In days gone by, if you look at Christianity and the Church, and the ‘organised religion’ of it all, people didn’t really get taught that you can actually have a conversation with God.
When I was younger, we were given set prayers that we could use to pray, but we were never encouraged to actually make up our own.
I still remember those prayers. The ones that we would sing at the end of the day at school, or recite like parrots, simply copying sounds, rather than truly understanding and connecting with the meaning behind them.
It is only in the last ten years, since I became a Christian that I have truly gotten to understand what it is like to actually talk to God, and to listen for His voice in all of this.
Sometimes, it’s so quiet, I can barely hear it, and other times, it is so loud, I wonder why no one else can hear. The thing is, gone are the days of reverent repetitions. I think we’ve come to a stage now, where we truly understand what it means to be in relationship with God. What it means to have fellowship with Him.
In reality, we can’t have a conversation with someone if we’re doing all the talking. This is how it is with God, too. Sometimes we have to be patient, pause and really listen, but if we do, we’ll find an even deeper layer to our faith.
People have always found making hurtful comments to others a part of life, but since the advent of the internet, and particularly, social media, it has become all too easy for people to make even more comments, and to potentially make someone’s life a misery, even to the point when they can see no escape other than death.
So many young people, in particular, are brought up to believe that being liked online is one of the main goals of life. They spend hours and hours trying to take the perfect selfie, that will get them the most likes, loves, shares, and retweets.
In our culture, we also now have a new breed of bully. The people who, if you’re trying to be nice, you would call ‘keyboard warriors’… These people could be the most shy, quiet people in real life, but give them a computer, and they can become the biggest bully in the whole world.
People don’t seem to realise how much the odd mean comment can hurt, particularly if the person it is aimed at is young and vulnerable.
I am so glad that social media wasn’t a thing when I was at school. I really don’t think I would have dealt very well with the criticism at all.
Thing I’m trying to get at, is that it’s easy to say things from behind a computer screen, but would you say them to the person’s face. If the answer is no, then maybe those comments would be better kept to yourself.
When deciding whether to make a comment, there is a simple acronym… you’ve probably heard it before…
T = Is it TRUE?
H = Is it HELPFUL?
I = Is it INSPIRING?
N = Is it NECESSARY?
K = Is it KIND?
This is an excellent way for us to make sure that we are only putting out positivity into people’s lives. There is so much hate in the world already, let’s not add to it…
I’ve always been more of a crocheter, but I love the idea of knitting, largely because there are so many really pretty knitting patterns out there.
Now, my sister taught me garter stitch, but for some inexplicable reason, known only to my brain, I couldn’t work out how to purl. A number of people tried to explain it to me, but I just couldn’t seem to grasp it.
Until the week before last. While watching a friend knitting, she explained once more, and for some reason, this time, it just clicked.
I’ve been practicing since then, and although I’ve had a few issues, I’m managing to produce some okay looking rows.
So, I thought I’d share this — my foray into the world of knitting with you….
At art class the other day, a new member of the class decided to walk around and look at everyone’s artwork. I could hear the comments that she was making; glowing praise of oil paintings; nice, positive comments on watercolours… yet, when she came to my work, the comment I got was simply this: “Oh, you’re just drawing, are you?”
Being me, I just nodded and carried on working on my tiny mouse picture, but inside I was fuming. The cheek of it, if nothing else. There were no comments about the likeness to the reference picture. No general praise. Nothing. Just that remark, and then a case of moving on.
Am I wrong to be upset about this?
The last time I checked, drawing underpins any artwork. You can be the best painter in the world, but if you can’t get your drawing right first, then you will never produce a piece that is anything other than an abstract, at best.
In the class I go to, so many of the people only consider pieces made with oil, acrylic or watercolour paint to be ‘proper’ art, and it annoys me so much.
Drawing skills are essential, and unless you are prepared to trace every single little detail from a stock photo, then you will need to learn these skills to have any chance of an accurate picture.
So, yes. I was ‘just drawing’, and once I had finished ‘just drawing’, I began the process of applying the colour with coloured pencils.
I may not have been working on a ‘painting’ in the strictest sense of the word, but drawing and illustration are just as much art forms as any other mediums, and it is about time that some people learned to realise and accept that!