A new study says that Instagram is the worst social media network for young people's mental health, according to a new report by the Royal Society for Public Health in the U.K. And Snapchat is the second worst.
"FOMO" — aka the fear of missing out — may not be listed in the American Psychiatric Association's manual of mental disorders, but users who spent more than two hours a day on social media are more likely to report poor mental health and symptoms of anxiety and depression, says the study. Seeing endless pictures of friends on fun outings can also promote a "compare and despair" attitude among users, the report said.
The #StatusofMind survey asked nearly 1,500 people in the UK aged 14-24 to rate how social media platforms affected various aspects of their mental health.
Instagram got the worst scores, with the most negative marks coming for how the photo sharing platform hurt their body image and sleep, and increased instances of bullying and fear of missing out.
Snapchat had better scores in terms of loneliness, but was slightly worse in terms of sleep and FOMO.
It wasn't all "dislikes" though. All the services had good marks for self-expression and self-identity. And survey takers said they found emotional support and connected to online communities and support networks.
"With its almost universal reach and unprecedented ability to connect people from all walks of life, social media holds the potential to wield a mighty power as a positive catalyst for good mental health," the study's authors wrote.
"But there are also risks...which if not addressed and countered, can and have already opened the door for social media to cause significant problems for young people’s mental health and well-being."
I thoroughly enjoyed reading How We Got The Bible (a book written by Timothy Paul Jones and published by Rose Publishing). This book is very informative, well-formatted and easy to understand. As I was reading, I didn't feel weighed down with excessive dates, terms and events, but I was engaged all the way through! I believe How We Got The Bible should be in every Christian's list of books-to-read. This book would also serve great for historians and even skeptics. How We Got The Bible is definitely not a one-time read and I will be using this book as a reference guide whenever necessary. Thank you so much Timothy Jones and Rose Publishing for this material. God bless!
"If a man says, I love God, and hates his brother, he is a liar: for he that loves not his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?" (1 John 4:20).
'Brother' is my personal testimony, translated into song, of how Jesus delivered me from hatred. I held a grudge against my brother where I didn't speak to him for 5 long years (although we lived in the same house!). This grudge caused a ripple in my family, brought my mother and sisters many tears, damaged friendships and put a damper on countless holidays. But one day, Jesus spoke to my heart and told me that it was time to end this grudge. My family, and I, were at morning prayer at my church. After prayer ended, I stood before the congregation and addressed my brother who was sitting in the pews. I looked him in the eyes for the first time in what seemed like an eternity, and I said to him just 5 words... "I'm sorry. Please forgive me." I wept uncontrollably as I repeated those words. My Pastor and First Lady, who were present, invited my brother to the front of the church to embrace me as the entire congregation cried aloud, praising God. What I could not do in my own strength, Jesus granted me the grace to do... which was love.
Things were a bit awkward at first (I mean, it's been 5 years!), but we continued to build on the foundation of our renewed relationship. Fast-forward to present time and it's almost as if the grudge never happened! My brother, and I's, relationship is stronger than ever. When we're together, we laugh non-stop, we encourage each other, we make jokes about each other (hey, that's just the way men bond). We're so close that if we sat across the room from each other, we could tell a whole story with just our eyes. Jesus is so amazing and He is still restoring families! So I give Him ALL the praise. I also want to encourage you that if you're holding a grudge against anyone, whether it be a close relative, a distant friend, a member in your church or someone in your neighborhood, I want to admonish you to ask for the LORD's help in ending that grudge. I allowed the enemy to steal YEARS from me; years I could have been enjoying spending time with my brother... years I will never get back.
Not only was the devil robbing me of peace and joy, he was also robbing me of spending eternity in Heaven with Jesus. Hebrews 12:14 says to "Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord." And 1 John 3:14 says, "We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loves not his brother abides in death." Whatever ought we have against anyone, it is not worth going to Hell for. So let's love, let's forgive, let's ask forgiveness, and let's enjoy the abundant life that Jesus promises to give to His people (John 10:10). Amen? God bless!
Download this song here.
The Greek word for church is Ekklesia, and when used in the Bible, it is used to refer to a public gathering of Believers. When we gather together with other Believers, we then make up what is called the "church." This is why Hebrews 10:25 says, "Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching." We're admonished through the Holy Scriptures to meet together and fellowship with other Believers. To neglect to meet together is to disobey God's Word... The majority of the New Testament was written to churches (the church of Corinthe, Colossae, Galatia, etc). Even Paul's Epistles that were written to individuals, those individuals were church leaders.
So we can never outgrow the necessity of the church. Jesus said in Matthew 16:18, "...thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it."
Before I became a Christian, I was doubting the existence of God, one night. I was in such a dark place in my life and felt the need to turn my life around, so I turned to God (there was literally nowhere else to turn). But I wanted to know if this "God" stuff was actual real before I invested my all into it. I didn't want to go my whole life expecting "pearly white gates" at the end, to only die and realize it was all untrue!
