The Love You Grow

The Love You Grow

It's about love. It's about compassion.
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Buddha states in one of his sermons that the “heart is like a garden –it can grow compassion or fear, resentment or love”.

What seeds will you plant there?

When I was in high school a good friend of mine had gone to the mall with me and she had picked up a lot of things that she thought she had wanted but by the end of the shopping trip decided to just put them on random shelves.

I asked her why not put them back where she found them rather than make it hard on the retail workers of the store since we weren’t in a rush anyway. She told me simply told me she didn’t want to. I wish I could say that I said the perfect words, that after that she never did that again. I wish I could tell you that I had never acted in the same way in previous times.

I wish I could say that I made this dramatic speech about how we should treat others the way that we would want to be treated. To show love. To show compassion. It’s easy to make mistakes like these, to act without thought. I don’t mean that you are a terrible person, that you don’t care for others.

But now that I look back at the moment and have grown so much since that time, I wish I had said something. The Bible even states for us to look on our neighbors meaning our peers with love and kindness, but do we do this? No.

A memory that I hold dear to my heart dates to my first-grade teacher. She made it her life’s work to always show love and compassion.

I remember one day I had climbed to the top of the jungle gym, even though I had an immense fear of heights. It was the end of recess and I was scared to climb down. My teacher, at the age of about 70 years old, decided to look on me with love and compassion and climb to the top of the jungle gym to carry me down.

And when my grandmother had passed away and I was home sick with the flu at the same time she called my parents and stopped by to give her condolences to my family and dropped off the work I had missed and pass on a hug and kiss.

New York Times Bestselling Author, Sharon Salzburg, goes on to say that “Any ordinary favor we do for someone…may seem to be going nowhere at first, but maybe planting a seed we can’t see right now."

A simple act of kindness. A job. No not a job a purpose to show love to show compassion.

It's something that is so easy, yet we make so difficult we are so caught in the materialism of this world that we forget the most important things that can’t be brought: love and compassion.

I’m not perfect and neither are you. I don’t always treat others with love, kindness or compassion. I’m making a call for us to do what our kindergarten and first-grade teachers told us early on to treat others how we would want to be treated.

And to remember that a simple act of kindness like maybe putting back clothes in the right spot at a simple retail store can show more of your genuine heart than you’ll ever know.

Like the Dalai Lama said, “love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries without them humanity cannot survive”.

Cover Image Credit: Noni Humphrey

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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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To The Christian Who Just Started College, You've Got This

It's all about finding your tribe.

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Entering college as a Christian can be hard. For most people, it usually means leaving behind your home church, your family, and sometimes even your close friends. When they say college is a whole different world from high school, they aren't lying. The idea that you now have pretty much total freedom with virtually no accountability can be terrifying. It can be so, so tempting to want to fall into the "party" lifestyle. Sometimes, it even seems like that's the only way to make any friends.

I am here to tell you that that could not be further from the truth.

I will admit, my first week in college was rough. I hardly ever left my room, I didn't talk to anyone in any of my classes, I ate lunch by myself every day. It felt like everyone around me already knew each other, and I was all alone. I started to feel like I needed to compromise who I was to get to know people.

Then, I started to do some research. I realized that there were tons of religious groups on campus, I just wasn't trying hard enough to become involved in them. I started forcing myself to go out to events for different campus groups anytime I saw a poster or post on social media.

As someone that isn't the best at making new friends, this terrified me. However, I quickly came to learn that everyone in these groups was so inviting, I really didn't have to do much at all other than show up. Almost instantly, I finally started to feel like I was where I belonged.

To survive on a college campus as a Christian, you have to be committed to your faith. If you're not standing on a solid foundation, I promise you that you will fall. You have to put yourself out there. You have to be willing to search for the people that share your beliefs, and you have to find people to hold you accountable when things get hard.

Please don't misunderstand me. Please don't think that I am telling you that to have friends that aren't Christians is bad; it absolutely isn't. College is all about meeting people that are different than you, and I'm a firm believer that an open mind is a happy mind. However, I am also a firm believer that staying true to your faith is important, and you simply cannot do that if you don't find those people that love and want to pursue Jesus just as much as you do.

So if you're struggling, I encourage you to start searching. Find the campus group that feels like home. Look for the people that exude God's light on your campus, and flock to them.

Find your tribe and own it. It might not always be easy. Sometimes, it might feel like everyone is against you. But I promise you, when you find those friends, it will be like nothing you've ever experienced. They will stick by you through anything as if they've known you for years.

Keep hoping. Keep searching. Stay faithful and prayerful and know that, so long as you are one of God's children, you are never alone.


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