Hip hop music, more than any other type of music, has infiltrated the culture of the youth. For your typical 21st century college student, if you grab one of their ear buds out of their ears when they’re walking to class, they’re listening to Drake, Nicki Minaj, Pitbull, and all those other artists from hit radio. As a music genre, hip hop has a powerful influence on youth culture: consider how quickly the phrase “YOLO” caught on after being used in one song (“The Motto” by Drake)! An even more recent example is the phrase “turn down for what.” It sounds fun in the song… but then you realize what they’re truly saying… and then the moral implications of it on real people aren’t fun at all.
I didn’t understand the sort of messiness I was getting myself into until about the sixth week of school. I had just made it through the last week of the Crux and was in the middle of doing Gospel presentations with my students in Bible study. After hearing the regular response of “Uh…sure…I think that I could do that….yeah, I think I could try to make Jesus the center of my life…” for about the tenth time, I finally encountered something different.
It’s time to face it: there are fewer things more glamorized in our culture today than being busy. Whether it’s “leaning in” or “having it all,” if you aren’t juggling a thousand different projects, people are going to make assumptions about your work ethic. But managing time is a skill, just like pottery or playing the violin. It can be practiced, and with practice you can improve.
As I share with you a glimpse of a day in the life on a mission trip to Africa, I invite you to look at these pictures and read these encounters with new eyes – although no picture can fully capture the spirit of the African people and the joy they exude.
The Kick-Off BBQ is over and you're just starting to get into the swing of being back on campus. You're incredibly impressed with yourself for approaching all of those strangers and actually talking to them at the BBQ! What's even better is that you got some of their contact information. On top of that, some of them want to join your Bible study! Can it get any better than this!? You are crushing fall outreach.
What if I told you that, after reading a book about trust—Consoling the Heart of Jesus—I was inspired to drop a $100K job, buy a one-way ticket to Ethiopia and go work with the Missionaries of Charity? What if I told you I heard about FOCUS by stumbling across a video on YouTube? And what if I told you I decided to apply to become a FOCUS Missionary when I saw the recruitment slogan, “Live the Adventure. Trust the Way”?
Why is it sometimes so hard to do the small things? Think: picking up that one piece of trash, replacing the toilet paper roll, taking out the garbage… And isn’t it even harder to do them with love? Yet one woman who spent her life doing the small things with great love ended up changing the world in a huge way. How did she have the mentality to serve in small, loving ways?
If you had told me as a senior in college that my post-college adventures would take me to Malaysia and the Philippines, I would have asked you where the heck Malaysia was—and then smiled politely and asked why the heck you thought I would ever have a reason to go somewhere halfway across the world.
Can you think of a time in your past when your life got significantly better?
I remember mine well: it was a hot August day, and I stood outside the freshmen dorms during the first week of classes at the University of Nebraska. I felt nervous, excited, and ready to run away all at once. It was my sophomore year, and I was about to invite total strangers to join my Bible study that didn’t exist yet.
Despite over a year and a half after his election, the praise for Pope Francis continues from people of all sorts of backgrounds. The media, the public, and the members of the Catholic Church continue to hang on to his words and his actions.
Pope Francis has the amazing knack for preaching while embodying this preaching with his own life. He is not simply a great marketer for the Church; he is a model of evangelization for us that we can learn a lot from.
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Since the pontificates of Pope Paul VI and John Paul II, the Roman Catholic Church has been commissioned to engage and embrace the world with God's message of love once more with ‘new methods, new ardor and new expression.’ It has come to be phrased, 'the new evangelization.'
For FOCUS, this means meeting college students across the nation where they are and challenging them to examine the meaning and purpose of their lives. Through personal relationships and friendship, we offer college students the true peace and fulfillment they seek in the good news of Jesus Christ and the teachings of the Catholic faith, inviting them to answer His calling in their lives.
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