Dysfunction is Evidence of Our Humanness (Guest Post)

Dysfunction is Evidence of Our Humanness (Guest Post)

By Dr. Robert F. Mullen 

There is a joke that circulates among mental health professionals. Why do only 26% of people have a diagnosable mental disorder? Because the other 74% haven’t been diagnosed yet.

We are all psychologically dysfunctional in some way. “Mental illnesses are so common that almost everyone will develop at least one diagnosable mental disorder at some point in their life” (Scientific American).

Why do we treat the mentally ill with contempt, trepidation, and ridicule? We are hard-wired to fear and isolate mental illness, and we have been misinformed by history and the disease model of mental health. There are four common misconceptions about psychological dysfunctions. They are (1) abnormal and selective, (2) consequence of behavior, (3) solely mental, and (4) psychotic.

Let us deconstruct these misconceptions, beginning with the latter.

A dysfunctional person is psychotic.

There are two degrees of mental disorder: neuroses and psychoses. When someone sees, hears, or responds to things that are not actual, they are having a psychotic episode. While few persons experience psychosis, everyone has moderate-and-above levels of anxiety, stress, and depression. We are universally neurotic. Since the overwhelming majority of mental disorders are neuroses, we are all dysfunctional to some extent.

A dysfunction is abnormal or selective. 

A neurosis is a condition that negatively impacts our emotional wellbeing and quality of life but does not necessarily impair or interfere with normal day-to-day functions. It is a standard part of natural human development. One-in-four individuals have a diagnosable neurosis. According to the World Health Organization, nearly two-thirds of those reject or refuse to disclose their condition. Including those who dispute or chose to remain oblivious to their dysfunction, we can conclude that mental disorders are common, undiscriminating, and impact us all in some fashion or another. Many of us have more than one disorder; depression and anxiety are commonly comorbid, often accompanied by substance abuse.

A dysfunction is the consequence of a person’s behavior. 

Combined statistics prove that 89% of neuroses onset at adolescence or earlier. In the rare event conditions like PTSD or clinical narcissism manifest later in life, the susceptibility originates in childhood. Most psychologists agree that they are consequence of childhood physical, emotional, or sexual disturbance. Any number of things can cause this. Perhaps parents are controlling or do not provide emotional validation. Maybe the child is subjected to bullying or from a broken home. Behaviors later in life may impact the severity but are not responsible for the neurosis itself. It is not the fault of the child/adolescent, nor reflective of their behavior. There is the likelihood no one is intentionally responsible. This disputes moral models that we are to blame for our disorder, or it is God’s punishment for sin.

A dysfunction is solely mental.

To early civilizations, mental illness was the domain of supernatural forces and demonic possession. Hippocrates and diagnosticians of the 19th century looked at the relative proportions of bodily fluids. Lunar influence, sorcery, and witchcraft are timeless culprits. In the early 20th century, it was somatogenic. The biological approach argues that dysfunction is related to the brain’s physical functioning, while pharmacology promotes it as a chemical or hormonal imbalance. However, the simultaneous mutual interaction of all human system components—mind, body, spirit, and emotions—is required for sustainability of life and sustainability of dysfunction.

The disease model focuses on the history of deficit behavior. The American Psychiatric Association’s (APA) brief definition of neurosis contains the following words: distressing, irrational, obsessive, compulsive, dissociative, depressive, exaggerated, unconscious, and conflicts. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), published by the APA, uses words like incapable, deceitful, unempathetic, manipulative, difficult, irresponsible, and incompetent. 

Moralists and the ignorant assume the ‘mental’ are weak and dishonorable, their behavior bizarre and illogical. The urban dictionary labels us silly or stupid. Adolescents derisively assign the term mental to the unpopular, different, and socially inept. These negative and hostile aspersions on our character are supported by public opinion, media misrepresentation, the mental healthcare industry, and the disease model of mental health.

This ‘defective’ emphasis has been the overriding psychiatric perspective for over a century. The disease model is the chief proponent of the notion that the mentally ill are dangerous and unpredictable. We distance ourselves and deem them socially undesirable. We stigmatize them. The irony is, we are them.

  • Over one-third of family members hide their relationship with their dysfunctional child or sibling to avoid bringing shame to the family. They are considered family undesirable, a devaluation potentially more life-limiting and disabling than the neurosis itself.
  • The media stereotypes neurotics as homicidal schizophrenics, impassive childlike prodigies, or hair-brained free-spirits. One study evidenced that over half of U.S. news stories involving the dysfunctional allude to violence.
  • Psychologists argue that more persons would seek treatment if psychiatric services were less stigmatizing. There are complaints of rude or dismissive staff, coercive measures, excessive wait times, paternalistic or demeaning attitudes, pointless treatment programs, drugs with undesirable side-effects, stigmatizing language, and general therapeutic pessimism.
  • The disease model supports doctor-patient power dominance. Clinicians deal with 31 similar and comorbid disorders, 400 plus schools of psychotherapy, multiple treatment programs, and an evolving plethora of medications. They cannot grasp the personal impact of a dysfunction because they are too focused on the diagnosis.

A recent study of 289 clients in 67 clinics found that 76.4% were misdiagnosed. An anxiety clinic reported over 90% of clients with generalized anxiety were incorrectly diagnosed. Experts cite the difficulty in distinguishing different disorders or identifying specific etiological risk factors due to the DSM’s failing reliability statistics. Mainstream medical authorities cite the poor reliability and validity, and inattention to human experience of DSM criteria. The recent head of the National Institute of Mental Health believes traditional psychiatric diagnoses have outlived their usefulness and suggests replacing or augmenting them with easily understandable descriptions of the issues.

Because of the disease model’s emphasis on diagnosis, we focus on the dysfunction rather than the individual. Which disorder do we find most annoying or repulsive? What behaviors contribute to the condition? How progressive is it, and how effective are treatments? Is it contagious? We derisively label the obvious dysfunctional ‘a mental case.’

