Modern Life: The Truth about our Generation

Modern life is changing. The way that we live and think is effecting us more than we know or could ever anticipate. What does this mean for us in the future and the society we will be forced to live in?

The morals and standards of people living today are dropping fast, homes have become divided, people no longer want to “get involved” to stand up for what is right anymore and general morals and standards are also becoming a thing of the past. Let’s take a look at some modern life statistics…

In the 1970’s just 8% of households were headed by a lone parent, but by 2011 that figure had reached 22 per cent. This was mirrored by a fall in the number of two-parent families – either those married or cohabiting – from 92 per cent at the beginning of the 1970s to 78 per cent in 2011. There are now almost twice as many people living alone than 40 years ago (The 2011 General Lifestyle Survey Overview from the Office for National Statistics.) Now I’m not saying that people who come from single parent homes are bad or that they are less valuable than others, not at all because I know what that feels like but the point Is that God intended a mother and father to raise a child to bring stability and happiness. Males without a father figure can suffer the effects of misguidance and  anger, due the fact they haven’t seen that positive male model in their lives. On the other hand, females without a decent mother figure can be more vulnerable to feelings of low self-esteem and loss of decency, not having seen that positive image of how to be a lady from a mother. The effects can be detrimental in young and later life, yet we are seeing more of this type of lifestyle.

Approximately 91% of women are unhappy with their bodies and resort to dieting to achieve their ideal body shape. Studies show that the more reality television a young girl watches, the more likely she is to find appearance important.More than 1/3 of the people who admit to “normal dieting,” will merge into pathological dieting. Roughly 1/4 of those will suffer from a partial or full-on eating disorder. 58% of college-aged girls feel pressured to be a certain weight. (Source, doomething.org) This is a perfect example of modern life. People are now judging others purely based on looks. The effects of vanity are having a really bad effect on young people today, and body image is now seen to be the most important thing, overriding personality, interests and other internal factors. Well, God said this would happen, “for in the last days, men shall be lovers of themselves…” 2 Timothy 3:2. The bible speaks of how people will get more vain and selfish leading up to his return.

I watched a show the other night about live crimes and how they were dealt with. The show did an experiment, they set up a woman getting robbed by a man, both were actors. They began with shouting and the man was shouting abuse at the woman. This was done in a busy town centre, so plenty of people were walking around at this time. By the time they were shouting, people just looked, but carried on. This is maybe understandable, my thoughts were I’d probably think they were a couple and wouldn’t want to get involved either, but things began to get a little heated in the next scenario… The man then began to grab quite aggressively at her bag openly. People this time took more notice, but instead of intervening, the scene began to gather a small crowd! I couldn’t believe it, I was literally shouting at the TV! This went on for a good 5 minutes, then the actor grabbed the bag off the other actor and started to run away. At this point a man came from nowhere and dived on the “thief”. He was later told it was an experiment, and was happy that he got involved. This shocked me, that and many other examples show how people are loosing natural affection and sympathy. “Because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold.” Matthew 24:12 This is another perfect example of the scriptures revealing modern life and how people’s thought’s and feelings are changing around us.

***

Those are just some of the ways modern life is effecting us and what we are living around. It’s good to know what we are facing day to day. We need to stay close to God and let him lead us through the tough times ahead. Thanks for reading this post, be sure to follow the blog. Bye for now guys xoxo

 

Asylum Seekers held in “Discrageful” conditions at Heathrow Airport

Since joining Restore, the Asylum Seekers charity, I’ve been doing some research including the news on migrants here in the UK. While I was browsing the web, this headline just completely shocked me, “Home Office criticised for holding child asylum seekers in ‘stuffy and overcrowded’ conditions at Heathrow.” I couldn’t believe this headline, it totally just made me stop, so I decided to read more into the story. Apparently, Asylum Seekers including young children are being kept in the Heathrow Airport facility for long periods of time, in cramped rooms with no natural light where they are forced to stay for sometimes nights on end in uncomfortable and testing settings. To add to this, because they would have come into the country so recently, they are being dragged around from pillar to post, centre to centre, reducing their hours of sleep by a massive amount.

However, The Home Office said it always aimed to ensure children spent the minimum time possible in Heathrow’s holding rooms. A spokeswoman said: “Improvements to the holding rooms have now been agreed with the airport operator, including plans for a new larger holding room for Terminal Four. Work is underway and scheduled to be completed by April 2015.”

Hopefully, these plans will come into place coming into next year, but for now, that means things will still be uncomfortable for Asylum seekers and refugees coming into the country. You may think they have it easy when they come here, but the really don’t. There are more stories like these, if your interested, take a look and do some research. Please pray for people coming in the country, that they won’t go down the wrong path and that God will guide them through settling in and the process of applying to stay.

