Category Archives: Being and Feeling

Facts: Why they matter and how to check them

In the age that the majority of the younger generation does not want to spend time to read serious in-depth articles and only has an eye for eye-catching titles or just some short notices on social media and likes to do cherry-picking of short reviews of sayings without fact checking, our world needs to keep offering more details and research journalism as well profound scientific research.

As it has been always, mankind has to keep doing self-introspection as well as investigating all the information which comes unto him or her.

Living in the golden age of misinformation it is up to reasonable figures to put things right and to dare to speak up when it is going in the wrong direction.

In the United States of America too many allowed too often some people claiming that there were “alternative facts” and “fake news”. By not reacting against the false accusations the 45th President of the United States of America continually could spread certain ungrounded ideas and succeed his brainwashing. It was then only a little step to fulfil his “State Terrorism” and bring people to storm the symbol of democracy, the Capitol. The dignity and fate of American democracy will now largely depend on how politicians will deal in the next few days with that president’s call to go to the Capitol and claim their rights.

We can wonder how many noticed and were willing to react on the way Donald Trump showed no respect at all for ethics and human values, and how he disintegrated every rule of public and political decorum and conventional wisdom.
What happened on January 6th was the result of too many people having been silent and letting it happen.

The U.S.A. should now receive its Wake-up call and come to see what a similar act happened as in 1938. D. Trump managed to get his followers to break many glasses and to enter the house where Trump wants to be the boss or having all power. Here in Europe we only can hope more people in the States shall come to see that D. Trump is of the same calibre as the one who instigated the Kristallnacht or the Night of Broken Glass, also called the November Pogrom(s) in Germany. It is a fact that the four years of Trump and his call to the people is just a prelude to worse things to come if we allow it to continue.

It is high time enough people will stand up and shall come to open the eyes of the many blinded people and making them receptive to facts they were previously ignorant but also many blindly dismissing them as “fake news.”

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To remember

  • Many people = living in an alternative reality > everything that agrees with them = true, + anything that disagrees with them = biased, fake news or “just an opinion.”
  • fact checking = to boil down to, “from a source I like => true, +  if from a source I don’t like => false,” ==> extremely faulty & dangerous dichotomy.
  • all prone to cognitive traps & biases
  • Scepticism = skill to be practiced + requires training
  • fact = objective statement of reality > inherently apolitical
  • opinion = subjective perception of reality based on individual views, beliefs & preferences.
  • flawed thinking = pervades science denialism
  • veracity of a politician’s statements & reported actions matter > People are impacted by things politicians do & say
  • search & look for a broad range of sources
  • Many view fact checking as an exercise to find sources that agree with them, but = opposite of how it should work.
  • fact check = look for primary + well-respected secondary quality of source + verifiable information + agreement among sources
  • objective ways to evaluate whether or not a source is biased
  • look at evidence presented > verify & compare

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Preceding

Shall the American again being put to the test

Yup

The Weight of History

He Becomes a Fool Through His Endless Desire

Francis Fukuyama and ‘The End of History?’

The one that exploded the great American story that lay beneath it

The Trump clan declares itself a Kennedy-like dynasty

So-called own sacred values under threat

U.S.A. Investment in a demagogue

Dear Mr. President

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Additional reading

  1. Blinded crying blue murder having being made afraid by a bugaboo
  2. The clean sweeper of the whole caboodle
  3. At the closing hours of 2016 #1 Looking down at terror
  4. In denial, Donald Trump continues to insist that nothing serious is at hand and everything is in control
  5. A president daring to use the Bible for underlining his hate speech
  6. Trump going over the top bringing a blasphemous act
  7. The Hero of the greatest …. failures
  8. Hollowness of democracy
  9. A new decade, To open the eyes to get a right view
  10. 2020 in view #1 The 45th president of the U.S.A.
  11. 2020 in view #2 The 45th president of the U.S.A. not willing to go
  12. Stress-test for democracy #1 Storming of the Capitol in Washington
  13. Stress-test for democracy #2 A coup d’etat with bloodshed
  14. The death knell of an Empire
  15. 💬 Misquotation Pandemic and Disinformation Polemic: 🧠 Mind Pollution by Viral Falsity 

