AoC Age of Conan Race Guide

Hyboria. It is a land of prosperous cities, great wealth, enlightened culture, with a king-sanctioned order of religious freedom, where no faith shall be oppressed. Yet for all the kingdom's vaunted glories and despite the actions of its popular monarch, King Conan I, it is a land where culture clashes and the chaos of unrest always threaten the populace.

In Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures, playing an Aquilonian will ensure a varied and Diverse gaming experience. Landing somewhere in the middle of the Cimmerians and the Stygians on many different levels, the Aquilonian is a perfect choice for anyone wanting to role-play a character that has not got as many stereotypical features pinned to him or her as the other races often have . It is easy to draw parallels between the Aquilonians and the Romans, mostly because both people are known for their highly cultured society where structure is held in high regard.

Perhaps that is why it can be even more exciting to take an Aquilonian and bring him or her into the extremes of life. It may be easy to role-play a battle-savvy Cimmerian or a cunning Stygian, but doing the same with an Aquilonian may open up fresh and fascinating ways of shaping your character.

Aquilonians know now, just as they always have, that their borders are neither safe nor sealed. Conflict with other nations scars Aquilonians history, with Pictish raids increasing in number year by year and enmity between Aquilonians and Nemedians reaching back for many decades.

With the kingdom comprised of so many conquered, submissive or allied nations, Aquilonians Also expect a degree of tension within their own lands. In the past, pretenders to the throne Have raised armies and marched on the capital Tarantia, plunging the people of the nation into periods of civil war. While the nation is ostensibly peaceful, all Aquilonians have come to expect a degree of bloodshed around their throne and over issues of sovereignty.

For all these epic troubles, the people of the world's greatest kingdom are cultured and educated, more so than any other nation can claim of its citizens. Scholars are respected as much as soldiers and slavery – where it is practiced – is nothing like as harsh as the servitude found in other nations. Quality of life is important to the Aquilonians.

Aquilonian fighters are disciplined and tough, often more soldier than warrior. The people Value martial skill and admire any who stand against the nation's many enemies, especially the hated Picts. Aquilonians also value free-thinking and independence, so those who can make a living off the backs of their own self-reliance often gathers respect. Sorcery is shunned as the pursuit of evil men, but Mitran priests practice their own magic and earn great respect among the populace for their perceived favor in the light of the true god's grace.

Because of their toughness combined with great their discipline, Aquilonians make great Soldiers, and these can pursue the path of the Guardian, the Dark Templar or the Conqueror.

While the Aquilonians can't become Mages, many of them still chooses to tap into the higher powers by following the way of the Priest to later become Priests of Mitra. Aquilonians are also known to be great Rogues, advancing into the roles of the Assassin, the Barbarian or the Ranger. In short, an Aquilonian will give you plenty of choices as you progress through Hyboria. "-

The classes an Aquiloanian can play are :.
Soldier: Conquerer, Dark Templar, Guardian.
Priest: Priest of Mitra.
Rogue: Assassin, Barbarian, Ranger

The Cimmeria "A shroud hangs over the people of Cimmeria. While one might assume it is the pall of the dark weather overhead, eternally threatening grim days and violent storms, the truth is that the Cimmerians live under a shroud of impending doom. Hyborian Age enters its final centuries, few people feel it as acutely as the northern barbarian clans. It is a subconscious sensation-more a subtle, ever-present melancholy than any true emotion. But it is there, in the blood and bones of every They all feel it. They each sense, deep within, the end is coming.In Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures, players will find that playing the Cimmerians can be a very varied experience. Their barbaric nature, their stout posture and their willingness to charge into a battle where the odds are against them, should appeal to those players who would solve a dispute with the blade rather than with words. Still, Cimmerians are a people with an interesting culture that often runs deeper th an the roots of mountains, and exploring this society as a player will yield many surprises. They are certainly barbaric, but they have hearts -hearts that beat for the land that surrounds them and for their bloodline. Weaving an interesting story for your Cimmerian should pose no challenge.

King Conan I of Aquilonia is Hyboria's most renowned Cimmerian, though he is not a typical example of his people. He treasures life while his people struggle through and endure it. He burned with a curiosity to see the world's wonders, while his kinfolk even now stay within the mountainous boundaries of their homeland and care nothing for what occurs outside their clan territories. Life is hard in Cimmeria, and no greater evidence for this fact exists than the dour Cimmerians themselves.

The Cimmerians are a barbarous people, with a culture shaped by their harsh and dreary land to the point where foreigners look askance at the tribes of the north and wonder if they ever laugh or sing any songs beyond dismal dirges. To the world beyond Cimmeria, the barbarians of this cold and rugged region are locked in the misery of internal wars between feuding tribes and surviving through the efforts of dedicated hunters that provide for each community. The Cimmerians live hand to mouth in a hostile realm. It earns them the pity of the other nations, but it gives them a strength no training can ever teach.

While the Cimmerians acknowledge Crom as their god, they do not worship him as the Aquilonians revere Mitra and the Stygians fear Set. Crom watches and broods from his mountain throne, but he cares nothing for the lives of mortals. The Cimmerians believe that Crom gives them strength at birth-the strength they will need to meet the trials of life. After that, they are on their own, as it should be.

The barbarians have little in the way of writing or book-learning, instead passing their lore verbally in fireside tales or whispered legends. They value martial prowess over their enemies, physical strength, and the ability to provide for oneself over all else. While they have their seers and shamans, the supernatural holds terror for most barbarians, not any wonder or tempting ppeal. They pride themselves on working through life with their strength, skill and cunning, and never relying on the arcane mysteries that blacken the souls of the men in other nations.

