Race and Intelligence: Your IQ- Is it a blank check for gaining employment, college admissions or other social decisions?

Professor Arthur R. Jensen of the University of California at Berkeley, whose research published in 1969 reopened the question of racial differences in mental capacities and theories of intelligence. He stated:

“When I worked in a psychological clinic, I have to give individual intelligence tests to a variety of children, a many of whom come from an improvised background.

Usually I felt these children were really brighter than their IQ would indicate.  They often appeared inhibited in their responsiveness in their testing situation on their first visit to my office. When this was the case I usually had them come in on two to four different days for half-hour sessions with me in a “play therapy “ room. In this room we did nothing more than get better acquainted by playing ball, using finger paints, drawing on the blackboard, making things out of clay, and so forth.

As soon as the child seemed to be completely at home in this setting, I would retest them on parallel forms of the Standford- Binet test. A boost in IQ of 8 to 10 points or so was the rule, it rarely failed, but neither was the gain very often much above this.”

Apparently “8 to 10 points “ is more than half the average IQ difference  of 15 points between black and white Americans, which solidifies the argument that most ambitious  individuals, if given the right education and opportunities, are just as likely to be successful.

So therefore I ask, is our IQ a blank check for gainful employment opportunities, college admissions or other social decisions?

Professor Jensen also stated,

“Whenever we select a person for some special educational purpose, whether for special instructions in a grade school class for children with learning disabilities  or problems, or for a “gifted” class with an advanced curriculum, or for a college attendance or for admission to graduate training or a professional school, we are selecting an individual and we are selecting them and dealing with them as individuals for reasons of their individuality.

Similarly, when we employ someone, or promote someone  in their occupation, or give some special award or honor to someone for their accomplishments, we are doing this to an individual.

See my previous articles for detailed information:

The Power of Q: Creative Geniuses,

The Intelligent Person

Night School/Day School: Even high School- The Power of AAA Dow Jones Performances (Aptitude + Ability + Ambition)

Inter-generational Equity: Protecting the Future of Cultural Continuity

The variables of social classes, race, and national origin are correlated so imperfectly with any of the valid criteria on which the above decisions should depend, or, for that matter, with any behavioral characteristics, that these background factors are irrelevant as a basis for dealing with individuals- ad students or as employees.

Furthermore, since, as far as research suggest, the full range of human talents is represented in all the major races of man and in all socioeconomic levels, it is unjust to allow the mere fact of an individual’s racial or social background to affect the treatment accorded to them.”

So once again I ask, is our IQ a blank check for gainful employment opportunities, college admissions or other social decisions?

In short, even though much research has shown that IQ differences matter for educational, occupational and other achievements, the magnitude of those differences also matters, and in particular cases other factors may outweigh IQ differences in determining outcomes.

However, the importance of other factors beside IQ is not a blank check for downplaying or disregarding mental test scores when making employment, college admissions or other social decisions.

Predictive Validity

Author Thomas Sowell, in his book, Intellectuals and Race stated that, IQ test or college admissions tests may not accurately measure the “real” intelligence of prospective students or employees- however “real” intelligence may be defined.

The practical question is whether whatever they do measure is correlated with further success in the particular endeavor.

Where is the corporation heading? What standards are the colleges and universities striving for?

Does the individual have the capacity to grow and develop? Do they even want to grow? Is the individual’s dreams and aspirations mutually aligned with the vision of the company?

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Cayman Cancer Society

This is your fight song! Take back your life song!

Every person brings unique characteristics to dealing with illness: a particular personality, a way of coping, a set of beliefs and values, a way of looking at the world.

Being ill makes a person feel alone and we should never place blame as this only adds more feelings of distance and isolation.

We know a lot about the ways that our personality and emotions leads us to engage in habits or behaviors that increase our risk of getting cancer.

https://youtu.be/4X4fGbBRWw8

Good examples are smoking and lung cancer, or sunburn and malignant melanoma.

People today have many questions based on what they’ve read and what their friends tell them about cancer.

Questions

Some questions are:

1. Did my personality or emotions cause my cancer?
2. Did stress alter my immune system and caused my cancer?
3. Did grief or a loss cause my cancer, and could it make the cancer come back?
4. When I get down and depressed, am I making my tumor grow faster?
5. How important is support from others?
6. Can support groups help me live longer?
7. How can I help to make my treatment work?

Many people’s first experience with cancer begins with the discovery of a symptom or sign known to be a possible cancer indicator.

A breast lump, a sore that has changed in appearance or hasn’t healed properly, any persistent severe pain, blood in the stool or urine, a sore throat or cough that persists-these are several of the most common signs.

Many people who notice a “suspicious” symptom have encountered cancer before through the illness of a loved one, such as a parent or grandparent.

Others have not had such a personal experience but have seen cancer statistics in the media or heard about it within their community.

Cayman Islands Cancer Society

I still believe they all matter to us!

The mission of the Society is to increase awareness among the people of the Cayman Islands of cancer as a major health concern, to initiate positive change in all areas relating to cancer, to prevent the development of cancer and to counsel and support cancer patients and their families.

Made with the Famous 7 Mile Beach Sand

American Cancer Society

According to the American Cancer Society, about one out of eight invasive breast cancers develop in women younger than forty-five.

About two out of three invasive breast cancers are found in women fifty-five or older. In fact, the aging process is the biggest risk factor for breast cancer.

That’s because the longer we live, the more opportunities there are for genetic damage to occur in the body. And as we age, our bodies are less capable of repairing genetic damage.

That’s why it’s so important to take care of ourselves by eating right, exercising several times a week, maintaining a healthy weight, not smoking, and living a healthy lifestyle as we age.

Made with the Famous 7 Mile Beach Sand

Dense Breast Tissue

About 45% of women age forty to seventy-four have dense breasts. The younger you are, the denser your breast are.

Dense breast has been known to have more fibrous and glandular tissue than fatty tissue, which can make it difficult for a radiologist to detect cancer on a mammogram. Fatty tissue is dark, so any cancer is more visible.

Made with the Famous 7 Mile Beach Sand

National Cancer Institute

According to the National Cancer Institute, specific inherited mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2 increase the risk of female breast and ovarian cancers, and they have been associated with increased risks of several additional types of cancer.

Together, BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations account for about 20 to 25 % of hereditary breast cancers and about 5 to 10% of all breast cancers. In addition, mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2 account for around 15% of ovarian cancers overall.

Breast and ovarian cancers associated with BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation can be inherited from a person’s mother or father.

Each child of a parent who carries a mutation in one of these genes has a 50% chance (or 1 chance in 2) of inheriting the mutation.

Here’s another interesting fact-Studies also show that lack of regular exercise can impact the likelihood of developing breast cancer.

Even more reason for me to stay in the gym. Lol!

Made with the Famous 7 Mile Beach Sand

Prevent School Bullying: Bullying can damage people for life

Bullying remains a key issue at most schools today. Everyone needs to feel that they belong.

Many teenagers cry themselves to sleep, aching to fit in.

I have personally walked through John Gray High School and seen a few incredibly lonely and vulnerable young students stifling to fit into an environment that seemed too harsh for their delicate natures.

Or the all-important school cafeteria, where yet again I see lonely wall flowers with their heads down, sometimes birched at the end of lunch tables pretending to be invisible.

In contrast, there will always be the cool kids, who appear to have it all, the obviously smart kids, the eccentric but wonderfully creative kids etc.

Please note that I have nothing against the age-old stereotypes or groups that you will ultimately find at any school; what I do have a problem with is bullying in our schools.

I have not been blessed as yet with children of my own, but it is my intention to assist with the reduction of the number of cases involving bullying in our schools.

It is my hope that in this process, I am able to assist with the creation of a more cohesive environment which is healthier, kinder and overall more tolerant of those who are different by enriching the hearts and minds of this generation and the generations to come.

So how can we as a nation, renowned for our kindness, counteract issues of discrimination in our schools, bullying and different types of biases in relation to gender, ethnicity and class?

How can we as World Leaders, Politicians, Preachers, Teachers, Students and every hardworking community leader facilitate the needs of our fellow pupils in spite of their class, ethnicity or gender?

How can we become champions for this great cause, known as “Preventing School Bullying “when we consider each of our schools policies and classroom procedures?

Well, I don’t pretend to know these answers right now, but I am ambitious enough to do my research and analysis and share my findings as I have started to do as seen below:

Jodee Blanco

Jodee Blanco is one of the pre-eminent voices on the subject of bullying.

She is a survivor, expert and activist as well as the author of The New York Times bestselling memoir, Please Stop Laughing At Me… One Woman’s Inspirational Story. A chronicle of her years as the student outcast, the book inspired a movement among bullying victims everywhere of all ages–in middle and high schools, on college campuses, at the workplace, and at home.

She is also a youth advocate and the creator and executive producer of the critically acclaimed It’s NOT just joking around! anti-bullying program.

Her advice for students

  • If you’re a victim of bullying, remember, there’s nothing wrong with you.  It’s everything that’s right about you that makes you stand out from the crowd. Don’t change for anyone.  It is those who put you down and exclude you who need to change.
  • Never ignore the bullying and walk away.  You must look the bully in the eye without any emotions or fear, command him/her to stop, and then stare them down long enough for them to know you mean business. Sometimes this works! Always defend your dignity and  your  pride. Remember, standing up for yourself nonviolently in the moment that abuse occurs is your basic human rights. Seeking vengeance later on is the mistake.
  • Don’t suffer in silence. Confide in an adult you trust that you’re being bullied and need help.
  • School doesn’t have to be your whole world even though it may sometimes seem that way. Seek an alternative social outlet like the public library, local park, or various community centers.
  • If you see someone being bullied and don’t want to be a bystander, you have two options.  Intercede on the victims behalf and tell the bullies to stop or devise a clever excuse to pull the victim away from the situation.
  •  If you think you may be a bully or an Elite Tormentor, recognize that it’s not just joking around. You may be damaging someone else’s life for a lifetime. Stop and think about that for a moment. The next time you abuse or shun another classmate, or the worst of all, treat him/her as if their invisible.
  • Always remember that bullying isn’t just the MEAN things you do, it’s all the NICE things you never do on purpose.
  • Another thing, If you see a classmate is struggling to fit in or being maligned (means to have someone say unpleasant, vicious and untrue things about someone), tell a teacher or counselor. It could change that person’s life and it could save yours. You never want what happened at the Columbine High School or Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton to happen at your school too.
  • Don’t be afraid of professional help. Be honest with everyone, including yourself.  Your not crazy!
A school bus passes a makeshift memorial to the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting as it takes students to Newtown High School December 18, 2012 in Newtown, Connecticut. Students in Newtown, excluding Sandy Hook Elementary School, return to school for the first time since last Friday’s shooting at Sandy Hook which took the live of 20 students and 6 adults.

AFP PHOTO/Brendan SMIALOWSKI / AFP / BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
  • Pay attention to other classmates who may be experiencing some of the same loneliness and rejection you are experiencing and reach out to them in friendship.  You could end up forging bonds that will last a lifetime.

What is “Academic Bullying “?

That’s when a student or group of students purposely make it difficult for a classmate to perform academically.  For example, if your assigned a book report and another classmate checks out the book you need and keeps it just so you can’t have access to it for your assignment, that’s academic bullying.

What role does ethnicity play in school bullying?

When ethnic groups bully each other, it can be hurtful and infuriating, but at least “intended targets” can lean on others within their own group for support.  It’s damaging however when the members of an ethnic group turns on one of their own, because that person is now not only bullied from the outside but also shunned on the inside. Wow!

Cases like these frequently have long-term emotional and psychological consequences.

Can sibling rivalry have an impact on school bullying?

Jodee Blanco also states that sibling rivalry can be the early breeding ground for bullying behaviors. It’s important that parents do not allow sibling rivalry to flourish, because if children don’t learn compassion early on, in the home, they will bring that same lack of empathy to school.

Simba idolizes his father, King Mufasa, and takes to heart his own royal destiny on the plains of Africa. But not everyone in the kingdom celebrates the new cub’s arrival. Scar, Mufasa’s brother — and former heir to the throne — has plans of his own. The battle for Pride Rock is soon ravaged with betrayal, tragedy and drama, ultimately resulting in Simba’s exile. Now, with help from a curious pair of newfound friends, Simba must figure out how to grow up and take back what is rightfully his.

Generation K (True Lies)

Everyone lies at one time or another including me. Lying is a universal talent. Some people can do it rather well. Most little kids start practicing the skill as soon as they master language.

When you look at it objectively it seems the ability to lie is part of everyone’s kit of survival tools, a side effect of possessing language skills. There are a lot of situations in which the ability to lie is extremely useful.

For instance, there are times when you might have to lie to protect yourself or someone else. Or you might have to lie just to defend your personal privacy. People lie all the time to diffuse a tense social situation or to avoid hurting someone’s feelings or even to calm someone who is frightened.

The way I see it, if people couldn’t lie, they probably wouldn’t be able to live together in groups, at least not for long or with any degree of sociability. The bottom line is- if humans could not lie, civilization as we know it would cease to exist.

http://noreena.com/generation-k-what-it-means-to-be-a-teen-today-what-this-means-for-you/

According to Noreena Hertz, an author and commentator who, among other roles, advises world leaders on strategy, economics, geopolitical risk and artificial intelligence, stated that Generation K, sometimes referred to as Generation Z, has been fundamentally shaped by technology and spends a third of their day on different social media platforms online.

As the keynote speaker at the Royal Fidelity Cayman Economic Outlook Conference held on February 28th 2019 at the Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa, Ms. Hertz offered insights into this generation, which she says will make up approximately one third of the global workforce by the year 2022.