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Related articles

  1. It Was Hate
  2. Donald Trump’s Impeachment
  3. Big Tech pauses political issues after the Capitol uprising
  4. The 147 Republicans That Still Objected To The Election Results After The Capitol Attack
  5. Systemic Failure: Trump Was Right About the Deep State
  6. High school teachers, students learn from Capitol breach
  7. What is Malignant Narcissism?
  8. ‘Ruling Class’ Trump-Doubters Still Don’t Get It. And They’ll Pay A Price
  9. Ep 69: Coup The New Year
  10. Capitol, Legacy of Trumpism and China
  11. Ep 70: Crisis at the Capitol, Crisis in the Church
  12. So you want to impeach president Trump …. again
  13. How big tech companies reacted to the Capitol storm.
  14. Trying to make sense of it all
  15. Jake Angeli Brings to Light the Hatred of Whites Pervasive in America
  16. Don’t mistake an assumption for a fact
  17. Facts aren’t political (or religious)
  18. The fallacy fallacy: Reject the argument not the conclusion

The Logic of Science

We seem to be living in the golden age of misinformation, and while cognitive biases and motivated reasoning have always existed, they seem to have reached epidemic levels in recent years, with attacks on the very nature of facts coming from the highest offices in the land (the phrases “alternative facts” and “fake news” come to mind). Many people seem to be living in an alternative reality where everything that agrees with them is true, and anything that disagrees with them is biased, fake news or “just an opinion.” Indeed, I have frequently encountered an open disdain for facts and those who check them. For many people, fact checking seems to boil down to, “if it came from a source I like, then it is true, and if it came from a source I don’t like, then it is false,” but that is an extremely faulty and dangerous dichotomy. So…

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On the Anxiety of Non-Being


“The basic anxiety, the anxiety of a finite being about the threat of nonbeing,
cannot be eliminated. It belongs to existence itself.”

– Paul Tillich ‘

 

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Some Hope for 2021

Karla Surguine cried when the clock struck twelve on January 1st, 2021. She writes:

It never crossed my mind that I would be emotional about the moment wretched 2020 would turn to history, but my heart was relieved to see a conglomerate of pain walk away. I am not a believer that a different day immediately improved things; we are still in the midst of everything 2020 brought for us. However, I know for sure that 2021 is the year of hope. We hope that things will get better from here. They will not be as normal as a year ago, but we expect this year to bring healing to our bodies, hearts, and pockets. {My Hope for 2021}

At the beginning of the year, we all have a lot of resolutions or plans we want to realise in the new year. On the 31st of December many are waiting and counting down, ready for a fresh start and a New Year. Every year we want to have certain things of the previous year to be put in a bin to forget very quickly. 2020 brought us something we shall not easily forget, though we would love to see it soon over.

It’s crystal clear that 2020 was not as promising as we expected it to be, that was a year filled with challenges and hopes for a better future that we so craved to come as soon as possible and now it’s finally here but how can we manage to leave that outdated/shadowy mindset behind in order to bring up a fresh one that can take us exactly where we wanted to go in the former year but couldn’t utterly achieve? {Tips For a More Uplifting Mindset}

How many people do not spend their whole life stuck in situations where they wish to escape.  This last year was for many more a year we all want to leave behind. Though so quickly it shall not let us go loose. We must understand it is still going to be here for some while. So we shall have to be patient.

writes:

Last year was a hard/different year and even if we don’t see many changes in the beginning of 2021, we have to be positive and think that we learn some things in the hardest times, and that good times will come. The good thinks we learned should be remembered and applied in 2021 (and maybe for the rest of our life) but there are always more things that we can try to be better. {Our 2021 Resolutions…}

For many 2020 has shown the importance of finding bliss in the little things and of being able to be with our beloved ones, trying to stay save and uninfected. Many of us could find in 2020 so much more time for themselves, because they did not have to go to work or could not open their shop. The obligated time for oneself could enrich us. The time of isolation could also be for many a time for reflection. We clearly see the result of it, by having even people starting a new business in this crisis time. Others found now the time to work in the house, doing renovations, or working more in the garden; All the green fingers seemed to have come out of the soil.

