June 18, 2021

A Christian Approach To The End Of Life

 Note: This post has been contributed.

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Talking about the end of life isn’t a popular topic. But it is something that we must all face at some point in our lives, regardless of our current health or relationships. 

But how should a Christian approach the end of life? What’s Jesus’s attitude to it? 

Death Is Part Of The Scheme Of Things

Jesus’s entire life was essentially about his death and resurrection. For centuries, the prophets of the Old Testament talked about the coming of the new Messiah, somebody who would completely overturn the old law and establish a new covenant here on Earth. But, to do that, it was clear that He was going to have to make the ultimate sacrifice. All along, that was a part of the Father’s plan. 

Death wasn’t the original intention of God from the creation account. As far as scholars can determine, death was not an issue in the Garden of Eden. However, thanks to the introduction of sin into the world, that all changed. And now we are dealing with the consequences of those fateful decisions made by our ancestors. 

Redemption Is Possible

The good news, though, is that Jesus came to prove that death wasn’t some insurmountable hurdle. Instead, it was something that the power of God could overcome. What’s more, by dying, Jesus secured salvation for everyone, meaning that regular people tarnished by original sin could still live eternal life. 

Many people have the idea that when they will die, they will go to heaven. But, strictly speaking, that’s not what the bible says. Instead, holy scripture talks about the founding of a new heaven and Earth at the end of time. People who are saved will be risen from the dead - not in spiritual form - but their actual bodies, and return in corporeal form. In other words, as a Christian, you may well receive back your twenty or thirty-year-old self. Or you may have an entirely different body altogether. We just don’t know yet. However, it does put a new spin on cemetery and funeral products

Emotionally Approaching The End Of Life

Granted, you can know all of the above and still worry about your own mortality. Despite all the promises written in the bible, it is still hard to see the bigger picture around death, even as a Christian. You often get this abiding sense of loss and grief. It isn’t pleasant. 

The trick here isn’t to let the suffering go or pretend it isn’t there. Instead, it is to do what Jesus did on the cross and have faith in one’s salvation. The body itself may crumble away, but the soul - or the essence of the person - lasts forever. 

Being realistic about death means being more accepting of the fact that it is going to happen at some point. Preparing for death isn’t “tempting fate,” as some people like to believe. Instead, it’s mainly about ensuring that survivors are properly catered for. Paul says that the body is a seed that breaks the surface, like a plant, during resurrection. That’s something that’s always worth bearing in mind. 

January 30, 2021

Top Songs of 2020

2020 was a particularly great year for new music. Reminder: Eric likes his music Xanax-style. Mostly chill. Especially necessary during 2020. Tyson Motsenbocker's Someday I'll Make It All Up to You was my album of the year. Joy Oladokun's too high, my fav song of the year.

Spotify playlist for your convenience. Happy listening!

Top Songs of 2020

Good News - Mac Miller

Carried Away - Lauren Preuss

Colorado - Sam Burchfield

Only: Live from the Royal Albert Hall - RY X, London Contemporary Orchestra

Pray For Real - Peter Cottontale

Don't You Worry - Oh Wonder

Heartbreak Hotel - Abigail Barlow

the 1 - Taylor Swift

I Know the End - Phoebe Bridgers

too high - Joy Oladokun

Fall, Fall, Fall - CAAMP

Prayer - Keaton Henson

Autumn Love - Tyson Motsenbocker

marjorie - Taylor Swift

Big Wheel - Samia

Pretty Boy - The Neighbourhood

Oh No - Biig Piig 

January 06, 2021

Top Hobbies To Take Up This Year

Note: This post has been contributed.

