In Style with the Crowd

International Student Edition

It’s a new country with new people who talk, dress, behave, and live differently than you, an international student. You want to identify with your new mates by changing your accent, dressing like them, taking on their habits, etc.There is nothing wrong with imitating their ways, just as long as it does not oppose the Word of God. International students, in majority, are eager to immerse in their new culture (which is totally fine); nonetheless, there is always a need for discernment, as Exodus 23:2 says “You shall not follow the multitude to do evil”. In the process of ‘becoming one’ like the host countrymen, ask yourself if there are any areas threatening your faith. How is your new way of talking? Are you cussing, insulting, mocking, or lying like your new mates? How is your new fashion sense? Are you revealing private areas, wearing tight-fitting outfits, or maybe neglecting your body (which is God’s temple) like your new mates? Are you now clubbing or pushing God to the side like the popular campus trend?

International student ladies, you must to be sober and vigilant, and not follow the multitude to.sin. You need to meditate on the Word of God as to have a clear mind on what is and is not sin. Otherwise, if you don’t grow in your knowledge of God, then you will easily be deceived on campus to start calling ‘right’, ‘wrong’, and ‘wrong’,’right’. Let’s glorify our Father in all we say and do!

Quick to Listen, Slow to Speak

Woman zippering mouth closed
image: Kingdom Seeking
By Steve Sevy

When we respond quickly and don’t hear others, it is a “self” problem.  We are selfish and lack self-control.  The Spirit of God helps us with self-control.  Our self wants center stage in our lives. When we are selfish and want to be the center it is often linked to low self-esteem..Read more
Continue reading “Quick to Listen, Slow to Speak”

8 Ways to Keep Calm and Study on during Finals Week

By Lauren Lombardo

1)   Make a schedule (and stick to it!)

The best way to not stress about everything you have going on is to make a schedule of what you need to get done before the end of the week and then prioritize.  Knowing exactly what you need to be doing will help you stay focused, stress less and help you avoid having to use the “I didn’t know that was due today” excuse…Read more

Fear of the devil

fear-of-the-devil
Image: Nomoretaboo.org, Single Sisters in University

By Joyce Meyer

Fear is a tool the devil uses against us to make us miserable and destroy our lives. It begins as a thought and then creates emotions that can rule us. It often becomes a strong, intense feeling that tries to move us to make a foolish action or tries to prevent us from doing something that would be good for us…Read more

Temptation #1: Alcohol

Overcoming Temptations in College
Temptation #1: Alcohol 

“Binge drinking is so bad that when researchers tried using Breathalyzers at parties and bars it only encouraged students to drink more.  No matter how many bad consequences are put in front of students–drunk driving, addictions, unwanted sexual intercourse, unwanted pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, decreased performance in school it just doesn’t offset the two perceived benefits of drinking: it’s liberating and a good excuse”
-Sharon Jayson, media and communications strategist

Reading the above statement, we can deduce that alcohol consumption is here to stay in university. I mean it’s such a popular trend that makes one fit in and ‘transition’ into adulthood. As said above, it is ‘liberating’ and ‘a good excuse’, who wouldn’t want to do it? This sounds really good for the people of the world, but let’s observe this behavior with our Christian lenses. By no means do I want to approach this with a legalistic view and say: “Thou shalt not drink alcohol!’ That would be a pure, bold lie because the Lord Jesus Himself acknowledged drinking wine in Luke 7:34 “The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Behold, a gluttonous man and a wine-drinker, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’” On the other hand, the Bible also gives us examples of Spirit-filled men like John the Baptist who didn’t drink at all “for he [John] will be great in the sight of the Lord; and he will drink no wine or liquor, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit while yet in his mother’s womb”-Luke 1:15. There is one important thing we must always remember in our walk with the Lord, 1 Corinthians 6:12 says:

“Everything is permissible for me,” but not everything is helpful. “Everything is permissible for me,” but I will not be brought under the control of anything.

In Jesus Christ, we have the freedom to do everything we want, but are all things really beneficial to us? I have the freedom not to fast, but will taking this decision really help my spiritual life? In regards to our freedom, the apostle Paul mentioned “for you have been called to live in freedom, brothers. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature” (Gal 5:13), and the apostle Peter added “Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil” (1 Pet 2:16). As children of God, we have the freedom to drink alcohol, however, we must realize the dangers that come with this practice. Alcohol consumption, especially among university students, tends to foster an atmosphere of drunkenness, waywardness, sexual conduct, addiction, and absence of good judgment. Is it then beneficial to indulge in such an activity? I let you decide for yourself. Even if we say that we will not deviate like others and will be sober while drinking with friends, all I can say is “let’s not give the devil a foothold.”  

