A young black autistic man was sentenced to 50 years for a car crash. Tens of thousands of people are now calling for his freedom.
All of us are surrounded by digital devices, and many of us spend a good portion of our day using the internet on our smartphones, tablets, and PCs. Yet our digital wellbeing isn’t something we often think about. Digital technology can impact our health and relationships and shape the society we live in.
Digital mindfulness is about taking charge of your wellbeing and balancing your use of the many devices in your life. Noticing and understanding how you spend your time online and the feelings this produces is an essential part of building a positive digital identity.
For me, I can become sad, depressed, and often times very angry reading and/or viewing images for hours. It shows in my responses to various posts.
Ever feel like hurting yourself?
- Casual Sex
- Eating too much or too little
- Allowing toxic people in your life
- Risky situations
- Watching things that make you feel worse
Here are some steps to deliverance
Be honest with yourself and with God if you expect to receive God’s blessing of deliverance. Any sin that is not confessed or repented of gives the evil spirits a “legal right” to stay.
You have to recognize that you are dependent upon God and His provisions and mercy for deliverance.
Repentance is a determined turning away from all sin and works of the devil. You must hate all evil in your life and fall out of agreement with it. Deliverance is not to be used merely to gain relief from problems but in order to become more conformed into the likeness of Jesus through by submitting to God’s will. Repentance requires open confession of all sin.
Renunciation is the forsaking of all evil. Renunciation is action resulting from repentance. For example, if you repent of lust you should destroy or delete all of your pornography.
God freely and readily forgives all who confess their sins and ask for forgiveness through Jesus Christ (1 John 1:9). He expects us to forgive all others who have done wrong to us in any way (Matt. 6:14-15). In my observation, demons won’t leave the person being prayed for if the person is reluctant to forgive others.
Ask God to deliver you and set you free in the mighty name of Jesus Christ. The scriptures read “Whoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be delivered” (Joel 2:32).
Prayer and warfare are two separate and distinct activities. Prayer is toward God and warfare is toward the enemy. Identify the spirits, address them directly by name in a commanding voice, and in faith command them to go in the mighty name of Jesus Christ. Have a battle-like mindset with determination and assurance of victory. Remember Jesus gives us the power to tread on serpents and scorpions (Luke 10:19).
Here’s a lil music to help you get started – it helps me!
Hopefully, summer won’t end the way it began. Memorial Day celebrations helped set off a wave of coronavirus infections across much of the South and West. Gatherings around the Fourth of July seemed to keep those hot spots aflame.
And now Labor Day arrives as those regions are cooling off from COVID-19. Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, warned Wednesday that Americans should be cautious to avoid another surge in infection rates. But travelers are also weary of staying home — and tourist destinations are starved for cash.
“Just getting away for an hour up the street and staying at a hotel is like a vacation, for real,” says Kimberly Michaels, who works for NASA in Huntsville, Alabama, and traveled to Nashville, Tennessee, with her boyfriend to celebrate his birthday last weekend.
Lifting Restrictions for Summer’s End
In time for the tail end of summer, many local governments are lifting restrictions to resuscitate tourism activity and rescue small businesses.
Nashville, for instance, gave the green light to pedal taverns this week, allowing the human-powered bars-on-wheels to take to the streets again. “They’re not Nashville’s favorite group, frankly. But fairness requires this protocol change to take place,” Mayor John Cooper said, noting the city’s dramatic reduction in new cases. This week, the city also raised the attendance cap on weddings, funerals and other ceremonies.
Elsewhere, Virginia Beach tried to get some leniency for its struggling restaurants over the holiday weekend. But Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam rejected pleas from the mayor, at the encouragement of Fauci. The country’s top health official has encouraged governors to keep restrictions in place to avoid another holiday-related surge.
“Sometimes, as we start to lift restrictions, the impression that people get is ‘Oh, that must mean it’s safe,’” says epidemiologist Melissa McPheeters of Vanderbilt University. “We want to make sure we don’t give that impression, because this disease has not gone anywhere.”