It should come as no surprise to you that the path Cimmerians usually choose in life involves weapons, blood and a lot of hard work. As a player you will have the option of choosing between three of the four archetypes, namely Rogues, Soldiers and Priests. The path of the Mage is closed to Cimmerians, but most of their people have little interest in delving into the deep mysteries of magic, anyway. Those who do have an affinity for the otherworldly will rather dedicate their life to becoming a Priest and later join the ranks of the Bear Shamans. Those who choose to go the way of the Rogue may explore classes such as the Ranger and the Barbarian, while Soldiers may become Guardians, Conquerors or Dark Templars. Regardless of your choice, playing a Cimmerian will be a challenge! "-

The classes a Cimmerian can play are :.
Soldier: Conquerer, Dark Templar, Guardian.
Priest: Bear Shaman.
Rogue: Barbarian, Ranger

The Stygians "The Stygians are an ancient, decadent people, born of a culture more than fifteen hundred years older than any of their kingdom kingdoms to the north. Dominated by a ruthless theocracy dedicated to the worship of the serpent-god Set, the Stygians are masters of occult secrets and diabolic lore. The scholarship is legendary and their mastery of the magical arts is without equal anywhere in the known world.Unlike the Hyborian kingdoms the Stygians care little for what goes on beyond their borders; while the Aquilonians and the Nemedians measure their worth in castles and glittering armies, the scholar-priests of Stygia care nothing for such trifles. They learned long ago that true power lies in knowledge and in pacts with dark powers older than the cosmos itself.

Players in Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures will find that the Stygians can be a joy to role-play. Their mysterious and magically aligned nature makes them perfect for those who want to play an intelligent and wise character who holds great power behind his or her dark eyes, yet they might also choose to play the role of a Stygian rogue whose main goal is to grab the riches that might be found in the estates of those in the upper castes. The Stygians are a diverse people who follow many paths of life, and players will find a wealth of opportunities if they choose to enter Hyboria as one of them.

Stygian society is divided into three rigid hereditary castes: the nobility, the aristocracy or middle caste, and the peasant caste. The noble caste is much diminished in the modern age.

Unlike the lower castes, whose blood has been increasingly intermingled with Kothian, Shemite and Kushite stock, the Stygian noble caste is tall and dark-haired, with fair, ivory-colored skin.

They are rarely seen even in the largest Stygian cities, and are never known to travel abroad, preferring to spend lives of indolence and contemplation in their lotus-perfumed estates.

The middle caste comprises the Stygian aristocracy, and is the true ruling power of the realm. Tall but dusky-skinned, black-haired and hawk-nosed, the aristocracy provides the scholars and priests that run the kingdom's many temples and maintain its fabled libraries. Beneath their heel lies the peasant caste, marked by their shorter stature, swarthier skin and heavier build. The aristocrats rule the peasant caste with an iron grip, steeping them in a culture of absolute subservience and fear. The peasant caste exist to serve the aristocracy and to feed the appetites of their god Set, and even the merest hint of disobedience is enough to merit an agonizing death in the torture chambers of the city temples.

Stygians as a people favor cunning, intelligence and agility over brute strength. Swords and axes are the hallmarks of a barbarian, not a civilized person. For this reason, most Stygians found outside the borders of their kingdom are typically scholars or seekers of knowledge. This quest for knowledge can come in many forms, whether through the practice of sorcery, the study of the body and the healing arts, or the stealthy practice of assassination or thievery. Each pursuit is equally valid in a Stygian's eyes, because they require intellect, education and discipline; qualities they believe to be lacking in the lesser kingdoms of the age.

In Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures, the affinity Stygians have for magic is particularly evident. Their ability to master this ancient art has led them to become the only one of the three races who can specialize in the Mage archetype. Also, for Stygians who decide to follow the archetype of the Priest, they hold exclusive sway over the powerful path of the Tempest of Set.

Stygian Mages can become Necromancers, Heralds of Xotli and Demonologists. For those who choose to follow the ways of the Rogue or Priest, they can also become Assassins and Rangers.

Their superiority in magic has its price, however, as Stygians can never become Soldiers. "-

The classes a Stygian can play are :.
Mage: Demonologist, Herald of Xotli, Necromancer.
Priest: Tempest of Set.
Rogue: Assassin, Ranger

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How To Handle Your Nasty Self-Criticism

I’ve received multiple emails from readers sharing what triggers their self-criticism. Self-criticism can be one of the most MASSIVE obstacles to tackle, because it underlies everything.

What you’re telling yourself will determine the way you feel, the behaviors and actions you take and the words you say to others. Your «invisible scripts» shape your experience of your world. They are the paintbrushes on your life canvas (OK, that was slightly cheesy, but you get the point).

The sneaky thing with these invisible scripts is that they are… well, invisible.

Generally, you don’t notice them. They run around in the background of your mind all day long, and occur to you like they’re real.

Your invisible scripts sound like an observation of reality, but they’re actually a biased judgement coming from a part of you that wants to keep you behaving in the same way you always have.