For any of you who would like to stay away from alcohol, let’s see the times that you are most influenced to drink: Usually in the company of friends. This can happen at home, restaurants, parties, or clubs. We have to be frank with ourselves ladies if we are serious about our walk with the Lord and choose to stay away from alcohol. We must learn to be firm by saying ‘no’ or distancing ourselves from tempting areas. If that means, refusing to attend college clubs, we have to do it; if that means, telling our roommates that we’ll no longer participate in the social drinking at home, then so be it. This may not be easy at first, that’s the reason we should be fervent in prayer and rely on the Holy Spirit to help us overcome. I know you may be afraid of what you’ll be labeled as but don’t worry you’re doing it for your sanity and the glory of God; I have myself been called many names for choosing to stay pure. Plus, this will only show that we’re on the right path, for Jesus said: “Students are to be like their teacher, and slaves are to be like their master. And since I, the master of the household, have been called the prince of demons, the members of my household will be called by even worse names! But don’t be afraid of those who threaten you”–Matthew 10;25-26. For surely, our Heavenly Father will not leave or abandon us when we want to honor Him.

What? I Gained Another Pound!

Only women  can understand how frustrating it is when you gain weight unintentionally! At times, the stress of group projects, presentations, papers, and homework makes it difficult to keep up with our weight; consequently, unhealthy food choices tend to be more appealing as they are readily available. Additionally, there’s not much time for exercise due to all these school activities. Then, the big scare comes when you look at your body in the mirror and the scale confirms you have drifted away from your ‘normal’ acceptable weight!

When it comes to weight issues, we can go on either two extremes. The first one is to be so obsessed about losing weight that we become depressed every time that scale needle goes further away from our acceptable weight; we begin to envy all the girls with flat bellies. The other extreme is to be totally careless about our weight that we eat whatever, whenever. Clothes becoming too tight are an excuse to go on a shopping spree. We’re all familiar with these verses in 1 Corinthians 3:16-17 “don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person; for God’s temple is sacred, and you together are that temple.” S. Michael Houdmann of Got Questions Ministries explains: “By choosing the word ‘temple’ to describe the Spirit’s dwelling, God conveys the idea that our bodies are the shrine, or the sacred place, in which the Spirit not only lives, but is worshiped, revered, and honored. Therefore, how we behave…and what we let into the temple…becomes critically important.” Hence, when it comes to weight, we should neither neglect our bodies by eating without restrictions nor idolize our figure to deprive ourselves of all good things God created (1Tim4:3-4). There needs to be a good balance of the two extremes; we have to make an effort to stay fit and eat healthily (here are quick tips), remember that where there is a will, there is a way. Finally, we leave the rest to God, trusting Him by casting out all worry or stress even if in the long run we still gain another pound. Our Father knows that weight control is important to us, He’ll indeed help us on our journey when we honor Him.

 

Healthy Eating Tips for the Busy College Students

by Clarke University

eating-health-tips-for-students
image: sites.psu.edu

The average college student is often pressed for time, under a lot of stress, and eating on the go. You may find it difficult to avoid bad habits like skipping meals or frequently visiting fast food restaurants. But eating a healthy diet can help you feel better, cope with stress, and perform better in the classroom and on the athletic field. It really isn’t that hard to get started.

  1. Eat a good breakfast – Studies show that skipping breakfast detracts from scholastic achievement. When there isn’t time to sit down and enjoy your morning meal, grab a bagel, piece of fruit, and some juice. Most of these items can be easily stored in your residence hall room…Read more

Don’t Get Distracted by Current Events

End Times Special Edition

Recent headline news have been anything but encouraging. I’m especially talking about the rise of Black American and African killings in the U.S. and India, respectively, and the multiplying terrorist attacks worldwide. I’m sure you can think of other events that can be added to this list. I can’t lie but at times I have felt angry and disgusted at some communities looking at what “their” people are doing in the world; how can some individuals be so cruel as to set another on fire just because of his race? These feelings and thoughts have consumed my mind day in and day out. Then, I realized that the devil had succeeded in birthing resentment in my heart, that’s when I understood his plan. The devil is bombarding us with these current events to shift our focus away from Jesus and loving our neighbors to now hatred, racism, discrimination, and you name it. His purpose is to divide in order to conquer us. I’m not saying that we should turn a blind eye to current atrocities, let’s stand against them while fixing our eyes on Jesus and loving our neighbors instead of being devoured by unforgiveness and bitterness.

