January Sucks

January Sucks

Daily devotional when you want winter to be over already.
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“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 New International Version (NIV)

January is a holiday hangover. This means no more office treats at the front desk, no more red and green garland around the doors, and you’d be lucky to find something chocolate with peppermint crumbled atop. January means the fun part of winter is over. The cold is here to stay and the real work begins.

This means getting up when you don’t want to, going to the gym when you feel too cold and tired. Staying at work until five, even though the sun has already set, and going to class, even though final exams feel a lifetime away. Your goal shouldn't be to survive the winter until the clocks fall back. Your goal should be to find what motivates you even when you are burned out. Find what motivates you and cling to it for dear life.

“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 New International Version (NIV)

God doesn’t get burned out. When you feel stressed, He isn’t stressed. When you are demotivated, look to Him and He will guide you. He will remind you why you are doing the things you do. January might be a holiday hangover, but you can replenish your thirsty soul with God. Pray, read the scriptures, listen to a sermon.

For most, New Year's resolutions only seem to last a week. When people still say "Happy New Year" and ask how your break was. The fresh start slowly dissipates and people return to their old ways. I like resolutions, but to prevent them from being faddish, I'm a strong proponent of waking up every morning and viewing the day as a fresh start. Every day is a mental reset because I wake up thanking God for another sunrise to see. I sit with my coffee, listen to the news, and prepare for the day to come with prayer and reading scripture. Like the wind burns out the candle's flame, so will the cold January winds burn us out as well. Don't pray for help in getting through the day. Ask what you can do in this day to do God's will.

"Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labour in the Lord is not in vain." 1 Corinthians 15:58 New International Version (NIV)
Cover Image Credit: Madison Baird

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To Everyone Who Hasn't Had Sex Yet, Wait For Marriage, It's The Right Move

If you have not had sex yet, wait.

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Premarital sex is not a new concept, no matter how much people like to pretend it is. You can trace scripture and historical texts back thousands of year to see that lust and fornication have been a problem since… well, since we humans have been problems.

They tell you in sex ed that sex causes you to form a bond with someone. They throw some big chemical names at you that are apparently in your body and cause that emotional attachment to happen, then you move on (or back to) how important condoms are and why STDs are so scary.

As a middle schooler or teenager, you can't understand what it means to become permanently connected to someone as a result of a quick, physical act.

If you haven't even had your first kiss, you really can't imagine what it's like to develop such a complex and intimate connection with someone because you have yet to feel the butterflies in your stomach from a kiss. So you really don't know what it's like to have a whole different type of feeling in your stomach.

You never forget your first love. It's one of the most cliche things you consistently hear, but it's true. Ask anyone. I guarantee your parents can still spurt out their first love's name in a few seconds. And most people never forget their first time. I know all my friends can recount that often awkward and slightly terrifying moment as if it happened an hour ago. When you mix those two, especially if you are in your teens, oh boy.

You never forget that. No matter how hard you try.

Everything you hear about sex is true: it's amazing, fantastic, life-changing, etc. There's a reason people have done it as frequently as they do, for as long as they have. But every time you sleep with someone, you leave a piece of yourself with them. Every time you choose to take that final physical step with someone, you cannot go back and collect that piece of your dignity and soul that you left with someone.

So, imagine what happens when you break up with someone you've slept with. Or that you just hooked up with. You have given someone a little slice of yourself forever. And you can never get it back. And imagine what happens when you do that multiple times. You give a piece of yourself to five, 10, 15, 20 or more people. Then you meet the person that you want to spend forever with. And you no longer have that whole part of you. You've given pieces away, and you can no longer give those to the love of your life.

So, save those pieces for your future spouse.

If you have not had sex yet, wait. If you have, consider not giving more pieces of yourself away to people who are not your spouse. Sex was created to be between two spouses, nobody else. So we need to try to maintain its integrity.

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(12-10) 11 Bible Verses To Ease Your Mind During Finals Week

Through God, all things are possible.

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Finals week seems like one of the most important weeks in a college student's life. Every waking moment is spent studying (and most moments are waking moments because your sleep schedule is messed up). There may be a few moments of weakness; some tears may be shed. Overall, your stress level is through the roof.

Well, this is the time for you to rely on God, not to blow-off your spiritual life. He is there for you -- His love, His dedication, His patience, His care. You need to place your Faith in The Lord. Through God, all things are possible.

1) When you are overly scared about your cumulative final exam. 

"So we say with confidence, 'The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?'" -- Hebrews 13:6.

2) When your anxiety and nervousness are getting the best of you. 

"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go." -- Joshua 1:9.

3) When you cannot stop ruminating on your past mess-ups and failures. 

"Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." -- Philippians 3:13-14.

4) When you are placing too much pressure on the outcomes of these exams.

"Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things." -- Colossians 3:2.

5) When you are exhausted from studying and need to rest. 

"When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet." -- Proverbs 3:24.

6) When you are wondering if the stress is even worth it.  

"For Christ's love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again." -- 2 Corinthians 5:14-15.

7) When you are worried about how these exams can affect your future. 

"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." -- Jeremiah 29:11.

8) When your need for control is getting the best of you. 

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the Lord. "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts." -- Isaiah 55:8-9.

9) When you are feeling alone. 

"Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you." -- 1 Peter 5:7.

10) When you are stuck in a study rut. 

"So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." -- 2 Corinthians 4:18.

11) When you need some inspiration. 

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law." -- Galatians 5:22-23.

Take a deep breath and know that you are almost done with the semester. Good luck and happy studying!

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