https://goodnewsilluminer.com Mon, 25 Jan 2021 06:01:31 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=6.0.2 https://goodnewsilluminer.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/cropped-favicon-removebg-preview-32x32.png https://goodnewsilluminer.com 32 32 Origin of COVID-19 Pandemic https://goodnewsilluminer.com/?p=1378 https://goodnewsilluminer.com/?p=1378#respond Mon, 18 Jan 2021 11:40:02 +0000 https://goodnewsilluminer.com/?p=1378 Origin of COVID-19 Pandemic Read More »

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It has been almost a year since the Covid-19 pandemic has begun its reign killing more than 1.8 million people in the process. It is very sad to learn that the World Health Organization is still in the dark as to how the Covid-19 pandemic has originated. However, we know for sure that it was first sighted in Wuhan in China in late 2019 and therefore we are fairly sure that an outbreak of the novel Coronavirus began there. To resolve the mystery of the origin of the pandemic, an expert mission from WHO to China to probe the origin of the Covid-19 was due to arrive in China in the second week of this month for the highly politicized task of establishing how and where the virus jumped from animals to humans. But China, as expected, denied them entry visas with a willful intention to torpedo the mission to identify the origin of the Covid-19 pandemic. With China’s refusal to offer entry visas to the WHO team, it can be confirmed that China is determined to control the origin story of the virus.

It may be recalled that U.S. President Donald Trump called the pandemic the ‘China virus.’ What worries the world still is the fact that China has so far resisted pressure for an independent probe, which means that China deliberately wants to hush up something in connection with the origin of the Covid-19 pandemic. The whole world was caught up in the grip of fear of being infected with the novel coronavirus and rumors were doing the rounds as to how the deadly disease originated and invaded people all over the world. One rumor that gained currency was that the coronavirus outbreak in an omnivorous wet market in Wuhan. As China is a country where people love to eat anything alive, there was the possibility of an outbreak of coronavirus from certain animals. Another version of the rumor is that the deadly Covid-19 virus was somehow leaked from the Chinese military lab in Wuhan and thus caused this deadly pandemic. Anyway, of late, China has gotten too big for its boots since China was able to contain the pandemic at its home. Consequently, the world started singling China out for its failure to share information on the origin of the coronavirus pandemic. The U.S. and prominent European countries were at the forefront in criticizing China for its gross failure to share the vital information on the Covid-19 pandemic. Beleaguered and cornered, China now licking its wounds, wants to block the WHO expert team by hook or by crook. Thus, it seems the world, except China, is never going to obtain the real details of the origin of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Blind Louis Braille gave reading to the blind https://goodnewsilluminer.com/?p=1374 https://goodnewsilluminer.com/?p=1374#respond Mon, 18 Jan 2021 11:32:29 +0000 https://goodnewsilluminer.com/?p=1374 Blind Louis Braille gave reading to the blind Read More »

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From History

At four o’clock in the morning on January 4, 1809, in Coupvray, France, Louis was born as the fourth child of his mother, Monique, and his father, Simon, a leatherworker. The pair formed a sturdy middle-class couple, devout and prosperous. Louis showed himself to be a bright-eyed child, prying into everything. One day, when no one was looking, he took up a sharp knife and tried to cut a piece of leather. The blade slipped, gouging one of his eyes. The wound became dangerously infected, that the infection spread to his good eye. Louis was blind!

However, Father Jacques Palluy saw young Louis’s potential and began to teach him and later got Louis admitted to the Royal Institution for Blind Youth. At the institute, Louis proved to be an apt pupil. In addition to his regular subjects, he learned to play the piano. Playing religious music on the organ would become one of the joys of his later life.

Captain Barbier had introduced a system of raised dots to the Royal Institute. It had serious flaws. Young Louis was still just a boy, but he set out to solve the problems of Barbier’s system. The captain was reluctant to accept suggestions from a boy, so Louis began to experiment at night. At fifteen, he created the world’s first better system for blind reading, and at nineteen years of age, he developed a Braille system of writing music. At twenty, he was a teacher at his school.

In writing about his system, Louis never sought glory, happy to remind his readers how much he owed to Captain Barbier. Deeply modest, Louis hid his many acts of kindness and charity. These were often sacrificial. For instance, he gave up a position he loved, playing the organ for a church, simply because another blind person needed it more than he did. Louis developed tuberculosis in young manhood. As he lay dying, he said, “God was pleased to hold before my eyes the dazzling splendors of eternal hope. After that, doesn’t it seem that nothing more could keep me bound to the earth?” He asked for final communion about midday on January 6, 1852, and died later that evening.

