"The Christian Life is a challenge. It's a battle against sin, Satan and the world." - Oswald Chambers. We know that sometimes life can be difficult. If you're struggling with staying positive during challenging times, then this blog post is for you! This post will discuss different ways to stay positive through any situation by drawing on our faith in Christ.
#1 Quiet time in the mornings
We can start each day by reading the Bible and praying. This will bring you closer to God, strengthen your relationship with Him and help you face any challenge that may come along during the day! Quiet time in the mornings also gives one a chance to collect your thoughts before the busy day ahead and maybe get some exercise or stretching in to feel your best and ensure you have enough energy to tackle the day with positivity and productivity.
#2 Focus on the positives
When things are challenging, it's super easy to focus on the negative aspects. However, focusing on the good in life is what will help you stay positive during challenging times! The Bible outlines how important it is to reflect God's glory through our lives and actions, so why not start by reflecting His love? Reflecting His love means that you can be kinder towards others than usual, as Pastor Paula White says - this does not mean being fake or insincere but simply loving people just as they are without needing anything from them.
Reflecting God's love also shows up when you're feeling challenged because rather than give in to negative emotions like anger or sadness (which may feel like "the way out" of a difficult situation), instead choose forgiveness. Forgiveness doesn't mean you're letting someone off the hook or allowing them to continue their mischievous behavior; it simply means choosing love over hate, understanding over anger and peace over violence.
Lastly, reflecting God's glory can also look like doing kind things for others without expecting anything in return - whether that be donating your time to volunteer at a food bank or helping an elderly neighbor carry groceries; kindness is free but always worth more than money!
We all want life to go smoothly most of the time (and sometimes we take steps towards making this happen); however, when problems come along, remember not to let stress overtake you.
#3 Draw support from your family and friends
When things are challenging, it's always great to have your loved ones by your side. Sometimes, however, they may not be the best people to get advice from because of their own personal struggles with negativity or perhaps just living far away! So this is where you can come up with a list of friends and family who will help motivate you through tricky times - maybe invite them for lunch once in a while so that when hard days hit again, at least you'll have someone on speed dial! Having support systems within our lives also means keeping lines of communication open between ourselves and everyone around us, especially those closest to us like parents, siblings or spouses.
A lot of people are brought up to follow a certain faith from a young child, as their parents have taken them to church every Sunday and therefore it is now a part of their life. However, people can find faith at all ages, and if you want to explore Christianity for the first time, read on for a brief introduction.
Christianity is the biggest religion on a global scale, with more than two billion followers. The Twelve Apostles founded the early church, and Christianity was made an official religion by the Roman Empire in 380. Christians believe that the Bible is the word of God that has been inspired by the Holy Spirit, and the religion is largely based on the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, God’s son.
When you visit a church such as The Gathering Church, you will listen to many verses from the Bible, which reveal Christian beliefs and principles. Some of the most important beliefs include Jesus Christ is our savior who came to save humanity from its sins. According to the Gospels, the Holy Spirit conceived Jesus and the Virgin Mary gave birth to him in Bethlehem. Jesus’ death resurrection and ascension are deemed the most essential doctrines of the Christian faith. Christians believe that there is life after death, although the nature of this life remains a mystery.
The best place to start when it comes to Christianity is the Lord’s Prayer. Rowan Williams, the 104th Archbishop of Canterbury, said: “If somebody said, give me a summary of Christian faith on the back of an envelope, the best thing to do would be to write Our Lord’s Prayer.”
The Trinity Explained
The Trinity is one of the most confusing Christian concepts, which a lot of people still do not understand. You can visit a Bible study session to seek the guidance you require. But first, read on to discover more about the concept.
A lot of Christians admit that they don’t understand the Trinity. In short, the Trinity is the belief that there is One God, who is the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. While each person is distinct and fully divine in nature, they exist as a unity. This means that the Father is not the same person as the Holy Spirit, who is not the same person as the Son, and the Son is also not the same person as the Father. They all exist separately, however, they are all God, and there is only one God, not three. It is a controversial doctrine, which some people find hard to grasp. However, it is important to note that the Trinity is not three properties of God, nor is it three Gods joined or three individuals that make one God when together.
