A Mission Trip to Thailand

A Mission Trip to Thailand

ten days in a Buddhist country, an experience I will never forget
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Have you ever heard of the word Karma? It is an expression we often use whenever someone experiences hurt after delivering hurt to us. What most of us don’t realize is that Karma is actually a law within Buddhism. It is the law that every cause has an effect. This law explains a number of things in Buddhism, but most Christians only use this term in a joking manner. Most Christians believe that sometimes, things just happen by coincidence and that sometimes, people experience hurt that they did nothing to deserve. This difference is one of many between these two religions.

The biggest difference would be that sometimes Buddhism is not even actually considered a religion, but instead a psychology. Buddhism emphasizes meditation and mindfulness in place of Christianity’s emphasis on praying and digging into the word. Buddhist also do not worship any supreme God but instead a man named Buddha who founded an order of monks and nun known as the Sangha. The Sangha are responsible for preserving his teachings to this day. Christians on the other hand, worship a God who created the world along with everything and everyone on it. There is one final substantial difference between Buddhism and Christianity. Buddhist believe that after death, they will be reincarnated while Christians believe that after death they will join Jesus in heaven.

Ten days in a country whose main religion is Buddhism is an experience that most will not come by; however, this past November I did experience it when I went on a mission trip to Thailand. This is an experience I will never forget and one that I learned a lot from. Most of the time, as a mission trip comes to a close, it is good to begin to think of what you are going to tell everyone once you get back.

As I began to think about this for myself, I could not help to remember all of the times I ended up explaining why Christians do “good things” if they will go to heaven anyway. You see, according to Buddhism, in order to be reincarnated into something good, like another person, you must do good things during your time on earth. Those who do not do good things during their time would be reincarnated into something not so good, like a dog or cat. Therefore, just as karma says, you will earn what you deserve, even in death.

I cannot imagine living a life where I must do good, and mistakes are not welcome. I will never get over how crazy it is that, as Christians, we do not have to do good. Jesus has already done it all for us and because of that, we get to do good for him. So, this was my answer to the constantly asked question. Jesus has done it all for us so we want to do good for him in return. I will never stop being amazed by this truth and how, although we don’t really deserve it, we receive grace.

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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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To The Soon-To-Be College Freshman Who Think They'll Keep Their High School Friends, Know This

You will maybe talk to 10 people back from your high school while your in college.

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I know what you are thinking "Of course I am going to still talk to all my high school friends once we graduate." "You just didn't keep up with your friends." "I am going to talk to them every day."

Of course, you may be the lucky ones that go on to the same college and university, but if you follow your best friend to college then have you ever thought to yourself. "Did I choose my school based on if my friend(s) would go to college together." Obviously, it could be coincidental that you end up in the same place, but my argument is more on the idea of having friends that go to the same college on your list of important things once you move away.

Now if you are still reading and still in denial with what I am saying then continue.

Since moving away from home I have broadened my horizons and met more people then I could ever have imagined. I have met people that if I have not kept an open mind to them I would not be friends with them now. You will most likely choose the same type of friends that you had in high school if you do not keep an open mind when finding friends in college.

You also do not want to be that person who refuses to make other friends besides their high school friends. I hate to break it to you, but your high school friends will find other friends beside you when they leave for college/university. This time in your life is supposed to be "a new chapter" if you do not branch out of your comfort zone then you will be stuck in a little bubble for the rest of your life.

Not only will your friends in your high school class be making friends, but you need to make friends that are in the same stage of life that you are also in. Still talking to high school aged friends will limit you from conversations due to distance, lack of relevance, and just not going through the same stuff as you.

Sounds daunting? I know.

I am not saying that you can not be friends still with your high school friends. From time to time I catch up with mine to see how the school is going for them, and how they are doing, but I am building and forming relationships with my friends at college because you have had to start up from ground zero, and will be forming a foundation until we graduate.

Even when you have broken it is nice to hang out with your high school friends and talk about the good old days. My point to you is to keep an open mind and to not get upset when high school friends have moved on and found their new friends from school just like you.

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