“Our once great western Christian civilization is dying. If this matters to followers of Jesus Christ, then we must set aside our denominational differences and work together to strengthen the things that remain and reclaim what has been lost. Evangelicals and Catholics must stand together to re-establish that former Christian culture and moral consensus. We have the numbers and the organization but the question is this: Do we have the will to win this present spiritual battle for Jesus Christ against secularism? Will we prayerfully and cooperatively work toward a new Christian spiritual revival ― or will we choose to hunker down in our churches and denominationalisms and watch everything sink into the spiritual and moral abyss of a New Dark Age?” - Mark Davis Pickup

Monday, July 24, 2017


A young Christian blogger named Rana Tarakji, based in Beirut, contacted me to asked if she could write columns for the HumanLifeMatters blog. Rana wants to write a column about lifestyle, fashion and issues pertinent to young people. I thought perhaps a periodic column for young people might bring pleasant change to the HumanLifeMatters blog (which often deals with serious subjects of life issues and Christian faith. Here is Rana's first offering. MDP

by Rana Tarakji

Go to school, get a good education and then get a great, safe and secure job.

Growing up across the poor to upper middle -class sections of society, this statement or a version of it can be heard ringing from most homes. During many years of schooling even at the University level, teachers, professors, and administrators reaffirm the same ideas. In both instances, the guardian set over the students is coming from a place of love and protection. They know the struggles which limit the unprepared individual, but without knowing it, many students and children are being set up to fail as adults.

The 2008 financial crisis made one point very evident, depending only on a classic 9-5 as an income source is not a guarantee of success and it can also be unstable. Many who had great and so called secure jobs as executives among other vocations found themselves in a very dark and unfamiliar place with one question to ponder.

How do I overcome this time of struggle and keep my life intact without falling apart and losing my happiness?[1- see link below] Not having stability, especially financially, can cause many people to utterly collapse from mental exhaustion.

Discovering a Better Path
Having a great lifestyle is the aim for most couples; many even aim for the moniker of “power couple”. If the only aim as a couple is to become richer, a spouse losing their job can create a huge chasm in the relationship. That loss of income and the unsurety that comes with not knowing what is next can fester and develop into many arguments pertaining to unresolved feelings.

To overcome this hurdle and grow the relationship, one thing must be understood -- there is a difference between good advice and God-driven advice. Taking and applying the wrong piece of advice or help can cause a relationship to experience a nuclear winter (when the issue is more like a flat tire type of situation).

The first step is admitting to yourself that money is not what brings self-worth. Each step after this is based on having tough but honest conversations; for example, speaking with the Lord can give you time to reflect on past mistakes and prepare for new opportunities.[2 - see link below] A key factor afterwards is to position yourself for new opportunities as they arise.

Dealing with an unsure spouse who is used to a certain level of comfort comes next. Coming from a place of calm and logical honesty can prevent arguments down the line. Having honest conversations regarding the changing of a lifestyle is of utmost priority. Things such as seeking a smaller, cheaper house may be in order. If there are two cars, discuss giving up one of them if there is a monthly payment to be considered. Reduce spending on luxuries like art objects and focus primarily on needs.

Since one of you will have more time at home, consider cooking instead of eating out daily.
Rana Tarakji
[1] http://Stylerail.com
[2] www.Holyart.com

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