This video is adapted from Johann Hari’s New York Times best-selling book ‘Chasing The Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs.’
This video came up on my Facebook feed and I found it so very interesting. I wanted to share it on my blog, to see if others may find it just as thought provoking and helpful as I did.
My opinion after listening to the video…
Loneliness and disconnection is horrible, and can have a horrendous outcome on a persons life. We all need to feel we are loved, we belong, we are accepted and we have a sense of purpose. Withdrawing into isolation from others is a reaction, and the alternative is the need to be proactive in a positive way. To turn your life around can be very challenging for those who already feel inferior, unaccepted and worthless. Extremely challenging for those who have already opened the door to addiction as a way of escape to the daily pain that life brings them.
A desire to change takes commitment, lots of loving support, choosing to be vulnerable, and also huge bravery! You can’t do it alone! Building new relationships with the right people is a huge step forward. Good counselling, loving family and positive friendships! But the warning I give is that we should never allow others to give you your self esteem. If they can give it to you, they can also take it from you! We are all damaged people. Life can be amazingly wonderful, but it can also be cruel! What we put into a relationship comes not only from our choice to be the best to another and love them totally, but also from our life experiences, good and bad. And we make mistakes! We are human and that is one of the conditions of being human!
Praise God He loves us unconditionally, and as we are! He never gives up on us or leaves us. In Him we are loved, belong, are accepted and our life has purpose 🙂 To have a personal relationship with God is solid! It’s like having your house built on solid ground. When the storms of life come, you can rest assured that your faith in this loving God, will help you stand firm. ‘For God so loved the world (everyone… even you), that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life (NKJV). We are all equal at the foot of the cross! Everyone! There is no bias!
I know there are lot of people that disagree with me about faith in God, but no-one can argue with the peace that I have from knowing who I am in Christ 🙂 I have no fear for the future as my life is in His hands 🙂 He is my hope for the future and my ever present help for today.
I am amazed at just how much effort is put into making the Christmas season so very special here in London. I guess we are no different in New Zealand but the largeness of this place just seems to make it all the more extravagant!
Firstly there is the ‘Winter Wonderland Show’ at Hyde park. Judy and I walked through on a Monday night after it opened over the previous weekend. Fortunately Monday night wasn’t too popular, and it was an easy walk through and very enjoyable. By the next weekend when I went again, it was crowded. You could hardly move with all the people, but there was a great atmosphere. People were happy and having so much fun. I took heaps of photos but think this you tube clip will help show just how BIG the place is!
The streets are all lit up with amazing Christmas lights but the shop windows have become like a super competition to see who produces the most WOW factor. Let them fight it out I say while I wander through the crowded streets and admire their efforts!
There are plenty of you tube movies about each store as well, especially as they finally unveil their window displays to the public. Here is a Harrods video…
And another store that is very well known. It was voted the best department store in the world!
Here is a sample of their in store decorations! They really are amazing!
Another store with the big reveal is Fenwicks. This Fenwicks is in Newcastle but there is a huge store in Bond Street, London.
Walking home one night Daniel and Marysia took us into the store Fortnum and Mason. I’d never heard of the store before but I was certainly in for a treat. This store is for the RICH! I’ve attached a you tube clip of this store. Its by a chap who seems to make a living making You Tube videos about London.
John Lewis is another big department store and it’s Christmas lights are turned on with the Oxford Street light up, but they have an advert which is televised during the Christmas season. The little penguin named Monty has become very popular. Everyone wants a Monty Penguin and his little girlfriend Maude.
I frequently buy online from Debenhams Store for presents for London friends. Here is their Christmas advert and you can see some of their instore decorations as well.
Here is a link I found with a write up about each shop and their window display.
And here is what Covent Garden got up to getting their 2014 Christmas decorations up! And believe me it all looks amazing!
We were lucky enough to wander through Covent Garden and see these wonderful decorations in person.
Another big thing is when the Christmas lights get officially turned on. The public come out in force to celebrate the event. It’s like a huge concert and goes on for hours. Here is Regent Street lights switch on 2014
I could only find a longer video for Oxford Street but what a celebration it was!
This short video is a general shop window one…
Libertys of London had a real celebration for the window display reveal. Once again it’s quite a long video but shows the excitement involved in this Christmas season at Liberty. It’s a wonderful store but once again quite expensive!
And if you walk along Southbank, the River Thames walkway you will also see the Christmas Markets. Actually this guy has done heaps of video clips on You Tube about Christmas in London.
