To the Point

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Redefined >> August 10, 2009

Filed under: Books,Ethics,News — Veronique @ 8:00 pm
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RedefinedThe world of Christians is an interesting one. I’m sure other religions face many of the same issues. If a Christian is “too spiritual” by the non-Christian world, they are usually considered too conservative by other Christians. If the rest of the world thinks a Christian is a nutcase, then other Christians usually say they’re too forceful.And if a Christian never says anything, the rest of the world and other Christians consider them to be hypocrites.

Here’s the deal, though…and we seem to have forgotten this. To a certain extent, we (Christians) can fit in with the rest of the world. Being a Christian doesn’t mean you have to pull a “John the Baptist” and scream at people while biting off a locust’s head. You don’t have to be a freak in that sense; it’s not in the manual. But in reality, we are freaks. We’re living under different laws than the rest of the world; we’re serving a different master. To any skeptics or critics reading this, let me save you some time. No, I am not saying Christians are better than other people, I am not saying we don’t have to obey earthly laws or that we’re above them. That’s my little disclaimer haha.

My point is, Jesus never said everyone has to stand up on a soap box and yell at people to repent. But guys, the fact is that there will come a point when you will have to make a public decision, take a public stand, and most likely face some sort of persecution. To a point we are a part of the world and do the same things. I listen to my iPod, read, and eat pizza, not to mention my coffee addiction and obsession with office supplies. But there are times, aside from the way I live my life every day, when I have to say outright that I am a Christian, I stand for Christ, I belong to Him, and I serve Him alone. I made a decision once to follow Him always and to live for Him, and that’s what I do. That’s my number one goal in life. Of course I fail at it sometimes, but you know, to really fail at something is harder than succeeding, because to fail you have to fail every single day, all day. The point of my life is to serve Christ, always.

Maybe you’re a Christian living entirely surrounded by Christians and never have contact with non-Christians. If you are, you should get out more and read Mark 16:15-19. But if you’re not, you’ve most likely already faced some kind of persecution. It doesn’t always come in the form of an angry mob with pitchforks, although that happens. It’s more like people being irritated with you for no apparent reason, losing friends because you’re a Christian, or people thinking you’re some kind of stuck-up religious freak.

Well…drum roll…we are religious freaks. Actually, we’re just freaks. Whether you’re dressed in camel hair and eating insects or a normal, down to earth college kid, the very fact that you have chosen to follow Christ makes you, in this world, a freak. You believe in someone you can’t see or hear every day, someone who had crazy ideas and told people to make other people believe these ideas, someone who stirred up so much trouble that he got himself killed and encouraged other people to live how he’d lived. But you know that He’s real. You know that He loves you. You know that He rose again from the grave after defeating sin and death. You know that He is the creator of the universe, the One who knit you together in your mother’s womb and knew all of your thoughts and comings and goings before you were born, the One who knows every day of your life and who is crazy about you.

So hang in there. Yes, it’s tough, but God knows. Yes, it’s hard when people hate on you and turn on you, but God knows. When you first met Jesus…that day, or maybe night, that you first saw His face and saw His love for you…that day that you made the choice to abandon everything else and follow Him, He made a covenant with you, and He is always there. Even the night is not night to Him, and when He comes, darkness itself trembles at His voice. He will bless you for your faithfulness and for the commitment you made to Him.

We are new creations, saved and made new by Jesus Christ, who died for our sins, defeated death and sin and the grave, and rose again three days later, victorious and majestic. Don’t lose hope.

>>africanstar

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HIV AIDS August 6, 2009

Filed under: Ethics,News — Veronique @ 12:42 pm
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HIV AIDSInformation, quotation, and pictures are courtesy of JoinRed.com. This blog is in no way affiliated with (RED) and all opinions expressed, unless otherwise noted, are the views of the author and not necessarily of (RED).

HIV AIDS is a deadly incurable disease. The HIV virus itself is potentially harmless; in other words, just because you have HIV doesn’t mean you have AIDS. But once the HIV virus is in your body, you are at serious risk to have the virus aggravated, and getting AIDS.

HIV AND AIDS pose an enormous hurdle to economic development in Africa. Typically, the disease affects people in the most productive years of their lives. So, men and women who need to support their families can no longer do so, or worse, they die. In fact, an estimated 12.1 million African children under the age of 18 have lost at least one parent to HIV and AIDS. The result is families left severely handicapped by the disease, or in the worst case, households led by children. Children left without parents must fend for themselves.”

However, although AIDS is not entirely curable, there is a very successful treatment that can not only improve quality of health but can extend an AIDS victim’s life. And for people who have the HIV virus but don’t have AIDS yet, the treatment can prevent the development of the disease. It’s called “antiretroviral therapy,” and it’s incredibly easy to use: all you need is a glass of water and two pills a day. It’s not painful, expensive, intrusive, or traumatic in any way. Once people start using it, they have to keep drinking the pills every day for the rest of their lives, but the point is that they will have a life.

Even though the treatment is not expensive (about 40¢ – USA currency – a day), it’s still too much for most AIDS victims to afford. So (RED) has set up a program through which people who actually have money can make donations to help spread the treatment, as well as educate people about AIDS; what it is, how it can be treated, and how to prevent the spread of AIDS.

To help out, you can either click here to make a money donation directly into the Global Fund, or you can go here to buy products from brands like Apple, Converse, Windows, Starbucks, and Gap; a portion of the money is sent to (RED), who then sends 100% of the recieved money to the Global Fund. Products like iPods, Starbucks coffee, and special edition Converse shoes are available. $13 is the cost of one month’s treatment for one person; do the math. You can make a difference.

>>africanstardust