***

Thanks Guys, keep an eye out for the next post and be sure to follow the blog. I will be heading back to Restore next week, so I will definitely update you guys on what happens next! Until the next post, bye for now guys.

 

 

Refugee and Asylum Seekers: My training with Restore

Yesterday evening, I went to a refugee training support programme with a Christian Charity called Restore in Birmingham City Centre. It was the second meeting at this point, but I couldn’t make the first one, so this was my first time there. I arrived quite early and  when I walked in I thought, oh no, I’m the only young person here, this is going to be really awkward, but I didn’t let that stop me and I decided to stay. As the meeting began to start, we ended up with a group of about 10-15 people, and a few younger people arrived too, so I didn’t feel so isolated. I began to speak with the group and found out why different people decided to come. I met the team leaders, a woman from south Africa and a Chilean missionary living in the UK, both have worked for Restore over 20 years.

The first hour of the session was about legal terms and advice we would need to know. Just going through the list of things that have to be done to be a legal citizen in this country is so excessive! We were told that first, a claim has to be made by the person in question to the Home Office in Croydon, then their claim has to be decided. It’s done by weighing their reasons for coming and the risks of death, torture, or well-being may have on the individual. It’s not easy. We were shown some case studies and examples of scenarios and they all just blew my mind. One of the ones we were shown was of a young wife, her two children had been killed in the war in Syria and she didn’t know where her husband was. She stayed with her young child and moved to the UK. Because she looks after her young child, she has no time to learn English and is struggling with communication and a stable place to live. This is just one of many stories, its understandable why these people need all the support and legal advice they can get!

Near the end of the legal low down, a woman called Paulette from Cameroon was then asked to share her story. It was so inspiring and emotional, I was nearly in tears as she broke down while she remembered what had happened. She was a political activist in Cameroon and had been captured and tortured there for her strong beliefs and rebellion against the strict system. In  a bid to save her life, she posed as a partner with another person and flew to the UK. She made her first case and tried to appeal for initial “Leave To Remain”- this means you are legal in the UK. After some time, her case was denied and she was left with the chance to appeal again with a solicitor. She was then made destitute and things just seemed to get worse after the solicitors dropped her case the next year. After a long 7 years, she was finally given the chance to stay in the UK and rebuild her life. I couldn’t believe it. but that wasn’t the end, she hadn’t seen her mother in 7 years, and they had arranged to meet in Nigeria later that year. Sadly, her mother got sick and died shortly after. She was in tears in front of us and I could feel myself welling up, my heart really went out to her. She said she had support from her church and she prayed to God that she would be okay and after all that time, things are finally looking up for her. She now was arranged permanent accommodations, she’s getting her education on the rise and she’s beginning to grieve her mother.

What a story. shortly after this, the meeting had finished and people stayed behind to chat. I just had to talk to Paulette and encourage her and I did, I told her she was an inspiration and that God was with her and kept her going! She was grateful and thanked me, she was just so humble and gracious. That was my evening, and I loved it, it really made me think and be thankful that God has given us such privileges here in the UK. It also made me aware of the baggage people carry when they come into this country and how it affects their present lives,  you wouldn’t believe. The next meeting is coming up soon and I literally cannot wait, ill keep you guys updated!

Thanks for reading this post guys, be sure to follow the blog, thanks!

The Journey Of The Apostles Begins: Acts Chapter 3

 

The chapter begins with Peter and John going up to the temple at the ninth hour. The number nine in biblical terms mean to achieve something, so here’s where it links in. The next verse says “and a certain lame man from his mother’s womb was carried,” so this man was carried into the temple where Peter and John were, at the ninth hour, very important. As the lame came in to ask for charity, Peter said, “silver and gold I have none; but such as I have give I thee: in the name of Jesus Christ get up and walk.” The man was healed in the ninth hour, but more importantly, his soul was saved and salvation had been achieved in the ninth hour (Jesus died on the ninth hour, the hour of completion, “it is finished”) Can you see the significance here?

Peter then in verse 12 addressed the crowd and asked them why they were so shocked, “Ye men of Israel, why ye marvel at this,” he told them that these miracles and signs they were seeing were all part of the beginning of Gods glory on earth in the following verses. Peter was so humble, he showed Jesus to be the one who deserved all the credit in verse 13, “for this it is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob – the God of all our ancestors who has brought glory to his servant Jesus by doing this.” Peter was focused and totally understood where the power from these miracles were coming from and he didn’t let the praise of the locals change him. As  he continued to preach to the crowd, he confronts the issue of the death of Christ and the views of the people. He explains that he now understands that the people of Israel put Jesus to death through ignorance.

