Personal – 3

These days, many people give their predictions for the year ahead. So, I thought I would do the same, but for a bit longer period.

The Environment

In the past few years, the UK has had a number of extreme ‘weather’ events, with flooding, high and low temperatures – all causing much grief. Because we all are not really taking climate change seriously, I anticipate that there will be more flooding, despite any preventative measures having been taken – they are just not enough. This is because that, although we probably will not suffer tsunamis, the water levels will still reach new heights never seen before. This will affect food production and distribution, as well as house building. And even more extreme hot temperatures will bring water shortages and power outages. All this will cause many seaside areas to fall into the oceans, and agricultural land to become unworkable.

Terrorism

Although, we have seen a number of ‘terrorist’ attacks in the UK just recently, I do not think they will increase. But, I do see that ethnic and other divisions will increase as we all become more polarised in our views, and each group seeks to try and be in control. This will lead to more organised violence by isolated extremists, playing on the ‘fears’ of people. Also, with modern technology becoming more and more all-encompassing, hackers will become bolder and thus bring business and public services to a standstill on many more occasions than they do now. Another development will be the use of drones by criminal gangs to assassinate competitors, or to spread disease or transport drugs and other contraband, on a large scale.

Relationships

It will become more confusing for people to know their identity, as it becomes ‘fashionable’ to not to continue with monogamous traditional marriages and instead enter into a variety of other forms.   Despite the various projects being run today to combat loneliness, it will continue to get worse as relationships become more about sex than commitment and worth.

On a wider scale, I think that as the UK leaves the EU, other European countries will start to see regional ‘nationalism’ start to raise its head, leading to fragmentation of the EU, although it will still exist in a very loose form.

On the international front, Russia will probably start to break up due to widespread corruption and misuse of its resources and protest will become common as food becomes scarce again. China, on the other hand will increase its influence in many areas through its investments, and huge loans given to many weak countries and will overtake the USA in trade and economic power. But, because of the sheer number of people, and despite the control of the people through surveillance and the Party doctrine, their systems will be become overloaded and their debt will become very difficult to service. The Middle East will soon become a battle area for the Sunnis and Shi’ites fighting bloody battles for control, and thus Muslim influence will decline in the West. But, it will increase in Africa and many countries will break up into smaller ones along ethnic lines, and religious leaders. Boundaries will change. In America, the gap between the rich and everyone else will become so wide that the rich will leave the cities to live in mini ‘communities’ of their own in rural areas, and thus the urban areas will become large ghettos. But, because the number of consumers will decrease drastically because of poverty, the rich will start to realise they will have to invest in human beings. South America will see the Amazon forest disappear as it is given over to farming on a grand scale. This will lead to many Indian tribes being killed though violence or disease, and the planet losing a major ‘lung’ which absorbs much of our CO2.

Transport

I think, the railway system will soon be run by one or two companies and we will start to see better trains and services, but not for a few more years yet. Cars will soon all become self-charged battery operated and thus the demand for oil will dwindle. This will help reduce much pollution on our roads. But, we will continue to suffer queues due to the sheer volume and the concentration of people living in London and the South East. Until businesses realise that we are living in the 21st century and see that technology exists which means we do not have to be based in London, we will continue to have mobility problems in the south east.

Work

More and more businesses will become automated, so people will need to develop new skills, especially in customer service, and technical abilities. This will lead to new entries into the training field on a larger scale than is currently and who will be able to offer these new skills, leaving the universities to concentrate of research. Although, we will go through a period of high unemployment in the next year or two, new jobs will become available all over the country. All businesses and employees will need to think globally, even small concerns. I also see many of the multinationals being broken up and becoming social enterprises, being more focused on community ownership. The Financial Sector will still go its merry way, despite the exposure of the Panama Papers and tax avoidance schemes. That will only change when we have a Government leadership not linked to that sector.

Christianity

In the UK, the Church will shrink until it gets to the point where only those who are truly committed are left. This will lead to a steady growth, but Christians will start to face a more blatant persecution, possibly on the employment front, especially in public services, with new laws being enacted to prevent people being employed with traditional beliefs and morals. We will see more missionaries from Africa and elsewhere coming to the UK to work with the Church in its evangelism and discipling. In India, Hindu persecution will become even more violent throughout the country as the middle class start to become Christians. Despite the violence in the Middle East, Saudi Arabia will see a number of their royal family becoming Christians leading to a movement throughout the Middle East.

Media

And finally, the Media. This will become even more centralised that it is currently, and therefore news will become even more biased and subjective, the quality of programming will deteriorate and advertising will be more blatant in its use of sex to sell products. What more do I need to say?

