Being Religious and Spiritual 2 Religiosity and spiritual life

Eurobarometer Poll 2005 Percentage of those wh...Religion, religiosity and spirituality are not the same. Many people use the three words as synonyms and see no difference between them. Religiosity has to do with the quality of being ‘religiose‘ or being extremely, obtrusively, pious, sanctimoniously or even sentimentally religious, but in its broadest sense it also used to indicate the sort of activity a person is willing to take on for that what he believes.  It is about the numerous aspects of religious activity a person is willing to undertake, his dedication for that belief or religious doctrine. Another term that would work equally well, though less often used, is religiousness for the person’s belief in a god, the God of gods or in gods and their observance of associated activities.

With the choice of a religion comes the preparedness to follow certain teachings of that religion and to follow a sociocultural program for developing spiritually and for bringing spiritual realizations into everyday life according to the teachings or doctrines of that religion. In that movement about certain teachings concerning the individual and his environment the person shall want to become part of that religion and as such would want to take certain attitudes and do certain exercises in that faith. doing those readings, meditations and exercises for the mind, the person shall use ‘‘spirituality’’ to refer to his or her inner experiences that arise from trying to put such programs into practice.

Folk religiosity and faith

Folk religiosity and faith (Photo credit: AlmaGamil_Philippines)

Through the ages lots of people tried to find ways to come to a higher ecstasy or to get into raptures. Their actions in their faith should bring them “Spirituality” bringing them in exaltation a sense of transcendence, sacrality, and ultimacy, making them ready to bring praise, tribute, worship, acclaimglory, blessing, homage, reverence, magnification, apotheosis, glorification, acclamation, panegyric, idolization, extolment, lionization, laudation, in elation, delight, joy, excitement, inspiration, ecstasy, stimulation, with exhilaration, jubilation, exultation, joyousness. Their religious actions want to trigger the ‘becoming more’ going beyond or exceeding the Self. To do this, encoded signs and symbols may be the means by which experiences not only are generated but are described, even recognized and labelled, as religious. The many religions, the world is rich, have always relied upon several symbolic forms for breaking outside of the profane world. In most religions the believers try to come into an other stadium of life and of feeling. They even try to come in an other or alternative reality known only through its ecstatic qualities and interpretive frames.

Even within contemporary, more secular social settings, research suggests that those persons most involved in their religious traditions are more likely to report having strong religious experiences (Yamane and Polzer 1994, pp. 1–25).

To come to full or real spirituality the person has to give himself or herself to the faith which she want to follow and take on its traditions, demanding not only the will to come to an interior life or religious discipline but also to undertake social action, making ethical choices, family commitments, friendship, to live and work according that faith and to make choices for the way to live and in politics.

Whilst ‘Religion’ is a human invention that centers on specific rituals and a set of stories that outline a basic moral code and belief system, ‘spirituality’ is a natural reaction on feeling and the way people do behave. Spirituality relates to the spirit or essential essence of humanity. People who say they are spiritual are working to grow and better this inner force. Religious people are generally spiritual people as well, but spiritual people do not necessarily have to be religious. They may work to attain a heightened spirituality through alternative methods. Religions often, but not necessarily, have a hierarchy of initiates, bringing those further into the inner circle, leading the rituals for the general populace. Their rituals may look or seem spiritual but often can be performed on automatic pilot leaving the spiritual out.
English: Graph of timelines for major religions

Graph of timelines for major religions (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Some people may be very religious but not exactly spiritual, not interested to dig deep in themselves. Some religious people are not so much interested in doing the things themselves, but just want to follow set regulations and handlings done in the religious community. They for example just want to sit down in church and be passive, looking and hearing what is going on, with sometimes even having the mind strolling of to somewhere else. Whilst the religion may be brought on by their parents or their environment where they grew up to get spiritual they have to undertake themselves the action to be willing to enter the spirituality which stems from their inner soul, and not from the hierarchy of their religion, their pastors or priests, but is dependent on their will to search in themselves, to look for the very essence of their own being. The spirited approach or spirituality like the religion may come form influences of different sources, where the parents, in first instance or the most important one, and from driving forces in the life of the person, like a God Almighty.

