The Advent and the Necessity of Being Prepared for Opportunities

first_imgThis fourth and concluding article of the series on the necessity of preparations summarizes the first three articles and closes on the major benefits and advantages of being adequately prepared and staying prepared at all times.The introductory article of the series observed the following: during the first Advent God sent his messenger (prophet) John to prepare the way for Jesus. And John indeed had a message for them. His message was a call for individual and national renewal and the preparations needed to be ready to be directed and led by God Almighty Himself in all the vicissitudes and changes of life. Hence, Advent is about preparing our hearts and minds and homes to receive God’s supreme gift, Jesus Christ and to strive to live the way he desires. The best way to prepare for this important gift and event is repentance which means the change of heart, mind and conduct. This in turn means getting rid of evil in its myriad forms and holding fast to what is good. In other words, not to be overcome and ruled by evil but rather to overcome evil with good by thinking and doing those things that build up self, the family, community and the wider society.The particular emphasis of the series is on preparation. What then does it mean to prepare for someone or something important? The Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary defines the word to prepare as the art of making someone or something ready to be used or to do something. It means “to make yourself ready to do something or for something you expect to happen”.The second article noted the following points: why is being prepared so important in life?  Someone has clearly and rightly said that if we fail to prepare we prepare to fail! The fact of the matter is that preparation is one of the key requirements for succeeding in life in general and in most endeavors. Preparations help one make use of the many opportunities and challenges that one encounters. It ensures success or at least the satisfaction of having done one’s best. Success should not always be the measure of one’s worth but rather giving one’s best in terms of preparation and doing one’s best in the face of a particular challenge or opportunity. If one does his/her part well and yet fails then, from a Christian perspective, God has something better in store. One must always prepare for the important things in life in order to take advantage of opportunities when they come and to experience the pleasure of having done one’s best in executing significant tasks.In the third article the following points were made: preparations of most kind involve three essentials: knowledge, skills and experience. To be prepared for any tasks or situations is to have the knowledge required to perform the task at hand or to face the situation confronting one or the expecting task or situation.In addition to knowledge, skills and experience, adequate preparations require two essential elements. These elements are discipline and persistence. The word discipline in a more general sense is the art of controlling and directing one’s mind, heart and body in a way that leads to self-control, obedience to what is right, just and fair in the sight of God and man. It is the training of the whole person in the attainment of positive results in life’s main goals.Persistence is the ability to hold on, keep pressing on, and doing all one can till the expected result is obtained. According to the Encarta dictionaries, persistence is “the quality of continuing steadily despite problems and difficulties”. Without persistence many of us would experience failures most of the time. We all meet or face many odds or challenges in our varied facets of life in the pursuance of big and small goals and objectives in life. Discipline and persistence derive from being focused on worthwhile goals and objectives in life. To prepare well is to pursue knowledge, skills and experience coupled with the virtues of discipline and perseverance.In short preparations give one the added advantage of being ready to make the most of the opportunities and challenges of life as they come and a sense of having done one’s best in given situations. It is a general truth that those who prepare themselves well before they are confronted with various circumstances and opportunities tend to do by far better than those who do not prepare but rather leave things to chance.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Guyanese call for unity, freedom from ‘mental slavery’