“Generation K” is made up of people born between 1994 and 2003. The “K” originates from the film franchise heroine with whom the generation’s members most identify: Katniss Everdeen of “Hunger Games”.

They have also been shaped by the worst recession in recent years, the financial crisis of 2008, job insecurities and a lack of financial optimism. Not to mention existential threats forged by the Manchester and Paris terrorist attacks, the rise of Al Qaeda and Isis, several terrorist attacks and multiply school shootings in many of their home cities.

Unfortunately, this generation has been desensitized from an early age to violence due to the repetitive and constant exposure experience in various ways as they grow. She states that it is not that the world had all of a sudden become garbage, but now many children and young adults’ own smartphones which never leave their side.

Unsupervised access to the internet, grants children many opportunities to bully others and be bullied. To view explicit videos and information and sometimes encounter sinister recruitment websites.

Ms. Hertz believes that because this generation saw the world as unequal and harsh, the impact is now making them extremely anxious. She says, statistics show that in the US, more than one in five high school students had contemplated suicide, and in the UK, there had been a threefold increase in the number of teenagers who self-harmed.

Although her research was primarily focused in the United States and the United Kingdom, she has also conducted limited studies in other western European countries as well.

Cayman Islands
https://teneishajohnsondream.wixsite.com/dreamcreator/the-intelligent-person

She continues to state that this generation strongly believes in equality. Economic, educational, racial, gender and social equality. They also are concerned about global issues like global poverty, global hunger and climate change.

Generation K has had to master the art of true lies in order to survive.

Also visit Joint Action Against Homophobic Bullying Project (JAAHB) at the following link: https://www.intercomtrust.org.uk/

Testamentary Capacity, Holographic Wills and Living Trusts vs. Wills

A few years ago I acquired more information regarding making a valid will in the Cayman Islands.

The execution requirements for making a valid will in the Cayman Islands are set out in the Wills Law (2004 Revision).

It is also a requirement of Cayman Islands law that a testator must have testamentary capacity at the time of creating his or her will.

The test for testamentary capacity, known as the “golden rule,” was first explained in the English case of Banks vs. Goodfellow and it remains good law in the Cayman Islands today. Here are the facts:

(a) Does the testator understand the nature and effect of what he/she is doing;

(b) Is he/she aware, broadly, of the extent of his/her estate;

(c) Does he/she appreciate the claims of those who might reasonably expect to benefit from his/her estate; and

(d) In considering (c), is there any disorder of the mind or insane delusion that will influence the disposition of his/her property or poison his/her affections such that he/she would make a disposition of property that he/she would not otherwise have made.

In summary, the Wills Law provides that a will must be in writing; it must be signed by the testator or by some other person in his/her presence, at his/her direction.

If the latter, the testator must acknowledge such signature in the presence of two witnesses present at the same time.

If the former, the testator’s signature must be attested to by two witnesses present at the same time in his/her presence.

Subject to only two exceptions for soldiers and sailors on active service, the execution requirements must be complied with; if not, it will be invalid.​

Holographic Wills

Unfortunately, the Cayman Islands law does not, as a general principle, permit holographic wills.

Holographic wills are documents that are usually handwritten and do not comply with the strict requirements for proper execution as a will but have nevertheless been written as testamentary documents, often in extreme circumstances.

​Famous Holographic Will

The most famous holographic will was that of Cecil George Harris, a Canadian farmer who in 1948 suffered the misfortune of becoming trapped under his tractor and fearing that he was about to die, carved a will into the fender which read, “In case I die in this mess I leave all to the wife. Cecil Geo. Harris.” The fender was submitted to probate as his valid holographic will.

Testamentary Capacity

Apparently in the common law tradition, testamentary capacity is the legal term of art used to describe a person’s legal and mental ability to make or alter a valid will.

This concept has also been called sound mind and memory or disposing mind and memory. Cool!

I also learnt that Testamentary intent refers to a testator’s intention with respect to a particular instrument that functions as his/her last will.

Testamentary intent is required for a will to be valid.

Then we have to consider the person’s legal capacity to enter a contract:

Here is a definition and example:

One of the elements of a contract is capacity. Capacity means that a person is legally able to enter into a contract.

There are several things that make a person legally able to do so, including age and state of mind.

A person who is in the end stages of Alzheimer’s disease probably does not have the requisite capacity to sign legal documents.

However, a person with a diagnosis of dementia may very well be able to sign legal documents. Generally speaking, capacity is usually analyzed situationally.

The other way to change your will is by adding what is called a codicil. A codicil is like an amendment or addition to your will.

Use a codicil to revoke part of your will or add a new provision.

To be valid, they must be dated, signed, and witnessed just like a legal will.

I learnt that it is extremely important to keep your will updated. As life changes, so do potential beneficiaries and heirs.

Updating Your Last Will and Testament

If you do not keep your last will and testament updated, it may not reflect your wishes given your new circumstances. The following are good situations in which changing a will may be wise.

  • Marriage:
    • When you get married, both you and your spouse should each create a new will.
    • Most states have laws that award a percentage of your estate to your spouse upon your death.  
    • However, if you want to devise your will differently, you should specify this in your will.
    • Furthermore, adding your spouse to your will may change the percentage of your estate, or of a specific asset, that another beneficiary or heir was previously written to receive.
    • Changing a will should reflect this new proportion as you see fit.
  • Common Law Marriage:
    • The following information was all I could find that would classify eligibility:
    • Any person who has been married to a Caymanian-

v      for at least five years immediately preceding the application, where the marriage took place prior to the 1st January 2004; or

v      for at least seven years immediately preceding the application, where the marriage took place on or after 1st January 2004

v      whose marriage is not a marriage of convenience;

v      who is not living apart from his spouse under a decree of a competent court or under a deed of separation;

v      who has not lived apart from his spouse for an aggregate period of three months

v      out of the five years immediately preceding the application where the marriage took place prior to 1st January 2004; or

v      out of the seven years immediately preceding the application where the marriage took place on or after 1st January, 2004.

v      who is legally and ordinarily resident* in the Islands immediately preceding his application; and

v      who has not in any country been convicted of an offence for which a sentence of imprisonment not exceeding twelve months has been passed other than for non-payment of a fine unless-

1.      the conviction has been quashed on appeal or has been the subject of a free pardon;

2.     the act or omission giving rise to such conviction would not be an offence if done or omitted in the Islands in similar circumstances; or

3.     the conviction is one which, in the interest of justice, the Board directs to be ignored for the purposes of this section,

  • Obtaining a new partner, without marriage:
    • Only if married will your partner automatically receive assets from your estate.
    • So, if you find yourself with a new loved one, changing a will to reflect what you would like to leave that partner is necessary.
  • Divorce:
    • Upon divorce, some states revoke any gifts you leave your spouse in your will. Other states do not.
    • Changing a will upon a divorce is very important.
    • You will want to either specify what you want to leave your former spouse, or else specify how those gifts should now be distributed.
  • A new baby:
    • There are laws in some states that give children some portion of your assets upon your death.
    • However, not everyone wants their property to be distributed the way the state laws specify.
    • If you welcome a new baby into your family, be sure to specify what gifts, the baby shall receive, by changing a will.
    • Perhaps more importantly, be sure to appoint a guardian for the baby.
    • This will be the person who will care for your baby should anything happen to you.
  • New stepchildren:
    • Stepchildren are not automatically entitled to inherit a share of your property in many states.
    • Therefore, if you would like for your stepchildren to inherit any of your property, be sure to specify your wishes by changing your own will.
  • Moving from a community property state to a common law property state:
    • The laws governing what each spouse owns vary depending on whether the couple lives in a community property state or a common law property state.
    • Therefore, if you are planning on moving to a new state, check that states laws.
    • If it differs from the one you currently reside it, be sure to change your own will, according to your new property ownership status.

i.e.    Persons of independent means:

The Cayman Islands Government offers five Immigration products for wealthy, private investors and senior executives who are seeking long-term residence in the Cayman Islands.

1.      Certificate of Permanent Residency for Persons of Independent Means (Form R5) – Persons who invest a minimum of two million Cayman Islands’ Dollars in developed real estate in the Cayman Islands may apply for a Certificate of Permanent Residence for Persons of Independent Means.

As the Certificate title denotes, a holder has the right to reside indefinitely in the Cayman Islands.

A holder will also have the option of seeking naturalization as a British Overseas Territories Citizen and, thereafter, the right to be Caymanian.

A holder and his spouse may also have their permission to remain varied to allow the right to work in the Cayman Islands.

2.      Residency Certificate for Persons of Independent Means Form R2 – This facility is for persons who wish to reside long-term in the Cayman Islands without the right to work.

Applicants will be required to demonstrate that they have invested a prescribed minimum amount in developed real estate in the Islands and that they meet certain financial standing requirements.

A successful applicant will be granted permission to reside in the Islands for a period of 25 years (renewable). This residence type cannot be varied to allow the right to work.

3.      Certificate of Direct Investment Form R8 – The Certificate of Direct Investment is for persons who invest, or propose to invest, a minimum prescribed amount in a licensed employment generating business in the Cayman Islands and in which he/she will exercise substantial management control.

An applicant must demonstrate a substantial business track record or an entrepreneurial background, including specific professional, technical and other knowledge relevant and necessary to carry on the business.

4.      Residency Certificate (Substantial Business Presence) Form R6 – This facility is for persons who invest in, or who are employed in a senior management capacity within, an approved category of business in the Cayman Islands.

A successful applicant is granted a Residency Certificate valid for 25 years (renewable) which entitles him to reside in the Islands and to work in the business in which he has invested or is employed in a senior management capacity.

  • Changing your mind about heirs: Of course, things can happen in life that cause people to change their minds about the way in which they’d like their property distributed. Changing a will to reflect these new wishes is important.
  • New or disposed of assets: Perhaps in your will you would like to leave all of your property or a percentage of your property to your heirs, then what you own changes and there is no need to change your will. However, if you have willed certain gifts to people in your will, and you no longer have those properties, be sure to remove said property from your will. Additionally, when you acquire new property, be sure to account for that in your will.

Ways of changing a will

The easiest way of changing a will is simply to make a new will. It is imperative that you revoke the old will.

To do this, simply write a statement in the new will that states that you revoke all wills and codicils that you have previously made.

This is sufficient to revoke any previous wills, but it is wise to also destroy any of your previous wills in order to avoid confusion or challenges to your new will.

The other way to change your will is by adding what is called a codicil.

A codicil is like an amendment or addition to your will. Use a codicil to revoke part of your will or add a new provision.

To be valid, they must be dated, signed, and witnessed just like a legal will.

Codicils were an efficient way of changing a will before there were computers and printing was a hassle.

Today, codicils should be avoided wherever possible. They can cause confusion, be lost, and are sometimes even a means to challenge wills.

That information is definitely worth remembering!

Changes to other estate documents

Much of your property passes by law to beneficiaries, despite what your will says.

Property such as retirement proceeds, life insurance proceeds, joint bank accounts, payable-on-death bank accounts, and stocks registered with a transfer-on-death form all pass directly to a specified beneficiary.

If you change your mind about who the beneficiary should be, change the names using the forms on which you named the original beneficiaries.

Do not change the named beneficiaries through your will, for it will have no effect.

Living trusts are also not affected by the terms of your will. If you decide to change the terms of your living trust, add an amendment to the original trust document. Then, transfer property in or out of the trustee’s name, accordingly.

You do not need to worry about having to revoke a trust and create an original one, like when changing a will.

Living Trust

What Is a Living Trust?

Aliving trust is a legal document, or trust, created during an individual’s lifetime where a designated person, the trustee, is given responsibility for managing that individual’s assets for the benefit of the eventual beneficiary.

A living trust is designed to allow for the easy transfer of the trust creator or settlor’s assets while bypassing the often complex and expensive legal process of probate. Living trust agreements designate a trustee who holds legal possession of assets and property that flow into the trust.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • A living trust designates a trustee to manage assets for the beneficiary, while the grantor is still alive.
  • Trustees with fiduciary duty manage trusts according to the beneficiary’s best interests.
  • Living trusts can be either irrevocable or revocable.

How Living Trusts Work

Living trusts are managed by a trustee who typically has a fiduciary duty to manage the trust prudently in the best interests of the trust’s beneficiary or beneficiaries designated by the trust settlor, also called a grantor. Upon the death of the settlor, these assets flow to the beneficiaries according to the grantor’s wishes as outlined in the trust agreement. Unlike a will, however, a living trust is in effect while the settlor is alive and the trust does not have to clear the courts to reach its intended beneficiaries when the settlor dies or becomes incapacitated. 

Types of Living Trusts

Living trusts can be irrevocable or revocable.

Living Revocable Trust

With a living revocable trust, the trust settlor can designate himself or herself as the trustee and take control of assets within the trust. However, this stipulation means the assets in the trust remain a part of the trust settlor’s estate, meaning the individual may still be liable for estate taxes should the estate be valued beyond the estate tax exemption at the time of death. The trust settlor also has the power to change and amend trust rules at any time. This means the trust settlor is free to change beneficiaries or undo the trust altogether.  

Irrevocable Living Trust

With an irrevocable living trust, the settlor relinquishes certain rights to control over the trust. The trustee effectively becomes legal owner, but the individual would also reduce his or her taxable estate. Once the trust agreement for an irrevocable living trust is made, the named beneficiaries are set and the settlor can do little to amend that agreement. 

Wills and Trusts

Wills and Trusts are both estate planning documents used to pass assets on to beneficiaries at death. … Here are five ways in which a Trust is better than a Will to pass your estate to your beneficiaries. A Trust can be used to Avoid Probate – a Will cannot.