Here’s a few recent comments from readers about their self-criticism or invisible scripts. I’ve bolded the invisible scripts for emphasis. These are the things that these readers are telling themselves and believing that it’s reality:

«If I have one lick of something that I feel is a «bad food» I start to feel I have failed and throw in the towel. I know logically I cannot be perfect, but I use that inability to let a binge take over. It makes no sense.«

«I teach Pilates and actually TRAIN people around health and fitness… and then I can’t even control myself! I come home and somehow start eating, then get so mad at myself for being a weak failure. I don’t know what’s wrong with me.«

«Its like ever since I moved to the US and started having kids, I lost touch with myself or something. I don’t have much time to myself and when the kids finally go to bed I just want to eat. I know that it’s a bad habit but I can’t stop doing it.«

«I will be good for a week and eat healthy and then I just lose it and say hell with it and hate myself. I know better but it doesn’t matter when I am alone and have a weak moment. It would be nice to have one piece of chocolate or something but I can’t do that. Once I start, I don’t stop.«

Most of the time, a part of you knows that what you’re telling yourself probably isn’t ACTUALLY true, but you believe it anyway.

Which makes total sense if part of you is really used to beating yourself up.

Naturally, that part is going to be looking for ways to be right that you’re not good enough, a failure, or whatever it is that you tell yourself when you’re being critical. So when you eat something that one part of you has judged to be «bad», the other part of you will rejoice in victory because it’s RIGHT that you always throw in the towel.

The trick is to notice when that part of you is looking to be right.

When you hear these negative thoughts running in your head, take note. Observe what’s happening. You don’t need to stop the thoughts (or feel doubly bad that you are allowing the negative thoughts to override everything). Just notice them.

You can appreciate that it’s coming from a part of your ego or your «animal brain» that’s just doing its job. As your ego or your «animal brain», it’s #1 priority is to protect you.

It’s trying to keep you in the same patterns because those are trusted, reliable patterns you’ve lived most of your life. It doesn’t want you to do something radically different, like enjoy the pleasure of the food for what it is and NOT beat yourself up over it.

Our minds are funny things.

When you notice this part of you, you can see it for what it is. You don’t have to react to it unless you choose to. If you choose to react to it as you normally would, you’re making a conscious decision. This puts you in the driver’s seat because you’re making a choice rather than reacting on autopilot.

This is very similar to when you have urges to eat when you aren’t physically hungry, or to overeat. The urges are being driven by this same part, the «animal» brain, that’s trying to protect you by comforting you, nurturing and feeding you because—for whatever reason—it feels triggered.

A habitual response to these urges, just like the invisible scripts, is to react and do what you’ve done before. Whether its beating yourself up, calling yourself a failure or eating the entire box of ice cream.

The hard thing to do with cravings or urges to eat is to notice the impulse to react and choose to let it run its course without taking action.

Likewise, the hard thing to do with nasty self-criticism is to notice it, choose to recognize where it’s coming from, thank it for trying to protect you and then let it pass on by.

It’s hard because, in the moment, it feels SO REAL.

And when you’re that triggered, if you’re like me, you don’t want to let it pass. You want to be bitchy, nasty and down on yourself because you think you deserve it.

So here’s a challenge for you this week:

See if you can find the «invisible script» or voice telling you that you’re failing (or you’re weak, or ugly, or whatever your word weapon of choice is). You don’t have to take it seriously. You can just listen to it like you would listen to a little yippy dog at your ankles. You know it’s there, but you don’t have to engage with it unless you choose to.

Notice how often you hear it.

Notice what you’re doing when you hear it.

See if you can zoom out for a moment when you hear it. If this is your «animal brain» telling you this message in order to keep you behaving in a certain way and feeling bad about yourself, it’s not real. It’s a triggered, programmed impulse. Congratulate yourself on being able to recognize it.

Congratulating yourself in the face of nasty self-criticism is the opposite of what you will feel compelled to do. But you’ve got the winning hand: you can’t transform it until you can see it.

When you can see it for what it is, it will lose steam. The more you notice the criticism and choose to not indulge it, the easier it will be to let it pass and put your attention elsewhere.

Can you spot your scripts?

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Impact of the French Revolution on 18th Century Europe and Relevance to Contemporary Christianity

INTRODUCTION

Events of 1789 formed the catalyst that exploded the powder keg of accumulated grievances in France. Indeed «the French Revolution began when Louis XVI called the States-General to provide money for his bankrupt government» (The World Book Encyclopedia, Vol.7, 1991, p.450). The outbreak of the French Revolution in 1789 produced intense hostility to Christianity because «the Roman church was identified by the people with the earlier government of France and suffered greatly» (Harman and Renwick, 1999, p.170). Lefebvre (1947) observed that in a total population of probably twenty three million, there were certainly not more than one hundred thousand priests, monks and nuns, and four hundred thousand nobles. The rest constituted the Third Estate. This secular event shows the contemporary Church the peril that awaits a nation that rejects God. The point of the observation is that although the French Revolution negatively affected Christianity, the attempt at deChristianization was unable to blot the ‘faith of our fathers living still’.

RELIGIOUS BACKGROUND TO THE CONFLICT

According to Noll (2000), «a number of long-festering conditions had prepared the way for this attack on Christianity» (p.247). Paradoxically, some of these were of Christian origin. Centuries earlier, Augustine had declared that man should not have dominion over man, for he is a rational creature made in the image of God. Bellarmine, the Jesuit Cardinal opined that it depended on the consent of the people whether kings, consuls or other magistrates were to be established in authority over them. He further observed that the people should change a kingdom into an aristocracy if there was legitimate cause. Latourette (1953) therefore referred to the French Revolution as «a secularized version of the heavenly city as perceived by Christians» (p.1007).

