4 signs you may be addicted to busyness

The year I lived just outside of Washington D.C. was one of the most stressful periods of my life. In large part it was due to the culture of the area—everyone was busy, all of the time. Seeing anyone outside of work required several weeks’ notice; no one had time for anything that wasn’t already on their calendar. I felt a lot of pressure to do as everyone else did and pack my week with activities. Doing so left little time for the relationships that mattered most to me—particularly my relationship with God.

Thankfully, I’ve since moved and settled into a slower pace of life. But the habit of busyness that I picked up still lingers, and every once and awhile I’m forced to do a reality check and ask—am I overcommitting again?

Brady Boyd, senior pastor of New Life Church in Colorado Springs, just wrote a fantastic piece called Signs You May be Addicted to Busyness, offering some great insights into what drives us to be busy. In it, he bravely shares the tipping point for his addiction to being busy—the afternoon his wife packed her bags, ready to leave him unless he changed. 24 hours later he had resigned from every role he held—a drastic step that helped him see just how deeply his addiction to busyness ran.

Since that day, Boyd has thought a lot about some of the warning signs of being too busy. Here are 4 red flags he found are often prevalent with those who lean toward being over-scheduled.

1. You feel like you’re in your glory when you’re busiest. “I like how success feels,” Boyd writes. “I don’t want to unplug.” If you fear any whitespace on your calendar, your priorities may need refocused.

2. You’re more fascinated with gadgets than with God. Ever leave your phone at home and feel like a part of your body has been disconnected? Or sit down to read your Bible and pray, but can’t seem to focus because your phone is dinging and your computer keeps alerting you to another email in your inbox? Huge red flag! Satan would love nothing more than for you to be so consumed with technology that you find time with God dull in comparison.

3. Your favorite compliment has become, “Wow, you’re so busy.” Boyd writes, “I have a theory on this, which is that busyness is our means to impress. If I’m busy, then I’m important, and if I’m important, then you’ll be impressed. That’s the reason I spend so much time being busy: to impress you, so perhaps I’ll feel like I matter.” Everyone wants to be needed and feel useful, but when it becomes your identity, that’s a problem.

4. You don’t have time for the ones you love. This may be the worst sign of all, Boyd writes. Don’t let it get to bags packed at the door—if you’re struggling with busyness, start taking steps to slow down and find rest today.

“God is not merely a peaceful person; God, in fact, is peace,” Boyd says. “When you and I sit in God’s presence, we’re sitting in the presence of peace. And when we sit there—actually stay there, quiet, still—we come away breathing differently.” If we’re to be more conformed to God’s image, that means desiring to live out the values and priorities that God embraces, including rest.

If you’re looking for a few helpful ways to find rest, particularly if you’re in the midst of back-to-school activities and other commitments that fall can bring, check out Bonnie Gray’s post, Beat Back-to-School Stress with These 9 Tips for Rest. She shares some fantastic, practical ideas for carving out time in your schedule for God and family.

As Christians, our identity hinges not on what we do but on what Christ has done for us. Check your heart—are you finding your worth in a busy calendar and people depending on you? It may be time to reevaluate why you’re so busy. Ask God to help you move away from glorying in your busyness and instead toward glorying in His rest.

– cross walk

10 killed in attack on South Sudan Christian college

May 20, 2018 by  
Filed under newsletter-world, World

South Sudan, May 19, 2018: An attack at Emmanuel Christian College in Goli, Yei County, South Sudan, resulted in the killings of 10 people, including five children. Three guards and a father and son fleeing the conflict in Mundri were among the dead.

A 14-year-old daughter of a college staff member was raped by the attackers who vandalized and looted offices, classrooms and some residences, according to sources.

Wayi Godwill Edward, the spokesperson in the Office of the SPLM-IO Governor of Yei River State said: “It is shameful that such a condemnable tragedy continues to happen at the hands of Juba regime at a time when a Cessation of Hostilities Agreement to which it (Juba) is a party, is in force, and peace process is ongoing… SPLM-IO leadership in Yei River State demand CTSAMM to investigate and verify this gross violation and hold those criminals behind the blatant act to account for this uncalled for loss.”