Credits:www.christianity.com

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You will still bloom! https://goodnewsilluminer.com/?p=1371 https://goodnewsilluminer.com/?p=1371#respond Mon, 18 Jan 2021 11:28:12 +0000 https://goodnewsilluminer.com/?p=1371 You will still bloom! Read More »

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Kids & Youth

There are lovely flowers that still bloom smart,
Right in the dead of winter and scorching desert,
Overcoming what seemed impossible and hard,
Whispering hopes to bloom beyond your dream yard.

Accept that the soil needs to be softened and broken up,
For seeds could sprout and flowers could spring up,
The creator sustains with springs and morning dew,
To wake them up from longest night to start anew.

O, weary Pilgrim! Don’t lose hope for the journey,
God can still do a brand-new thing in your life early,
Step into the light of trusting beyond your imagination,
And patiently wait for His marvelous blessing’s activation.

Learn the art of letting go the past failures apart,
Put them behind and follow Jesus for a new start,
Your unwavering hope in Him will never be in vain,
Just hear the victory’s ringing cheer over again,
That ‘You will still bloom’!!

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The dandling touch of God https://goodnewsilluminer.com/?p=1365 https://goodnewsilluminer.com/?p=1365#respond Mon, 18 Jan 2021 11:21:13 +0000 https://goodnewsilluminer.com/?p=1365 The dandling touch of God Read More »

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Kids & Youth

Have faith for he works for you
Go straight! For he is the truth
I am here to follow his path
In the redeemed blood to bath

Come to me to console
As I lost my soul
Could find in the wreck of world
Where it is being sold

My heart grieved,
Everytime I was deceived
For God is there to counsel
Hold me to be in arousal

For he renews my strength
And the feathers are intense
To conquer the crest
Where my soul is going to rest

When I define the life
God helps me to thrive
A story which is hard to tell
God helps me to dwell

There is life called eternity
Where we can be in fraternity
I can see Him, when I die
I am waiting to say goodbye!

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How Can We Stay Strengthened In This “New Beginning”? https://goodnewsilluminer.com/?p=1358 https://goodnewsilluminer.com/?p=1358#respond Mon, 18 Jan 2021 11:06:54 +0000 https://goodnewsilluminer.com/?p=1358 Health Corner

Anytime we start something new such as a new year in our life, family life, new career, or any project, we always have hopes and fears. There is a quote saying “Every moment is a fresh beginning” (T.S. Eliot). The ongoing pandemic causes more fear and anxiety in this New Year 2021. As a child of God, how can we stay strengthened through difficult and stressful situations?

Christians and Stressors

Life is full of ups and downs. Nobody in this world can claim a life full of fun and happiness. God’s initial plan was to let man have a heavenly, peaceful, and joyful life. But the temptation and the sin caused God to change his plan. God said you will work hard for your daily living. “In toil, you shall eat of it all the days of your life” (Genesis 3: 17).

In the New Testament, it says, “you will have sufferings in this world”; “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world” (John 16: 33). Jesus got tested in everything except sin.

What Makes Life Challenging?

The roadblocks or stresses make it harder for a person to lead a smooth life. Life-changing events like the death of a family member, break up of a relationship, financial loss, and failures in the academic field can change the life routine and its comfort. This is where you are going to get tested for your faith and belief. Worry, stress and anxiety can trigger serious health problems which include hypertension, cardiac problems including heart attacks, gastrointestinal problems like ulcers (Bjorth, 2019).

What Is Stress?

According to Sadock and Sadock (2007), stress can be defined as a situation that disturbs or is likely to disturb the normal physiological or psychological functioning of a person. Our body reacts to the stress by “fight or flight” response which is characterized by high blood pressure, elevated heart rate, shakiness, gastrointestinal problems, or sweating. This response is caused by the stimulation of the nervous system which is known as the autonomic nervous system. A person who goes through stressors in her or his life also becomes vulnerable to ulcers. The stress response of the body causes the lining of the stomach (mucosa) could become more permeable or blanch with increased blood flow which can lead to ulcer formation (Synopsis of Psychiatry, Sadock & Sadock, 2007).

What are some of the stress relievers? 