Some think spirituality can be achieved only through the use of every moral quality in its proper place and on its proper occasion. Moral shall influence the way of thinking and the background of material shall give possibilities to think about those theories, values and attitudes. Because being bounded to the natural state of our being in the universe, our ‘natural state of man’ has a very strong relationship with his moral and spiritual states, so much so that even a person’s manner of eating and drinking affects his moral and spiritual states. If the natural state of a person is subjected to the control of the directions of divine law it becomes his moral state and deeply affects his spirituality, as is said that whatever falls into a salt mine is converted into salt. That is why several Holy Scriptures like the Torah, the Bible and the Qur’an have laid stress on physical and psychical cleanliness and postures, and their regulation in relation to all worship and inner purity and spiritual humility.
According to the Bible the first essential quality of a spiritually perfect man is that his relationship should be correct and right both with his Creator God and man, his fellow-creatures. Both relationships should be right and correct which can only retrieved by having righteous conduct, seeking good influences, safeguarding oneself against conduct which is likely to harm the relationships.
The division of ‘morals’ is to be found also in religious faith and in religious life. It is important, therefore, to be clear about religious faith and religious life. There are people who equate religious life with moral life and think they are the same. To them to be religious is to be moral and to be moral is to be religious. This is incorrect and confusing.In religious life ‘morality’ and ‘spirituality’ may be the cornerstones. A man of good moral character may be just moral and be not necessarily religious. He may be a good man but not a perfect man. His moral part is all right, but not his spiritual part. We as human beings should come into ‘a being’ or ‘a creation’ where moral, spirituality and religion are in balance in a correct relationship with the other creatures and with the Creator.

Religious views generally have a great impact on a person’s lifestyle and differing views can cause conflict in relationships. In history we have seen enough examples where the religion was used to come in conflict with other members of the creation. An atheist may be incredibly uncomfortable if their significant other wanted to attend religious services and continue prayers every day. Likewise, a person who is used to being involved in religious practices may feel like something is wrong with them if their boyfriend or girlfriend doesn’t want to come with them to their Holy books study or other religious gatherings.
Icon-religion

Many religions cause difficulties in a family or in a community. – Icon-religion (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The religion may become a stumbling block in a family whilst the spirituality may have the family grow, because it can be independent from the religion. In a family religion can really become a hot mess of opinions, beliefs and arguments. Whereas, spirituality is life affirming. Even atheist can be a spiritual human being. Spirituality is a way of life. It is the only way to conquer ignorance. the spirituality is looking to get out of spiritual blindness which may cause enough foolishness, benightedness, unenlightenment. Spirituality may take the person beyond his first thought limits and bring him or her out of mental darkness. It is understanding that we all are part of a whole. The realm of spirituality is mystical and mysterious. When we look at the world with an attitude of wonder and awe, we become aware that the world is filled with spiritual life. Part of spirituality is being willing to admit that something is beyond our comprehension. With our materialistic attitude and ego-tripping of today, many having a high quality ore it is difficult for them to come to the science in understanding the world, trying to find answers they may never find. When we look at the universe and into our own hearts and see that which we don’t understand, we know that we have touched that which is unknowable and holy. To come to the acceptance of nullity is the most difficult part of spirituality. Only by willing to see  the futility of our self, accepting that insignificance we shall be able to become really spiritual. though we may be religious it can well be that we are not at all spiritual.

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Preceding article: Being Religious and Spiritual 1 Immateriality and Spiritual experience

Next: Being Religious and Spiritual 3 Philosophers, Avicennism and the spiritual

Read also:

  1. Faith
  2. Living in faith
  3. Self-development, self-control, meditation, beliefs and spirituality
  4. Religion and spirituality
  5. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #6 Prayer #4 Attitude
  6. Our relationship with God, Jesus and each other
  7. The truth is very plain to see and God can be clearly seen
  8. Without God no purpose, no goal, no hope
  9. Theology without spirituality sterile academic exercise
  10. How should we react against the world
  11. Our relationship with God, Jesus and each other
  12. Observing the commandments and becoming doers of the Word
  13. A philosophical error which rejects the body as part of the human person
  14. Childish or reasonable ways
  15. Words to push and pull
  16. To mean, to think, outing your opinion, conviction, belief – Menen, mening, overtuiging, opinie, geloof
  17. The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands
  18. If we, in our prosperity, neglect religious instruction and authority
  19. Can we not do what Jesus did?
  20. Making church
  21. Church sent into the world
  22. Your life the sum total of all your choices
  23. A Living Faith #2 State of your faith
  24. True riches
  25. If you have integrity
  26. Happiness is like manna
  27. Happiness an inner state
  28. Poetry of Peace

