Archive for the ‘Internet’ Category

Speak properly, and in as few words as you can, but always plainly; for the end of speech is not ostentation, but to be understood. ~ William Penn

The project I’m responsible for at work just now, involves designing and developing a new website to provide our customers with a simple, and easy to understand way of communicating with us. This includes ensuring that the information/text the customer will be presented with is written in Plain English. i.e. It is written with the reader in mind, using non-technical terms that are clear and concise in meaning.

To give us the best chance of ensuring that what we are developing is written in way our customers will understand, we’ve held several customer forums, and have completed some online training provided by the Plain English Campaign (www.plainenglish.co.uk). For those who have not heard of the Plain English Campaign, here’s an extract from their website explaining their purpose:

Since 1979, we have been campaigning against gobbledygook, jargon and misleading public information. We have helped many government departments and other official organisations with their documents, reports and publications. We believe that everyone should have access to clear and concise information.

From the customer forums we held, we quickly realised that some of the words/terms we frequently use when we communicate with our customers, are either unclear or meaningless to our customer. This got me thinking about how we as Christians, and Salvationists, communicate God’s message to the people we come into contact with.

Do we use words that others won’t understand?

Do we use abbreviations or jargon that those unfamiliar with the Salvation Army will not know or understand?

I think most of us, if we’re honest, would answer ‘Yes’ to both those questions. But we’re not alone, even Jesus found at times he had to simplify his language so that the disciples understood what he was trying to tell them!

In John 16:25-29, we read:

“I’ve used figures of speech in telling you these things. Soon I’ll drop the figures and tell you about the Father in plain language. Then you can make your requests directly to him in relation to this life I’ve revealed to you. I won’t continue making requests of the Father on your behalf. I won’t need to. Because you’ve gone out on a limb, committed yourselves to love and trust in me, believing I came directly from the Father, the Father loves you directly. First, I left the Father and arrived in the world; now I leave the world and travel to the Father.”

His disciples said, “Finally! You’re giving it to us straight, in plain talk—no more figures of speech. Now we know that you know everything—it all comes together in you. You won’t have to put up with our questions anymore. We’re convinced you came from God.”

There are many people all around us: in our church; in our communities; our school; places of employment etc, who all need Christ. So just as Jesus had to speak plainly so the disciples understood and believed He was the Son of God, maybe we too need to review how we communicate God’s message to others, so they will believe in God.

There are people living in the world out there…
They need you, they need me, they need Christ;
There are children crying and no one to care…
They need you, they need me, they need Christ.
And they’ll go on hurting in the world out there,
And they’ll go on dying, drowning in despair,
And they’ll go on crying, that’s unless we care:
They need you, they need me, they need Christ.

I recently came across the following and it really struck a chord with me, so had to share it with you…

The Train

At birth we boarded the train and met our parents, and we believe they will always travel by our side. As time goes by, other people will board the train; and they will be significant i.e. our siblings, friends, children, and even the love of your life. However, at some station our parents will step down from the train, leaving us on this journey alone. Others will step down over time and leave a permanent vacuum. Some, however, will go so unnoticed that we don’t realize they vacated their seats.

This train ride will be full of joy, sorrow, fantasy, expectations, hellos, goodbyes, and farewells. Success consists of having a good relationship with all passengers requiring that we give the best of ourselves.

The mystery to everyone is: We do not know at which station we ourselves will step down. So, we must live in the best way, love, forgive, and offer the best of who we are. It is important to do this because when the time comes for us to step down and leave our seat empty we should leave behind beautiful memories for those who will continue to travel on the train of life.

I wish you all a joyful journey.

stream-train

In my wanderings around the internet, I came across a quote which really got me thinking about my own life and whether I would actually be able to say the following when I finally meet my maker at the end of my life here on earth:

When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, ‘I used everything you gave me. ~ Erma Bombeck

My honest answer to this questions today is, no. I haven’t used all my talent for God. However, I pray today that God will help me to use all the talents He has given me, whatever they me be, to help tell others about Him, so that by doing so, when I do come face to face with God at the end of my life, I can honestly say I have used all my talents for Him.

How about you, are you using all your talents for Him?

Here’s Richard Phillips beautiful melody to Sidney Cox‘s hymn All There is of Me, as sung by The Three Sopranos, which really sums up my thoughts for today:

 

No it’s not Christmas I’m talking about (although that is only a few weeks away now!), it is in fact Black Friday!

black_friday

Black Friday, a day that has started to take on huge significance in the lead up to Christmas in the UK in the last few years, having being “copied” from America. It may be something that’s just come into prominence in the last couple of years, but what an impact it’s had!

On Black Friday many retailers, both in our high streets and on-line, slash their prices on many items including high ticket price items giving the consumers the opportunity to get huge bargains on one day only!

