Posts Tagged ‘abuse’

As many of you will be aware I’ve been off work on sick leave for a number of weeks. As I’ve been unable to do very much I’ve found myself watching TV programmes which I wouldn’t normally watch. What I’ve noticed though in the last two or three weeks is that the focus of the adverts in between programmes has changed – Not only it is now adverts about Christmas, Black Friday deals and bargains but nearly every second advert is one highlighting either people or animals in need of our help by giving a donation to their charity.

While I understand that charities need the public to donate to them so they can continue their work, but really, does there need to be quite so many of these adverts on all day, it really is very depressing. Please don’t think I don’t care about these charities, as that’s not the case – it’s depressing for two reasons:

  • No matter how much I may want to give to each and every charity, there’s no way I can support them all, but they all have an uncanny way of making me feel guilty if I don’t donate!
  • The adverts highlight just how much need there is in this world, and how many awful people there are who are cruel or abusive to people and animals.

Each of these adverts show shocking images of children, adults and animals who’ve been abused or neglected – All designed to pull at our heart-strings and persuade us to donate to their cause. How I wish this world was a better place where no one is abused, homeless, alone, or hungry.

So while these charity adverts are a hard watch, and make me feel guilty, it does remind me of all those who are far less fortunate than I am.

If each of us could give what we can to the charities/causes that we feel are most in need of our help, we can make a difference, and help make this world a better place.

Words can be so hurtful. They can tear friendships and families apart. Sometimes because of a single word that has been misunderstood or misinterpreted by those to hear the words.

Words can be hurtful in their own right, but when added to by some form of physical attack as well, they can be devastating.

Whatever the form of attack, verbal and/or physical, it is an unnecessary and unacceptable feature of today’s world. That’s why I’m calling on each of us to help stop any form of verbal or physical attacks or abuse that we witness or are aware of.

Let’s stop verbal and physical abuse in their tracks now, today!

Following recent events, I’ve been reminded how sad it can be when people we were once so close to become people you can no longer trust because they maliciously spread lies and untruths about you.

broken friendshipSometimes we find people who say they are Christians show by their words and actions that they are in fact anything but true Christians. Sometimes they may even spread lies about other or subject others to verbal abuse. In these circumstances it can be difficult to continue to smile or even say hello, as even that may subject us to either being completely ignored or  subjected to verbal abuse.

It may seem daft to some that in circumstances such as these, some people will continue to reach out to these folks, while others will completely understand that as a Christian we cannot ignore these folk. It can be upsetting when these situation arise, but I actually find it quite sad that some so-called Christians feel it’s ok to treat others in the way they do, as to be honest, it is often just very childish.

It’s sad when non-Christians act this way, but when Christians act un-Christ-like we give non-believers more reasons and excuses to believe Christianity offers them nothing. Is it any wonder the people in this world don’t believe there’s a God, when they see and hear so-called Christians treating one another as we have been treated?!

I know I’m far from being perfect and therefore have many faults, but I pray that I will always do my best to be a good example of Christianity, and that God will help me to live my life as He would want.

I also pray for those who profess to be Christians, but who regularly say/act in a way that does not reflect Christ, because I believe God can change their lives so that they can again become shining examples of His love.

Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into friend ~ Martin Luther King

Zero-toleranceI don’t know about you but there seems to be Zero Tolerance posters on walls in nearly every customer facing office or public service office such as council offices, hospitals, police stations, schools, doctors surgeries, shops. My question for you today is, do these posters work?

Personally I’m not sure they do, as I doubt very much that someone who is ready to inflict any kind of abuse on a member of staff in these places, would stop and consider their actions just because they saw a zero tolerance poster! Maybe I’m wrong, as I obviously don’t have any insider knowledge on this.

However maybe the fact that these posters are even there, make it more likely that someone will come to the aid of someone who is being abused. Or does it simply makes it easier to prosecute these folks because there are warnings about the consequences of them inflicting abuse.

Maybe I’m just a little sceptical that a poster saying zero tolerance is all that’s needed to stop abuse. Hopefully I’m wrong, as I certainly do not condone abuse of any kind.

I’ve been deeply shocked and saddened by the pedophilia allegations against former TV presenter, Jimmy Savile, that have hit the media in the UK in the last few weeks. I must admit when I was younger while I loved the TV programme Jim’ll Fix It, I always found Jimmy Savile a bit creepy though I was never sure why – maybe that’s just my memory playing tricks on me now, but I honestly didn’t feel comfortable watching him…

I’m not going to get into a discussion about whether these allegations against Jimmy Savile are true or not, I’ll leave that to the police, but what I do want to take about today is abuse…

Abuse of anyone in any way is wrong.

Abuse by anyone in any way is wrong.