The Trinity emphasises that God is very different from human beings and can only be seen as a spiritual experience who can’t be comprehended logically and whose mystery inspires wonder, which can help you to understand the concept a bit better, since in essence there does not need to be a logic. The Trinity is regularly referred to in churches throughout the country.
Many people respond to trauma by repressing it, in an attempt not to notice or give a name to what has happened. The trauma that is pushed/moved aside is manifested through the development of a variety of physical symptoms such as: headaches/migraines, asthma attacks and a wide range of physical pains. Trauma can be represented in many ways, from childhood trauma to issues that have arisen in work. Such as during a war, in your work etc. Thankfully there are people to help, for example you may want to look at Operation Heal America.
The price of ignoring trauma or distorting the body's messages is the inability to identify what is really dangerous or harmful, as well as what is safe and nutritious. Self-regulation depends on being able to have a good relationship with your body. Without this you have to rely on external regulation - drugs, drugs, alcohol, compulsive pleasures of others, the need for constant approval and the like. Traumas can affect health in old age in many different ways. Increased mental stress can lead to decreased immune system function and flare-ups of symptoms that existed in the past. Another explanation for physical problems among trauma survivors is the occurrence of an “body memory” experience that causes emotional discomfort associated with a particular organ in the body, which may later manifest itself in physical pain.
The frightening physiological sensations
Retirement is something we all think about throughout our working life. Whether it is something you have started to look forward to or you are thinking of it as an intimidating change, retirement is an important part of life.
While government schemes and pension programs allow us to make the most out of these golden years, there is much you can do to truly craft your dream lifestyle once you have said goodbye to your work colleagues. However, planning in advance is a must - especially if you are unsure about how your lifestyle will change after your last day at work. Here are ten tips to prepare in the best way for this important milestone.
Test Your Lifestyle in AdvanceAs you approach the last day at work, you can start calculating your pension. Usually, between the pension contributions and your savings, you will live on 70-80% of your current income. Many people find the transition between work life and retirement scary and intimidating, especially because they are unsure about what to expect from this change.
But if you are able to anticipate how much money you will have, you can start testing your new lifestyle early on. Reducing your expenditures and living below your means can help you save more and know exactly what to expect post-retirement.
Check Out Your Retirement Destination EarlyIf you wish to move after retirement, you should make sure to spend some time before checking out the location. And this does not only mean learning about available properties and locations. It also means being in the destination area during the different seasons, learning how these affect your life, and finding out transport connections.
After all, after retirement, you might not be able to count on the mobility and level of energy you have been used to. Therefore, you will need to find a location that is well connected to amenities and main transport hubs - and ensure that harsh seasons won’t take a toll on your lifestyle!
Set Up An Emergency FundWhen you stop working, you might not be able to count on a steady income that can help you cover unexpected expenses. Therefore, it is crucial that you have set up an emergency fund far before the retirement date. This allows you to start saving up for emergency costs that might arise later on in life. These might include healthcare or medical costs, assistance, and equipment.
Many retired professionals feel that paying lump sums after retirement can be a struggle, especially if you have monthly expenses to take care of and you are unable to save as much as you wish to. That is why important repayments, investments, and funding projects should all be made before your last paycheck!
Start Investing EarlyYour savings alone might not be rough to support you throughout a long and happy retirement. In this case, you should consider investing to achieve the level of savings you need to live a frugal but fulfilling life. When it comes down to investing in improving your retirement lifestyle, it is vital to balance benefits and risks. If you are new to this complicated world, you should always try to find an advisor that can talk you through the steps of improving your finances.
Don’t Make Risky Moves.There are moments in life when it is right to be more risk-prone. By getting out of our comfort zone, we can face our fears and grow. However, as you are preparing for retirement, there are several important decisions that you will need to make. And, it is vital that you don’t take important risks at this time in your life.
After all, you could be losing the savings of a lifetime or seriously compromise your lifestyle after retirement. If you are unsure about the right moves for your situation, it is always recommendable to consult an experienced financial advisor.
