Excitement and anticipation surged through my mind as I boarded my flight from Washington D.C. to Miami, where I would meet the rest of the AYC Costa Rica group. I left home with what I thought was great expectation for the miraculous to occur. I came for a new experience, new friendships (I hoped), and powerful services. As I look back on that day, I realize just how little I actually expected from God. He intended it to be so much more.
I applied back in October, but ever since the age of ten, I felt a burden for missions. The opportunity finally opened for me to apply to go on my first AYC trip during the summer of 2018. I felt peace when I applied, and then it hit. Attack after attack came into my mind and my personal walk … Read More »
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:
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 »
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 »
What does it look like to have faith? How do we get the kind of faith Jesus mentions when He grabs that little child and coaches His disciples on the necessity of childlike faith? While we wrestle with our day-to-day issues, it can seem overwhelming to consider a faith that moves mountains. After all, we are normal people with normal lives and that sort of thing just seems a bit out of reach.
In Mark chapter five we find the story of the bleeding woman. Mark tells us she had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. It is heartbreaking that this woman didn’t just feel awful and weak from the unending trial, but she also was left to deal with the social consequence of an issue she never asked for. She was considered unclean by law, meaning that anything … Read More »
I was recently cleaning out some piled-high clutter from my life when I uncovered boxes full of memories I had pushed to the back of my mind when I pushed them to the back of my closet. One of the things I discovered in the mess was a bouquet of old roses. It might sound morose, but I personally think there is a certain beauty that can be seen even after their petals have dried.
Though these bundles may still be slightly appealing, I would never expect to receive them as a gift or want them left on my doorstep in efforts to make a romantic gesture. They are old flowers, ones that acquired a different type of attractiveness over the course of time. However, the freshest flowers mean the most when given in any circumstance—the exquisite blooming kind … Read More »