Showing posts with label match. Show all posts
Showing posts with label match. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Chairlift Rescue at Grouse Mountain : Holding on to Hope

Soon I will write up a post on my experience this day!  But for now I just want to write a small paragraph.  Just when the situation seemed hopeless, God inspired amazing people to turn it around.  He used five teens, from which at least three are loving faithful Christians, and two adults to completely change the ending to this story.  These five teens are an inspiration, their families chose homeschooling for them - and clearly it has paid off.  The five of them were  instruments in God's hands that amazing day!

God tenderly directed every person to help.  He also gave amazing fortitude to the father who held on to his child for so long.  Although it was terrifying for me, and at times I felt helpless, I prayed.    In my heart I knew I needed to document this amazing situation, people needed to see.  And the response has been amazing, people are being inspired and touched by God all over the world because of this video.  I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to "be God's hands and eyes" on this day.  Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit!

Feel free to ask me any questions you might have...

Carolina Prada Akoglu

Monday, October 20, 2014

Date, Dating, Breaking Up: Can you recognize yourself?

            We have all gone through some tough breakup or heartache. Actually, any time a relationship ends, it is very painful, no matter what type of relationship it might have been. A traumatic experience like this sometimes causes us to act differently, and maybe we will see a side of ourselves we did not even know we had. We might act in an irrational way or say mean things. We might cry or yell. We might break things or throw things. We might even think about taking our lives. When a situation of great stress arises, when we are faced with the fact that someone we greatly loved might not love us, it is a moment of great pain. We may be so distraught that we fall into a depression, lose our job or gain more weight than we ever thought could be possible.

Unfortunately, these situations do happen, at least once in our lives. When they do, what we need to do is to find a way to come out of them, instead of drowning in our own sadness and our own self-pity. We might feel the situation was unfair. Maybe someone lied to us or used us. Maybe we feel we wasted years of our lives or we were deceived into believing something that was not true. In any case, there is no safe way to avoid such things. All we can do is not let the horrible facts control us, not let ourselves be immobilized by a situation that has no solution, at least for the moment.

 We need to remind ourselves that sometimes it is necessary to let some time pass. We need time to collect our thoughts, analyze the facts and revise our feelings. We need time to heal and to get used to our new situation. We need to remind ourselves that we cannot let ourselves collapse. We need to love ourselves because if we don’t, we will be no good to anyone else. If we take our lives or if we fall into a deep depression, then who can we help? Who can we love? Who can we strengthen?

We need to stick around so that we can help others live through the same types of situations and so that we can encourage those who feel sad or weak. We can be a rock to others and let them lean on us in their tough days. Helping others is always a good way to help ourselves. We need to remember that most radical changes in our lives might not only have been necessary but might also have been for the best. Sometimes we get so attached to a person that we cannot let go. By not letting go, we close the doors to happiness, because we do not allow that person to grow and we do not allow new people to come into our lives.

So what do we do if our hearts have been broken? We seek help. We turn to God and ask for His love and mercy. We pour out our hearts to Him. We allow ourselves to be healed by His loving touch. He is always there to guide us and lift us up when we fall down. If we draw closer to God, He will draw closer to us! We need to focus on deepening our relationship with Him, and then everything will slowly start improving. Only then will we be able to turn to others. That is the second thing we need to do. We need to ask for the help of those who love us…maybe a family member or maybe a good friend. We need to open ourselves up to the help that comes from God through others.

At the same time, we need to remember that God gave us a brain to help ourselves, and we need to use it. We need to think of ways to cheer ourselves up. For example, we should turn off those sad love songs and instead listen to songs of praise and worship. When we praise God, we forget ourselves, and we open ourselves to His love. We need to get rid of everything that reminds us of the person who broke our heart, even if it’s just for a while. We need to box all that stuff up and put it into the closet or throw it away it makes no difference which, as long as we get it out of sight. When we feel we are starting to be overwhelmed by sad memories, we can turn on the TV, or we can call a friend to talk about anything other than the breakup, or, best of all, we can spend some time with Jesus.

If we feel as if all the couples in the world are being happy and loving just to make us miserable, we need to turn our heads there is always another direction to look at. Most importantly, we need to stay busy. We can motivate ourselves to look better than ever, pamper ourselves, maybe join a gym. We can focus on school or on work, be ambitious, think about getting a promotion or a new job, earn a Master’s degree or a PhD, or simply make it our goal to graduate with honours.

Do you see? It is up to us! We decide if we are going to collapse and let ourselves go, or if we are going to live through the disaster and succeed, no matter what. We are the ones who can consciously place ourselves in God’s hands and allow Him to redirect our lives and heal our hearts. For us, there should be no other option but that we will live through it, we will help ourselves and we will be happy again!

Wisdom to contemplate:

“You are the salt of the earth. But if salt loses its taste, with what can it be seasoned? It is no longer good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.” (Mathew 5:13)

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden.”(Mathew 5:14)

“So humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time.” (1 Peter 5:6)

“Humble yourselves before the Lord and he will exalt you.” (James 4:10)

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Gossip: Controlling the Tongue

Let’s focus on controlling what can become our worst enemy our tongues. Let’s say no to gossip and to all the other hurtful things that we can say to others! The people around us are very precious. When we are down, others can help us get up. When we are sad, others will cheer us up. When we feel we cannot go on, others will motivate us and encourage us. There is a proverb that says: “He who throws stones drives away birds; he who insults a friend breaks up the friendship.” Nobody is an island. We all need each other, especially when we are lonely or sad. But if we scare away everyone who cares for us by misusing our tongues, then we will inevitably find ourselves very alone.