Before the outbreak of the revolution in France, bad economic, political, social and legal conditions, the successful example of the English Revolution of 1689 and the American Revolution of 1776 were fused by the development of an ideology that rationalized the right of popular revolution against Louis XVI. This ideology was the result of the teachings of the philosophes. While Rousseau and Montesquieu provided the political atmosphere for revolution, Voltaire criticized the church. Cairns (1981) admitted that there were grounds for criticism of the Roman Catholic Church in France. It owned much land and was as responsible as the secular state in the dealings with the people. The public resented various tithes imposed by the church, rigorous repression of religious dissenters, and the non-productive monkish orders. Nichols (1932) suspected that «the greatest cause of the hostility of the church was its enormous wealth and the selfish use made of it» (p.96) since the masses were ruined by cruel taxation at the expense of higher clergy who were generally lazy, luxurious and immoral.

If the 17th century was the age of orthodoxy, the eighteenth was the age of nationalism, a result of cold orthodoxy and scientific developments. The deadly result was that «revelation tended to take the back seat to reason and knowledge gained by sense perception» (Vos, 1960, p.99). When scientists investigated the form of the universe, they formed the idea of a clockwise universe – God’s world was seen as gigantic, well-ordained giant clock.

IMPLICATIONS FOR 18TH CENTURY EUROPE

The French Revolution is viewed as a turning point because it was seen as an important stage in a succession of movements that later spread across the globe to ultimately affect the life of mankind.

It is observed that the effects were especially serious for Christianity since they brought actions which struck at the privileges and status of the Roman Catholic Church. The Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen on August 26 1789 held that «the source of all sovereignty is located in the nation; no body, no individual can exercise authority which does not emanate from it expressly» (Noll, 2000, p.247). The peasants were relieved of a burden which had taken about a twentieth of their produce when tithes were abolished. Consequently, the church was deprived of one of its chief sources of revenue. Church land, which comprised about a fifth of the area of France was confiscated and became the property of the state. In July 1790, the Civil Constitution of the Clergy was enacted by the National Assembly. Among other things, bishops were to be elected by the voters who chose the civil officials and the pope was merely to be notified of their choice. Payment of the clergy by the state was no blessing in disguise since the former was to take an oath of allegiance to the latter. [It must be observed that Spener criticized caesaropapism (doctrine of state control over the church) in his significant publication way back in 1675]. The pope’s power was reduced to that of stating the dogma of the Roman Catholic Church. Indeed «churchmen felt this new act meant secularization of the church and they were violently opposed to it» (Cairns, 1981, p.390).

Unlike the situation in the United States, separation of church and state by the French Revolution and later in the Soviet Union and its sphere of influence was an attempt to totally exterminate the church and to replace it with nationalism. The Roman Catholic Church and the French state were completely separated during the reign of terror of 1793 and 1794 when so many were executed for counter revolutionary activities.

The programme of deChristianization gained momentum when the convention decreed that a commune had the right to renounce the Catholic form of worship. The calendar adopted on October 3 1793 made every tenth day rather than Sunday a day of rest. On November 7, 1793, the Archbishop of Paris appeared before the Convention and «solemnly resigned his Episcopal functions» (Encyclopaedia Britiannica, vol.15, 1989, p.498). A certain Mademoiselle Maillard, an opera dancer, wearing the three colours of the new republic on November 10, 1793 was enthroned as the goddess of Reason upon the high altar of Notre Dame, the Roman Catholic Cathedral of Paris, and there she received the homage of the revolutionists. Notre Dame was rechristened the Temple of Reason. Another step adopted by the Convention was the ordering of churches and parsonages to be used as school houses and poor houses thus effectively preventing public and official worship. The Feasts of Reason both at Paris and elsewhere soon «degenerated into mere orgies, disreputable women playing the part of goddesses and enacting bacchanals in the churches» (Martin, 1877, p.552). The precarious situation during the Reign of Terror forced many Christians to renounce their trust in God. Assessing the situation, Kuiper (1964) pointed out that «it is not possible to say how many Protestants as well as Catholics renounced their faith at this time, but the number was large» (p.310). Although the Convention passed a decree reaffirming the principle of the freedom of worship, the Directory and its regime were basically anti-Christian. The interests of Christianity and European civilization were no longer regarded as two expressions of the same reality. In other words, there was a signal of the demise of Christendom.

Kings initially viewed themselves as God’s representatives on earth and considered all disobedience and rebellion to be sinful. A dangerous feeling of infallibility, considerable serenity and moderation therefore gained control of monarchs. The French Revolution completely repudiated this divine right of kings and «asserted the doctrine that the right to rule came from the people» (The World Book Encyclopedia, vol.5, 1971, p.199). Although Napoleon eventually recognized the Roman Catholic religion as the religion of the great majority of French citizens, he did not make it the established religion. The clergy were to be paid by the state but the property taken from the Roman Church in 1790 was not to be returned to it. In fact, Latourette (1953) observed with brutal truth that Napoleon «regarded the church as an institution which must be recognized and used for his purposes» (p.1011).

The French Revolution and Napoleon brought grave embarrassment to missions. The direct result was a sharp decline of the faith in some geographic frontiers. Few missionaries were sent from Europe and it was difficult to render aid to those already in the field. The Society of Foreign Missions of Paris was compelled to seek headquarters outside of France. The Congregation of the Propagation of the Faith, the bureau through which the Papacy supervised missions abroad, was driven out of Rome. This led to a marked falling off in numbers and morale of the Roman Catholic community in India. Adverse domestic conditions coupled with the handicaps in Europe threatened the extinction of the church in China. The occupation of Spain by Napoleonic armies and the attack on Portugal greatly affected missions in Latin America. Conditions in Russia were also adverse. Parishes lost the right of electing their clergy, a privilege enjoyed since the era of Peter the Great. In a brilliant summary, Noll (2000) commented that «turmoil from the French Revolution and then the wave of national liberation movements fostered by Napoleon further diminished European concern for cross-cultural Christian expansion» (p.274). The revolution greatly affected Lutherans in the German states. War and suffering revealed that skepticism and infidelity were not sufficient to meet the needs of the human spirit and multitudes turned again to religious faith. The old Holy Roman Empire was dissolved in 1806, stimulating the strengthening of independent states like Austria and Prussia. Later in the century, this contributed to the unification of the German people under the leadership of Prussia. Calvinism in Europe also felt the shock of the French Revolution. Skepticism had already weakened this group in France, Switzerland, the German states and the Low Countries. According to Baker (1959), the «political conditions that continued through the Congress of Vienna in 1815 brought disorganization and uncertainty to continental Calvinism» (p.321).