Wayi Godwill Edward also called “on the UNSC, AU, IGAD, Troika, EU, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and other rights bodies to exercise their responsibility by taking actions against the brutality and criminal negligence of the rotten regime of Kiir against defenseless civilians.”

Earlier in the week, Pastor Johnson Makueth Akeen and his wife were killed in their home in Juba and another pastor who came to assist the family was injured when gunmen targeted the family in Juba, the South Sudanese capital city.

Emerging reports say Pastor Johnson was killed while trying to prevent his dear wife Gloria Mathew from being raped by the assailants.

– global christian news

BBC accused of allowing Anti-Christian bias in Prince Harry, Meghan Markle royal wedding coverage

May 20, 2018 by  
Filed under lead story, newsletter-lead

England, May 19, 2018: A Northern Ireland lawmaker has accused the BBC of attacking Christians in a broadcast covering the wedding of Prince Henry “Harry” of Wales and former American actress Meghan Markle.

A two-and-a-half-hour show, “Good Morning Ulster,” aired by BBC Northern Ireland on Friday discussed the royal wedding and featured, among others, Belfast comedian Nuala McKeever, who asked what would “right-wing Christians” make of Prince Harry marrying a “black divorcee?”

“I do laugh to think, ‘I wonder how a lot of right-wing Christians are coping with fact he is marrying a black divorcee.’ Other than that I wish them well of course. I am just not a particular fan of the idea of us paying for the monarchy and money always being available for their things,” she said on the show, according to Belfast Telegraph.

A lawmaker from Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party, Ian Paisley, called BBC “biased.”

“Once again the biased BBC @BBCgmu broadcast an attack on ‘Christians’ and the Royal wedding a contributor who couldn’t help using it as a platform to make racest [sic] and anti-Christian comments. Another new low!” Paisley wrote on Twitter.

“It was a disgrace and an unacceptable attack on people — think if she had made an attack on people of a different faith,” he added.

The DUP was founded by Paisley, a Protestant preacher-politician, four-and-a-half decades ago. It’s pro-life, against same-sex marriage and supports a nuclear deterrent.

Meanwhile, the U.K.’s Express newspaper reported that during the royal wedding Saturday, Prince Harry will also wear a ring, and Markle will not promise to obey him.

The wording of the service will be more contemporary than traditional, it said, adding that the couple will use the Marriage Service from Common Worship (2000), which uses “you” rather than “thee” or “thou.”

Karen Gibson and The Kingdom Choir will perform “Stand By Me” by Ben E. King during the ceremony at the 15th century St George’s chapel, according to the Order of Service.

Bishop Michael Curry, the first African-American to preside over the Episcopal Church and who defends same-sex marriage, will deliver a sermon at the wedding.

– christian post

Son of Christian bombing victim in Indonesia says he forgives killer family

May 20, 2018 by  
Filed under Asia, newsletter-asia

Indonesia, May 20, 2018: An Indonesian Christian, Kurnianto, lost his mother in a spate of suicide bombings that was carried out by the members of one family last Sunday. At her funeral, the son declared he has forgiven the bomber family, which included children.

“On behalf of my mother, I apologize if she made any mistakes during her life, and please pray for her, she is now in heaven,” Kurniato was quoted as saying by The Jakarta Post. “And as for the perpetrators, we forgive them and I believe my mother is in the House of the Lord.”

His mother, Lim, was killed in the explosion at Saint Mary Immaculate Catholic Church in East Java’s Surabaya area. The attack was part of a series of suicide bombings done by six members of the family of a person identified as Dita Oepriarto. The family killed at least 13 people and injured over 50.

Dita detonated a bomb at the Surabaya Pentecostal Church, known as GPPS, killing eight people. His two sons carried out the explosion at Saint Mary Immaculate Catholic Church, killing five people; and his wife and daughters killed one person at Diponegoro Indonesian Christian Church, known as GKI. The attacks were claimed by the Islamic State organization, also known as IS, ISIS, ISIL or Daesh.