It doesn’t matter whether the abuse is physically, sexual or emotional, they are all equally immoral and wrong in my eyes. Whether the abuser knows the person they are abusing or not, doesn’t make it any more or less abhorrent.

To those of you to have suffered abuse in the past or are currently suffering abuse, I’d urge you please, to tell the police, or tell someone you trust implicitly, as together we can put an end to abuse.

Please don’t let the abusers can get away with hurting innocent adults and children, report them, report them now!

Let’s put an end to abuse today!

 Your children!

There are plenty of people who would love to have children but for one reason or another are unable to.

There are loads of people who have children but because of family circumstances they never see or have contact with their children.

There are those who have sadly lost their children…I’m sure they think of their children daily.

Isn’t it sad that there can be so many people around us who are grieving in some way for children; whether that be a child that has died, a child they have lost contact with, or indeed a child they have never even had!

Isn’t it even sadder that we hear and see so many stories in the news of people who have physically or emotionally abused a child…a child who in many instances, probably trusted that adult to look after and care for them, but instead did unspeakable thing to them which the child will never fully recover from.

It’s because of this that I urge you to never ever take your children for granted…by “your children” I of course am not just talking about any children you are the parent of, but also any children who is in your care at any time!

Children should be able to trust adults to look after and care for them, and teach/show them only what is good, it’s therefore down to us to make sure we do all we can to make sure we do all we can for the children.

For many of us “Home Sweet Home” will be a phrase I’m sure we will have said or thought many times.

But what about those for whom that statement couldn’t be further from the truth?

There are times when specific events or scenes remind us that some don’t have the same wonderful home experience that we have, however surely it shouldn’t take events or images to remind us of these folk?

There are many people in our own communities who sadly never get to experience a wonderful and loving family home life. It’s sad and disgraceful that in country which has so much, we can still have people who have nothing, not even a roof over their head at night, or food to eat.

There’s those who would have us believe they are living in safe and loving home however when the door closes and no-one can see them they suffer mental and physical abuse. It’s sad and disgraceful that there are those living around us that think this is acceptable behaviour.

Then there are those who live alone, have no family or friends who care enough about them to visit them. They are lonely and long for companionship and conversation. It’s sad and disgraceful that we can live in communities where people don’t care for their neighbours any more.

There’s also many people in countries ravaged by war, poverty, natural disasters who find themselves with no home. It’s sad and a disgrace that other countries don;t do more to assist people in these countries.

These are just a few situations that mean some people don’t experience “Home Sweet Home”. So next time you say or think to yourself, “Home Sweet Home”, please spare a thought for those who don’t consider home to be a sweet and happy place to be.

It’s not too late though to do something to help these people who are worse off than us. We can give donations of time and/or money to organisations/groups who help those in need. I know they always say you don;t need to give much because every penny counts, but I’m going to be honest, the more you can give, the more people who can be helped! You might think you’re too busy to be able to give any time to helping, however, unlike the money, I would agree that every minute you can give does count.

Let’s do all we can to ensure everyone has a roof over their head.

Let’s all do what we can to make home a sweet and loving place for everyone.

How many of you have been watching The Scheme on BBC1? It’s a documentary about the high and lows of life for a number of people who live in a large housing estate in Kilmarnock (near Glasgow).

I’d heard a number of people talking about this series…not always in the best light, so I thought I should check it out for myself. So on Monday night I watched the final episode in the series…and boy did it pull at my heartstrings. The reminder that there are so many people so close to home living below the poverty line, feeling as though they have no hope for tomorrow, really troubled me.

I’m sorry to say I’ve heard a number of people say this programme should not have been shown as “it’s a disgrace and shows Scotland in a bad light. All I have to say to that is Yes and Yes…It is a disgrace and it does show Scotland in a bad light, but unfortunately that’s how things really are. Surely that shouldn’t mean the programme should not be broadcast?

We should be embarrassed by this programme, not because of our nationality but because we are supposedly living in a developed nation, one that has enough money to look after its own people but yet we still have people living in atrocious  and chaotic circumstances. There really is something wrong with that!

Kilmarnock isn’t the only place in Britain where people find themselves living a life where they have no prospects of a job, and no hope for their future other than unemployment, drug abuse, alcoholism and prison. Funny how we don’t mind watching these programmes about people living in these circumstances when they live hundreds or thousands of miles away from us. However when it’s people in our own country, living just a few miles from us, it’s all just too close to home for many of us!

Maybe it’s just that we all live in our own wee comfortable world most of the time. One where it’s easy to forget that right on our own doorstep there are many needy people.

People who need us, people who need hope, people who need God!

When giving to charity, I’d ask that you consider donating some of your time and/or money to charities/organisations in your own area that give help to those in need.

They Need Christ (John Gowans)
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.

