A Few Days Of Worship Can Be Life Changing

A Few Days Of Worship Can Be Life Changing

Don't be afraid to stand out in your faith.

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Now some of you might've read that title and thought, there is no way her life or my life can possibly change in just a few days. Well, to start off I have had faith my entire life but how deep I was into it was questionable, as may some of you might agree with me. I had a very long winter break from college and it gave me a lot to think about and to do for that fact. I was given the opportunity to be a group leader on my church's trip to Kalahari. My church takes this trip every year and it's over the span of three days.

The first day we get there around 6:30 p.m. and our first session didn't start till about 9:00 p.m. later that night. Our speaker for the weekend is a man named David Nasser. He is a very powerful speaker and relates his message to his own personal experience or will even ask us questions to tie the message into something that we will understand. He talked about how people care more about the inside than the outside.

Now we are all guilty of this no matter what you say. A lot of people judge off the first thing we see of people rather than their personality. That has stuck with me. I rather people judge me based on my personal character and how I carry myself rather than judging me on if my outfit is up to date or if I did my hair that day.

"I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." — Galatians 2:20 New International Version (NIV)

There are people who say that are a Christian and they very may as well be but do they show it? Expressing your love for God and not being afraid to talk about it is such a big step in someone's life.

David spoke on John Chapter 17. John 17:21 states,

"that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me."

Expressing your love for God is not something to be ashamed of. Talking about God, singing about him is something you should be proud of. Putting your hand up during worship because you feel the spirit of God moving through you! Break the cliques you might be apart of that are holding you back from who you feel that you need to be!

Being comfortable in who you are is so important! Don't be afraid to be the odd one out in the group. Invite your friends to church, blast your worship music when you're getting ready. Being happy about who you are is NOTHING to be ashamed of. I learned to be comfortable about my faith and I get very excited to talk about God with my friends and inviting people to Church on Sunday and groups Thursday night. I found out that God is telling me to tell people about him, and leading kids towards his word. Showing kids that God is there for them. I was once lost but now I am found!

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When God Says, “Not Right Now.”

“God give me faith to wait and not manipulate. To trust You fully, no matter how my circumstances may appear." — Lynn Cowell

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One of the most frustrating yet beautiful things is when God tells us “no" or “not right now."

At the time, you may have agony or desperation for this one thing to work out in your life, but it slips away from you. You may ask God why. Why does He want you to be unhappy? Why does He want to take away your dreams?

At the time, you cannot see how much God truly is working in your life, but He is. In my life, every time that I was disappointed that a plan or dream didn't work out, I was devastated. I didn't want to be in a position where I was challenged and tested. I wanted all the blessings to flow and to fulfill what I thought was my plan in life. But that's exactly what it was: my plan.

I did not see at the time that that is not what God intended for me and that He actually had far greater plans than I did for myself. He needed to mold me into who I am supposed to be today. Along the way I have met the most amazing people that have had a huge impact on my life, have gone through the most amazing experiences with God, and I wouldn't trade going through all the trials because it has truly made me into the woman I am today.

“What God does in us while we wait is as important as what we are waiting for." – John Ortberg

God is continually, endlessly, working in our lives.

We may not see it, but He is. We may blame God for all the things that are going wrong in our lives, but we never see that in the end, we were supposed to go through the low valleys to get to the high, amazing, and beautiful mountains in our lives.

I truly believe that it's when you're at the bottom of the darkest pit in your life that you can actually see the light of God shining brightly upon you. During these times, pray to Him to lead you to understanding that this is all a part of His plan for you.

It hurts God to see that His child is suffering, but in order to carve out just the person that you are supposed to be, you must go through challenges. Where you are today is no accident. God is using the challenge you are in to shape you and prepare you for the place He wants you tomorrow. When it comes to God's plan, timing is absolutely everything.

Looking back on all the events that I had to endure before getting to where I am now, I know that I had to go through the trials in order to be just who I am today, which is happier than I have ever been because I know God and His plan for me. Waiting is the most difficult job of hope, but you must remain faithful and know that God is guiding you.

“When I wait, you strengthen my heart." Psalm 27:14

When you are waiting for God's righteous plan, don't lose faith in His goodness. He only wants the best for you, and in the end, you will look back and see just how much He truly was working in your life. Be patient and the blessings will flow.

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Christianity Is About Love And Forgiveness, I'm Sorry If You've Met Christians Who Act Differently

Christianity is rooted in love, but unfortunately not all "Christians" live that way.

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If you've ever been hurt by a "Christian", I'm sorry. If you've ever felt condemned, I'm sorry. If you've ever felt looked down upon, I'm sorry.

That's not Christianity, and we're not all that way. Christians are called to follow Christ, and Jesus Christ loved people. All people. Granted, we are only flesh and our flesh is not perfect, a true follower of Christ would never intentionally hurt another human being. I know that there are people who claim the same faith that I do that that are leaving scars behind in the wake of their actions and words and it deeply saddens me.

As Christians, we are called to love - no matter what color, race, gender, or sexual orientation - we are called to love people as Christ loves us. Unfortunately, in the media, we see stories of people being condemned by "Christians" for their beliefs or lifestyle choices. We are not called to condemn; it is not our place. In fact, John 3:17 explains that God sent His son Jesus into the world not to condemn the world, but to save it through Him. If Jesus wasn't sent here to condemn the world, it is not our job as followers of Christ to do so either. Being a Christian makes us no better than anyone else on this earth. We are just as broken as the next person, the only difference is we've accepted a savior.

I saw a meme on facebook essentially talking about how some of the rudest customers that come into restaurants are the ones who come in on Sunday after church. I began to read the comments because I was genuinely curious about how others felt about this topic and my heart began to break.

Words like "fake" and "stuck up" were thrown around and I'm afraid they're not wrong. There are people who go to church on Sunday and walk out of those four walls only to leave their intentions of living like Christ inside. That's not how it's supposed to be, and unfortunately, those are the people who leave a bitter taste in people's mouths in regards to the church. I'm here to say, on behalf of those of us truly trying to follow Christ, that we're not all that way, and we love you just as you are.

To those who have a misconstrued image of Christianity because of a "Christian" who treated you wrong, I would like to apologize on their behalf. I simply want you to know that you are loved deeply, not only by us but by the creator of the world.

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