Kurnianto’s mother was standing next to the bomber’s motorbike in front of the church when the explosion took place, according to the CCTV footage. “When I saw the CCTV, I don’t know, perhaps it was God’s beautiful plan,” he was quoted as saying. “When Mama arrived at the gate, she did not enter the church [and] she stayed there about five minutes.”

Kurnianto appealed to the public not to “judge any religions, because no religion asks (the believers) to do evil things.”

He added, “We believe the government has done their best for the nation and state. And finally, God please help Indonesia.”

The country’s counter-terrorism squad has arrested dozens of terror suspects in East Java as well as Sumatra, according to The Straits Times.

Just days after the bombings, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence met with Kyai Haji Yahya Cholil Staquf, the leader of Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) Supreme Council, the Indonesia-based world’s largest Islamic organization, to stand in solidarity for religious freedom and peaceful coexistence.

“It is quite an amazing thing to see the vice president of the United States and the leader of the largest Muslim organization in the world who is very intent on the promotion of religious liberty and the combating of extremism,” Johnnie Moore, an evangelical communications executive and international religious freedom advocate involved in the meeting, told The Christian Post.

– christian post

Indian state imposing patriotic slogan worries church leaders

May 20, 2018 by  
Filed under India, newsletter-india

Bhopal, May 20, 2018: A directive for government school students in India’s Madhya Pradesh state to respond with a patriotic slogan called ‘Jai Hind’ (hail India) during attendance roll calls has been criticized by Catholic Church leaders.

On May 15 the education department said the government had decided to make the slogan compulsory for government schools from the start of a new academic year in June.

“This is a misplaced idea of patriotism,” said Archbishop Leo Cornelio of Bhopal, head of the bishops’ council in the region.

The commonly used slogan Jai Hind emerged during India’s independence struggle and continues to be raised at the end of national anthem. However, Hind is a shortened form of Hindustan (land of Hindus) that excludes India’s religious minorities such as Christians and Muslims.

The central Indian state’s government, run by the pro-Hindu Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), has exempted privately managed schools such as Church schools from the new practice.

But an official source seeking anonymity told ucanews.com the government exempted private schools fearing a backlash as state elections are due in December this year. The nine Catholic dioceses in the state run some 500 schools.

With all schools already saluting the national flag and singing the national anthem daily in schools, the prelate dismissed the Jai Hind slogan requirement.

“It is ridiculous,” Archbishop Leo said. He added that such demands were meant to push a skewed sense of nationhood, which negated the idea of an inclusive society that accepted people of all religions and cultures.

Leaders of religious minorities such as Archbishop Leo have been complaining more widely over the BJP’s pro-Hindu dominance policies and stances.

Archbishop Leo said government schools have students from various religious communities and that such slogans, instead of promoting patriotism, would create divisions by implanting notions of religious discrimination in young minds.

Education minister Vijay Shah in September outlined the intention for the Jai Hind slogan to be adopted in schools.

Father Babu Joseph, former spokesperson of the national bishops’ conference now based in Madhya Pradesh, said patriotism — a sense of pride in being a citizen of nation — should develop naturally rather than being forced on people.

“But in this case, a particular ideology is promoted in the name of patriotism,” he said.

“It is not desirable, especially in schools.”

– ucan

Patriarch invites Catholicos for talks

May 20, 2018 by  
Filed under India, newsletter-india

Kottayam, May 20, 2018: In what appears to be a dramatic turn of events in the more-than-a-century-old fratricidal war in the Malankara Church, Patriarch of Antioch Ignatius Aphrem II has invited Catholicos of the East Baselios Mar Thoma Paulose II, head of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, for peace talks during his five-day visit to India which begins next week.

According to highly-placed sources, the Patriarch has written to the Catholicos explicitly inviting him for a meeting to initiate dialogue and reconciliation. In his letter dated May 17, addressing the Catholicos “His Holiness” (usually the Catholicos is addressed to as His Beatitude by the Patriarch), he says: “We are always in the path of peace and reconciliation in a dignified manner which is agreeable to both the sides for a better witness together as a church and to end all disputes and litigation once and for all. Our doors are open for discussions.” The Patriarch will be in India from May 22 to 26 and the visit has been based on the invitation of the ‘Simhasana’ Bishops of the Malankara Syrian Jacobite Church.