When you die, this creates a change of beneficiary or beneficiaries. The person or persons you named in your trust documents to inherit from you become the new beneficiaries upon your death. They now own the assets you placed in your trust, according to the terms you decided when you made it.

Advantages to using a Trust over a Will

Wills and Trusts are both estate planning documents used to pass assets on to beneficiaries at death.  However, there are distinct advantages to using a Trust over a Will.  Here are five ways in which a Trust is better than a Will to pass your estate to your beneficiaries.

  1. A Trust can be used to Avoid Probate – a Will cannot. Probate is the process of changing the title on assets when someone passes away.  Assets that are owned in a deceased person’s individual name and for which there is no named beneficiary are no longer accessible once the owner of the asset has died. In order for family members to gain access to accounts or other assets in the deceased’s individual name, they must file a petition with the probate court and wait for the court to approve the Will and appoint the Personal Representative.  This can be a long and costly process during which bills cannot be paid and assets cannot be managed.  A Trust is an excellent probate avoidance tool because assets that are owned in the name of a Trust are immediately accessible to the trust-maker’s designated successor.
  2. A Trust can provide Creditor Protection for the Inheritance you Leave to Beneficiaries – a Will cannot. Many people worry that the inheritance they leave to their children will be lost to their children’s creditors such as a divorcing spouse, unpaid credit card bills, a bankruptcy, a business loss, or a lawsuit.  Sadly, this is often the case when assets are distributed to beneficiaries via a Will.  A Trust allows the maker to safeguard an inheritance from the reach of the beneficiaries’ creditors by keeping the assets out of the name of the beneficiary.  Ownership of the assets remains in the Trust.  The beneficiary will have access to the assets in accordance with the directions you leave in your Trust. You may also allow your beneficiary to serve as Trustee, allowing the beneficiary to manage her own inheritance.  By leaving assets to your beneficiaries via a Trust rather than outright via your Will, you can ensure that the assets you worked so hard for will be available to your children and future generations.
  3. A Trust can Protect Governmental Benefits for a Person with Disabilities – a Will cannot. If you have a child, grandchild or other beneficiary with disabilities, then a Trust is a must.  If you leave assets to a person who receives needs-based governmental benefits via your Will, it will place your beneficiary in the difficult position of either losing those benefits, or transferring the inheritance into a Trust of which the state must be the beneficiary at the beneficiary’s death.  Unless the inheritance you are leaving is so significant that the monetary and medical benefits available to the person through programs such as Social Security and Medicaid are no longer important, then making sure that those governmental benefits continue to be available is vital.  Leaving assets to a person with disabilities via a Trust is the best way to ensure those governmental benefits are preserved and that the inheritance you leave will be available to pay for expenses that are not covered by these governmental benefits, which while vital to many, are limited in their scope.
  4. Trusts can Reduce Estate Taxes – a Traditional Will cannot. Many married couples have so-called “I-love-you” Wills, which leave all assets outright to the surviving spouse upon the first death.  If you have an estate of more than $1,000,000, then using “I-love-you” Wills means that money you think you are leaving to your beneficiaries will in fact be going to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in the form of estate tax payable at the surviving spouse’s death.  If you would prefer that your assets pass to your family, create Trusts to reduce estate taxes.  Estate tax planning via Trusts for married couples is standard planning and permissible under both state and federal tax laws.
  5. A Trust can Administer Assets for Minor Beneficiaries without Court Intervention – a Will cannot. Leaving money directly to a minor creates an administrative nightmare because the law provides that a minor does not have the legal capacity to receive assets. The parent of the minor also does not have the ability to act as the child’s legal representative until the court says so.  As such, if you die with a Will that leaves money to minor beneficiaries, the court will need to appoint a Conservator to receive that inheritance for your children.  The Conservator will be required to report annually to the court and the court will appoint an overseer (guardian ad litem) to make sure the Conservator is doing his or her job for your minor beneficiaries.  This means huge costs and long delays in administering funds for minors.  It also means that when the minor turns 18, he or she will be entitled to receive all of those assets and will be free to do with them as he or she wishes (think fast cars, spring break, and lots of shopping).  Creating a Trust to receive assets passing to a minor, or even to a young adult beneficiary, is the best way to ensure that the court is not involved in the process, that the person  you want to manage assets for the beneficiary is able to do so, and that the beneficiary can use  the assets only for purposes you decide are important and/or at ages that you dictate.

These are just five ways in which a Trust is superior to a Will.

When There is no Will

According to Robert Mack, HSM Chambers, most people know that making a will is the “adult thing” to do, especially when children and other dependents are involved.

However, like most unpleasant things in life, we tend to put it off for as long as possible.

In some tragic cases life can end suddenly and unexpectedly, or a person can be struck down by illness and lose their mental capacity which would otherwise prevent them from creating a valid will.

So, when there is no will, what is the way?

See the Journal’s  link below for more details:

Where there’s no will – there’s a way

Digital Assets

Let’s also not forget that digital assets fall into two broad categories: valuable and sentimental.

Valuable digital assets include such things as cryptocurrencies, online investment/bank accounts, online store credits, intellectual property, and anything else which has a tangible dollar value attached to it.

Sentimental digital assets, on the other hand, include photographs, personal videos, blog posts, social media accounts, and information held in email messages.

So how can a Will manage these two distinct types of digital assets?

See the Link below for more details:

Hello World? Are you there? The Importance of Communication in a Multicultural World

In today’s world with all of its innovations and advance technology, you can communicate virtually from anywhere.

Sometimes charm is not enough. Arriving with the proper introductions and support is essential to developing workplace rapport. This is especially critical if you do not fit the local people’s stereotype of the Foreign V.I.P.

If you are not, by way of example, “The Beautiful Italian”, but instead you are of a respectable age with charming features, your initial reception may be less enthusiastic than if you fit the hosts’ preconceived image.

Unfortunately, some corporations play to the “stereotypes” and if you are a member of a minority, racial or ethnic group, female or physically disabled, this might be to your detriment.

When a former president of an Oil Company in Saudi Arabia said, “This business of communicating has become as important as finding more oil,” he stated a belief held by many. According to a study done by Watson Wyatt of 267 U.S. companies between 1998 and 2002, those that communicated most effectively provided a 26% return to shareholders and those with the least-effective communication provided a return of only 15%.

It was also concluded that those with the most effective communicative ability also had the less employee turnover. Our local newspapers inadvertently record daily, companies who are constantly and consistently seeking new hire. Why is that?

Think about it! Whatever type of organization you work in, now or in the future, your success and your organization’s success hinges on the collaborative ability to communicate effectively.

As we gallop full speed ahead into the 21st century, the concept of a global economy rings sharper than ever before! Technological advances in travel and telecommunications have provided the means for accelerated integration of the world market.

COMPETITION

Competition comes from every corner of the globe in today’s marketplace and is forcing many businesses to look at new ways of cutting costs while maintaining market share and high-quality levels.

I’ve also learnt that it is becoming more and more of an asset for an individual to become proficient in foreign languages. I need to brush up on my French. Lol! Managers and Consultants schooled in the ways of multinational business and multicultural service organizations are critical to the expansion of international opportunities.

For example, if we were to glance at the job ads in any of the big city newspapers around the world, if you have international skills, many countries are in need of English-language teachers. Business people have always been on the cutting edge of marketing the latest technological wonders, see my related article on the latest Blockchain Technology: Virtual Currency, The Blockchain Innovative Technology and its Regulation, Smart Contracts and Digital Assets

https://teneishajohnsondream.wordpress.com/2019/02/05/virtual-currency-the-blockchain-innovative-technology-and-its-regulation-smart-contracts-and-digital-assets/

This trend of internationalizing business and services has led to increasing numbers of people working in multicultural settings. Business relationships are now being forced to overcome cultural differences as firms strive to maintain a competitive edge in the marketplace.

However, according to my studies this is not as easy as it sounds. Working in a foreign country is, as the name implies, an alien experience. This means language and, most importantly, understanding diverse values in the workplace or country you’re currently residing in, is extremely important.

Therefore, individuals should be cognizant of their methods of communications and note that what might be successful in one country’s operations can and will sometimes meet with failure when transplanted into another cultural setting. Nevertheless, the basic communication process still remains the same.

The Communication Process

As we’ve all learnt as adolescents in school, it involves a sender or encoder who then sends a message using various channels or mediums (i.e. telephones, radios, televisions, computers, written memos, videotapes, electronic mails etc.) to a receiver or decoder. In this new age of advance technology, messages are communicated via Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, WhatsApp, LinkedIn, Snapchat, through the media, integrated in our songs, music videos, etc.

We have become a very interactive world! It has become regular news in today’s society to create products and methods which helps us to share and connect more and more with each other.

Early Inventions and Patents

The Fax (Facsimile) Machine

The fax (facsimile) machine is considered one of the oldest inventions. It is even older than Alexander Graham Bell’s telephone. Patents for the first fax machine dates back nearly 150 years.

Giovanni Caselli

The first commercial fax system was invented and patented in the United States in 1863 by an Italian priest, Giovanni Caselli, who helped establish a fax line between Paris and Lyons for five years, 1865-1870.

At the time, Giovanni was considered “some kind of a nut” with his scientific “junk” scattered all around his home. The Italian priest’s small home looked more like a mad scientist’s workshop than the residence of a man of the cloth. Giovanni worked alongside Alexander Bain, who was an expert clockmaker, for seven long years from 1857-1864, refining and improving the fax machine and Bain’s clock-driven pendulum idea.

Finally, in 1863 Giovanni Caselli made major improvements to the fax design:

•He installed a separate clock in the transmitting end that synchronized the pendulums on each perfectly. •His fax did not require the original to be scratched in metal or written in special ink. Ordinary ink worked.

•Originals could be reproduced in the same size or reduced.

•Different messages could simultaneously be transmitted through a single wire. While decorative and flowery pictures were occasionally faxed, the fax line was predominantly used to carry stock market information between 1866 and 1870. Eventually the fax caught the attention of the press, mainly because they could clearly see its benefits to their industry.

Newspapers and magazines praised the new invention for its public service.

“Who could do better?”

Wrote a journalist at the time. But the interruption of the 1870 war and the siege of Paris, saw the era of the mechanical fax machine with their pendulums and clockworks coming to an end.

At the turn of the century, mankind had upgraded to the modern fax machines that used light beams to read and write and had replaced the swinging pendulums.

Pictures by Fax – In 1902 physicist Arthur Korn of Germany dramatically improved English inventor Frederick Bakewell’s rotating drum idea. He constructed his cylinder out of glass, positioned a selenium cell inside, and wrapped the intended fax around the cylinder. By shinning a light through the picture and onto the selenium, Korn’s machine accurately converted the picture into electrical signals. On the other end, the signal was converted back to light and was shone on photographic film.

As a result, a permanent copy was created. Arthur Korn’s system was an overwhelming success, especially for the newspaper business, which was rapidly growing in circulation at the time.

The fax machine was quickly becoming indispensable to the press and realizing the machine’s value in the competitive newspaper business, the French newspaper at the time called L’Illustration bought out Arthur’s rights to the machine in 1906 and monopolized its use in France.

As I said before, we have become a very interactive and open world. Privacy is now a highly sought commodity! Especially for Public Figures and Celebrities and I can seriously understand all the reasons why.

However, let me not deviate from my own message which I’m trying to communicate. (Lol!)

The Telephone- Alexander Graham Bell (Patented on the 14th February 1876

Alexander Graham Bell is famous for inventing the telephone, but during Bell’s era another experienced inventor called Elisha Gray took Bell to court in the 1870s, suing for the patent rights to the talking machine.

Elisha Gray

Elisha Gray, (born Aug. 2, 1835, Barnesville, Ohio, U.S.—died Jan. 21, 1901, Newtonville, Mass).

Obviously Gray did not win the patent rights as Bell is credited with the invention. However, history might have recorded Elisha Gray as the inventor if Bell had not beaten him to the patent office by a few hours on February 14th 1876.

The story is one of the most fascinating and illustrative of the contrast in style between two different types of men: My studies claimed that one man was steered by the promise of fortune and fame, while the other strictly believed in the pursuit of knowledge as his own reward.

Even after winning his patent Bell could not convince big businesses or Elisha Gray of the telephone’s usefulness. Gray was known to refer to the invention as a “beautiful scientific toy”. Bell even offered to sell his telephone patent to Western Union https://www.britannica.com/topic/Western-Union-Corporation but it was rejected by the company. A few years later, the very same company tried to strip Bell of his patent in a lawsuit with Elisha Gray.

Many agree that Gray was definitely an able and diligent scientist who had independently arrived at the same conclusion as Alexander Bell, but the courts were convinced that Bell deserved the patent.

To Elisha Gray, as a self-assured business man, the telephone was an annoying curiosity, almost in the same category as a hobby. However, to Bell, an amateur inventor working virtually alone, the telephone was his life.

The Self-Service Supermarket

Clarence Saunders (9th August 1881- 14th October 1953) was a flamboyant and innovative man who thought there was a waste in manpower and space in the conventional stores of his time. It might sound strange, which it did to me when I came across this information, but the idea of a supermarket was indeed patented.

According to Inventing the 20th Century,100 Inventions that shaped the World by Stephen Van Dulken, Saunders idea was filed on the 21st October 1916 and published as US patent # 1242872. C. Saunders – Self Serving Store: Patented October 9th 1917 He named the new chain Piggly Wiggly ® and franchised the format as high-volume, low-profit margin stores. The Supermarket chain is still in operation to this day.