Find the Right Care CenterEveryone dreams of the perfect retirement - but sometimes the perfect retirement is not the one we have in mind! In fact, in certain cases, it might be vital for you to have assistance. Thinking about this possibility in advance and finding the best care center in your desired area can help you make the right choices.
Aside from checking out the staff’s qualifications, ensure that the center aligns with your values. For example, the Catholic Care Center can help you strengthen your faith and others to share your experiences with - all while receiving state-of-the-art care.
Keep Yourself BusyThe lifestyle changes that might come with retirement can have long-lasting consequences for your mental wellbeing. Someone who is used to working several hours a day and leads a busy life might lose focus and purpose. In this case, it is crucial to be prepared for it, undertake new hobbies, and rekindle new interests.
Whether this has to do with sports, crafts, DIY, gardening, community help, or volunteering, it is vital to dedicate yourself to a new purpose. Thinking about what you wish to dedicate your golden years to can truly make a difference in how you will live this period of your life.
Maintain an Active Social CircleOnce you have said goodbye to your work colleagues, you might find it hard to restore your social circle and enjoy events and parties. However, cultivating a rich social life is just as important in retirement as it has always been. Whether you make new friends at a club, church, community center, care center, sports field, or volunteering grounds, there are always new people to connect to - put yourself out there!
Location MatterThe location you choose for retirement can make a difference in your future experience. Naturally, the city and surrounding area are important. But it is also crucial to agree with your family about where you will live. In fact, you might need their support, and they might want to look after you and your family. Make sure you are all happy with the arrangements before you start further looking into these locations.
Don’t Delay Estate Planning.Your properties are important. Of course, you will want your home to be your nest throughout retirement. Yet, material possessions are likely to outlast us on this Earth. Therefore, don’t forget to take care of them and pass them onto your offspring. While we are all hesitant about this, the earliest you divide your possessions, the earliest you can enjoy a stress-free retirement.
Change is something that many people have become all too familiar with in recent months. Since the pandemic arrived, the lives of people right across the globe have gone through unprecedented disruption. This is a time that will go down in history and will be spoken about for generations. For those living through the pandemic, the changes that have happened have been a challenging adjustment to make. Almost overnight, everyday life was flipped beyond recognition, and daily routines, work, events, celebrations, and every aspect of normal life changed. It is little wonder that for many people, the impact of the pandemic and resulting quarantines and disruption has had a negative effect on their wellbeing. Adjusting to the ‘new normal’ is a challenge in itself, especially as the pandemic is a rapidly evolving situation. Understandably, this is an uncertain time, so you may find that these tips for embracing change during difficult circumstances help:
Change is a part of life
Change is a central part of life which is crucial to remember when you are struggling to deal with change. It is understandable to want to resist unwelcome changes, but change is everywhere throughout life and is often unavoidable.
You may find it helpful to explore the subject of change itself and to understand some of the significant changes that have happened on earth throughout history. Reading books and researching subjects such as What every Christian should know about evolution will help to bring a fresh perspective to the idea of change.
Look for opportunities
Sometimes the most difficult circumstances provide the biggest learning curves. In the face of adversity, there is the opportunity to thrive, to grow stronger, and to demonstrate the power of your faith. The more challenging the situation, the bigger the opportunity to make a difference, to stand up and be counted. By reaching out to help others, you will provide proof that there is good in the world, that no matter how difficult a situation may be there will always be hope and someone that is willing to help.
When life gets challenging, the world needs kindness more than ever before. Bringing compassion and kindness into your heart and then sharing them with the world helps to create moments of positivity that are able to illuminate even the darkest of times.
Simply accepting the current situation may seem like an impossible task, but staying connected to your spiritual beliefs during this time is vital. We never know what God has in store for us as part of his plan. Having faith that you are on the correct path will help to ease your acceptance of the changes that are happening all around you.
Looking for opportunities to make the best of the situation as a learning experience is an ideal way to make change easier to accept. Embracing changes during difficult circumstances is not easy, but will help you to move forward with your life and will make it far richer as a result.
Wrapping Up Warm For The Winter: Cute Jumpers To Cosy Up In
The winter months are coming in strong, bringing with them cold weather and the desire to wrap up.
