A Shift in My Soul

On a daily basis, I say my prayers, and dedicate time with God. I pray the Rosary, and ask the Saints, Our Lady (Mary), and for their intercession too ❤

Through, consistent, daily prayer, I have felt a shift in my soul. I have had so many prayers answered, and have become more devout in my faith. God hears my prayers, and answers them.

My spiritual journey is growing and evolving, and due to praying on a daily basis, I have felt more contented. I know who is in control. I have felt more at peace, and who nurtures my soul ❤

From praying on a daily basis, I have felt my soul grow, my spiritual life grow, and now dedicate time everyday saying my prayers, even if it’s for a few hours in the evening.

Why don’t you start praying more’?

The more you pray, the more you give to God, the more He will bless your life, and you too, will feel that shift.

When I Stand Before God

One day, I will stand before God.

The God who spoke, and formed the galaxies.

The God who said “Let there be light”, and light happened

The God who created Heaven and Earth

The omnipotent, omniscient and omnibenevolent God who lives inside me…

I will one day stand before Him.

My actions, deeds, and what I have done on this planet will be shown before me. The ripple effect of my actions will be shown, as will my legacy. I will see the impact of my actions, and full extent of them on Earth.

Before God, I will see the manifestation of every single prayer I said; spoken, or unspoken.

I will meet the souls of the people I have prayed for.

Whilst on this planet, I have done what I can do to fight for others, and will continue to do so for the rest of my life. At times, this may have been fighting a losing war, but every prayer said to fight against injustice, I will see the manifestation in Heaven.

My days are numbered, and time on this planet is short. Only God knows when I will take my last breath before I go home.

My life is dedicated to serving God and people, because I know, I will one day stand before Him.

The Fire of the Soul

Throughout my life, I have always been a practicing Catholic. I have always said my prayers, experienced countless miracles, and have always sought out new ways to support the church, spread love to people I meet, and strengthen my faith. At one point in my life, as we all experience, I was struggling with mental health issues, I was low, and in a bad place.

I was studying my masters degree at that time, and had been in and out of church. I did feel that my spiritual life was not being nurtured as I was so caught up dealing with the storms of having depression rage in my head. When I was in my teenage years, I was very devoutly Catholic, attended church multiple times a week, even attending multiple times in a day during Lent and the Easter holidays when I was not at school. Sometimes, I would go to church after school to do prayers too.

One morning, whilst in the midst of all the chaotic storms raging through my head, all that changed.

After not being at church for over 8 months, I woke up one morning and felt a burning sensation inside me. I got up, got myself ready, and headed to the church just down the road from my flat (in Northampton). As I knelt at the pew, I burst into tears… I felt at home. God had called me home. I could feel my soul leap – there are 7 billion people on this planet, and God had started a fire in my soul, calling me back to the church, where I could feel the love from the people here, and the love from Him. He chose ME, in my darkest moments in life, whilst I was struggling with loneliness and depression, and He called me home. He made me realise how loved I am. 

Whilst I was praying in the church, I pondered on what it is like for atheists, whom have no belief in God, and have never experienced the indescribable joy that God had sparked in my heart and soul. Without God in my life, I would have been totally lost… All the prayers, miracles, and work that God has given me to do, and the faith-inspired mission that God ignited in my life. I could feel my soul! I felt a new sense of peace and joy wash over me, and I felt a renewed sense of energy, and thirst for wanting God in my life so much more, especially at this time in my life when I was in such a dark place. 

I thought back to times in my life where I had been discriminated against due to my Catholic faith by atheists, and pondered on how lost they must be in their lives without having God. Whilst in that moment of experiencing the pure love and joy that God had given me from Heaven, I then felt a great despair for Christians who face persecution for their faith. I prayed to God very deeply. My heart poured out to Him. After doing confessions with the priest, whom also consoled me, I was warmly invited to stay for tea and coffee with the parishioners. I felt like I was back at home.

Even in the darkest moments of my life, God still ignited a blazing fire in my soul reminding me of how loved I am, and how He will always take care of me. God looks after all His children ❤ 

Talk to Us

Talking.

The most powerful thing you can do to release any stress, tensions, upset, anger or worry.

If you’re struggling with your mental health, feeling low, having a bad day, or even if you just need to talk, you can phone the Unlock Your You CIC Mental Health Helpline on 0800 994 9116.

It is a free, confidential helpline, and all volunteers are fully qualified mental health first aiders.

It runs from 7am-11pm, and you can talk to us, offload your upsets, and we’ll provide a listening ear.

