Inspirational

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Posted 9/27/17 at 6:47 AM | Boris Dzhingarov

Is meditation a Christian practice?

There are countless ways to connect with God, but as Christians, we tend to emphasize traditional forms of prayer, reflection on scripture, and practices like walking the labyrinth. One activity we rarely talk about, though, is meditation. Is meditation a Christian practice? Or do its roots in Eastern religion exclude it as a tool of spiritual development? For some Christians, this is a significant point of contention as practices like meditation and yoga come into broad cultural acceptance.

Though some will always object to meditation for reasons of origin, there are plenty of ways to bend the practice to Christian purposes, as well as countless examples of how meditation has been used by devout Christians for centuries. When aligned with the power of Christ’s Word and sacrifice, meditation can be as powerful as attending church weekly or going on a pilgrimage.

Meditation or contemplation?

To understand where meditation fits within the broader world of Christian worship, it’s helpful to hold meditation up alongside contemplation.

Contemplation is widely associated with various Christian religious orders, particularly monastic traditions. Monks and nuns spend a significant amount of their lives engaged in silent reflection on God and the Word. But does sitting in silence automatically make contemplation into meditation? FULL POST

Posted 9/27/17 at 6:31 AM | selwyn perry

She has a dream

Where she left her kiss

She has a dream before she leaves this world
To fly to unseen lands,
To wander in the wild woods
And splash her feet in seashore sands;
To let her hair blow in the wind
And sleep beneath the stars;
Climb mountains, rocks and heights’
Be free of ties and many
chores
That make her fretful
Ties like cleaning windows and floors.
Oh to be free of knives and forks, table tops and ironing
Boards,
Dusters, stands and sore cracked hands’
She has a dream before she leaves this world
That she can remember in heavens bliss
Where she left her kiss.

Posted 9/18/17 at 8:06 AM | Yvonne Perkins

Rising Above Disappointment

Rising Above Disappointment. In this life, there will be disappointments. There is no way around it. Everyone will experience it at some point in time during this journey called life. Disappointment defined by Webster as defeated in expectation or hope 2)sad or displeased because someone or something has failed to fulfill one’s hope or expectation. Disappointment can have devasting results on a person’s life if not handled in a positive manner. It can cause you to lose hope, or not believe anything good will come out of your life. It can hinder your growth, naturally and spiritually.

Rising above disappointment. Life is full of ups and downs. We do not always achieve everything we set out to do. Things don’t always go the way we envision it to go. Two people can look at a glass of water and one will see it as half empty and the other as half full. What difference does it make? The perception will impact your thoughts, your thoughts will impact your feelings, your feelings will impact your behavior.

Rising above disappointment. A person perceives the glass to be half empty. This person thought pattern about life is more likely to be one filled with negative thoughts i.e. nothing goes my way, everyone is against me, if it wasn’t for bad luck I wouldn’t have any luck etc. If that is the thought pattern the feelings attached to that thought more likely include sadness, anger, and/or frustration. These feelings will more likely result in the person engaging in negative behaviors that will only enforce those beliefs, i.e. not pursuing dreams, not giving their best efforts etc. FULL POST

Posted 9/11/17 at 1:03 AM | Lynn Joesph

What You Should Know About Facebook's WhatsApp EU Privacy Challenges

The European Union has very tricky privacy laws. Many companies have been fined in the EU for violation of these laws and others are failing to adhere to the high standards. Well, WhatsApp is one of these companies. The messaging app had already received the first warning from the EU due to its “deficient” privacy practices under EU laws.

WhatsApp has been warned again for a second time. Data regulators in the EU sent a letter to the app’s CEO in October warning that the consent mechanism to share data that WhatsApp was using for EU users was “seriously deficient.” WhatsApp is one of the most popular messaging apps in the world. The application was acquired by Facebook in 2014 and two years later it issued an updated privacy policy for its users. Followers play also an important as privacy here you can buy real Instagram followers and make your accouts more authentic.

The updated policy allowed WhatsApp to share personal data collected through the app with Facebook. The changes were officially announced and users were given 30 days to consent or opt out. However, the EU data regulators feel that the 30 day period was not enough for users to make an informed decision.

The privacy practices applied by Facebook and other US-based companies have consistently been questioned by EU data regulators. Although you can still find the person you are looking for on the platforms, there are many issues at hand. Some of the key issues raised include online tracking of users without their consent. The EU has also taken issue with the use of personal data for advertising. FULL POST

Posted 9/8/17 at 2:19 PM | Mark Ellis

A God of inches and seconds saved couple in freeway plane crash

Defy Media
Fireball on the 405 Freeway next to John Wayne Airport June 30, 2017 after the Pisano's plane crashed

By Mark Ellis

Shortly after takeoff from John Wayne Airport in Orange County, California, pilot Frank Pisano heard a sputtering sound in his right engine. Then the engine went dead. His wife Janan was sitting next to him and didn’t hear the sound through her headphones, but she heard his anguished cry to air traffic controllers: “Mayday!”

In their brief, four-minute flight, and the horrific fireball that consumed the plane after they crashed on the 405 Freeway, God displayed his awesome power to save their lives in a cascading series of intricately timed and perfectly sequenced miracles.

