Remember The People In Syria

Remember The People In Syria

Put yourself in their shoes.
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Last week, a sarin gas attack killed many children and adults in Syria. The world reacted in outrage and disgust, and President Trump ordered a missile strike upon a key airport (which later turned out to damage fewer jets than originally thought). I am still heartbroken over the image of a man holding his dead twins. This man lost 25 members of his family in one day. I cannot even begin to fathom what pain he must be in.

Due to the missile strikes, our country is entangled in the midst of a complex geopolitical crisis that requires thoughtful diplomacy and smart military tactics to be even halfway solved. Many people may question the ability of our administration to be thoughtful or tactically brilliant. Debates are being held about the constitutionality of one-time weapon strikes and what comprises an act of war. These debates should be held, but I fear that we are becoming too caught up in partisan politics and are forgetting who's at the center of all this.

The Syrian people always seem to be forgotten. Since the Arab Spring events of 2011, Syria has been in a state of upheaval. Aleppo is all but razed to the ground. Thousands of families have perished. Children grow up knowing nothing but violence and loss. Mothers and fathers put their children on boats out of desperation, because the choppy water is safer than the bullet-ridden land. It is a true nightmare.

These people are all created by God. Image-bearers. They live and breathe just as we do.

Try to imagine fearing for your life every second. Going to bed not knowing if you'll die during a night air raid. Getting used to traveling with a few possessions in your backpack, because you don't know if you'll have time to get to the house to grab what you need. Eating rotting food because you don't know when your next meal will be. Watching family members die, knowing you cannot do anything to help. You apply for visas to every nation you can think of, and wait years. Then you hear of a travel ban. They say it is not a ban, but of course it is a ban, when they do not allow you to travel from your country to their country. All you want to do is live, but more than that, you want your family to live.

The attacks continue. You start to feel that no one cares for you. Not even the stars in the night sky hear your cries. Then the chemical attacks come, and you lose half your family. You watch children choke to death on sarin gas. And still you are not allowed to leave. Perhaps it is better to die than to live, because no one seems to care.

This is what goes through the minds of many Syrians. I understand why many feel hopeless and forgotten, because we have played a part in that.

Politics and theater and saber-rattling have taken precedence over the people in Syria for six years.

Whose fault is it?

Everyone's fault. Everyone played a part in this humanitarian crisis, and I think everyone needs to play a part in helping to at least ease the pain.

Whether it's lifting the ban just for Syria, raising a refugee acceptance quota, striking key military targets (I am not a fan of using violence to solve violence, however), or sending in reinforcements to help the White Helmets (a medical group akin to the Red Cross there), something has to be done.

I refuse to stand by and watch a nation die.

Pray for Syria, and pray for them to find hope.

Cover Image Credit: Pinterest

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.

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To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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American Or Christian?

Can you really be both?

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This is a thought that has lingered in my mind for a very long time.

Personally, I hate news and politics. It's depressing and it seems like both parties (and people in general) just don't get it. Political conversation gets on my ever-loving nerves and literally gets me down in the dumps for the day.

I just simply don't watch it anymore. There is too much negativity.

That doesn't mean that I am uniformed. I am not advocating for ignorance or anything like that. I prefer to read and figure out my information from sites "in the middle."

As I was eating dinner with my wife the other day we started talking about the new Abortion laws in Alabama and Georgia. As a Christ-follower and a staunch defender of Biblical inerrant, I detest abortion.

Before you read any farther, you must understand something: This article is not about my defense of my beliefs regarding hot topics like abortion or homosexuality. I do not have the time to write about said topics now. I am just asking you to accept what I believe for the sake of the article.

But, anyway, these abortion bills. I can make a pretty good case that they are Constitutional because they are protecting the Life (one of the Rights given to American Citizens) from others. Yes, I know the arguments against said point but continue with me please.

This led our conversation to talk about Homosexual marriage, something that I am against as well. And not just because of Leviticus but because of the New Testament as well.

But, shaking my head, I said something that my wife seemed to agree with:

"As a Christian, I know it's wrong and I cannot agree with it. As an American, I see no reason why it should be illegal. Unless your choices infringe someone's Rights, you should be free to do what you wish (technically speaking)."

This is my dilemma. Well, actually it's not a dilemma. I know that I am a Christian before I am an American. I love this country greatly, and I know how blessed I am to be born here. For all the hate this country gets (and some of it is deserved) and all the problems we have (and we have a lot), we are shoulders above other countries in many ways. I am so thankful for all the men and women who have served to protect me and keep me safe. I'm thankful for a lot of things. And I am proud to be an American.

But my identity in Christ comes first. This is why I do not get into politics much. I don't really care at the end of the day. Because while America has been blessed, we still have work to do here. And this is not my forever home. This is not where I will spend eternity.

I try and respect everyone's opinions, and I earnestly try to love everyone, even when they trash and disrespect my beliefs and convictions. But I must put my call to Christ about anything that has to do with this nation. I will pray for ALL our leaders because I was told to do so (I prayed for President Obama when he was in office). And I will be here to support this nation. But I cannot put it above Christ's commands.

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