This is a featured post by Toby Amodeo. A sophomore from Connecticut he enjoys writing poetry, eating good food, and reading. You can read his personal blog at http://ournewgrip.wordpress.com.
Someone much smarter than me once told me that the easiest way to figure out what is important to in anyone’s life is to examine their calendar for the next three weeks. Curious, I decided to reexamine my well-worn planner. What I found wasn’t surprising, but it wasn’t what I had hoped.
This is a featured post by Emily Packer. She is a sophomore at American University majoring in Public Communication and Literature. This article is written to encourage students to demonstrate what justice means to them this Thursday, March 27, at the Exploring Justice Conversation in Kay. A great way to demonstrate this compassion is by displaying your artwork in Kay beforehand, because nothing makes justice more tangible than seeing it through another person’s perspective.
You hear it all the time at American University, “I’m here because I want to change the world.” Everyone wants to make an impact on this small planet, but have we ever stopped to ask ourselves, “Why?” A lot of the time, those who want to change the world find a funny way of doing it. Getting a good education, recycling, donating to their favorite charities, or even tabling for a cause. All of these gestures make a difference, all of these gestures are important, but I always find myself feeling a little short-changed afterwards. This feeling of insufficiency, the idea that our small act of kindness just isn’t enough, is because justice isn’t just an act of good will or charity.
It’s a lifestyle you adapt. It’s an attitude you take on and carry with you to every rich, poor, or middle class area in the world. Justice is not defined in one deed, it’s defined in every action you make, every time you forgive someone who doesn’t deserve it, or in every dollar you lend a homeless man or even your best friend. Justice isn’t just for the poor, because everyone can use a little more compassion, a little more generosity, and a bit more empathy in their everyday lives. Compassion fatigue is a result of trying to limit your acts of generosity into various activities and be done with it, but that’s not what a compassionate person is. That’s not how one changes the world. Justice does not even the scale by throwing good deeds on top of bad ones, but it gets rid of the scale altogether. For everyone who wants to change the world, the first step is simple: change your perspective. Paint a picture with your actions that will influence the world to start spinning in a more positive light. You may not be able to do everything, but you can always do something good in everything you do.
This is a featured missions post by Nick Holmstedt. He is a Chi Alpha campus missionary in training at American University. An integral member of the 2014 Chi Alpha Mexico Trip, you can learn more about him and his love of Star Wars here!
Ministry is exciting. You schwoom out of the country for the first time (technical term for flying) and arrive excited. Excited to navigate the nitty-gritty construction work, carrying cinder blocks up a set of stairs, lifting them to a finely-balanced, strong-armed compatriot (like myself…) before perching them between parallel beams at a precarious height (for me, that’s anything off the ground). Repeat the process. Then repeat again. And repeat it two more times. And again. And 150 times. Times four. By the end of the week, we carried around 800 cinder blocks three-ish stories.
I was also excited as we prepared our services. A modified “Everything” skit for the story of grace with that 90’s feel. A skit where our doctor coughed and sneezed and had constipation… and then didn’t, if you’re catching what I’m dropping. Of course we played songs, too. Most of the week was VBS, so we got to rock out our dance moves while singing Spanish even I could understand (alright, that’s a lie).
This is a featured missions post by Lorie Stokes. She’s an freshman from Atlanta, GA. A Braves fan, Lorie’s a sweet, bubbly person who is always willing to go on missions. You can find her at LifeWay Christian Resources where she works.
It’s often a difficult thing to describe love. For many of us who are at least conversational in Christianese, the automatic answer is that God himself is love. And that’s completely, and wonderfully, true. But we often accept that as true, and then stop there. Although God has shown us the most magnificent example of love possible, we fail to extend that same unconditional, abundant love that God has for us to others.
This is a featured missions post by Emily Packer. She is a sophomore at American University majoring in Public Communication and Literature. The 2014 Chi Alpha Mexico Trip was her first ever mission trip, but she hopes for the opportunity to do more in the future. This post is dedicated to the entire team, who made such an eye opening experience possible.
Mexico was beautiful, but I didn’t find the beauty of Mexico in the green landscapes, the colorful houses or the summer breeze. I didn’t find beauty in the cold showers, the endless sticky feeling of bug spray, or the hungry strays. I saw more than just the colorful dresses and the various foods. The beauty of Mexico lay in the place that God has without a doubt touched the most. I found the beauty of Mexico in the hearts of its people.
This is a featured missions trip post by Karly Brinkman. She is a sophomore at AU studying Public Health. She’s from the fantastic city of Chicago and loves eating deep dish pizza. If not relaxing or studying in her room, you should be sure to look for her in the library because she prefers doing homework at the Mud Box
If you have met me, you’ve probably noticed I am painfully shy and extremely awkward. It takes me awhile—months, actually—to get to the point where I can feel comfortable being myself around others. You wouldn’t think that a person with such limited social skills would choose to transfer universities, having to make friendships from scratch for the second time in two years.