I have noticed that there is a huge lack of Nativity scenes in London’s Christmas Celebrations. How sad is that! We are definitely seeing Christ taken out of Christmas, and with the stores each competing for sales, I guess ‘Jesus is the reason for the season’ doesn’t help provide them with store purchases. The meaning of Christmas has become buy buy buy! Gift giving even when you can’t afford it. Well gift buying anyway!
The best gift of all and it doesn’t cost a cent is the gift that God gave 2014 years ago. It was in the form of a little baby, God’s son Jesus Christ. He died 33 years later as a sacrifice for our sins, and so that we could have eternal life. This gift of salvation is free, you only have to accept it! John 3;16. For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, so that he who believe in Him should not perish but have eternal life.
Having attended Hillsong London a few times while in London, I have been amazed at their influence in this city. The church is huge and is growing daily! Now they are having a Christmas celebration and it does include Jesus! It does has Father Christmas but would certainly share the true reason that Christmas is part of our lives today. Here is a video of last years production. It is 29 minutes long but a great look! If that sounds too long for you though, there is another link on my page for this years service, go to that one 🙂
To find out more please open/download the link below and check out the provided information 🙂
So… it will be at Wembley Arena again and the cost is 5pound per person. The 7.30pm Carol service is full already but there is another service at 3pm. This will be a Christmas celebration that you won’t forget in a hurry. In fact it could be life changing for you 🙂
Have a look…
I’m actually really sad that I can’t go to this Christmas service. I leave London on the 19th of December, but for those of you who live in London, don’t miss out!
Last school holidays I had the boys here to stay for a week. I met Simon and Stacie in Wanganui on a Tuesday and then a week later did the same thing again, picking the boys up the first week and dropping them off the second. We had a fabulous time at the park in Wanganui including a picnic lunch. The boys loved the playground! Each play area is based on a nursery rhyme or cartoon character and painted in bright colours. Best of all was the train ride!
The second week in Wanganui we had a big family get together celebrating Keelas 16th Birthday. Keela is my brothers grand daughter, daughter of Melissa. I haven’t seen Keela for years so it was a great opportunity to catch up with her….and what a beautiful young lady she is 🙂 It was also a chance to meet up with the newest addition to the family, baby Nash, Melissa’s baby…and Keela and Alex’s half brother.
I love trying to spend as much quality time with the boys while they are staying. This time we went to the beach, down to the river and walked along the walkway. Robin did something even more adventureous with them while I was at work. They climbed Paritutu! I don’t think I would have been game enough to do that with Christian. His listening skills are not the best….and it is a very high and dangerous place to be if you don’t follow the rules! But….what an experience for them 🙂
While the boys were staying I found some cool T Shirts for them to wear to church on the Sunday. I am amazed at the neat clothing out there for boys nowdays. There was nothing like them when my boys were young! I love them! What do you reckon? Do you think they are pretty cool?
Way back in April I posted about my job ending at the ANZ Bank and how upset I was about the way I was treated during the whole process. I must admit I hadn’t really enjoyed my job as much after the ANZ dropped the National Bank Brand, but I was good at my job, and I felt that their unwillingness to offer me another position was very sad. I also had the perfect working hours and couldn’t imagine finding another job with part time work available. Little did I know that God was in control, and He had a plan for me that He knew I would be really happy with. I believe that we can ‘cast our cares on God, because He cares for us’ but as I cast my work cares upon Him, praying for Him to work out the details, I didn’t really think he was answering when the ANZ job ended.
But on my post on the 22nd of May, I told you about my new job and how it was an amazing answer to prayer. I have now worked about 10 days and I love it! I am really happy! I am meeting lots of really interesting people. I am helping people that are sick and hurting. I am using a computer daily and doing all the reception duties mainly on my own…and it’s great!
So way back in April I couldn’t see the future and I was wondering what was going to happen. Now I can see that God had it all in hand. He helped me let go of my old job and He opened the door to my new job. He took away the sadness and frustration that I had at work and replaced them with contentment and satisfaction with a job I enjoy.
During the stage from unemployment to employment again, I have had 2 more trips to Sydney and have also planned a trip to Italy with my sister Judy and neice Teresa, for 2 weeks in August and following that 2 weeks travelling with Daniel and Marysia. I will leave NZ on the 1st of August and return to New Zealand on the 31st of August. I am so excited.
I have also been able to do some more house renovations. I have stripped wallpaper, prepared walls for painting and then painted three rooms! And they look great. Robin finished our bedroom walls for me while I was away in Sydney. I took some photos to show Matthew and Rebecca the changes. I love them…what do you think?