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Additional reading:

  1. A Soul Wrapped in Vanity
  2. Identify With Your Soul by Ram Dass
  3. Relationship with God

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religiosity-cover-test-2

religiosity-cover-test-2 (Photo credit: jeffmikels)

  • The Rise of Religion Might Be All About Sex (alternet.org)
    A study suggests religion might have arisen to protect certain reproductive strategies, like long-term partnership.
  • Is There Still a Place for Religion? (virtuoussociety.com)
    Sociologists juxtapose the low religiosity of countries in Northern Europe with their low rates of crime and poverty. Unbelievers in America remark that religious people are over-represented in US prisons—and under-represented among its scientists and thinkers. In the opinion of many researchers, the statistical landscape of religion is bleak.
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    the US states with the lowest incarceration rates have the lowest levels of religiosity. But when controlling for race, income and other social factors by way of regression methods, Stark finds that religion is actually negatively correlated with violent crime.
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    To the extent that social scientists have neglected rigorous analysis in favor of more agreeable correlations, they must re-evaluate their assumptions, and paint their portrait of religious society in finer strokes, and from a wider palette. They will likely find that faith does not cast a shadow on modernity, but rather lights its way.
  • Texas A&M professor blends neuroscience, religion in new course (believervsnonbelievers.wordpress.com)
    In the apparent conflict between science and religion, many are turning to the field of neuroscience to weigh in on debates like whether the Book of Revelation was based on an inspired dream, like Paul said it was, or a simple neurological process.
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    With more than 50 years of research and teaching experience across the entire spectrum of neuroscience, Klemm admits that his emphasis is on neuroscience, because, as he says it, “I’m not a preacher,” but he wants the students to take their own religious beliefs and try to make the connection with what he teaches them about neuroscience.
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    Religionists hold that humans have free will and are accountable for their beliefs and choices, while scientific experiments have led scientists to believe that free will is an illusion.
  • Supplementary Materials on Spirituality and Religion (chermercado.wordpress.com)
    For those who want to expand their understanding of the topic and Spirituality and Religion, you may refer to the following links below. I’ve provided some points of reflection that should help you re-think things though you may not necessarily agree with them.
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    Some Thoughts about the Integration of Spirituality and Religion
    The tendency of people who claim to be Spiritual but not religious is to treat faith as if it were a buffet: cherry-picking only the good parts and leaving the rest behind (as explained by the meme above). It’s convenient and satisfying but it doesn’t capture the essence of real faith.
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    Faith is a matter of reciprocity because it is a two-way street.
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    In summary, if your aim is to develop a personal but life-giving spirituality, it needs a check-in balance system to make sure it does just that. This check-in balance is easily provided by organized religion.
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    The Value of Community in Christian Spirituality
    To relate with the Church, then, is to concretely relate with Jesus, who is God afterall. If you find yourself having a difficult time dealing with the Church’s imperfection, that’s insight in itself into how it might be like for God to be dealing with each and everyone of us. To relate with others (the Church), then, is to get to know more how God relates with us and how He has to deal with our petty problems and imperfections.
  • Religion Vs. Spiritual (etsuwmst.wordpress.com)
    Many people religious background comes from what their parents instill in them but once they reach a certain age is where they find their true calling as to what they think and feel is right. Realistically most people just conform into whatever is most common to them.
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    Religion is organized; it’s more of a physical thing. Like something imaginable as far as seeing or feeling. Religion is instituted by man. In a religion there are many gods, although they are serving the same purpose. Just like there are many beliefs in religion. Where a spiritual person does not have an organized way about being spiritual, it is all within yourself. It’s more of being spiritual than something being physical.
  • Religiosity Raises Risk Among Sex Offenders, Clergy More Dangerous Than Other Groups (atheistrev.com)
    Male clergy accused of sex crimes were found to be more dangerous in some important ways than matched non-clergy offenders (Langevin, Curnoe, & Bain, 2000). And religiosity was positively associated with the number of convictions for sex crimes and the number of victims among convicted male sex offenders (Eshuys & Smallbone, 2006). It was also inversely related to the age of the victims (i.e., more religious offenders tended to victimize younger children).Parents place clergy on pedestals due to their presumed connection to some sort of “god,” and they teach their children to do the same. They lower their guard because the pastor wouldn’t possibly do things like that. Clergy are often viewed as morally superior to the rest of us, and the same goes for highly religious non-clergy. They are given the benefit of the doubt again and again. We couldn’t possibly question behavior that would never be tolerated in other contexts. And this continues despite evidence that clergy and highly religious persons may actually be more dangerous to our children.
  • Who is religious? (suryanarayanarajumd.wordpress.com)
    Common man understands religion by belonging to certain religion or belief system, he follows the pattern followed by crowd, mob by going to temple on certain dates, enjoys the entertainment involved in it.But religiosity is an inner science, “doing” is relevent to outer but “non-doing” is the key to inner exploration which does not mean laziness but it demands heightened awareness. With heightened awareness you touch a point from which you witness the seemingly opposite things are complimentary both in the outer and the inner.
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    First when you are not doing bodily or mentally which include thinking, concentration, contemplation, when all activity caeses “you simply are”, “just be”.
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    develop the skill of watching self activity which is nothing but self-inquiry.As you go on watching self activity from your center of being, thought process slows down, there is radical change in self-activity and one fine day self stops functioning when it is not required. Mind is not enemy but because of lack of awareness in functining of daily activities at present it is dictating our way of life. Mind means past plus future. But life is in the present.
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    The whole education makes the human mind conditioned to trust only in objects which he can dissect their basic constituents.