first_imgEmancipation celebrationsBy Lakhram BhagiratDecked in traditional African garb, thousands of Guyanese took to the National Park to join in the African Cultural Development Association’s (ACDA’s) annual Emancipation Day celebrations; and a resounding call was made for emergence of a unified Guyana and for Guyanese to free themselves from the shackles of mental slavery. Bob Marley famously sang: “Emancipate yourself from mental slavery, none but ourselves can free our minds”, in his track titled Redemption Song, and that was the message that resonated with the gathering at the National Park on Tuesday.The atmosphere was one of unity as persons from all ethnicities, donning traditional African wear, occasioned a veritable explosion of flamboyant colours at the National Park, creating a kaleidoscope that was appropriately complemented with a wide variety of delicious food, exquisite craft, and educational materials.Several present and former Government officials attended the celebration, and interacted with the attendees and exhibitors.Former Prime Minister Sam Hinds described Emancipation Day as an occasion to reflect on the period of slavery and the struggles that were associated with emancipation.“That period of African slavery was particularly horrible, and the challenge for us people of African descent is to establish that we are like others. We should be unified in everything we do,” Hinds said.This year marks 179 years since African slaves were emancipated after a long and hard struggle with the plantation owners.Denise Garraway told Guyana Times that she uses the day to reflect on the struggles of her ancestors. She said that celebration of the day has so progressed that it embraces the culture and displays the pride of the African slaves.“We must emancipate ourselves, not just from slavery, but from mental slavery. The chains were taken off from our hands and feet, but they are still around our brains; so we need to emancipate ourselves, not just physically, but mentally and spiritually,” Garraway advised.Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo and his wife, Sita, were at the cdelebrations.“I suspect that the emphasis is more on cultural and exploring who you are,” the PM expressed. “There is a very rich portrayal of culture, language and dance. There is a fusion and mixture of the cultures, and it contributes to social cohesion. Our variety is our beauty, and you can build national and social cohesion based on this variety,” the Prime Minister said.Several families had gathered at the Park for cookouts, mostly of cook-up rice. One of those persons, Desmond Wray, told this publication that he uses the occasion to deck himself and family members in their traditional garb, and spend quality time embracing their culture while reflecting on the sacrifices associated with their freedom.During a tour of the booths, Guyana Times caught up with Public Infrastructure Minister David Patterson, and he said August 1st should be used as a celebration to reflect on the struggles faced to take Guyana to the state it is currently in.“It is a day (when) we remember the struggles our forefathers would have gone through to leave us this beautiful country, and the responsibility we due them for the struggles and sacrifices they made. My message today to everybody is to rededicate themselves today and onwards to living in happiness and prosperity, and keep working together to make Guyana great again,” Patterson related.Cook-up rice competitionCapitalising on the goodness of Emancipation Day, Chief Brand products hosted its inaugural Cook-up rice Competition. Participants competed in three categories, namely ital (vegetarian), no pork, and obstacle rice — a combination of a variety of meats.Each participant was required to use the Chief Brand seasonings along with Lasco coconut milk powder in the preparation of their meal.Tami Ramdeen, Chief Brand Representative, told this publication that the main criterion for judging was taste, but points would be awarded for presentation and smell.Each participant was awarded a food hamper, with the winners in each category taking home $50,000 cash as a prize and a ‘ginormous’ food hamper.last_img read more

Huskies lose on the road in Peace River

first_imgThe Navigators went on to score one more goal before the Huskies scored their first coming from Cody Hildebrand.The second period was quiet with one goal from the Navigators half way through the period, leaving the Navigators with a 3-1 lead.In the third period the Huskies tried to battle back by scoring three goals, with two from Robbie Sidhu and one from Jayton Wieler.  But that wasn’t enough to match the four goals the Navigators scored in the period. In the end, the Navigators beat the Huskies 7-4.- Advertisement -The next game for the dogs is Friday in Grande Prairie against the league leading JDA Kings.last_img read more

Fort St. John presented with ‘Communities in Bloom’ certificate

first_imgDuring Monday’s council meeting, the City of Fort St. John was presented with their Communities in Bloom certificate and evaluation, from co-chairs of the Communities in Bloom committee Karen Mason-Bennett, and Candace Peever.The city earned a grade of 3 out of 5 blooms, or 0.67%. 64% – 72% is considered 3 blooms.Cities are graded on 6 different categories: Tidiness, Environmental Action, Heritage Conservation, Urban Forestry, Landscape, and Floral Displays.- Advertisement -Candace Peever said when they came to look at the City in July, the judges saw it as very tidy, adding that they were impressed the City was so clean despite the long winters and there was very few amounts of litter.Peever added that they were very receptive of the City’s environmental efforts as well — a special mention on the report went to the City’s Passive House.The City’s highest score was in Heritage Conservation, with 109 out of 150 points — or 73%.Advertisement The judges reference Councillor Larry Evans’ knowledge of the area, having grown up in Fort St. John, and praise Heather Sjoblom of the North Peace Museum for the Night at the Museum event.The judges also sent a registration pack for 2016. The date that the judges would attend for 2016’s evaluation is in July, but not confirmed yet.last_img read more