So have you been caught up in the Black Friday frenzy? Have you tried all you could to get that must-have deal, or have you just had a look to see if there#s been something there for you without being too bothered one way or another, or have you refused to get drawn into Black Friday?

Whether your ready to spend big or just look for a few bargains, please make sure you don’t over extend yourself financially, as just because something is a bargain doesn’t mean you have to buy it – Only buy it if you can afford it!

In my previous Relationships posts #1 – 12,  I indicated that during my wanderings through the internet, I’d come across a lot of statements and quotes about relationships. So it’s time to share some more of my favourites:

  1. When things fall apart, consider the possibility that it was knocked down for a reason. Not to bully you, or to punish you, but to prompt you to build something that better suits your personality and your purpose. Sometimes things fall apart so better things can fall together.
  2. Everyone wants a perfect ending. But some of the best poems don’t rhyme, and many great stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle, or end. Life is about not knowing, embracing change, and taking a moment and making the best of it without knowing what’s going to happen next.
  3. So often the end of a love affair is death by a thousand cuts, so often its survival is life by a thousand stitches ~Robert Brault
  4. i-love-you In the coldest February, as in every other month in every other year, the best thing to hold on to in this world is each other ~Linda Ellerbee, Move On: Adventures in the Real World
  5. There are couples a matchmaker would match every time – and couples who, for no rhyme or reason, rhyme ~Robert Brault
  6. If conversation was the lyrics, laughter was the music, making time spent together a melody that could be replayed over and over without getting stale ― Nicholas Sparks
  7. The moment you believe that love is not about losing or winning. It is just a few moments in time, followed by an eternity of situations to grow from.
  8. Once you find someone to share your ups and downs, downs are almost as good as ups ~Robert Brault
  9. Forgive the past. It is over. Learn from it and let go. People are constantly changing and growing. Do not cling to a limited, disconnected, negative image of a person in the past. See that person now. Your relationship is always alive and changing ~ Brian L. Weiss
  10. It’s no good pretending that any relationship has a future if your record collections disagree violently or if your favorite films wouldn’t even speak to each other if they met at a party ~ Nick Hornby

My personal favourite is #9, because from experience I know that keeping past problems in the present, eat away at you and can ruin your present.

So no matter what your past holds, I urge you to let it go, leave it in the past, and move on and live in the present, while looking forward to a brighter future without the chains of your past holding you back.

Are you looking for simple ways to encourage your heart and nourish your soul?

In the last while I’ve given you some ideas which will hopefully inspire you to implement them in your own life, and over the coming weeks I’ll share some others with you.

So here’s today’s suggestion:

Disconnect from your smart phone, tablet and laptop

Have you noticed how we all depend so much on “talking” to and communicating with others via social media and the internet, rather than in person? Sometimes I think we get so caught up on wondering what this person or that person is doing or saying about an event that we forgot about those who are right beside us, our family, our friends, our neighbours.

So for one day, I suggest you disconnect from social media and the internet by turning off your smart phones, tablets and laptops, just so you can reconnect with those closest to you, and take some time for you! Having done this myself a few times, I can tell you it brightened my day, as I focused on those who are important to me, instead of checking up what those I hardly know, have been up to.

Brighten your day by disconnecting from social media and the internet and focus on those who are important to you, including yourself! 

no-social-media

Did you know it was the Salvation Army’s 150th birthday this last week?

To celebrate their birthday, from 1st to 5th July 2015, the Salvation Army are holding celebratory meetings from 1st to 5th July at the O2 in London, under the theme Boundless.

Boundless 2015

Thousands of Salvationists from many countries, from different backgrounds and speaking different languages, have come to London to take part in/attend these celebratory meetings. Many of the sessions are being streamed live on-line so that those who cannot attend in person, can still be part of the celebrations by viewing on-line. Everyone has also been encouraged to post comments on social media with the hashtag #boundless2015.

So after 150 years of history the Salvation Army is still going strong, that’s amazing isn’t? Each and every one of those who have gathered in London for the celebrations, or who have watched on-line, are part of that history, and every single person who has ever attended a meeting/service,  a social event or lunch club organised by the Salvation Army, or been helped by a member of the Salvation Army, are all part of the Salvation Army’s 150 year history because all these things have been done under God’s guidance and direction.

For me, I’ve not been able to go to London for the celebrations, and so far have not been able to watch any of the events on-line live, but I have read a lot of the comment son social media, and it sounds like everyone is having a fabulous and blessed time. I’m disappointed not to have been able to share in the celebrations myself, but I am pleased to have been, and continuing to be, just a small part of the Salvation Army’s history, past, present and future.

In closing I just want to leave with you an extract from the Boundless 2015 website :

It is our sincere prayer that at the conclusion of our five days together in the East End of London, that every Salvationist – regardless of what language they speak or in which corner of the earth they serve – would make the words of the Founder’s Song their heart’s prayer and their life’s anthem:

And now, hallelujah, the rest of my days;
Shall gladly be spent in promoting his praise.
Who opened his bosom to pour out this sea;
Of Boundless salvation for you and for me.

