Make Disciples Of Your Own Nation

Make Disciples Of Your Own Nation

The problem with international missions trips.
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Something that is more and more common are global missions trips. Every one of us can probably name at least one person that we know who went on a missions trip out of the country. It is very common for Christians to go on these trips with their church and other believers to spread God and Christianity. If you're one of these people who went on a global missions trip, great! It takes a lot of courage to go somewhere unknown for an extended period of time and dedicate your time to God and people you don't even know. I for one, am not one of these people.

And yes, I am a Christian.

"Make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, and of the Holy Spirit"
- Matthew 28:19

Most Christians recognize this verse in the Bible. Many people get tattoos of it and take it quite literally, dedicating to their lives to global missions trips. In my opinion, churches and Christian groups focus too much on international counties and missions trips.

Before you freak out and think I'm heartless for thinking there's too much emphasis on global missions trips, hear me out.

People spend thousands of dollars to attend a missions trip across the country. Though it's important to spread God's word to other countries, why aren't we instead, spreading it in our own backyards first? Many towns and cities and your state do not know Jesus, so why not start with them? Why not do a missions trip there to intercity Chicago or Detroit? Or look for the non-believers in your own town, look to take care of your town's homeless, look to take care of the poor. Then, after you spread God's word to your own surrounding towns, you expand and go to the neighboring states and eventually, neighboring countries. There are so many communities in the U.S that need to hear God's word. It's great to go out of the country and spread the word there, but why go there if you can't even go to your own neighborhood first? If you are running in line to go on a global missions trip but not a local missions trip, are you going for the right reasons? Are you really trying to make a difference? Is your heart in the right place?

It is silly to think that the only way to spread God's word or to make a difference to by going out of the country. That's not true! You can make a difference within your own community and your own friends. There are homeless in your own cities, there are poor in your own towns, yet very few of us have ever donated or volunteered your time to your local food pantry or boys and girls club. If you've never even tried to make a difference for God in your everyday life, how can you make a difference across the country?

In addition to making a difference in our own communities, we also should be making a difference in our own lives. If you are not living a Christian lifestyle in your everyday life and spreading God's love regularly, how can you do it countries away?

In no way am I condemning the people who do choose to go out of the country on these trips, that's great! And it takes a lot of courage. If Jesus was calling me to take such a huge trip, I wouldn't hesitate to go!

However, there are other places and ways to spread ministry without going global. It is important that we continue to spread God's message to our local communities too, sometimes those are where it is needed most.

Cover Image Credit: Bullandbearmcgill.com

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.

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To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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My Relationship With Religion Will Never Be Black And White

and that's okay!

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I was raised Christian let's get that out the way. Growing up in a small town I went to Awana (a children's church group Wednesday nights) and then once I was in middle school started youth group that night instead as well as a normal church on Sundays. If you would ask me from me being really young to probably around 15 I was all about church and building a relationship with God.

After leaving public school and growing my presence online and meeting so many people from all walks of life, I started questioning things.

Suddenly, I was immersed in this community with the best people who just loved everyone regardless of gender or sexuality or race and it was the place I was able to come to terms with something I had always repressed, my feelings towards girls.

I knew the moment I started talking to a girl named Laura that I had feelings for her I would normally have for a boy and because of the people I now had around me I just didn't suppress it. I identified online and eventually to family and friends as bisexual.

My questions started with wondering how my god this loving all knowing entity I had always known was un-accepting and promoted the exclusion of the LGBTQ+ community from the Christian faith. I knew that this community was full of the most loving and creative and beautiful people I have ever met and that was the start of me knowing my relationship with God would never be the same.

As I grew up and have become an activist for the things that mean a lot to me I have stopped attending church and have begun to see that I do not want any part in ANY religion that takes part in shunning anyone based on how they identify. I have been vocal about this to many people some more excepting then others but regardless I will never again take part in something that I myself am not 100% accepted within

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