Scarves, hats and gloves are always great protection against the elements, but with the world spending that bit more time indoors due to the pandemic, they might be needed a little less this year. Instead, warm indoor clothes are needed. And we all know the best warm indoor clothing item is the jumper.
But there are many types, styles and fits of jumpers to choose from. Obviously, the answer is: wear them all! But if you are looking for something specific, why not peruse this list?
Image credit: TheUglySweaterShop.com / Wikimedia Commons
That’s right! December isn’t long away now, which means Christmas is right around the corner. And with Christmas comes Christmas jumpers.
Whether you go for a classy jumper or a full-blown ugly Christmas jumper is up to you, but the need to have at least one Christmas jumper in your winter wardrobe is a must.
Slogan jumpers are a classic and staple of most wardrobes. Slogans can range from old university names to inspirational quotes to vintage kids football teams.
If you have a particular interest in an area, there will be slogan jumpers for it, I promise. Grey’s Anatomy? Done. Taylor Swift? Done. Christian t shirts and jumpers? Done.
Image credit: Piqsels
A patterned jumper can be a really great way to add a focal point to an outfit, a statement piece, let’s say.
Patterns can range from the simple, classic stripes or polka dots to more extravagant patterns, like sheep or stars.
A patterned jumper is often the kind of clothing item that will get people stopping you, asking where you got that great jumper from!
Colour Block Jumpers
Just look at the popularity of Harry Styles’ colour block cardigan, and you’ll know that colour block jumpers are a trend this season.
Colour block jumpers are a great way to bring brightness to your wardrobe and outfits. It can be a great way to try out new colours you rarely wear, as the colour won’t take up the whole clothing item. You might find something new you like.
The jumper dress is the ultimate hanging around the house outfit. Warm, cosy and comfortable: what’s not to love?
Another perk of the jumper dress: it can be both dressed up and down. You could totally wear it to a hang out with your friends at a local coffee shop, and wear it on a Saturday while you binge Netflix.
Great for a stylish walk around the woods, or hosting a winter celebration at home, the jumper dress will never let you down.
It’s good to keep warm in the winter, but it’s even better to feel like you’ve got a great outfit. Luckily, with jumpers, you don’t need to compromise either of these things. But is there such a thing as too many jumpers? Probably not.
The global pandemic has had a big impact on our world. For some people, it’s meant a huge change in priorities, as well as starting to think differently about your future.
Dating before the pandemic was a lot more straightforward, despite being hard at times! But it’s now set to be even harder, which is why it’s important to think about what you want. As things start to go back to normal, or at least as normal as they can be, you’ll need to revisit the dating world and get yourself back out there.
Here are some things to think about when it comes to dating post-pandemic.
Image Credit: Unsplash under Creative Commons
Think about what you really wantLife is short, and it’s important to make the most of the time we have. When it comes to relationships and dating, you need to think about what you really want. This begins with focusing on yourself and thinking about what you want from life. Taking steps to boost your own confidence can help you give you greater clarity, while ensuring your own happiness comes first.
Find someone who shares your ideas and interestsOne of the most important rules of dating is not to waste your time. You don’t want to spend time with someone who doesn’t share your views and ideas on life and your future. You should have discussions about Christian dating and marriage at an early stage to make sure you both know where you stand. Spending the rest of your life with someone is an important step to make, and by finding someone who shares your beliefs and interests, you can look forward to a happy marriage.
Don’t feel pressuredThere can be a lot of pressure on women (and men) to be in a relationship, especially as you start getting older. But it’s important not to let other people’s expectations and opinions affect your choices. It’s important that the path you take feels right for you, and that your own happiness takes priority. If dating isn’t your priority right now, be sure to pursue your other interests and do the thighs you want to do.
Expand your horizonsIf you’re feeling frustrated by dating right now, it might be time to expand your horizons. Finding the right church could help you meet some new people, and potentially the love of your life. Get out there and socialize and connect with some like-minded people - you never know where it might leave.