In my previous Relationships posts #1 – 11,  I indicated that during my wanderings through the internet, I’d come across a lot of statements and quotes about relationships. So it time to share some more of my favourites:

  1. Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down ~ Oprah Winfrey i-love-you
  2. There are times when two people need to step apart from one another, but there is no rule that says they have to turn and fire ~ Robert Brault 
  3. Under every full moon are lovers in love, and under every bright sun two friends smile as one ~ Terri Guillemets
  4. Trouble is part of your life, and if you don’t share it, you don’t give the person who loves you enough chance to love you enough ~ Dinah Shore
  5. When someone loves you, the way they talk about you is different. You feel safe and comfortable ~ Jess C. Scott
  6. Assumptions are the termites of relationships ~ Henry Winkler
  7. If God had intended us to be alone, there would be more pleasure in massaging our own shoulders ~ Robert Brault
  8. The moment you live your dreams, not because of what it will prove or get you, but because that is all you want to do. People’s opinions don’t matter
  9. Never give up on someone you can’t go a day without thinking about ~ Author Unknown
  10. Don’t smother each other. No one can grow in the shade ~ Leo Buscaglia

My personal favourite is #8, just because it’s true, even although none of us will admit it!

I hope you never take your closest relationships for granted as suddenly finding these people no longer in your life one day will cause you heartache and pain, so look after your relationships by telling those you love just how much they mean to you.

In my previous Relationships posts #1 – 9,  I indicated that during my wanderings through the internet, I’d come across a lot of statements and quotes about relationships. So it time to share some more of my favourites:

  1. Some people come into our lives and quickly go. Some stay for a while, leave footprints on our hearts, and we are never, ever the same. i-love-you
  2. Sometimes two people need to step apart and make a space between that each might see the other anew, in a glance across a room or silhouetted against the moon. ~ Robert Brault 
  3. When you stop expecting people to be perfect, you can like them for who they are. ~ Donald Miller
  4. To be fully seen by somebody, then, and be loved anyhow – this is a human offering that can border on miraculous ~ Elizabeth Gilbert
  5. Our wounds are often the openings into the best and most beautiful part of us. ~ David Richo
  6. The most painful thing is losing yourself in the process of loving someone too much, and forgetting that you are special too ~ Ernest Hemingway
  7. Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom. ~Marcel Proust
  8. It is usually the case that people who know you better than you know yourself think you’re a pretty good person. ~Robert Brault
  9. Today, befriend a stranger, or if you feel up to more of a challenge, befriend a loved one. ~Robert Brault
  10. Jealousy is the art of counting someone else blessings instead of your own.  Don’t waste your time on jealousy.  The only person you’re competing against is yourself

My personal favourite is #8, just because it’s true, even although none of us will admit it!

I hope you never take your closest relationships for granted as suddenly finding these people no longer in your life one day will cause you heartache and pain, so look after your relationships by telling those you love just how much they mean to you.

In my previous Relationships posts #1 – 9,  I indicated that during my wanderings through the internet, I’d come across a lot of statements and quotes about relationships. So it time to share some more of my favourites:

  1. In human relationships, distance is not measured in miles but in affection. Two people can be right next to each other, yet miles apart. So stay in touch with those who truly matter to you. Not because it’s convenient, but because they’re worth the extra effort.
    i-love-you
  2. No road is long with good company ~ Turkish proverb
  3. Sometimes, we need a few people in our lives who will calmly call our bluff. ~ Dr. SunWolf
  4. Say what you mean and mean what you say. Don’t expect others to read your mind, and don’t play games with their heads and hearts. Don’t tell half-truths and expect people to trust you when the full truth comes out. Half-truths are no better than lies. And don’t ignore someone you care about, because lack of concern hurts more than angry words 
  5. Soul-mates are people who bring out the best in you. They are not perfect but are always perfect for you. ~Author unknown
  6. People change and forget to tell each other. ~Lillian Hellman
  7. We are, many of us, a planet orbiting somebody’s sun, unconscious of a lonely moon, orbiting our planet. ~Robert Brault
  8. How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard. ~From the movie Annie
  9. Indifference and neglect often do much more damage than outright dislike. ~ J.K. Rowling
  10. One of my main regrets in life is giving considerable thought to inconsiderate people ~ Jarod Kintz

My personal favourite is #10 – why? probably because I think every single one of us can probably think of times when we’ve tried to help/assist someone who gives no consideration to other peoples’ feelings or possessions.

I hope you never take your closest relationships for granted as suddenly finding these people no longer in your life one day will cause you heartache and pain, so look after your relationships by telling those you love just how much they mean to you.