Some of the stress relievers include exercise, meditation, singing, socialization, laughter, Yoga, supplements including Vitamin B, Omega-3 fatty acids, lemon balm, and aromatherapy, journaling, listening to music, and serving others (Worry and stress, Bjorth, 2019). The basic principle of most of these treatments is that it lowers the level of stress hormones, and helps release endorphins in bloodstream, which are chemicals that improve your mood and act as natural painkillers.

As Christians what are some of our remedies for relieving stress in our life?

Rejoice in the Lord always (Philippians 4:4):

As children of God, we are not different from others. We also have stressors and struggles in life just like other human beings. What makes the difference is that the peace and the hope we have in Christ will help us move forward. We can find happiness in God’s presence. Our creator is greater than the problems we face.

Sing to the Lord a new song and His praise in the assembly of saints (Psalms 149:1)

A person who sings unto the Lord or someone who enjoys listening to music may handle stress in a better way than someone else who does not have any interest in singing or music. In addition, scientists have identified a tiny organ in the ear called the sacculus, which responds to the frequencies created by singing (Bjork, 2019). The response creates an immediate sense of pleasure, regardless of what the singing sounds like so you don’t have to have an amazing voice to feel the positive effects of singing.  A research study showed significant decreases in both anxiety and depression levels after one month of adding singing to their routine.

Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing (1st Thessalonians 5:11):

Our Lord Jesus instructs us to have fellowship together, to pray for each other, and to encourage others. Praying together and sharing our burden with others can help reduce our stress. It helps us overcome feelings of loneliness and isolation. People who are strong in building a relationship with God and others can manage stressors effectively.

For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty, comfort the faint-hearted, uphold the weak, and serve one another in love (1st Thessalonians 5: 14-15)

Helping other people can help bring us outside from our problems (Worry and stress, Bjorth, 2019). It distracts us from concentrating on our own problems and stressors. Studies have shown that people who serve others have lowered levels of depression and anxiety.When we serve others, we feel more confident in ourselves and it will increase our self-esteem.

May God help us lead a victorious and exemplary life in Christ by overcoming the stressors by faith, hope, worship, and fellowship.  May God bless us all in this New Year.

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New Beginning from the Old Wounds https://goodnewsilluminer.com/?p=1357 https://goodnewsilluminer.com/?p=1357#respond Mon, 18 Jan 2021 11:01:43 +0000 https://goodnewsilluminer.com/?p=1357 Lens in the Light

In 2019, the world saw the worst fire hit the Amazon basin in over a decade. The fire in the Amazon rainforest, which is often referred to as the Earth’s lungs, was so destructive that the studies show that the zone burnt by fire if accumulated is almost New Jersey’s size. They spewed smoke and ash, covering the individuals who lived downwind with thick, grimy air, harming natural life in their way and annihilating part of one of the most critical carbon storehouses left on the planet.

Yet following this, we heard ofplantsrecovering in the damaged rainforest. It is difficult to accept this while surveying the aftermath of a wildfire; however, plants can recover. Shoots can regrow from parts of the plant shielded from the fire, such as buds covered underneath thick bark or under a layer of protective soil. Not only can plants endure the fire, but they can also utilize the experience of being burned to set themselves up for future fires.God permits Job to be tried by Satan, and he loses his family, his wellbeing, and the entirety of his riches. At the point when the horrible trial is finished, God restores to Job all that he had “Now the Lord blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning” (Job 42:12).

We may probably think that our lives have been devastated by the fiery trials or the past sins, much like the rainforest, which was scorched to nothing. However, the trees which were deeply rooted in the soil were not destroyed by the fire; they brought forth new shoots from the burnt tree wounds. Past sins may have ruined our lives, yet He gives us a new beginning when we rely on Christ. The fiery trials of the past may devour us, yet with Christ close by, he makes everything new. As the new shoots grow from the burnt tree, our life can have a new beginning as long as we are rooted in Christ.

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New Beginning https://goodnewsilluminer.com/?p=1356 https://goodnewsilluminer.com/?p=1356#respond Mon, 18 Jan 2021 10:58:44 +0000 https://goodnewsilluminer.com/?p=1356 Devotional

Who does not like a new beginning? Everybody likes to have a fresh start. It could be a new job, new project, new home, new car, new gadgets, or a new location to settle down. Political parties are looking for a new leader, nations are looking for a new king or a new President, and corporations are looking for new strategies. The business world is looking for new products; overall, every sector of this world, irrespective of age – kids, teens, youth, or adults, is eagerly looking for a new beginning. Right now, while you are reading this, I believe you also wish for a New Beginning. The year 2020 has tremendously changed the world; it was full of struggles, pains, sorrows, doubts, and turned the world upside down. Some of us lost our hope and dreams. Some said it was the year of destruction or the year of judgment.

