Here we are!

What is the distance
Between 2019 and 2020?
It varies;
Different times
Of the year
Have different distances.
How much time does it take
From 2019 to 2020?
In January, 11 months;
In February, 10 months;
In March, 9 months;
In April, 8 months;
In May, 7 months;
In June, 6 months;
In July, 5 months;
In August, 4 months;
In September, 3 months;
In October, 2 months;
In November, 1 month.
It is not fixed.
As I write, a few minutes,
Finally, here we are;
It’s 2020.

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Goodbye 2019

Last night I told my mom. when she said she was grateful 2019 was almost over, there were good things which happened in 2019.

Be grateful for the good things in 2019 and leave behind the rest.

I say again: BE GRATEFUL FOR THE GOOD THINGS IN 2019 AND LEAVE THE REST BEHIND.

Going further, be grateful for the lessons learned from the bad things that happened in 2019.

Overall, move in 2020 with a grateful heart. Forgive the events, people, and perhaps most importantly, yourself. Gratitude for the what was and gratitude for what will be. This is the best way to progress into the next decade.

I end with my favorite Scripture. Philippians 4:4-9:

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!

Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.

Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me–put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

10 things about 2019 for me

  1. 2019 was a challenging year for me.
  2. 2019 had some scary moments for me.
  3. 2019 brought me many blessings.
  4. 2019 gave me sleepless nights.
  5. 2019 was a fighting year for me.
  6. 2019 was a frightful year for me.
  7. 2019 was a prayerful year for me.
  8. 2019 made me mad.
  9. 2019 taught me many lessons.
  10. 2019 was a very special year for me.

How to Discover What You’re Passionate About

A common theme in most writing on goal setting is the need to follow your passions. Do the things that make you want to get up early in the morning. There’s only one thing missing:

What if you don’t have any passions?

I’m sure everyone on this planet has interests. But that’s not the same thing. Enjoying playing video games isn’t the same as spending thousands of hours designing your own. Your passion has to be something you would work exceptionally hard for.

So what do you do, if there is nothing you feel that engaged about?

The Way to Start Isn’t With a Survey…

A lot of career guidance involves measuring your current skills and personality, and then deciding what you would be most suited for. I don’t like this approach because people are complex. And any test will ultimately be a gross simplification of what’s important to you and what you like to do.

I once heard a story about a wealthy woman who was looking for a husband. She invested over $20,000 on a series of psychological surveys to match her with potential candidates. She met individually with the dozen candidates that were her best match. After all that money and effort, she decided she didn’t like any of them.

Six months later, she was engaged to someone she had met randomly at a bar. Moral: people don’t know what they want until they see it (and surveys aren’t much better).

The truth is, I don’t think any questionnaire can tell you what you’re going to be really engaged about. I’d rather experiment with dozens of wildly different activities, than limit my scope, just because a test said I wouldn’t like it.

How to Find Your Passions

The better approach to finding your passions is actually fairly simple:

  1. Try a lot of different things
  2. See what you enjoy

The biggest obstacle to overcome is a narrow vision of what you can do. If I wasn’t passionately interested in anything, I’d try to cast a wide net to look at dozens of different activities. Staying safe and familiar is the reason I’m bored, so now is the time to experiment.

Dabbling is key to the art of finding what drives you. Dabbling means committing to something for 3-6 months. This amount of time isn’t enough to become really good at anything. But it is enough time to get over the sharp learning curve in the beginning.

I didn’t enjoy programming for the first few months I worked on it. I didn’t know enough, and it was too frustrating to continue. But once I got over the frustration barrier, I found that programming is an activity I really enjoy.

If you don’t have any project that makes you want to wake up early and sacrifice leisure for, you should start dabbling. Find new activities completely outside your comfort zone you can do for a few hours a week, and commit for at least two months.

Sometimes You Need a Spark…

Sometimes the problem with a passion isn’t the activity, but the goal. I enjoyed working on small self-made projects. But it wasn’t until I saw that people actually made self-run businesses out of those efforts that I became really engaged. Until that point, my goal was just to dabble in something fun. After that point, I realized there was room for a challenging goal I hadn’t considered before.