            When we misuse the tongue, it harms us and others. We need to realize the importance of avoiding its bad habits. With the tongue we: lie, gossip, give away secrets and speak angry words. All these things will result in us becoming increasingly lonely. Why? Because people try to avoid pain at any cost, and lies, gossip, angry words and the betrayal of secrets hurt. Nobody likes pain, so we cannot blame people who drift away and avoid us if we have hurt them.

Sometimes the damage done by our words is obvious, and sometimes it is not. But the damage is not any less because we cannot see it. If we want loyal, caring, good friends, we have to be one ourselves. We need to be careful, so we do not lose all those people who love us. When we gossip and lie, we destroy the peace of those around us, and good people will after that do anything to avoid us. The only ones who will be left around us will be other gossips and liars, who will sooner or later end up gossiping or lying about us.

            The rule is simple: If we have nothing nice to say, it’s better to say anything at all. This does not mean that we don’t criticize or admonish the people we love. Criticism given in love is helpful and valuable. When our intention is to help and make things better, we still need to think carefully before saying it, and if we are still convinced it is a good thing to do, we can go ahead and speak. But if we are going to say something out of anger, jealousy, envy or revenge, or when the intention is to hurt, then our words are better not said. We must always think before we talk!

            The tongue can do a great deal of damage, but the tongue can also do a great deal of good as long as it is controlled by love. Without love, nothing can bring us good, but every action inspired by love, even if it seems small and unimportant, will bring some fruit afterward. Let’s make an effort to control our tongues. Any time we are trying to accomplish something of value, every time we want to do something good, we need to put effort in it. After a while, all our efforts will pay off and the results of our efforts will be good because when a good thing is repeated several times, then it becomes a habit. Let’s make it a habit to use our tongues for loving, encouraging, motivating, congratulating and everything else that is good. We can change the world, one word at a time!

Wisdom to contemplate:

“The tongue is a small member and yet has great pretensions. Consider how small a fire can set a huge forest ablaze. The tongue is also a fire. It exists among our members as a world of malice, defiling the whole body and setting the entire course of our lives on fire, itself set on fire by Gehenna…With it we bless the Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. This need not be so, my brothers. Does a spring gush forth from the same opening both pure and brackish water? Can a fig tree, my brothers, produce olives, or a grapevine figs? Neither can salt water yield fresh.” (James 3:5-6,9-12)

“He tells the truth who states what he is sure of, but a lying witness speaks deceitfully.” (Proverbs 12:17)

“He who guards his mouth protects his life; to open wide one’s lips brings downfall.” (Proverbs 13:3)

Friday, July 25, 2014

Painful situations can bring us together

Isn’t it ironic how in a blink of an eye our whole life can change? We often have a hard time realizing how lucky and blessed we are when everything in our lives is running smoothly. In one second our life can hang by a thread, in a moment our life can come to an end but we go about our lives refusing to think about it. It is a subject we do not want to address. We hardly ever stop to think about the frailty of our lives and about how much we need God. We end up wasting time in meaningless things and vain pursuits precious time that could have been spent deepening our relationship with God, mending broken relationships, improving ourselves, loving more, sharing more, finding more reasons to be happy and fewer reasons to be sad.

            We do not like to think about these things, but perhaps we should because then we could be somewhat more prepared when hard times come. Oftentimes, it is when we go through hardships that we find out what we are made of. It is then that we are given an opportunity to draw on the grace God has given us, an opportunity to exercise our strength, wisdom, love, patience, kindness and faith. It is in distressing times that we really come to experience the protection and mercy of God. If we can be ready for these tough times, through prayer, then a tragedy, a catastrophe or a great tribulation can be the source of spiritual growth and some of the biggest blessings in our lives.

            Sometimes, no matter how much we have prayed and how ready we think we are to face anything, when a terrible situation comes our way, we feel like St. Augustine when he wrote in his Confessions that he was “appalled at a world that could go on as though our catastrophe had not happened.” We feel drained, we feel frozen, and only hope remains.

            Many valuable lessons can be learned about hope, faith, endurance and strength. One of the greatest lessons is that the driving force behind all of these qualities is love. God has given us human beings an amazing capacity to survive the most heartbreaking moments. The great love of God that unites and that pours out from family members, friends and even strangers becomes the solid foundation that sustains us when we most need it, that great love that many times gets forgotten in the rush of everyday life.

            There are many amazing stories about people who have survived adversity and found it has not only changed their lives but touched the lives of many others as well. These are people who have survived by holding on to hope. Sometimes hope is all we need in order to make it through one more day. And one more day is all we need in order to make it through the rest of our lives¾because each new day brings renewed hope and a renewed understanding that God has given us the strength to endure difficult times and the courage to go on.

            Hope gives us strength when adversity pushes us to the limit. In adversity, hope gives us the ability to open our eyes and see what is really of value in life. Many people’s lives change forever because in hope they find meaning to their suffering. Great difficulties can pull people together, and many times great difficulties can produce forgiveness. Difficult times and problems are part of life, but it is how we choose to see these moments and how we choose to act in these times that will determine if they are in vain or not.

Wisdom to contemplate:

 “Hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the holy Spirit that has been given to us.” (Romans 5:5)

“He rescued us from such great danger of death, and he will continue to rescue us; in him we have put our hope (that) he will also rescue us again.” (2 Corinthians 1:10)

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and God of all encouragement, who encourages us in our every affliction, so that we may be able to encourage those who are in any affliction with the encouragement with which we ourselves are encouraged by God.” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)