    The problem arises when when one tries to analyze the subject in the same way. An average mans thinks of Self in an objective way.

    But the nature of subjectivity is that it cannot be observed. That which is observable is not your subject.

    Meditation, watchfulness is the key to explore the inner. With watchfulness a distance is created between the watcher and the mind.

    As watchfulness crystallizes the distance becomes longer and longer. Soon the mind is so far away you can hardly feel that it exists.

  • Spirituality is the world around us (realmof13.wordpress.com)
    God and spirituality are pretty controversial subjects in this day and age.  I myself have run the full circle of beliefs, not really wandering, but falling into the next one based of experiences and changes of perception.  I have never been the biggest fan of organized religion, but I have recognized the good it does for those who participate with good intention in their hearts.
  • Religious vs. Spiritual (reginayflorence.wordpress.com)
    Many people study different types of religions. It says “ the fact that many of the negative things which people attribute to religions are features of some forms of some religions(usually Judaism, Christianity, and Islam), but not of other religions (like Taoism or Buddhism).” We are stating that being spiritual is expressing our religion. By worshiping our spirit it shows that our religion is more than that. It is a way of getting deeper with him(God). It bring a deeper meaning to us when we believe.
  • Relying on Religion (creativesolblog.wordpress.com)
    Many conversations concerning the topic of religion get quite personal, emotional and out of hand fairly fast. This is the case so often that common etiquette generally recommends that one avoids the subject all together (especially at the dinner table).

Spreading good cheer contagious

Could spreading good cheer, especially in uncertain times, be contagious? According to Brett Westcott, a junior from Plainfield, Ill. it is. His comrade Cameron Brown, a junior from Toledo, Ohio, does also believe it can help people to get in a better mood. This Summer together they kicked off their RV road trip on Monday (July 20) in the Big Easy tour ending August 7 in Rochester, N.Y..

It is a well know fact that people can have strong effects — both positive and negative — on one another’s mental health. Today a lot of negativism is infecting the world. It goes around as a wild virus in this crisis world. Nothing seems to be sure any more, and lots of people have lost trust in their government and even in their environment, not sure any more of the bond of friends. Ordered things have shown the tendency to become disordered sooner or later, however natural. The same applies to human behaviour, however genetic. A new study by a University of British Columbia researcher finds that some people are genetically predisposed to see the world darkly.