In addition, if you’re looking to making a difference in people’s lives, you can email Unlock Your You CIC at: info@unlockyouryou.com if you would like to become a mental health first aider. It’s a free qualification, and you will be helping others on the helpline from your own home.

Let’s talk.

This entry was posted on July 31, 2020. 7 Comments

Responding to Athiests: Part 2

“Is scientific atheism a frivolous exercise in intellectual contempt? Dead on!” (1)

The last few years have been quite a journey for my spiritual life. More blog posts have been faith based as my journey has grown, such as  ‘The Power of Prayer‘, ‘Discipleship, Love and Charity‘. Additionally, there was the publishing of Everyday Miracles; a book full of miracles of what God has done in people’s lives globally, with testimonies coming from people all over the world. A second book is on the way….

Throughout this journey, I have encountered more prejudice and discrimination from atheists, and I am dedicating this blog to respond to some of these, and provide more answers to everyday questions and assumptions that atheists I’ve encountered have shared. This blog is a follow on from the original post I made in December 2016; Responding to the Atheists who made assumptions about my religious beliefs

Jesus did not exist

Jesus existed. There are multiple accounts of his existence outside of the Bible too.  One account comes from Tacitus; one of the greatest Roman historian and senator (2). Tacitus wrote about the crucifixion of Jesus under the order of Pontious Pilate. Tacitus further describes the early Christians as “a most mischievous superstition” of whom are named after a historical figure called ‘Christus’ (Christ). When Tacitus recorded this, it was at the same time the Gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts were written; 30 years after Jesus’ death.

‘About this time there lived Jesus, a wise man, if indeed one ought to call him a man.  For he was one who performed surprising deeds and was a teacher of such people as accept the truth gladly. He won over many Jews and many of the Greeks. He was the Messiah. And when, upon the accusation of the principal men among us, Pilate had condemned him to a cross, those who had  first come to love him did not cease.  He appeared to them spending a third day restored to life, for the prophets of God had foretold these things and a thousand other marvels about him.  And the tribe of the Christians, so called after him, has still to this day not disappeared’. (3)

The above account comes from a man called Josephus who was a Jewish priest, scholar and historian (4). He was born in the year 37/38AD – only 4/5 years after Jesus. In his writing of ‘Antiquitates Judaicae’ (Antiquities of the Jews), is the above account he has of Jesus.

The Bible has been scientifically disproved

Going back to my first point, with evidence of Jesus’ existence, this overrides this argument. Science does not override history. Historical accounts have proven the existence of Jesus. 

You’re deluded/it’s a bunch of fairy tales

…. Yeah… and I love wearing my long red coat, and pretending I’m little red riding hood…. 

Do people realise how ignorant these statements are? As previously highlighted, there is evidence that Christ existed. Christianity makes up 33% of the world’s population (the world’s largest religious group, followed by Islam at 24%),  (5), and so to say that 1/3 of the world’s population is deluded for believing in ‘fairy tales’, is another thoughtless comment. 

To make matters more uncomfortable, more people globally have been killed by atheists – see below (6).

  • Pol Pol; an ardent atheist, and the Khmer Rouge, killed between 1.5-2 million people in Cambodia between 1975-1979
  • Hitler hated Christianity as much as Judaism, and killed 11 million. 
  • Deaths in Soviet Russia between 1917-1987 under communist rule accumulated to 61 million deaths
  • Mao Zedong was responsible for the deaths of 20-46 million people in China (7) (8) (9)

Furthermore, millions of people globally experience the power of God in their own lives through Answered Prayers, spiritual experiences and miracles. I’ve often wondered why people so dismissive of these experiences and encounters? Check out the above links – what have you got to lose?  

Those who are Christian/follow a religious belief are uneducated and stupid.

I’ve encountered this on multiple occasions..and it’s another arrogant assumption. There is no correlation between intelligence and faith, and it is disrespectful and discriminatory to say that someone is an idiot for what they believe in. 

If this were the case, explain the example of Dr Antony Flew? He was friends with Richard Dawkins and was an outspoken atheist…. who converted to Christianity after doing extensive research. He intended on disproving the existence of God, but found more evidence for God, and converted to Deism, and the belief of a supreme being and higher intelligence. (10) (11) (12).  Professor Antony Flew was a top scientist along with Richard Dawkins; he was not an uneducated or a stupid person – his testimony flies in the face of this statement. Furthermore, the case of Professor Antony Flew challenges the perception that Christians cannot be scientists.