The pontiff will be visiting New Delhi and is expected to call on the President and Prime Minister.

In his letter to the Catholicos, the Patriarch has expressed his willingness to meet him either in Kerala or in New Delhi.

Earlier initiative

In fact, the initiative for a dialogue had come from the Patriarch way back in August 2017. The Orthodox Church accepted it through a synod decision. Later, two bishops from the Orthodox Church had gone to the Patriarchate but nothing much came out it since. Interestingly, the initiative for a reconciliation this time had come from an unexpected source: Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.

CM-Catholicos ties

Mr. Vijayan enjoys a close relationship with the Catholicos, who had broken the protocol and called on Mr. Vijayan when he took over as Chief Minister. Mr. Vijayan had written to the Patriarch expressing his belief that the Patriarch would be able to play a positive role in bringing about peace in the Malankara Church.

In reply to the Chief Minister’s letter dated May 15, the Pontiff appreciated the Chief Minister’s initiative and informed him of the invitation to the Catholicos for a dialogue. He expressed the hope that his openness and desire for peace would be met with the same spirit from the other side. He also expressed his desire to meet Mr. Vijayan.

According to Jacobite sources, unlike earlier times, the Patriarch will be staying at a hotel in Kochi and not at the Church facilities. He is expected to celebrate the Holy Qurbana at the church at the Mor Ignatius Dayara at Manjanikkara and at the Catholicate Chapel at Puthen Kurissu. The Pontiff is expected to receive heads of sister churches in Kerala during his stay here.

– the hindu

One killed on cow slaughter allegation, four held

May 20, 2018 by  
Filed under India, newsletter-india

Madhya Pradesh, May 20, 2018: Two Muslim youth were badly beaten up by villagers in this Madhya Pradesh village on accusation of slaughtering a cow, leading to the death of one of them, police said on Sunday. Four accused have been arrested.

According to police, the incident happened in Amgaar village of the district on Friday morning when the village residents caught the two youth, identified as Siraj and Shakeel, with a quantity of meat. Suspecting it to be beef, they accused the duo of cow-slaughter.

A crowd soon gathered at the spot and the two youth were beaten up with sticks.

They were taken to the local district hospital where Siraj succumbed to his injuries while Shakeel was referred to Jabalpur for treatment, Badera police station Inspector Rajendra Pathak told IANS.

Pathak also said that it was yet to be ascertained which meat the two were actually carrying and samples would be sent to a Hyderabad lab for identification. Meanwhile, two sacks of meat have been seized.

He said four people have been taken into custody for the crime and further investigations were underway.

There was tension in the village following the incident and additional police force has been deployed there, said Pathak, adding the situation was now fully under control.

– business standard

Why you’re in debt and what you can do about it

Most people are in debt. Maybe you’re one of them.

Being in debt has gotten to be so normal that many people never question it. So many of us believe that debt is just a normal part of life and there is not much you can do about it.

In fact, some people even believe that having debt is a good thing.

Seriously, do you really need a ton of debt weighing you down to have everything you need in life?

No, you don’t.

In fact, I think it’s ridiculous to believe that debt is just a necessary part of life.

Being In Debt Drains You

Think about it. What does debt actually do to you financially? It unnecessarily drains away your hard earned money by making you pay much more for those things you buy with it.

When you’re in debt, you are paying money in interest and fees that could be used for things that are much more useful. Debt causes you to spend much more than you otherwise would on the things you want and need (read about how we overpaid for our car).

Ultimately, it sucks you dry financially while giving you a false sense of prosperity.

Being In Debt is a Choice, Not a Necessity

Most Americans, if given the choice, would probably tell you that it’s better to have no debt.

So why is it that the majority of Americans are swimming in debt?

Why are most people not making the choice that they know is best for them in the long run?

