Tag Archives: Social media

The Social Media Kindness Project

 

Talin Orfali Ghazarian

The Social Media Kindness Project
by: Talin Orfali Ghazarian

Social media has become a big part in today’s society and some people use it for goodness, positive and inspiration, but others not so much. Some people tend to use social media in a negative and toxic way to spread hate, bullying, rudeness, and sending terrible comments to anyone. As previous generations have taught “If you have nothing nice to say or do, do not say or do anything at all”. That is the golden rule.

So, with that I have come up with the social media kindness project. You have no idea what someone is going through in their lives. It is always a good idea to be kind and use social media in empowering and positive ways. This is going to take a village to do. Social media needs a big makeover and we need to start somewhere.

I…

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Filed under Activism and Peace Work, Announcement, Re-Blogs and Great Blogs, Social affairs, Welfare matters

“Our World” Moving from Blogspot to WordPress

On April the 2nd 2005, Marcus Ampe, after having commented on several MSN Groups created his own chat group on MSN which would grow into the website “Christadelphian world” on Multiply. Like so many Microsoft users at that time, he too, had his Space on MSN. When Microsoft discontinued the MSN Groups, Mr. Ampe followed their suggestion to switch to Multiply, presenting its Multiply Groups and Multiply Spaces. Several groups did not do this, quit or switched to other systems such as Yuku, of Ezboard, Inc.‘s internet forums (Yuku Message Boards), or the content management system (CMS) WordPress. Both were also considered by us, but unfortunately not chosen at that time. But a few years later Multiply stopped with providing room for bloggers. This made that all the material had to be exported when one wanted to keep the material.

The hierarchy of labels in a fully qualified domain name

For that reason, Marcus Ampe wanted to save his writings and placed them temporarily on the other American online content management system (CMS) Blogspot, enabling multi-user blogs with time-stamped entries. Though that, what seemed just for a “waiting time” to find a new place, came to run its own life on Blogger. From that time onwards online journals or Blogs could also be accessed from a user-owned custom domain, an identification string that defines a realm of administrative autonomy, authority or control within the Internet, (such as http://www.example.com) by using DNS facilities to direct a domain to Google’s servers.

Christadelphian World

The Blogspot “Christadelphian World” received some further new messages and having received a new birth in 2014, having its name changed in “Our World“ it grew out, becoming an ‘adult’ presenting more than 4 000 messages in 2020. Google, that year, made several changes in its sites as well as in Blogger. From then onwards connections with the older blogs on Blogspot did not seem to work so well. The system became very slow to load down. In earlier computer days that would not have been such an abnormality, nor problem, but in present times the consumer does not like some time-consuming websites and leave them alone.

The World Wide Web had become a place where lots of lots home pages, functioning as a table of contents or index, with links to other sections of the site, called for the attention of the reader. Many companies also wanted to play host to present websites to the worldwide public. The public became also more interested in blogs that operate mainly as news filters, collecting various online sources and adding short comments and Internet links. “Our World” its intention was also to do that and to show the public the connection of this world with the Highest Divine Source of this all.

WordPress logo.svgOther blogs concentrate on presenting original material and wanted to go deeper into certain topics. Marcus Ampe for that reason brought his MSN Space over to a Multiply Space, and when Multiply stopped its service, transferred it to WordPress, with as title Marcus Ampe’s Space to present his own personal views and offer a look in his personal diary.

In addition, many blogs provided a forum to allow visitors to leave comments and interact with the publisher. Such interaction became the most important target and this provide a new ground for several platforms bringing social media as a new driver of the convergent media sector, into their core business.

The growth of the blogosphere has been nothing short of remarkable. By October 2005 there were 19.6 million blogs, a number that has been doubling roughly every five months, according to Technorati, Inc., a Web site and organisation dedicated to mapping and searching the blogosphere.  You can imagine how by this growth of approximately 70,000 new blogs being created each day — or, more vividly, nearly one every second, how difficult it has become to find the most interesting or complete one. Due to the abundance of material on the internet and the fact that people often cannot see the wood for the trees anymore, Marcus Ampe created in 2014 (03/26) “From Guestwriters” on WordPress as a platform where a selection of interesting websites could be presented. He also wanted to offer a platform for writers themselves to present their own website articles and to introduce people to more in-depth articles. But until now he does not seem to succeed getting enough writers willing to offer their services to talk about such subjects as history, nature, a.o..