Some communities have gone the other direction and reimposed restrictions, especially for the three-day weekend. Santa Barbara, California, has banned sunbathing to avoid another surge in cases.
Schooling Screws Up COVID Circles
On a Sunday afternoon, out-of-towners walk the tourist district in Nashville, where many attractions have reopened — with restrictions. All dance floors are closed and restaurants and bars must close by 10:30 p.m.(Blake Farmer/WLPN)
There’s also a new X-factor with summer’s last holiday weekend. In many states, schools have resumed in-person classes. So families and friends meeting up are now more likely to expose each other to the virus, even if they tried to keep a tight circle over the summer.
“If those bubbles now have kids that went back to school and are interacting with others or they’ve gone back to sports and the bubble has since expanded, that ability to be safely together in a gathering is probably less likely,” says epidemiologist Bertha Hidalgo of the University of Alabama-Birmingham.
And yet, getting together safely — preferably outdoors — is still worth a try, Hidalgo says. She says people’s mental health needs a boost to get through the next few months.
“If you can do the safe things now before winter hits and that cold weather hits, then you’ll be more resilient to get through any bad times that may come,” she says.
In drivable destinations like Nashville that have welcomed visitors throughout the pandemic, tourism has not bounced back entirely. But on some weekend nights, the neon-soaked tourist district can draw a crowd.
Still, as time goes by, some travelers are willing to take more risks to get back to activities that feel normal.
We often do so much for others that taking care of ourselves individually goes untouched. I’m not talking about getting our nails and hair done – those are things we do to keep our masks shining. The concept of self-care is deceptively simple: making time to take of yourself for the benefit of your overall mental and physical well-being. But if you’re human who exists in this world – the real world, where burnout, depression, anxiety, pain, illness, trauma, oppression, shitty families, violence, tragedy, breakups, divorces, death, unemployment, addiction, and good old fashioned bad times exist – you know that “taking care of yourself” is never a simple thing.
There is no denying that alcohol and other mind-altering substances give the user some type of pleasant sensation. Even if the “high” does not constitute a state of euphoria, it is at least a respite from unpleasant sensations of anxiety, tension, and depression, and awkward self-consciousness. The use of such chemicals is nothing other than the pursuit of contentment.
There’s a frustrating misconception that anything that is not 100 percent selfless is selfish. But taking care of ourselves and caring for and considering others are not mutually exclusive. In fact, taking care of our own health and well-being empowers us to be better friends, partners, coworkers, bosses, family members, and humans. Without doing the essential work of showing up for ourselves, how can we expect to be in any shape to show up for others? As the old saying goes, you have to put your oxygen mask on before you can assist anyone else.
One of the most common criticisms of self-care is that it’s unfair and unrealistic to put all this pressure on yourself to be in charge of your own well-being. And that’s absolutely true—there’s nothing more annoying than the old adage that you can “choose happiness,” as if you’ve always had the power to zap away your misery and have just been squandering it. None of us has the capacity to soothe all that ails us on our own. Self-care is as much about opening yourself up to the many ways others can help you as it is about taking care of yourself. It’s educating yourself on resources, giving yourself permission to access professional help without shame, and asking for what you need.
We have options we can attend self-care groups or twelve-step groups, we can try therapy and we can stay stuck. One thing I’ve found out is that I must stay centered with God in my life before I attempt any outside intervention.
1, Jesus said, “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” Matthew 11:26-30 MSG
2. When Elijah saw how things were, he ran for dear life to Beersheba, far in the south of Judah. He left his young servant there and then went on into the desert another day’s journey. He came to a lone broom bush and collapsed in its shade, wanting in the worst way to be done with it all—to just die: “Enough of this, GOD! Take my life—I’m ready to join my ancestors in the grave!” Exhausted, he fell asleep under the lone broom bush.