Dear readers, we are not called to believe what the world says. We are called to believe what the word of God says. In John 5:1-8, we read about a sick man by the Pool of Bethesda. He had been sick for thirty-eight years, and Jesus saw him lying there. Jesus knew that he was lying there for many years. He asked him, “Would you like to be healed? The question that Jesus asked was indeed remarkable. Jesus could have asked other questions related to his life. It was a time for the sick man to say “Yes” or “No”. The sick man’s future life was based on his answer. He is a man who lost hope, a man who lost his dreams, a man who became weak, or in other words, a man who lost his best 38 years. These years did not bring any changes. He was in the same location, same people, same circumstances, and he was helpless. I like the reply that he said, “Sir, I have no one.” It shows his willingness to change; it shows his desire to move out of the current situation.

Now, these might be your thoughts too. I have no one; I have lost my 20,30, 40, 50,60 years in my job, family, ministry, etc. Now Jesus is asking you, “Would you like to be healed?” – Would you like to have a New Beginning? Jesus was not concerned about his past, but He was concerned about his present and his future. The God, who created the Heavens and the Earth with words from His mouth, is here to create a New Beginning for you and me. Let me conclude with Isaiah 43:18-19 “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” Open your hearts and pray to the Lord for a New Beginning in your personal, spiritual, or professional life. Trust God, and you will see it today.

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A Fresh Revelation of God for the Church Facing a Spiritual Exile https://goodnewsilluminer.com/?p=1348 https://goodnewsilluminer.com/?p=1348#respond Mon, 18 Jan 2021 10:18:02 +0000 https://goodnewsilluminer.com/?p=1348 Broken Bread

After a year-long debilitating experience, everyone hopes for a new beginning with the new year’s arrival. To understand an appropriate fresh start, the right perception of the current crisis is inevitable. The sudden changes to every aspect of life, including spiritual activities, were unprecedented during this period. Young and old, rich and poor alike instantaneously got acquainted with a digital lifestyle. Along with communication and commerce, most of the spiritual activities are heavily dependent on the media. The pandemic forced the oldest Christian tradition, Roman Catholicism, to the newly formed independent house churches to reinvent their liturgy, rituals, and spiritual activities to fit in digitally. While sacramentalists’ spirituality is closely connected to liturgy and place of worship, for the non-sacramentalist, it is rooted in spiritual experiences and corporate worship. While carefully crafted ecclesiastical architecture that reflected profound theology sustained its influence on the traditional churches over a millennium, ecstatic worship with kinesthetic movements and speaking in tongues marked the spirituality of the Pentecostals and Charismatics (Albrecht Rites in the Spirit, 1999). Undoubtedly, in the pre-pandemic world, many of these practices were becoming hypocritical and ritualistic. The disruption caused by the pandemic increased the number of virtual meetings. It also produced new worship leaders, preachers, pastors, prayer warriors, and even virtual churches based on social media. However, we are yet to see its impact on the faith and devotion of the Church in the post-Pandemic world. These are clear signs of a spiritual exile of the Church. 

A new beginning is inevitable, but the Scripture testifies that it will have a divine origin. God always produced something new after every major crisis in history. Isaiah’s prophecy attests to one of those historic new beginnings during Israel’s Babylonian exile (Is 43:18,19). It appeals to relinquish the past and receive the new thing God is accomplishing. Isaiah’s first forty chapters portray the “former things”: the spiritual decay of Israel transpired through their social life and worship, which deprived them the freedom to live and worship in their homeland. The second part (chapters 40-66) assures them of the new beginning from God. This includes the promise of deliverance through Cyrus and rebuilding of their temple (44:28-45:1). However, the primary focus is on a fresh revelation of God, presented as a recurring theme with a strong emphasis on his sovereignty, uniqueness, power, and assurance to care for them. Moreover, it presents an obedient servant through four servant songs (42:1-9; 49:1-13; 50:4-11; 52:13-53:12), which is central to the new thing that God is doing is finally fulfilled through Jesus.