They took off at 9:30 a.m. on Friday June 30, 2017, the start of an extended Fourth of July holiday for many other travelers plying the busy freeway situated next to the airport. The Pisanos intended to fly to Scottsdale for a three-day vacation. FULL POST

Posted 9/6/17 at 7:40 PM | Karen Farris

I’ll Stand Too

Labor Day’s celebration of American workers is well-deserved because hard work defines us.


The little church near the restaurant was ideal—she could attend the early service and go right to work afterwards. She noticed a man standing up in the back pew.

He stood the whole service.

As church ended and she was making her way out the door she realized the man who’d been standing was her boss, Pat Sullivan, owner of the restaurant where she waited tables.

She asked him why he stood throughout the service.

“I hire people who have to stand on their feet all day long in order to make my business prosper.

So whenever I go to church, I stand to remind myself how it feels.

I hope it keeps me from being too bossy and makes me remember not to push my help too hard when they are tired. Most of all, it makes me grateful for the labor and loyalty of my employees, who have made my restaurant a success.” FULL POST

Posted 9/1/17 at 9:22 AM | Marvin Thompson

What if You Do Not Get What You Pray For?

If you have ever prayed for something and were disappointed that it did not come when you expected it, or not at all, then you may have pondered through your doubts whether faith in Christ isn’t merely a state of mind with no causal influence, and that we are really at the mercy of a dispassionate fate.

It would seem that whatever concerns us the most, must surely be of concern to God. And if we are overcome with anxiety about our most urgent cares, why wouldn’t God grant our petition? What if our most urgent care is a matter of life and death?

Think, you are the sole breadwinner for your young family including infants; or you are the sole caretaker of your aging and physically challenged parents. Perhaps you are the custodian of a disabled sibling. In any event, there are those who depend totally on you for their care, wellbeing and survival.

Now think, you are staring in the face of a gun being held by someone intent on killing you. Is God obligated to deliver you from death at your request? What would be going through your mind?

We do not often think about our Christian walk in such stark terms. Indeed, it would be an ugly sight if Christians go about weighed down by such thoughts – it would make Christianity truly unattractive, and reflect poorly on our Lord who gives us, not mere hope, but a lively hope at that (1 Pet. 1:3). However, it is necessary at times to recognize that our disappointments are for a purpose – His purpose – and to reflect upon what that means. FULL POST

Posted 8/15/17 at 11:15 AM | Karen Farris

Where Summer Once Belonged

My earliest vacation recollection was the kerosene lantern on a red night stand. My mother sat reading in its glow.

I was bundled on a cot next to my sister. I couldn’t see the lake, but through the screened porch, I could hear the gentle lapping of water along the shoreline.

Every summer thereafter, we traveled back to my grandparent’s cabin in Northern Idaho. No electricity, telephone, or bathroom.

Cooking and heating dishwater were all done on the woodstove. It was the kind of rustic living a kid dreamed about—at least back then.

Life happens and so does progress. First it was a road, making it possible to reach the cabin by car instead of a boat.

Soon power lines crept along, mile by mile, until in the early 1970’s it reached the cabin. The kerosene lanterns retired.

A new water system eliminated the need for the outhouse—the final adios to our summer experience. FULL POST

Posted 8/10/17 at 11:28 AM | Karen Farris

When Darkness Comes

Not until it was so dark I couldn’t see did I find the One who showed me the way.


She unlocked her apartment door after another horrendous day. Weariness combined with utter disappointment.

Sliding onto the couch, emotional darkness settled in. Nothing really mattered at this point.

Then the phone rang. Not wanting to answer, she did anyway. And it was someone who wanted to listen.

In the comforting veil of darkness, her words of sadness flowed. In that dark place, with the bleakest outlook and a listening ear, seeds of hope finally emerged.

With a trail of bad days and hopeless nights behind her, she stood and went to the mirror.

Give up or go on?

In that moment, as she stared at her reflection, her weakness became a strong resolve to change. FULL POST

Posted 7/27/17 at 7:29 PM | Karen Farris

There's a Reason

A few miles from where I went to college, a friend of ours had a plot of land with a creek running through it. He’d timbered a portion of the property and even though the land was a bit scarred up, it was open to the sunshine—with ample fresh water.

Digging out a garden was a tough challenge. Ironically, it was also a difficult season in our lives.

The garden came to represent our hope in a future we couldn’t see. We planted seeds, nurtured them, and waited.

When the earth yielded succulent veggies, it was worth the effort.

In late fall, we moved to my mom’s property and decided to create a new garden—in another area riddled with tree roots and rocks. We cultivated the ground, and the fresh earth was ready for seeds, but it wasn’t planting season. Waiting had never been easy for me.

The garden was teaching me patience. But we moved before we had a chance to plant—our effort would help someone else’s garden.

New gardens were planted every time I moved—mostly small plots, with big hopes. It seemed that however long I stayed, there needed to be the promise of growth.

Life and gardening both have seasons—some easier than others. I’ve learned there’s a reason for every difficult season. FULL POST

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