From blogging is (in a way) expected that it might also be a conversational activity seeking to create a community or reflect an existing community. With “From Guestwriters” Marcus Ampe hoped to do so, but also with “Our World“, he wanted to open a view on the world, tough from a Christian viewpoint. He is still convinced such a viewpoint should have a place in our world, though he does not expect a lot of followers or interested people, because he is fully aware that there is not such an interest in Jehovah God.

As a Christian Marcus Ampe is convinced that it is part of the tasks given by God and by His son Jesus Christ, to go out into the world to preach the coming Kingdom of God. In many of his websites Mr. Ampe wants to bring some positive notes and want to show people that when things don’t work well, or are not working at all, although there’s plenty of sun, and when it’s starting to get annoying, there are ways to get out of that black or dark mood and to find sunshine in heaven. “From Guestwriters” want to contribute in such a way, and now you also may find “Some view on the world” bringing such a positive view on the world.

Please come to find this renewed website by Marcus Ampe:

Some view on the world (WordPress site by Marcus Ampe)

Where you shall be able to find some news updates, thoughts and reflections by different people (inclusive reblogs) and articles about man, history, faith, religions (in particular Christian religion), God, His world and His Word, the Bible and quotations from it.

Blog of Some view on the world

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Find also to read:

  1. Do you have a writer or presenter in you?
  2. Change of the Microsoft Network Spaces
  3. Messages leading to an earthly utopia
  4. From MSN Groups and MSN Spaces via Multiply to Blogspot now transferring to WordPress
  5. Invitation to renew connection
  6. Going to the end of our 5th year of presenting interesting views from different authors
  7. A Classic Editor versus Block Editor
  8. Notification and news feed for Facebook users

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Additional

  1. Necessary to be known all over the earth
  2. Need to inspire others
  3. How To Get Started In Sharing Your Faith As a Christian
  4. To find ways of Godly understanding
  5. From house to house #2: Continuing to bring the good news right to the world
  6. The untiring response of some Christadelphians
  7. Taking as many opportunities as possible to proclaim the Good News
  8. Reason to preach #5 Trained to do it God’s way
  9. Beautiful feet of those who announce the good news
  10. Witnesses of Christ and of his gospel
  11. Preaching to an unbelieving world
  12. A magazine with Each month a true story

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Filed under Announcement, Cultural affairs, Headlines - News, History, Lifestyle, Publications, World affairs

Disconnecting to reconnect

In those times of many lockdowns and distance rules many sought a means to connect with others on social media.

Some felt very isolated or even felt like having become an emotional punchbag for, not just one person but two. Several people by the corona measures felt that they were left alone, having no support out there.

No help. The whole time you are trying to hold it together. Because although you don’t tell anybody, you are suffering too. You won’t admit it, not because you don’t want to be perceived as weak but because for them you need to be seen as strong.  {You’re tired, so very tired. Almost numb now}

The last few months we could clearly see how specific events were felt, understood and experienced very differently between people.

Even exactly the same event, will be experienced differently between the people that attend, for instance. {TripAdvisor for humans}

As humans, it is instinctive to want to be liked and have people around us. “Safety in numbers” and all that. But we no longer live in caveman days where we have to worry about predators. So groups of people are not around to physically save our lives. But of course, friends and family do serve vital purposes still. And it might be that these group of people may save your life in other ways. So this desire to “fit in” and be included is natural. But when does this need become detrimental to our wellbeing, rather than protective? {TripAdvisor for humans}

Last few months, lots of people have had to cut themselves off from life for a long period. Contacts with family and friends got reduced. Children, adults, colleagues and friends all had felt it too. Even when many got to social media took some time on Zoom or other contact platforms, the distance and the unnaturalness were felt.

Though spending so much time on social media did not seem to have been so good for many, because of them feeling even more isolated or feeling as an exception, thinking differently.

A mum to two not-so-little boys and more recently, a little girl,  midwife-ing and health visiting, finds reaching a place of being happy with who you are is priceless,

so a certain amount of discomfort is to be expected, no? {TripAdvisor for humans}

She thinks

another part of trying to place less importance in the opinions of others is learning to be ok with being the villain in someone else’s story. It might not be factually accurate, and it may not sit well with you (especially if the person has arrived at the conclusion in a somewhat ignorant and closed-off manner), but does it matter? Maybe that is what they need to be ok with themselves or what happened.