Photo by Daian Gan from Pexels

It is a new year and that invites in plenty of opportunities to take up some new hobbies. It could be that you are looking for something new to do outside, to get healthier, or you just want to add something new to your skillset. Whatever the reasons, there are so many things to think of. Hobbies are great for both your mental and physical health. They allow you to destress and keep your mind busy on something other than any worries you might think about daily. They also allow you to get out and about or just focus on something completely different, learning new skills and becoming a more well-rounded person. If you are looking for some top outdoor hobbies to take up this year, here are just a few ideas…

1. Painting

Painting is a fantastic hobby to take up. Not only does it leave you with a new skill, but you can also create paintings to go up around your home. There are many different types of painting too, so it is a good idea to have a play around with different mediums and styles and see which one you prefer. Whether you decide to go for watercolor, acrylic, or oil paints, each provides different finishes that will look great on your wall!

2. Fishing

If you are looking for a hobby that will get you right in the midst of nature, then fishing is a great one to choose. It is particularly good for when the weather is nice, you can head out with your equipment, pack a lunch and sit by the water taking in your surroundings. There is plenty of research you can do about fishing to help you in your quest to be successful and you can also teach yourself about the various different fish to be found. Make sure you have all the right equipment for where you are fishing, for example, lures for walleye if you are going Walleye fishing.

3. Cooking

Not only is cooking a great hobby that will help to feed your family and friends, but is great fun too! You will learn how to experiment with different ingredients and flavors and find out what works together and a whole host of new dishes to try. Why not look into a cookery school or course that you can enroll in? It is a great way to meet new people, learn a new skill and really get stuck into the action.

These are just a few ideas of hobbies that you could take up in 2021. Why not speak to a friend or family member and ask if they want to take these up with you? It can be a great motivation if someone else does it too, and also a common interest that you will have to do together. It is a much better and more sociable way to spend time together than sit on phones or watch a TV series! What are some top hobbies you are looking to take up this year? Let us know! 

December 15, 2020

Looking After Your Mental Health This Winter

Note: This post has been contributed.

There is no getting away from the fact that the winter months can be difficult for many people when it comes to mental health.

Image by Couleur from Pixabay

With the temperatures dropping, shorter days, spending more time at home, it can lead to us feeling like we need to sleep longer, have changes in our appetite, and find the things we love less appealing. 

As we go through the winter, we need to make sure that we think about the simple things we can do to help our mental health as well as spot the signs that we may need some additional support. 

SAD Seasonal Affective Disorder

So, what is seasonal affective disorder (SAD)? It is a form of depression that people experience at certain times of the year, it’s most common during winter. The majority of us are affected by the seasons changing, and it can be normal to feel a little sluggish in the wintertime, however, for others the effect it has on our energy labels and mood can be much more significant and impact everyday life. If we already face symptoms of depression at other points of the year, then these have the potential of being worst from SAD. 

What Should You Do?

SAD is only one of the ways that the winter can have an impact on your mental health. Below are some self-care tips that you can follow to help you cope if you aren’t feeling yourself: 

Do Something You Enjoy 

Although you may not feel the motivation to get up and about to do something that you would enjoy, it’s one of the best ways to tackle feeling down. You could even try doing something new and looking at things such as A Beginner’s Introduction to the Basics of Woodturning or starting a cooking course online. 

Make The Most Of Natural Light

Ok, so being outdoors through the winter won’t cure SAD. However, it is something that can help to ease it slightly. It is always worth making the effort to get some natural light in when you can. 

Try To Avoid Stress 

This can be easier said than done, and more people find that they experience more stress during the winter. If you find this time of the year more difficult, think about planning ahead and minimize the number of stressful activities you take on. If you know that something brings you more stress, could you organize it for another time of the year? Particularly huge tasks like moving home or changing your job. 

Exercise And Eat Well

You should try to stay physically active in the winter. You may not feel like it all the time, however, physical activity is a really effective way of lifting your moos and improving your energy levels. You don’t have to do anything that is extremely strenuous, gardening, a gentle walk, or doing housework can even help. If you can do something outdoors, such as the countryside or park, it can be especially helpful. 

A healthy diet is also something that is extremely important, and you should always try to balance the common SAD cravings for carbs, such as pasta and potatoes, with plenty of vegetables and fruit. For some people taking an extra Vitamin D or B12 supplement is helpful. 