2020 surprisingly was also a year many could find renewed energy to things that bring them pure happiness, learning that change is okay, and setting boundaries in order to be their best self. Many people their eyes opened how they were the other years taken by their job full of stress, more working instead of living.
2020 brought them down to earth to reconsider. It was really a year of reflection for many.

Marcella Marie confesses:

I often get so caught up in work, stress, + daily to-do’s that I forget to take a moment to look around me and appreciate everything that I have. This is something that 2020 has taught me to do, and I am so grateful. I hope to carry this mentality into the coming year, because it has shown me what is most important in life.{New Year, New Manifestations}

Ranjani writes:

With a deadly virus lurking in unexpected corners, it was critical for everyone to maintain a good physical health. But it did not suffice, did it? To sustain those prolonged durations of lockdown, distancing ourselves from our loved ones, isolations and taking responsibility of our dependents despite our precarious emotional states, achieving and maintaining a state of harmony of the body, mind and emotions had become inevitable. {Entering a new decade with old values!}

We can look negatively to those lockdowns, or we can be glad we still could make the best out of it and stay healthy. She continues:

we are a lot calmer than what we were a year before and have embraced the uncertainty, albeit gingerly. {Entering a new decade with old values!}

2020 was for many a year that showed reasons enough to be thankful.

There’s no such thing as not having anything to be grateful for, it might be the most modest thing we can possibly think of that it’s still going to count as something to be grateful for, so grab a pen and a piece of paper and go do some grateful thinking practice or just type it on your phone. Whatever you fancy! {Tips For a More Uplifting Mindset}

Probably for most people things didn’t go the way they wanted them to go. All over the world, we got taken by the unexpected. However, one thing is for certain, all over the world, people are looking forward to some change.

A change in perspective holds the power to highly influence in your outcomes regardless of your setting point. So, perhaps adjusting the way we perceive things to be might not just give us the results that we want plus also helps us discern our dreams and hopes from a brighter perspective. {Tips For a More Uplifting Mindset}

All people were taken out of their comfort zone. Most of us are not yet sure what perspective 2021 might bring. But we all hope we shall be able to put an end to this mighty coronavirus tickling our society for such a long time. For sure in 2021 we shall need another strategy than in 2020.

See, this is the moment when we are supposed to be courageous and driven enought in order to let go of the control and boredom and take over a whole innovative attitude on how to take actions that are just as reasonable and that can take you where you are intented to go. {Tips For a More Uplifting Mindset}

Last few months we were allowed to go easy on ourselves and allowing us to have time for resting and even perhaps some time to go lazy (who knows?).

2020 was a rough year in which required so much of us to merely make it through to get to this point and so just for that we are deserving of the greatest amount of respect we could ever nurture for anyone…

So, please in the name of quality of life, the next time we find us beating ourselves up let’s remember that that inner, ugly and powerless voice has no inpact on our reality unless we grant it the strenght to. {Tips For a More Uplifting Mindset}

One of the good things of 2020 was also that lots of people became more aware of the difficult position others are.

People, otherwise preoccupied with their mundane problems, turned crusaders in support of the less privileged and the needy. There are reports galore in the media of people donating their earnings to relief funds, supplying essentials, arranging transport services, serving food to frontline workers, volunteering along with health care professionals, working round the clock to bring relief to patients, supplying medicines and protective gears, sharing their resources and opening their heart, mind and arms to fellow humans, across the world. {Entering a new decade with old values!}

2021 shall not directly bring new days, but the hope might be here now that in lots of countries vaccinations have been started.

