Saying Goodbye: High School Edition

“What feels like the end is often the beginning.” -Unknown

With summer at an end and senior year baring its face, this last year of high school seems very scary and overwhelming. Deadlines for scholarships and college applications are rapidly approaching. Whether you know where you are going to college or not, the thought of college is a staggering realization. As the Class of 2020 we must put both feet forward. Don’t look back. Instead, look forward, to the path that you are forging.

The next 7 months will consist of many hellos and many goodbyes, tears shed and smiles given, but through it all none of us need to forget that this isn’t an ending to a long chapter, but rather a new beginning to an even longer chapter. Some of us try and stretch this time out, wishing it would never end. Others, can’t graduate fast enough. No matter where we are headed in life, our senior year in high school is part of what will define us for the rest of our lives. Whether we decide to go to college or to just jump right into adult life, we should all try and make the best of this final year of our childhood. “Tomorrow will be a new chapter in my life. This book is getting very interesting.” – Unknown

In the coming months, study hard for your tests, find a college that is right for you, look back on the good times, and make new memories. Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and do things you wouldn’t normally do. This is the last year before you are out in the real world, whether that’s college, or straight to work, so don’t forget to be yourself and go out with a bang.

 

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

 

James 5:13-20

“Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise. Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord.
And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.
Elijah was a human being, even as we are. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops.
My brothers and sisters, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring that person back, remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins.”

 

*New International Version

James 5:1-6

“Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming on you. Your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes. Your gold and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire. You have hoarded wealth in the last days. Look! The wages you failed to pay the workers who mowed your fields are crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty. You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence. You have fattened yourselves in the day of slaughter. You have condemned and murdered the innocent one, who was not opposing you.”

 

*New International Version

James 3:1-12

“Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. We all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep their whole body in check.
When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal.
Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.
All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.
With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.”

 

*New International Version

Beautiful Life

“The care of human life and happiness and not their destruction, is the first and only object of good government.” ~Thomas Jefferson

Abortion is a topic at the forefront on everyone’s mind lately. After New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the Reproductive Health Act for New York, abortion has been the cause of many arguments between republicans and democrats. This bill is different than what abortion laws used to be. Now, an abortion can be done after 24 weeks, and non-doctors can administer abortions. Abortions in NY are not illegal any more.

As both a Christian and someone with common sense, I recognize abortion for what it is, MURDER. From the moment a child is conceived, it is a HUMAN BEING. Just because a baby has to rely on the mother while in the womb, doesn’t change that fact. That same concept also applies to infants, toddlers, and older children.

A fellow blogger wrote about this heated topic. His post “Life is Precious” discusses the relationship between God and an unborn human life. Here’s an excerpt:

“The Bible says, “In His hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of every human being” (Job 12:10). God, the giver of life himself  commands us not to take the life of the innocent: “Do not shed innocent blood” (Jeremiah 7:6), and He warns us, “Cursed is the man who accepts a bribe to kill an innocent person” (Deuteronomy 27:25). The Sixth Commandment, written in stone by the hand of God almighty, commands, “You shall not murder” (Exodus 20:13).”

So those of you who agree with me, don’t be afraid to stand up for what you believe in. It’s the only way to make it in this cruel world. And while I am a contender that all lives matter-not just black or white etc.- baby lives especially matter.

Also, to further support this movement, The Blaze is selling Baby Lives Matter t-shirts.

James 2:14-26

What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.
But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.”
Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds. You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.
You foolish person, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless?  Was not our father Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend. You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone.
In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction? As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.”

*New International Version

James 2:1-13

“My brothers and sisters, believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ must not show favoritism. Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in filthy old clothes also comes in. If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, “Here’s a good seat for you,” but say to the poor man, “You stand there” or “Sit on the floor by my feet,” have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?
Listen, my dear brothers and sisters: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him? But you have dishonored the poor. Is it not the rich who are exploiting you? Are they not the ones who are dragging you into court? Are they not the ones who are blaspheming the noble name of him to whom you belong?

If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing right. But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers. For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it. For he who said, “You shall not commit adultery, also said, “You shall not murder.” If you do not commit adultery but do commit murder, you have become a lawbreaker.
Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment.”

 

*New International Version

James 1:19-27

“My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.

 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.  Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.

 Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless. Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”

 

*New International Version

James 1:1-18

“James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ,
To the twelve tribes scattered among the nations:

Greetings.

Trials and Temptations

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.
Believers in humble circumstances ought to take pride in their high position. But the rich should take pride in their humiliation—since they will pass away like a wild flower. For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich will fade away even while they go about their business.
Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.
When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.
Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.”

Ruth 1:16-17

But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the LORD deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.”

 

*New International Version