The study, published in Psychological Science, finds that a previously known gene variant can cause individuals to perceive emotional events–especially negative ones — more vividly than others.

“The ability to regulate emotions is essential to both mental and physical well-being. Conversely, difficulties with emotion regulation have been postulated as a core mechanism underlying mood and anxiety disorders.”

It is interesting to see that the human mind which is considered to be the most ordered and conscious system in the world is not left untouched by the negative effects of the environment. Negativity is all-pervasive, it seems. today it is possible to identify and distinguish between the different emotions which go through our brains. Negative emotions helps us address the problem that led to those emotions in the first place. But while some people can tell the difference between feeling angry and guilty, others may not be able to separate the two and may become depressed, feeling they can not cope with it any more.

People around us can contribute al lot to our mood; They can make us happy, sad or even make us depressed. Those who know the blessings of the world would do better to let others also feel the goodness of this world. They’ll better share their happiness and good mood.  They better take care that the right virus contaminates their environment they’re living in. Jesus asked his follower to spread the Good News. But before people can spread that good news they themselves should feel good. They themselves should be radiant, full of sunshine. they should not be so much concerned about themselves, but should be willing to live more for the others around them. Noticing them and encouraging them. by giving compliments to others they can contribute the first step to more happiness.

When Westcott started giving compliments on the Purdue campus almost a year ago he never expected it to be so well received all over the world. Though lot of the compliments they gave where on material things that cost money. It looked a missed change to give compliments on the better and more important things in life, like having a smile on the face, feeling bright. An appropriate remark by environmentmatters was:

“I wonder how these compliments or lack of compliments affect people who can’t afford nice hoodies, shoes, bookbags, etc.?”

Dishwalla Candle does find:

“the idea maybe great, but i guess randomly complimenting on any object they could see on a person may not be a good one..what if that person hates that object? they’ll be so offended that it’ll turn to be a mockery or an insult rather than a compliment.”

The trip was undertaken to allow the two guys to share the same good feelings with people around the country that they had exchanged at Purdue.

Westcott and/or Brown stood at the heart of Purdue’s campus for two hours every Wednesday afternoon last school year giving out free compliments to thousands of passersby. Initial suspicion of their motives quickly melted in face of their enthusiasm and earnestness. The Compliment Guys’ ability to make people smile prompted Kodak to sponsor the national tour.

“There is absolutely nothing else I prefer doing than making people smile,” Brown said. “It’s amazingly easy to do if you take the very short amount of time to notice what is special about those around you.”

People may forget that it does not take big, grand gestures to make a positive impact on someone else’s day. Being around, having some smile on the face, saying “Hello”, giving a few simple courtesies, they all can contribute to making a day better for the person we pass. In ourselves we do have the power to make the difference and for ourselves and for the others. The greeting on the streets may have already gone a long time, but why should we not take up such an attitude from the old days when the villages or towns where smaller? It is true in a city we could not say to every person we pas “Good morning”, but for sure there are enough people to whom we could say “Hello”, like the porter, the man in the tube or train station, the bus driver. to others we can show them we are feeling happy, so that out smile on our face can transform their face as well. In case more people would not mind to make an effort to go out there and prove that chivalry is not dead, the world could become a nicer place to live. Being gallant and respectful, should not be things out of date. They  are traits that will never go out of date or out of style.

Be that person who will make life easier for the people around you.

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Read more about it: Purdue Compliment Guys hit the road for national tour

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Give joy to the world, keep smiling, keep giving love and Spread the Good News of the coming Kingdom of God.

Be a messenger of happiness, love and peace.

Peace Love WriteYou too may be a Blogger for peace
and join a movement willing to bring others that brotherly love and peace.