In our minds getting something done can be a huge elephant that we have to tackle when all we have to do is beat the potato sitting on us. What happens to our dreams? What happens to our environment? What about our friends? Do we just accept turning into a puddle of screens or a piece of that silver tape on our couch that will not budge? It’s not worth it. These mindless activities just cause emptiness and blend our free time away. Again, it’s not worth it. By shifting just a little bit we can move the potato off its position and gain some momentum. Potatoes aren’t particularly heavy. {The 10 Minutes that Will Change Your Life}

The time being we shall just have to make the best of the coming months. Therefore, take some good books with you and watch some nice films with your partner and your kids. Take some more time to play outdoors and to play some family games inside.

Deciding to pick up a book for a few minutes a day instead of my phone, will water me and make me very fruitful, enabling me to give to others. As a consequence, I hope to sleep better, try new things around my neighborhood, discover new interesting topics, learn a bit about art, and cook some new dishes. Reading will breathe newness and refreshment in me. {My Hope for 2021}

Choose for 2021 to

  • find happiness in the everyday
  • read more
  • set clear boundaries
  • continue to prioritize health + wellness
  • continue to grow
  • to make the best out of life

To end:

So often we try to work at ourselves to change ourselves. But is that always change for the good? More often we need to accept ourselves more and find a way to fit in this world of diversity. It is not bad to have plans for the future and to work at yourself, but always think very carefully about it and do not have too high expectations.

We don’t know what the new year has in store for us. But let’s pack some optimism and newfound values and lessons learnt last year in our benevolence bag and make headway with a big smile! {Entering a new decade with old values!}

Good luck.

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Find also to read

  1. In Coronatime thinking about death
  2. Today’s thought “A New Year” (January 01)
  3. The secular year coming to a close
  4. If you’re going to try, go all the way
  5. Good time to sort out your friends and contacts
  6. A new start when the lockdown comes to an end
  7. Do we need to learn to accept ourselves as we are?
  8. A living Word giving confidence
  9. We should use the Bible every day

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Related

  1. What has this #coronatime brought to me?
  2. Be yourself, Be at home
  3. Work from Home: Quarantine Time
  4. Complex dynamics and simple disappointments
  5. The good behind the bad and the ugly
  6. The 200 year present
  7. Hope & possibility
  8. New Year
  9. Fresh Start
  10. New Year, New Manifestations
  11. Alive in the future – dead in the past

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Happy New Year. SIGH.

Being chained for some more months we should be happy when we are still not infected by that terrible disease. Though we shall still have to be on the safe side, avoiding contact with too many people.

When staying in our little bubble, what do we want more. Today there are so many technological wonders that can bring people from all over the world to our doorstep.

We have the facility to be in contact with so many people all over the world and can share our thoughts with them. But we now have also much more time to read books and to watch films on our small or big screen.

So, let’s enjoy the life that we are privileged to have!

Coronavirus Diaries

It’s January 2021. We are way into the future and China has unleashed a whole load of hell into the world with Covid-19. We’re all still social distancing like mad, washing our hands, wearing masks, going nowhere, doing nothing, getting fat and lonely. No holidays, no hugs with friends, no eating in restaurants or going out dancing. We’re not even popping out for a cup of tea in a café. It’s a shitty life and I don’t see how it can change any time soon what with the new, ultra-transmissible mutation of the virus in rampant circulation.

But there is hope. Vaccines are being given. Snowdrop shoots are peeping out of the muddy grass, and I’ve bought a new armchair and sofa bed on a 0% finance deal from DFS. You’ve got to take happiness where you can get it. Plus:-

  • The children are healthy
  • I am healthy
  • We have…

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La colonne vertébrale de la bienveillance

L’attitude de compréhension et d’indulgence qui permet de bien vivre ensemble sont très important dans notre vie.

2020 a été une année au cours de laquelle la population du monde entier a eu beaucoup de maux de tête. Ce fut une année où plus de gens se sont retrouvés enfermés et ont eu suffisamment de temps pour réfléchir sur eux-mêmes.