Beyond the dark clouds were shades of silver lining, which several scholars tend to overlook. Perhaps a positive view was that «society was being directed toward the good of the whole community instead of toward the benefit of a tiny elite of kings, nobles and bishops» (Noll, 2000, p.248). Grievous as were the losses suffered by Christianity, «there was ample evidence that the faith was by no means moribund» (Latourette, 1953, p.1012). Indications of vitality (old and new) were evident. These could be found among the Roman Catholics of the eastern churches and in Protestantism. If anything, «secularization of the west was not going to blot out the faith» (Noll, 2000, p.260). Liberal, sectarian and traditionalist responses to the marginalization of European Christendom all had notable vigor though at varying degrees. European thought was skillfully sifted in a new world in order to preserve an intellectually vigorous Christian faith. Groups like the Oxford Movement applied lessons of the early church of the perils of the present. In his stimulating Church History lectures at West Africa Theological Seminary, Lagos, Nigeria, Dr. William Faupel observed that secularization is not inherently evil and argued that there must be a positive interaction, that is, taking the gospel in the mindset of the people.

RELEVANCE TO CONTEMPORARY CHRISTIANITY

Many biblical scholars agreed that the punctuation of papal power in France was a fulfillment of prophecies of Daniel 7 and Revelation 13, which they believed predicted the demise of Roman Catholicism. In this light, Faupel (1996) observed that «the French Revolution became the Rosetta Stone by which all scriptural prophecy could be correlated with the events of human history» (p.92). The lessons for contemporary Christianity are significant.

Righteousness exalts a nation but sin is indeed a reproach to any people. Even today, the Wesleys are credited with saving England from a bloody, political revolution such as befell France. While the common people were as oppressed and deprived as the French, the English people could cope with their oppression because of their faith in God and their adherence to Christian principles. The English revival caused the people to look to God for hope whereas the French had only politicians and atheistic philosophers. The lesson is that God can avert destruction in a nation that acknowledges Him as Saviour. The situation in Sierra Leone in May 2000 is a case in point. God miraculously saved the nation at a time when destruction loomed large. The nation responded to the call to shout ‘Jesus’ at 5:00 p.m. on Monday May 9 2000. God honoured this demonstration of faith and reliance on Him as the only hope. The peaceful elections in May 2002 and August/September 2007 could also be attributed to the redeeming work of God in a land where He is exalted. In like manner, Horton (1993) firmly believed that «God brought about a peaceful change in the protestant land of England, in contrast to the turmoil of the Roman Catholic France» (p.72).

Secondly, the church in any nation should not fraternize with the state to oppress masses since the latter could rebel with frenzied violence. In France, the revolutionists demonstrated that «they could break down barriers if they were driven to desperation» (Rowe, 1931, p.420). Furthermore, ideas that glorify man and sentence God to temporary or permanent exile could be dangerous to any nation. The French Revolution shocked Europe and awakened people to the power of ideas and forces that had become part of western culture. For many, «those ideas and forces connoted the disruptions and destruction that could be expected from unrestrained rationalism» (Manschreck, 1974, 298).

From the study, the researcher realizes that pagan religions and ideas could penetrate areas once dominated by Christianity as a result of the state of the church. During his lectures, Dr. Faupel lamented that an impending doom could await the church in North America because of inherent weakness including racist Christian policies. As Rodney observed (1972), «racism…[was] a set of generalizations and assumptions, which had no scientific bias, but…rationalized in every sphere from theology to biology» (p.99). Contemporary Christianity should realize that it should not be the cold impotent ash (like the church in France before the revolution) but a vibrant church fulfilling the Great Commission. Sumrall (1980) caustically dismissed refusal to spread the gospel as «reckless spiritual homicide» (p.8). The contemporary church must be willing to sacrifice like Christ and the saints of old if the earth should be filled with the glory of God as the waters cover the sea. Houghton (1980) hoped that the contemporary church would be mindful of the fact that «when the church goes astray, denying Him who had bought His people with His precious blood, the Lord [sends] trials and afflictions to correct His unfaithful children» (p.34).

CONCLUSION

The above notwithstanding, the blood of a martyr is seed for the church. After the French Revolution, Christianity, probably to the dismay of the revolutionaries, did not die. Truth (Jesus) was in the grave for three days but eventually resurrected. Persecution, in the history of Christianity, could be regarded as a stepping stone rather than a stumbling block. Fire did not beget cold and impotent ash. After the French Revolution, the church became much more involved in speaking on relevant issues of the day. Christianity was viewed from a different perspective. Evangelism was given a thoughtful consideration. In spite of all the negative effects of the French Revolution, the brand of Christianity that emerged transformed itself by positively interacting with the philosophical mindset of the day.

LIST OF REFERENCES

Baker, Robert A. 1959. A survey of Christian history. Nashville: Broadman Press.

