Category: Real Talk


Jobs and Jesus

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20th October

Ahhh the first job. The first paycheck. Graduating from piggybank to a legitimate savings account. The first time having a consistent tithing routine. What great memories. I know our readers here range from middle school to college students, so let’s talk mowing lawns and working the register in the university book store. Let’s talk babysitting and collecting shopping carts (carriages or buggies depending on where you live) from the Walmart parking lot. Let’s talk working at the local daycare and interning at the law office. Okay, I think we get the point. Let’s talk “Jobs and Jesus.”

Our first jobs truly are important. They teach valuable communication skills, time management and responsibility, and they offer teamwork experience and provide invaluable opportunities to make mistakes and learn how to fail forward. I remember my first job. When I was in high school, … Read More »



Self-Harm Comes to Church

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18th June

Self-harm, also known as self-injury, is something one in five young ladies and one in seven young men will engage in during their teenage and early adult years. Most of us have heard of the common self-harm practice of cutting yourself, but here are other ways people, especially young people, also inflict harm upon themselves:

Cutting
Burning
Interfering with wound healing (picking or reopening wounds)
Punching or hitting oneself or other objects
Inserting objects into the skin
Purposely bruising or breaking one’s bones
Certain forms of hair pulling

To many, self-harm could be hard to understand or grasp. Why would someone inflict bodily harm on themselves? Why would someone purposely hurt themselves? I’ve asked these questions as a former youth pastor when I heard some youth were doing this in our youth group. It’s easy to be judgmental and think someone must be crazy to do such a … Read More »



Looking to Marry

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9th June

It was a rainy evening in late September when we first laid eyes on each other. We were both in St. Louis, Missouri attending the 2014 UPCI General Conference. After a powerful service one evening, we began to walk aimlessly with a group of mutual friends to a restaurant that was—to our dismay—already closed. As we all stood out on the street corner, staring at the darkened windows in disbelief, suddenly a torrential downpour came out of nowhere! We were finally able to find shelter inside a random Sushi place, but by that time we were all completely soaked.

The night was unforgettable to say the least. As we sat there shivering, happy as could be, eating our sushi, we could have never imagined that just three years later we would stand together at an altar and say, “I do.” … Read More »



The Way Back from Loss

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20th May

My senior year of high school started out with transition and change, just not the kind you have been planning for since your freshman year. I had just moved to a new church on my own without my mom but with her blessing. I was excited about all the new opportunities, friendships, and involvement a church in the UPCI could offer. A month or so into this transition, I was having dinner with some of the youth. It was just a normal night for me. I got home around 9:00 p.m. to hear the phone ringing. When I answered, there was a man on the other end telling us my brother had been arrested and there was a problem during transport. They had him at the local hospital and we needed to come as soon as possible.

We drove for what … Read More »



#PrayingForParkland

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23rd February

February 14, 1998 was a day that changed my life and propelled me into a deeper walk with God. At the age of six years old, my younger brother was diagnosed with leukemia. On that day I learned the power of intercessory prayer. When crises seep in, we abandon our earthly way of thinking and cling to God with complete hope that He will make a way in our situation. After multiple rounds of chemotherapy within a span of three long years, Almighty God healed my brother.

February 14th has always been a reminder to me that the Lord is our healer. Around America, this day is considered a day of love. The stores are filled with candy and gifts packaged in colorful paper ready to be given to loved ones, but this year, South Florida endured a … Read More »






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