Realistically, we cannot eliminate the word ‘mental’ from the culture. Unfortunately, its negative perspectives and implications promulgate perceptions of incompetence, ineptitude, and unlovability. Stigma, the hostile expression of someone’s undesirability, is pervasive and destructive. Stigmatization is deliberate, proactive, and distinguishable by pathographic overtones intended to shame and isolate. 90% of persons diagnosed with a mental disorder claim they have been impacted by mental health stigma. Disclosure jeopardizes livelihoods, relationships, social standing, housing, and quality of life.

The disease model assumes that emotional distress is merely symptomatic of biological illness. The Wellness Model focuses on the positive aspects of human functioning that promote our wellbeing and recognize our essential and shared humanity. The Wellness Model emphasizes what is right with us, innately powerful within us, our potential, and determination. Recovery is not achieved by focusing on incompetence and weakness; it is achieved by embracing and utilizing our inherent strengths and abilities.

Benefits of the Wellness Model

  • Revising negative and hostile language will encourage new positive perspectives
  • The self-denigrating aspects of shame will dissipate, and stigma becomes less threatening.
  • Doctor-client knowledge exchange will value the individual experience over the diagnosis.
  • Realizing neurosis is a natural part of human development will generate social acceptance and accommodation.
  • Recognizing that they bear no responsibility for onset will revise public opinion that an individual’s neurosis is the result of her or his behavior.
  • Emphasizing character strengths and virtues will positively impact the self-beliefs and image of the afflicted, leading to more disclosure, discussion, and recovery-remission.
  • Realizing proximity and susceptibility of dysfunction will address the desire to distance and isolate.
  • Emphasis on an individual’s value and potential will encourage accountability and foster self-reliance.

The impact of neurosis originates in childhood; recovery is a long-term commitment. The Wellness Model creates the blueprint and then guides and supports throughout the recovery process by emphasizing our intrinsic character strengths, virtues, and attributes that generate the motivation, persistence, and perseverance to recover.

The biblical adage treat others as you want to be treated takes on added relevance when we accept that we all experience mental disorders. In fact, dysfunction is evidence of our humanness.

robertfmullen.com

Dr. Robert F. Mullen is the director of ReChanneling Inc, an organization dedicated to the research and development of methods to mitigate symptoms of psychological dysfunction and discomfort.

A referenced copy of this article is available via rechanneling@yahoo.com.

For more from Dr. Robert F. Mullen click here.


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How Healthy Is Our Soul?

By Yemi
Most people say I want change, but it does not resonate with their souls. You may be beautiful and physically fit on the outside, yet your soul may be broken and very fragile.
If your external appearance is extremely attractive but your soul is weak you may not always be strong enough to resist the seducer who comes only to deceive.
To generate successful change, we have to be holistically whole. This means being whole in mind, body, and soul. I am focusing on the strength of your Soul in this article as this sets the foundation for the other elements of mind and body.
Do you believe in a creator or God (of the Bible) who made you with his DNA? Our brokenness and wounds are healed completely from this source alone. So how connected are you to this source?
Widow, widower or the bereft, after two or three years of grief you must exercise your will over your flesh to decide consciously and courageously to start thinking of finding your way out of pain. You need to redefine what you want for your future. You can still be grieving yet still decide in your will first, then your actions what you want for your future.
Where there are no vision people perish Hosea. 4:6(ESV). If you do not envisage change in your mind, this means you may remain stuck in your past for years, in a drought, with no visible growth and no gradual healing. The longer you stay in it the harder it is to make that leap.
The way to do this practically and effectively will be to get a friend or use a Coach to draw out of you what direction you would like your future to go. Performing growth exercises by a Coach will gradually get you to your desired goal.
Coaching is the act of being directed on how to draw out your strengths to rebuild and engineer your desired goal. Find one you connect with and decide to do the work with that individual – you will start to enjoy it when you commit to it. Engage one who applies timeless principles from a biblical lens as a point of reference. Change is normally permanent from this framework when you commit whole heartedly.
We need to get help especially when we find ourselves at the cross roads of life and cannot direct the cause ourselves. It is not about saving face and keeping up appearances.
When emotionally vulnerable we sometimes disguise this in presenting a more than perfect external appearance. This makes us prey to those who say they love you but have ulterior motives. We are more vulnerable to these lies when we are emotionally empty but need this hollowness to be filled by another.
While if you adopt a plan of action and seek good people to assist you to implement this, you gradually grow stronger emotionally. The additional bonus of working with another person propels you to succeed as we are born to connect naturally with another human being.
The world places too much of an emphasis on outward appearance and less or nothing on the inside = Soul. The strength of our inner Soul impacts how we navigate our world and succeed in it.
When seeking to move forward in life, may it be dating, marriage, business or a general lifestyle change, the stronger you build your Soul spiritually the more defined do your spiritual qualities become, the higher the chances of success.
Very often I hear of women being scammed on line by evil suitors promising heaven and earth, and how we easily succumb to such false promises, even giving away our hard-earned cash. The more seasoned your soul the more in tuned you will be to identify evil prey
Growing in faith to know God ignites your Soul. You come to understand that no individual can meet all your needs but God. Lacking faith in a creator makes your soul quite weak and vulnerable.
Only God can fill completely that gaping hole you are looking for another individual to fill. Rogues can spot your emotional vulnerability from miles away and exploit.
The spirit to decern good from evil is acquired by developing a faith in a true and real God that develops your spirit then Soul.
The lord looks at the inside of man not on outward appearance.
This needs to be applied to self and when deciding on who to date. The average looking guy with strong spiritual qualities may be the one to prefer than the handsome, wavy and slick haired male with an enticing tongue but no spiritual qualities.
The world is quick to convince us of it being fine to wallow for years in grief and stagnation while others are moving on successfully in life.
The secret is to find solutions and help in navigating the immense hiccups of life.
*Your Soul can be wounded when your emotions have been impacted by loss, disappointment, childhood challenges, mental ill health, relationship breakdown, financial loss, natural disasters, economic misplacement, sexual exploitation and extreme poverty to name a few. The scars left by these need healing, recovery and restoring.

