Posted by: celticanglican | September 23, 2018

Prayer requests 9/22/2018

Christ, in your mercy, hear our prayers for:

Tony, a prisoner who dreams of joining a ministry that travels to other countries helping the poor

Kelsie, a young new Christian. She is asking for guidance in following the Lord in life

Susan, recently treated for heart issues & husband Fr. Ned

Paul, for God’s wisdom and knowledge for reaching people in Kenya

Nancy, recovering from recent dental work, Mohs procedure, and endoscopy

Betty, lung & kidney cancer with poor likely outcome if surgery is pursued

Julius, a prisoner with a long history of crimes, who has decided to turn his life over to Christ. Pray that he will gain a deeper understanding of God’s Word and be a blessing to others

For all prisoners who accept Christ in prison, that they develop a real and lasting relationship with Him beyond the prison walls

Melissa’s brother, facing being sent back to prison shortly. He is homeless and feeling very lost right now, pray for God’s immediate comfort and protection, and for His mighty hand to preside over the court’s ruling. Pray also for Melissa to have wisdom in how best to support her brother.

Leah, held captive in Nigeria

Amanda in Ghana, better job

 

 

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Posted by: celticanglican | September 20, 2018

Hymnals and Prayer Books – In Tablet Form?

woman sitting on chair using black ipad Photo by picjumbo.com on Pexels.com

Episcopal News Service announced back in 2012 that the Episcopal Church’s authorized hymnals would become available in tablet format for those with iPads or similar devices. As mobile technology has become a greater part of the landscape since then, I think this ultimately proved to be a good move.

Shortly after subscribing to an Anglican email list back in 1998, I recall a discussion about the order of service being made available in a format for PDAs that were available at the time. Although the prevailing view seemed to be that print copies of the BCP were best, quite a few wondered whether mobile devices would shape how services are done to a greater extent in the future.

OK, it’s not heavy theology, but I do think this is an interesting point to discuss, especially where such ideas have become reality. With many visitors being from non-liturgical churches or not from a church background at all, some parishes have been printing the order of service in the bulletin to make things visitor-friendly.

However, there are concerns about whether this is good for the environment. Many find using bulletins formatted for mobile devices (for those who have them) to be a good choice, as well as using PowerPoint projections.

A parish I attended in Houston between 2001 and 2003 used PowerPoint to project the order of service and hymns during its seeker-oriented contemporary service. In recent years, technology being used during services seems to have become more popular, as well as live webcasts of Sunday services and online daily prayer options.

What do you think is a good use of technology as an aid to the service?

Posted by: celticanglican | September 8, 2018

Prayer Requests 9/8/2018

Christ, in your mercy, hear our prayers for:

The imprisoned pastor’s wife in Iran and all persecuted for their beliefs

Peaches, looking to make a fresh start in life

Fahid, who wants to do well in school and for his family to know Christ’s love

Teresa, giving thanks that she received a writing grant, has more work hours, and is getting through chemo without problems

For Barbara, seeking help for her son concerning his treatment at his prison. Pray for his safety and resolution of the situation.

For Joyce, seeking legal help for her son, David. She is praying that he might be considered for release before his grandmother passes away.

For Sallie’s estranged son, who is blind and in prison. He is very broken and in need of the Lord. Pray also for Sallie and her husband to have the wisdom to support their son in the best and healthiest way.

For families of prisoners to be reconciled and restored. Pray for forgiveness and healing in these families and that their new foundation will be the Lord.

Jana, undergoing radiation for an optic nerve tumor

The repose of the soul of Jayashree’s mom and comfort for the family

Dephnie, looking for success in her studies and spiritual growth

 

Posted by: celticanglican | September 6, 2018

Are People Too Sensitive About Social Media Posts Being Read?

wrecked iphone Photo by Skitterphoto on Pexels.com

Heck, yes! I’m aware of no less than two incidents that happened in the past week alone involving that very thing. There are many different factors that affect peoples’ interaction with social media platforms, and some people read too much into how others interact with their content. Here are some observations I’ve made:

Algorithms & Other Factors Affect What Posts People See in Their Feeds

Only those who work for the companies that run the social media platforms in question really understand how these algorithms work. Individual users can also somewhat influence what they see by subscribing or not subscribing to friends/followers’ posts, unfollowing or blocking certain pages/accounts, or otherwise taking negative actions against posts they prefer not to see. In short, there shouldn’t be an automatic assumption that people aren’t responding to posts out of some type of malice.

