Immersed in Thankfulness

first_img LEAVE A REPLY Cancel reply Please enter your name here Please enter your comment! TAGSBlessingsFaithFreedomGodInspirationMike GillandOpinionThankfulnessThanksgivingThe Shepherd Radio NetworkWorship Previous articleFree PPE giveaway December 1-3: Orange County continues to assist small businessesNext articleThe lifesaving power of gratitude Denise Connell RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Free webinar for job seekers on best interview answers, hosted by Goodwill June 11 The Anatomy of Fear Opinion | Faith & InspirationBy Mike GillandI came by it honestly, growing up in a home of coffee drinkers.  It took a little while, but by the time that I was a young broadcaster signing on a radio transmitter at 5:30 in the morning, my transformation into a full-grown lover of the coffee bean became complete.  You just gotta love that wonderful warmth and comfort that we get from our morning cup of caffeine.Fast forward to the days when Starbucks began to pop up all over the country. I remember the first time I ever opened the door to one of their shops, all decorated with the green-and-white logos, beautiful wooden cabinets and inviting music playing softly; that’s when it happened. The aroma was everywhere. Not just emanating up from the cup, it was in every cubic inch of the air that we were breathing. It was exhilarating, and I was hooked. Coming into those shops became a treat, because now, it was more than a cup of coffee; it was a java experience.Now, while that might be an extreme way of looking at coffee, (I have been known to talk in superlatives), in a real way, that is exactly how we should view all of the blessings in life that we’ve been given. The Psalmists excelled in this very thing, giving us chapter after chapter of beautiful lyrics, amazing imagery, all crammed through and through with deep theological truths about the goodness of God and our need to be grateful and thankful to Him.If you have ever studied the real stories of America’s history, you will have learned that the desire to worship our God freely in this manner is what drove our nation’s settlers to risk everything on the voyage to this new land where they could worship freely. That desire produced an immersive longing that was thicker and sweeter than the aroma from any coffee bar.What began as a humble feast centuries ago became a national holiday. And while our country has changed in so, so many ways (and continues to do so), one thing should remain the same, unchanged in spite of time, and that is the need to recognize that we are recipients of mercy and grace. God’s grace, given freely. He has given us the privilege of living in a nation where we can, and should, worship freely, where we can receive the bountiful blessings from God and then, in turn, share our blessings with others. It really can happen. We will become more content, more peaceful, and less selfish when we merely stop and do an inventory, see what we have and all that we’ve been given. It will produce in our hearts a thankfulness, and we will enjoy the fragrance of love from our loving Father.And that is better than all the coffee in the world.Happy Thanksgiving!Mike Gilland is Operations Manager for The Shepherd Radio Network, a group of radio stations in Florida that features the “Christian Teach/Talk” format. Mike hosts a daily talk radio show in the 2 PM hour called “Afternoons with Mike”, talking to local pastors and newsmakers.  In Orlando, The Shepherd is heard on WIWA, AM 1270.   In addition to his broadcast experience, Mike spent 36 years in full-time ministry as a pastor and worship leader.  As a guitarist, Mike performs at concerts, restaurants, private parties, etc. He is married to Cindy, the father of four grown children and grandfather to eight grandchildren.center_img You have entered an incorrect email address! Please enter your email address here Photo by Nick Hillier on Unsplash Support conservation and fish with NEW Florida specialty license plate Share on Facebook Tweet on Twitter Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.last_img read more