Equally important to dabbling in activities is to dabble in experiences. Meet people from weird and unique backgrounds. Read books that don’t normally appear on your shelf. Randomness increases the chance that one of your interests will be sparked into something more.

Always Look for More

Dabbling is a continuous process. Committing yourself to one goal is good. But that should still leave time for brief experiments. If you’re always dabbling, you have a large base of passions you can do interesting work from. Don’t tolerate boredom.

The Shubham Stories

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First full week

Look at the blue sky;
This is the first full week
Of 2019;
It is a week that looks
So special for me;
What do you carry
In your bag
For me, first full week?
You cannot come empty?
Like an irresponsible
Parent:
See how bright you are;
You cannot look that
For nothing;
Open your traveling bag
And pull out
What’s in it for me;
Many precious things
I imagine;
You have a caring heart;
We call this new year;
Everything has to be new
Or renewed;
You need a new heart;
That’s clean and pure.
New plans;
And new methods
To carry out your plans.
Thank you for being here.
And for everything
That is new.

8 Hopeful Trends Entering 2019

New Year 2019

The last piece focused on the ‘bad’ news as 2019 rushes upon the world. Here we will examine the ‘good’ news of hopeful trends at the conclusion of 2018.

These are the eight most hopeful trends in society entering 2019 as I see them, from 8 to 1. What do you think?

8 The New ‘Populist’ Movement

One hopeful trend is the emergence of a new ‘populist’ movement worldwide. The Leftmedia is not fond of this term which they use in a derogatory manner, as if it was evil to be a populist.

However, the term has a specific definition which varies according to whether or not it applies to a specific political party. Populism when it is used as a general term is defined as follows,

  • ( lowercase ) any of various, often antiestablishment or anti-intellectual political movements or philosophies that offer unorthodox solutions or policies and appeal to the common person rather than according with traditional party or partisan ideologies.

The key item in this definition is “antiestablishment.” It is important to note that from Brexit to the presidency of Donald Trump and any number of political upheavals, all are opposing the political “establishment.”

The Left is caught in a bit of a role reversal, as they are now the ‘establishment,’ of both parties. After five decades of trying it the Left’s way, the people of many western societies have had enough.

It is a populist revolt against the Left which has been gaining steam in 2018. Though the opposition is fierce, it is heartening to see freedom loving people around the world pushing back as 2019 is upon us.

7 The Rise of Alternative Social Media

New Year 2019In the last piece, I chronicled a bit about the disturbing habit that the MSSM (Main Stream Social Media) had of banning conservative accounts. A hopeful trend countering this was the rise of several alternative social media platforms in 2018.

The negative attention garnered by Google, Twitter and Facebook in 2018 spurred many to seek other online outlets for expression. Here is a little bit about some alternative social media sites I spotted in the past year.

Alternatives to Google include DuckDuckGo as a search engine and protonmail.com for Gmail. They both take steps to ensure privacy and exclude censorship of viewpoints.

There are some good alternate sites to Facebook and Twitter which emerged strongly in 2018. One is MeWe.com and the newest from Canada is the Underground Social Network.

Other promising social media alternatives gained prominence in the past year, such as Gab.ai along with Snippy.com. In all of these cases and others which will appear in 2019, people are searching for social media that honors both privacy and real freedom of speech.

Finally, a new social media platform which merits a mention is Minds.com. It uses blockchain technology to assure the freedom and anonymity of its users and is the same tech behind cryptocurrencies like bitcoin.

This is but a partial list of social media choices outside the MSSM purview. Hopefully, 2019 will see more competition blossom to challenge the Silicon Valley corporate Left.

6 The Growth of Conservative Media

New Year 2019

By ‘conservative media’ I don’t mean Fox News. They have exhibited leadership and garnered the #1 ratings in cable news for many years by giving conservatives the opportunity to compete in television.

Fox News is the cable news king in ratings, but they remain one conservative port in the sea of leftism. They are outnumbered on television by the MSM and other cable networks.

