The Guardian has posted an article discussing how social media algorithms are feeding into people's views of their bodies. Due to the change in how Facebook and Instagram show posts, teens are now being forced into more and more media that glorifies eating disorders. Combined with the pandemic and rise of screen time, this has had a huge impact on teens, especially girls. It has resulted in a rise of insecurity over body image, anxiety, depression, unrealistic body image expectations, and going as far as to influence how they interact with others.
Bethel Music has released a new album called "Homecoming". It features some of the regular Bethel artists like Jenn Johnson and Cory Asbury, but there are also a couple of newer artists like Zahriya Zachary and David Funk. Throughout the album, there's a running theme of returning home, hence the title of the album. However, the songs tell different stories of people's journeys back to God whether it's through encountering God amidst intense suffering, witnessing miracles, or reflecting on how God has been surrounding them, even when they didn't feel it.
Spiritually Hungry, a Christian website, discussed one of their favorite games called "Who's in Charge Here?"This game is best played with small to medium sized groups. There are three roles in the game: Guesser, leader, and copy-cats. The game is played by one person, the leader, essentially playing a game of charades where the followers have to copy all of their movements. They can do any movements, from wagging their arms around, standing up, jumping up and down, etc. The guesser has to figure out who the leader is by watching how the group moves and who they are copying. The leader and copy-cats can't speak during the game, but the guesser can guess whenever and whoever they think the leader is. You can have the group stand, but it will work best with the leader and copy cats in a circle with the guesser in the middle.
Think back to Homecoming week or weekend at your high school or college. It was always a really big deal, wasn't it? Everyone plans tons of fun events (like parades and football games) and sets aside time to welcome back those that helped make the school what it is today. Remembering those that came before us helps us realize that we are something bigger than ourselves. With God, we are a part of something so much bigger than ourselves. We all get to be a part of His master plan! There were people that helped to lay a spiritual foundation in our lives, be it a youth pastor, a parent, or a coach, and we'll have opportunities to have that same impact on other people's lives. There's nothing more fulfilling than being able to participate in God's master plan in our own small, little way.
Ephesians 2:10 - For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Think of that one person in your life that you know isn't saved. Whether it's a family member or a friend, we all have one. I just want to encourage you to keep praying for that person. Keep reaching out. Be eagerly awaiting their "homecoming" back to Christ. Even if you don't see fruit, you may be planting the seeds that someone else will harvest later on. God is eagerly awaiting their return home with open arms. The parable of the prodigal son is proof of this.
Luke 15:20 - So he got up and went to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him, and kissed him.