Lifestyle

Hate Hate Hate

“The line separating good and evil passes, not through states, nor through classes, nor between political parties… but right through every human heart – and through all human hearts,” Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.
I feel like all I have been hearing lately (especially because of the election year) is hate. Hate for the poor, hate for the rich, hate for immigrants, hate for politicians, hate done in the name of Christianity, hate hate hate. I don’t know about everyone else, but I know that God’s people are called to be different; I also know that our God is the God of love and joy, not of hate. While doing my daily scripture reading today, I came across something very interesting that spoke to me, and felt like I should share:
“When a stranger sojourns with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong. You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt; I am the Lord your God,” Leviticus 19:33-34.
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I believe that these verses speak to the moral laws against racial discrimination. I believe that this is an encouragement to love your neighbor as yourself and to not treat strangers as aliens, but as friends, that they may be brought to the knowledge of Christ. It is important to show people what you are for, not just what you are against. It is important to remember that God is fighting for everyone, even the transgenders, homosexuals, people of other religions, people of color, and the rest! “God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose,” Romans 8:28.
God is working in even the darkest of places. Our love for Christ should overflow to everyone else. “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself,” Luke 10:27. This is the greatest commandment. The person that obeys God’s laws will find life. We are victorious in Him!
My prayer for anyone that reads this is that you will find comfort in God’s unfailing love. Remember that nothing done out of love for Christ is ever wasted or forgotten.
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Lifestyle

Decide to Give, Not Just Live In Your Home

Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin was a very interesting book I read for the Leadership Theory and Practice class. I highly recommend it if you are interested in history or politics.

Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin was a very interesting book I read for the Leadership Theory and Practice class. I highly recommend it if you are interested in history or politics.

In the final week of my Leadership Theory and Practice class, one of my assignments was to listen to an interview between Dr. Jeff Myers and Dr. Voddie Baucham. Dr. Voddie Baucham brings up the issue of authority many times throughout the interview. He really convicted me of the way I respond to the authority figures in my life, especially my mother and father. Baucham mentions that the way we respond to people in authority is the way we respond to God’s authority. I feel like I need to be more aware of the way I am responding to my parent’s authority, not just being willing to obey when I agree with their decisions, but more importantly, when I don’t.

I feel that God is calling me to have more of an attitude of service in my home, offering the gifts God gave me to bless my family. I need to trust the authority He has me under. Dr. Voddie Baucham made me realize that I need to give, not just live in my home. Romans 13:1 says “let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.” Even if you don’t always see eye to eye with your parents, God has placed them in that position of leadership, and we are all called to trust the authority God has put us under. Easier said than done, I know. But we have a biblical obligation to submit to our rulers.

Someone once asked me, “what if that manager you loathed the most was the person you showed the most respect?” Yikes. I immediately felt the gunshot of conviction right to my heart. Since then, I have tried my best to make every response to the people I work with thoughtful and respectful. The more I do it, the more of a habit respect is becoming to me. It has been the hardest behavior change for me to adopt, and the most fruitful.

My prayer is that I would learn how to humbly submit to my parents and develop an attitude of service in my home. Not only with my words, but with my actions. I pray that without saying anything, I could become an example of biblical service to my family.

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Lifestyle

Pure Gold

“Pure gold put in the fire comes out of it proved pure; genuine faith put through this suffering comes out proved genuine.” 1 Peter 1:7 (Message)

1 Peter

I find that in times of unknowing, it is the hardest for me to be faithful. Times of suffering, although terrible, force me to lean on God. But in times of uncertainty, I try to take control and find my own way; I always feel so isolated and far away from Him. I am currently trying to find my way through a season of unknowing. I think everyone goes through something similar when trying to decide on a career path. There are endless decisions to make and an insurmountable amount of pressure. I have been feeling so overwhelmed lately by the burdens that come with responsibility. The devil has been putting thoughts of hopelessness into my mind and weighing me down with ideas of impossibility. There seemed to be no good options for me.

While trying to study Sociology at my local coffee shop, I could feel God pushing me to open my Bible. Although I am behind in school, I was having a hard time focusing (which is unusual for me,) however I was very willing to find any excuse to put down the text book. I gladly grabbed my Bible and journal. I have been going through what one might call a scripture rut; I haven’t been able to find a chapter that I could really connect with in a long time. Nonetheless, I started flipping through the pages, and once again felt God talking to me, telling me to read 1 Peter.

All I needed to understand was that God is living hope. I was brought to tears, right there in the middle of the coffee shop. It was like the floodgates were opened; I was immediately filled with joy and hope. Even in seasons of confusion and unknowing, He is faithful. He gives me hope. No matter the trials of this world, we can still be filled with inexpressible joy and glory. He gives us a future, He gives us salvation. “So that the tested genuineness of you faith-more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire-may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 1:7 (ESV). We were given brand new life, we have everything to live for. He is living hope.

Although my circumstances haven’t changed and I am still in a season of uncertainty, I am filled with joy. God is in control, and he gives me a future. My prayer is that God would help me remain faithful and to trust in Him; that He would give me comfort and contentment where I am. Thank you, Jesus, for giving me a new life.

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