En cette année de crise et d’incertitudes, la bienveillance est plus que jamais une clé du bien-être et de l’épanouissement au travail. Mais cette valeur ressemble parfois aussi à un concept tarte à la crème tellement de clichés lui sont associés.

Comment passer de la théorie à la pratique ? La psychologue Christèle Albaret, auteure de Et si on osait la bienveillance au travail ? (Diateino), nous apporte son éclairage et des pistes très concrètes.

La façon dont on va dialoguer, prendre des décisions, avancer me semble encore plus importante cette année quand on travaille à distance, elle doit être accentuée car les mauvaises interprétations sont plus importantes quand on n’est pas face à face. La cultiver, c’est aussi nourrir le besoin de vous sentir bien quand vous allez au boulot, sans boule au ventre.

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La bienveillance n’est pas une solution miracle face aux difficultés, mais un ingrédient essentiel pour les traverser ensemble

 

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Wishing you a Happy New Year in this time of Corona

Happy new year! 

I do not now how the year 2020 went for you. For me it was like a rollercoaster ride having to bring over all the pages from the old Google sites into different multiple New Google sites.

It took months to transfer all the pages manually (because the website was to huge to convert,hence now divided in sites for each of the four languages.

It looks like the year took only two months, for me.

For everybody it was a year of isolation and perhaps also some coronastress. I have put on some corona kilos.

I do hope you were not to badly affected by the corona crisis.

We are not yet rid of this virus which took the whole world. With vaccinations started we may look forward to some better times. Though we shall still have to be patient until next Summer.

For now I send you and your family our warmest wishes for 2021. May this new start give each of us fresh inspiration and determination for the year ahead.

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2020 a year of having more idols but also more personal problems

The Spring of 2020 brought something new to the world which made everyone and everything coming to a standstill but brought also many to having psychological problems. At first, it seemed incredible to hear certain churches calling for their members to come to church, even when the governments asked people to avoid contact with many. Some pastors dared to go so far as telling people that if they would become infected with Corona that would be because they had not enough faith. Such saying we can only call “criminal”. Several Christian groups, mainly in Holland wanted people to believe that as faithful people would come to the service they would not be harmed because they would do what God expected from them.

Lots of people got in problem with their mind, having become pulled away from their social contacts by the lockdown. Depression, bipolar episodes, and anxiety attacks were hindermost in the running.

Because depression isn’t often discussed in churches, a great deal of misunderstanding has popped up in this year when there were so many more people with a lot of psychological problems, who could not be helped by medical staff.

We want people to believe that the first step is realising what this disorder isn’t:

“It’s not a character defect, a spiritual disorder or an emotional dysfunction. And chief of all, it’s not a choice.”

Also we want Christians to be aware that it is not, like some Trinitarian preachers wanted their flock to believe

a penalty from God.

When you do not feel well in your skin it is not that God would be punishing you because you would have done something wrong or that you would not have enough faith in Him.

We also must be aware that just because someone seems “happy,” that doesn’t mean they’re healthy or that they really would be happy. Look at the very popular Flemish influencer. Social media seemed to take more people in its ban this year. The advertising flow is drying up, so professional users of social media tell more about their concerns and they seemed for many to provide some good information. After the death of that 21 year old boy more than ever, several influencers came to understand their role in the youthgroups and to realise that good mental health is important.

This way NokNok wants to teach young people that it is normal to not always feel perfect. Staff member Eline De Decker:

“Nobody walks on clouds every day. Sometimes you get up and immediately feel that it is going to be a terrible day. Sometimes you doubt yourself or feel insecure. Or are you stressed or disappointed with friends or family. That is normal.
And that’s all okay. ”

NokNok wants to convey that message clearly and shows young people between the ages of 12 and 16 what they can do to gain more self-confidence, have less stress and go through life as positivo.

Instagram has been around for ten years, and what the app has perhaps achieved best during that period is creating the illusion that users can “work independently” via the platform. Certainly influencers, people who live off sponsored photos on their Instagram profile, are an example of this bogus self-employment.
They live off Instagram, but much more for Instagram – they tweak their entire lives to create the best photos and videos. And once their Instagram goes down, they have nothing to fall back on.

