The Bread That Gives Us Life

The Bread That Gives Us Life

‘One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ ~ Matthew 4:11 NRSV
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For the last several years I have been overly active in the United Methodist Church. And when I say overly active I mean that I have been doing everything that I can to be involved and a part of the church each and every day. My heart feels called to serve the church; to reach the people that have yet to hear about how loved they are in any way that I can. However, doing that isn't as easy as one may think.

There are so many late nights and early mornings. From mission trips to church lock ins to even just staying up to prepare for worship the following morning. I spend an entire day just looking at resources for the message, and that doesn't include the other parts of worship. I've stayed up all night on mission trips and at lock ins to turn around and walk back into the world and go to my retail job. The one I remember the most was New Year's Eve working the day shift, staying up all night at the lock in, and then going back to work at 9 AM New Year's Day.

I love all that I do. Sure, there are days I am more frustrated with myself for trying to do any of it, let alone all of it. But I get lonely. And I don't mean lonely in that I work alone, but I mean lonely in that I am the youngest person in the people that are helping me figure out ministry and what it means. It's lonely because my heart is on fire for the social issues going on in our world, but all I hear concern of is our church and it's building. What is on the inside of our churches, and not what is on the outside.

When I get up on a Sunday morning there is a part of me that just wants to go back to sleep. Not because I am tired or because I stayed up to late, but because I just don't want to go and to listen people talk about the issues within our walls. I don't want to listen to people focus on themselves instead of the world.

I am not the only one that feels this way. I am not the only millennial that feels this way. We want tradition in our lives. I've heard of countless surveys taken by college students in which they choose the traditional option over the contemporary. But what we also want is to reach out and to care for the rest of the world just like you reached out and cared for us.

I've been focusing on Matthew 4:1-11 the last several days. It's kind of become my Lenten prayer. In verse 4 of the New Living Translation it says, But Jesus told him, "No! The scriptures say, 'People do not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.'"

Sure, we send out money to send food to other nations. Food or water or cleaning supplies; whatever they may need. But by just throwing a twenty into the offering plate, or by clicking the button that donates it for you, you aren't giving the one thing we really live off of. The word of God.

That is what we are looking for. For the proof of the Word of God that we live off of just like you showed us. We want to share it with the world. And many of us are. I love my traditional small town church. But it has shifted it's focus from the outside world, to the inside world.

My heart is empty. My spirit is tired. And I don't know that I can take another Sunday morning of sitting and listening to people worry and fret over the issues within the building itself. Yes, we need to be whole and healthy before we can reach out, but shouldn't we also be addressing an immediate need? Can't we share our voice? Because once we start, we will change the world.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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17 Empowering Bible Verses For Women

You go, girl.
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We all have those days where we let the negative thoughts that we're "not good enough," "not pretty enough" or "not smart enough" invade our minds. It's easy to lose hope in these situations and to feel like it would be easier to just give up. However, the Bible reminds us that these things that we tell ourselves are not true and it gives us the affirmations that we need. Let these verses give you the power and motivation that you're lacking.

1. Proverbs 31:25

"She is clothed with strength and dignity and she laughs without fear of the future."

2. Psalm 46:5

"God is within her, she will not fall."

3. Luke 1:45

"Blessed is she who believed that the Lord would fulfill His promises to her."

4. Proverbs 31:17

"She is energetic and strong, a hard worker."

5. Psalm 28:7

"The Lord is my strength and my shield."

6. Proverbs 11:16

"A gracious woman gains respect, but ruthless men gain only wealth."

7. Joshua 1:9

"Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."

8. Proverbs 31:30

"Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised."

9. 1 Corinthians 15:10

"By the grace of God, I am what I am."

10. Proverbs 31:26

"When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness."

11. Psalm 139:14

"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made."

12. 1 Peter 3:3-4

"Don't be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God."

13. Colossians 2:10

"And in Christ you have been brought to fullness."

14. 2 Timothy 1:7

"For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline."

15. Jeremiah 29:11

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' says the Lord. 'They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.'"

16. Exodus 14:14

"The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm."

17. Song of Songs 4:7

"You are altogether beautiful, my darling, beautiful in every way."

Next time you're feeling discouraged or weak, come back to these verses and use them to give you the strength and power that you need to conquer your battles.

Cover Image Credit: Julia Waterbury

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To The Christian Girl Against Feminism, Religion Isn't An Excuse Not To Fight For Equality

Religion is not an excuse to not fight for feminism.

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When I first read the article "I'm A Christian Girl And I'm Not A Feminist..." I thought it had to be a joke. Unfortunately, it was a sad reality.

I am a privileged white female. I came from a middle-class family with a law-enforcement father. I still am smart enough to realize we NEED intersectional, no strings attached, unconditional feminism. Anyone who disagrees is just wrong. In this case, the author is trying to base her outdated sexist beliefs on the Bible, and I am appalled.

At first, I thought it was a joke, I genuinely read the title out loud to my father and even he said it had to be a man pretending to be a woman. As I read the article I realized that sadly this is a girl who has had religion corrupt her life.

Religion can be a beautiful thing, it can change lives and give people hope that they need. I have heard countless stories about how finding a god has made people better, and that is incredible. However, using religion to say women don't deserve the same as men is absolutely absurd.

Part of me wants to scream in her face that she can't be ok with being a victim, another part of me wants to throw my hands up and give up on her and like-minded individuals. However, in a time like ours where women are coming so close to being equals, I can't sit down or act irrationally.

So here are the facts:

1. Women who work fulltime only make 77% of men's salaries on average. African American women only make 64 cents per dollar and Latina women only make 56 cents per dollar. Imagine being just as capable and trained just as well but a guy makes more money than you because he has a penis.

2. One in three women around the globe has experienced sexual violence. ONE IN EVERY THREE. YOU'RE SURROUNDED BY SURVIVORS. If women were considered equals that would not be the case.

3. Only 24% of high-level management positions are held by women. That's worldwide. 195 countries. Let that sink in. This isn't because women aren't smart either, 60% of all United States college degrees are awarded to women.

4. Women are not allowed to vote in many places, like Saudi Arabia or the Vatican. Imagine not having the right to vote! YOU GET NO SAY IN ANYTHING.

You can thank women for your right to work, vote, get an education, practice a religion that you chose, a range of professions, windshield wipers, bras, dishwashers, diapers, need I go on?

Women are strong as hell and your misinterpretation of an outdated book does not dimish all of the amazing things women have accomplished and will continue to accomplish.

To quote one bad bitch, "Power's not given to you. You have to take it." — Beyoncé Knowles Carter.

Now ladies let's get into our feminist formation and fight for our rights!

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