Category: Jody Bennett

Weird gifts

What is the worst Christmas gift you have ever received? My colleague’s gran once gave him got a repurposed school blazer with the emblem picked off; and someone else I know got an empty wooden box! My mum was once deeply insulted when someone gave her loo freshener for Christmas!

A Christmas gift might reveal that someone doesn’t really know your tastes or size, or might show that someone only shops the sales. However, how would you like a gift that revealed that someone knew your future?

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Life Hacker

“One of the greatest tricks the devil ever pulled was making people believe he didn’t exist” says Kevin Spacey’s character, Kaiser Soszay,  in The Usual Suspects.

Of course, today it seems ridiculous to believe in a bad guy in red tights with horns and a trident. But that was just an image Middle Age artists developed to try to convey evil in a way that spoke to their audience; what if we use an image for evil that speaks to us today?  What if I said Satan is a hacker.

Imagine him as a spiritual hacker – looking for weaknesses in your life to exploit and using your personal information against you.

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Testing teens can teach a thing or two

AS the mother of three teenagers I am learning many lessons about my parenting, and about my faith, through them.

For instance, one of my biggest issues with one of my teens is the lack of common courtesy, including please and thank you.

The lack of those two little words turns our relationship from parent/child to lackey/entitled ingrate. I don’t mind vacuuming floors, ironing clothes, making food or picking kids up from school, but a simple ‘thank you, Mum’ gives me great pleasure and the impetus to keep doing these things day in and day out. It says my child sees me, and acknowledges my small act of service as something I chose to do, not ‘had’ to do. It affirms my dignity.

I don’t need gifts or gushing praise, or even a hug (although they’re a rare gift from a teen) but just two or three words said sincerely is enough.

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Meeting Jesus on your couch

Published June 2020

IF you have never the read the Gospels (the books Matthew, Mark, Luke and John in the Bible) or have read them but found them hard to imagine as history and difficult to picture as real life events, then may I encourage you to watch the free series The Chosen about the life of Christ on The Chosen app?

With a 8.5 user score on IMDb with over 5,000 user reviews, making it the highest-rated faith project of all time, and 100% critic score and 99% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes, this is not some painfully acted, poorly crafted Sunday school project.

The Chosen has surged into IMDb’s Top 250 All-time series list. It joins other prestigious series like Netflix’s The Crown and HBO’s hit series Band of Brothers and Chernobyl as the most highly rated historical dramas. Dubbed into Spanish, Portuguese, and Russian, besides its original English, it is currently being watched in nearly every country on earth. Continue reading

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Don’t worry!

Published April 2020

BE anxious for nothing. This is one of the strangest commandments in the Bible.

First of all, there is an awful lot to be anxious about – coronavirus for a start; climate change, child abuse, domestic violence, North Korea, species extinction, incoming asteroids, financial disaster, difficult relationships, online bullying, weight gain … You name it and we can worry about it!

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Unseen power

THE movie Unplanned about the experience and change of heart of former Planned Parenthood director Abby Johnson, is confronting viewing.

Abby experienced two abortions herself – one surgical and one chemical – and facilitated thousands of others before assisting in a surgical abortion where she watched on the ultrasound as the baby fought for its life.

That was the point where Abby realised they weren’t ‘eliminating tissue’ but killing children. She left the industry the next week.

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Quiet zone for the soul

THE Green Bank Observatory, in West Virginia (pictured), is a cluster of radio telescopes in a mountain valley. According to The New York Times‘s Pagan Kennedy, these giant devices are “like superhuman ears—they can tune into frequencies from the lowest to the highest ends of the spectrum.”

However, as even a short-circuiting electric toothbrush could interfere with their signals, the residents of Green Bank do not use mobile phones, Wi-Fi, microwave ovens, or any other devices that generate electromagnetic waves, and it has become a haven for those with the debatable disability of electromagnetic hypersensitivity.

Kennedy calls their town “the land where the Internet ends.”

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The same but changed

THERAPEUTIC or cognitive reframing is defined as “looking at a situation, thought, or feeling from another angle, thereby altering its meaning.” In other words, the situation itself doesnt change, just your perspective on it.

Counsellors and psychologists use this technique to help clients work through problems, and I have found that God is an expert at therapeutic reframing. So many times I have handed problems or hurts over to Him in prayer and nothing outwardly has changed, but my whole feeling towards a person, memory or situation has been altered, thereby helping me to bear it or to forgive.

This has happened so often, my prayers are now more “Lord, change how I see this” rather than “Lord, take this away!”

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