Additionally  there is this article from Aleteia (2019) which explores the conversion of three former atheists to Catholicism. All 3 of them did research, had ‘encounters with God’, and found their way to Christ;. None of them are stupid – they researched it, and found Christ, and are all educated women (13). (Perhaps all atheists who think this should do the same, and let’s see where it leads 😉 ) 

You cannot be a scientist and Christian

When I hear this statement, I often wonder if they forgot that many of the original scientists were actually Christian. Many great Christians contributed to the development of science and scientific theories, such as Lise Meitener, whom was the second woman to get a doctorate at the university of Vienna (14). Lise was born into a Jewish family, but converted to Christianity. Along with her team, she discovered nuclear fission.

Another example is Galileo; who is considered to be one of the most highly influential physicists, astronomers, inventors and scientists to ever lived. Whilst his work caused him to come into conflict with the church, he remained a devout Christian (15). He invented the telescope in 1609 which enabled him to see 20 times more than the naked eye, and was able to identify that the planets all revolve around the sun, and are therefore, proving the Earth was geometric (16)

Feel free to share you thoughts and ideas – no hate or disrespect. 

References

(1) David Berlinski ‘The Devil’s Delusion’ (Basic Books, 2009)

(2) Reasonable Theology ‘Jesus Outside the Bible, 1: Tacitus’ Available online at: https://reasonabletheology.org/jesus-outside-the-bible-1-tacitus/   Accessed on 19/04/2020

(3) Flavious Josephus Home Page ‘Josephus’ Account of Jesus.  The Testimonium Flavinum: Available online at: http://www.josephus.org/testimonium.htm  Accessed on 30/04/2020

(4) Britannica ‘Biography of Flavius Josephus’ Available online at: https://www.britannica.com/biography/Flavius-Josephus   Accessed on 30/04/2020

(5) World Population Review Religion by Country Available online at: https://worldpopulationreview.com/countries/religion-by-country/  Accessed on 26/05/2020

(6) Premier Christianity ‘5 Uncomfortable Facts Atheists Need to Hear’ Available online at: https://www.premierchristianity.com/Blog/5-uncomfortable-facts-atheists-need-to-hear  Accessed on 15/06/2020

(7) Patrick Heuveline, “The Demographic Analysis of Mortality Crises: The Case of Cambodia, 1970–1979”. Forced Migration and Mortality (2001)National Academies Press. pp. 102–105

(8) Ian Johnson Who Killed More: Hitler, Stalin, or Mao? Available online at: https://www.nybooks.com/daily/2018/02/05/who-killed-more-hitler-stalin-or-mao/  Accessed on 15/06/2020

(9) Joseph Rudolph Rummel ‘Death By Government’ (1994: New Brunswick Transaction Publishers, p. 10, 15, 25)

(10) Creation Ministries International ‘Former Leading Atheist Argues for the Existence of God’ Available online at: https://creation.com/review-there-is-a-god-by-antony-flew  Accessed on 29/05/2020

(11) William Crawley ‘The Athiest who Changed His Mind’  Available online at: https://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/ni/2010/04/antony_flew_the_atheist_who_ch.html   Accessed on 29/05/2020

(12) Mark Oppenheimer ‘The Turning of An Athiest’ Available online at:  https://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/04/magazine/04Flew-t.html           Accessed on 02/06/2020

(13) Aleteia ‘These Three Women, All Former Atheists, Found their Way Back to the Catholic Church’ Available online at:  ‘https://aleteia.org/2019/11/12/these-three-women-all-former-atheists-found-their-way-into-the-catholic-church/   Accessed on 30/05/2020

(14) Tyler Huckabee ‘9 Groundbreaking Scientists who Happened to be Christians’ Available online at: https://relevantmagazine.com/god/9-groundbreaking-scientists-who-happened-be-christians/                            Accessed on 30/05/2020

(15) Ibid – I do recommend having a read of this article – very interesting!

(16) The Galileo Project ‘Galileo’s Telescope’ Available online at: http://galileo.rice.edu/bio/narrative_6.html   Accessed on 30/05/2020

Other books and articles I highly recommend

Amy Orr-Ewing ‘But Is It Real?’ Answering 10 Common Objections to the Christian Faith’ (Inter-Varsity Press, 2008)

David Berlinski ‘The Devil’s Delusion’ (Basic Books, 2009)

Professor Antony Flew ‘There is a God‘ (HarperOne, 2007)

Roger Carswell Before You Say “I Don’t Believe” (10 Publishing, 2014)

Adrian Chiles ‘My Atheist Family was Appalled when  I converted to Catholicism; But it’s Given me Great Peace’ Available online at: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/jan/08/atheist-family-catholicism-40s-peace-father-ben   Accessed on 30/05/2020#

Rosaline W. Picard ‘Sample of Famous Artists and Scientists who were Christians’ Available online at: http://web.media.mit.edu/~picard/personal/great_xians.php Accessed on 30/05/2020

Antony Flew ‘BeThinking: Professor Antony Flew Reviews the God Delusion’ Available online at: https://www.bethinking.org/atheism/professor-antony-flew-reviews-the-god-delusion Accessed on 02/06/2020

Science News ‘Richard Dawkins branded ‘Secular Bigot’ by veteran philosopher’ Available online at: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/science/science-news/3348563/Richard-Dawkins-branded-secularist-bigot-by-veteran-philosopher.html Accessed on 02/06/2020

When I grow up what will I be?

