Taste And See The Lord Is Good

Taste And See That The Lord Is Good

My first Chi Alpha Winter Retreat was the bomb.

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When I went into college as a freshman, I wanted to make sure my relationship with God didn't suffer because I was away from my home church community.

I'd grown up hearing stories of people who did great things for the Lord and I wanted to be one of those people, but I feared that college would mean I'd lose my way. Most of my friends back home are a few years older than I am, and some of them have even started families. Because of their faith in me, they've shared stories and struggles over the years that sometimes involved college.

When you're away at college, away from parents and the majority of those who know you, I'll admit it's easier to get away with stuff. I knew this beforehand and, at one point, I'd actually allowed it to scare me so much that I feared college would "change me" without my consent.

And while I wasn't absolutely insane for worrying about that, I was crazy to let so much of my anticipatory joy for college be ruined by it. Flashforward to the second semester of my sophomore year and college has changed me, but only in ways that I've allowed it to.

Because I was so adamant about continuing to foster my faith, I found out about Chi Alpha - one of the campus ministries at Longwood University that also has over 310 chapters at several universities. For some reason, I'd never heard of Chi Alpha (XA) until I came to college, and that's DEFINITELY a God thing.

Thanks to Chi Alpha, I've not only remained who I was in Christ before starting my college career, but I've grown even more and the family I have there has been by my side in fruitful and dry seasons already. They also gave me my first leadership opportunity connected to my faith.

I've been on mission trips before and lead a dance team at a previous church, but I'd never been nor considered myself a leader in my eyes or God's. But the funny thing about God is that He'll use what you think are inadequacies to build something so miraculous, it could only be by His doing.

A couple of weekends ago several chapters of Chi Alpha across the east coast gathered together in D.C. for the annual Winter Retreat. It's a weekend where all everyone stays in the same hotel just to worship Jesus the entire time. We rode down together Friday afternoon and had our first session that night.

The regional director spoke the entire weekend on Romans 12:12, which says, "Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer." He shared stories with us about his job as a "Jesus Coordinator" for a Louisiana college football team as well as a few personal stories that had Jesus written all over them.

On Saturday, we chose two individual sessions (I chose one on prayer and the other on the Holy Spirit) and we even had a few hours to explore the city.

My favorite part, however, aside from getting to grow closer to my XA family within Longwood, was going to the "jam room." The hotel had specifically set aside separate rooms for prayer, missions, and jamming out. And several of us gathered together with people we didn't even know to worship Jesus in that jam room.

As I walked up to the room, I passed an older gentleman in uniform and realized that he was one of the security guards staying up all night to make sure we were safe. He was standing just outside the door so he could keep an eye on things but, as I went past, he was smiling at the fact that all of these college kids were singing praises to Jesus at 2 a.m.

If you have a Chi Alpha on your college campus, I encourage you to try it out. Maybe it's for you, maybe it's not. But, for me, the family that I've received because of it really shows what Heaven is supposed to look like. Different skin colors, nationalities, economic statuses, home lives, genders, etc.

It's all-encompassing, all-loving, and all about Jesus.

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As A Female Christian Millennial, I Fully Support Alabama's Abortion Ban Because I Know God Would, Too

A life always has worth, no matter the circumstances.

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Alabama's state legislature passed a bill on May 14, 2019 that makes it illegal for abortions to be performed past six weeks of pregnancy. Doctors who are caught violating the law could be sentenced up to 99 years in prison. The bill is the strictest anti-abortion bill to date this year as states try to pass laws to challenge to Roe v. Wade in the Supreme Court.

While the law does allow an exception to women whose lives are at risks, it does not allow for abortions in the event of rape or incest. I support Alabama's new law, and I applaud them for their efforts to protect the rights of unborn children.

As a Christian, I believe that life is a precious gift from God and should be treated with care.