A fresh revelation of the creator, a genuine realization of his sovereignty and power, was the new thing God fashioned for the Israelites devastated by the exile. It served as the divine providence for their restoration. Similarly, a fresh revelation of God, his sovereignty, and power is a meaningful new beginning for the Church that encountered a spiritual exile during the pandemic. Isaiah’s appeal that drew the backslidden Israel’s attention to their maker is relevant for the Church that entered a new year, still searching for answers.

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Actions Speak Louder Than Words https://goodnewsilluminer.com/?p=1347 https://goodnewsilluminer.com/?p=1347#respond Mon, 18 Jan 2021 10:08:49 +0000 https://goodnewsilluminer.com/?p=1347 Devotional

The new year brings us joy and hope for a new beginning, and so we look forward to peace and security in our life. It has become a tradition or a ritual among us to celebrate the new year. Practically, the countdown to a new year celebration starts with the Christmas celebration. Many of us had never thought that the year 2020 would bring such sad memories with the COVID-19 pandemic taking a heavy toll on human lives. Just before we rang in the 2020 New Year, we had taken New Year resolution to lead a good life and pledged to provide more good things to those around us. Many of us had even decided to live a stainless and sinless life. But my question is- ‘do we need a new year to make a resolution?’

The sad truth is that if we focus on the past, we will surely lose our energy to move forward. Even in the times of trials and tribulations, we used to receive immense blessings from Almighty God. But it is the nature of man to remember only the pains and not the blessings of the past though it may be difficult in its real sense to forget the past. Admittedly, worrying about our life can never bring about a change in our destiny. If we remain thankful to God throughout our life, we need not think about future troubles or pains because God is with us, and He will deliver us from all kinds of evil.

When we look around us, we can see a slew of problems eating people. But we should not find these problems bigger than they are, and we must have faith in God, as our God is in control of everything. God sees our problems only as stepping stones, not as obstacles, to reach a new higher level. As our God is a God of new things, He can make old things new. Truly, God’s love is unchanging, and God can create things for us out of nothing.

The new year can be an ideal time to make a resolution, but to God, any time is suitable because God wants everyone to be saved without salvation being procrastinated. God tells us to forget the past and wants us to stretch out our hands to receive His blessings. Whatever He does, He does at the right time and for good for us. After all, we are all sojourners on the earth. “I am here on the earth for just a little while; do not hide your commands from me.” (Psalms 119:19)

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2021 … A Season of Light, A Spring of Hope! https://goodnewsilluminer.com/?p=1346 https://goodnewsilluminer.com/?p=1346#respond Mon, 18 Jan 2021 10:02:00 +0000 https://goodnewsilluminer.com/?p=1346 Broken Bread

2020! As the author Charles Dickens wrote, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.” From losing Kobe Bryant to Chadwick Boseman, from wildfires to the pandemic, from losing jobs to losing loved ones, from practicing social distancing toseeing a radical change in the education system, 2020 has certainly been one for the books. It was humbling, exhausting, depressing, and just plain chaotic.

But as with all things, we move forward with hope. We believe that this too shall pass. We remind ourselves not to dwell on the past. We make resolutions and promises. We take stock of our disappointments and victories. We promise ourselves that 2021 will be the year of change. We allow ourselves to believe because we know that God himself is going to do a new thing for us. We have faith and it is this inherent faith that encourages us to believe in things hoped for, yet unseen.

As we closed the door on 2020 and welcomed 2021, we manifested for ourselves a better tomorrow. At some point or the other, we have all heard people say that if something is meant to be, it will happen. Manifestation works slightly differently. It is based on the principle that you claim something as yours and you work towards making it happen.

While manifestation in itself is not a new concept, it has been altered to reflect the new age thinking. Some people equate manifestation with creating a vision board or writing down their plans or goals for the year.While manifestation does involve noting down your goals with clarity and intention, it also requires far more on your part. As Christians, it requires us to:

  • Be mindful about what we are trying to manifest and how we go about achieving it. Is what we are trying to manifest for ourselves in tune with God’s will? 
  • Pray without ceasing. Pray about its purpose. Pray about hindrances. Pray about possible, unintended consequences.
  • Speak life into it. Use small, powerful, and intentional words. Substitute the “ifs” and “maybes” with “when.”
  • Align your manifestation with hard work and a good work ethic that revolves around discipline and consistency.
  • Practice gratitude. What you are manifesting might not work out in your time, but rather in God’s time. Be thankful for the delays because as they say, in your waiting, God is working.

Whatever it is that you are manifesting, allow yourself to submit to God’s will and purpose. Know that “there is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1)

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