Cairns, Earle E. 1981. Christianity through the centuries: a history of the Christian Church. 2nd ed.

Grand Rapids, Michigan: The Zondervan Corporation.

The Encyclopaedia Britannica. 1989 ed., s.v. «French Revolution».

Faupel, William. 1996. The everlasting gospel: the significance of eschatology in the development of Pentecostal thought. Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press.

Harman, A.M. and A.M. Renwick. 1999. The story of the church. 3rd ed. Leicester: Varsity Press.

Horton, Beka. 1993. 1980. Sketches from church history. Pennsylvania: The Banner of Truth.

Kuiper, B.K. 1964. The church in history. Michigan: The National Union of Christian Schools.

Latourette, Kenneth S. 1953. A history of Christianity. New York: Harper and Row Publishers.

Lefebvre, George. 1947. The coming of the French Revolution. New Jersey: Princeton University Press.

Lewis, C.S. 1970. God in the dock: essays on theology and ethics. Michigan: William E. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

Manschreck, Clyde L. 1974. A history of Christianity in the world: from persecution to uncertainty.

New York: Prentice Hall.

Martin, Henri. 1877. A popular history of France from the first revolution to the present time, Vol.1.

Philadelphia: The Westminster Press.

Noll, Mark A. 2000. Turning points: decisive moments in the history of Christianity. 2nd ed.

Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Academic.

Rodney, Walter. 1972. How Europe underdeveloped Africa. London: Bogle L’Ouverture Publications.

Rowe, Henri K. 1931. History of the Christian people. New York: The Macmillan Company.

Sumrall, Lester. 1980. Where was God when pagan religions began? Indiana: LeSEA Publishing Co.

Vos, Howard F. 1960. Highlights of church history. Nebraska: Back to the Bible Publishers.

The World Book Encyclopaedia, 1971 ed., s.v. «Divine rights of kings».

The World Bank Encyclopaedia, 1971 e.d., s.v. «French Revolution».

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How to Predict the Outcome of a Soccer Match

There are some people who are very good at predicting the outcome of sporting events. Professional gamblers can do it and can make a good living from it. Team managers to some extent need to do this in order to plan a team’s season, knowing which games to focus on and which ones to leave more to hope. Some sports journalists also have the knack of getting it right more often than not. To some it may seem like guess work or going on gut feeling but there is a science to sport and if you know what factors are important you too can be successful at predicting match results.

League position

The first and most obvious thing to look at when deciding who’s most likely to win a game is the relative position of the teams in the league table. If there are a number of places separating the two teams then the higher team is most often going to win and if the teams are close together then a draw is the probable result. You can do this by rule of thumb or it is possible to be more methodical by going back through the records and quantifying just how much of an advantage the league position is. Over the last five years in the English Premier League for example, when the two teams are within 6 places a draw is on average the most likely result. Different leagues will vary depending on how competitive they are and it will also vary at different points in the season. League position is less effective a predictor at the start of the season when there aren’t enough results to make a reliable prediction; and also at the end of the season when teams (particularly the more successful ones) are tired!

Home or away

The next most important factor to consider is whether a team is playing at home or away. In some leagues away victories are relatively rare. The main reason for this is the influence of the crowd. For teams that have a long way to travel and few supporting fans the opposition stadium can be a hostile environment. Also (although of course it shouldn’t happen) the crowd can have an influence on the referee. Refereeing is full of marginal decisions, and the presence of a large crowd of jeering supporters can effect the referee’s judgement. This effect of ‘home bias’ by referees has been scientifically tested by analyzing match videos, and has been shown to be a genuine phenomena – not just a frustration in the minds of the disappointed away fans! Because of this home advantage teams will often have two configurations: one for home and one for away. Away teams will often be more cautious and play a defensive mid-fielder in place of one of the strikers, making an away victory even less likely. It’s easy to quantify the home advantage in a league by adding up all the home wins over a season and comparing it with the number of away wins. The ratio is typically around 2 to 1 in favor of the home team.

Who’s playing?

A key decider is the team announcement. When the line up of the teams is announced, usually twenty minutes before kick-off, this gives a big indication of how the game will go. The team sheet will tell you two things: firstly whether the manager is playing his best team (e.g. are there players out through injury? Or is he saving players for a more important match?). Secondly it will tell you the likely formations. If a team has no recognized striker then they are probably going to be playing a more defensive formation. However, if there are a number of strikers on the substitutes’ bench then it is likely the coach will be putting them on the pitch at a later stage in the game and thus is not settling for a draw. Also look out for players just coming back from injury. Such a player may have a good first game but performances may then dip as fitness becomes an issue. Typically it takes 5 games for a player to get back to full match fitness.

Who’s on a roll?

As with many sports, confidence is a huge factor. Teams can get into cycles where bad results leads to bad confidence which in turn leads to worse performances. The same is true when a team’s confidence spirals upwards. It is for this reason that teams tend to go through good and bad patches. When a team is on a winning streak there is a strong likelihood they will continue winning, even against better teams. Look out for runs in a team’s recent matches: e.g. how many games have they gone without a victory? Although they won’t often admit it players are acutely aware of these statistics and it does play on their minds. Other runs to look out for are:

  • Games without scoring a goal
  • Number of clean sheets (no goals against)
  • Consecutive away wins
  • Number of games unbeaten
  • Number of games played

This last point is an important one. Tiredness is an important factor in determining a team’s chances of winning. A player should normally be able to play 2 games a week but this is hard to sustain over a number of months, especially if there is a lot of traveling and the games are very competitive. A team that has not played for 7 days has a significant advantage over one which has played in the last 3 or 4 days.