‘With his stripes we are healed’ Isaiah 53:5b

To learn more about my journey read other pieces from my blog at:

how-to-find-a-soulmate.com
For coaching/mentoring – http://www.businessandmarriagecoaching.com/

Check out her Ebook:

This eBook is a fascinating lesson of strategies and tactics to deploy to regain your future after the loss of a Spouse. It contains practical tips to survive despite all odds. It is not a conventional walk out of grief and that is why it is so unique!
What you will get:
– 44 Page eBook
– A 20 Step Plan of Action
– A Helpful Timeline to Support you in Recovery
– How to grow personal qualities that make you stronger
https://payhip.com/b/1N6j
And be sure to check out her social media:

how-to-find-a-Soulmate.com
Instagram.com/yemmi_h
Facebook.com/yemi.adumajekodunmi.7
www.businessandmarriagecoaching.com


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Study The Ingredients

By Tangie T. Woods
Do you deviate from cake and icing recipes to add your special ingredient to enhance the sweet flavor? Do you [we] study and follow ingredients in the gospel of Jesus to ensure food for our soul does not deviate from His biblical recipe?
What about studying ingredients of people? Ingredients of people! What?! The below image was posted on Facebook by Lashelle, a sister-in-Christ. I immediately thought it would be a great blogging subject since perhaps some of us do not study ingredients of people before developing various types of relationships.
image 1
The image reminds me of a beautiful cherub angel that was cast from Heaven. Unfortunately, in today’s society, we sometimes deemed others to have high morals and often esteem them based on their beautiful physical characteristic traits. Let us be mindful that Satan too was a beautiful cherub angel but God said to him, “Your heart became proud on account of your beauty, and you corrupted your wisdom because of your splendor. So, I threw you to the earth; I made a spectacle of you before kings” (Ezekiel 28:17).
A once beautiful cherub angel was cast out of heaven full of fury knowing that his time is short. What does Satan’s fall from Heaven means to us? It means to make our calling and election sure to be covered under God’s Mighty Hand. Also, we should be mindful of maintaining alertness with a sober mind. Why? Satan’s influence can be strong at times as he prowls around like a roaring lion looking for Christians to devour. He was poisonous in Heaven, in the Garden, and is still poisonous to souls today.
He caters to our weaknesses and entices us to be drawn away by our own lust. It appears as though he first travels down roads seeking new converts, known as babes in Christ. After getting to the end of the last road, he bypasses wayward Christians who have already returned to his world. Next, he drives down streets seeking long time Christians who are weak in biblical knowledge. Finally, he gets on major highways seeking those who are strong in the faith, and are in leadership positions in the Body of Christ. For the latter, he saves his best schemes, and dispatches his most evil employees to do his bidding, carrying undercover flawed cakes with the highest quality of deviated icing; this makes it almost impossible to resist feeding the soul with just a tiny amount. (Ephesians 6:12-24) He wants to make a spectacle of us in the sight of God.
OIP
Looks can be deceiving, and with today’s technology, everyone has been approved for an unlimited credit card making it convenient and affordable to lose our soul with easy access to a world of sin. Be careful of sheep bearing cakes, it might be a wolf, with an added ingredient, coming to lead us to the path of hell. Christ, not Satan, must dwell in our hearts to not be easily drawn away by our own lust. “What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? WARNING: If we die in sin, there is a no return policy that states it is too late to seek the Lord’s grace, mercy and forgiveness.
Final thought, we can be assured with the key ingredient for spiritual maturity and resistance to spiritual deception is getting to know the baker, the true living GOD, who makes the earth trembles when He is angry, and nations cannot endure His wrath. (Jeremiah 10:10) Sounds like current state of all nations battling COVID-19.
About The Author- Tangie T. Woods

 
Tangie T. Woods was born and raised in Montgomery, Alabama and was baptized at Holt Street Church of Christ. She has two associate degrees from Trenholm State Technical College, and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Management from Troy University in Montgomery. She has been employed with Department of the Air Force and Veterans Health Administration since 1987; and will retire in 2023, Lord willing.
She initiated and coordinated women’s monthly Bible studies and fellowship dinners from October 2017 to October 2019; both events held in various cities. In an effort to bridge the generation gap, the Bible study teachers consisted of young, middle-aged and older sisters. Tangie started the Sisters Evangelizing Team (tSET) which encouraged sisters to get involved in community evangelism. She also initiated a ministers’ wives support group, and is currently penning three manuscripts titled “Tales of Minister’s Wives” “Spiritual Food For The Soul” and “No Regrets Spiritually Speaking.”
Tangie’s passion is to continue increasing younger sisters’ involvement in sisterhood events and in their congregation of worship. In 2017, she coordinated her first ladies’ day program at Gainesville Church of Christ with program participants of all ages. In January 2019, she hosted the first “Real Talk” featuring a younger sister as event speaker and leading questions and answers breakout sessions for young women. Approximately 100 women from Georgia and Florida attended both events. Tangie has also been afforded opportunities to speak at various ladies’ day programs in Alabama and Florida; and was invited to speak in Summer Shade, Kentucky in March 2020.
She shares her pains, struggles and blessings to encourage women of all ages, and to be encouraged, through her blog http://www.tangietwoods.blog. She started blogging on June 29, 2019; and as of today, the Lord has blessed her spiritual blog to be viewed by approximately 30,000 viewers in 53 countries. Additional viewers from other countries are added with each new published blog. Tangie gives God all the glory and praise for allowing her to spread His Word worldwide using today’s technologies to teach all nations.
Tangie is married to Felton D. Woods, Minister of Gainesville Church of Christ in Gainesville, Florida. They have three adult children (Ashley, Audriana and William); and one granddaughter, Charlayne.
For more from Tangie T. Woods click here. For the original post click here.