Apparently, there is a legend told about the unusual name of the supermarket chain. Saunders stated that he once saw from a train several piglets trying to get under a fence. Lol!

Clarence Saunders

Over the next several years Saunders patented several improvements to the concept of a self-service store, as well as such ideas as price tagging, a lightening system for self-service stores and tape for adding machines. Dispute with the New York Stock Exchange left him bankrupt and he never was able to live in the huge house in Memphis which he had started to build.

PINK HO– USE M– USEUM

It is now the Pink House Museum, and contains a replica of his first supermarket. Inventing is a very tough business. It takes a thick skin and the ability to keep smiling after constantly hearing “no”. With the death or departure of the founder of any innovative invention, quality often gives way to quantity.

Communication 101

In a survey of 480 companies and public organizations by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, the ability to communicate ranked first among personal qualities of college graduates sought by employers. We deliberately communicate through writing, reading, speaking and listening and according to Henry Mintzberg in The Nature of Managerial Work, Chief Executive Officer’s (CEO), spend allmost every minute of their day communicating.

In any organization, people communicate in many ways. Face-to-Face communication takes place during one-on-one discussions, in informal groups, and during meetings. However, when individuals communicate face-to-face, they experience the most effective form of communication. Both nonverbal cues and verbal communication supply immediate feedback.

The critical question for you to ask yourself when communicating is, “What is my objective?”. Do you want to motivate others to support a new or existing idea? Do you want to encourage healthy open dialogue or are you just disseminating useful information?

Miscommunication or no Communication

Unfortunately, there are many causes of miscommunication. As we know, right here in the Cayman Islands, we have many people living and working here from around the world and this can sometimes cause personality differences, word-meaning confusion, inferences, gender differences and intercultural differences.

However, I personally do not believe that this should be looked upon as a “bad thing” but as a necessary catalyst for stimulation and growth for our economy. Individuals from different cultures bring different perceptions, value systems and different languages to the workplace.

Yes, it may cause miscommunication but hey, most people are good people and there might be something you can learn from them and vice versa! I strongly believe we just need to be more sensitive and aware of an individual’s background and experience when communicating in order to be our most effective. We should also check to see if there are any hidden biases and if we are forming an opinion regarding certain people based on their sex, religion, age, race or simply because they belong to a particular group.

Prejudging people may make it difficult to communicate with them. And I can’t stress enough that we should avoid stereotyping and the use of sexist, racist or ethnic remarks.

Feedback

Immediate feedback is best but sometimes not realistic. Feedback reports to the sender that the receiver (the decoder) received and understood the message. When the receiver responds to the sender, the communication process starts over again. Feedback therefore makes communication a two-way process, allowing the sender to become a receiver and vice versa.

Sometimes personal reflections can be a source of feedback when you make observations of yourself in action. You might ask yourself, “Wow, was that really me? I didn’t think I could really do it,” or “Why didn’t I think of doing this before?” Or, you might observe a certain scenario and state, “This didn’t really work the way I planned it, but the reality turned out to be better than I could have hoped for.”

Other people are also great for feedback, with one being the sender and the other being the receiver. Sometimes we need constructive observations of our actions towards others. Someone may tell you,

“I didn’t think you had the guts to actually remain in such a toxic environment for so long. I know I couldn’t. I’m very impressed with you!”

or,

“Ever since you returned from college, you’re like a different person-so strong and decisive and self-confident. I like it!”

Unfortunately, there will always be those people around you who may be jealous of your decisive actions or your self-confidence and may give you negative feedback without any real reason for their comments.

But, if you stop and think about it, you will realize that many times a person’s jealousy is just a way of revealing their envy of you. Either way, the feedback is necessary.

Results are another important source of feedback. By observing the actual effects of your actions on the intended subject, you may be able to clear up misunderstandings and explore each other’s viewpoints. If the necessary debates and negotiations work out well, everyone should feel as if some of their ideas were taken into account.

Even though technology has revolutionized the way we communicate and conduct business, the most vital element of communication remains the continued development of an organization’s most valuable resource-its people.

Thailand Dancers

It’s a no brainer- It isn’t that hard to choose (Thailand)

Thailand is a country that is located in Southeast Asia. The country’s official name is the Kingdom of Thailand, and it used to be called Siam.

Thailand’s National Flag

Thailand Flag

The National Flag has five horizontal stripes of three colors: Red, White, and Blue which has a very significant meaning.

The vibrant color red signifies the life-blood of the Thai people. The white stripe symbolizes the purity of Buddhism, the National religion and the dominant blue stripe represents the Thai King, the Monarchy and the important part it plays in the daily life of Thais.

The present national Thai flag, the “Tri-Rong” or three sacred colors, was designed by King Rama VI.

Thailand General Knowledge

There is also the magnificent capital city of Thailand called Bangkok, and it is also the largest city in the country.

The country has a population of approximately 67,959,000, making it the 20th most populous country in the world. The country has a total area of 198,120 square miles and is the 50th largest country in the world based on area.

The largest ethnic group is Central Thai and the official language spoken is also called Thai, and over 95% of Thailand’s residents practice Buddhism.

Here’s another fun fact that I found- A common greeting in Thai culture is “Have you eaten?” followed by “How are you?” Cool!

RICE

Rice production in Thailand represents a significant portion of the Thai economy and labor force. In 2017, the value of all Thai rice traded was 174.5 billion baht, about 12.9 percent of all farm production. Of the 40 percent of Thais who work in agriculture, 16 million of them are rice farmers by one estimate.

National Symbols of Thailand

Guess what else I was happy to learn? There are several National symbols of Thailand.

First is the Emblem of Thailand featuring the Garuda.

Emblem of Thailand
Emblem of Thailand

The National Flower is called the flower of the Ratchaphruek or Golden Rain Tree (Cassia fistula) as seen below:

Golden Rain Tree in bloom
Golden Rain Tree in bloom

And guess what I just learnt? We have it in the Cayman Islands too. Where? At Camana Bay of course.

If you look close enough, you will see many signs identifying Camana Bay’s unique flora and fauna from the Dart Nursery- which is home to more than 180 unique species of palms and 500 species of trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants. Cool!

Then we have the opulent Thai pavilion or Sala Thai as national architectural element.

Thai pavilion
Thai pavilion

Sala Thai, is an open pavilion, used as a meeting place and to protect people from sun and rain. A person who builds a sala at a temple or in a public place gains religious merit. A sala located in a temple is called a salawat. Some temples have large salas where laity can hear sermons or receive religious instruction.

These are called sala kan parian meaning ‘pavilion where monks learn for the Parian examination.

The city halls or offices of the province governors are called sala wa kan (literally meaning ‘government pavilion’) or sala klang changwat (literally meaning a ‘provincial main pavilion).

And finally, there is the National Animal which is the Thai Elephant.

Thai Elephant
Thai Elephant

Thailand’s Constitutional Monarchy

The country of Thailand is a constitutional monarchy and has been since 1932. It has also been said to be one of the few remaining countries in the world to have this type of government.

King Maha Vajiralongkorn has been on the throne since 2016.

King
King of Thailand, King Vajiralongkorn

The King of Thailand, King Vajiralongkorn (or Rama X), is the current monarch, reigning since the death of his father Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX) on 13 October 2016. He has only exercised the role of monarch since 1 December 2016.

The constitution stipulates that although the sovereignty of the state is vested in the people, the king will exercise such powers through the three branches of the Thai government.

Under the constitution the king is given very little power, but remains a figurehead and symbol of the Thai nation.

As the head of state, however, he is given some powers and has a role to play in the workings of government.

According to the constitution, the king is head of the armed forces. He is required to be Buddhist as well as the defender of all faiths in the country.

The king also retained some traditional powers such as the power to appoint his heirs, the power to grant pardons, and the royal assent. The king is aided in his duties by the Privy Council of Thailand.

Cost of Living in Thailand

Thai currency

There is no magic number for the cost of living in Thailand because everyone is different.

Everyone comes from a different background, has different tastes, has different spending habits and different budgets with different life styles.

I recently watched a fantastic romantic comedy called Crazy Rich Asians, which was about a poor girl who finds her Prince Charming – and is then thrown into the extravagant, glitzy, catty world of the Singapore elite.

The idea that an everyday woman could meet a dashing man and end up marrying into aristocratic society is as we all know, a well-worn, and well-loved, story convention that has built the foundation for tales like Pride and Prejudice and Cinderella or Anna and the King


The story of the romance between the King of Siam and widowed British schoolteacher, Anna Leonowens, during the 1860s.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s_RO3S-KniE

However, in reality, for those of you considering Thailand as your premier destination for building a family, here are a few other things to consider:

• Do you have a girlfriend/boyfriend?
• Are you married?
• Do you have children?

Thailand’s current constitution

“The human dignity, rights, liberty and equality of the people shall be protected”.

The country’s current constitution was put forth in April of 2017. Thailand has so far had seventeen Constitutions. Throughout, the basic structure of government has remained the same.
The current (2016) constitution, drafted by a body appointed by the military junta (NCPO), states in section 4:

[1] This is unchanged from the 2007 constitution.[2] Sections 26 to 63 set out an extensive range of specific rights in such areas as criminal justice, education, non-discrimination, religion, and freedom of expression.

The government of Thailand is composed of three branches: the executive, the legislative, and the judiciary.

The system of government is modelled after the Westminster system.

All branches of government are concentrated in Bangkok, the capital city of Thailand.

Agriculture and Tourism

Thai Ladies

Agriculture and Tourism are the two most important and lucrative industries in Thailand.

Rice Farms
Thailand Beaches
Beautiful beaches of Thailand

One of Thailand’s many attractions is called Udon Thani.

Water lilies
Image credit: @puyfai_th

Although Udon Thani is off many tourists’ radars, it’s known to have one of the largest expat populations in Thailand, making it one of the best places to visit for those who don’t speak much Thai (like me!). The best part is, it only takes a 45-minute flight to get here from Bangkok.

Muek Lek Sunflower Fields
Muek Lek Sunflower Fields: image credit: @izzy__z

Thailand’s biggest sunflower field is called Muek Lek Sunflower Fields and it is tucked away in this little province of Lopburi in central Thailand.

According to my research, it only takes approximately 2 hours from Bangkok to get there.

Apparently, you can find all things sunflower-related there-sunflower seeds, honey, and oil just to name a few. Cool!

Mistreatment of Elephants

During my research however, I was grieved to learn that it’s common knowledge that elephants in Thailand are often abused and tortured for human gain.

Thai Elephant
Thai Elephant

The mistreatment of elephants is one of the most notorious animal welfare problems in Thailand.

There are elephant camps across the country that raise elephants in captivity (or snatch them from the wild) and use them in shows and for tourists to ride on.

For the most part, the training of these captive elephants involves wrenching young elephants from their mothers, and torturing them into submission, breaking their spirit. Even then, life isn’t good for them.

Many are kept in chains, with limited room to roam and are controlled by the use of force, and made to do unnatural tricks. If you want to see elephants in Thailand, do your research and find a responsible elephant project.

Elephant Nature Park is one of the most famous organizations and best-known elephant conservation project in Thailand. The center was founded in 1995 and is located near Chiang Mai, in Thailand’s north.

More than 35 elephants roam free here, and many of these have been saved from torturous camps that exploit elephants for tourism or logging purposes. The center is also home to dogs, cats, and other rescued animals.

Thailand is a country whose landmarks showcase its history, while its cities show the modern conveniences of today.

As I stated in my title- it’s a no brainer; the country of Thailand is a land that boasts stunning flora and fauna, natural beauty, and historical landmarks and that is what makes that country a great place to live or visit.

It’s a no brainer! It isn’t that hard to choose.

Discover the Yello or “Blues” in You: Post Pregnancy

As writers we all share a common goal of telling a story. It is our awesome responsibility to communicate successfully to our readers information of all kinds.

I strongly believe that the function of both writers and journalists are very relevant in today’s society.

According to Louis D. Brandeis who was an associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, “The function of the press is extremely important. To mistake or suppress the news is in breach of trust.”

However, I believe that although journalists try to honor and protect their carefully won independence from party and commercial pressures, they must be careful not to get detached from the outside pressures which could bleed into disengagement from the community.

https://teneishajohnsondream.wordpress.com/2018/07/30/level-up-it-is-through-preparedness-that-we-shall-weather-the-storm-together/

What’s your story and why do you like yellow? When I see the color yellow- I think happy!

According to my latest research-the color yellow relates to acquired knowledge. It is the color which resonates with the left or logic side of the brain, stimulating our mental faculties and creating mental agility and perception.

Being the lightest hue of the spectrum, the color psychology of yellow is uplifting and illuminating, offering hope, happiness, cheerfulness and fun. In the meaning of colors, yellow inspires original thought and inquisitiveness.

Yellow is creative from a mental aspect, the color of new ideas, helping us to find new ways of doing things. It is the practical thinker, not the dreamer. Yellow is also the most highly visible of all colors which is why it is used for pedestrian crossings. Cool!

The color yellow in the Bible also refers to God’s glory (Ezekiel 1:4) or the brightness of Christ (Revelation 21:23). Yellow can also refer to God’s fire (Hebrew’s 12:29) or judgment (Genesis 19:24). Yellow is used to describe the color of gold (Psalm 68:13).

