If you try to fight a tidal wave, you will not Win

In the writing of a recent comment on another blog, my inner feelings came out, and I thought I would share.

I think for the longest time I was fighting this whole experience, wanting it to fade away. For things to return to the way, they were. But as the weeks and months roll on, I realise the world needed this.

We all needed a wake-up call.

Materialism gets a lot of bad press, but for me, life is all about balance. The world, however, was out of balance. It’s so easy and natural to think, me me me, at times like this because YOU are directly affected by current events but if you look at the macro picture, you will realise that our level of consumerism could not continue.

People were living on fake money; many people have a deck of cards in their wallet, with no question of who foots the bill. We all have been living away beyond our means; we don’t need all the luxuries that we have. Advertising has convinced us that we need certain items to fit into society.

A couple of years back I was in the queue for a cash machine, and a group of girls were laughing at someone walking past because he didn’t have a smartphone saying, “he must live such a sad life.”

So having a smartphone means you have a good life?

That is the world that we were living in—shows on TV glamorising botox, plastic surgery, and bleached teeth. Children were getting anxious and depressed because they couldn’t have the latest technology and clothes.

As a society, we have lost touch with nature.

Look at the raging fires, and floods, droughts all over the planet, 100s of animals going extinct, whales and dolphins washing up dead on beaches. The wounds of how we live our lives.

Nature is all-powerful and what is happening is the balance that is needed.

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” ~ Isaiah 41:10

Could the Second Coming be Digital?

It says in the Bible, knowledge is sorrow, and this is very true. The more you know about what is happening in the world the more sorrow you will feel. Human greed for money and power is destroying the earth right before our eyes.

Yet we remain powerless.

Man likes to think he can outplay God, but we have written records down through history showing that this is not the case. Would it not be a masterstroke for God to create something that cannot be stopped, that cannot be silenced, that cannot be killed.

In this digital age could it be technology that comes to our rescue?

This is an idea that flashed into my head this morning so I thought I would sit down and see what would flow out.

Technology gets such a bad rap, from so many people, afraid that only bad things can come from AI. Artificial intelligence.

But maybe this is not the case.

Maybe AI could save us from ourselves.

Now it may not be Artificial intelligence, it maybe an evolved internet that allows us to distribute the wealth of the world more evenly, that allows me, for example, to buy coffee beans directly from a South American coffee farmer. With no need for a middle man.

Digitally I can paid him for the product plus post and packaging. Which would mean I get a high quality product, and he can have a better standard of living.

This may seem impossible but it’s only 20 years ago when it took a half a day to upload a single high resolution photo to the Internet.

Just some thoughts I though I would share.

Wisdom From a Billionaire

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You have probably heard of a man called Steve Jobs. He was the co-founder of the computer business Apple.

Steve Jobs was also a writer and today I read the last essay that he wrote as he lay dying. It contained a lot of wisdom.

“I reached the pinnacle of success in the business world, ” he said. “In some peoples eyes, my life is the epitome of success but at this moment lying on my bed recording my life I realise that all the recognition, and wealth, that I took so much pride in, have paled and become meaningless in the face of my death.”

You can employ someone to drive your car for you, to make money for you but you can not have someone bear your sickness for you.

Material things lost can be found. But there is one thing that can never be found when it is lost — Life.

Whichever stage in life we are at right now, with time, we will face the day when the curtain comes down.

Treasure love for your family love for your spouse, love for your friends.

Treat yourself well. Cherish others.”

Despite the best and the most expensive medical care, a lung transplant, the skill of the worlds best doctors Steve Jobs died in the days after he wrote his last essay.

When I put it down, I felt humbled. Inspired. Energised. I had been complaining about a few minor ills when what I should have been doing was celebrating the greatest gift of all,

LIFE.

True happiness does not come from material things. When you have mates and old friends, brothers or sisters who you can chat and talk with, that is true happiness.

The six best doctors in the world are, sunlight, rest, exercise, diet, self-confidence, and friends. Make these things the foundation of your life and everything else will fall into place.

Spend time doing what you love, and with the people that add value to your life

Have a good week. Thanks for reading.

 

 

Who’s that hiding behind the screen?

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The other day having a coffee a group of college students walked in and took a seat, without a word they took their phones out and scrolled for a few minutes. Then they started chatting; it was as if the phone was protection, used to fuel the conversation, when it got going the phones went down for a few minutes, then it was back to the phones.

This pattern seemed to continue on repeat.

Technology is amazing, but for many, it’s the screen they hide behind.

Have we got so afraid of who we are that we need facebook, snapchat and other apps to fuel our conversations?

It got me questioning what are we searching for in all these apps? Is it meaning, is it approval, is it acceptance?

For me, life is about connecting with people; it’s about listening, it’s about helping each other.

We all crave attention we all want to be accepted by others, so much so that sometimes we can forget the only relationship that matters. Our relationship with God.

The problem with our spiritual connection is, it’s subtle. So subtle that many take it for granted. Plus it takes relaxation, calmness and peace and when do we have time for that?

I have nothing against technology; only for it I would not be talking to you today, but it’s so important that we take time to switch it off.

When I started to do this, I found myself feeling very sleepy and often fell asleep. Smartphones laptops and tv continuously stimulates the mind; it’s unable to rest. Over weeks and months, it can wear you down.

When you don’t give your mind a rest, all the tension and stress builds up, which can lead to illness and pain.

If you feel overwhelmed at this time, I highly recommend trying the following. Take time today, whatever you can spare and close your eyes.