Do you have any other ways that help you stay positive during the winter? Please share them in the comments. 

October 15, 2020

8 Ways You Can Have A Healthier Lifestyle With A Busy Routine

Note: This post has been contributed.

There are always loads of tricks and tips to help you navigate a busy life. Large workloads can lead to stress, change your eating habits, and make you have bad choices. However, there are ways you can have a healthier lifestyle even when you have a bust routine, you just need to use a few life hacks to help.

Image by silviarita from Pixabay 

Have a look below at 8 of the hacks you should be using to help you have a healthier lifestyle: 

Start Every Day With Water 

You are guaranteed to start your day off right if you drink a big glass of water. After you have fasted all night, drinking water first thing will help you to wake up and to hydrate your cells. You then need to continue the good work and drink water throughout the day. Try having a water bottle that you can refill, it may seem simple, however, having a water bottle encourages you to drink more. 

Meal Prep

Often the people who have a bust schedule are the people who choose a grab and go lunch or a takeaway at the end of the day. Try making your meals ahead of time, it will not only reduce the stress of needing to cook or find lunch, but it will also enable you to eat better. Grab and go foods or takeaways tend to be higher in fat and sugar than homemade foods, so have look at some recipes online and start prepping. You could set aside one day at the weekend to batch cook and freeze your cooking, kind of like ready meals but healthier. Making things like breakfast muffins or protein bites are also great for grab and go foods throughout the working week. 

Do Your Food Shopping Online 

One excuse that many people use when they have a busy lifestyle is the lack of time to go to the shop and complete a full and healthy food shop for the week,. However, the wonderful internet, has that excuse crossed off. It can be much less stressful, quicker, and often cheaper to shop online for your food. If you are trying to live a healthy lifestyle and buy better food choices, doing your food shop online is also a brilliant way to stick to a list and not get distracted by the chocolate aisle. 

Keep Your Immunity Strong

It’s more important than ever to have a strong immune system. Therefore you need to make sure you are getting the right level of nutrition and vitamins each day. It could be a good idea to have a look at your medicine cabinet and top up on any supplements or vitamins that you have run out of or may need to start including. You may also want to make sure you have the right medicines to tackle things like the common cold. 

Realize That Sleep Is Important

Sleep is one of the most important aspects of a healthy lifestyle. If you don’t get enough of it, it can have a bad impact on your health, your energy levels, your appetite, and your concentration. You need to realize that sleep is important and make it a priority. Have a good bedtime routine that fits in with your busy lifestyle and reach your healthy lifestyle goals. 

Exercise Is A Must 

You will see exercise appear whenever anyone talks about a healthy lifestyle, this is because it is important and a big part of being healthy. Exercising can help you to improve your sleep, feel more energized, and keep your body working well. One of the reasons people fail to exercise is because they don’t enjoy the exercise they are doing and feel as though it is a chore. The best thing you can do is to try a few different exercises until you find something you enjoy. If you do this then it makes it more likely to become part of your routine and makes it much more sustainable. 

Practice Self-Care

It doesn’t matter how busy you get, you need ot make sure you are taking care of yourself. So, as well as making sure you are healthy, you need to practice self-care. It can be as simple as making sure you order your new glasses from Eyeglasses.com, going to your routine dentist appointment, putting on a face mask, or getting enough sleep. Self-care will be different for everyone, so it’s about finding what is best for you. You may want to make sure you pencil in the time to read a chapter of your book in the evening, have a catch up with some friends once a week, or go for an extra-long walk on the weekend, whatever works for you and makes you happy. 

Plan A Schedule 

You may be surprised to hear that not every person with a busy routine finds the time to actually create a schedule. One of the easiest ways for you to stay on top of your lifestyle is to make sure you have a schedule written out and use lists as much as you can.

