Happy Saint Andrew’s Day, 2020

To learn more about the Feast of Saint Andrew and why the Romanian Orthodox Church observes it every year on the 30th of November, please read last year’s article: https://lucian-hodoboc.com/happy-saint-andrew-s-day-2019/.

I also invite you to read this article if you are interested in finding out some fascinating details about the various traditions related to St. Andrew’s holiday, from Romania, Russia, Scotland, Barbados, Georgia, Ukraine and Greece: https://www.thecourier.co.uk/fp/news/scotland/1757086/st-andrews-day-scotlands-patron-saint-and-the-international-appeal-of-saint-andrew/

Happy Name Day to all who were named after St. Andrew! May everyone have a blessed St. Andrew’s Day this year!

Free, open-source, customizable illustrations updated daily

I was just browsing the “InternetIsBeautiful” subreddit the other day and came across something that really impressed me and that I wanted to share.

When creating a website or blog articles, many people add illustrations to make their articles visually-attractive. But free illustrations are hard to find, and purchasing illustrations can get quite costly in the long run.

Illustrations are no easy to create. It takes skill, time and dedication, which is why I think you will really appreciate what the guys from https://2.flexiple.com/scale/all-illustrations have done.

On that site you can find over 100 illustrations that can be customized in terms of colors and gender, and are all free to use. That’s right: according to their FAQ, you can use them for academic, personal and commercial purposes without any attribution. It would be nice if you linked to their site and gave them a retweet, but you don’t have to. The only condition is to not sell them.

The illustrations can be downloaded as SVG files and as PNG images. Feel free to explore them. Oh, and one more thing: a new one is added every single day.

Singles Day (11 11), 2020

There’s an unofficial Chinese holiday celebrated every year on the 11th of November (also known as 11 11 or Double 11) called Singles’ Day. It was started by online retailer Alibaba and you can read more about its history by clicking the links in this article. You can also learn about what it means for Chinese commerce here: https://www.bbc.com/news/business-54876524. Its purpose is to celebrate the unattached, which makes it an antithesis to the romantically-involved on Valentine’s Day.

However, seeing how the holiday is not popular anywhere outside of China, I’m not going to talk about it, but rather I want to include a few videos about what it means to be single for a Christian. This is a selection of videos from Evangelicals, Catholics and Orthodox Christians. Enjoy!

Ben Stuart – Love the Single Chapter of Your Life
Steven Furtick – Singleness, sex and self-control
Kim Zember and Jackie Angel – The Right Way to Be Single
Fr. Mike Schmitz – Learning to be Alone
Fr. Josiah Trenham – Orthodox Dating 101

Orphan Sunday, 2020

An initiative started by Christian Alliance for Orphans (CAFO) in 2003, when  Gary Schneider, an American visitor to Africa attending a church service in Zambia was moved by the pastor’s call to care for the numerous orphans in a local community plagued by hunger, poverty and AIDS, Orphan Sunday occurs each year as an opportunity for local churches and communities to rally together in response to God’s call to care for the orphaned and vulnerable.

By 2003, Schneider’s efforts to help the Zambian leaders take care of the Zambian orphans, had spread to the United States. Nowadays, the Christian Alliance includes more 150 respected ministries, and Orphan Sunday is celebrated in thousands of churches across the globe in over 50 nations.

Orphan Sunday is often called, “Zambia’s gift to the world” as a way of honoring the Zambian church Schneider had visited for the inspiration they gave people all over the world to care about the orphan.

Over the years, many different churches and organizations have hosted events they called, “Orphan Sundays” in an effort to raise awareness of the orphans in their areas, their problems and needs.

This year, Orphan Sunday is observed on the 8th of November. Read more about the holiday and find out ways to get involved in helping out by clicking the links below:

https://lifelinechild.org/orphan-sunday/
https://havenofhopeintl.org/orphan-sunday/
https://www.daysoftheyear.com/days/orphan-sunday/
https://www.efca.org/orphan-sunday

Free oil painting course by Len Hend

Thinking about taking up oil painting as a hobby? Allow me to share with you one of the most useful free oil painting courses I’ve come across on the internet. It was created by Australian painter Len Hend, and it can be found here: https://paintwithlen.com/painting-lessons/, as well as on OpenLearning.com. You can also buy additional lessons on DVDs or via direct download on his website.

I would like to thank Len Hend for using his knowledge so altruistically and for taking the time to record all these wonderful painting tutorials. I invite everyone who is interested in learning oil and acrylics painting to check out his websites ( LenHend.com, PaintWithLen.com, SpeedPainting.net/Len ), his YouTube channel and his Facebook page.