Chelsea v Liverpool: Best tweets and memes including Diego Costa’s stamp

first_imgTake a look at the video above to see some of the funniest tweets and memes from Chelsea’s Capital One Cup semi final victory over Liverpool.The Blues edged past the Reds in extra time at Stamford Bridge, but Diego Costa’s antics and a compelling cup tie supplied plenty of talking points.Check out the clip and let us know what you thought of the game by leaving a comment below.‘THEY WERE ABSOLUTELY ACCIDENTAL’ – MOURINHO ON DIEGO COSTA’S STAMPS‘NO THEY WEREN’T!’ – BRENDAN RODGERS HAS HIS SAY ON COSTA‘COSTA FACES BAN FOR MAN CITY GAME’ – EXPERT REF VIEWlast_img read more

Football fans lap up Chelsea downfall after latest defeat

first_img It’s the Chelsea giveaway – three points for everyone!’ – Football fans lap up Chelsea downfall after latest defeat Just when you thought Chelsea had turned a corner after a dismal start to the season, think again. On Saturday, the Blues were beaten for the eighth time in the Premier League, this time at home to Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth. The defeat leaves the Premier League champions three points above the relegation zone and 17 behind leaders Leicester.Jose Mourinho’s men dominated the second half but they could not make the most of the chances which they created.See some of the social media reaction as football fans lap up the Blues’ downfall… 1last_img read more

Rivera students dance the day away at music festival

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE11 theater productions to see in Southern California this week, Dec. 27-Jan. 2The audience cheered, sang along and clapped to the music. “Everyone is part of the school somehow,” said Kim Renee Jaramillo, who teaches sixth grade. “Three Irish dancers are the daughters of our speech teacher. We’ve watched them grow. They’ve become quite good.” The festival also showcased traditional staples like the Cuban song “Guantanamera” and the Mexican favorite “Cielito Lindo.” Many of the performers were Rivera teachers. Teacher Tarcio Lara, who led the audience in a rousing rendition of “Guantanamera,” played keyboards and sang, along with student band leader Stephen Coin, on trumpet. Teacher Ron Leos, playing a blue guitar and backed by a second guitarist and a drummer, got the crowd cheering with his performance of Johnny Cash’s “Fulsome Prison Blues.” PICO RIVERA – Where do a Johnny Cash impersonator, a group of Irish folk dancers and some gospel singers come together? Rivera Middle School held its annual multicultural festival Wednesday morning, which is meant to give students a “taste of music and dance from all around the world,” Principal Andrew Alvidrez said. Students, teachers and a handful of parents crowded the school cafeteria tables and floor as the performances unfolded. Three Irish dancers from Claremont danced jigs and reels to traditional Irish accordion music. They held their arms stiffly at their sides as they performed the energetic, intricate footwork typical of Irish dance. Choir director Benny Pritchett’s sisters sang gospel songs with the student choir. The school has been doing the festival since about 2000, when Pritchett came on board as a music teacher and choir leader. He added that he works as a team with other teachers to organize the event every year. “Usually Mr. Pritchett is the frontman and the teachers help,” Alvidrez said. “I just make sure they have everything they need. The teachers do all the work.” Watching his band teacher play trumpet, eighth-grader Joshua Uribe said “I try to aspire to that.”160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Age is just a number! Home Instead celebrates aging with special event

first_imgWith a population of 20,000​ people​ aged over 65 in Donegal, Home Instead Senior Care Donegal are celebrating the life of senior residents in the county with a fun event this week.The ‘Age is Just a Number’ event will be held in the Station House Hotel, Letterkenny on May 9th from 12noon to 4pm.As part of the Bealtaine Festival calendar of events, this is an event that celebrates aging and wisdom while offering everyone who comes along an opportunity to learn more about the services and offerings in Donegal to these young at heart residents and their families. A fun event for everyone, here’s some of what you can expect on the day:Practical Advice And Information StandsVirtual Reality Experience ,Travel The Globe Virtually!Meet The “Experts” Nutrition, Movement And MemoriesLifestyle And Wellness InformationGuest SpeakersTea And Coffee CornerMusic, Laughter, FriendshipShare Your Story CornerFree Draws To Win Some Great PrizesMartin Murphy director of Home Instead Senior Care in Donegal said: “Everyone is welcome, bring a parent or let them bring you! There will be information and support stands on everything from social groups like the active retirement group in the county to health and wellbeing advice and maybe even a game of bingo or two.”Martin added that a unique experience will be on offer on the day. A Raphoe company called Virtual Reality Design will be there with virtual reality headsets, giving those present the chance to experience a virtual walk around capital cities of the world, by wearing the special headsets while sitting in a comfy chair. Maybe even virtually visiting where they once lived and worked in earlier years. This is a unique experience at an event like this and it is unlikely that many of those attending will have had an opportunity like this before.A free tea and coffee corner will give guests an opportunity to tell your stories and share a yarn with others. Local personality and speaker Helen Kelly will be on hand to sit and chat with the visitors throughout the day, about the state of aging in Donegal and what can be done to help everyone going through it.Sr Helen KellyMartin is keen to point out the importance of supporting the aging population in the county.He highlighted obvious issues such as ill health, loneliness and general lack of confidence and is delighted groups like Donegal Volunteer Centre are attending to talk about opportunities for all ages to get involved in volunteering and sharing their knowledge and wisdom in the communities in which they live.Cara House will also be there to offer supports and practical information specifically for those who want to embrace their elder years while learning more about the supports on offer to them. Some of the other stands on the day includeThe Foot and Ankle Clinic,DLDCCancer Care WestNutrition AdviceChiropractorHealthy Ireland Donegal LibraryAll are welcome to call into ‘Age Is Just A Number‘ at Station House Letterkenny, 9th May, 12noon-4pm. For further information contact Martin at Home Instead Senior Care office Letterkenny (074) 911 3050donegal@homeinstead.ieOr visit Home Instead Senior Care Donegal Facebook page for further information on this and all further events.Age is just a number! Home Instead celebrates aging with special event was last modified: May 5th, 2019 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:age is just a numberelderlyeventshome instead senior careletterkennylast_img read more