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Of interest:

  1. Articles on Social environment
  2. Bringing Good News into the world
  3. Do the appropriate for a friend
  • Contagious Happiness (rascoecam.wordpress.com)
    Happiness is contagious. Your smiles promote others to smile. The joy you emit is transmittable to those around you. Catchy is positive encouragement and optimism.
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    Where’s the Love?
    The love is inside of you, the love for doing what it is you do, the love for the ability to do it. Acclaim, applause and admiration may come in gallons and then drips but it doesn’t matter much if you continue to do it for the right reasons… the love.
  • Is Your Message Contagious? (veelhoedenconsulting.wordpress.com)
    Whether  you’re  trying  to  get  people  to  buy  something you provide, persuade  them  to  do  something,  or  simply  inform  your  audience  about something, one thing is certain—you want it to build momentum and carry itself forward without you having to push it non-stop.
  • The contagious smile bursts through Sizo (chefsvsangels.wordpress.com)
    Late last night Alex was released on bail . To see that beautiful contagious smile burst through the doors of Sizo was emotional to say the least.
    She was obviously overwhelmed with happiness but poised, full of strength and devoted to save the Arctic for future generations. I too am struggling to contain the joy I feel today knowing that at this very moment my lovely, brave cousin is in a hotel room,sleeping with a little relief and comfort having spoken to her family.
  • 19 Simple Things Everyone Can Do To Make Life Easier For Each Other (lifehack.org)
    You don’t have to create big, grand gestures to make a positive impact on someone else’s day. A few simple courtesies can spell the difference between an awful day and an awesome one. Unfortunately, there are days where it seems that common courtesies are not so common anymore.
  • Fat Talk Free Compliments (tiffanydawn.wordpress.com)
    Sometimes I have to ask myself — are outward appearances the only thing I compliment people on? Because they shouldn’t be.
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    Sometimes in our culture we compliment people based on weight. For example, “You are so skinny, that outfit looks great on you!” Well doesn’t that just reinforce our cultural idea that skinny is better?
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    Or are we truly encouraging and inspiring people to be a person who makes a difference in the world — not just a person who looks a certain way.
    Screen Shot 2013-10-22 at 10.46.15 AM
  • Watch out! It’s contagious! (bumpbabyproducts.wordpress.com)
    It seems entrepreneurialism is contagious! Whilst it is undoubtedly nerve-wracking, terrifying and demanding on your time, energy and money, it seems that an increasing number of my friends and acquaintances are also making that leap of faith.
  • Gloomy Thinking Can Be Contagious (namisouthbay.com)
    One of the things he was interested in was how different students respond to adversity.
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    “These thinking styles were contagious,” he says. “If you came to college and your roommate had a very negative thinking style, your own thinking style became more negative.”
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    The Reason Some People Always Focus On The Negative
    In the study in Clinical Psychological Science, researchers looked at 103 pairs of college-freshmen roommates’ “cognitive vulnerability,” which is the tendency to think that negative events are a reflection of a person’s own deficiency or that they will lead to more negative events. Those with high cognitive vulnerability are at an increased risk of depression, studies have found.
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    “This is the first study to find that this genetic variation can significantly affect how people see and experience the world,” says Prof. Rebecca Todd of UBC’s Dept. of Psychology. “The findings suggest people experience emotional aspects of the world partly through gene-coloured glasses — and that biological variations at the genetic level can play a significant role in individual differences in perception.”
  • Alliance Missions and The Contagious Chain of Missionary Zeal (christeien.com)
    Christian and Missionary Alliance Missions seeks to spread the message and power of Jesus throughout the world where many others won’t go. Our passion is not just knowing and following Jesus, but helping others know and follow Him. This begins with those God has placed in our spheres of influence and flows to those who are searching desperately for meaning, significance, security, and love in other cultures.
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    Even just one life burning brightly for the gospel can ignite the hearts of hundreds of others for generations to come.What a powerful thing it is to contemplate that reality in the history of missionary work! Consider, for example, the following chain of gospel influence: John Elliott; David Brainerd; Jonathan Edwards; William Carey; Charles Simeon; Henry Martyn; Anthony Norris Groves; George Müller; James Hudson Taylor; C. T. Studd; “The Cambridge Seven”; Student Volunteer Movement for Foreign Missions; D. L. Moody; Arthur T. Pierson; Amy Carmichael; Eric Liddell; Elizabeth and Jim Elliot