Perhaps another element is disconnecting to reconnect. Come off social media for a while; it’s good for the soul. Reconnect with the people and places around you instead. Spend more time in nature, and less time in the virtual world of unsolicited advice and opinions.{TripAdvisor for humans}

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Filed under Being and Feeling, Health affairs, Lifestyle, Social affairs, Welfare matters

Vaccinations and anti-vaxers

Ex-president Donald Trump was against vaccinations and even did want Americans to believe the “Chinese disease would soon be over”. This ego tripper managed lots of Americans not to believe in the dangers of the Coronavirus.

By his misleading words he got many Republicans, evangelicals, but also poor blacks, and Hispanics to believe it are foreign forces and socialists or, worse, communists, trying to undermine the American society. Today many are suspicious of the government which would have become in power by a fraud election. Conservative evangelicals are among the quickest to share all those absurd stories about a.o. coronavirus-related conspiracy reaching to the highest levels of government. In many countries we can see that it is the Religious Right which is a hothouse of anti-vax activism and health fads.

Fools will readily believe a case without closely seeking out and attending to the criticisms of it (Proverbs 18:17). They routinely judge before hearing. They also attend to and spread rumours, inaccurate reports, and unreliable tales, while failing diligently to pursue the truth of a matter. The wise, by contrast, examine things carefully before moving to judgment or passing on a report. {Wisdom and Folly in Christian Responses to Coronavirus}

a lot of youngsters only go be the headings on their Social Media. Titles on You Tube or on Facebook, without going to read the article, let withstand to think about it and to examine what is said in it.

They do not follow up closely on viewpoints that they have advanced, seeking criticism and cross-examination to ascertain their truth or falsity. And when anything is proven wrong, they do not return to correct it. {Wisdom and Folly in Christian Responses to Coronavirus}

You would think, in the U.S.A., after the new president tried to get some order again, the American citizens would get back to their senses. The number of new Covid-19 cases per day has increased dramatically in the United States in the past month. New, dangerous variants have spread widely. At first Trump could convince people not to wear masks, but luckily now they show up in many parts of the country. Artists, often looked at as being “left”, went to get their vaccination as soon as they could. CEO’s also did not wait to long before getting vaccinated. But for the lowest-income groups, we can see it is more difficult to get people over the line. In the U.S.A. only 1.1 percent of the population of poor countries has received a single shot. Some people have surrendered to a sense of doom because they formed unreasonable expectations that the Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines would miraculously obliterate the virus.

You would expect after the 2020 lockdowns, the 2.4 million Americans hospitalised and the 610,000 killed, more Americans would hurry to get the vaccinations over and done with. But the unmistakable fact is that they’ve made great progress in recent months to smother the virus and steer national life back toward normal. Where 5,463 people died from Covid-19 on one day at the beginning of the year, the daily death count is now bouncing in the low hundreds. One good thing may be that already an undetermined number of people have acquired some immunity from Covid-19 by exposure to it.

Today in America, severe Covid-19 infections and death are almost entirely in unvaccinated people. And the vaccines are still remarkably effective — of the 163 million fully vaccinated in the United States, only 1,141 have died from the virus.

It is known that the older you are, the greater the chance of getting seriously ill or dying from CoViD, and the younger you are, the less likely you are to have serious symptoms. This makes a lot of youngsters not worrying or not afraid of getting infected. For them there are many reasons not to receive an injection. Though lots of those reasons are based on absurd messages on Social Media. Social Media is doing a lot of damage and undermining national safety. One would expect them to see now, that because of the success of the vaccination in the older population, that the infection rate from the Delta variant has sent the number of infections soaring, the number of deaths, at least right now, is surprisingly low.

Young and old should come to recognise this virus is not an ordinary virus, like we have seen previously several viruses coming over the lands. It is not a virus that shall allow us to cry victory soon. No matter who might be president or in power, all shall have to start with acknowledging that it’s not within our power to eliminate Covid-19 from our shores the way we have polio, or to vaccinate every American against the virus. If we’re willing to agree on an end goal of dramatically reducing the severe illness and deaths from the virus, however, we might begin to see what winning is about.

According to Anthony Fauci the vaccines are even effective against the new variants that people fret so much about.

“A higher percentage of Americans have taken a Covid-19 vaccine in the past seven months than took a flu vaccine during the catastrophic 2017-18 flu season (37 percent of adults). Only 54 percent of the American population had taken the Salk polio vaccine six years after its introduction. Viewed from these angles, Americans in 2021 have not been particularly “vaccine hesitant.”

he says. But when we see news coverage and some documentaries about the handling of CoViD in the United States we got another view, with a lot of people between the age of 20-40 coming up with a lot of reasonable and sometime idiotic fantasies why they do not want to be vaccinated.