Picture it: You’re the body’s military commander, and you’re reviewing your protective forces. Immune system? Check. Stomach acid? Check. Beneficial gut bacteria? Check.
Don’t forget to include your skin: it’s one of the most important bastions in the fight against disease, keeping harmful organisms and substances from getting inside the body.
Unfortunately, our skin weakens as we get older, and it requires more effort to keep it healthy. That job can take a back seat if you’re busy tending to other health issues or you’re unsure of how to care for your skin.
With infection on everyone’s mind, it’s time to refocus attention on the skin and strengthen your defenses.
The skin consists of three layers:
- The deepest layer (subcutaneous tissue) is made of connective tissue and fat, and provides insulation, energy storage, and shock absorption.
- The next layer (the dermis) contains collagen and elastin, blood vessels, nerves, sweat and oil glands, and hair follicles.
- The topmost layer (the epidermis) is built to be a barrier. It consists of five different layers of its own, each with cells constantly rising to the top part of the epidermis, called the stratum corneum — the skin we can see and a major part of the body’s defenses.
Within the stratum corneum are up to 30 layers of flat, dead, protein-filled cells that mix with fat and water to create a sort of brick-and-mortar matrix. It keeps moisture in the body and protects us from toxins, ultraviolet rays, and bacteria.
A number of factors can weaken the stratum corneum. One is aging. “The skin gets thinner, and the cells get flatter. Older skin has a lower water content. Fat diminishes and shifts, so everything is less vigorous and strong, particularly in areas of sun exposure,” explains Dr. Kenneth Arndt, a dermatologist and a prior medical editor of the Harvard Special Health Report Skin Care and Repair.
Dr. Arndt says heavy use of certain medications — such as topical, oral, or inhaled steroids — can also thin the skin. Inflammatory skin disorders, such as eczema (atopic dermatitis), can reduce the amount of fat in the stratum corneum, weakening the skin barrier.
And frequent hand washing or exposure to cleaning solvents or alcohol found in hand sanitizers can dry out and damage the skin surface. “The skin gets dry because soap can wash away fats in the skin,” Dr. Arndt says.
In other words, what we need to do to protect our health in the COVID-19 pandemic simultaneously threatens the health of the skin of our hands.
Dry, thin skin is more permeable than plump, healthy skin, and it can crack or tear easily, like tissue paper. “Any time the skin splits or is excessively dry, that’s an avenue for an organism to get in and cause problems,” Dr. Arndt notes. He says the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 is not contracted through the skin. But other types of bacteria can make us sick if they breach the skin barrier, such as Staphylococcus aureus or Streptococcus pyogenes.
These bugs may cause a type of infection called cellulitis in the skin tissue. Left untreated, the infection can spread to other parts of the body, causing fever or swelling, and increasing the risk for sepsis and hospitalization. Fighting back requires powerful antibiotics.
Rally the troops
Before you find yourself in the midst of battle, try fortifying your defenses. Dr. Arndt says the best way is to lock in moisture. “When you add moisture, the skin gets fatter and more flexible,” he says. “The trick is keeping it that way.”
He recommends moisturizing your skin right after you’ve bathed or washed your hands (which adds water to your skin). “Petroleum jelly is excellent at sealing in water, but it’s aesthetically not pleasing,” Dr. Arndt points out. “Creams contain water, oil, and emulsifiers to keep the ingredients mixed together, for ease of use. But things that aren’t greasy don’t work as well or for as long.”
COVID-19 Puts Medication Abortion in the Spotlight
Only patients in a limited number of states have access to “no-test” medication abortions. During the COVID-19 crisis, 12 states issued policies that attempted to limit abortion access during the outbreak, such as deeming abortion “non-essential.” Most of these state policies have been blocked by court order or lifted as states start to re-open. In Arkansas, patients must have at least one negative COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Amplification Test (NAAT) test in the 48 hours prior to the procedure.