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Wear The Mask!

By Tangie T. Woods

For me, wearing a mask is not essential while teleworking. However, it is essential to protect my health outside our home. If we love God we should keep His commandment; therefore, since He told us to love our neighbors as we love ourselves, we should wear a mask when in public. On the other hand, THE MASK is required at all times since we all have an underline chronic illness call sin.

During the coronavirus pandemic, even my car tried to get sick from not being driven, for approximately five weeks, after I started teleworking. Finally, the day came to use it, and when I backed out of the driveway, I felt minor hesitation from the engine. When I put the gear in drive there was resistant. I informed my husband, and was instructed to drive it occasionally to prevent the engine from locking. I followed his instruction without a doubt; and all is well with my car.

GOD is THE MASK that shields not only my nose, mouth and chin, but my entire body; in public and in our home.

My shield is with God, Who save the upright in heart. My soul wait in silence for God only. Yes, my soul, finds rest in God; my hope comes from Him. (Psalm 7:10 & Psalm 62:5)

And be ye kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. (Ephesians 4:32)

Search the scriptures. You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to Me to have life. I do not accept glory from human beings. (John 5:39-41)

Keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life. Be merciful to those who doubt; save others by snatching them from the fire; to others show mercy, mixed with fear–hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh. Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from telling lies. Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it. (Jude 1:21-23 & Psalm 34:13-14)

Be mindful that God is omnipotent; all-powerful. (Job 11:7-11 & Job 37:23 & I Corinthians 6:14).

Be mindful that God is omniscient; all-knowing. (I John 3:20 & Hebrews 4:13).

Be mindful that God is omnipresent; all-presence. Who can hide in secret places so that I cannot see them? declares the Lord. Do not I fill heaven and earth? declares the Lord. (Jeremiah 23:24)

Be mindful, God only knows the hearts of all; something we should not say too lightly “God knows my heart.” (Acts 1:24)

Be mindful, God said, “Consider this, you who forget God, or I will tear you to pieces, with no one to rescue you; Those who sacrifice thank offerings honor Me, and to the blameless I will show my salvation.” (Psalm 50:22-23)

I previously mentioned feeling hesitation and resistant in my car, as well as what was required to prevent the engine from locking. I believed my husband and followed his direction without a doubt, now all is well with my car. But why is it difficult to believe God’s words without doubting, or questioning Him. Do we not want our soul to be well.

So, I ask, are we still being a driving force for the Lord? Are we being hesitant on our spiritual journey, and in our relationship with God? Are we resisting spiritual change during the pandemic? Do we still love Him with all our heart, mind and soul? Are we using the pandemic as an excuse to return to the world, like Demas? Hopefully, we are not! This is the time we should have been spiritually prepared to remain steadfast in the faith and continuation of worshiping the Lord outside the church building? The building is not needed to worship God; as it a place for Christians to collectively worship Him but not putting others in harms way.

Have we locked the engine of our mind from the spiritual preventative and maintenance policy call the plan of salvation? Are we neglecting worship to God, and starving our soul from being out of church leadership sight?

Remember, it is not about our church leadership’s sight, but all about God; and there is no place on earth that can hide us from the sight of God. Are we wearing THE MASK at all times, or only in time of need?

Conclusion, despite what is going on in the world, we must keep driving ahead for the Lord, but we cannot do it without wearing THE MASK!

About The Author- Tangie T. Woods


 
Tangie T. Woods was born and raised in Montgomery, Alabama and was baptized at Holt Street Church of Christ. She has two associate degrees from Trenholm State Technical College, and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Management from Troy University in Montgomery. She has been employed with Department of the Air Force and Veterans Health Administration since 1987; and will retire in 2023, Lord willing.
She initiated and coordinated women’s monthly Bible studies and fellowship dinners from October 2017 to October 2019; both events held in various cities. In an effort to bridge the generation gap, the Bible study teachers consisted of young, middle-aged and older sisters. Tangie started the Sisters Evangelizing Team (tSET) which encouraged sisters to get involved in community evangelism. She also initiated a ministers’ wives support group, and is currently penning three manuscripts titled “Tales of Minister’s Wives” “Spiritual Food For The Soul” and “No Regrets Spiritually Speaking.”
Tangie’s passion is to continue increasing younger sisters’ involvement in sisterhood events and in their congregation of worship. In 2017, she coordinated her first ladies’ day program at Gainesville Church of Christ with program participants of all ages. In January 2019, she hosted the first “Real Talk” featuring a younger sister as event speaker and leading questions and answers breakout sessions for young women. Approximately 100 women from Georgia and Florida attended both events. Tangie has also been afforded opportunities to speak at various ladies’ day programs in Alabama and Florida; and was invited to speak in Summer Shade, Kentucky in March 2020.
She shares her pains, struggles and blessings to encourage women of all ages, and to be encouraged, through her blog http://www.tangietwoods.blog. She started blogging on June 29, 2019; and as of today, the Lord has blessed her spiritual blog to be viewed by approximately 30,000 viewers in 53 countries. Additional viewers from other countries are added with each new published blog. Tangie gives God all the glory and praise for allowing her to spread His Word worldwide using today’s technologies to teach all nations.
Tangie is married to Felton D. Woods, Minister of Gainesville Church of Christ in Gainesville, Florida. They have three adult children (Ashley, Audriana and William); and one granddaughter, Charlayne.
For more from Tangie T. Woods click here. For the original post click here.


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Why Retail Stores Are Using Branded Face Masks?

Face masks have not remained useful only as protective gear but have become an important part of our wardrobe with other apparel. New and unique designs of masks are finding their way in the stores and people are demanding branded logo face masks matching with their main outfits.
Face masks have become an effective way to advertise your brands and products. With everyone wearing the mask it is a very simple and easy way to promote your brand by using your logo over them.