All over the world people should become convinced that it is a matter of not only protecting yourself, but out of love for the other, protecting those around you. The more people we vaccinate, the safer we all are today and how sooner we can go back to a normal life. We need everybody to be able to go to work, to have all the shops, pubs and event centres open again. Trying to get everything working properly again, we should safeguard ourselves by taking enough precautions that the illness can not spread. The less opportunity dangerous variants will have to emerge and spread tomorrow the better our life shall be and the better our economy shall be able to recover from those two years ‘disaster’.

So many in France and Germany shout about their freedom being taken, but do they ever think about what freedom really might be? Freedom is also respecting the freedom of others!

The age factor helps to explain why the rate of vaccination has stalled and is unlikely to accelerate, especially among the 19-to-49 crowd, many of whom feel immortal. We also hear that several of that age group in Europe went only to get their vaccination to be able to travel or to go to music festivals.

Some people also point to the fact that lots of people die in car accidents or find their death by having cancer. They say the older generation reacted to strongly on a disease which perhaps should be regarded like any other flu variant or a disease that comes over our countries once in a while to bring a clean brush against overpopulation.

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Also interesting to read

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  3. Undermining security and democracy via the Internet
  4. No time yet to relax the CoViD-19 restriction measures
  5. Lockdown greetings for a newer year
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  9. NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo his state of the state address
  10. G7 and Building Back Better
  11. Good time to sort out your friends and contacts
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  13. A living Word giving confidence
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Filed under Headlines - News, Health affairs, Lifestyle, Political affairs, Religious affairs, Welfare matters

2020 Talking Points – Stuck with polemics, histrionics, and ad hominem denunciation

Continually the world turns around and time goes on. But it will not go on for ever with man being able to bring bad things to others.
There shall come a time that with a roar and fire, believers and non-believers still alive shall come to see the beginning of the Day of the Lord. The Great Tribulation will come bringing great sufferings, but it shall bring us our waiting to an end, making our hope coming into fulfilment, Jesus, the Prince of Peace and the great Reconciler of humanity with the Creator, coming back to judge the living and the dead, to allow the righteous to enter the gates of God’s Kingdom to live there forever without pain or sorrows.

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The retired High School teacher and an ordained Christian minister in Ontario, Canada, Vincent finds that

No one who has lived through and is old enough to remember it will forget 2020 – the “Plague Year” of a century. We tend to forget that there have been many plague years in human history, and many far worse both in absolute numbers of victims and in proportion. {2020-2021 and Hope}

He was not without hope as we ended 2020 and began 2021 and writes:

Even in dark times like 2020, and there have been many much darker in many ways over the centuries, the Creator has not departed. He remains anchored among us through the presence of a living Redeemer, a presence shared far and wide wherever those who know Him bring His light. {2020-2021 and Hope}

He is also aware that we might be coming closer to the prophesised days of the end.

It may prove true that we are quite close to or even in the last, Last Days and on the verge of the Great Tribulation. I am aware that quite a few believe that we are now seeing such signs, and they may be right. My generation thought this back in 1973. People thought it in World War 1, and in WW2 called Hitler the Antichrist.

World.V.You

Like many I know, I have been paying less attention to the swirling morass of the news these days. Most of it is glum and discouraging anyway, and, here in the “Great White North”, summer is all too brief to waste on keeping up with the latest blasts in the present mockery of “discussion and dialogue” in uber-confused Western culture. Besides, between true news (??) and the boundless volume of the less reliable variety, it is often hard to draw a firm line in the midst of all the spin and vehement opinion masquerading as considered point of view.

Everyone has a point of view, of course. But the problem is that it is now uncommon to find any serious attempt to talk about an issue. Most of what passes for commentary consists of dismissing the writer-commentator’s submission as mere strong bias or even some sort of incipient “Communism”…

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Filed under Crimes & Atrocities, Headlines - News, History, Political affairs, Re-Blogs and Great Blogs, Religious affairs, World affairs

Let’s change

 

THE SEMPILL THINGS

The worst year yet? A lot of people would say so: “I’m glad to leave 2020 behind”, or “F*ck you 2020”, or whatever the trending caption of the moment is. 2020 has been a difficult year, but without it we wouldn’t be where are now. It’s shaken up all of us. And sometimes we need a shake-up. 2020 changed be me for the better in many ways –some good things, some great things, and some painful things that I wish would have panned out in a different way. I haven’t even come to the pandemic thing yet.