Working People Might Only Be on For Short Spurts in Between Other Tasks

Not everyone works in a setting where they have unlimited access to the Internet for purely personal reasons. Social media activities, in particular, can affect employees’ productivity to where some companies restrict or even prohibit using social media at work. The latest viral video or most other updates probably aren’t important enough to justify someone losing a job over.

Self-Employed/WAH Does NOT Mean Schedule Freedom

A lot of people naturally assume that a person who freelances or does some other job at home can check their social media accounts continuously. This is often not the case since some employers do track tasks completed using an interface that makes checking other sites at the same time impossible. Also, many freelancers limit how much they use social media during work hours to work more productively.

Many people have large enough friends lists that reading each post, from each person, every day is not possible

Trying to keep up with every post from your whole friend list, especially if it numbers over 300 or so, is like to herding cats. Everyone posts at different frequencies, at different times. Keeping the fact that everyone has different time demands and different numbers of people they’re following puts things into perspective.

Helpful Tips

  • Don’t get yourself drawn into arguments with someone else about whether they’re using social media too much or you’re using it too little – these types of tiffs don’t help anybody
  • Stick to your schedule and don’t guilt-trip yourself into placing social media activities ahead of work and family obligations – sharing and tagging options come in handy when you’re on very different schedules
  • Don’t apologize for not reading every single social media post – consider making suggestions about how they can share in a way that encourages more interaction, such as setting up a group or page the public can interact with

It’s not the end of the world if someone doesn’t always read another’s social media posts, but human interaction suffers when it becomes an issue of contention. Taking the high ground by cutting out needless drama makes our interactions with each other better.

Posted by: celticanglican | September 3, 2018

Remembering Their Legacy

Originally written June 2, 2017, with some changes made 9/3/18

On Memorial Day, we remembered the service members that made the ultimate sacrifice. While we honor their sacrifices, let us also keep in mind the importance of honoring their legacy by remembering their unique place as family members and friends of people who miss them.

Vietnam veteran Jim Crigler made the news in 2017 with his 2,000 mi+ trip down the Mississippi River, handing out Gold Stars to family members of fallen service members. His touching tribute serves as a reminder that their sacrifices should never be forgotten, nor should their faithful service be taken for granted.

Even if we have deceased former military members that were part of our families who didn’t die in battle, we must not forget that they, too, felt the burden of the costs of war. Regardless of whether it was in the form of readjusting to civilian life, coping with the effects of addiction or mental illness, or living with a disability, many now-departed veterans struggled and left behind family members who must also cope with struggles of their own.

Meaningful tributes to both war dead and deceased veterans matter to families. In addition to the typical military awards, tributes that involve commemorating the service member’s life outside the military are often very meaningful.

For example, remembering someone only as “Jim, retired Staff Sargeant, United States Army” says less about them as a whole person than “Jim, a dad, dog lover, avid reader and Italian cuisine fan.”

A Jewish proverb very fittingly reads, “The only truly dead are those who have been forgotten.” The war dead and those who lost their lives after returning home maybe won’t be forgotten in the traditional sense as long as wars are documented, but we can lose sight of WHO these brave souls were.

Whether we remember them each Memorial Day or at Veteran’s Day or any other time, let’s truly remember THEM, as family members, friends, people with interests that often mirrored our own. Each of them matters in the ongoing story of shaping our country’s and world’s history.

Posted by: celticanglican | August 30, 2018

Prayer Requests 8/30/2018

Christ, in your mercy, hear our prayers for:

The repose of the soul of Sen. John McCain and peace & comfort for his family

Indira & family, and all impacted by the Kerala floods

Encouragement for Samali

Esther and infant daughter Rebecca, recovering from the effects of Boko Haram captivity

 

Posted by: celticanglican | August 24, 2018

Cyber Gunfight at the Social Media Corral

Breathe-face-angry

You wouldn’t think that someone would lose their sh*t over a VOLUNTARY safety campaign geared towards getting shelter dogs adopted, but that’s exactly what happened recently when a video about Adopt Protection made the rounds on Facebook. For those who are unfamiliar with this initiative, it involves people swapping a gun in exchange for reduced adoption fees to get a shelter dog.

What ensued was a classic example of somone putting blind allegiance to their ideology ahead of common reasoning. The commenter that caused the outcry conflated a voluntary exchange program with unconstitutional seizure and accused the OP of messing with their rights and “taking their guns away”. Only a sharp rebuke from the OP made them stop their accusations.

What are some important takeaways from this?