So I prayed to God, one night, that He would reveal Himself to me. In fact, I knelt down in prayer for 1-2 hours, waiting to hear a voice from the sky, saying something like, "I Am real, My son. Believe in Me." (Hey, I'm just being honest!). I did not audibly hear Him speak to me and I got off of my knees, saying, "Welp, I tried. I guess He's not that real after all." To be honest, I was quite disappointed and felt a bit let down, thinking that because God does not exist, I now have to face all of these problems on my own.
But as I went to sleep that night, I saw the Scripture "Romans 1:20" flash before me in my dream just before waking up. I had never read Romans 1:20, before, so I quickly grabbed my phone, which was at my bedside - Google'd the Scripture, and it read, "For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God." I said, "WOW!" I was blown away... While I was asking for proof of God's existence, God was basically telling me that I already have all the proof I need to believe. The proof of God is in His creation! Nature and science supports His existence. The very fact that I'm alive is proof of God's existence; He created me!
A month or 2 later, I gave my life to Jesus Christ (February, 2012) and have been in love with Him ever since. As Creator of this entire universe, He took out time to respond to the concerns of little ol' me. Thank you, LORD, for caring.
As my brother, and I, prepared to watch the new X-Men trailer 3 months ago, I audibly heard God tell me, "They're going to blaspheme me in this movie." I did not tell my brother what God had told me, but kept it to myself as we started the X-Men trailer. And as the blasphemous references began to occur, I yelled out, "I KNEW IT", while my brother was appalled, altogether. After watching the trailer, I shared with my brother what God told me concerning this film and informed him that I will not be watching the new X-Men.
In this trailer, Apocalypse (who's aliases are: High Lord, Son of the Morning Fire, The First One) says he has been called many names throughout history; one of them being YHWH (pronounced 'Yahweh'). YHWH translated in English means "LORD" and, strictly speaking, is the only proper name for God. Exodus 20:7 says, "You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain." God’s nature and attributes, the totality of His being, and especially His glory are reflected in His name (Psalm 8:1, Psalm 111:9), therefore, we are not to treat God’s name lightly.
Also made known in this trailer and the comics, the character Apocalypse travels with a band of four followers called the Horsemen. In the Bible, the four horsemen of the Apocalypse are described in Revelation chapter 6, verses 1-8. The four horsemen are symbolic descriptions of different events which will take place in the end times of the world. In this X-Men trailer, the character Alex (Havok) makes mention of the Four Horsemen being taken from the Bible, but Moira MacTaggert replies, "Or the Bible got it from him [Apocalypse]." Not only does this film blaspheme the name of the LORD, but they're stating that its immortal character, Apocalypse, takes preeminence over God [God took His ideas from Apocalypse!].
I understand Marvel's attempt to create an all-powerful super-villain in their fictional film, but to demean and depreciate sacred and holy things in the process is uncalled for. I am stunned that Marvel's writers, and actors, would stoop so low; all in the name of making a "Blockbuster hit" and racking in a few dollars. (Judas betrayed Jesus for 30 shekels of silver. What are we betraying our Lord and Savior for?)
I've been a Marvel fan since before I learned to read and write, but an apparent line has been 'drawn in the sand' and I refuse to tolerate anyone or anything that blatantly disrespects what I believe to be sacred. So, no, I will not be watching this film.
In 2 Timothy 4:5, The Apostle Paul told Timothy to "do the work of an evangelist." Evangelism is crucial to the Christian faith, our local church and, most importantly, to the kingdom of heaven; which is why I enjoyed reading Rose Publishing's 24 Ways to Explain the Gospel.
This pamphlet serves as a great reference guide when preparing to engage in ministry and evangelism. What I most enjoyed about 24 Ways to Explain the Gospel is its complete biblical approach. As we share the Gospel message with friends, family, co-workers and potential converts, it is extremely important that we remain faithful to the foundation of the Christian faith; which is the Word of God. So I highly recommend this product for outreach groups as well as individual study.
Before we can experience more out of life, we must first WANT more out of life . . . John 5:1-15 records a man with an infirmity who sat by the pool of Bethesda for 38 years (yes, 38 years). This man even had a bed that he laid on by the pool, signifying that he was 'comfortable' with where he was. When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had already been there a long time, He said to him, “Wilt thou be made whole?” (“Do you want to be healed?”). And, surprisingly enough, the man didn't reply by saying, "Yes", but he began to make excuses, blaming others for him being in the place that he was in life.
Some of us are not physically disabled, but there are some places in our lives that we've been in far too long. We have gotten 'comfortable' in our 'disabilities'. Poverty, lack, bitterness, unforgiveness, childhood hurt, grief, loneliness, chasing after women / chasing after men, drugs, alcoholism, etc. These things have held up our lives long enough! “Wilt thou be made whole?” Do you want to be set free? Do you want better for your life than what you have going on right now??? If your answer is Yes, then Jesus is here to set you free! Jesus is not getting any glory out of us living in bondage. He has a wonderful plan for our lives, but we must first be open to His plan, placing the totality of our trust in Him (Jeremiah 29:11, Romans 8:32).
If you're ready for greater, sincerely pray this prayer aloud...