1 Corinthians 14:13
13 For this reason the one who speaks in a tongue should pray that they may interpret what they say.
14 For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is unfruitful.
15 So what shall I do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will also pray with my understanding; I will sing with my spirit, but I will also sing with my understanding.
16 Otherwise when you are praising God in the Spirit, how can someone else, who is now put in the position of an inquirer, say “Amen” to your thanksgiving, since they do not know what you are saying?
17 You are giving thanks well enough, but no one else is edified.
18 I thank God that I speak in tongues more than all of you.
19 But in the church, I would rather speak five intelligible words to instruct others than ten thousand words in a tongue.
20 Brothers and sisters, stop thinking like children. In regard to evil be infants, but in your thinking be adults.
21 In the Law it is written:
“With other tongues and through the lips of foreigners I will speak to this people, but even then, they will not listen to me, says the Lord.”
22 Tongues, then, are a sign, not for believers but for unbelievers; prophecy, however, is not for unbelievers but for believers.
23 So if the whole church comes together and everyone speaks in tongues, and inquirers or unbelievers come in, will they not say that you are out of your mind?
24 But if an unbeliever or an inquirer comes in while everyone is prophesying, they are convicted of sin and are brought under judgement by all,
25 as the secrets of their hearts are laid bare. So, they will fall down and worship God, exclaiming, “God is really among you!”

The Yello Cayman Team placed special emphasis on education and our children in the 2018 directory, featuring the history of our education system, what it means to be a teacher, showcasing all of our youth associations and the multiple businesses who generously invested in education.

Personally however, I have come to realize that in order to promote and create equity ($$$) in an educational context and provide dividends; we teachers need to ‘understand’ how our students learn and how this is affected by their physical, intellectual, linguistic, social, cultural and emotional development.

Therefore, I’d like to upgrade my lesson to include the following features:

  • A student of Innovation or Creativity should be able solve problems, create products or raise issues in a domain that is initially novel but is eventually accepted in one or more cultural setting.
    • Such performances may include a student knowing the basics of marketing and creating a website like the following: teneishajohnson-dream(currently being upgraded to better serve you)

The above are just a few examples of tools created or used to gather and disperse information, while displaying creativity and skill all at the same time!

Discovery Day in the Cayman Islands

On the third Monday of every May, the people of the Cayman Islands celebrate the discovery of their islands by Christopher Columbus in 1503. This year, Discovery Day will be on the 20th May 2019.

According to historical records, on May 10th 1503, it was recorded that Christopher Columbus discovered the Cayman Islands and named them Las Tortugas after the numerous sea turtles seen swimming in the surrounding waters.

Labor Day: Our Caribbean Neighbors

Also, during the month of May, many other Caribbean countries like Montserrat, Barbados, Aruba, Bonaire, St. Eustatius, Saba, Curacao, St. Maarten, Grenada and St. Lucia will recognized what is known as Labor Day.

However due to 2017’s volatile hurricane season, many of them are still truly laboring to build back their homeland.

Many places like Anguilla suffered catastrophic damage after the passing of Hurricane Irma.

Many Government Infrastructures were demolished, Parliamentary buildings flattened, Hospitals and Schools swept away after the hurricane had finished its devastation.

See the following link for updates on their recovery: https://www.islands.com/caribbean-hurricane-recovery-update

The Observance of Child Month in May

Speaking of Labor, during the entire month of May which is the fifth month, we shall once again celebrate our children!

This May will be the annual observance of Child Month. During this time a series of events and family activities will take place that help raise awareness of the important roles and different functions of the various people in the community, who help make the Cayman Islands a better place for children.

Did you also know that five means grace or favor? I declare that our children are definitely sovereign favor from the Lord!

I have already started praying in earnest for young boys and girls to rise up and take their rightful place in a society that may instigate and perpetuate havoc with their ignorance and innocence.

Even though they may be earnest and young, may they find God’s purpose for their life and grow in confidence and love towards one another.

The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund was created by the United Nations General Assembly on 11 December 1946, to provide emergency food and healthcare to children and mothers in countries that had been devastated by World War II.

UNICEF works in 190 countries and territories to save children’s lives, to defend their rights, and to help them fulfil their potential, from early childhood through adolescence. And they never give up.

Discover UNICEF’s work for every child, everywhere. Visit: https://www.unicef.org/

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital Logo (PRNewsFoto/St. Jude Children’s Hospital)

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, founded in 1962, is a pediatric treatment and research facility focused on children’s catastrophic diseases, particularly leukemia and other cancers.

The hospital costs about $2.8 million a day to run, and there is no cost to the patient to be treated. Visit the following link for more information: https://www.stjude.org/

Captain Marvel is an extraterrestrial Kree warrior who finds herself caught in the middle of an intergalactic battle between her people and the Skrulls. Living on Earth in 1995, she keeps having recurring memories of another life as U.S. Air Force pilot Carol Danvers. With help from Nick Fury, Captain Marvel tries to uncover the secrets of her past while harnessing her special superpowers to end the war with the evil Skrulls.

We have so many people who are famous for their philanthropic endeavors, however the wonderful experience of watching an awesome movie is definitely an art worth carrying forward!

http://www.shareadream.ie/

The Share a Dream Foundation was founded by Shay Kinsella in 1989 after meeting a beautiful 7-year-old girl who was fighting a terrible uphill battle with Leukemia. Seeing what this little girl (and her family) was going through in her fight to hang onto life and find some quality of life was heart wrenching for Shay.

He wondered if she had ever done anything special in her short but traumatic young life and when he was told her greatest dream was to go to Disneyland, Shay set about making her dream come true.

Sadly, however this little girl passed away before Shay was able to help realize her dream and this left him devastated. At that moment he promised that he would do everything he could to bring a little magic into the lives of sick and disabled children all over Ireland and so was born the “Share a Dream Foundation”.

Now in its 27th year, the Share a Dream Foundation has worked with thousands of children North and South to help their dreams come true and give them a break away from hospitals, painful treatments, loneliness and fear.

Each year Share A Dream Foundation helps hundreds of families throughout Ireland to escape from their everyday lives and just have fun. We hold Concerts, Trips to Disneyland, the National Children of Courage Awards and Dream Ball, Family Holidays and help make many individual dreams come true for terminally ill children.

God’s Final Word: His Son (Hebrews 1:1-4)

In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. So he became as much superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is superior to theirs.

The Son Superior to Angels (Hebrews 1:5-14)

For to which of the angels did God ever say,
“You are my Son;
    today I have become your Father?"
Or again,
“I will be his Father,
    and he will be my Son?"
And again, when God brings his firstborn into the world, he says,
“Let all God’s angels worship him.”
In speaking of the angels he says,
“He makes his angels spirits,
    and his servants flames of fire."
But about the Son he says,
“Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever;
    a scepter of justice will be the scepter of your kingdom.
You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness;
    therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions
    by anointing you with the oil of joy.
10 He also says,
“In the beginning, Lord, you laid the foundations of the earth,
    and the heavens are the work of your hands.
11 They will perish, but you remain;
    they will all wear out like a garment.
12 You will roll them up like a robe;
    like a garment they will be changed.
But you remain the same,
    and your years will never end.”
13 To which of the angels did God ever say,
“Sit at my right hand
    until I make your enemies
    a footstool for your feet?"
14 Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?

Warning to pay attention (Hebrews 2:1-4)

We must pay the most careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away. For since the message spoken through angels was binding, and every violation and disobedience received its just punishment, how shall we escape if we ignore so great a salvation? This salvation, which was first announced by the Lord, was confirmed to us by those who heard him. God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.

Jesus made fully human (Hebrews 2:5-12)

It is not to angels that he has subjected the world to come, about which we are speaking. But there is a place where someone has testified:
“What is mankind that you are mindful of them,
    a son of man that you care for him?
You made them a little lower than the angels;
    you crowned them with glory and honor
    and put everything under their feet."
In putting everything under them, God left nothing that is not subject to them. Yet at present we do not see everything subject to them But we do see Jesus, who was made lower than the angels for a little while, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.
10 In bringing many sons and daughters to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through what he suffered. 11 Both the one who makes people holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters. 12 He says,
“I will declare your name to my brothers and sisters;
    in the assembly I will sing your praises.
13 And again,
“I will put my trust in him.”
And again he says,
“Here am I, and the children God has given me.”
14 Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil— 15 and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. 16 For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham’s descendants. 17 For this reason he had to be made like them, fully human in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. 18 Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.

Jesus greater than Moses (Hebrews 3:1-6)

Therefore, holy brothers and sisters, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, whom we acknowledge as our apostle and high priest. He was faithful to the one who appointed him, just as Moses was faithful in all God’s house. Jesus has been found worthy of greater honor than Moses, just as the builder of a house has greater honor than the house itself. For every house is built by someone, but God is the builder of everything. “Moses was faithful as a servant in all God’s house", bearing witness to what would be spoken by God in the future. But Christ is faithful as the Son over God’s house. And we are his house, if indeed we hold firmly to our confidence and the hope in which we glory.

Warning against unbelief (Hebrews 3:7-19)

So, as the Holy Spirit says:
“Today, if you hear his voice,
    do not harden your hearts
as you did in the rebellion,
    during the time of testing in the wilderness,
where your ancestors tested and tried me,
    though for forty years they saw what I did.
10 That is why I was angry with that generation;
    I said, ‘Their hearts are always going astray,
    and they have not known my ways.’
11 So I declared on oath in my anger,
    ‘They shall never enter my rest.’ ”
12 See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. 13 But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. 14 We have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original conviction firmly to the very end. 15 As has just been said:
“Today, if you hear his voice,
    do not harden your hearts
    as you did in the rebellion.”[c
16 Who were they who heard and rebelled? Were they not all those Moses led out of Egypt? 17 And with whom was he angry for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies perished in the wilderness? 18 And to whom did God swear that they would never enter his rest if not to those who disobeyed? 19 So we see that they were not able to enter, because of their unbelief.

A Sabbath- Rest for the people of God (Hebrews 4:1-13)

Therefore, since the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it. For we also have had the good news proclaimed to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because they did not share the faith of those who obeyed.[a] Now we who have believed enter that rest, just as God has said,
“So I declared on oath in my anger,
    ‘They shall never enter my rest.’”
And yet his works have been finished since the creation of the world. For somewhere he has spoken about the seventh day in these words: “On the seventh day God rested from all his works.” And again in the passage above he says, “They shall never enter my rest.”
Therefore since it still remains for some to enter that rest, and since those who formerly had the good news proclaimed to them did not go in because of their disobedience, God again set a certain day, calling it “Today.” This he did when a long time later he spoke through David, as in the passage already quoted:
“Today, if you hear his voice,
    do not harden your hearts.”
For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken later about another day. There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; 10 for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works,  just as God did from his. 11 Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish by following their example of disobedience.
12 For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. 13 Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

Jesus the Great High Priest (Hebrews 4:14-16)

14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. 16 Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

Hebrews 5:1-10)

Every high priest is selected from among the people and is appointed to represent the people in matters related to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. He is able to deal gently with those who are ignorant and are going astray, since he himself is subject to weakness. This is why he has to offer sacrifices for his own sins, as well as for the sins of the people. And no one takes this honor on himself, but he receives it when called by God, just as Aaron was.
In the same way, Christ did not take on himself the glory of becoming a high priest. But God said to him,
“You are my Son;
    today I have become your Father.”
And he says in another place,
“You are a priest forever,
    in the order of Melchizedek.” During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him 10 and was designated by God to be high priest in the order of Melchizedek.

Warning Against Falling Away (Hebrews 5:11-14)

11 We have much to say about this, but it is hard to make it clear to you because you no longer try to understand. 12 In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! 13 Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. 14 But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.
Twinkle Twinkle little Star

Losing the Status of Pregnancy

Childbirth is a beautiful experience or it should be, however many women not only discover and experience the yellow (child) within, but many of them also experience the “Blues” or “Baby Blues”.

During the first days after childbirth, many women miss the “simplicity” of their pregnant days. Before the baby arrived, they had few responsibilities and benefited from enormous amounts attention. While pregnant, they might have been pampered, taken care of, watched over meticulously by doctors and treated as the most valuable commodity carrying the baby.

During delivery, the expectant mother may still be the center of the universe, but as soon as that baby is delivered, all attention has shifted to the baby. And it is not easy to give up one’s role as the star!

Baby Bottles

Friends and relatives run straight to the cradle without asking how the mother is doing.

Many women have waited months, sometimes years to have a baby, only to now find their womb empty and themselves ignored.  For many women, especially the “21st Century Super Woman” the hardest part is being referred to just a single role, that of mother.

Body Confidence

According to Sylvia Brown, author of The Post-Pregnancy Handbook, this psychological fragility is often accentuated by the disappointment that most women feel in regard to their own bodies. She writes that many of them would like to recover quickly and get their bodies back in shape and also regain their lost equilibrium.

I’m too sexy for my body (Lol)!

However, it must be realized that realistically, it takes months to do that. It takes nine months to create a baby and perhaps may take the same amount of time if not more to recuperate. New mothers must accept that their bodies will never be the same, that their body will now have a new appearance, and fulfill new functions.

Fatigue

Fatigue brings on depression. Most mothers are exhausted after delivering a baby. If their labor was long, they probably missed a night’s sleep. Added to the physical fatigue a mother may endure is the nervous tension of actually giving birth, the physical suffering, and for some “the excruciating” pain and constant worry.

After the actual experience of childbirth, some mothers may have to deal with the pain of an episiotomy (find meaning), hemorrhoids, or the scar of a cesarean section which also inhibits sleep.

Uncertainty and Regrets (Maternal Instincts)

The arrival of a baby can unleash a crisis of self-confidence. Even if the new mother thinks she has “prepared” for the birth, by reading wonderful and informative books like The Post Pregnancy Handbook by Sylvia Brown, the new mother may be surprised by the baby’s apparent vulnerability.