Derbies and rivalries

Some matches have a special significance for supporters and players alike. Derby games, where the two teams are local to each other, can throw up unexpected results. Part of the reason for this is that the away supporters don’t have far to travel and so can be in the stadium in equal numbers to the home fans. This can create an unusually vibrant atmosphere which can make players more nervous and accident prone. The intense rivalry between such teams can produce special performances from some teams. This all makes it hard to predict the outcome of such games. There can be other team rivalries that one should also be aware of: for instance teams that have a history of victories over one another in important competitions; and teams that have an equal number of trophies.

Landlords, Do You Know the Importance of Keeping Your Property Safe?

With the winter season well underway, domestic gas and electricity usage is on the up – and it’s your job to ensure that your property and tenants are as safe as possible by checking all the electrical and gas appliances in use.

Hiring a fully qualified, registered professional to tackle any gas and electrical jobs, whether large or small, is of the utmost importance.

A good lettings agent should be able to organise electrical tests and gas safety checks for you, whether in house or by recommending trusted contractors.

Electricity

You’re legally obliged to ensure that all electrical items and household appliances supplied as part of your property letting are safe. Look out for:

  • Badly frayed or damaged insulation
  • Old or exposed wire
  • Poorly fitted or cracked plugs
  • Scorch-marked or damaged sockets
  • Plugs without sleeved, insulated pins

Be sure to repair or replace any equipment or appliances that are past their best with new equipment that meets current BS and EC standards.

If you have a property requiring a house of Multiple Occupation License from the Local Authority, by law you will need to provide confirmation of electrical safety. But it will give you and your tenants real peace of mind if you arrange for on-going checks anyway. A qualified electrical engineer should test every appliance and help you to keep a log of:

  • Item make and serial number
  • Item condition
  • Dates of Portable Appliance (PAT) test

Remember, some insurance companies won’t pay out if untested electrical items cause damage.

Gas

Any gas appliances and systems can pose a great risk if they are not fitted and maintained properly.

As a landlord, you are legally obliged to comply with the Gas Safety Regulations 1994 for any equipment that uses mains or liquid gas in your rented property.

Carbon Monoxide poisoning is a real danger that can cause severe illness and even death. Carbon Monoxide is a colourless and odourless gas, so you and your tenants may not even be aware of its presence until it’s too late.

And any kind of gas leak can have catastrophic consequences, from gas poisoning to risk of fire.

A fully qualified GasSafe engineer should carry out an annual full check at any properties that you rent out.

It is important to be aware that a standard annual service offered by many tradespeople does not comply with the legal regulations for landlords and may leave your tenants and property at risk – so be sure that your engineer is GasSafe registered.

To comply with the regulations you must:

  • Hire a GasSafe registered engineer who is qualified to work on the particular appliances and systems in your property
  • Ensure a full gas safety check is completed both prior to a let and every year thereafter
  • Ensure all gas fittings and flues are maintained safely at all times
  • Repair or replace any defective gas appliances or pipework as soon as possible, ensuring any damaged items are not used until made safe
  • When all checks have been completed, you must:
  • Give a copy of the gas safety check certificate to your tenants

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Adidas – Premier League

Adidas plays the field in high pitch fever with new iconic designs in celebration of the World Cup. Bearing its signature Traxion insole, Adidas celebrates with the following line of shoes:

For men: The GM 2010 comes in black with white side stripes, or dark brown with dark gold stripes or a plain dark brown. GM 2010 LUX black all over. Kick Tr 2010 Brazil comes in green with yellow stripes; Tr 2010 Argentina white and light blue; Tr 2010 England, white and red; France white with red a nd blue stripes; Germany, black with white stripes; Italy chocolate brown with red, wite and green stripes; Russia black with light gold stripes.

For women: Gazelle 2010 white background with multicolored criss-crossed stripes. GM2010 black with white side stripes, or dark brown with dark gold stripes; GM 2010 Lux black all over. Kick 2010 Brazil in green with yellow stripes. Tr 2010 South Africa.

Adidas presents a wonderful new line for running speed.

The Supernova comes in metallic lace cover and red design.

The Rava Microbounce Line is made up of Bounce cushioning with Adi-PRENE+ forefoot, comes in three great color duos: Dark grey with pink lines, White with silver and blue steel lines, and Silver with light grey and violet lines.

The Allegra 3 innovations presents 5 spectacular partners for speed: Dark grey with silver and red lines, Dark grey with metallic silver and royal blue lines, White with grey and red lines, Light grey with white and yellow lines, White with dark grey and light blue lines. Modulate MB with Light grey with silver grey and white lines.

Uruha comes in Silver with three line designs in Light Blue, Orang-red and Red-violet. Macula sports a mercurial white with light silver and red lines. Ambition PB D-Lux in Dark Grey with blocks of red-orange soles. Super nova in white with silver and black, light grey and red lines.

Edge Arriba Track Spike in white and light grey and black lines. Arridun US CF in Light grey and black and blue lines. Attune CC comes in Black with grey and yellow lines. Equipment 10 in Black with grey lines, and White with black and dark silver, or silver with light grey lines.

Four designs of Shikoba MB2 are: white with light grey and fleeting blue steel lines, White with dark grey and blue lines, Black with red and blue with flecks of pink and white lines, Grey with silver and blue lines.

Silver Track comes with cleats, in White with black stripes.

Streetrun in Red with Blue lines.

Adizero Shotput Throwing shoes in zero elevation comes in black with silver stripes.

Adizero Boston shoes with red-orange and black soles come in two designs: light grey and white with black and red lines, and Black with blue and white lines and Blue lace.