"Heavenly Father, have mercy on me, a sinner. I believe in you and that your word is true. I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of the living God and that he died on the cross so that I may now have forgiveness for my sins and eternal life. I know that without you in my heart my life is meaningless.I believe in my heart that you, Lord God, raised Him from the dead. Please Jesus forgive me, for every sin I have ever committed or done in my heart, please Lord Jesus forgive me and come into my heart as my personal Lord and Savior today. I need you to be my Father and my friend. I give you my life and ask you to take full control from this moment on; I pray this in the name of Jesus Christ." Amen.
About 5-6 years ago, I almost drowned at Manhattan Beach. It was high tides that day (meaning it was very windy, thus creating vicious waves), and the lifeguards told us to stay as close to the shore as possible. However, my cousin, and I, thought we'd have a competition of who could go to farthest into the water (away from shore). I won the competition, but when it was time to return back to the shore, the wind was so vicious that, with every wave, I was being pulled closer and closer into the sea. I tried to swim back to shore, literally using all of my might, but it was to no avail (trying not to panic because that only makes you drown faster). I soon would have to face the inevitable; that I was going to die that day.
After all of my screams for help went unanswered, I knew then that there was only One Person left to call on. So I began to pray... I wasn't Saved, so I began by saying, "God, please forgive for my sins. I'm sorry. Please give me another chance." I knew this was the end. I had felt the presence of God like never before in my life. It was as if everything else went silent and it was just Him, and I, talking (as a person living in sin, this was SO scary). So I prayed again, "God, please give me another chance." And as soon as I said that, a man came by saying, "Hey, do you need some help?" I said, "YES, PLEASE!!!!" lol... I wept tears of joy when I seen that man. He had a surf board that I grabbed onto as he escorted me back to shore.
After we got to shore, I mean I could've kissed the sand lol. I was so grateful that God spared my life! And me hearing stories about angels miraculously rescuing people and disappearing (Hebrews 13:2), I purposely / closely watched this man to make sure he didn't disappear. But I had gotten distracted for a split-second, and within that split-second, I turned back and the man was gone. I was literally blown away... For the sinful lifestyle that I was leading, I deserved judgement that day. But God heard my cry of repentance and had mercy on me. Having a repentant heart will keep away death, even when it seems in order. So I give God praise for His unfailing love and mercy toward His people. #Hallelujah
Leadership is not putting someone in their place. Leadership is putting yourself in someone else's place. Try to relate and connect. Motivate and encourage growth. Leaders BUILD! Everyone who desires to become a leader, must first learn how to follow. While this may sound like a cliche, it stands true. We cannot lead anyone to a place where we have not been. There's a leader inside us all. But when we self-assert ourselves, laying hold of a position that we haven't been trained for, matured or called to, we will be ineffective, inconsistent and will inevitably fail. "But those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted." (Matthew 23:12)
And we do not lead with instructions, we lead by example. God not only told us to live holy and to love one another, but He became flesh (Jesus Christ, God incarnate), lived among us and showed us how it's done! L.B.E. = Lead By Example. "Therefore, it was necessary for him [Jesus] to be made in every respect like us, his brothers and sisters, so that he could be our merciful and faithful High Priest before God. Then he could offer a sacrifice that would take away the sins of the people." (Hebrews 2:17)... A leader doesn't just dictate and give orders. A leader is one who seeks to relate, placing themselves in others' shoes, then showing them how it is done. A leader LEADS. "For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one [Jesus] who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin." (Hebrews 4:15)... A leader doesn't just critique and give orders. A leader is one who can be/have been placed in a situation, but will show the PROPER way how it is done. L.B.E = Lead By Example.
(Philippians 2:3-11) "Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." ... CHRIST's EXAMPLE OF HUMILITY. CHRIST's EXAMPLE OF LEADERSHIP!
Philippians 2:1-11 talks about Jesus (adorned with all glory, majesty, power and authority) fashioning Himself as a mere man so that He might redeem mankind. Jesus came down from His 'high place' to get those who were in a 'low place', to bring those from their 'low place' up to His 'high place'. This is the true example of leadership! But the problem in society today is that most of us are unwilling to leave our 'high place' to help those currently in a 'low place'. We feel that it is beneath us to help the less-fortunate. Or we justify our snootiness by feeling as if "they deserve it." Well we deserve some stuff too! But Jesus' love and compassion toward us prevents us from getting what we justly deserve. Christ's leadership was/is governed by love. Want to be a leader? Learn to love people!
We live in a society that is filled with self-proclaimed leaders. But true leaders lead their followers FROM something and INTO something. Moses lead the Israelites out of Egypt and into the Promised Land. Martin Luther King, Jr. lead African-Americans out of racial oppression and into equality. Jesus leads His followers out of darkness and into His marvelous light ...... So if you were to tell me that you're a leader, my questions to you would be: "What are you leading me FROM?" and "What are you leading me INTO?" ... Establish answers to these questions, and then we'll talk leadership...
As a writer, my objective is to provoke thought. As a minister, my objective is to encourage you to Christ. As a disciple, my objective is to do these things in love.