Can heritage, development coexist?

first_imgAdvocate Sonwabile Mancotywa of theNational Heritage Council and DrAmanda Esterhuysen of Witsface off during a heated debateon heritage and development.(Image: Oupa Nkosi) MEDIA CONTACTS • National Heritage Council+27 12 348 1663/8223Nicky RehbockA recent heated debate, spearheaded by Brand South Africa and the National Heritage Council, examined whether economic development and heritage preservation can take place simultaneously.Panellists who presented arguments at the Johannesburg event included chief executive of the National Heritage Council advocate Sonwabile Mancotywa, Wits University archaeologist Dr Amanda Esterhuysen, Standard Bank group chief economist Goolam Ballim and affected Mapungubwe community member Wilson Sigwavhulimu.The debate was moderated by SAfm radio presenter Xolani Gwala.Although the South African Constitution lists heritage as a national priority, it’s locked in a fierce battle with property development and environmentally destructive economic activities such as mining.And often, mining and industrialisation is favoured over heritage preservation because they seem to have more immediate results and tangible benefits for communities grappling with poverty and unemployment.The other challenge is that business rationalises its interest in fragile heritage sites by saying that development will contribute to the economy and make the country better for all residents. What it doesn’t openly admit is that the trade-off from this “positive” development may be heritage destruction.Esterhuysen believes that ineffective legislation is one of the main reasons why economic development is favoured over heritage.“Currently there are multiple acts, which are very poorly integrated. This extends to the three levels of government: on a local level, implementation of heritage regulations does not exist, and very few provincial agencies have implemented any regulations. While the National Heritage Council exists in Cape Town, it has limited competency and funding,” she said.Heritage needs to be recognised for its social value and communities need to be given the right to speak out and take a stand against development in fragile sites, according to Esterhuysen.“Unfortunately, until such a time when the heritage sector is valued independently of the rest of the market, it will be destroyed. In South Africa, sites and communities are not properly protected in terms of development.”Sustainable development keyAdvocate Mancotywa believes there’s potential in South Africa for heritage preservation to take place at the same time as development.“Conservation and development together form sustainable development. In Africa, you cannot separate the two. People here try and copy what Europe is doing, but Europe doesn’t have the same poverty challenges which exist here,” he said.Because the is no empirical evidence backing up the claim that heritage sites in the country contribute to economic development, communities living near these sites are susceptible to the lure of big business.“Communities are sometimes disempowered when a mining company comes and makes promises of economic development. Often, these communities have no choice but to believe those promises,” Mancotywa said.Economics of heritageStandard Bank’s Goolam Ballim argues that heritage, on its own, offers something larger than just economic value.“It has both monetary and non-monetary benefits. Heritage is bequeathed to our children and our children’s children,” he said – but also pointed out that “there’s insufficient evidence to be making generalised statements for or against heritage”.The reality in South Africa is that although heritage is viewed as important, it gets eclipsed by other, more pressing issues.“In the hierarchy of needs, most South Africans will state that food, shelter, personal safety and security will rank higher than charm, memories and the aesthetic qualities of an area.“People need to be convinced about the benefits of heritage. Today, the pro-heritage group finds itself with an even tougher task than in the past: we live in a society where the single most important threat to democracy and economy is poverty,” he added.Heritage versus mining at MapungubweThe Mapungubwe Cultural Landscape in Limpopo province is a hotbed of contention, with an uneasy dynamic playing out between heritage and mining.Wilson Sigwavhulimu, who represents affected communities from Mapungubwe, believes the solution lies in finding a way in which the two elements can go hand-in-hand.The Mapungubwe site dates back to the first indigenous kingdom in Southern Africa, which existed between 900 and 1 300 AD.Due to its highly sophisticated people, who traded gold and ivory with China, India and Egypt, the kingdom developed into the largest of its kind on the sub-continent, before drought and migration caused it to be abandoned in the 14th century.In 2003 Mapungubwe was declared a Unesco World Heritage Site, covering a core area of close to 30 000ha and a buffer zone of about 100 000ha.The area is also a prime mining spot, with deposits of diamonds and coal within the vicinity.“When Mapungubwe was declared a national park, the surrounding communities were involved so they could understand what it was all about. The problem came with an Australian company and its intention for a coal mine,” Sigwavhulimu said.“The greatest problem is that mining has immediate results for communities, unlike tourism driven by heritage, which has more long-term benefits. But you cannot do away with mining, and you cannot do away with tourism.”Sigwavhulimu’s concern is that if mining activity continues, or increases, the area may be withdrawn as a World Heritage Site.“How do we convince the community about the lasting effects of tourism when the unemployment rate is very high?” he asked. “A lot of work needs to be done to get to the traditional leaders and explain to them the economic development brought by the World Heritage Site, on the one hand, and mining, on the other.”How mining affects heritage-driven tourism is a complex issue, Sigwavhulimu added.“We must get the mines together to try and solve this problem, as the alternative is too concerning to consider.”last_img read more