These new restrictions are in addition to existing barriers to abortion services. In 18 states, telemedicine abortion has been effectively prohibited; 5 states explicitly ban telemedicine for medication abortion, while 13 states require the prescribing clinician be physically present with the patient. The “no-test” model is also not an option in the 14 states requiring patients receive an ultrasound before an abortion, and in the 13 states with in-person counseling requirements. This leaves 23 states in which the “no-test” model could be used to provide medication abortion.
Medication abortion via telemedicine is a method that can be used to safely provide women with access to abortion care while social distancing, preserving personal protective equipment, and limiting risk of exposure to coronavirus.
A new telemedicine protocol –“no-test” medication abortions– has been developed in response to COVID-19. This approach, based on studies conducted outside the US demonstrating its safety, enables many patients to safely obtain abortions without needing in-person tests or exams. This approach, along with other telemedicine protocols, however, would not be available in many states because of state laws and policies that prohibit its use.
Currently, in 23 states, providers could adopt this method to offer medication abortion because there are not laws or policies that prohibit its use. However, in other states, laws explicitly ban telemedicine abortions or make them impractical by requiring the prescribing clinician to be physically present with the patient, ultrasounds before abortions, or in-person counseling.
New York Times: Despite Big Promises, U.S. Has Delivered Limited Aid in Global Virus Response
“The Trump administration has lauded itself as leading the world in confronting the coronavirus. But it has so far failed to spend more than 75 percent of the American humanitarian aid that Congress provided three months ago to help overseas victims of the virus…” (Jakes, 6/7).
NPR: How Will The U.S. And WHO Fare Without Each Other?
“[On May 29], President Trump declared that he is ‘terminating’ the decades-long U.S. relationship with the World Health Organization over the agency’s relationship with China and withdrawing U.S. funding. But it’s unclear what will happen next — and what the short- and long-term implications will be. … [T]here are direct consequences if the U.S. stops funding and cooperating with the U.N. agency tasked with coordinating global responses to health threats, including the COVID-19 pandemic. Here’s what could happen in the short, medium, and long term…” (Huang, 6/5).
DW: Mo Ibrahim: Trump playing ‘blame game’ with WHO, coronavirus (van Eyssen/Micah, 6/7).
New York Times: Has ‘America First’ Become ‘Trump First’? Germans Wonder (Bennhold et al., 6/6).
New York Times: How Global Cooperation Could Be Key to Containing the Coronavirus (Gupta, 6/5).
POLITICO: Trump hails ‘tremendous progress’ on Covid-19 vaccine (Ollstein, 6/5).
Washington Post: Pentagon’s coronavirus plan includes millions for missile tubes and body armor (Gregg/Warner, 6/4).
The FTC continues to seek out and warn sellers who peddle so-called Coronavirus treatments with no proof they work. If you see an ad that says a product can prevent, treat, or cure COVID-19, stop. Think to yourself: if there’s actually been a medical breakthrough, am I really going to hear about it for the first time from an ad or sales pitch? The answer is clearly “no.” So train yourself to ignore those types of false ads.
Most of the letters announced today target “treatments” offered in clinics or medical offices, including intravenous (IV) Vitamin C and D infusions, supposed stem cell therapy, and immunity boosting shots. All of these products and treatments have one thing in common: there is no evidence — as required by law — that they work against the Coronavirus.
In all, the Commission has sent similar letters to more than 160 companies and individuals. In part, the letters require the sellers to notify the FTC within 48 hours of the specific actions they have taken to address the agency’s concerns. The FTC will follow up with companies that fail to make adequate corrections. The good news: in nearly all cases so far, those who get the letters have stopped making the false claims or selling the scam product or treatment.
Want more information about what the FTC is doing to protect consumers during the pandemic, and the latest scams we’re seeing? Visit ftc.gov/coronavirus, and sign up for our consumer alerts. See a product claiming to treat, cure or prevent Coronavirus? Report it to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint.