Happy 102nd Great Union Day, Romania!

On December the 1th 2020, Romania celebrates its 102nd Great Union Day. This national holiday marks the unification of Transylvania, Bessarabia and Bukovina with the Romanian Kingdom in 1918.

To find out more about Great Union Day, I invite you to read last year’s article: https://lucian-hodoboc.com/happy-101th-anniversary-romania/

If you’re interested in finding out some cool facts about Romania, please watch the following video:

https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=976090446105970

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.

Happy Apple Day, 2020!

Yesterday was International Apple Day, and no, I’m not talking about the company. October 21st is the day when we celebrate one of the most popular, nutritious and delicious fruits around the world: the apple.

The heart and soul of Apple Day are supporting the genetic diversity of Apple Orchards not being consumed by monoculture farming.

Sorry that I’m a day late, but Happy International Apple Day, 2020!

Conflict Resolution Day, 2020

The Bible teaches us to love peace and to live in harmony. In the Beatitudes from The Sermon on the Mount, Jesus blessed the peacemakers and mentioned that they will be called “Sons of God” (Matthew 5:9).

This is one of the reasons why I think that everyone, and Christians in particular, should observe Conflict Resolution Day, a global event intended to promote the concept of peaceful conflict resolution.

Each Year, since 2005, the Association for Conflict Resolution (ACR) celebrates Conflict Resolution Day the third Thursday of October. This year it is held on October 15.

The ACR logo of the tree was designed as a symbol to celebrate growth in Conflict Resolution. The first year, start small, but, just like the tree, the seeds you plant one year, will continue to grow and blossom each year.

Conflict Resolution Day was conceived in 2005 by the ACR to:

  • Promote awareness of mediation, arbitration, conciliation and other creative, peaceful means of resolving conflict;
  • Promote the use of conflict resolution in schools, families, businesses, communities, governments and the legal system;
  • Recognize the significant contributions of (peaceful) conflict resolvers; and
  • Obtain national synergy by having celebrations happen across the country and around the world on the same day.

October has become a time to promote and celebrate peaceful conflict resolution practices worldwide. Dedicated dispute resolution practitioners are helping to educate the public about mediation and other innovative conflict management processes.

The Art of Listening presentation by Don Schapira for the Conflict Resolution Day Planning Committee

The Jesus Prayer according to Christian Orthodox Elders

The Jesus Prayer is one of the most important prayers in Orthodoxy, and its repetition throughout the day is recommended by many of the Orthodox Fathers.

Below is a compilation of videos presenting the opinions of several Christian Orthodox Elders about the Jesus Prayer.

Elder Arsenie Papacioc on whether everyone should say the Jesus Prayer
Elder Ephraim of Katounakia on how to say the Jesus Prayer
The Jesus Prayer explained by Fr. Aimilianos of Simonopetra
Fr. Spyridon’s reflections on the Jesus Prayer
The Jesus Prayer said by Orthodox Saints and Elders

In the comments section, I invite you to share your thoughts on The Jesus Prayer, and tell us in what ways you have incorporated it your prayer life.

October 1st 2020 – what are you celebrating today?

October 1st seems to be a very popular day. Lots of things seem to be “disputing” their primacy over October 1st. According to various internet sources, World Vegetarian Day, International Coffee Day, Nigeria’s Independence Day, CD Player Day, the feast day of St. Thérèse of Lisieux (in the Catholic Church) and Bring Your Bible To School Day, among others – are all observed every year on this day.

Which of these will you be celebrating, in particular, this year? Which ever it is, I hope you have a lovely day and a blessed month ahead of you!

Fr. Mike Schmitz – If you’re not feeling loved

In what is probably one of the best videos I’ve watched lately, Fr. Mike Schmitz from Ascension Presents’ YouTube channel addresses the topic of not feeling loved (by the people in your life) and how to handle it in a Christian worldview. I’ve found the Biblical example of Leah from The Old Testament particularly moving.

Let me know what you think about this topic. Do you agree with his advice? How do you think Christians should handle the emotions that stem from not feeling loved?

Fr. Mike Schmitz – If you’re not feeling loved