Other media arenas, such as talk radio and online video saw enormous growth in 2018. Talk radio itself has undergone significant changes with the spread of satellite radio like Sirius XM.

The big news in the ‘talk’ world has been podcasting. The rise in podcasts and live internet streaming of radio programs has been the most significant new factor in this media during 2018.

In every arena, established or newer, conservative talk shows dominated the airwaves in 2018. According to Talkers.com, 7 of the top ten “heavy hitters,” in talk media were conservative.

Most know the familiar names such as Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin, Sean Hannity, and Laura Ingraham. However, new young faces arose in 2018 to carry the mantle including my pick to watch for in 2019, Buck Sexton.

The most important development of 2018 in the talk media arena was the recent merger of CRTV, a conservative online network, with The Blaze TV, a competing conservative network. As of December 3, 2018, the two became Blaze Media and it is now,

the largest independent conservative multi-platform media company in the U.S.

5 The Persistence and Growth of Anti-Jihadism

New Year 2019Here is another little-noticed beacon of hope in 2019. Anti-Jihadism is reflected in the increasing number of watchdog organizations dedicated to bringing the truth about radical Islamists and their heinous goals.

Three such organizations making waves online are “The Geller Report,” by Pamela Geller, “Jihad Watch” by Robert Spencer, and “Winds of Jihad.” The main author on the last website goes by the humorous nom de plume Sheikyermami.

One story from December 30th at Jihad Watch demonstrates why an alternative like that exists. The title was “Facebook bans Franklin Graham as Palestinian Mission to Berlin glorifies jihad murderer on Facebook.”

Yet Facebook will deny any bias against Graham or for Islam. The account honoring the jihadist is gone from Facebook, but not because they took it down.

Facebook has just banned Franklin Graham, apparently for the crime of posting Christian material. But note that Facebook did not take down the Palestinian Mission to Berlin’s post glorifying Leila Khaled. The Mission took it down itself under pressure from the German Foreign Ministry. Jihad is fine with Facebook; Christianity, not so much. …The mission removed a Facebook post featuring the image of hijacker Leila Khaled, a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terrorist organization.

In another recent instance, Pamela Geller writes about an ISIS “Muslima” in Germany who is charged with murdering a 5-year-old ‘slave girl.’

A German Muslima first left Germany in August 2014 and traveled to Iraq to she joined the Islamic State. She worked for Islamic vice, the group’s self-styled morality police, where she would patrol the city parks of the Isis-occupied cities of Falluja and Mosul. ..The 27-year-old German citizen and her husband purchased the child as a household “slave” when living in then Isis-occupied Mosul in northern Iraq. “After the girl fell ill and wet her mattress, the husband of the accused chained her up outside as punishment and let the child die of thirst in the scorching heat,” they said in a statement. “The accused allowed her husband to do so and did nothing to save the girl.”

Without anti-Jihadists like Geller, many would never know that slavery is legal under Islamic law. It is a hopeful sign that these voices are out there, sounding the alarm and will continue to do so in 2019.

4 The Rise of the ‘Watchdogs’

2018 was a year that saw the emergence of various ‘watchdog’ organizations keeping tabs on the government, corporations, and the media. Two noteworthy such watchdogs are Project Veritas and Judicial Watch.

Project Veritas specializes in video ‘stings’ of organizations which deceive the public. Judicial Watch uses the legal system to expose corruption in government.
During 2018, Project Veritas began to focus on voter fraud in anticipation of the mid-term elections. Here is one of their videos exposing the political corruption in 2018.

Judicial Watch uses the courts extensively to hold the government to account concerning following the law. In particular, JW wants to make the government legally accountable and transparent.

Their motto is, “Because no one is above the law.” One example of their sterling work in 2018 involved suing the Department of Justice to force them to reveal costs associated with the Mueller investigation.

“The Justice Department, the FBI, and Special Counsel Mueller continue to operate as if they are above the law,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “The American people have a right to know how much taxpayer money is being thrown at Mueller’s massive investigation. Judicial Watch has never before seen this level of secrecy surrounding the operation of a special or independent counsel.”