The people didn’t understand who they were putting to death and that was the problem, their lack of knowledge and faith that Jesus was who he said he was, even though the prophecy was written in their holy books, they still didn’t believe. Peter knew this and he felt no revenge or need to avenge Jesus’ death because he knew the people were spiritually immature, they didn’t understand. What they needed, was teaching, they needed to understand Gods laws and Jesus’ life, although they were a part of it. Peter seized this opportunity to teach and speak to the people in the temple here and thoroughly explain Gods plans, “now repent of your sins and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped away…” Now was the time for teaching to be done, so that the gospel of Christ could be spread throughout the world.

 

***

Thanks for reading this post, keep a look our for the next one in this Apostles edition. Be sure to follow the blog too, thanks again for reading!

The Journey Of The Apostles Begins: Acts Chapter 2

The outpouring of Gods holy spirit on the 12 disciples was one of the most defining moments in human history. Acts 2 takes us into the beginning of the handing down of Jesus’ full and unlimited power and how the apostles carried such a historical and important responsibility…

The apostles were all gathered together in an “upper room” praying earnestly and connecting with God. They knew the power, which is the holy spirit, would one be given to them, Jesus told them in chapter one, so you can imagine the suspense and patience they had felt! Jesus didn’t want them to leave Jerusalem until they had been given it, if you have read the previous post. But now they had finally received it, they were equipped to carry put the full work of God.

The Holy Spirit comes as fire
While the disciples were praying, the holy spirit came to them, verse 2 “suddenly, there was a sound from heaven like the roaring of a mighty windstorm, and it filled the house where they were sitting. 3 Then what looked like flames or tongues of fire appeared and settled on each of them. 4 And everyone present was filled with the holy spirit and began speaking in other languages, as the holy spirit gave them this ability.” So we have the first encounter with the holy spirit to the apostles. When the holy spirit came on them, it gave them the ability to speak other languages, this is so significant, because Jesus came to teach us and to get the message of the cross, to the whole world. Now the holy spirit giving the apostles the power to speak like this is also an outward showing that the gospel will be sent to all people of all languages and walks of life, so amazing.

Peter’s strength to Preach To The Crowd

After this had happened, they were heard by other devout Jews from every nation, living in Jerusalem. They were surprised that they were speaking their languages, and insisted that the apostles were drunk. Having heard this, Peter explains the prophecy that was to happen, vs 17″in the last days god says, I will pour out my spirit upon all people. ” This is where their knowledge and understanding would come into play. People were making their own excuses for what was happening, but now was the time to explains things the way they had been told by the father himself. Jesus of course told them all this, so you can imagine how amazed they were to see all the things he said coming true before their very eyes. Peter began to go in-depth about the resurrection of Jesus and uses the words of King David, “King David said this about him, I see that the Lord is always with me… for you will not leave my soul amongst the dead.” He explains these words of David to be speaking about Jesus, how he knew that he would be risen from the dead, so joy filled his heart. As Peter tried to convince and explain these truths, they brought over 3000 souls to God that day. How inspiring.

The apostles became like sub leaders for Christ, and the bible says the believers “devoted” their selves to their teaching and fellowship. They were so committed to giving every second of their lives to God, they performed miracles, healed people and gave their money from sold possessions to the poor. They worshiped at the temple every day, God was in them, and they were in God. The power that was given to them for the price of their commitment, would not only save themselves but the thousand of others they brought to Christ. Astonishing. The second chapter shows the role of day-to-day life, following Jesus in their minds and hearts, actively doing and seeking after his will in their lives. They had just began to give everything up, and they were reaping the rewards of their faith.

 

***

Thanks for reading this post. Keep your eyes open for the next Chapter commentary, hope you enjoyed and understood it. Thanks again for the support guys, god bless for now xoxo

 

The Journey Of The Apostles Begins: Acts Chapter 1

Where did you first hear about Jesus? Well the apostles were the first and most successful people to spread the message of the cross to the world, through healing, preaching and supporting people, but how did it all begin?

Luke produces the commentary of this chapter explaining the aftermaths of Jesus’ death and what followed after the resurrection of Christ. Verse 3, “During the forty days after his crucifixion, he appeared to the apostles from time to time, and he proved to them in many ways that he was actually alive”. Now this is really interesting, Jesus appeared to them but on more than one occasion after his death, explaining things to come in the future. Although they had so much to understand, Jesus tried to fill them in on what would happen next and what would be required of them through Jesus’ power.