With the rise of social media, the phenomenon of fanship has changed drastically. About ten or twenty years ago, an idol was someone you idolized by hanging posters on the wall, playing CDs, maybe watching movies or TV shows. The relationship fan-
Idol was pretty one-sided: the fan was occasionally thrown a treat – a new song, a TV appearance, a message about a wedding in a gossip magazine – and he or she had to settle for that.

But with digitization, the relationship between fans and idols has turned inside out,
British sociology professor Ellis Cashmore writes in his book Kardashian Kulture, in which he examines how celebrity culture has changed in the 21st century. No longer are fans from outside looking at the world in which their idol lives – they are right in the thick of it.

Certain churches used those idols also in church and wanted to attire people to their meetings by using a lot of music and disco settings. In 2020 we saw a continuation of the pulpits shrinking and even disappearing while bands and lighting have grown. But faith does not come from music, dynamic experiences, or supposed encounters with God. Faith is birthed through the proclamation of God’s Word (Rom 10:17).

Our assurance is threatened.
Whilst certain churches kept calling their flock to the church building, others tried to bring entertaining video presentations. All that attention or focussing on those idols and entertainement made many youngsters feeling even more alone, when there was no such church meeting any more. If we associate God’s presence with a particular experience or emotion, you can ask what happens when we no longer feel it.

We search for churches whose praise band, orchestra, or pipe organ produce in us the feelings we are chasing. But the reality of God in our lives depends on the mediation of Christ not on subjective experiences.

Musicians are given priestly status.
When music is seen as a means to encounter God, worship leaders and musicians are vested with a priestly role. They become the ones who bring us into the presence of God rather than Jesus Christ who alone has already fulfilled that role. Understandably, when a worship leader or band doesn’t help me experience God they have failed and must be replaced. On the other hand, when we believe that they have successfully moved us into God’s presence they will attain in our minds a status that is far too high for their own good.

Division is increased.
If we identify a feeling as an encounter with God, and only a particular kind of music produces that feeling, then we will insist that same music be played regularly in our church or gatherings. As long as everyone else shares our taste then there is no problem. But if others depend upon a different kind of music to produce the feeling that is important to them then division is cultivated. And because we routinely classify particular feelings as encounters with God our demands for what produce those feelings become very rigid. This is why so many churches succumb to offering multiple styles of worship services. By doing so, they unwittingly sanction division and self-centeredness among the people of God.

Scripture is full of exhortations to God’s people to sing and make music to Him. Our God has been gracious to give us this means to worship Him. But it is important to understand that music in our worship is for two specific purposes: to honour God and to edify our fellow believers. Unfortunately, many Christians tend to grant music a sacramental power which Scripture never bestows upon it.

Intense relationship
Those churches who by the years focused more on the show element of their services brought their members now in a situation where the lockdown is felt more as a restriction and limitation. Some even came to find that they could not serve God any more or did not give Him the full worship they had to offer Him. The fact they felt they could not serve their God any more made them feeling very bad. Instead of making them to understand they also could worship God in their own house in their own small bubble, some churches gave them even more a feeling of guilt by keeping to tell them they should not stop coming to the church building.

Against the lonely feeling they said what’s needed was the gathering and coming to feast again for God. But what is really needed is a loving community where people are encouraged to speak up and get help. And that speaking can be done by internet meetings and help can be giving by phone calls as well as by sending material by land mail.

People should know that when fear comes into their heart, they themselves can call to God. They not only should trust on the entertaining sessions of their church.

God Loves You

The fundamental message of the Gospel is that God loves you.
Do you understand?
God loves you. No matter who you are, no matter what you’ve done or where you’ve been, God will always love you. Dr. Kenneth Hutcherson describes it like this,

No matter what kind of situation you may find yourself facing, don’t be afraid, because God will always be with you and have your best interests in mind since He loves you.  Whenever feelings of fear creep into your life, turn to God for the help you need to overcome them and successfully navigate your circumstances.  Whenever you sense God calling you to do something that requires taking a risk, move forward without fear because God will empower you to do whatever He calls you to do.