The pandemic has left a lot of people with uncertainty, but it doesn’t all have to be negative. Now is a time to reflect on what you want and to put your own happiness first. While it might feel more difficult to date during a pandemic, it’s not impossible, so when things calm down, and you’re ready to re-enter the dating scene, do it with confidence and faith and see where it takes you.
Improving our living spaces is an important and worthwhile act of self-care. You don’t need to break the bank to improve your home; there are many simple ways to make changes. To design a home that improves your wellness, consider the following ideas.
1 . Keep It Green
Creating an earth-friendly home is a fantastic way to enhance your well-being. There are lots of ways that you can design a greener home, such as:
2. Improve Your Garden
Gardening is a fantastic hobby to help you de-stress, improve your well-being, and grow some healthy and nutritious foods. When you put effort into gardening, you’ll improve the quality of your outdoor space and achieve a sustainable lifestyle. There are a few applications that can be helpful to learn more about gardening.
3. No More Clutter
When our homes are cluttered, we tend to feel less comfortable and more stressed. Many people don’t even realize that clutter affects their mood (until they have a nice clear out)! Tackle one room at a time and separate your items into different categories. These categories might include ‘keep’ ‘sell’, ‘throw out’ and ‘charity store.’ To sell your unwanted items, you can use the following tools:
4 . The Natural World
Designing a home that improves your wellness doesn’t have to be complicated. One of the easiest things you can do is to pick out a nice selection of house plants for each of your rooms. House plants can help cleanse the air of harsh chemicals and toxins, plus they make great natural decorations. Anthurium plants are a great choice for the bedroom; they can boost oxygen and improve your sleep. Aloe Vera Plants are a great choice for the bathroom as these love humidity.
5 . Express Yourself
To design a home that improves your wellness, you need to create a space that helps to feel positive, relaxed, and comfortable. One of the best ways to do this is to express your personality through your decor. There are many ways that you can achieve this, including:
6. Deep Cleaning
When your home is lovely and clean you’ll feel healthier and more relaxed in your space. It can be a great idea to use green cleaners, as these are made from non-toxic ingredients. For more cleaning tips check out the following tools:
7. Design Cozy Spaces
Feeling relaxed and peaceful at home is all about comfort. Designing cozy spaces is a great way to improve your well-being. For example, why not try designing a cozy reading corner? You can do this by purchasing an armchair, a footstool, and plenty of soft throws and cushions. Purchase a miniature bookshelf, and decorate the corner using fairy lights and cute artwork.
8. Plenty Of Relaxing Scents
Aromatherapy is an ancient wellness practice that has a variety of different health benefits. Using the right scents, you can feel more relaxed, boost your mood, or create a calming energy for your home. Some of the best candles for relaxation include jasmine, bergamot, peppermint, lavender, and rose. Candles are one of the easiest ways to create a relaxing home space.
9. Beautiful Artwork
With the right artwork, you’ll make your home a beautiful space in no time at all. When you’re choosing artwork for your home, it can be useful to create a budget beforehand and determine the style you are looking for. Consider the interior style of your home to determine which kind of artwork might fit in best. Whether you’re looking for photography, a sculpture, or a painting, Etsy Marketplace is a great place to find deals on artwork.
11. Use Air Purifiers
Air purifiers can help you to create a healthier home by removing toxins, chemicals, and allergens from the air. With the right healthy touches, you’ll stand to improve your wellness levels.
12. General Wellness Tips
Of course, improving your wellness isn’t just about your home; there are plenty of other ways to boost your well-being. For a few more ideas to think about, consider the following:
As you can see, there are plenty of options to improve your home and lift your wellness levels at the same time. Throughout the process of simple interior design, we can express our personalities, make our homes more comfortable, and even live a greener lifestyle. Once you’ve decluttered your home, try to adopt mindful shopping habits. Think carefully before you buy each item, ensure that you are only buying things that you will use long-term.
But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” “Come,” he said.
Although he doesn’t explicitly state he is the son of God in this exchange, it is enough for Peter to respond: Lord, if it is you…” I wonder why Peter didn’t distinguish immediately Jesus’ voice. As Christians, we will know Jesus voice and the more we mature, the more we become sensitive to distinguishing his voice from all the others: My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.”