  • Regardless of politics, efforts to reduce the numbers of animals euthanized in pounds by getting more adopted out should be commended. Injecting partisan politics into the discussion only serves as a distraction.
  • Although some would like to believe otherwise, not every person with a gun in the home A. accepts the responsibility that comes with owning a firearm or B. necessarily has one that they purchased or intend to use (some gun owners have inherited guns, for example). If a person CHOOSES to dispose of an unwanted gun in this manner, that is their perogative.
  • Accusing another person of trying to interfere with your rights or take something away from you is childish behavior that needs to be roundly condemned. Engaging in the online equivailent of shouting or screaming someone down, without paying attention to what they’re actually saying, gets us nowhere.

Maybe we can’t make everyone we encounter online BE civil, but we can take the lead in BEING civil.

Posted by: celticanglican | August 16, 2018

Yes, People the Families DO Matter!

Originally written on April 17, 2017

VLUU L100, M100  / Samsung L100, M100

The day a person even insinuates that a group of people doesn’t matter is the day they fall into that dangerous, deadly human trap – apathy.

If the family members of veterans didn’t matter, why are there so many outreach efforts intended to give them emotional support? While I’m sure nobody, unless they were being deliberately cruel, would state that vet families don’t matter outright, plenty of people, by their words and actions do hint that what they go through isn’t important.

When a status was posted on social media in recent months about veterans with PTSD, a comment rightfully pointed out that the families go through a lot, too. The OP’s, response was something to the effect of how pointing that out “doesn’t help the veterans”.

Seeing as how the OP has never been in that position that I’m aware of, she certainly doesn’t know what it’s like. Many family members of veterans with PTSD, particularly if the vet also has addiction issues, go through their own hell on earth because of it.

Why does this matter? Here are a few thoughts to keep in mind:

  • People with PTSD and substance abuse issues who don’t get help do need it – without help, they are endangering themselves and others around them. Sometimes recognizing the hell their loved ones go through is what it takes for them to see their need for help.
  • Just because the spouse (or ex-spouse) and the children didn’t serve doesn’t make their lives any less valuable. To send the message that civilians impacted by a veteran’s trauma don’t matter shows the same type of callous disregard that many of our country’s leaders have for military and veteran families in general.
  • Glossing over the experiences of the families also shows a lack of respect for who the veteran is as a person. To act as though a veteran’s existence revolves completely around their identity as a veteran and nothing else shows no regard for them as an individual. Most do, of course, value their family members and to see others show such little regard for their loved ones hurts them, too.

In a nutshell, it’s safe to say that denying a veteran’s family’s need for help does more harm than good. No person, veteran or civilian, is an island, and true healing can only occur when all sides are considered.

Posted by: celticanglican | August 14, 2018

Prayer Requests 8/14/2018

Christ, in your mercy, please pray for:

Dominic, who is having a lot of colon pain and for his wife, Marie-Hélène

Stephanie, who has breast cancer and a 5-year-old (Linda can receive responses)

George, who recently had issues with passing out and for his wife Sarah

William, living with paralysis as a shingles complication

 

 

Posted by: celticanglican | August 10, 2018

The Most Damaging of Myths

Battling PTSD (4949341330)

Originally written on 1/3/2017, with some edits added on 8/10/2018.

Even with all the attention that PTSD receives today, there are unfortunately people who believe that PTSD is something that only happens to weak people. The psychology site Psych Central addressed this and other common myths in one of their articles.

The weakness myth and other damaging ones need to be addressed and denounced as often as possible. The only thing that these ideas do is help create a stigma that keeps people from getting help, and not getting help is the last thing that needs to happen to anyone with PTSD.

Here’s a list of things to keep in mind:

  • People with PTSD are very likely to have an especially strong defense system when it comes to trauma – we must bear in mind that everyone’s response is different
  • The level of social support a person has often plays a significant role in how they cope with trauma – genuine friends and family members who take proactive, positive approaches are likely to make a better impact
  • Warfare is a type of interpersonal trauma, which is more likely to result in PTSD as opposed to a natural disaster or a car accident – sexual abuse and domestic violence are also types of interpersonal trauma
  • There is no deadline for when someone must “get over it” – reminders of the trauma can come up at any time, although many find effective ways of coping that minimize these incidents
  • One should never think that a traumatic event happened too long ago to seek help – many seek the help they need even a long time after the event

Combating these myths and having no place for them in our society is one of the best ways to bring help to all who cope with the effects of trauma. We owe it to our men and women who have served, their families, and all those who live with PTSD, regardless of the cause.

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