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Evelyn M. Bingham
  Lately, I have been thinking about and feeling troubled by an occurrence which appears to be out of or beyond our control. I definitely do not want to conceded to victory, this thing, which is taking over our society in ways which are almost too numerous to mention. This thing, this culprit, in question is impersonality. 
  The dictionary definition of impersonality is: not personal, without connection or reference to any particular person. Not showing human feelings, esp. sympathy or warmth.
  This sadly brings to mind the most recent example shown on television news, about societal unconcern and callousness. I am speaking of the many drive-by shootings, the young teen shooting and killing of his mother, the many carjacking incidents, especially the 86-year-old senior citizen who was injured during the carjacking of his automobile at a gas station. Due to his broken leg, the injured senior had to actually crawl across the gas station lot and into the building being totally ignored by patrons outside as well as those inside, including the station owner. Thankfully, a Good Samaritan inside helped him and drove him home. 
  I, as well as many others, was shocked and in disbelief that this kind of don’t see, don’t care attitude was a part of our Detroit culture. New York, maybe, but Detroit never!
  If you will allow yourself to mentally confront societies reality of today, you will realize how the demise of closeness or connection with people is impacting the lives of all of us! Our young people consider it normal that each person does his or her own thing. Quite often, due to lack of training, there is no thought or knowledge of sharing of goals, preparation or enjoyment as a group, whole, or family unity. We are doing ourselves, our children, families and our society a grave disservice by continuing to condone our lack of warmth, sincerity and perseverance in reaching out to one another.
  This disconnection begins ever so slowly and innocently as the lessening or absence of sharing f of family meals, the gradual demise of family traditions such as our holiday celebrations of Christmas, Kwanzaa, New Years, MLK birthday, Mothers Day, Memorial Day, Easter, Fathers Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, family reunions, etc. The disconnect continues with the lack of written acknowledgement of birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, thank you, illness, and condolences. Then comes the decrease of home telephones and the increase of cell phone use thereby, nearing ceasing human face to face communication. 
  The introduction of the computer and other methods of electronic media have made instant communication the thing of today. It is extremely frustrating and next to impossible to contact any service or agency when a question or problem arises, and actually reach a human person in order to get a resolution for by the time you have clicked here, and punched there, and been subjected to someone’s idea of soothing music, you are so upset that when someone does answer, you’ve forgotten why you called. 
  While this instant technology is invaluable, in the advances it has brought and has added to our quality of life in many ways, and I’m sure no one would revert to our old ways. With texting, tweeting, Facebook, etc. instant knowledge as well as pictures are only a thumb click away! Still, however, it has erased so much in terms of interpersonal relationships. Time saved and speed of acquisition in reference to information has become an addiction for today’s society. Although every person or teenager may or may not own or have access to a computer, nearly all of today’s teens and younger do have a cell phone. I use the term addiction because, if you have ever seen a young person who is without their phone for any reason, you would know exactly what I’m referring to. It has become as a drug in their psyche for without one, they may act as though they’re going berserk.
  Phones today are a must have, a seemingly necessity, and without one, we are totally out of the loop. We are an “I see, must have” society. Each new acquisition must be bigger, better, more expensive and more advanced than someone else’s. Even after acquiring the desired object, apparel, gadget, etc. we are still searching for an elusive something, which will fulfill our emptiness or loneliness, we do not, however realize that this is our motivation for the actions we take.
  What we need is a return to love, a return to communication and closeness with other human beings and not behave as robots programmed to technology. Our technological gifts are just that and are to be used with intelligence, prudence and moderation, and must not be abused. We need to start by reacquainting ourselves with our family and loved ones, who are probably procrastinating and desirous of doing the same. We also should begin to recognize neighbors and others around you, and practice a few random acts of kindness to someone. Perhaps you could open or hold open a door for someone, punch an elevator floor, pay for someone and give them a smile. You will never how surprised thrilled and grateful they will be to have been noticed and blessed in this manner. They will appreciate the validation and hopefully choose to pay it forward.
  We need to be aware, that as intrusive as technology appears to be our personal lives for some it is unrecognized longing for love and happiness which causes us to use these technologies as tools to reach out and to thereby form a bond or connection or closeness with another human. We must express to our children that although technology is a necessity in our lives today, it is not to be taken for granted must be used with respect and moderation and it should never be allowed to rob us of the human touch.  

By Evangelist Barbara Colbert-Brooks
    Someone once said that of the seven fruits of the Holy Spirit; love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, and faith, longsuffering is the most challenging to cultivate. That which we are called to endure, or suffer long, is always a personal thing, piercing the heart, and particular to our own unique state of affairs. Some thing that continually plagues our lives, bringing about pain and suffering, that no matter how much we try, we find ourselves trapped in the circumstances, mentally, emotionally, or even physically, leaving us with a feeling of helplessness and despair. Having done all we can do, the situation remains a heavy burden, a thorn in our side, and a mountain too big for us to get over or around. 
  The Apostle Paul endured such a thorn, and in his distress, he cried out to the Lord three times to remove the tormentor. Yet three times the Lord told him that His “grace is sufficient” for him to endure. Whatever the matter was to Paul, it was a personal thing, and he knew it to be a humbler that served to keep him on his knees, and submissive to the Lord for his strength and perseverance. In the life of any Believer, it must be the same. As Christ carried His cross, so must we be willing to carry our cross. A personal cross that will surely be the thorn in our side, calling on long-suffering because we are carriers of the Cross. The mountain will rise before us intimidating and overwhelming, designed to make us think it is too big even for our Christ. But the Lord has promised that he would not place more on us than we can bear, and that when the cross becomes too heavy, the thorn has brought us to our knees, and the mountain seems the most defying, He brings into full fruition the fruit of long-suffering, enabling us to endure in tandem with all the remaining fruit of His Holy Spirit and graciously overcome. 
  For those who truly walk with the Lord, long-suffering is inevitable. While trials will come for everyone, in or out of the Will of God, when we know the Lord, and allow His Spirit to inhabit, lead and guide us, we will make the journey with strength, hopefulness, and victory. On the contrary, for those who choose to journey without the Lord, there will more than likely be unbearable pain, endless torment, and scars that damage the heart and soul with no hope for recovery. 
  Perhaps without the cross, the thorn, and the mountain, we would become self-glorifying, vain, and delusional believing that we are equal to the Almighty Himself. We would never really understand the work that is being done in the heart and spiritman when we are called to suffer long. It is the work of the Holy Spirit that we shall know God’s strength in our weakness. We should thank God for His spiritual fortifiers that come with the inhabitation of His Holy Spirit in our hearts and souls. And give Him glory for the cross, the thorn, and the mountain, for with Him there is no cross too heavy for us to bear, no thorn who’s piercing we cannot endure, and no mountain too big to overcome, all for our good, and for His glory. 

The cross, the thorn, and the mountain

Adjusting to an impersonal world