When we know who we are and whose we are, the stronger we can become to do the work of the kingdom and not fall into Satan’s snares. When we build our identities on the truth that we are sons and daughters of the king and heirs to the throne of God, we will be able to carry out the work of our Father, just like Jesus did. But when we build our lives on shifting circumstances (like raging waters) we will surely sink.
Peter believed Jesus was enough. Enough to come out into the water. Enough to walk towards. Enough to attempt the impossible. All because of one statement: “It is I. Do not be afraid.” But when we build our lives on the belief Jesus is not enough, this is when we get into trouble. Jesus in his compassion rescues us. But the more we practice allowing Jesus to be enough for us, the less we will sink, and the more opportunities we will have to proclaim the Gospel to the masses.
Where is your identity rooted?
If we want a life that defies limits, we need to know to whom we belong. We have to know Jesus is enough for us. Not only must we know it, we must believe that as well. We cannot live a limitless life if we build our identities on things that don’t matter. While God may choose to bless us with possessions and other benefits, this should not, and does not define who we are. We cannot be searching for approval in anything other than who God is.
Whatever your this is, I’m here to tell you there is joy available to you right now. (Even in the midst of a pandemic!) You don’t have to wait for your circumstances to get better.
In fact, I am writing about joy from a place of brokenness, not because I’m happy-go-lucky.
When you read the word brokenness, what do you feel?
Being joyful while broken is an act of worship. Obedience. Yielding. Making it about Christ and his Kingdom—not about me and this temporary problem. And this, all of this, is temporary except for my relationship with him.
When I think of brokenness, different biblical examples come to mind. Jesus blessed the bread before he broke it. (He blesses us in our brokenness, too.) He gave his body, broken for our sins. The alabaster box was broken to anoint Jesus’ head with oil. Or we can go even further back and think about the broken pottery shard of Job. Brokenness doesn’t mean forever hopelessness.
We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. Hebrews 12:2 (NLT) shows us in the middle of brokenness, Jesus kept his focus on the joy yet to come. When we keep our gaze on Jesus despite our own broken places, he nurtures our faith and will lead us to future joy.
In Matthew 26, after Jesus washed the disciples’ feet, while they partook of the Last Supper together, Christ told them of his impending betrayal and sacrifice. So as they waited for what was up ahead, even in the midst of concern and confusion, they sang a hymn after they shared the Last Supper. This is an example of being able to have joy despite brokenness.
When joy ministers to the broken heart, it creates peace. All is well, not because it is well now, but because I know it will eventually be well. This helps me be able to say “all is well” right now, in the middle of the current trials.
After Resurrection Day (Easter), Christ followers had their hope fulfilled. We as New Testament believers hold on to the hope of Easter and trust he will come again. But the day after Good Friday and the day before Easter, Saturday was silent.
Can you imagine what believers felt on Silent Saturday? Perhaps they felt like those of us who are in-between what was and what is yet to be. Those of us in the middle of a wait. Knowing Silent Saturday was just a blip before Resurrection Sunday helps me know my own in-between is on its way to transformation, too.
Jesus didn’t stay dead and our dead spots (our trials, problems, challenges, waiting periods) don’t have to stay dead either. Something alive (something new) is coming! Those bad times aren’t final. It leads to the joy found in newness of life.
When a Christian gets baptized we quote something like, “We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life,” (Romans 6:4 ESV).
What do you think of when you read “newness of life”? It begins with believing the hope of the resurrection. We don’t have to wait for heaven for God to be our blessing. Even if our bad circumstance doesn’t get better, having God ever so near is the peace that takes the sting out of suffering.
This is why I can have joy in my brokenness. In the middle of my wait. And so can you.
About: God’s Grin Gal, Kathy Carlton Willis, writes and speaks with a balance of funny and faith, whimsy and wisdom. She coaches others to remove the training wheels of fear and not just risk, but also take pleasure in the joy ride of life. She is known for her debut book, Grin with Grace, and for her grinning Boston terrier, Hettie. Her new book, The Grin Gal’s Guide to Joy is inspiring Joy Sightings everywhere.
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