It’s Alright to Feel Sad

No one likes to feel sad. We frequently try to avoid feelings of pain, or bury them under the weight of our daily routines. But sorrow cannot and should not be ignored. Accepting our sorrow doesn’t mean we’re weak, or a failure, it means we’re human. Just look what Ethan McCarthy of Christianity Today had to say,

Our faith is predicated on sadness. As we grow in Christ’s service, we begin to recognize ourselves in Christ’s sad gaze in the icons. The sadness of Jesus exemplifies the sadness of Christians everywhere, and through it the whole world is redeemed. For the sadness of Jesus is not an ultimate sadness: the Bible also promises the end of sadness, and the wiping away of all tears: ‘Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted’ (Matt. 5:4).

After bad times better times

2020 may not have been an ideal year, but we should know there have been lots more worse years in the past. When looking at those horrible years of illnesses, pains, horrible situations and wars, we should see that we did not have it as bad as some want us to believe.

Hope is a frail thing, but it’s hard to kill. If you’ve found yourself struggling in the valleys of life, please don’t give up. Surround yourself with friends who will comfort you and mourn with you. If you’re suffering from depression, have courage and make an appointment with a doctor. Above all, remember that God loves you, and that will never change.

2020 has been a year where a lot more people had psychological difficulties. The helplines got a lot more calls. Lots of people were struggling with depression.  More than 1 in 5 youngsters this year had difficulties with the isolation brought unto them. Christians should see signs and then should come to help.

Every suicide is a tragic end to a life that’s precious to God. If you’re willing, God can empower you to help save the lives of people he loves from ending their lives before they’ve completed the lifetimes he intends for them. Here’s how you can help prevent suicide by reaching out to struggling people you know:

Recognize warning signs.

The American Association of Suicidology says that people who are at risk of committing suicide often display warning signs such as: communicating a desire to kill themselves, looking for ways to kill themselves (like seeking access to guns or medications), expressing a lack of purpose or hope in life, demonstrating dramatic mood changes, behaving in significantly anxious or angry ways, sleeping too much or not sleeping enough, feeling trapped in a challenging situation, taking reckless risks, abusing alcohol or drugs, and withdrawing from relationships with family and friends.

Listen well and offer unconditional love, like God does.

Pay attention to the troubling thoughts and feelings that people share with you. Listen carefully to what they express, and ask them questions to clarify and seek more information. If suicidal people know that you’re genuinely interested in them and that they can trust you not to judge them, gossip about them, or avoid them when they tell you something disturbing, they’ll likely open up to you. Ask God to help you love suicidal people unconditionally – like He does – and that will give them hope they desperately need while struggling with embarrassment and shame.

Pray specifically.

Let people know that they can count on you to pray for them about every specific issue they’ve shared with you. Ask God to bring them the help and healing they need, and pray in Jesus’ name against any form of evil that may be attacking them spiritually.

Give people a fresh perspective on themselves and their problems.

Suicidal people often become so preoccupied with their own failures and the problems in their lives that they blow them out of proportion. When that happens, they feel overwhelmed and can’t see how they can ever find solutions to their problems or find relief from their suffering. Mistakenly thinking that there’s no hope for them to experience better lives, they then may choose to simply end their lives. If someone tells you that she hates herself or feels like a burden on others, you can encourage her by pointing out specific ways she has enriched your life. When someone you know is distraught about a problem that seems insurmountable, you can gently and respectfully point out other aspects of her life that are positive to help her gain a better perspective. Refrain from giving unsolicited advice, which can seem judgmental to someone who is struggling. But remind your friend that there’s plenty of good in her, and in her life, despite the bad aspects that trouble her. You can also point out that every problem – no matter how severe – is temporary, but suicide is permanent. Encourage suicidal people to give themselves time to see how their problems can resolve in unexpected ways, rather than prematurely ending their lives.