I’m hopeful for 2021, just as hopeful as I was at the start of last year. 2020 delivered in many ways and I’m pushing for ’21 to do the same. The attitude of wishing last year to go to hell is beyond me; the shift from one day to another makes no difference……

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Filed under Lifestyle, Positive thoughts, Re-Blogs and Great Blogs

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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Mens of Consumens: Wat is tegenwoordig nog sociaal?

Wie kan er de verantwoordelijkheid dragen voor het asociaal gedrag van velen van vandaag? Is de hele samenleving daar verantwoordelijk voor, waarbij men nu de weerslag vindt van de kinderjuffen en leerkrachten die de laatste twintig jaar geen opmerkingen meer mochten maken naar de kinderen of hen niet meer mochten berispen als die kinderen iets fout deden?

In een tijd van social media en een egocentrische levensstijl hoe sociaal zijn mensen dan nog? Dit vraag ik mij dagelijks af als ik zie hoe de kloof tussen mensen groeit door het overmatig labelen.

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A looming danger for youngsters

It looks like CoViD-19 is going to be here around for many more months and companies are feeling the pressure of more difficult months to come. (Worldwide at the moment 16.341.179 infected, 650.792 deaths)

Some companies already make misuse to re-organise or restructure their business. Several layoffs are in the air.

Shannon Allen, a Second Year Undergraduate student studying Sociology at the University of Portsmouth, gives some advice to her peers at her blog Bloggit. she gives some key tips for gaining experience, especially in digital marketing, and seems herself also on the lookout for groups or media posters, perhaps to find like-minded young women who will literally chat about anything and everything!

She also started volunteering with a local volunteering centre, and with good reason brings this under attention, because many more people should find such a way to use the free time they have now in lockdown. Also, for those who work now from home, a lot of time has come free because they do not have to lose so many hours in traffic for going to work.

For the other free time and for meeting others, at night, she writes

Often, when I see my friends there is alcohol involved, often leading up to a night out. As the clubs have remained shut in England, this has been off the cards so we have had much more trips to the park or the beach, and nights in watching Disney+ and playing on the Nintendo Switch. It is so important to spend quality time with people, especially as after next year we probably won’t see each other very often as we start the next chapter of our lives. {Boost the positive vibes!}

We only hope she does not come together any more with more than 5 people, who would always be the same people from the same circle or bubble. In Belgium and France we have seen too many youngsters gathering in all sorts of venues like nothing is at hand and corona would not exist. Such irresponsible attitude is totally disrespectful to all health care providers.

Instead of clutching or to stick together those youngsters could meet more via social media and use more time to take some extra schooling.

Miss Allen writes

Over lockdown, I have been trying to complete as many online courses as I can. {Experience Unlocks Doors!}

which is a very good idea which we would promote very much.

A good place to look for these, if you’re looking at digital marking related ones, is the google digital garage and futurelearn*. I have also started an 3 day internship with ‘Brightside’, in ‘Business, Operations and Marketing’, which was free to join and you also gain a certificate from! It involves networking with business professionals and learning key skills within this business realm. {Experience Unlocks Doors!}

LinkedIn Logo 2013.svgFor sure what is going to be very important in the coming months is to make sure there are job securities to look at. As such it is not bad to make yourself already be known on the business and employment-oriented online service LinkedIn and to search for job/ voluntary roles and groups

LinkedIn is a great way to start, it tailors role ads to your cv, depending on your experience and where you live. It is also a great place to find groups to join that post related content. Following tags is the simplest way to start, for example I follow #digitalmarketing which is regularly updated with interesting posts. {Experience Unlocks Doors!}

*

Ed.note:

File:MOOC poster mathplourde.pngMassive open online course (MOOC) aimes at unlimited participation and open access via the web

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Spirituality

For many of the older generation, it looks so weird. We regretting not having had such social media as there is today. We, thinking we still would have had contacts with so many whom we liked very much in the past.

At the same time we notice how so many of the new generation are glued to their smartphone and boast about their many friends on Facebook, but in a way are even more lonely than we, who saw already so many of our peers being carried to the grave.

Also, so many of those youngsters seem to have the spirit of life, because the spiritual does not exist in them.

The 50 year old poet

I was born in the Sixties

grew up in the Seventies

fell in love in the Eighties

got married in the Nineties

had a family in the Noughties,

then things got strange,

made friends I never met

over a thing called the Internet,

lost touch with reality

and became another fatality

in a world void of spirituality.

pine trees under cloudy sky Photo by Francesco Ungaro on Pexels.com

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