Thoughts from the criminology team

A 6 months old @flowerviolet

Wherever I go in life, whatever I do, as long as I am helping others and making a positive difference, I will be happy”

For many years, that has been my take on looking for jobs – helping people, and making a positive difference.

What will I do with my life? Where will life lead me? I’ll say my prayers, and find out!

As a child (between 5-9 years old), I wanted to be a nurse; I have a caring nature, and love helping people! Imagining myself in a nurse’s uniform, and putting bandages on patients and making them better, was something I dreamed about.

Life moves forward, and at the age of 13 I wanted to be so much!

I considered becoming a teacher of either English or Religious Studies. At 13, I loved English and learning about all world faiths. It fascinated me!…

View original post 1,495 more words

“I Can’t Breathe…”

“I can’t breathe” … “I can’t breathe”

Those haunting words were the last of George Floyd whom, after 8 minutes and 46 seconds of having a police officer kneel on his neck, lost his life.

The video of his death sparked outrage, and protests took place as part of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement in combating racism and racial injustice, and to get justice for George Floyd and his family. The Black Lives Matter movement started in 2013 by 3 radical black women; Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi (1).

The Black Lives Matter movement was founded in response acquittal of Trayvon Martin’s murderer, George Zimmerman, and focuses on the affirmation of the humanity of black people, and the constant struggle with everyday racism and racial injustice (2). Racism is still a huge problem, and has always been a problem globally.

“I can’t breathe….”

Great Britain’s history of racism goes back hundreds of years where the majority of the world was colonized by Britain. Other cultures and people were oppressed, destroyed, brutalized, and dominated by Britain through violence and control (3) (4).

It is still an issue today, and statistics from the Home Office Report for 2018-2019 on Hate Crimes highlight that the majority were race-related hate crimes (5). Of all hate crimes recorded 103,379; racist hate crimes accounted for around 3/4 of offences (76%; 78,991 offences). These increased by 11 per cent between 2017/18 and 2018/19 (6).

Furthermore, statistics from ‘All the Black People in Your Area’ (2020) highlight that black people are 8 times more likely to be stopped and searched, are 43 times more likely to be stopped under the Section 60 on suspicion of committing a crime, are 5 times more likely to experience force tactics from the police, and are almost twice as likely than a white person to die in custody (7).

The US, likewise with Britain, also has a long history of racism… over 400 years of racism within communities and institutions…. The Jim Crow Laws was the legal enforcement of segregation, slave patrols enabled American police to find and return slaves to their owners, often using violence and terrorism to keep them with their owners. And of course there is the notorious Ku Klux Klan ; the terrorist group that lynched and murdered thousands of black people to maintain power and oppression after the Civil War, and all the slaves were free.

Other examples of racism and prejudice are the Tulsa Race Massacre, and the Rosewood Massacre. The Tulsa Massacre took place on May 31st-1st June, 1921, a mob of white supremacists attacked the small town of Tulsa, in Oklahoma. Hundreds were killed, thousands were left homeless. It was an 18 hour massacre, and it is one of the worst cases of racial violence within US history (8).

The Rosewood Massacre took place in 1923, when a group of white aggressors attacked the town, drove out all the black people of the area, and destroyed the place through sheer violence. Rosewood was a small town of only 200 people, of which only 1 of them was white (9)

Statistics from Do Something (2020) highlight similar disparities in the treatment of black people to their white counterparts in the US. These include; black people having a prison sentence that is 19.1% longer than white people who committed a similar offence. Black people are twice as likely to be unemployed; black women are 3 to 4 times experience a pregnancy related death, and all black people earn less than 25% wages than their white counterparts (10)

The BLM Movement has always been instrumental in advocating and fighting for equal rights and fighting against racial injustice. It is, however, shameful, that even today, racism and racist attacks still take place.