Adizero Mana in purely orange and white soles, upper in White with black and orange lines.

Ariba Track shoes with spikes in dark grey with silver stripes.

Adistar Salvation with red-orange and black soles, comes in Dark grey with black and red-orange stripes, and Light grey with dark grey and yellow stripes.

These come in full leather upper for the utmost stretch and adaptation; synthetic lining for a more lasting.

• The spectacular attraction of these Adidas footwear innovations is the F50i TUNIT™ technology by which the player can choose between TRAXION™ SG cleats or TRAXION™ HG studs for the games-

• OR TRAXION™ FG outsole for walking the urban high streets or rural townships.

• Exchangeable pre-molded TUNIT™ Standard Insock for premium support and cushioning

• Specific lace cover for optimal fit and expanded area for kicking

Go for your country and choose to wear your colors with Adidas at http://www.shoedeals4u.com. Revel in the calculated chaos of the most beloved sports of the world and feel the energy of winning. Check out a wide variety of Adidas in shoedeals4u.com and see the difference one person can make in supporting his team.

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A Short Biography of Famous Soccer Players – David Beckham

His full name is David Robert Joseph Beckham. But he has some nickname such as Dave, Becks, Golden Balls, and DB7. He was born in Leytonstone, London, England on 2 May 1975. His playing position in the field is as Midfielder. Beckham is an English soccer player who now plays for Los Angeles Galaxy.

Beckham is a reputable member of the national team of England as well. He has been an excellent goal maker and a main attraction for public. He is one of Britain’s most iconic team members whose name is also an elite international advertising trademark. His skill to overtake the ball with pin-point accurateness and his brand free kicks have made him very well-liked amongst his friends.

During his career as professional soccer player, he ever played for some senior clubs such as Manchester United (1993-2003), Preston North End (1995 as a loan), Real Madrid (2003-2007), Los Angeles Galaxy (2007- ), Milan (2009 – as a loan).

On 1 September 1996, he made his debut for his national team in a World Cup qualifying game in opposition to Moldova. Beckham won the world’s highest-paid soccer player in 2004 with regards to salary and advertising contracts. He was the first British soccer player to play 100 Champions League competitions. From 15 November 2000 until the 2006 FIFA World Cup finals, he was captain of England national team, during which Beckham participated 58 times.

Beckham was forced to fail to spot the 2010 FIFA World Cup as a soccer player due to his wound. It was proclaimed on 14 May 2010 that he will act as an arbitrator between management and the players.

Beckham collected many honors and awards during his career as a professional soccer player. Some of them are honors with his club and national team of England. And some of them are his personal honors. With the club of Manchester United he won Premier League (1995-1996, 1996-1997, 1998-1999, 1999-2000, 2000-2001, 2002-2003), FA Cup (1995-1996, 1998-1999), UEFA Champions League (1998-1999), Intercontinental Cup (1999), FA Community Shield (1993, 1994, 1996, 1997), and FA Youth Cup (1992). With Real Madrid he won La Liga (2006-2007), and Supercopa de España (2003). And with Los Angeles Galaxy, he won Western Conference (2009).

As an Individual, some of his honors are Premier League Player of the Month (August 1996), PFA Young Player of the Year (1996-1997), Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year (1996-1997), UEFA Club Footballer of the Year (1998-1999), UEFA Club Midfielder of the Year (1998-1999), Premier League 10 Seasons Awards (1992-1993 to 2001-2002), BBC Sports Personality of the Year (2001), FIFA 100, ESPY Award (Best Male Soccer Player: 2004), ESPY Award (Best MLS Player: 2008), and English Football Hall of Fame (2008).

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Soccer Betting – The "Asian Handicap"

A draw, or tied score, is a frequent outcome in soccer. In the 2008-2009 season, almost a quarter of all Premier League matches resulted in a draw. Because such an outcome is so common, traditional betting usually involves betting within the context of three different outcomes: a win for one team, a draw, or a win for the other team. The «Asian handicap» is a means of changing this by «handicapping» the underdog by a certain percentage, meaning that a draw becomes impossible.

Most handicaps are made at intervals of one half or one quarter, meaning that there has to be a winner since it is impossible to score a half or quarter goal. The purpose is to make the odds as close to 50-50 as possible and eliminating the draw as a possible outcome. Because the odds are almost half when a handicap is applied, the payout is usually even money, or very close to it.

The primary benefit is encouraging punters to bet on matches where there is a clear favorite. For example, if Manchester United (winner of the Premier League in the 2008-2009 season) were to play West Bromwich (the bottom team of the Premier League during the same season), few punters would be interested in betting. This is because Manchester United is a much better team and the odds are strongly in their favor.

However, if West Bromwich was given a handicap of +2.5, it would mean that they would be effectively starting with a lead of 2.5 goals. This means Manchester United would have to score three goals more than West Bromwich to be the winner as far as the bet is concerned. If West Bromwich scored one goal, then Manchester would have to score four to win. Handicapping obviously changes the odds significantly.

An interesting aspect of handicapping is the push. If an even number is used for the handicap, and the actual score plus the handicap equals a draw, then this is a push. For example, if in the example given above West Bromwich was given a handicap of 2 and failed to score any goals, and Manchester United only scored two goals, this would be a push. The result of a push is that all the punters receive their original wagers returned as there was no winner.

The «Asian Handicap» adds an additional element to soccer betting that can be both fun and profitable. This form of betting can be helpful for those punters that have a personal favorite that they intend to bet on, but are not confident that their favorite will win a particular match.

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