Jesus’ first instructions for the Apostles

When in one of these meetings with his followers, Jesus told them not to leave Jerusalem until they received “the gift” (verse 4: do not leave Jerusalem until the father sends you the gift promised, as I told you before). This is referring to the Gift of the holy spirit that would help them to do the work set for them. The holy spirit was the tool that they would need, the strength that would empower and uplift their souls in times of struggle and adversaries, because there were a lot of those times and they had to be spiritually prepared for the journey. Jesus in his final meeting with them told them how they would be a witness for him and take the gospel “to the ends of the earth- vs 8” which they have achieved! After he spoke, he was taken up into heaven and they were all amazed, then “two white robed men” explained Jesus would return to the earth in the same way he ascended in his glory. What does this mean? This is referring to the second coming, when God will return to judge the earth once and for all.

The replacement of the Apostle, Judas Iscariot

After what had happened with Judas, when he betrayed Jesus and handed him over to the soldiers, and eventually his death, the apostles went in search for another willing brother to follow them and take Judas’ place. They went to Jerusalem and entered an upper room to pray with each other and Peter gave a speech, “the scriptures had to be fulfilled concerned Judas, who guided those to arrest Jesus.” Now this shows Peters maturity, he now gets it, he understands that Jesus came here to earth to die and pay for our sins. He came to teach and impart his knowledge into us, so we would have the strength to carry out his will in our lives. Peter suggested to choose someone that was there from when Jesus was baptised by John, till when he died. But why? Having seen the whole journey, and all the events that took place, it would only be right to choose someone who had the understanding and who was an actual witness to everything that had happened. So the people prayed for who it should be out of three choices and a man named Matthias was chosen. Now the apostles were now back to twelve, the journey of giving the message of the cross would finally begin…

***

Thanks for reading this post guys, keep an eye out for the next post that will include chapter 2 of the acts thanks again for reading!

What kind of Person are you? The effects of experiences

The world is filled with all types of people with different upbringings, pasts, opinions and views. How does this effect society and the world we live in today and more importantly the future lives we live?

God created us all different, but the one thing he gave us is the freedom of choice, or in psychological terms, “free will”. He enabled each one of us to think for ourselves and have our own views and opinions on everything from morals even to religion and Christianity. We were made with our own unique personalities, shaped by what we learnt through our childhood. This is known as the Psychodynamic approach- psychological terms. But what kind of person are you? Here’s a discussion on different behavioural approaches…

What were your past experiences like? Were they good or bad? Having good past experiences can affect you in two different ways, for example, lets say you had everything you wanted as a child. From this you could turn out as quite a spoilt, selfish person or having seen the positive effect of having the things you wanted could make you a happy and generous person, wanting to see others have what you did. God wants us to learn from what we have lived in our younger years and overcome any damaging experiences, using his strength to guide and protect us. I get this one quite a lot when I speak to people about God. They say that they have had bad past experiences in the church or relating to a bereavement and they are quite abrupt and bitter, because they haven’t been able to accept that God could allow this to happen and they blame him for how they react. Things happen to us to make us better people, for example, if we overcome something really bad that’s happened, we will be much stronger and susceptive Christians. Being angry at God will not get us anywhere, in times like these we need to draw closer to God for comfort and not push him further away.

The importance of living a healthy Junior life
It’s so important that we are careful what Is fed into our own minds and the minds of our younger generation. It can cause major characteristics to form in us like being dominate, aggressive and uncaring. I watched a show the other night about offending teens. There were two brothers that grew up together in the Wolverhampton town of Birmingham, UK and they had been the recipients of watching violence between their parents. They later by the age of around 8 began to cause havoc on the streets, being violent, using and selling drugs, committing burglaries and robberies and setting things on fire. Violence can effect us growing up. This can also effect you in two ways, one, you could project that hurt and anger onto others, a or seeing this could make you a person who always makes peace. However, these behaviours from the young brothers were likely to be caused by having such a bad example of relationships and interaction through their parents, this is not ignoring that young people with good role models can also be capable of this.

The truth is, because we are all different, we all react differently to things that happen to us, even though some behaviours are similar. our behaviours as a whole group or society can either damage or benefit us. If people begin or continue to behave in ways that cause negative and harmful effects on others, this will cause behaviours on a whole to be more negative. Or if we choose to behave in ways that are benefitting others, this will ultimately make an improvements in ourselves and others. If you find an experience has effected you in a negative way, its important that we take this to God through prayer and reading his word to overcome this feeling. keeping it will be harmful to you, effecting future relationships thoughts and feelings.

***

 

Thanks for reading this post, I hope you found it interesting and it made you look into your own experiences and how you’ve been effected personally. Keep your eyes open for the next post guys!! xoxo