References

(1) Herstory ‘Black Lives Matter’ Available online at: https://blacklivesmatter.com/herstory/ Accessed on 09/06/2020

(2) Ibid

(3) The British Empire ‘Entering and Exiting the Empire’ Available online at: https://www.britishempire.co.uk/timeline/colonies.htm Accessed on 09/06/2020

(4) National Geographic ‘Colonialism Facts and Information: What is Colonialism?’ Available online at: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/culture/topics/reference/colonialism/ Accessed on 15/06/2020

(5) Home Office Statistics, Page 5 ‘Hate Crime: England and Wales, 2018-2019’ Available online at: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/839172/hate-crime-1819-hosb2419.pdf Accessed on 09/06/2020

(6) Ibid

(7) Annie Gouk ‘All the Data on Black People in England and Wales’ Available online at: https://www.inyourarea.co.uk/news/black-people-are-being-disproportionately-targeted-by-police/ Accessed on 09/06/2020

(8) HISTORY ‘Tulsa Race Massacre’ Available online at: https://www.history.com/.amp/topics/roaring-twenties/tulsa-race-massacre Accessed on 15/06/2020

(9) HISTORY ‘Rosewood Massacre’ Available online at: https://www.history.com/topics/early-20th-century-us/rosewood-massacre Accessed on 15/06/2020

(10) Do Something ’11 Facts About Racial Discrimination and What You Can Do About It’ Available online at: https://www.dosomething.org/us/facts/11-facts-about-racial-discrimination Accessed on 09/06/2020

Other Resources:

Holocaust Museum Houston ‘Genocide of Indigenous Peoples’ Available online at: https://hmh.org/library/research/genocide-of-indigenous-peoples-guide/ Accessed on 09/06/2020

Busy Signal ‘Police Brutality’ (Song): Available online at: https://www.youtube.com/watchv=sVUjt4HrUj8&list=RDsVUjt4HrUj8&start_radio=1 Accessed on 08/06/2020

Do Something ‘Do Something to Disrupt Racism in Your Community’ Available online at: https://www.dosomething.org/us/campaigns/anti-racist-conversations Accessed on 09/06/2020

Wenei Philimon ‘Not just George Floyd: Police departments have 400-year history of racism‘ Available online at: https://eu.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2020/06/07/black-lives-matters-police-departments-have-long-history-racism/3128167001/ Accessed on 09/06/2020

BLM ‘Black Lives Matter Timeline’ Available online at: https://www.sps186.org/downloads/basic/636414/Black%20Lives%20Matter%20Timeline%20.pdf?fbclid=IwAR3C8q_Nvx6GxuWkqC0JiX6mV2iQgsQwcPiTVRw3BRkFQvw9IGMYZGq-8BA Accessed on 15/06/2020

This entry was posted on June 10, 2020. 1 Comment

Spreading Love and Gratitude

“Oh thank you love! That’s very touching!”

“Aww that is so thoughful! Thank you very much!”

In life, some of the best things are free.

Love. Kindness. Gratitude. Happiness (And many other things too)

Since being in furlough, I have adjusted my daily routine to keep me busy. When out and about, whenever I went past a postal worker, nurse, retail staff member, or any other front line staff, I have expressed my gratitude for their service during this time. All greatly recieved by the people I met.

In their faces, I could see the gratitude and appreciation; their eyes lighting up and warm smiles on their faces.

“Thank you – we all really appreciate this!”

That is so wonderful of you! Thank you!”

Being on furlough, meant that I am able to go to the food bank more regularly. The donations to support the food bank have continuously flooded in, and we even got fresh food, tons of miniature cartons of juice, and fruit and vegetables.

Each week, I decided to show more to show love and gratitude to our front line staff, and to remind them of how important their service is to the community.

Packing some bags with bottled water and miniature cartons of orange juice, I commenced my daily walk around my village after helping at the food bank. Whilst out, I distributed the water and orange juice to postal workers, the village warden, the butchers, retail workers, nurses, taxi drivers, support workers, b7s drivers, council workers and others who were still going to work to help others.

The joy in their faces, the glow in their eyes, and the warmth in their smiles said it all ❤

An unexpected encounter with someone they do not know, and to be acknowledged with gratitude and a small gesture made a difference to their day. Some had tears in their eyes, and others were lost for words.

During this time when there is so much uncertainty; people are anxious, let’s all do more to show our appreciation and love for frontline staff ❤

As previously blogged about in Love, Resilience and Practicality in the face of a Pandemic work was already being done to express gratitude and support to front line staff. On this occasion, I decided to make it more personal, and to give an individual thanks to each front line staff that I see when I’m out for my daily walk.

It took a pandemic for people to realise the importance of postal workers, retail staff, NHS workers, and all other Key Workers… Let’s all show our love for front line, NHS and care staff ❤

Next time you go out for your daily walk/exercise, show your gratitude to front line staff ❤

Spread love and gratitude, and be safe❤