The sixth commandment is, "Thou shalt not kill," and Jesus said the second greatest rule was to love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:39-40). I believe this applies to every person born and unborn. But, even from a secular perspective, there are reasons that support an unborn child's right to life. Let's break down two of the most important components of the bill: abortion itself and the case of rape and incest.

A big argument in the debate is whether a baby is alive before it is born or only after it is born.

I believe can be explained and answered with simple medical science. In the medical profession, a person is pronounced dead when there is no more activity in the brain, known as brain-dead.

At that point, they consider there to be no more life in the body.

The opposite of death is life, so if you have electrical signals still coursing through your brain, then you are alive. A fetus begins to have electrical activity in its brain at six weeks. Most women do not find out they are pregnant until around that time, so by the time they decide to have an abortion, the baby, by all medical accounts, is alive.

Another indicator of whether a person is dead or dying is their pulse.

The pulse is how many times a person's heart beats per minute. If a person does not have a pulse, they will more than likely die if their heart cannot be resuscitated because no oxygen is getting to their brain.

Medical personnel does everything they can to start a person's heart back because they know that the heart is key to life.

A baby's heart begins to beat at five weeks old, again before the mother knows she is pregnant and can choose to have an abortion. Since the United States' justice system upholds that killing a person is wrong, then shouldn't killing a baby, who is alive, be wrong too? I think this is plenty of proof that aborting a baby is killing a living person and is therefore wrong.

Rape and incest are two horrible acts that should be punished. It is never the victim's or conceived a child's fault in the situation.

Given the reasons above for why abortion is wrong, I also believe, while both crimes are horrendous, that abortion is still not the answer to this problem. I do understand, however, that women, because of the traumatic experience or other reasons, may not be able to care for the child.

As such, I am an advocate for adoption.

There are many couples out there who cannot have children on their own who would love to adopt. In order, for this to be a viable option, though, Congress needs to make amendments to adoption laws.

Adoption is outrageously expensive, much more costly than an abortion, and is a long and tedious process.

Though the laws are in place so that not just anybody can adopt a child, the government still could stand to relax laws a little. Another option could be to offer aid to those who wish to adopt specifically to cover adoption expenses or to only those who meet certain requirements. If we want to protect unborn children, we must give women and families more viable options.

I know that my views are not popular, but God did not call us to be popular, He called us to be His disciples.

I will not compromise my convictions because I am in the minority. I support the women who have to face this dilemma, and I pray that they and our government officials make the right decisions and aid these women and families in need of help.

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The Truth About Politics In Religion And How It Affects Our Relationship With God

They don't have to be mutually exclusive.

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It's evident that religion can and has been used in politics from the values of voters and leaders. However, to use your religion or your relationship with God for making political decisions doesn't share the same meaning.

I've always loved finding all the best facts and research for argumentative work but I couldn't pursue that approach for this topic. Why? Because I've experienced the pattern in my relationship with God of how God defies logic.

God can't be contained to a definition or explanation. I liked the way I've heard one leader express that, "If you hear someone trying to explain to God as if he knows then he's a fool before he starts talking". That's a paradox within itself.

I've learned more recently to identify that the two sides of the paradox that you might wrestle with in understanding God are both true. That, yes, His hands are big and He knows exactly what to do to make you surrender but you'll also find no greater love than with Him because He has the biggest heart and knows what you need better than you do.

I think that accepting this paradox will differentiate between those that view politics religiously versus those that view it from 'what is God trying to do here'? The one that focuses on seeking 'what is God trying to do here?' would represent those with a relationship with God. This doesn't mean that referencing the laws of God exempts you from having a relationship but the love of God is the strength that sustains the relationship over the law. This is also a bit of a paradox because they're both important in Christianity.

There's the difference from seeing God as one-sided which is very prideful, limiting and incorrect compared to recognizing that His ways are higher than our ways and His thoughts are higher than our thoughts.

I believe that what we believe and how we see God will bring limitations or provision on how we can be used in God's plan for His kingdom on earth when it comes to the way the world is run.

God, our relationship with God and the law of God all have to be considered in the things we do as Christians.

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