There are plenty of reasons why, a few of which I’ll cover here:

Marketing. Every one of us is barraged with over 3,000 marketing messages every day, and that number is growing. Most of those messages are trying to get you to spend money by turning wants into needs.

Wanting to Fit In. You want what other people have in order to be like them or to fit in with a group. So you spend money you don’t have to be part of the crowd.

Lack of Control. Some people just don’t know how to control themselves well. They don’t know how to say “no” when it comes to spending. So they spend on whatever they want, whenever they want it, which results in a lot of debt and the consequences that come along with it.

Lack of Education. Some people think that having debt is just as normal as breathing. Some even think it’s good to have debt so they can maintain a good credit score or get tax breaks. Those numbers just don’t add up.

Here’s the deal: when you have debt, you are wasting hundreds, even thousands of dollars a year in interest and fees.

In the long run you are poorer because of it. You could use that wasted money for other things that create much more value in your life than helping to keep a finance company or credit card company in business.

Being In Debt Stresses You Out

When you have debt, you also have more stress and worry in your life.

You worry about making the payments. You need to make more money to meet your obligations. You’re having trouble saving for the future because your present debt is eating you alive.

Life is stressful enough without having to worry about debt and the emotional unrest it brings to your life.

If you can’t sleep at night and have that constant gnawing in the pit of your stomach because of stress, it’s very likely that at least some of that stress is being caused by debt if you sit down and take an honest look at your situation.

Don’t let debt rob you of your present, your future, or your peace of mind.

It’s just not worth it!

Debt Freedom Is Achievable

I’ve been out of debt (except for my house) for 7 years now. I can honestly tell you beyond a shadow of a doubt that debt freedom is achievable, and that life is exponentially better without that bondage tying you down.

Debt is called “bondage” for a reason.

I can help you do that same thing I’ve done to get out of debt and stay debt free for life.

It’s not an extraordinarily complicated process, but it does take time and dedication.

– cross walk

Resignation letter prepared by Blessed Paul VI published

May 16, 2018 by  
Filed under lead story, newsletter-lead

Rome, May 16, 2018: Thirteen years before his death, Blessed Paul VI had written to the dean of the College of Cardinals to say that if he were to become seriously ill or impeded from exercising his ministry, the dean and other top cardinals in Rome should accept his resignation.

Commenting on the letter, Pope Francis said, “We must thank God, who alone guides and saves the Church, for having allowed Paul VI to continue until the last day of his life to be father, pastor, master, brother and friend.”

The text of Paul’s letter and Francis’s brief commentary are included in a new Italian book, The Barque of Paul, by Msgr. Leonardo Sapienza, regent of the Prefecture of the Pontifical Household. The letter and commentary also were published May 15 in the Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano.

Paul’s letter was long rumored to exist, and in 2017 Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, the vice dean of the College of Cardinals, confirmed that the pope had written such a letter. But it was not made public until Sapienza’s book came out.

The letter was dated May 2, 1965, and was addressed to the dean of the College of Cardinals, at that time French Cardinal Eugene Tisserant. Sapienza also published a note from Paul to Italian Cardinal Amleto Cicognani, then secretary of state, informing him of the letter and giving him permission to read it.

Paul said he was writing “aware of our responsibility before God and with a heart full of reverence and of charity, which unite us to the holy Catholic Church, and not unmindful of our evangelical mission to the world.”

“In case of infirmity, which is believed to be incurable or is of long duration and which impedes us from sufficiently exercising the functions of our apostolic ministry; or in the case of another serious and prolonged impediment,” Paul wrote, he renounced his office “both as bishop of Rome as well as head of the same holy Catholic Church.”

In the letter, Paul formally gave authority to the dean of the College of Cardinals acting together with, at the very least, the cardinals heading offices of the Roman Curia and the cardinal vicar for the Diocese of Rome “to accept and render effective” his resignation for the good of the Church.

Commenting on the letter, Francis said it filled him with “awe” for Paul’s “humble and prophetic witness of love for Christ and his Church.”