Feel the world around you, the noises, the sensations in your body, feel Gods presence and know that you are loved, and accepted.

Be still with no distractions. It could be in the form of prayer, a walk in nature, or a lay down on your bed.

When you give yourself this time stress, and tension will subside, you will see problems and difficulties from a new perspective.

Done regularly you will see significant changes in your life.

Take-a-Break

I have a no phones rule when I meet a friend for coffee or lunch. One to one meetings gives others an opportunity to open up to you with anything that might be troubling or worrying them. Continually checking notifications can come across that you’re not interested in what a friend is saying, and this is not an impression I want to give.

Remove the screens and have more profound connections.

Thanks for reading.
Rev J Martin

 

 

 

 

How Your Phone Can Increase Your Faith

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Try for one day to keep track of every time you pick up your phone. With some research showing that we pick up and put down our phones 150 times a day, just logging it may become a challenge.

Now, I’m not asking you actually to take a note, but for one day try to do a mental one. You will quickly get a sense of how much time you are focused on activities and how much time you are being distracted.

So why am I talking about this today?

Well, as the saying goes, ‘replace a negative with a positive.’ So if you have negative habits replace them with positive ones.

Of course, some people will say I need my phone for my job, etc. that’s not negative. But even I go to my phone to check for an important email and find myself replying to a text message or scrolling through Facebook.

Sometimes forgetting all about the reason I picked the phone up in the first place.

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What I started to do is, I have a 30-second lock on my phone so when I set it down it locks within 30 seconds. And to unlock it I have to put in a password.

Now, I changed this password to the word ‘prayer.’

So every time I open my phone I am reminded to say the short prayer. “Jesus I surrender to your will.” When I started to do this, I was instantly connected to God more each day.

If you’re going through hurt, worry or doubt it can help you detach from it, even if it’s only for a brief moment.

When we get into a state of worry, doubt or anxiety we can lose ourselves for days, weeks, or even months as we are completely absorbed by what is going on in our lives.

It could be a serious situation, and I don’t want to make light of that, it could be something within your family or with a friend or in your community.

But if we lose ourselves in these events and let worry doubt or fear consume our spirits, our faith can weaken as we can question everything.

Certain events can even test our faith, pulling us down, separating us from God.

We can go through a period where we even give up on Him.

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If you find yourself lost in this place, it’s important not to beat yourself up about it. We all have to deal with a certain situation in the best way we know how.

If you tend to use your phone a lot, screens can be locked; screen savers can be put in place, helping us to keep focused on the only thing that matters. Our creator.

You can change your passwords to meaningful positive, motivating words or phrases that help you throughout the day. Each day you are regularly programming your mind with faith.

Just for that split second when you pick up your phone, it can break a negative thought cycle that you may be going through, by connecting you to God. Adding peace to your day

And, when we are more connected, we are more relaxed, we are more centred, we are more at peace.

Whenever you read scripture, prayers or motivational literature, it calms you, and you realise that everything is going to work out.

When you are in the peaceful calm state which prayer brings, you can think level-headedly. You no longer feel from a place of worry, doubt, stress, depression or anxiety, but from a place of faith.

You are coming from a grounded, centred place, and when you come from that place you can see, no matter what is going on in your life, from a new perspective, a fresh perspective, a view you can mirror to the past.

And, in the past, everything worked out, so you know it will work out this time as well.

I wish your self, family and friends a beautiful weekend and may God bless you all, in a 1000 ways.

Thank you for reading
Rev J Martin

Is technology taking the upper hand?

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The world is speeding up; no one wants to wait. I am showing my age, but I remember when it would take minutes for the Internet to load. Dial up. The younger generation could not last one day of my childhood, but then again I don’t think I could last a day in theirs.

Often I go for coffee and see a group of friends sitting looking at their phones, occasionally chatting to one another about what someone has posted on Facebook or Snap chat. Sitting at the same table but miles apart.

Is spending time with friends not about spending time with friends?

I am all for technology as a tool, but it is starting to take the upper hand.

Even the way we pay has changed. Now there is contactless, where you can pay by just hovering your card over the card reader. When the assistant asked me the other day, do you want to go contactless?

It dawned on me, that’s what the world is slowly becoming; contact less.

Communication is getting faster, but people are drifting apart. Where is God in all this? Sadly on the sidelines; only to be called on if something goes wrong.

With constant notifications popping up every few minutes, I know too well how hard it is to pull yourself away.

What can we do, well, like all change it starts with you.

It’s so important to take time each day to connect with nature; leave the phone on silent for a while. You will be surprised at what a difference it will make.

When the mind and body is relaxed, pain and tension subside. An idea can come out of nowhere to solve a problem that has been stressing you out for some time.

Even in the writing of this, I realize that I need to take my own advice. There is always something to do; even when I am resting my mind is always active.

It’s a mental break that is needed.

With constant stimulation from morning to night, you can push yourself for weeks and even months without noticing, you are slowly getting run down; to the point that pain or illness sets in.

God has a way of slowing us down; it is for our benefit in the long term— although, it may not seem that way at the time.

Unaware that it is self-inflicted, we go to the doctor, and he gives us some pills, resetting the balance for while.

Then a holiday comes in just the nick of time, but instead of being full of energy to go on adventures and visit friends near and far, we fall exhausted and spend most of the week in bed.

Take a mental break from the madness, start connecting face to face; turn off from the world, and see the difference it can make.

Enjoy your weekend and don’t forget father’s day.

Rev J Martin