Every Tuesday, By The Fountain

Every Tuesday, By The Fountain

The University of Southern Mississippi is an open campus. Here is why that can be bad thing.

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If you are a student at the University of Southern Mississippi, you know exactly what this title means. Every Tuesday, by the Fountain on the Hattiesburg campus, a group of men holding vulgar signs stand there "preaching God's words" while damning people to hell. Being a freshman, I don't know much about what prompted this man's motives to come onto to our open campus to tell anyone in the LGBT+ community, any girl with enough confidence to wear shorts and a tank top, and anyone who considers themselves a feminist that they are going to hell.

Let me start by stating that I grew up in a very Episcopal household, meaning my viewpoints on religion is open-minded as well as accepting.

The first time I was even aware that people were against same-sex relationships was in the 4th grade after a boy called a girl's T-shirt gay. I remember going home and crying because I had no idea what it meant. As she got ready for bed, my mom explained to me that some people think that members of the LGBT+ community were abnormal. To me, these men who claim to tell God's words are insulting to the religious people in my life who spread nothing but love. They're insulting to the people who wrap themselves in a rainbow flag or a trans-pride flag while being told that being themselves unconditionally and loving who they want is a sin. They're insulting to the girl who wore her Feminist AF shirt and kept her cool when they told her it's a man's world.

They're insulting to anyone who thinks even the slightest bit differently than them.

It has become the center of a joke on campus. People create fake protests such as the new "bird aren't real" idea. Friends of the same gender will walk by obviously holding hands just to start the men off on a tangent. That's fine and all, but these guys are just looking for attention. When talking to my friend -an openly gay male- he commented on how he found it annoying that straight girls were making out in front of these protesters to cause a scene. They're not the ones who have to regularly deal with such blatant ignorance and hate. They anger these guys up and just continue on with life. When my friend explained this to me, it made sense. Not every kid who identifies on the spectrum goes home to a family that's accepting of who they are- they can't just walk away from something that they face almost daily.

The other week, these men came not once, but twice in one week. While they made their regular Tuesday appearance, they also decided to show up once again that Friday. After waking up at 10 a.m. to find friends' snapchat stories filled with videos of the guys' vulgar anti-abortion signs, I threw on my "Feminist AF" shirt (gifted from my sister- who happens to be married to a girl). I joined my friend Rosy for lunch then we walked casually by the preacher. We didn't say anything to them, we were just talking about regular everyday topics. As we walked past I hear one scruffy looking guy call out towards us "Feminist are going to hell". At this point, I was deep into my conversation and had forgotten about my shirt. Confused I looked at Rosy and asked, "what did he just say?" to which scruffy shouts louder, "Feminist are going to hell! It's a man's' world! You're going to hell!". In shock, I burst out laughing and kept walking. Rosy started yelling back, singing "Jesus loves me" while sounding like the starfish in Finding Nemo when Darla kept tapping on the glass.

For the rest of the day, I sat in Rosy's dorm, still confused about what had happened. Being a white middle-class American, the only type of "discrimination" I am faced with is sexist comments. I have friends, though, and I've heard their stories. But I've never truly witnessed it in person until the first time I walked by the Fountain on the first Tuesday of the school year.

There's no reason for these men to come onto our public campus, especially seeing their effects on students. In the cheesy scheme of things, college is where people are supposed to start finding themselves. It's kind of hard to find yourself when you're being told by complete strangers that who you are is wrong.

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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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5 Facts About Spiritual Gifts That You Need To Know

Different gifts, but from the same Spirit

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1 Corinthians 12:4-5 states; "[4] There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. [5] There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord." We see that there are multiple spiritual gifts, but they all come from the same Lord.

1. We all have different gifts and that's okay

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Just like a body has different parts that each has its own function, that's like the body of Christ. We all have different gifts and different purposes, but we're all part of the body of Christ. God has a plan for you and has given you certain gifts. God doesn't call the equipped, he equips the calling.

2. There are various spiritual gifts mentioned in the Bible

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Romans 12, 1 Corinthians 12, and Ephesians 4 are some of the bible passages that talk about spiritual gifts. Giving, leadership, mercy, prophecy, service, tongue interpretation, administration, discernment, hospitality, missionary, and evangelism are some of the spiritual gifts that people can have. We can desire any gift, but it's God's choice on what gifts He gives us.

Remember, everyone can receive speaking in tongues via baptism in the Holy Spirit, but not everyone will get the gift of tongue interpretation.

3. Spiritual Gifts are supernatural abilities that are either given or enhanced via the Holy Spirit

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God gave us these Spiritual gifts because God wants to invest in His church.

4. Spiritual gifts are for strengthening others

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We have spiritual gifts in order to help others.

5. It does take time for gifts to mature and develop

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Like with a skill that you have, it does take time for you to own said skill. You put in the work, and because of that, you grow in your skill, and you get better. That's the same way with your gifts. God gives each of us certain gifts to use, and it will take time to mature those gifts.

Spiritual gifts are important.

In Romans 12:6 states; "[6] We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; [7] if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; [8] if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully."

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