Read More →

Joint open letter to Mr Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission: Call for EU action to protect journalists

first_imgNews News News SlovakiaMaltaEurope – Central Asia Protecting journalists Organized crimeCorruptionConflicts of interestJudicial harassmentEconomic pressureViolence June 7, 2021 Find out more Organisation June 8, 2021 Find out more Respect judicial independence in cases of two leading journalists in Serbia and Montenegro, RSF says 6 March 2018 Dear President Juncker, We, the undersigned organisations, are deeply saddened and appalled by the recent killings of Slovak journalist Ján Kuciak and Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia. These killings on European soil in retaliation for the investigative reporting by these journalists are simply unacceptable. We welcome the condemning of these killings by the European Union (EU) institutions. However, we demand that no further time is wasted and these words are followed by action. We urge high-level officials from the European Commission to retain regular communication with senior police authorities in Slovakia and Malta to ensure that police investigations are full, thorough and independent. Moreover, the European Commission must take the lead and hold state officials and public figures to account for creating an environment in which the critical function of journalism is respected. State officials and public figures should consistently speak out in support of the critical function of journalism and support journalists when they are attacked. A climate in which impunity prevails and in which journalists are only respected when they serve the interests of those in power, paves the way for violence. These murders signal the urgent need to support civil society in the EU Member States in their efforts to fight impunity, and to document and promote accountability for violations of press freedom. In today’s world where a journalist is killed every five days with almost full impunity as a result, we have to stop the European region from becoming an environment where journalists are no longer safe to do their work. We call on the European Commission to work, as a priority, with Member States to begin the process of establishing national protection mechanisms for journalists in Europe. When journalists are killed, they are silenced and the public is deprived of their stories. In the cases of Ján Kuciak and Daphne Caruana Galizia stories about corruption, organized crime and abuse of power. Stories the people have a right to know about. Safety of journalists is a precondition for good journalism that serves the societies and audiences. Our European democracies cannot thrive when journalists are silenced and cannot inform people about important developments and hold power holders to account. We urge the European Commission to call on the governments of its member states to implement without any delay their existing commitments to provide a safe, enabling environment for journalists, flowing from numerous adopted United Nations resolutions on the safety of journalists and the Council of Europe recommendation on the Protection of Journalism and the Safety of Journalists and other media actors. We urge the European Commission to take the lead in stepping up their efforts to protect journalists within Europe. The undersigned organisations stand ready to support in such efforts. Your response to the killings of Ján Kuciak and Daphne Caruana Galizia will set a precedent for what is permissible in the European Union. A safe future for journalists in europe is in your hands.Yours sincerely, Receive email alerts to go furthercenter_img RSF_en RSF calls for a fully transparent investigation after mine kills two journalists in Azerbaijan Follow the news on Europe – Central Asia March 14, 2018 Joint open letter to Mr Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission: Call for EU action to protect journalists Help by sharing this information SlovakiaMaltaEurope – Central Asia Protecting journalists Organized crimeCorruptionConflicts of interestJudicial harassmentEconomic pressureViolence News “We’ll hold Ilham Aliyev personally responsible if anything happens to this blogger in France” RSF says June 4, 2021 Find out morelast_img read more