Big Brands Designing Branded Logo Face Masks

As more and more states are making it mandatory to wear the face mask, many big brands have started designing masks in their signature style. Many brand owners have developed masks with their logos printed over them.
The big brands like the NBA and WNBA were the first ones to use face masks for their brand promotion. Many other companies follow the trend. For instance, Disney has come out with masks featuring its popular Mickey and Minnie Mouse character. The masks have also made their way in the sports circles. The National Football and Hockey Leagues, NFL, and NHL along with Major League Soccer have designed masks featuring their respective teams. Many other institutions and marketers including Universal Music Group, Alice+Oliva, and Atoms have also released their masks for promotional or marketing activities.

Why are Retail stores using branded logo Face masks?

With the spread of COVID19 across the nation, the cloth industry was helplessly witnessing a quick collapse. However, during the tough times, some of the more aware retail store owners were closely watching the actions taken in China during and after the lockdown phases.
They observed that China had made it mandatory to wear masks to all its citizens after the reopening. The retailers anticipated that the same trend will be followed in the USA as well and therefore they started designing and using branded logo face masks in their retail stores. The decision paid off to many retail stores and now the demand for these masks is growing day by day. It has prevented many retail stores from a possible close down.

Final Words

Every business owner is trying to find out new ways to survive during the current pandemic. Retail stores have found a unique way of sustaining their businesses at the time when the cloth industry was witnessing a complete collapse. They could survive the brunt of the pandemic by using the branded logo face masks and now they are searching for new ways to design the face masks to grow in the market.


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Pray And Praise God Without Ceasing

By Tangie T. Woods

Have there been times you did not feel like reading your Bible? What about times not wanting to pray? Have you ever felt weary and did not know the reasons? This happened to me on the morning of Thursday, August 20, 2020. When I woke up something was amiss and I could not figure out what happened for the sudden emotional change.

Did I talk to the Lord through prayer about it? No! Did I thank Him for allowing me to live another day? No! Instead, I allowed my mind to be temporary blocked from my spiritual focus. Needless to say, the rest of my day did not go well, including burning three fingertips on my left hand.

On Thursday night, in my dream, I allowed my curiosity to get the best of me by returning an escaped animal to the well-guarded mansion across the street from us. I thought it was odd that I was not afraid, considering I fear all animals, after being attacked by a large dog many years ago. I even dispelled widely spread rumors that whomever entered within the walls of that mansion never returned the same. One of the rumors was those who enter the mansion returned without a soul. Why? They exchanged it for worldly pleasures and evil spirits that roam the world with appetites to devour Christians.

The next morning, I immediately shared this dream with my husband. I told him that I had met some really nice people and how magnificent the mansion was designed, and beautifully furnished. Be mindful, they were nice to me, until it was time to leave, like evil spirits are nice to us, so we think, until we decide to return to the faith and follow Jesus. The security guard closed the gate right before I could exit the premises, and when I asked him to wait until I get close to the gate before opening it, he refused.

By the grace of God, I made it out on the third attempt. But let me tell you what happened on the final attempt. The gate was opened just enough for me to squeeze through sideways, and when my body was midway through the gate, it immediately closed with arrows pointing in my direction to pierce my body and destroy my soul. I said, “Oh Lord,” and felt a push to safety outside the gate to escape with a well soul and out of the devil’s clutches.

I see a serious problem in my actual situation and in my dream. When I was awake and feeling weary on Thursday morning I did not call on the Lord; instead, I focused on my weariness. However, when my life was about to end, in my dream, I had no problem calling on God to save me. Unfortunately, sometimes, we, Christians, fail to pray and praise God without ceasing, and allow situations, things, and people of no consequence to consume our mind.

We live in a dark troublesome world for us not to protect our soul. In my dream, I fought, and in reality, I fight daily to secure the salvation of my soul. Therefore, praying and praising God without ceasing is spiritually crucial. I am honest with myself, and the Lord, having no doubt had I awakened on Thursday morning praying and praising Him, I would not have laid in bed feeling weary and giving the devil temporary satisfaction of me not having a spiritual mindset. Ephesians 6:12, states “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”

Always, Sister Copeland’s daily devotions for that morning was right on time. The title is “Praise Without Ceasing!” It reads “Pray, without ceasing” is the message of today’s verse (I Thessalonians 6:17) The next verse says, “In everything give thanks.” So perhaps another way of saying I Thessalonians 5:17 is “Praise, without ceasing.” And in the book of Psalms, the different writers showed us how to do just that.

Upon rising in the morning, David began each day with praise. “In the morning I will sing of your love” (Psalm 59:16). Why? Because “It is good to give thanks to the Lord in the morning.” (Psalm 92:1-2)

All through the day, more than “seven times a day I praise You.” the writer declared. (Psalm 119:164) And when the day drew to an end, the psalmist was found still praising the Lord; “I remember Your name in the night, O Lord. (Psalm 119:55)

In the best of times, David sang, “Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised.” (Psalm 145:3) In the most difficult of times, in the face of his own sins, David lifted his voice to say, “Be glad in the Lord and rejoice…shout for joy.” (Psalm 32:11)

“I will praise you every day; yes, I will praise you forever.” (Psalm 145:2-3)

END OF DEVOTION

QUESTION:

Will we do as David did and make “praise without ceasing” a way of life?

WE CAN PRAISE WITHOUT CEASING BY MEDITATING ON THE WONDERS OF GOD REVEALED IN SCRIPTURES.

Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We, have found Him, of whom Moses in the law, and the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of Joseph. (John 1:45)

Rejoice in the Lord always; and again, I say, Rejoice. (Philippians 4:4)

And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. (Galatians 6:9)

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (John 1:10)

So shall I keep thy law continually forever and ever. (Psalm 119:44)

Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test? And I trust that you will discover that we have not failed the test. (II Corinthians 13:5-6)

Who through Him are believers in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him gory, so that your faith and hope are in God?” (I Peter 1:21)

If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? And if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him. (Genesis 1:1)

The time has come, he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!” (Mark 1:15)

Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee. Exodus 20:12

Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law. (Psalm 119:18)

Unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. (Luke 12:11)

Take My yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:29-30)

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)

Examine me, O LORD, and prove me; try my reins and my heart. (Psalm 26:2)

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness (II Timothy 3:16)

So, God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. (Genesis 1:27)

If anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let the pray over him. (James 5:14a)

No prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. (II Peter 1:21)

Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised, and His greatness is unsearchable. (Psalm 145:3)

PERSONAL QUOTE

We must pray for clarity of our thoughts to free our minds from focusing on secular activities, people and situations that are of no consequence on our spiritual journeys. We must not give Satan the best of us.  – Tangie T. Woods

About The Author- Tangie T. Woods

 
Tangie T. Woods was born and raised in Montgomery, Alabama and was baptized at Holt Street Church of Christ. She has two associate degrees from Trenholm State Technical College, and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Management from Troy University in Montgomery. She has been employed with Department of the Air Force and Veterans Health Administration since 1987; and will retire in 2023, Lord willing.
She initiated and coordinated women’s monthly Bible studies and fellowship dinners from October 2017 to October 2019; both events held in various cities. In an effort to bridge the generation gap, the Bible study teachers consisted of young, middle-aged and older sisters. Tangie started the Sisters Evangelizing Team (tSET) which encouraged sisters to get involved in community evangelism. She also initiated a ministers’ wives support group, and is currently penning three manuscripts titled “Tales of Minister’s Wives” “Spiritual Food For The Soul” and “No Regrets Spiritually Speaking.”
Tangie’s passion is to continue increasing younger sisters’ involvement in sisterhood events and in their congregation of worship. In 2017, she coordinated her first ladies’ day program at Gainesville Church of Christ with program participants of all ages. In January 2019, she hosted the first “Real Talk” featuring a younger sister as event speaker and leading questions and answers breakout sessions for young women. Approximately 100 women from Georgia and Florida attended both events. Tangie has also been afforded opportunities to speak at various ladies’ day programs in Alabama and Florida; and was invited to speak in Summer Shade, Kentucky in March 2020.
She shares her pains, struggles and blessings to encourage women of all ages, and to be encouraged, through her blog http://www.tangietwoods.blog. She started blogging on June 29, 2019; and as of today, the Lord has blessed her spiritual blog to be viewed by approximately 30,000 viewers in 53 countries. Additional viewers from other countries are added with each new published blog. Tangie gives God all the glory and praise for allowing her to spread His Word worldwide using today’s technologies to teach all nations.
Tangie is married to Felton D. Woods, Minister of Gainesville Church of Christ in Gainesville, Florida. They have three adult children (Ashley, Audriana and William); and one granddaughter, Charlayne.
For more from Tangie T. Woods click here. For the original post click here.


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Unrealistic Relationship Goals

By AD
A conversation to set clear expectations of what you’re looking for should take place early on when you first start to talk to a person so the two of you can be on the same page. Yet, unrealistic goals can end a potential relationship before it even starts.

Relationship Ultimatum One Week After Talking

  • It’s one thing to give a person an ultimatum to decide whether they want to be in an exclusive relationship with you when the two of you been talking on a regular for about 3 months. However, it’s unrealistic to give an ultimatum in less than a week, when the person is likely to still be trying know you more, since they haven’t spent much time around you.

Demands To Become A Top Priority Almost Overnight In Their Life

  • If an individual wants to know more about you, they should be able to find a way to set aside some time for you, no matter how busy they might be. Still, you can’t expect everyone you initially meet to make it a priority overnight for their life to evolve around you. I say that because most people got key friends and family they have been knowing for years already before you entered the picture.

What are some other unrealistic goals that you feel some people set when they first start talking to someone?
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#Build 2.0 (Guest Post)

No other world event in recent history has impacted us as much as the COVID-19 pandemic. In the last few months, we have had to adapt quickly to a new lifestyle. In a time where staying at home is enforced by the government, most of our social interactions have moved online. Many people are stuck at home, uncertain of the future and counting days as they go by. As a community, we must unite to be able to get through this time. We must also understand how to help each other out by staying at home and helping others stay at home. Therefore, we at The Girl Code (TGC) formed the idea of #Build.
#Build is a series of online mentorship-based workshops aimed at building a final project using not only TGC mentors’ help, but also of their peers. The objective of the workshop series was to come together as a community during the pandemic to voluntarily teach programming skills to those who want to learn. By participating in this workshop, they helped the community by practicing social distancing and keeping busy within their homes. The workshop was also a way of taking our minds off of the unpredictable world outside. It allowed people to immerse themselves in the wonderful world of tech. A channel was made on the social media platform Slack for communication. This allowed participants of #Build2.0 to mix and connect with like-minded individuals. This just goes to show that even though we are physically apart, nothing can stop us from coming together.
#Build2.0 was sponsored by Dockship and Qualified. Dockship is a global data science community where data scientists all over the world can publish AI models for people to see and use. Qualified is an online platform effective in assessing software created by software engineers all over. Through the assistance of our sponsors, we were able to create more interest. At the end of the workshop, the top-performing participants were provided with the opportunity to access premium accounts or courses in their services which enabled them to further hone their interests.
In the first iteration, we had over 250+ participants and taught web development. In the second iteration, #Build2.0, we aimed at teaching participants how to build pygames from scratch in under 4 weeks, from 1st June to the 20th. The workshop was carefully planned out weeks in advance by the TGC team.
The participants were taught basic python skills and how to make pygames during the workshop. Regular sessions were taken in English twice, one in the evening and one late at night. A session was taken in Hindi as well. Regular review sessions were held throughout where the mentors would answer the questions and doubts of the participants. The mentors were available almost 24/7 to help the participants have their doubts answered. Recordings of the lessons were always available to those who could not attend our sessions due to scheduling conflicts.
According to our participants, the lessons were very engaging. “Had an amazing time! It was a pleasure to learn a new programming language over such a quick span of time and #build a pygame.Thanks for the opportunity,” – Ishita Pai Raikar. Many topics were simplified using simpler topics i.e. food, marvel, etc. Python conditionals, loops, functions, and other basic concepts were taught before moving on to the pygame. Kahoot quizzes were held after each session to motivate them.
Taking into consideration how uncertain the global situation looks like right now, it was heartening to see the sense of community that was prevalent through #Build. Using the Slack channel, many participants took it upon themselves to help others out. For their efforts, they were awarded with the title of “Peer Mentor” at the end of the workshop. This further promoted the concept of community, the main idea behind the workshop.
During the workshop, the participants were given little projects and assignments they had to complete by the mentors. The final project in their curriculum was the ‘pygame’, a game made using python. Through what they learnt at #Build2.0, and with some help from their mentors, they were able to create interesting and fun games. For their efforts, they were given certificates of their participation in the workshop. They were also invited to join the official TGC Slack community to further improve on the skills they learnt.
An astounding success, the workshop had over 250+ participants from 10+ countries. It was clear that there was a lot of interest in the workshop. #Build is a testament to how the uncertainty of the world outside had no impact on the participants who wanted to learn. Time and time again, nothing can stop us from learning, even when we’re on the brink of chaos.
Find out more about The Girl Code by visiting their website by clicking here. 
Or check out their social media pages: Instagram   Twitter    LinkedIn    Facebook