Your schedule will be your guide to show you how you can complete each task throughout the day, and where you are able to fit-in your healthy lifestyle activities. This may seem like more work and stress, however, if you stick to it and become more organized you will help to improve your well-being and productivity. You could also utilize journaling as a way to track your eating habits, your water intake, or your exercise and sleep. If you keep track of your daily routine, it will help you to make the small changes that are needed to get you healthier. 

If you start to include these 8 hacks in your daily life you will soon be on your way to feeling and looking healthier without feeling like you are putting in a stressful amount of effort. Is there anything that you to help yourself stay healthy? Please share some of your tips in the comments below. 

January 14, 2020

What To Do If You Think Your Area Needs Help

Note: This post has been contributed.

If you live in an area of the world that you believe needs more attention and help, one of the best things you can do is decide to call attention to this. Many politicians, even local politicians, may just be in it for the money and not truly care what residents think - which is why you need to be so loud that you can’t be ignored. Below, you’ll get some suggestions on what to do if your area needs help:

Peaceful Protest 
Whether they are building a road somewhere that will destroy a beautiful area, or failing to do something that has caused issues for a long time, it could be time to gather people together and peaceful protest. This makes a statement and could very well get media coverage. 

Start A Petition
Petitions can be very powerful if they get enough signatures. Create one and share it on your socials, asking others to do the same. If it gets enough attention, you could get thousands, even hundreds of thousands of signatures. 

See If You Can Make A Change Yourself
Volunteering is always a noble thing to do. You could take clothes to homeless people in your area, or point them in the direction of a shelter. Putting in a little time and energy to help others will go a long way.

The infographic below will give you an idea of what makes a successful public policy. Do you think there should be a change?

credit to Norwich University

January 04, 2020

How To Have a More Spiritual 2020

Note: This post has been contributed.

Most of us have areas of our lives that we’d like to improve in the forthcoming year. But when you speak to people, you’ll find that their ambitions fall into the same categories: they want to improve their appearance in one way or another (dieting or visiting the gym), they want to progress in their career, they want to improve at sports, or they want to travel more. There is, of course, nothing wrong with those ambitions, but it can feel like one important aspect of life is continually overlooked -- the spiritual side. There is a lot of value on working on this aspect of yourself, including feeling more fulfilled and content. 

If you want to have a more spiritual 2020, then take a look below, where we outline some useful tips. 

What’s Killing Your Spirit?

Before you look at the things that you can add to raise your spirit, first take a look at the things you should get rid of. It’s all too easy to acquire habits that can drain this side of our being, and they don’t necessarily have to be bad habits, like drinking too much or whatever. It could be things like spending too much time online, or complaining about every small thing. These things don’t bring joy; they slowly chip away at your soul. Say goodbye to them!

Making Time

Everyone is oh so busy with life, but it’s important that you’re making time to elevate the spiritual side of your life. It doesn’t have to be an excessive amount of time; just ten minutes to focus on your spiritual side will be enough. If you’re prone to get wrapped up in the necessities of daily life, then look at building reminders into your life. You could wear religious jewellery, for instance, or download an app that’ll prompt you to meditate. Putting a little bit of time aside each day really can have a profound impact on your life, and it’s not possible to build a spiritual life without dedicating the time. You wouldn’t expect to get fit and healthy if you only visited the gym once every couple of weeks; the same principle applies to your spirit.

Help Others

We live in a culture that pushes people towards thinking about themselves. It’s all about the self, not the community. But a spiritual soul knows that we’re not just individuals walking through life; we’re a big family. And there is a lot of value, both spiritually and mentality, in helping other people. If you can fit it into your schedule, then look at volunteering with an organization. If you don’t have time to spare, then random acts of kindness will set you on the right path, as will thinking about the needs of others.

Giving Thanks

Finally, take time to give thanks for all that you have in life. If you’ve got a roof over your head, food in your fridge, and loved ones in your life, then you’re remarkably lucky, and it’s important that you appreciate this fact. It’ll make you grateful. 

A Christian Approach To The End Of Life

 Note: This post has been contributed. Unsplash - CC0 License Talking about the end of life isn’t a popular topic. But it is something that ...