Read More →

Honduran leader asked to respect media as he begins second term

first_img Organisation As Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández prepares to be sworn in tomorrow for a second term, after an election marked by grave attacks against journalists, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) urges him to respect the media and to take concrete steps to protect journalists. RSF begins research into mechanisms for protecting journalists in Latin America May 13, 2021 Find out more to go further Help by sharing this information Follow the news on Honduras December 28, 2020 Find out more HondurasAmericas Condemning abusesMedia independence ViolenceFreedom of expression News President Hernández’s first term saw a constant increase in violence against the media, impunity for crimes of violence against journalists and government manoeuvres designed to obstruct independent and opposition journalists.The elections on 26 November were marred by allegations of serious fraud that led to many opposition protests. In the ensuing tension, the authorities have cracked down hard on many journalists as well as demonstrators, and many attempts to censor independent and opposition media outlets have been reported.“President Hernandez and his new administration must, as a matter of priority, improve the safety of journalists by providing the National Protection Mechanism for Journalists and Human Rights Defenders with the resources it needs to deal with the reality of the dangers in Honduras,” said Emmanuel Colombié, the head of RSF’s Latin America bureau.“The Honduran authorities must also end the impunity for crimes against journalists and restore a climate of trust in the media. If no courageous decision is taken at the start of this new presidential term, media freedom and democracy will inevitably continue their downward spiral.”Arrests and violence during protestsRSF has registered many cases of violence and abuses against Honduran journalists, mostly by members of the security forces, especially the Public Order Military Police (PMOP) and the army. Josué Neptalí Rubí Corrales, the producer of the Telesur news programme Notivoz Estelar, was arrested by the army as he was covering a peaceful demonstration in the southern city of Nacaome on 11 December, and was detained for nearly 12 hours. Televida journalist Kevin Castillo was beaten up by soldiers and his camera was smashed to pieces in the southern city of Choluteca on 5 January,Cesar Silva, Rony Martínez, José Flores and Pedro Amador of Une TV, Claudia Mendoza of Univisión’s Primer Impacto programme and Gerson Maldonado of TV Azteca were beaten by soldiers and their equipment was smashed in the capital, Tegucigalpa, on 12 January. A teargas grenade fired by the PMOPbroke the leg of Dassaev Aguilar Moncada of Hispan TV (an Iranian news channel) in Tegucigalpa on 20 January.According to the Mesa de Derechos Humanos, a coalition of around 30 Honduran NGOs, at least 33 demonstrators were killed, 1,350 were arrested arbitrarily, 232 were injured and at least nine human rights defenders and 11 journalists were attacked from 26 November go 18 January.Smear campaigns and threatsThe past few weeks have also seen smear and hate campaigns against journalists on social networks. The targets have included ten reputable journalists known for criticizing the authorities: Gilda Silvestrucci of Radio Globo, Dasaev Aguilar Moncada of Hispan TV, Rony Martínez, Cesar Silva, Ivis Alvarado, Mauricio Rivera, Edgardo Castro and Jorge Aldana of UneTV, Ariel D. Vicente of Prensa Libre and Jairo Lopez of Canal 21 (who was the target of a similar campaign last year).Their photos and the names of their media outlets, together with a message saying “Discover the murderers who incite violence and hate” have circulated widely on Facebook and other social media. Human rights and free speech defenders such as C-Libre director Eddy Tabora have also been the targets of these posts.A complaint was filed with the department of public prosecutions on 18 January but no investigation has been initiated.The National Commission for Human Rights in Honduras (CONADEH) has registered many cases of journalists receiving anonymous phone calls or threats urging them to stop providing coverage of the current political situation in Honduras.On 21 January, the CONADEH address a formal request to the Honduran state, asking it “to investigate these threats, identify those responsible and bring them to justice as quickly as possible” and to provide journalists with emergency protection.RSF has asked the Honduran authorities to reinforce the National Protection Mechanism on many occasions, including during a visit to Honduras in October. The same request was reiterated in a joint statement on 19 January by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and the UN High Commission for Human Rights that voiced great concern about the increase in harassment and threats against journalists in the wake of the elections.Boycott and expulsionThree foreign freelance journalists – Reed Lindsay from the US, Fahema Abdel Hafiz Sokaika from the UK and Edward Philip Augustin from New Zealand – were denied entry on arrival on 4 December at Tegucigalpa’s Toncontin international airport, where they had to spend 24 hours before being expelled. All three had come to do stories about the social and economic situation.Father Ismael Moreno, the director of Honduran radio station Radio Progreso, reported that its operations were sabotaged after it provided coverage of the protests taking place all over the country.Honduras is ranked 140th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2017 World Press Freedom Index. Receive email alertscenter_img January 26, 2018 Honduran leader asked to respect media as he begins second term Reports 2011-2020: A study of journalist murders in Latin America confirms the importance of strengthening protection policies RSF_en Le président Juan Orlando Hernandez lors d’une conférence de presse le 22 janvier 2018 (Orlando Sierra / AFP) HondurasAmericas Condemning abusesMedia independence ViolenceFreedom of expression News April 27, 2021 Find out more News RSF’s 2020 Round-up: 50 journalists killed, two-thirds in countries “at peace”last_img read more

Read More →