Conclusion

Of course, I do not know the future, only God knows that, but one can see certain trends. Yet, all the negative stuff can change if the Church, you and I, want it to and do something about it. There are many Christians doing just that, but everybody is needed, even if it is only to pray specifically and intelligently seeking the truth and asking God what is His will in such situations. Just remember, if Christians did not exist, this world would already be dead.

Does anyone else have any ‘predictions’?

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Personal – 2

I would like some advice.

I wrote to the BBC recently regarding their news webpages, In my letter I was pointing out there were several exactly the same links on the same page and they often stay there for weeks. when they could be used to connect to other stories of events around the world.

Thank you for your further correspondence about your preferred layout guidelines for the BBC News website, and I’m sorry if the initial response from our central complaints team did not fully address your concerns.

As you have observed, we generally provide within each story two or three links to other BBC articles which we believe might appeal to such readers.

Our aim is to showcase as much of the site as possible to all readers, and provide links to articles that they otherwise may never come across in their search.

I’m sorry you find it annoying that there aren’t more of these links, and that some stay longer than you would wish. Our experience suggests that if there are too many links in each story some readers will not bother to scan the list and may just leave the site.

 

Many readers also set up searches for the types of stories that most appeal to their reading tastes and interests. Whenever producers are new creating content on a BBC site, they are encouraged to consider which external websites it may be editorially justifiable to link to, and these are also useful in certain circumstances.

 

Unfortunately we will never satisfy all readers, but we do our best to provide the richest possible experience to all our audience, no matter how they enter the BBC News website. We have reflected on your reaction to the way we link stories and lay out the site, and thank you for sharing your views.

We’ve noted your points but do not consider they have suggested a possible breach of the BBC’s standards to justify further investigation.

If you are dissatisfied about our decision not to take your complaint further, you can contact the BBC’s Executive Complaints Unit (ECU) who will consider whether this was an appropriate decision.

If you wish to contact the ECU please write to it within 20 working days of receiving this reply. You can email ecu@bbc.co.uk  or write to: Executive Complaints Unit, BBC, Broadcast Centre, London W12 7TQ. Please include the case reference number which you have been given.

Best wishes,

Carol Stuart

BBC News website

The reason for asking for advice is because I wonder if I explain myself properly to others? This is because I have dyslexia, auditory process disorder and high frequency hearing loss and wonder if when I say something other than what was actually said and therefore upset or confuse people and so am I doing the same thing in my writing? It also shows itself when I think someone has said something when they have not or said something else.

So, I feel in the above response, they had misunderstood me. (I do not have my original letter, because it was an on-line form.) Do you agree or not? Please do let me know as I try to seek a way around this issue.

I was also wondering if this is a wider problem in our communication with others and thus, we may have many situations which could have been avoided if we knew how to identify what is really being said?

It does not help that because of texting, our use of a variety of words is being reduced and their meanings are being changed or become ambiguous over time especially when in communication with different age groups and cultures.

I look forward to your responses.

 

 

Personal – 1

I have produced a document on the buying and selling of arms with the purpose of reducing the ‘market’ for them yet also making sure that suitable equipment is available to nations in order that they can ‘defend’ themselves’ as well as support ‘peacekeeping missions’ to prevent things like genocide and to keeping warring sides apart whilst protecting civilians.  This was sent to various people including EU Commissioners.  I had no response.

I also drew up a document on the environment, covering a whole host of issues, to be used by business and those investing in them to help make sure that we do not destroy the planet.  This was sent to various banks and pension funds.  I had several non-committal responses.

I have been trying to get the various pro-life charities and others to become more pro-active in changing the Abortion Act, but there has been either no response or a negative reaction.

Now all these things have either a direct or indirect effect on most areas of life, and yet people do not seem to want to listen to those who are not well-connected or are media-savvy ie the ordinary person in the street.

One of the key factors is the influence of the media.  But how do you change their perceptions of life, especially if they happen to involve a Christian perspective based on the Bible?  One way is to persuade Christians to write objective and positive articles to the various national and local newspapers and television stations.  If many thousands of us  did so, and there was a noticeable reasonable consensus on issues that affect people, then even politicians and political parties might even take notice.

For that to happen, leaders of churches need to find ways to encourage Christians to develop a biblical worldview and how to apply it to the issues of the day as well those ignored by the media.   And for those leaders who feel not ‘trained’ in this, they need to ask theological colleges and denominational leadership to make such training possible.  Notice I say ‘training’ and not ‘teaching’.  It is no good just simply teaching something unless one knows that the individual can articulate that teaching and that is where training comes in through coaching and mentoring.

This is all part of the Gospel of the Kingdom of God – seeking to see people repent and develop a relationship with Jesus and then bringing Kingdom values to the world to re-connect it to God, through the power of the Holy Spirit, based on the teachings found in the Bible.  Jesus as Saviour and Lord.

Will you take up the challenge?