God Planned You

I am seventeen years old. My mom got pregnant with me when she was sixteen and had me at seventeen. I was adopted by my dad when I was just about a year old. When I was seven, my parents told me I was adopted by my dad. All I wanted was for him to be my dad. But as the years went by and I got older, I struggled with issues like who I was and why was I put on this earth in such a messed up way. I didn’t understand why God would put me in this situation. It’s something I still struggle with from time to time. I also found out that I have a sister I have never met, but would like to, as well as other relatives. Not only that, but when my dad had kids with my stepmom, I just didn’t really feel like I was a part of the family. I just felt alienated from them. It hurts me deep inside to this day that I have never really felt like I was a part of my dad’s family.

I have always wondered if it would have been different if my parents hadn’t told me I was adopted. But I also wonder if they hadn’t and I found out, would I have been angry with my parents for not telling me?

A few weeks ago I read on a coffee cup that changed my perspective. It said: “You are not an accident. Your parents may not have planned you, but God did. He WANTED you alive and created you for a purpose. Focusing on yourself will never reveal your purpose. You were made by God and for God, and until you understand that, life will never make sense. Only in God do we discover our origin, our identity, our meaning, our purpose, our significance, and our destiny.”

Like I said, I saw this on a back of a coffee cup and it was written by Dr. Rick Warren. It just really put me into perspective. I’ve just worried about myself when it’s not about that, it’s about God. He put me on this earth for a reason and that should be good enough for anyone. I don’t know what my purpose in life is yet, but I hope and pray that I can serve God and follow him as best as I can.

I need to stop focusing on myself and just give all my troubles, fears, and worries to God.

So for those of you who have struggled with the same sort of things I have, know that God loves you and has a plan for you. He brought you into this world for a reason. I want to find that reason and give all I have to follow God’s will. How about you?

Charity Vs. Justice

What is the difference between charity and justice? To start of I suppose I should define the two.

Charity is defined as generosity towards the needy. It could be going to feed the poor or doing community projects in your city. Charity is giving a little bit of your time and or money to help someone in need.

Justice is defined as the quality of being righteous or fair. Justice for the poor, for me, is righting a social injustice, like world hunger. Righting a wrong can also take a lot more time and money than just doing simple charity work. Now don’t get me wrong, charity is really good for your community. But what difference are we really making?

So what is the difference between these two? If you have ever been on a mission trip, you go and do service projects whether in your home town, out of state or even in a different country, you know what helping other people feels like. If you haven’t, I strongly suggest you do, they are an amazing experience.

Last summer twelve people including myself went to a mission trip in Quito, Ecuador. It was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. While we were there, my youth pastor, Brent, asked us what the difference between charity and justice for the poor was. It really got me thinking. What difference were we really making in this country that we were doing service projects for? The organization we went with, Youth World, is the perfect example of righting social wrongs and providing justice for the needy. Youth World is set up all over the globe and take in groups like ours. World Vision is another organization that is providing justice all over the world by helping to end world hunger. If you have ever done the 30 Hour Famine, you know about some of the stuff that World Vision does.

So how can we provide justice and not just charity? This issue can help be more defined by a parable.

There was a village having a social gathering in summer and a villager noticed a baby crying in the river near by. The villager went to go save the child. But more babies were washing down the river. More villagers went in the river to save the babies. But two men went up river to stop whoever was throwing the babies into the river.

The concepts of charity Vs. justice are clearly outlined. Charity occurred when the villagers were trying to save the babies. Justice occurred when the two men stopped the people dumping the babies into the river.

Charity deals with the immediate need. Justice finds the source of the problem and ends it.

The next time you are on a mission trip, think about whether you are providing charity or justice. Are you providing to the immediate need or fixing the problem? With God, anything is possible and together we can right social injustices.

“If you give a man a fish, he will eat for a day. If you teach a man to fish, he will eat for a lifetime.”

Cell Phones Vs. The Bible

My youth pastor showed us this poem on a Wednesday night and I think it brings up a really good point. What if we treated our Bibles like we do our cell phones?

Ever wondered what would happen if we treated our Bible like we treat our cell phones?
What if we carried it around in our purse or pocket?
What if we flipped through it several times a day?
What if we turned back to get it if we forgot it?
What if we used it to receive messages from the text?
What if we treated it like we couldn’t live without it?
What if we gave it to kids as gifts?
What if we took it with us when we traveled?
What if we used it in case of an emergency?
This is something to make you go…hmm…where’s my Bible?
Oh, and one more thing: Unlike our cell phones, we don’t have to worry about our Bible being disconnected because Jesus already paid the bill.
And no dropped calls!
Makes you stop and think, “Where are my priorities? ”

This is a poem written by Resty Rivera. It makes you wonder doesn’t it? I know that it makes me wonder. If we treated our Bibles like we do our cell phones, (if you have one, if not your probably in better shape than the rest of us) just think of how much our faith in God would grow. Do you know where your Bible is? Just a thought to think about.