There are people living who would rather die…
They need you, they need me, they need Christ;
And their Christian neighbours simply pass them by…
They need you, they need me, they need Christ.
There are people sitting by a silent phone,
People cold and hungry, people left alone,
Suicides for reasons that remain unknown:
They need you, they need me, they need Christ.

There’s the prostitute and there’s the prisoner too…
They need you, they need me, they need Christ;
There’s the ‘skid row’ fella who has lost a shoe…
They need you, they need me, they need Christ.
The compulsive gambler dreaming of his yacht,
And the lad that’s stealing just to get his ‘shot’,
And the kid that’s pregnant and pretends she’s not:
They need you, they need me, they need Christ.

There are runaways who want a place to go…
They need you, they need me, they need Christ;
There are alcoholics who don’t seem to know…
They need you, they need me, they need Christ;
There are God-less people who have lost their way,
And they need God’s love but they’re afraid to say.
If we close our eyes perhaps they’ll go away
Without you, without me, without Christ;

They need you, they need me, they need Christ.

Here’s a question for you:

What do we Christians have that is worth offering to other people?

Galatians 6:2 (English Contemporary Bible)

You obey the law of Christ when you offer each other a helping hand.

As Christians we should try to do all we can to help others – whether that be the homeless, the lonely, the abused, the starving, the broken, or indeed anyone else in need. Therefore here’s some of the qualities I would expect to find in a true Christian…how many of these can you honestly say you possess?

  • honesty
  • compassion
  • unconditional love
  • generosity
  • unselfish
  • caring

Sometimes at the end of the day, some people just need someone to listen to them and maybe give them a hug – I’m sure each of us are more than capable of doing that. However I’m sure if we could all do that each day, we could make a huge difference in so many people’s’ lives.

Job 29:11-13 (NIV)

Whoever heard me spoke well of me, and those who saw me commended me, because I rescued the poor who cried for help, and the fatherless who had none to assist him. The man who was dying blessed me; I made the widow’s heart sing.

Go on, make a difference in someone’s life today!

Even that word “rejectionfills me with an awful feeling of foreboding and upset…

Rejection is not a very nice thing to experience, although I think the impact the reject has on you can vary greatly depending on the reason for the reject and your relationship with the person or people who reject you.

There are many reasons why people are rejected, here are some examples:

  • rejected for a job or promotion
  • not invited to events friends/family attending or organised
  • marriage breakdown
  • abused by parents/other family members/partner
  • a child rejected by a parent
  • a child put up for adoption by parents
  • rejection due to your beliefs or faith
  • rejected by family for something you’ve done
  • a friend who doesn’t want to know you when you’re most in need of their friendship
  • phone calls/texts/emails etc to friends are ignored
  • betrayal of a close friend

Can you relate to any of these examples, or do you have other experiences of rejection?

Personally I have experienced several of those situations myself, and I can truthfully say they hurt – they leave you feeling empty, unloved, unwanted and of course upset.

When we suffer rejection it’s painful. It’s so painful that in the days/weeks that follow, we constantly try to some kind of sense of our pain, a reason why we’ve been rejected.

During these painful days, we may start to feel that the rejection is all our own doing. i.e. We wonder, what is it about ourselves that has caused someone to reject us. We doubt our value as a person, our ability to do the job in question or our ability to have a healthy relationship with someone.

Alternatively we might begin to feel the blame for our rejection lies firmly with someone else. As a result we may become more of an introvert as we feel we can trust no one, so keep our distance from other people so they can’t get close to us.

The other person who often gets the blame when we feel rejected, is God. After all God’s supposed to be in control of our lives and loves us, so why does He let us feel such pain. Rejection and loss makes to doubt that God loves us because we are angry with Him for not protecting us and allowing the rejection to happen.

Whoever we blame for our rejection and pain, it stops us from letting anyone else get too close to us again, just in case they also reject us because we feel we could not go through that deep sense of loss again. We are desperately afraid because to love, trust or hope again we must risk being vulnerable and admit that we do care, no matter how hard we try to numb our hearts.

It can take a long time to get over being rejected, however as our hurt heals we gradually begin to restore our faith in God and our hope and trust in others.

It may not feel like it at first, but healing begins when we face the sadness and disappointment of the loss of our hopes and dreams. We tend to avoid our feelings because we are afraid that they will consume us, that we will never find comfort. But if we act in faith and “throw ourselves” on the Lord in dependence and cry out to Him, He will be the rock that saves us from the overwhelming waves of pain.

God’s comfort gives us hope – hope for a brighter future and for love again. Life without hope is not worth living.

Psalm 34:18 (The Message)

If your heart is broken, you’ll find God right there;
   if you’re kicked in the gut, he’ll help you catch your breath.