I'm An Atheist

I'm An Atheist

The separation of Church and State is a thing for a reason...

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Growing up in a Catholic family is rough. Now, my family was not a strict Catholic family that you would see in the movies, we barely even went to church. But when I was in the church, even with my young eyes I could see the corruption unfolding before me. I was forced to go to "CCD" or Sunday School as most people know it. I don't even know what CCD stood for but I just went with it. I was the only kid in my class that had no clue what the Bible said or meant but all I really knew was that I didn't care. My mind was always cluttered with, "anyone could've written that" or "that doesn't even sound like it could physically happen in the world".

My final straw with Catholicism was when I was criticized by one of my peers who also went to my church for believing evolution. If a church couldn't even accept what was going on in front of them, I wanted no part of it. I was in 7th grade when I finally learned what I was, Atheist. Finally, someone put a label on it, I was very confused by the reaction from people when I said that. Growing up in a small town with a bunch of bible busters didn't help my case at all. I was told, "just go to church and God will find you", or "it's just a phase, you will find Him soon". But truth is, I don't want to find Him, or Him to find me. I have been berated over and over again about my choice of "religion". Like I said, I lived in a small town where everyone is religious except for a select few.

When I played volleyball, my team would pray before every game and I would stand to the side because I wanted no part of it. Or when my senior class decided to pray after the bus accident we endured, I choose to step to the back and play on my phone. Going to a public school you would think that there was the separation of church and state, NOPE. Going to a small school made it so much worse. There were church services at the school and religion would be tied to the lessons that were taught. I was absolutely appalled at what I was seeing, now that I am at college, I ask others if their high schools were like that and they said absolutely not.

So please, if we could respect those that do not have a religion or a religion other than Christianity, that would be great. Just recently, I revealed to my mother that I was an atheist, we were going through a very rough patch in my mental health journey and I felt like it was the right time to tell her. With all the support she has been getting from her posts about me, I would like to say thank you, but instead of praying for me, pray for those in your own life that are too scared to come forward about their mental health; I am slowly making progress, and that doesn't mean that I won't slip back down the hill. If you feel like you must do something for me, pray for yourselves and the loved ones in your life with mental health issues.

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12 Bible Verses For Faith In Hard Times

Remind yourself that God is always with you.
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Lately, I have felt lost at what God wants for my life. Ever since I've come back to UWG everything has been horrible. It seems that I can't catch a break. I'm trying my best to focus on school, work, and extracurricular activities. But it's hard when I'm having issues with my apartment/roommates and knowing my family back home is struggling and needs many prayers. All, I keep thinking is maybe Carrollton isn't where I belong anymore. I've asked God if He can guide me in the right direction. Below, I have found Bible verses that have helped get me through these rough, past couple of weeks.

1. Isaiah 43:2

"When you go through deep waters, I will be with you."

2. Psalm 37:5

"Commit your way to the Lord. Trust in Him, and He will act."

3. Romans 8:18

"The pain that you've been feeling, can't compare to the joy that's coming."

4. Proverbs 31:25

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

5. Joshua 1:9

"Be bold. Be brave. Be courageous."

6. Ecclesiastes 3:1

"There is a time for everything and a reason for every activity under the heavens."

7. Isaiah 41:10

"Don't be afraid, for I am with you. Don't be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand."

8. Isaiah 66:9

"I will not cause pain without allowing something new to be born, says the Lord."

9. Psalm 91:4

"He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings, you will find refuge; His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart."

10. Psalm 62:1-2

"My soul finds rest in God alone, my salvation comes from Him, He alone is my rock and my salvation."

11. Philippians 4:13

"I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength."

12. Jeremiah 29:11

"For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

Cover Image Credit: pixabay.com

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Young Adults, If You Do Not Pray Now Is The Time To Start

Prayer is not just for our grandparents.

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Every Sunday night my parents would drag me to the prayer service. There was no kids church, we all had to sit in a pew with my parents and listen. I remember counting tiles on the roof, reading hymnals, doing anything to distract myself, except pray.

I didn't understand it then. What was the point of talking to God if He knew what you were thinking and doing all the time? I didn't understand how important it was not just to let God watch you like an all-seeing eye from Heaven, but to talk and have a personal relationship with him.

We all talk about prayer, it's the Christian thing to do. We pray for our food before every meal. We tell a friend or co-worker we will pray for them. When a friend posts on Facebook or social media about something bad happening, the comment section reads "praying." It's the automated response that everyone gives. If we actually sat down and prayed, think of the good we could do. I am nowhere near perfect, but I know that I can pray.

The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. James 5:16

When I feel like the world is crashing down around me, and there is nothing else I do, this verse is the one that helps me remember that my conversations with God can make a difference. We are called on to pray for everyone. We are called to pray for each other without dispute. No anger, no hatred, just sharing a moment of lifting hands in prayer.

I urge, then first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercessions and thanksgiving be made for all people. 1 Timothy 2:1
Therefore, I want the men everywhere to pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or disputing. 1 Timothy 2:8

Prayer can bring people together. When I think back now to those Sunday nights I appreciate all the prayer that was offered up. I don't remember what they were for but weekly we would hear reports of what God had done through prayer. That is a powerful tool.

Prayer is not gender, race, age, or political party bias. It is not something that is out there for the world to see. It is a very personal choice, but it has the power to change the world. The loss of Reverend Billy Graham and so many others this past year brought me to a realization. Our generation needs to step up.

Young adults have the chance to make a huge difference. In an interview, Bishop Bill Hamon said that he believes young adults are going to be an army for God that is unstoppable and on fire. You can see it in all that we do. We are driven, we are not afraid, we are unstoppable. It is up to us to start making a difference in prayer.

Don't wait for the prayer warriors in your life to reach heaven before you start praying. The time is now because none of us are promised tomorrow.

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