The mother is now thrown off track by the number of new things she has to know, and by how little direction her baby gives her. She may also not be very confident in her maternal instincts and questions her fragile feelings, that are so new to her:

“It’s not normal. Yesterday he opened his eyes and drank, but he has been sleeping nonstop since yesterday evening. That can’t be normal”.

The new mother doubts her ability to satisfy her baby. All of this constitutes a shock for the woman who until now felt that she was in charge of her own life.

The feeling of powerlessness can be multiplied if the childbirth was a difficult one.  Some women feel the have “failed” in childbirth if they have had to use anesthesia when they had expected to be able to master their own pain, undergo an emergency cesarean section or had forceps used during delivery.

Some women miss their full, fertile belly, which is now empty, or they are disappointed if the father is not behaving as they had hoped he would.

They have now also lost their status as a little girl, and now must become a responsible mother, forsaking the previous attention bestowed upon them, and turning their attention to another.

Baby Blues (Different types of Postnatal Reactions)

The “Blues” is another word used for Postpartum Depression and is very frequent and completely normal after childbirth. This mild sadness usually disappears quickly as the hormonal and psychological systems get back on track and the mother gets wrapped up in her child.

Unfortunately, researchers say some women develop a much more severe depression that begins in the weeks following delivery and can impair their ability to mother the child and fall in love with it.

Being detached then makes the mother feel even more depressed and inadequate about not being a good mother. What was meant to be a joyful time has now turned into a nightmare.

It is important to be alert to the possibility of severe depression after delivery-especially in women who have had one in previous pregnancies. 

  • The baby blues: short-term state of depression principally of hormonal origin.
  • Postnatal depression: not strictly limited to the postnatal period. This is a psychiatric illness that requires both prescription medication and /or psychotherapy.
  • Puerperal psychosis: This is an extreme form of postnatal depression that requires immediate hospitalization, with symptoms including hallucinations, extreme confusion, and rejection of the baby.

Socioeconomic Causes

  • Financial and professional insecurity is one of the biggest sources of real worries for many new mothers, especially if the new mother has any doubts about whether she will be able to return to her job or if she fears the reactions of her boss or colleagues.
  • Many single mothers are faced with the uncertainty of support from the child’s father, or may not be able to identify or locate the child’s father in order to receive that support.
  • Some mothers, even though they may be married, may have a husband who is unemployed, or the couples combined financial situation is not strong enough to support the baby’s arrival.
  • Some mothers face public humiliation from the public rejection by the father of their baby, especially if the father is disturbed by the baby’s arrival. The father may be jealous or frustrated by another human being taken his place in the “spotlight”. The new mother, wants to make her husband happy and keep the couple intact (often, subconsciously, in order to ensure her child’s financial and emotional security), but she is disturbed by the father’s indifference or even hostility to the child.

Many women feel they are losing control of their life during the weeks after childbirth. During pregnancy, they may feel that their body was escaping their control and beyond proper nutrition and a healthy lifestyle, a pregnant woman cannot control the development of the baby inside her.

An obsession with perfection or expectations set too high will most definitely lead to anger and frustration when events don’t go as planned. Many women find themselves in competition with other women or their own mothers, to try to prove that she can be a better mother, or deliberately does the opposite to show her disapproval.

A perfectionist, who has read everything and prepared for every detail of the baby’s arrival as if motherhood were a science, may then expect every aspect of her baby’s life to fit into well-defined boxes. If childbirth or the baby presents even the slightest complication, the mother may feel hurt and betrayed. Her self-esteem has now taken a real blow and she feels extremely guilty that she cannot seem to satisfy her baby’s needs.

Many new mothers worry excessively the first time they conceive, but over-time and with the experience of perhaps several pregnancies, many mothers learn to relax and go with the flow.

Spiritual Fullness in Christ (Colossians 2:6-15)

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.
See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ.
For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, 10 and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority. 11 In him you were also circumcised with a circumcision not performed by human hands. Your whole self ruled by the flesh was put off when you were circumcised by Christ, 12 having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through your faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead.
13 When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, 14 having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. 15 And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross

Freedom from Human Rules (Colossians 2:16-23)

16 Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. 17 These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ. 18 Do not let anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels disqualify you. Such a person also goes into great detail about what they have seen; they are puffed up with idle notions by their unspiritual mind. 19 They have lost connection with the head, from whom the whole body, supported and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows as God causes it to grow.
20 Since you died with Christ to the elemental spiritual forces of this world, why, as though you still belonged to the world, do you submit to its rules: 21 “Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!”? 22 These rules, which have to do with things that are all destined to perish with use, are based on merely human commands and teachings. 23 Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence.

Living as those made alive in Christ (Colossians 3:1-17)

Read your bible, pray every day..and you’ll grow, grow, grow!
Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is you life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming] You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. 11 Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.
12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Further Instructions (Colossians 4:2-6)

Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains

Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.


And the Oscar goes to? Sex and the City

Allegations of sexual misconduct and harassment over the years, whether substantiated or not, have frequently been discussed amongst the community and the places we each call home. It affects virtually all nationalities and religions around the world.

However, even one child or teen being abused by a priest/pastor (or by anyone else) is too many.

Most cases of abuse, although being reported recently, go back two, three, four, or even fifty decades. Unfortunately, there was much less knowledge of the dynamics of abuse then than there is available today. Many times, offenders would be allowed to continue in their ministries after going through a time of brief counseling.

I am not against restoration of an individual, however, I believe it’s worth mentioning that according to research approximately 70% of accused priest/pastors were reported to also be survivors of abuse themselves. Wow!

A psychopath is murdering women across the Midwest. The FBI sends Agent Clarice Starling to interview psychiatrist Dr. Hannibal Lecter, a brilliant, diabolical cannibal who could provide insight into the killer’s identity. Lecter agrees to help Starling only if she’ll feed his morbid curiosity with details of her own complicated life. Starling is forced to confront not only her own hidden demons, but also an evil so powerful that she may not have the courage – or strength – to stop it.

Statistics recorded that many of them had serious psychological problems such as substance abuse and/or mood and personality disorders.

See my previous article: Disturbia

You may also visit www.silentlambs.org  for additional information regarding sex offenders.

Thankfully, we have elevated our standards and now members of the clergy are more mature when they begin seminary. They undergo intense comprehensive psychological testing’s that includes specific evaluation for sexual problems and risk factors, and they are extensively trained in how to manage sexual issues.

See another one of my articles: Fifty Shades of Play: Happy Valentine’s Day!

We live in a culture where the sexual abuse of children is not uncommon. There have been reported cases of public and private school children that have been sexually abused or molested by school staff or employees. Regrettably, research also indicates that a greater percentage of children have been abused by family members, rather than by the clergy or school staff.

The publicity surrounding sexual abuse has raised consciousness in many communities of faith, and many have established stringent and detailed policies for ensuring the safety of children and young people.

http://www.d2l.org/

These often include such things as never having a child alone in a room with an adult; an open-door policy in classrooms; extensive screening and background checks on all personnel who come into contact with children, and detailed procedures for reporting suspected abuse and dealing with offenders.

Child sexual abuse is a complex and serious problem. A few years ago, I attended a Darkness to Light training session at the Red Cross Cayman Islands and was also informed that the training could also be completed online at www.D2L.org

At Darkness to Light, their vision is to have a world free of child sexual abuse. A world in which all children are loved, protected, and nurtured, able to grow up healthy, with their sexual boundaries intact.

Sins that bring Curses

We read in Deuteronomy Chapters 27 & 28 that curses are promised for sins in these six areas: idolatry, dishonoring of parents, dishonesty and deception, cruelty to the helpless, sexual sin of any kind, and disregard for the law. (Some references concerning the sins of the fathers are Deuteronomy 29:24-28; 2 Chronicles 7:19-22; 34:23-25; Ezra 9:4; 13-15; Nehemiah 9:1-3; Isaiah 65:6-7 and Jeremiah 14:20-22; 16:10-13).

Please also see one of my previous articles:

The Sins of the Father (Generational Curses: The Dark Tower)

“There is that unseen and mysterious connection between a father’s (also mother’s) sins and the path of their children. If the parent commits certain kinds of sin, regardless of their training, or the social, cultural, and environmental influences on them- the sin or iniquity that is committed is “passed down” to the children, to the third and forth generation.

Each generation adds to the cumulative iniquity, further weaken the resistance of the next generation”.

Pastor Burton Stokes

However, Mr. Stokes also stated that he does not mean to imply that there is any deficiency in the power of the blood of Jesus, which redeems us from the curse of sin, or that believers today are bound to the letter of Old Testament Law. But if we rebel in our hearts and rebuild idols in our lives, we can be ensnared again by the same yoke of bondage from which we’ve been delivered (see Galatians 5:1, 16). Therefore, we again become susceptible to the curse.

Please note however that these insights are not intended to bring you into fear or bondage, nor cause you to attribute every problem in your life, habit, or bad character trait to a curse or a demon. Sometimes emotional and behavioral problems have physiological or biological foundation as I have come to realize.

If we take the time to look at the various issues we have in our lives and become aware of our vulnerabilities, I strongly believe with the help of the Holy Spirit, we can renounce the sins we’ve yielded to in our lives and strengthen our defenses against the evil one.

An example of a prayer may be like this:

“Father, we come before you to confess and repent of our sins
and the iniquity of our forefathers. Forgive us for the sins of idolatry,
witchcraft, rebellion, immorality of any kind, addictions etc. 
According to Ephesians 6:12, we bind all principalities and
powers trying to influence us or our family, and we forbid them to operate in
the name of Jesus. We declare that our Family is under the blood of Jesus; we
revoke any generational curses and say that they will go no further. Jesus
became a curse for us, therefore we are a generation that serves God.
Father, forgive us for depending upon any source that is not
of you. Pour out your supernatural power in our families, so we will not be
bound by the things of the natural world. We ask you to send your warring
angels to do battle on our behalf.  We
thank you in advance that our children will take their place in the body of
Christ and fulfill your calling upon their lives.
Father, we submit to you, and our hope and expectations are
from you alone and no other spirit. By the power and authority of Jesus Christ
of Nazareth, we declare ANY satanic influence directed towards our families
destroyed and defeated by Jesus’ death on the cross.
We thank you for freeing us from the bondage of our past and
cleansing us by the blood of Christ. We also would like to thank you for our
faithful Christian heritage- for those ancestors who did follow you and prayed
for us so that we may become stronger in you and the power of the Holy Spirit. 
We thank you for your mercy and your grace and for the
blessings you bestowed upon us and our families. Amen”.

Demons are Masters of Deceit

Satan’s goal is, through deception, to entice believers to sin or commit any act which quenches the Holy Spirit in their lives or dilutes their effectiveness in glorifying God through both personal conduct and Christian service. His desire is to find any areas in our lives where he can attach himself (See Ephesians 4:27). Through his demons he seeks to find any “sin handles” which give him access to influence us into actions of disobedience towards God.

Satanism is a big problem around the world and it is beyond anything that has been portrayed in the press or in movies. Every city, town or country has its covens, groups or community of people who directly worship and serve Satan.

It doesn’t matter how you “pretty it up” and make it look glamorous, every religion that worships and serves demons is a form of Satanism. Some people refer to them as energies, vibrations, pagan gods, spirit entities etc.

I don’t care! They are still demons!

Demons are masters of deceit. They have the ability in the spirit realm to “switch the sets” just the same as men do in the movie making industry. If you have ever visited Universal Studios, Warner Brothers (WB) etc., where many of the movies are made in America, you can walk down one street and be in the “Old West,” turn down the corner, and you are in 18th century England, turn another corner, and you are in a different time and country, maybe even on a different planet!

Demons can do the same thing in the spirit world and create all sorts of illusions, like modern day magicians for the humans under their control.

I have learnt that in some Eastern religions they center around gaining contact with the spirit world through meditation techniques to blank the mind. My scripture tells me that we are responsible for and should control our own minds at all times. (II Corinthians 10:5)

Visualization and guided imagery are also very old techniques but effective for gaining contact with the spirit world. Apparently, those techniques alone are responsible for thousands of Christians falling into the trap of using occultic practices.

Most important to note is that children go through a developmental stage where they use a lot of imagination and visualization.

During my ongoing extensive research, I was stunned to find out that there are many occultic games and toys for children. Parents should be extremely careful about the toys they buy for their children and the types of video games that they play.

The Bible says we are the temple of the Holy Spirit and just like a house, our temple should be guarded and protected from “unwelcomed doorways”.

What is a doorway? It’s a term used as a sin that defiles the temple.

Types of Doorways

  • Inheritance (Generational curses etc.)
  • Ouija board
  • Ritual sex
  • Tarot cards
  • General occult games
  • Animal sacrifice
  • Murder
  • Horoscope
  • Blood contracts
  • Witchcraft
  • Drugs
  • Kung fu
  • Karate
  • Human sacrifice
  • Drinking blood (animal & human)
  • Hypnosis
  • Incest
  • Palm reading
  • Yoga
  • Rock music
  • Occult & horror movies
  • Rebellion
  • Drunkenness
  • Multiple sexual relationships
  • Cannibalism
  • Astral-projection
  • Blasphemy

We can create many doorways and I’ve listed a few above however one such door way is sexual molestation.

Sexual molestation unfortunately is the most common childhood doorways. Apparently, it is always followed by a cycle of early sexual involvement on the part of the child with ever increasing involvement in sexual sins as the person gets older. This is usually because of the demons that may have been placed in the child at an early age.

Children are very vulnerable and should be protected at all cost! However, we adults are susceptible too and should be aware of the basic differences between the Occult and Christianity.