Reinhard to serve on WISHH committee

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest American Soybean Association (ASA) President Wade Cowan has confirmed the election of ASA’s World Initiative for Soy in Human Health (WISHH) officers and committee members for 2015-2016, including Steve Reinhard from Crawford County with the Ohio Soybean Council. “I want my fellow soybean farmers to know that WISHH is important because it lays the groundwork for our future,” Heinen said. “U.S. soybean growers send WISHH as their trailblazer for trade. WISHH teaches people in their own countries about how to use soybeans in animal feed rations as well as human foods.”In the early 2000s, forward-thinking U.S. soybean leaders in multiples states recognized that the growing protein demand in developing countries was a driver for their soybean sales. Well-researched studies showed that most future growth in food demand would be in developing and middle-income countries where populations and incomes were both on the rise.Today, the trends are even clearer, proving that WISHH-founding farmers planned well. According to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and other economic analysis, developing countries dominate world demand growth for agricultural products. USDA projects developing countries’ demand for agricultural products will increase faster than their production. As a result, these countries will account for 92 percent of the total increase in world oilseed and meat imports in 2013-2022.Through WISHH, U.S. soybean farmers diversify their marketing investments. At the same time, WISHH creates economic opportunities in developing countries as they strengthen their agricultural and food supply chains. Lifting low-income consumers out of poverty is the most important factor in future global demand for food. As the world moves toward approximately 9 billion people in 2050, most protein demand growth will come from developing countries. 
WISHH helps developing country businesses become more profitable by blending U.S. soy into breads, beverages, meats and more for humans as well as feeds for livestock and aquaculture. In addition to making money, WISHH’s supply chain partners help fill the protein gap that exists in many developing country populations’ diets.WISHH and the U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC) pave complementary trade routes that grow U.S. soy markets. On Oct. 1, 2015, WISHH will transition its Bangladesh operations to USSEC since the country’s annual U.S. soy purchases have now reached more than $2 million. USDA funding aided WISHH in forging key relationships with organizations like the Bangladesh Bakery Association that signed a February 2015 agreement to conduct soy flour trials under a USDA Quality Samples Program.After the transition, USSEC will build on WISHH’s work in the human food sector. WISHH will continue pursuing non-soybean farmer funding for work in Bangladesh, especially in aquaculture and livestock, and collaborate with USSEC for project implementation.last_img read more