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Unlike Man, God Will Not Break Promises!

By Tangie T. Woods

“We trust words of mankind without question and doubt but often question and doubt the Word of God.”  – Tangie T. Woods

Have you ever been hurt by broken promises? Did it leave your life with lasting negative side effects? Sometimes broken promises cut deep leaving a lifetime of pain. However, one must deal with side effects of broken promises to prevent everlasting pain and from moving forward in life. Easy said but nothing is impossible for our Lord and Savior. By His grace, I rose above very painful broken promises.
Broken Promises and breached agreement
Until my young adulthood, I harbored painful memories and hatred due to unfortunate situations transpired during my childhood. However, as I matured in the Word, I became a vessel that God could use and received a new life in Christ. Blessings did not stop there for He gave me a beautiful and fulfilling personal life as the wife of Brother Woods, as a mother and grandmother.
An added blessing, Lord willing, if I should live, I will retire in three years and six months at the age of 57, with thirty-six years as a federal government employee. I am not boastful but thankful to God for freeing my mind from a miserable past to my current blessed life. I can only imagine what life in Heaven will be like.
“If we don’t let the past die, we cannot live in the present.” – Author Unknown
childhood
The Bible tells us Jesus will return like a thief in the night so we should prepare ourselves beforehand working out our own salvation with fear and trembling to leave this troublesome generation. The day of His return will be too late acknowledging Him and His gospel. #BiblicalFact
Why is it difficult to believe that God’s commandments are not broken promises? “Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ (Matthew 7:23)
But yield yourselves unto God
God is not a joke nor does He take lightly us disobeying Him; therefore, it is imperative that we are mindful of the promises that shall be fulfilled. “But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare.” (II Peter 3:10-15)
It is imperative to evangelize preaching and teaching what thus said the Lord and try persuading others before Jesus returns. Yes, on this journey we will be talked about, hated and persecuted. But I rather put my trust in the Lord’s promises than in mankind broken promises. How can men save us when they too must appear before the Judgment Seat?
II Corinthians
We are not staying on earth forever and shall give account on the day of judgment for every empty word spoken. We will either be acquitted or condemned for our words. (Matthew 12:36-37; & Hebrews 9:27-28)
Why should we expect God to spare us when He clearly did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, putting them in chains of darkness to be held for judgment. He did not spare the ancient world when He brought the flood on its ungodly people, but protected Noah, a preacher of righteousness, and seven others. He did not spare cities of Sodom and Gomorrah but burned them to ashes, and made example of what is going to happen to the ungodly. (II Peter 2:1-22)
God gave us the inspired words in the Bible to prepare us for the return of Jesus. His words are not broken promises and we will be without excuse exchanging truth to worship and serve created things rather than the Creator. (Romans 1:20)
godly life2
God’s commandments lead to eternal life in Heaven. Why would we not want to spend eternity with our Heavenly Father?

“I know that His command leads to eternal life. So, whatever I say is just what the Father has told me to say.” (John 12:48, 50)

I started typing this on Friday evening and received Sister Copeland’s devotional this morning; always on time. The title is “Our trustworthy God” and discusses broken promises.
It reads Don’t you wonder what led to the psalmist’s conclusion? What experiences had taught him that “It is better to trust in the LORD” than in people and governments?” One way GOD has proven His trustworthiness is by making and keeping promises. God promised to deliver His people from slavery in Egypt: He did. God promised to send a Savior and King. He did.
leads to salvaation
Devotional continues with “What a contrast to promises we make today. Consider, for instance, how many marriage vows are made “Till death do us part”—then broken. Or how many people promise to improve their behavior—and don’t. Or how many teenagers promise to be home by curfew—and aren’t.’
‘And then there are political promises. These can be so flagrantly broken that we wonder if the promise makers ever intended to keep them. Life teaches us, as it apparently taught the psalmist, that trusting GOD is better than trusting people and governments. Our GOD has always kept His promise, and He always will. Thank You for being completely trustworthy, Lord GOD. You are a Rock for us in this unsteady world of broken promises.”
END OF DEVOTIONAL
“It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust in the LORD than put confidence in princes.” (Psalm 118:8-9)