Both JW and PV are doing yeoman’s work in helping keep government the servant of the people, and accountable as such. It is encouraging to see that they and others will be continuing such watchdog efforts in 2019.

3 Trump Continues to Reshape the Judiciary

New Year 2019The political battle of 2018 was certainly the confirmation hearings of Justice Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. Time will tell whether or not he rules consistently as a constitutionalist, but this seems to ensure a conservative SCOTUS.

However, it is the large amount of Trump judges appointed and approved at the next federal level that is a hopeful trend. According to the Washington Times,

President Trump is smashing the record for appointing judges to the powerful federal appeals courts with 29 picks confirmed…The 13 circuit courts of appeals, which have 179 judgeships, are the key middle ground between the district and the Supreme Court. With the justices hearing oral arguments in perhaps only 80 cases a year, that leaves much of the heavy legal lifting in the circuit courts, where rulings set precedent on issues such as gun rights and immigration in their respective parts of the country.

Should this pace continue as it has, largely under the leftist radar, it has the potential to make the judiciary conservative for decades to come. Though the Republicans lost control of the House of Representatives in 2018, they gained seats in the Senate.

Since the Senate is in charge of the confirmation process for federal judges, the president has the opportunity in 2019 to exceed his remarkable totals in 2018. He has the chance to keep America tethered to the Constitution and its principles, and that is hopeful indeed.

2 Donald Trump Is Still President

New Year 2019When Donald J. Trump was elected 25+ months ago, there were a lot of people who didn’t think he would last this long.

In fact, desperate plans to prevent him from even taking office cast doubt upon whether or not Trump would officially assume the presidency. Remember the attempts to persuade electors not to vote as the people they represent voted and overturn the election?

President Trump has survived the worst onslaught of media attacks and bias in the history of modern politics. That is indisputable fact.

In the face of the Leftmedia’s maniacal assault, the president has thrived in most areas of actual performance. Moreover, his political foes on the Left continue to desperately try anything to take Trump down.

President Trump has proven more than capable of dealing with such pressure thus far. From the Russia ‘collusion’ narrative without a shred of evidence to the ridiculous charges of racism, sexism, xenophobia, Islamophobia, he has withstood the storm.

As we plunge into 2019, a challenge against Trump’s promised border wall is taking place in the form of a partial government “shutdown.” With God’s continued blessing, the president will stay the course and the wall will happen.

Which brings us to the first and most important hopeful ‘trend’ into 2019. The fact that the Lord God is still on the throne.

1 God Is Still on the Throne

37749571852_1b6424edb9_qThe best of the hopeful trends is saved for last. Of course, this fact is not really a trend as much as an eternal reality.

Here is the everlasting fact to bring hope to the most hopeless. God is still and forever will be on the throne of all creation.

This is a wonderful hope when in the midst of troubling times and when encountering hardship. God reminded Job of His presence and power when Job was frustrated and suffering.

From chapter 38 through 41, God presents the argument of the sovereign Creator. It opens Job’s eyes and he sees that God is about,

…things too wonderful for me which I knew not. Job 42:3 KJV

God is on His throne and working in all kinds of ways that we “know not.” What we do know from His Word is that He causes all things to,

“work together for good to those that love the Lord, who are called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28 KJV

God’s purpose is the ultimate good for all things universal and personal. He is not thwarted by any turmoil in society, nor by any schemes of the enemy.

Let 2019 be a year of hopeful expectation that God is working His purpose for good. And may we all come to be among “those that love the Lord.”

D.T. Osborn

Sources: The Holy Bible, King James Version, Public Domain

Featured and Top Image courtesy of Sherwood411’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 1 courtesy of opportplanet’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 2 courtesy of Gage Skidmore’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 3 courtesy of Danny Hammondtree’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 4 courtesy of Jeso Carneiro’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 5 courtesy of Gage Skidmore’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 6 courtesy of Roland J. Sims’ Flickr page – Creative Commons License

All other sources linked or cited in the text.

Originally published in TIL Journal