For example, the occultist will always try to control their contact with the spirit world and try to control the person or people within. If they do not do what the they are told, they are then punished. To a large extent, the Satanist appears to be controlling the power they are using for whatever purpose it’s being use for at the time.

However, as Christians, we are never in contact with the spirit world except for the brief occasions when the Holy Spirit allows such contact and we Christians do not and cannot control the power of God. We are simply his servants or vessels of honor, nothing more.

The Lord works through His servants as He chooses, not as we choose. Demons however, only cooperate with humans to give them power when that person wants it, and it is only used as a tool or I’d say a “carrot stick” to draw them even farther away from the Lord and into satanic worship.

Jesus promises the Holy Spirit

The gift of the Holy Spirit empowers us to be strong women of God, even in our moments of weakness. In the bible, Jesus promised his followers, “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, or Strengthener) that He may remain with you forever; the Spirit of Truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.

The Work of the Holy Spirit (John 15:26-27)

26 “When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father—the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father—he will testify about me. 27 And you also must testify, for you have been with me from the beginning.

John 16:1-15 New International Version (NIV)

16 “All this I have told you so that you will not fall away. They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact, the time is coming when anyone who kills you will think they are offering a service to God. They will do such things because they have not known the Father or me. I have told you this, so that when their time comes you will remember that I warned you about them. I did not tell you this from the beginning because I was with you, but now I am going to him who sent me. None of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ Rather, you are filled with grief because I have said these things. But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. When he comes, he will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment: about sin, because people do not believe in me; 10 about righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; 11 and about judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned.

12 “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. 13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. 14 He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. 15 All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.”

Jesus Prays for His Disciples (John 17:6-19)

“I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word. Now they know that everything you have given me comes from you. For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me. I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours. 10 All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And glory has come to me through them. 11 I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one. 12 While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me. None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled.

13 “I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them. 14 I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. 15 My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. 17 Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. 18 As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. 19 For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified.

Jesus Prays for All Believers (John 17:20-26)

20 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— 23 I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.

24 “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.

25 “Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. 26 I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.”

I pray that as we will continue to be careful in our walk by faith and obedience to our Lord Jesus Christ, we will not allow desires for power to draw us into Satan’s trap.

Cages and Curses (Wild Thoughts)

Cages and Curses (Wild thoughts)

There is no peace when you serve Satan! What is caging you may ask? It is when a person is literally put in a cage spiritually, so that they cannot see the wrong actions of someone, or so that they will believe lies about someone. It’s kind of like putting mental blinders on someone. Like the blinders you’d put on horses so they see in only one direction.

We must be ever vigilant as Christians so that we can discern if a person is a true servant of Jesus Christ. Once a person is caged, it is easy to place all kinds of wrong thoughts into their minds and they will not realize that the thoughts are inconsistent with God’s word. This is one way in which demonic doctrines can get accepted in the Christian Churches today.

As Christians, we must refuse to accept anything or anyone at face value and test everything against God’s word. Don’t fall for someone just because of his or her charisma. Unfortunately, in today’s society we are easily susceptible to following people with a lot of charisma.

I believe that is perhaps one of the greatest problems within our churches today. Too many people may obtain positions of leadership simple because they have very charismatic personalities which naturally attract people.

Satanism is a big problem around the world and it is beyond anything that has been portrayed in the press. Every city, town or country has its covens, groups or community of people who directly worship and serve Satan.

Unfortunately, it also appears that even some High schools, Universities, Colleges and even Christian schools have their own covens.

In addition to this, did you know that many Asian religions practice another form of Satanism like Egyptians and Caribbean cults?

It doesn’t matter how you pretty it up and make it look glamorous, every religion that worships and serves demons is a form of Satanism. Some people refer to them as energies, vibrations, pagan gods, spirit entities etc.

I don’t care! They are still demons!

In 2 Timothy 4:1-5 it states,

In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge:

2 Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage-with great patience and careful instruction.

3 For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.

4 They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.

5 But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministries.

The Appeal Renewed

2 Timothy 2:1-13

1 You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.

2 And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrusted to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others

3 Join with me in suffering, like a good soldier of Christ Jesus.

4 No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs, but rather tries to please his commanding officer.

5 Similarly, anyone who competes as an athlete does not receive the victor’s crown except by competing according to the rules.

6 The hardworking farmer should be the first to receive a share of the crops.

7 Reflect on what I am saying, for the Lord will give you insight into all this.

8 Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. This is my gospel,

9 for which I am suffering even to the point of being chained like a criminal. But God’s word is not chained.

10 Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they too may obtain the salvation that is Christ Jesus, with eternal glory.

11 Here is a trustworthy saying: If we died with him, we will also live with him;

12 if we endure, we will also reign with him. If we disown him, he will also disown us;

13 if we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself.

And I forward to verse 19

19 Nevertheless, God’s solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription:

“The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness.”

20 In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for special purposes and some for common use.

21 Those who cleanse themselves from the latter will be instruments for special purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.

22 Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.

23 Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels.

24 And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful.

25 Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth,

26 and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.

Types of Doorways

  • Inheritance (i.e. generational curses)
  • Ouija board
  • Ritual sex
  • Tarot cards
  • General occult games
  • Animal sacrifice
  • Murder
  • Horoscope
  • Blood contracts
  • Witchcraft
  • Drugs
  • Kung fu
  • Karate
  • Human sacrifice
  • Drinking blood (animal & human)
  • Hypnosis
  • Incest
  • Palm reading
  • Yoga
  • Rock music
  • Occult & horror movies
  • Rebellion
  • Drunkenness
  • Multiple sexual relationships
  • Cannibalism
  • Astral-projection
  • Blasphemy

Curses can also be placed on mirrors and this can be used as a doorway for demons to enter into a place. Mirrors are a common doorway frequently used to establish communication with the spirit world. All Christians must be alerted to this source of trouble, especially pastors and Christian leaders.

Terrible damage is being done within Christian churches and in relationships between people because of these curses and incantations. We must always be alert and sensitive to the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

Put on the whole Amor of God and ask the Lord to show you how to use it. Even though we may not be able to see the armor of God, it is real armor in the spirit world. We can use it in the physical world with the help of the Holy Spirit.

So, what exactly is the Armor of God you may ask? In Ephesian 6:10-18 it says,

10Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

 13Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.

And I say personally, 19Pray for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given to me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should. Amen”

Psalm 35

Contend, Lord, with those who contend with me;
    fight against those who fight against me.
Take up shield and armor;
    arise and come to my aid.
Brandish spear and javelin[
    against those who pursue me.
Say to me,
    “I am your salvation.”

May those who seek my life
    be disgraced and put to shame;
may those who plot my ruin
    be turned back in dismay.
May they be like chaff before the wind,
    with the angel of the Lord driving them away;
may their path be dark and slippery,
    with the angel of the Lord pursuing them.

Since they hid their net for me without cause
    and without cause dug a pit for me,
may ruin overtake them by surprise—
    may the net they hid entangle them,
    may they fall into the pit, to their ruin.
Then my soul will rejoice in the Lord
    and delight in his salvation.
10 My whole being will exclaim,
    “Who is like you, Lord?
You rescue the poor from those too strong for them,
    the poor and needy from those who rob them.”

11 Ruthless witnesses come forward;
    they question me on things I know nothing about.
12 They repay me evil for good
    and leave me like one bereaved.
13 Yet when they were ill, I put on sackcloth
    and humbled myself with fasting.
When my prayers returned to me unanswered,
14     I went about mourning
    as though for my friend or brother.
I bowed my head in grief
    as though weeping for my mother.
15 But when I stumbled, they gathered in glee;
    assailants gathered against me without my knowledge.
    They slandered me without ceasing.
16 Like the ungodly they maliciously mocked;[
    they gnashed their teeth at me.

17 How long, Lord, will you look on?
    Rescue me from their ravages,
    my precious life from these lions.
18 I will give you thanks in the great assembly;
    among the throngs I will praise you.
19 Do not let those gloat over me
    who are my enemies without cause;
do not let those who hate me without reason
    maliciously wink the eye.
20 They do not speak peaceably,
    but devise false accusations
    against those who live quietly in the land.
21 They sneer at me and say, “Aha! Aha!
    With our own eyes we have seen it.”

22 Lord, you have seen this; do not be silent.
    Do not be far from me, Lord.
23 Awake, and rise to my defense!
    Contend for me, my God and Lord.
24 Vindicate me in your righteousness, Lord my God;
    do not let them gloat over me.
25 Do not let them think, “Aha, just what we wanted!”
    or say, “We have swallowed him up.”

26 May all who gloat over my distress
    be put to shame and confusion;
may all who exalt themselves over me
    be clothed with shame and disgrace.
27 May those who delight in my vindication
    shout for joy and gladness;
may they always say, “The Lord be exalted,
    who delights in the well-being of his servant.”

28 My tongue will proclaim your righteousness,
    your praises all day long.

I believe there is power in God’s word and we can still act upon His word today as the Holy Spirit shows us where to set our feet.

Please note however that it is important that we keep an attitude of humility and grace as we pray. John Dawson reminds us,

“As you stand in the gap for your city, allow the Holy Spirit to shine the bright light of truth into the inner rooms of your soul.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6EZCBSsBxko

Run from religious deceit that would seduce you into believing that you are more superior to everyone else. It is only by the blood of the Lamb and the power of the Spirit that we stand free from the chains of guilt and the sentence of death.”


In Los Angeles, humans live with orcs and elves in a world where fantasy creatures do exist. LAPD police officer Dayl Ward is the first human cop having the orc police officer Nick Jakoby as a partner. When Ward is shot by an orc and Jakoby does not capture the shooter, he questions whether Jakoby lets the fellow orc escape. During a patrol, Ward and Jakoby arrest a man that tells that there is a prophecy and Ward is blessed. Meanwhile, Internal Affairs press Ward to find the truth about the escape of the shooter so that they can fire Jakoby. The magic department of the FBI interrogates the man that belongs to the terrorist Shield of Light group which protects brights so that they can prepare for the return of the Dark Lord that will destroy the world. Ward and Jakoby are summoned to attend a disturbance and they stumble upon a Shield of Light safe-house where they arrest the elf Tikka and bag her magic wand. Soon they learn that Tikka is hunted down by the evil and powerful rogue elf Leilah and her Terrorist group Inferni which are the ones actually trying to resurrect the dark lord and they need to protect Tikka and the wand; otherwise the world will be destroyed

A big obstacle that we as women face in maintaining an effective prayer life is the persistent and ever popular questions of,

“How can my prayers possibly make a difference in my life, my family, my community, my country or the entire world?”

This hesitation may possibly be Satan’s most effective method of discouraging us from pursuing prayer. Yet scripture clearly shows us that when believers pray on earth, they activate activities in the heavenlies.

The prophet Daniel had an angelic visitation after three weeks of prayer and fasting, and repenting on behalf of his people. The angel told Daniel that on the first day he humbled himself to pray, God had heard his words. In fact, the angel had been dispatched with a message in response to Daniel’s prayer, but had encountered interference from the “prince of Persia.”

Ultimately the messenger angel had to get help from the angel Michael to get his message through and he delivered a prophetic message to Daniel. If there were rulers or principalities in the spiritual realm trying to stop Daniel’s prayers from being answered then, who are we to believe we are immune!

I still believe there are hostile spiritual forces trying to block our prayers from being answered and scripture implies that these principalities rule over different geographical locations.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6EZCBSsBxko

The Book of Daniel

The book of Daniel illustrates how God protected and promoted four young men.

When Daniel and his friends, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego demonstrated their faithfulness to God, they are delivered from deadly perils by God’s mighty acts.

In the bible, Daniel was given the ability to interpret dreams and in the second part of the book of Daniel, it describes visions and messages that Daniel received from God through angelic messengers. These visions are represented in the cryptic language and symbolic terms typical of apocalyptic literature.

The End Times

12 “At that time Michael, the great prince who protects your people, will arise. There will be a time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then. But at that time your people—everyone whose name is found written in the book—will be delivered. Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt.

Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever. But you, Daniel, roll up and seal the words of the scroll until the time of the end. Many will go here and there to increase knowledge.”

Then I, Daniel, looked, and there before me stood two others, one on this bank of the river and one on the opposite bank. One of them said to the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, “How long will it be before these astonishing things are fulfilled?”

The man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, lifted his right hand and his left hand toward heaven, and I heard him swear by him who lives forever, saying, “It will be for a time, times and half a time. When the power of the holy people has been finally broken, all these things will be completed.”

I heard, but I did not understand. So I asked, “My lord, what will the outcome of all this be?”

He replied, “Go your way, Daniel, because the words are rolled up and sealed until the time of the end. 10 Many will be purified, made spotless and refined, but the wicked will continue to be wicked. None of the wicked will understand, but those who are wise will understand.

Jesus promises the Holy Spirit

The gift of the Holy Spirit empowers us to be strong women of God, even in our moments of weakness. In the bible, Jesus promised his followers, “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, or Strengthener) that He may remain with you forever; the Spirit of Truth.

The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.

The Work of the Holy Spirit (John 15:26-27)

26 “When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father—the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father—he will testify about me. 27 And you also must testify, for you have been with me from the beginning.

John 16:1-15 New International Version (NIV)

16 “All this I have told you so that you will not fall away. They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact, the time is coming when anyone who kills you will think they are offering a service to God.

They will do such things because they have not known the Father or me. I have told you this, so that when their time comes you will remember that I warned you about them. I did not tell you this from the beginning because I was with you, but now I am going to him who sent me. None of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ Rather, you are filled with grief because I have said these things.

But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. When he comes, he will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment: about sin, because people do not believe in me; 10 about righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; 11 and about judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned.