Strong churches don’t “fix” depression.

Even large churches may not have the framework currently in place to deal with mental disorders. So, what’s needed?

“Healing comes from a prayerful, loving community that seeks to truly understand major depressive disorder and related conditions, and one that develops a positive response.”

Depression can feel like a huge weight that keeps pulling a Christian down again and again. Breaking free from the clutches of this disorder may seem impossible, but Margaret Ashmore (of the Association of Biblical Counselors) says that one of the most important things a sufferer can do is “the next thing”:

“So ‘doing the next thing’ might mean getting right with someone you’ve wronged, making restitution on outstanding payments, putting away once for all that website or magazine which feeds a monstrous, lustful appetite, taking back a purchase of self indulgence whose only outcome was more debt – you will have your own list. I certainly have mine. But be assured, this principle alone can take you from a shrugging Atlas with the weight of the world on your shoulders to that of renewed vigor and reviving refreshment….”

“The choices we make to obey despite our feelings or to give in to the downward pull of a fallen world filled with fallen people – mean everything.”

If you suffer from anxiety of depression, you’re not alone.

The one true source of freedom: Jesus.

People who kill themselves are trying to break free from their pain. But suicide just makes people dead, not free, and it actually causes more pain by spreading grief around to deceased people’s loved ones. Tell struggling people you know that while suicide can’t make them free, Jesus Christ can. Jesus is the way to God. He is the mediator between God and man, and having been here on earth as a man of flesh and blood, he very well knows the pains man can have to face.

No matter how difficult, certain things may look for us, when we pray to God we may find solutions to get over those difficult situations.

 

(With parts of articles by a.o. Todd Pruitt, John UpChurch, Ryan Duncan, Whitney Hopler of Crosswalk.com)

 

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New Beginnings

To get to feel a better year we shall need to take a huge jump, because we shall still have to be patient until enough people would be vaccinated and before we shall be able to say goodbye to the Corona pandemic.
Let us look forward to bettering safe times.

Life Is Full of Sweet Spots

“Celebrate endings —

for they precede

new beginnings.”

— Jonathan Lockwood Huie

change defines new year

prospect of fresh start invites

robust leap ahead

*   *   *

Puma breaks free of underbrush ~ Flamingo Botanical Gardens, Davie, Florida, photo and “New Beginnings” haiku by Mary O’Connor.   With best wishes for a happy and healthy new year!

© 2020

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We can’t all succeed

It would be nice if we all could succeed in all the things we want to see accomplished. It would best be to be realistic and always to see matters from the right perspective and by a righteous self-evaluation.

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Additional reading

  1. The road to success is dotted with many tempting parking places
  2. Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement

selon nerias

Only few are meant to succeed

So it goes in creative fields

Only few will reach the top or earn enough to keep things up

That’s just how it goes

For every star there are uncountable comets

But somedays a comet is the main attraction

Even though it doesn’t shine as bright

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A difficult year soon to forget and a Kindness Calendar

2020 has been a difficult year in so many ways.

This year many have suffered with uncertainty, anxiety, isolation and challenges with their financial situation, health or relationships.

Though we had not many opportunities to meet friends in real life, luckily we had the cool media tools like Zoom, Hangouts, Jitsi meet, Meets, Messenger and FaceTime to have some virtual contact and be some balsam against loneliness. Many did not see directly a solution for their bad feelings and how to continue. They should know they were and are not forgotten.

One thing that can hold us together and help us get through is kindness. Although we can’t change our situation, we can choose to respond to others (and ourselves) with kindness. And when we’re kind, everything goes better. We help others, we help ourselves and we encourage others to be kinder too.

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Do you know there exists a Kindness Calendar?

The Do Good December calendar is full of ideas to help you help others. It’s the advent calendar we need in 2020! Please share the calendar with others

December 2020 small

Here’s how you can get involved and make a difference:

This month’s theme is based on Giving: Do things for others which is one of the Ten Keys to Happier Living >> Find out more about the Ten Keys.

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