“In the face of the tremendous mission entrusted to him, in the face of protests and a society undergoing vertiginous change, Paul VI did not withdraw from his responsibilities,” Francis wrote. “What was important to him were the needs of the Church and the world. And a pope impeded by serious illness could not exercise the apostolic ministry with sufficient effectiveness.”

Church law states that a pope can resign, but it stipulates that the papal resignation must be “made freely and properly manifested” – conditions that would be difficult to ascertain if a pope were already incapacitated. Pope Benedict XVI’s situation was different.

At a gathering of cardinals in 2013, solemnly and in Latin, Benedict said: “Well aware of the seriousness of this act, with full freedom I declare that I renounce the ministry of bishop of Rome, successor of St. Peter, entrusted to me by the cardinals on 19 April 2005, in such a way, that as from 28 February 2013, at 20:00 hours, the see of Rome, the see of St. Peter, will be vacant and a conclave to elect the new supreme pontiff will have to be convoked by those whose competence it is.”

St. John Paul II was long rumored to have written a letter similar to that of Paul’s. And in 2010, Msgr. Slawomir Oder, coordinator of the Polish pope’s sainthood cause, released a book publishing for the first time letters John Paul prepared in 1989 and in 1994 offering the College of Cardinals his resignation in case of an incurable disease or other condition that would prevent him from fulfilling his ministry.

But even a month before John Paul’s death in April 2005, canon law experts in Rome and elsewhere were saying the problem with such a letter is that someone else would have to decide when to pull it out of the drawer and apply it.

– crux now

20 Coptic Christians beheaded by ISIS finally laid to rest

May 16, 2018 by  
Filed under newsletter-world, World

Egypt, May 16, 2018: The bodies of 20 Coptic Christians who were beheaded by Islamic State terror group militants in February 2015 were finally laid to rest in Egypt’s Minya province, more than three years after they were kidnapped.

“Everyone stood beside the martyr that belongs to him and cried a little, but they were tears of longing, nothing more,” said Bishri Ibrahim, father of Kerolos, one of the victims.

“But we are happy and joyful that they have returned to the village. This is a blessing for the country and to all Copts all over the world,” he added.

Reuters reported on Tuesday that the funeral service at a church in the village of al-Our in Minya province was made possible after Libya finally flew back the remains of the believers earlier this week.

The victims, 20 Egyptian Copts and one Ghanaian Christian, appeared in an IS video in 2015 lined up on a Libyan beach in orange jumpsuits, before they were executed.

They reportedly were asked to renounce their faith in Christ to save their lives, but refused to do so.

“I wanted to see Milad come back from Libya on his feet after his struggle and hard work to earn a living in a harsh life abroad,” said 55-year-old Zaki Hanna, the father of one of the victims.

“But thanks be to God, he died a hero, did not beg anyone to spare his life and he and his brothers, the martyrs, did not abandon their faith or homeland.”

The victims have been declared martyrs of the Christian faith, with Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi himself ordering the construction of The Church of the Martyrs of Faith and Homeland in their honor.

Bashir Estephanos, whose two younger brothers were killed by IS in Libya, said that Christians in al-Our village had been praying to be able to bury their loved ones.

“Our prayers were answered, so thanks be to God from the bottom of our hearts,” Estephanos said.

Children of the Coptic Christians have said that they are “proud” of the courage shown by their fathers.

Jim Daly, president of Focus on the Family, which has been assisting the families of the murdered men in Egypt, said in June 2017 that staff has personally visited the bereaved families.

“We met with some of the wives of the martyrs and asked them about their kids and how they live right now, a common answer was, ‘Our kids in their new nice private school have been so proud of their fathers among their friends and they have worked hard to match with studying the new curriculums to stay up to that new level of education,'” Daly shared then.

Christians were relieved after it was reported in October 2017 that Libyan authorities found the remains of the 21 Christians.

“Our Lord chose the right time for the appearance and return of the remains of the martyrs after the completion of the building of the Church of the Martyrs of Libya to receive the blessed bodies of the martyrs to be placed at the new church in the village,” Father Makar Issa, a priest at The Virgin Mary Coptic Orthodox Church in Egypt, told International Christian Concern at the time.

– christian post

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