About Tangie T. Woods

Tangie T. Woods was born and raised in Montgomery, Alabama. She received two associate degrees from Trenholm State Technical College and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Management from Troy University. Since 1987, she has been employed with Department of the Air Force and Veterans Health Administration.
In November 2002, she was baptized at Holt Street Church of Christ. Several years later, her family worshiped at New Harvest Church of Christ where she coordinated a women’s breakfast with attendees of various faith.
The Woods Family relocated to Gainesville, Florida in July 2008.
In March 2017, Tangie coordinated her first Ladies’ Day Program at Gainesville Church of Christ with program participants of various age to bridge generations gap.
October 2017 to October 2019, she initiated and coordinated women’s monthly Bible studies and fellowship dinners, and two short-term spiritual endeavors: a ministers’ wives support group and the Sisters Evangelizing Team (tSET) encouraging sisters’ involvement in community evangelism.
In January 2019, efforts continued to bridge generations gap by hosting a “Real Talk” program featuring a young speaker to encourage their attendance at spiritual events.
Tangie has been afforded opportunities to speak at various Ladies’ Day Programs in Alabama and Florida. In March 2020, she received an invitation to speak at a Ladies’ Day Program in Summer Shade, Kentucky, but was unable to travel due to medical conditions.
Her current spiritual endeavors are preparing to speak at a weekend women’s retreat, Lord willing, in September 2020, at North Tampa (FL) Church of Christ. She is penning two book manuscripts and is also a Christian blogger at https://www.tangietwoods.blog known as MRS. T’S CORNER.
Tangie is married to Felton D. Woods, Minister of Gainesville (FL) Church of Christ. They have three adult children (Ashley, Audriana and William); and a granddaughter, Charlayne.
For more from Tangie T. Woods click here. For the original post click here.


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Addressing Misconceptions About Self-Care

By Niraj Shah
Especially at a time where taking care of our mental health is extremely important, self-care is a term that has been mentioned a lot. There is a strong link between self-care and mental health, as self-care is something that is vital in order to ensure good mental health. Self-care is an extremely broad term and as a result self-care means different things to different people. In this article I aim to address the main misconceptions that people have about self-care.
One vague and broad definition that I have seen refers to self-care as any activity that we do deliberately in order to take care of our mental, emotional and physical health. From first glance this definition implies that self-care refers to an actual activity and something we actually set aside time to do in order to improve our wellbeing. Taking a bath, going for a walk, or even treating yourself to good food are all examples of self-care activities that you would set aside some time to do. However, in my opinion, self-care is not just about setting aside time to do certain activities. For example, in this exam period, one thing that I did which I consider as self-care is that I would stop revising past 1am, just so that I don’t burn out. This isn’t something that I have physically set aside any time to do, but I still consider it as self-care, as it has helped my mental health. Knowing that self-care doesn’t have to involve setting aside time for something is extremely crucial, as one of the reasons why people don’t feel that they can practice self-care is because they don’t have time due to their busy schedules. However, you can still practice self-care even no matter how busy your schedule is. For example, if you have an extremely busy schedule because of your job, one method that you can practice self-care without it taking time away from your busy schedule is by turning off your work phone or emails outside work hours.
One massive misconception about self-care, is that in some cases, people think that people who are practicing self-care are being selfish. Self-care is when people try and do things for their own wellbeing and mental health, however sometimes people think that for someone who is practicing self-care their ONLY priority is their wellbeing. Consider the following example. A friend asks you to take him to the airport to catch an 7:50 a.m. flight which means you need to get him there by at least 6:30. You get up early for work every day in spite of not being a morning person and this is taking a toll on both your mental and physical health. You want to prioritise your mental and physical health, and say no so you can have a lie in for once, but feel badly because your friend doesn’t have extra money to spend on a cab ride. Examples like this is why the terms self-care and selfish get so easily confused, and the difference between the two terms is actually quite subtle. However, being selfish is choosing to consistently only think of your own needs and wants, whereas the other hand, self-care is choosing to honour your inner wants and needs in order to help you serve others well. And sometimes that requires putting yourself ahead of someone else.
Another term that self-care often gets confused with is self-improvement. These are two terms that are really important to distinguish between, as sometimes most people approach self-care with the thought, ‘I’m going to make myself better,’ and that doesn’t work. However, having said that, my opinion is that self-care can lay the foundations for someone to make themselves better by engaging in self-improvement. An example is if someone wants to enjoy career success in the next 2 years. This should be approached as a self-improvement goal by doing things such as taking advantage of any personal development opportunities or ensuring that high quality work is produced in a consistent basis. However, self-care can provide the foundations for this by doing things such as getting a good night sleep every day, exercising at the start of each day and ensuring a healthy diet. Considering self-care as something that can lay the stepping stones for self-improvement rather than directly lead to it is something that is crucial to keep in mind when practicing self-care.
Furthermore, self-care is such a broad term that there are different categories of self-care. These different categories include emotional self-care, physical self-care, mental self-care, practical self-care, social self-care and spiritual self-care. These different types of self-care seem obvious, but something that is still vital to bring up. The fact that there are different categories of self-care strengthens the argument that there is no such thing as a one size fits all method when it comes to practicing self-care, and self-care methods will vary from person to person.
As well as knowing the main misconceptions of self-care, there are two further things that I want you to take away from reading this article. The first is that there is no precise definition of self-care and that things you may consider as self-care may not be considered as self-care by someone else, and that’s completely fine. As mentioned in the beginning of the second paragraph, self-care is something that we do in order to take care of our mental, emotional and physical health, so as long as self-care methods that you implement work for you then that’s perfectly fine. The second and more important takeaway is that self-care is something you need to actively spend time thinking about and reflecting upon. More precisely, it is vital that before one engages in self-care, thought is given into the self-care strategies that are put in place, as well as regularly reflecting on whether these self-care strategies are effective in improving your wellbeing.
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