The Power Of Love

The Power Of Love

"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:30-31
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Love. What a weird concept. It can take so many forms, whether it is towards your family, your friends, yourself or a significant other, love is incredibly important and we can show love in so many different ways. We live in a world right now faced with so much hurt and suffering but contrary to what most believe, I believe that these circumstances leave more room for love, and the possibility of being transformed by it. The most important aspect to consider though is that "we love because He first loved us" 1 John 4:19.

Love Others

"A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another" John 13:34

So if God so clearly lays out in the bible that one of his greatest commandments is to love others, why is it something we struggle so much with? For me personally, I struggle most with loving those who are different than me, those who have differing opinions. Sometimes I find myself asking God, "Really? You expect me to love her/him after they just did that to me?" But God's answer I know would be "Yes, I do" because I think we learn the most about ourselves and our world when we dive into loving others that are different than us. We begin to learn more than we ever knew before and loving others the way that God loves us removes separation between us and God and improves our relationship with him as well. So sure, those people that wrong you or have opinions that you know just couldn't be right are hard to love, but it is those that are hard to love that God strategically puts in our lives to help us grow and learn.

Love yourself

"You are altogether beautiful, my love; there is no flaw in you" Song of Solomon 4:7

Ahhh, the hardest one of all. God tells us to "love others as ourselves" but how are we to do that when we don't even fully accept and love ourselves. In society today, I feel as though we are raised to doubt ourselves, our strengths, abilities and attributes that God so clearly drew out for us but this is obviously not the way it was intended to be. This has to be the biggest slap in the face to God. Imagine if you put something together that you feel is absolutely perfect and flawless in every way, only to step back and hear that you created it "wrong" or "didn't make it ______ enough". I can only imagine how hurtful that would be. You were created absolutely perfect in God's image so start living it out and truly believing it. God doesn't view your lack of a thigh gap or crooked nose or cellulite to be imperfections, He seems them as special aspects that He specifically crafted to make you, you. Begin to love yourself, cellulite, dimples, and all, and you will begin to find it easier to love others.

You Aren't Called to Love Alone

"Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love" 1 John 4:7-9.

We are called to love because God first loved us. As clearly stated in the verse above, love is from God. So when you do find it hard to love someone that may be different than you or has done wrong to you, remind yourself that your love comes from something so power, so almighty that it cannot be defeated. And therefore, you can love that person who is hard to love.

In a world faced with so much evil, harm and doubt, let us be reminded that God is love and because He first loved us, unconditionally and unshakable I might add, we are called to love others in the same way. However, we can't love others until we first fully love ourselves. We owe it to God to view ourselves in the perfect image that he created us to be, because anything less isn't fair to Him.


Cover Image Credit: Awakening The Goddess

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14 Fraternity Guy Gifts Ideas, Since He Already Has Enough Beer

Frat boys are a species of their own and here are some exciting gifts they will be ecstatic to receive!

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What more do frat boys love than alcohol, partying, and just acting stupid? Here are some gifts that help fulfill all of those needs for the frat boy in your life!

1. Beer holster belt

Whats better than one beer? Six beers! This fashionable camouflage accessory can be used for tailgates, beach days, formals and everything in between.

Price: $8.49

2. Phone juul holder 

You know those cardholders everyone sticks on the back of their phones? Well, now a Juul holder for your phone is on the market! This will save your favorite frat boy from ever again losing his Juul!

Price: $10.98

3. Animal house poster 

This Animal House poster is a classic staple for any frat boy. This poster will compliment any frat house decor or lack thereof.

Price: $1.95

4. The American Fraternity book

Does the frat boy in your life need a good read for Thanksgiving or winter break? Look no farther, this will certainly keep his attention and give him a history lesson on American fraternity heritage and tradition.

Price: $28.46

5. Beer pong socks 

These snazzy socks featuring beer pong will be loved by any frat boy. As for the way to any frat boy's heart may, in fact, be beer pong.

Price: $12.00

6. Condom case

This condom carrying case will not only protect condoms from damage but also make frat boys more inclined to practice safe sex, which is a win-win situation!

Price: $9.99

7. Frat house candle

Ahhh yes, who does not like the smell of stale beer in a dark, musty frat house basement? Frat boys can make their apartment or bedroom back home smell like their favorite place with the help of this candle.

Price: $16.99

8. "Frat" sticker

Frat boys always need to make sure everyone around them knows just how "fratty" they are. This versatile stick can go on a laptop, car, water bottle, or practically anywhere their little hearts desire.

Price: $6.50

9. Natty Light t-shirt 

Even I will admit that this shirt is pretty cool. The frat boy in your life will wear this shirt at every possible moment, it is just that cool!

Price: $38.76-$41.11

10. Natty light fanny pack 

This fanny pack can absolutely be rocked by any frat boy. The built-in koozie adds a nice touch.

Price: $21.85

11. Bud Light Neon Beer Sign 

A neon beer sign will be the perfect addition to any frat boys bedroom.

Price: $79.99

12. Beer Opener

Although most frat boys' go to beers come in cans, this bottle opener will be useful for those special occasions when they buy nicer bottled beers.

Price: $7.99

13. Frat House Dr. Sign

Price: $13.99

Forget stealing random street signs, with this gift frat boys no longer have to do so.

14. Beer Lights 

Lights are an essential for any party and these will surely light up even the lamest parties.

Price: $17.19

Please note that prices are accurate and items in stock as of the time of publication. As an Amazon Associate, Odyssey may earn a portion of qualifying sales.

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It's Only November, DO NOT Cue The Christmas Music

"Why are people so quick to switch gears from October 31... to November 1st?"

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As I write this article it is early November. Crazy how we are already into November. For those of you who have two different personalities from Halloween to November 1, this is for you. Do not cue Christmas music in early November.

November is a really beautiful month if you take the time to appreciate it. Leaves continue to change, the temperature starts to drop, which means more coffee and hot chocolate! The NJEA convention is in early November, if you're an educator, future one, or if you're a current student, you are off these days, and of course, everyone is off for Thanksgiving. A time to celebrate what we are thankful for with our friends and family. Tables full of hot soups to warm our chilly bodies, turkey, creamy mashed potatoes, stuffing, sweet cranberry sauce, an array of pies and desserts, you name it.

So why are people so quick to switch gears from October 31, a time to dress up, trick or treat and attend Halloween parties, to November 1st, a time that has become all about Black Friday and Christmas? We've lost the meaning of Thanksgiving. In my opinion, stores should not be open on Thanksgiving Day. As mentioned it's a day to spend with family. You can shop for those best deals and stand in line for hours the following day and days leading up to Christmas.

We live in a time where everyone is busy with their own lives and family, and it's difficult to get together with everyone's schedules. So on Thanksgiving, it's the perfect time to surround yourself with family and friends, enjoying a meal together, counting your blessings, showing gratitude and appreciation, and catching up on everyone's lives. Truly a day of Thanksgiving!

So I encourage all of you to prepare for Thanksgiving and focus on family, friends, and gratitude. Next time someone talks about Black Friday or Christmas before Thanksgiving, stand your ground, make your voice and the holiday of Thanksgiving be heard.

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