12 “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. 13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. 14 He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. 15 All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.”

Jesus Prays for His Disciples (John 17:6-19)

“I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word. Now they know that everything you have given me comes from you. For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me.

I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours. 10 All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And glory has come to me through them. 11 I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one.

12 While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by] that name you gave me. None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled.

13 “I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them. 14 I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world.

15 My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. 17 Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. 18 As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world.

19 For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified.

Jesus Prays for All Believers (John 17:20-26)

20 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— 23 I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.

24 “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.

25 “Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. 26 I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.”

God in His marvelous grace, began revealing His will for man right from the beginning, in Genesis 3:15, which is the first prophecy related to God’s redemptive plan for the salvation of mankind.

From there onward, through the pens of many writers, including myself, I strongly believe that God will continue to reveal more and more of His plan, which we can still find in the Bible today!

The Power of Three: A Perfect Testimony

During the third month of the calendar year (March), we shall celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, also known as Easter Sunday. Some churches may also celebrate Palm Sunday, which is the final Sunday before Easter Sunday.

Did you know that it is said that Christ died and rose again on the third day and that there is a symbolic meaning for the number (3) three?

Biblically, three is the number of the Godhead and the number of Divine completeness?

There is also Divine Order: https://teneishajohnsondream.wordpress.com/2017/09/24/the-power-of-humility-behind-the-scenes-in-gods-divine-order/

The Sins of the Father: Generational Curses (The Dark Tower)

The Bible is the most prominent book in my life and tells many stories. Many of these stories feature a prophet or prophetess sent to give a word from God.

In today’s society however, there are leaders who have honored the prophets of old but who fail to honor the prophets God is sending from among them to speak into their lives today.

When pride is in operation, it will cause them to disobey the word of the Lord, either because of the mightiness of their ministries or the strength of their talents and abilities.

However, there are always, please hear me, always repercussions and these repercussions flow from generation to generation.

Did you know that your mind is a powerful entity? What you put into it, is what comes out.

In Exodus 20: 2-5, God spoke all these words and I believe they still remain relevant today:

2 I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.

3 You shall have no other gods before me.

4 You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven or on the earth beneath or in the waters below.

5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them, for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sins of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me.

Let’s look at the story of The Tower of Babel in the book of Genesis Chapter 11:1-9 which I believe demonstrates a form of idol worship.

The Tower of Babel

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GjwfqXTebIY

11 Now the whole world had one language and a common speech. 2 As people moved eastward, they found a plain in Shinar and settled there.

3 They said to each other, “Come, let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar. 4 Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth.”

5 But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower the people were building. 6 The Lord said, “If as one people speaking the same language, they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. 7 Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.”

8 So the Lord scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city. 9 That is why it was called Babel-because there the Lord scattered them over the face of the whole earth.

Amaziah King of Judah

Let’s also look at King Amaziah of Judah in 2 Chronicles 25 as I summarize another story regarding idol worship.

Essentially Amaziah was twenty-five years old when he began to reign and he reign for twenty-nine years in Jerusalem. He did right in the Lord’s sight, but not with a perfect or blameless heart.

The scripture goes on to tell us how King Amaziah defeated those who had killed his father, however he brought back their gods and set them up to be his gods and bowed before them and burned incense to them.

This made the Lord anger and the Lord sent a prophet who asked, “Why do you consult these people’s gods, which could not save their own people from your hand?” 2 Chronicles 25:15

Continuing in verse 16 the King said to him, “Have we appointed you an adviser to the King? Stop! Why be struck down?”

Basically, King Amaziah was saying, “Don’t I own you? You can’t speak to me like that. I am the King and you’ll have to give me a good reason why I shouldn’t kill you right now. After all we put you in the position you’re in right now”.

Nevertheless, the prophet was under the hand of God.

You must never depend upon the strength of your ministry, your gift or your position and ignore the word of the Lord. You will lose every time.

Why? Because scripture says in Isaiah 59:19, “When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him and put him to flight, for He will come like a rushing stream which the breath of the Lord drives”.

When your position becomes your central focus instead of obeying the Lord, you have come under the spirit of dictatorship and rigid control.

God will always bring down false authority. Why? Because when individuals are no longer letting the spirit of God direct them, God’s people can no longer respond properly to ministry.

Then the church basically becomes no more than a club or cult.

The spirit of control has silenced the mouth of God.

Please listen closely. When we begin to worship what we have established, how big our ministries have grown, how awesomely the church has been established, how great and grand the company we have built and so on-we have made an idol of what we have created.

Remember, God is a jealous God and as I stated previously from Exodus 20:5, He will punish the children for the sins of the father from generation to generation.

Unfortunately, rigid control and dictatorship can be created and maintained through psychological manipulation. Please see a few examples below:

Gaslighting

Gaslighting is a form of psychological manipulation that seeks to sow seeds of doubt in a targeted individual or in members of a targeted group, making them question their own memory, perception, and sanity.

In order to gain more power, the person or entity makes the victim question their reality. It works much better than you may think. Anyone is susceptible to gaslighting, and it is a common technique of abusers, dictators, narcissists, and cult leaders.

It is done slowly, so the victim doesn’t realize how much they’ve been brainwashed. For example, in the movie Gaslight (1944), a man manipulates his wife to the point where she thinks she is losing her mind.

A gas lighter will tell you that you’d be a worthy person if only you didn’t have such a long list of negative traits. They attack the very foundation of your being.

When dealing with a person or entity that gaslights, look at what they are doing rather than what they are saying. What they are saying means nothing; it is just talk. What they are doing is the issue. 

Occasionally, they may throw in positive reinforcement to confuse you.

This person or entity that is cutting you down, telling you that you don’t have value, is now praising you for something you did. This adds an additional sense of uneasiness. You think, “Well maybe they aren’t so bad.” Yes, they are!

This is a calculated attempt to keep you off-kilter—and again, to question your reality.

Also look at what you were praised for; it is probably something that served the gas lighter.

Gas lighters know that confusion weakens people.

Gas lighters know that people like having a sense of stability and normalcy. Their goal is to uproot this and make you constantly question everything. And humans’ natural tendency is to look to the person or entity that will help you feel more stable—and that happens to be the gas lighter. 

They often project their opinions on their “prey”.

Many times, they are drug users or cheaters, yet they are constantly accusing you the victim of that very behavior. This is done so often that you start trying to defend yourself, and are distracted from the gas lighter’s own behavior.

Unfortunately, they may even try to align people against you.

Gas lighters are masters at manipulating and finding the people they know will stand by them no matter what—and they use these people against you. They will make comments such as,

“This person knows that you’re not right in your head or have a tendency to ‘go crazy’” or “you’re always gazing off in space or daydreaming,” or

“This person knows you’re useless too” or “Everybody knows you’re a whore” or “This person does not trust you either” or “This person also does not believe you are capable of holding down a regular job consistently” or

“You’re just not smart enough, pretty/handsome enough or the right skin color for the job” or “You’re such a good actor/actress, nobody is going to believe you.”

Keep in mind, it does not mean that these people are actually saying these things. A gas lighter is a constant liar.

When the gas lighter uses this tactic, it makes you feel like you don’t know who to trust or who to turn to—and that leads you right back to the gas lighter.

And that’s exactly what they want: Isolation gives them more control. 

Once again, they love telling you or others that you are crazy. This is one of the most effective tools of the gas lighter, because it’s dismissive.

The gas lighter knows that if they question your sanity, people will not believe you when you tell them that the gas lighter is abusive or out-of-control. It’s a master technique. 

The more you are aware of these techniques, the quicker you can identify them and avoid falling into a gas lighter’s trap.  

Other Forms of Manipulation

See additional articles regarding other forms of manipulations:

What is the definition of a Narcissistic person?

The hallmarks of Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) are grandiosity, a lack of empathy for other people, and a need for admiration. People with this condition are frequently described as arrogant, self-centered, manipulative, and demanding.

Ironically, as I continued to study the terminology, I realized that in an age of selfies and social media, it’s easy to see why the term narcissist is abundantly tossed around. But just like other personality traits such as kindness or empathy, narcissism isn’t something you either have or you don’t. Instead it’s a trait that apparently lives on a spectrum, with one end being fairly benign and the other end being categorized as a full-blown disorder. Wow!

Research shows that it’s a spectrum that almost everyone falls on at some point, and the very fact that we even brush our hair or get dressed in the morning shows that each of us at least cares a little about how the world perceives us. That’s true.

Almost everyone knows someone who carries themselves with an air of superiority or who feels entitled to certain things. In fact, according to psychiatrist Dr. Ayo Gathing, most successful people in history can attribute their accomplishments at least in part to narcissistic traits.

But what happens when a person has too many of those traits, or they have narcissistic tendencies so severe that their lives or personal relationships are impaired? There’s a big difference between someone who loves to hear themselves talk, and a person who actually has what’s called Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

Narcissists often exploit other people to get what they want. They might even enter a relationship with someone they aren’t really interested in just for the money, fame or status. But then after a while they have no problem ditching that person as soon as they get what they want, or if those selfish expectations aren’t being met — regardless of how it makes the other person feel.

They are users, draining people of resources without regard to that person’s well-being, often leaving a shell of the former person in their wake.

Narcissists truly think they are deserving of everything that is yours, whether that means your resources, your time, your physical body, your possessions or even your energy. They use people up like objects and toss them away once they’ve been reduced to a shell of their former self.

Unfortunately, the narcissist is merely trying to use other people to fill a never-ending void within themselves.

Read More: https://www.thelist.com/41680/know-someone-love-narcissist/

In THE DARK TOWER, Jake Chambers (Tom Taylor) has vivid dreams about a man in black using kids to try to destroy the world — and a gunslinger attempting to stop him. Following a clue, Jake discovers a secret portal and learns that these things are real. He meets the gunslinger, Roland (Idris Elba), and together they set out for the place that Jake saw in his dreams. He learns of the Dark Tower, which protects the universe from monsters, and how the man in black, aka Walter (Matthew McConaughey), hopes to destroy it and bring about Armageddon. Jake also learns that he has “the shine,” a great power that Walter hopes to harness. Roland wants revenge against Walter, while Jake hopes to save the universe.

However, my bible tells me in Ephesians 6:12 (New International Version)

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”

The New Testament’s extensive language concerning malevolent spiritual forces is never humorous.

Apparently, the terminology varies and some texts speak of the Devil or Satan, while others speak of demons or unclean spirits which represent powers and principalities.

There are also such descriptions as the Ruler of the Power of the Air and the Dragon or Ancient Serpent.

Regardless of the description, when taken together, these terms point to a conviction, broadly shared by the writers of the New Testament, that a cosmic power, lesser than God but greater than humans alone, inhabited the world and worked against human good in a manner that was far from funny or creatively orchestrated like in the movies. 

Satan hates ALL humans and he does not discriminate!

At the personal level, the bible says that Paul, an Apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, speaks of Satan as a constant threat, one lying outside the community yet capable of causing damage within.

More cosmically he envisions “powers and principalities” which, though conquered by the death and exaltation of Christ, remain capable of opposing believers, who must continue to do battle “against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places” (Once again, as I mentioned from Ephesians 6:12).

Similarly, Peter pictures the Devil as a ravening beast out to destroy unwary believers, and counsels them to “be sober and watch, because your adversary the Devil goes about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8).

In the bible, Luke imagines Satan as the arrogant ruler of a kingdom counter to God’s own, capable of granting great power to those willing to worship him, and commanding a vast army of demonic spirits.

John declares that “the whole world lies under the power of the evil one.”

King Uzziah of Judah

Another story illustrating a generational curse is the story of King Uzziah of Judah, who was King Amaziah’s son.

King Uzziah was just a “fresh face” young boy of sixteen when he began his fifty-two-year reign. He also initially did right in the sight of God, however the cord of disobedience from his father had been planted deep in his son Uzziah’s soul-and he eventually repeated what he had seen from his father.

In 2 Chronicles 26: 8-15, King Uzziah did many exploits, built many cities and won many wars. His fame spread far and wide and he became very powerful.

But continuing in verse 16, it says, “But after Uzziah became powerful, his pride led to his downfall. He was unfaithful to the Lord his God, and entered the temple of the Lord to burn incense on the altar of incense.

At the beginning of his reign, King Uzziah was under spiritual authority but over time he became so great in his own eyes that he stepped over his spiritual authority and was attempting to operate in a spiritual office that was not his.

When Uzziah entered the temple of the Lord to burn incense he was at that very moment trying to operate in a spiritual office that was not his.

Only the priests who were descendants of Aaron and who also had been consecrated were allowed into the temple to burn incense.

Scriptures says that Azariah, the chief priest and eighty other courageous priests followed King Uzziah in and confronted him.

2 Chronicles 26:18 says, “It is not right for you Uzziah, to burn incense to the Lord. That is for the priests, the descendants of Aaron, who have been consecrated to burn incense. Leave the sanctuary, for you have been unfaithful; and you will not be honored by the Lord God”

When you become so great in your own eyes that you think you can operate in a spiritual office God has not anointed and appointed you for, you are putting yourself in a dangerous position.

King Uzziah was not a priest, he was a King.

He stepped out of his place and perverted God’s divine order and while he was in rage towards the priests broke out in leprosy.

I strongly believe God has a purpose for each and every one of us as His children. It is clear from the story about King Uzziah that he was simply to be a King and nothing more. The Lord had not anointed him to be a priest.

In this story we see how strength sometimes breeds pride which then leads to disobedience. King Uzziah became a diseased king under a false anointing.

We must be careful when the Lord begins to strengthen us, because as we mature in Christ, it can be very easy to become arrogant.