response card and mail it in the enclosed envelope.

God Bless,

Tyler Phelps




Support Help

Posted: September 5, 2011 in Uncategorized

Hey guys, I wanted to try to get this out to as many people as possible. I’ve really appreciated all the support that I’ve gotten from everyone so far, BUT I still have a ways to go. There are still a lot of costs here in Virginia, most of all housing. I’m hoping to get into my own place within the next few months in preparation for the wedding that is getting closer and closer. Also there are the every day costs of travel to and from campus and various churches and events throughout Hampton Roads. I love what I’m doing here in Virginia and I see a huge need for it on campus. I hope that with your help I can continue to pursue this mission field full-time!

Finally, I ask you to please consider passing this flyer along to family and friends who have a heart for campus ministry and what we’re doing here at Old Dominion University. Thank you for your love and support.

Until next time…God Bless!

























Support flyer

(right click the link and choose “save as” to view the flyer)

Ready to go!

Posted: September 4, 2011 in Uncategorized

I am excited to be a part of the new CSF ministry as it begins to unfold at Old Dominion!  A few big steps forward include…

1. Tyler and Dave have been working for the past few months to meet as many students as possible in order to spread the word about the ministry and to begin forming relationships with students.  As required by ODU, the guys have been collecting signatures from students and staff who support the ministry in order to gain provisional status as a student organization on campus.  Once this process is complete, the ministry will be recognized by the university and the group will be allowed to reserve a place on campus to meet on a regular basis and to participate in campus events.

Bible studies are scheduled to begin this week and will be offered on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays at various times.  A worship gathering is scheduled to occur every other Monday evening beginning September 12.  There is also a retreat planned for September 23-25 in Nags Head, NC.

It has been fun for me to pop in on the weekends and meet students on campus, at the mini-retreat in August, or at various churches in the area.  Tyler, Dave, Jennifer, and I attended our 1st ODU football game this past Saturday!  The game was a lot of fun and we were able to get a glimpse of student life at ODU as we ate dinner on campus and then sat in the student section during the game.

I look forward to growing relationships with students in the months to come!

2. It has also been enjoyable to see Tyler be so excited about the ministry! He speaks with enthusiasm when telling me of students he has met, helping a student move in on campus, attending staff meetings, planning bible studies, handling managerial tasks,etc.  God has given him such passion for this ministry!  I look forward to seeing how God uses Tyler’s energy to minister to the college students and further His kingdom.

3. On a different note, Tyler and I continue to raise support for the ministry.  We are in the process of preparing more letters to inform individuals and to give them the opportunity to partner with the ministry.  As we have said many times, the ministry is not possible without loyal supporters.  We thank and greatly appreciate the sacrifices that some are making to get this ministry off the ground and to make sure that it remains strong in the coming months and years.  Tyler and I trust that “My God is the God who provides” and that He will meet each of the ministry’s needs as well as our own.  As we send out each letter and post our financial situation on this blog in the coming days, we pray that the Lord will continue to bless the ministry.

Finally, I know that the beginning of this ministry will not be easy and that it is going to take a lot of prayer, perseverance, and love, but through it all, I will stand and sing:

All of my life
In every season
You are still God
I have a reason to sing
I have a reason to worship

We continue the journey…