The Bible warned us beforehand that these horrible events would take place: “And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows” Matthew 24:6-8. The Lord Jesus knew that there would come such times as these when wars, lawlessness, terrorism, racism, and other atrocities will increase. Amidst the chaos, He still warned us not to be troubled, because these events must take place. ‘Not troubled’ means that we shouldn’t worry/be overwhelmed, start hating other communities, or vent our anger on social media. The opposite of ‘not troubled’ is peace, and that’s what we should fill our hearts with. Hear what the apostle Paul said concerning our attitude during end times: “Therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold the traditions which you were taught, whether by word or our epistle. Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself…comfort your hearts and establish you in every good word and work” (2 Thess 3:15-17). We need to hold on to the Word in these last days and carry out the two greatest commandments, i.e. love our Heavenly Father with all our heart, soul, and strength, plus love our neighbors as ourselves. In this way, the devil will not see a foothold of bitterness, anxiety, or rebellion as a tool to overpower us. When we submit to God through His Word and resist the devil, he flees from us.

We are living in the end times, ladies, and there’s an even greater need to be vigilant and wise. Let’s not be distracted from following our Lord wholeheartedly due to the rise of wickedness in the world; it was bound to happen as the Lord predicted. Let not our hearts be troubled but instead let’s resist the devil and his schemes. Let’s spur one another on to love and good works as our Savior’s return is imminent.

It’s All About Faith

Preparing For Marriage Special Edition

Mr. A comes home late after a long meeting at work; he was unable to inform Mrs. A about this unexpected schedule due to his dead phone and the saturated agenda. Mrs. A storms at her husband and accuses him of cheating. She is convinced that only a woman must have kept Mr. A away from his home. Mr. & Mrs. B have a joint bank account together; Mr. B unceasingly questions Mrs. B about her activities; he wants to know the why, what and how of every expense and withdrawal she makes.

You’ll agree with me that among the attitudes characterizing Mrs. A and Mr. B mistrust would definitely be one of them. Both of these individuals lack trust in their partners that’s why they go on nagging them. If they continue on in this manner, their marriage will definitely suffer in the long run. Every relation (friendship, marriage, or business partnership) must be based on trust, the faith or assurance in a person’s character; without it a relation cannot stand.

The same law applies to our relationship with the Lord Jesus; He is the bridegroom and we the bride. He already has faith in us, so the work of trusting comes from our end. How many times when faced with challenging and unpleasant situations have we not blamed God and questioned Him? How many times have we not complained to Him, expressed discontent, fallen into depression/worry, or even been discouraged? It’s easy for us to clearly spot the flaws of Mrs. A and Mr. B, when in reality we behave the exact way due to lack faith in our Lord. If mistrust can kill a marriage in the long run, so can it also affect our Christianity; no wonder some of us live shallow Christian lives. We are circumstantially joyful and continue to be defeated by sin.

When it comes to waiting for our God-given husbands it’s all about faith ladies. Our Heavenly Father obviously has plans that differ from ours. The only thing we can do is to have faith in Him knowing that He has our best interest in mind even if current conditions prove otherwise. Abraham is called the father of faith because he demonstrated trust in the Lord amidst the oddest situations.

Even when there was no reason for hope, Abraham kept hoping—believing that he would become the father of many nations. For God had said to him, “That’s how many descendants you will have!” And Abraham’s faith did not weaken, even though, at about 100 years of age, he figured his body was as good as dead—and so was Sarah’s womb. Abraham never wavered in believing God’s promise. In fact, his faith grew stronger, and in this he brought glory to God. He was fully convinced that God is able to do whatever he promises. And because of Abraham’s faith, God counted him as righteous-Romans 4:18-22

Marriage is a gift from God and if the Lord has destined us for this purpose He will surely accomplish His promise, we need only to have the faith of Abraham. From what we read in Romans 4, Abraham still believed that God could perform a miracle even though he was almost 100 years old and his wife had way experienced menopause. Abraham “was fully convinced that God is able to do whatever He promises.” Circumstances and people will pressure us to quit waiting and go out there to grab our husbands by our own might. When this same Abraham made the mistake to conceive a child by his own power, the regretful consequence was Ishmael, the ancestor of the Muslim people. I’m sure each of us can testify of the unhappy and broken marriages we’ve seen around us as a result of people wanting to do it their way. “Look at the proud! They trust in themselves, and their lives are crooked. But the righteous will live by His faith” Habakkuk 2:4.The proud think they are smarter than God and get ahead of Him, but what they gain at the end is fruitless. The wise live and walk by faith and it’s counted to them as righteous. Let’s fix our eyes on Jesus instead of the marriage issue in order to have renewed strength. “But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint” Isaiah 40:31. No relationship can survive without trust, including our relationship with our Lord Jesus. It’s all about having faith that the husband will come one day despite the odds.