Ordinary People–Extraordinary Results!

Christ doesn’t need our ability. But our Availability

SCRIPTURE:  Matthew 4:12-23

Intro

If you think you’re too small to have an impact.- try going to bed with a mosquito in the room.

Our scripture text starts by saying, “Now when Jesus heard that John was delivered up, he withdrew into Galilee” (v. 12).  It then tells us that Jesus began to proclaim, “Repent! For the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand” (v. 17).

This is the beginning of Jesus’ ministry.  Matthew has told us about Jesus’ birth (chapter 1)–the visit of the Wise Men (chapter 2)–the ministry of John the Baptist in the wilderness–the baptism of Jesus (chapter 3)–and the temptation of Jesus.  It is at that point that Jesus officially kicks off his ministry.  He calls four disciples–Peter and Andrew–James, and John.

It’s interesting to note the kind of people that Jesus called:

o They were brothers–two sets of brothers.  Peter and Andrew were brothers, as were James and John.

o They were fishermen.  Peter and Andrew were casting a net into the sea when Jesus called, “Come after me, and I will make you fishers for men” (v. 19).  James and John were helping their father repair nets when Jesus called them.  All four men dropped what they were doing and followed Jesus.

o All four men were ordinary people.  They weren’t the worst, and they weren’t the best.  They weren’t poor, and they weren’t rich.

o As far as we know, these four men were successful fishermen.  That meant that they worked hard and worked smart.  It meant that they used their hands and their heads.  It meant that they seldom went hungry, but they just as seldom had money left over at the end of the week.

You would think Jesus could have done better!  You would think that the Son of God could have anyone he wanted–and you would think that he would want the best!  You would think that Jesus would assemble a team to beat all teams–a team of superstars–of super-disciples!  Each disciple should specialize in a particular skill:

But those weren’t the kind of people that Jesus chose.  Jesus chose Peter and Andrew–James and John.  He chose ordinary fishermen.

o Perhaps Jesus couldn’t find the kind of people he needed.

o Or maybe he didn’t feel like he needed great people.

o Perhaps he preferred ordinary people.

o Maybe he felt more comfortable with ordinary people.

o Or maybe he was making a point.

o He may have been telling us that it is all right to be ordinary.

o He may have been saying that God can use ordinary people.

o Perhaps he was trying to encourage us. After all, most of us are pretty ordinary.

o Maybe he was telling us that if we respond as these four disciples responded, we too can change the world.

I think that those possibilities have much to commend, but the bottom line is that God prefers to work with ordinary people.

o If God calls a brilliant person–a person with a genius IQ–then people will give that brilliant person credit for whatever happens.

o If God calls a rich and famous person, then people will give that person credit for whatever happens.

But we aren’t likely to accomplish much for God unless we’re God-powered–Holy Spirit powered–so God wants us to know that it was God who achieved the results.  So, God often prefers to work through ordinary people.

That’s Good News!  If God wanted only the rich and famous, we would be left out in the cold.  The call of these four disciples–Peter and Andrew–James and John–tells us that God can ordinary people and enable ordinary people to achieve extraordinary results.  That’s Good News for us because we’re ordinary people–but God can use us to do extraordinary things.

. I was a young woman in my 20s and only came to faith in Christ for a few years. I was training as a nurse then and met other nurses working in a neighbouring hospital. They told me about the success of their Nurse’s Christian fellowship. Once I learned from them exactly what the fellowship was all bout by attending one of their meetings, I wanted to start one in my hospital. With the help of my Pastor, the group grew from 2 to 30 in no time at all. I am nothing special- just an ordinary person with ordinary ideas, and God did extraordinary things. We had four nurses give their lives to the Lord, two were baptised through that group, and several patients came to faith and were baptised.

When Jesus called these four fishermen, he didn’t invite them to read his book.  He invited them to follow him. 

He invited them to become his disciples. 

Jesus allowed these four men to live with him and observe him at close hands daily.  By doing so, they learned much more than Jesus’ ideas.  They became familiar with his moods.  They observed how he treated other people.  They saw how he dealt with problems and opposition.  They began to copy his manner of speaking and his gestures.  Slowly but surely, they became like Jesus in thought, word and deed.

That should speak powerfully to us about discipleship.  It’s not enough to accumulate knowledge from the scriptures about Jesus.  Becoming disciples involves spending time with Jesus.  We, of course, don’t have the opportunity to sit down with Jesus in the flesh. Still, we can develop an intimate relationship with Jesus through reading the scriptures–prayer–and faithful obedience.    Discipleship is “heart knowledge,” not just “head knowledge.”

Jesus chose these four ordinary men–and a few others like them–some better, some worse–some men, some women–and those disciples turned the world upside down.  It’s now two thousand years later, and everything has changed.  The Scribes and the Pharisees are gone.  The Roman Empire is gone.  But all over the world, people worship Jesus Christ.  That happened because Christ called these ordinary people to be his disciples and empowered them to do his work.

Christ calls us too!  Christ calls some of us to be preachers and others to be teachers.  Christ calls some of us to be youth leaders and others to be youth group members.  Christ calls some to be missionaries in Africa and others to be missionaries in the places where we live and work day by day.  Christ calls some of us to sing in the choir or play musical instruments and others to enjoy the music. 

But for all of Us- Christ calls all of us to love!  Christ calls all of us to bear witness!  Christ calls all of us to spread the Good News!

 Martin Luther  SAID : believe in Christ, and do your duty in that state of life to which God has called you.

If we obey and heed Christ’s call, he will make things happen.  Christ doesn’t need our ability.  He just needs our availability, so others will see the great light!

 Listen for his call!  Listen to hear what he is calling you to be–and what he is calling you to do.

Thank you for visiting me here; I hope this post was helpful.

Please subscribe using the banner as you come onto the site. Also, please follow this blog, and you’ll find a button on the lower bottom right and leave a comment with any questions or prayer requests.

Virtual hugs, I look forward to your visit to my next blog post!

Remember to live life on purpose, in Hope. Faith and Love

Paula Rose Parish💕

🖤Want to help support me as an author?

 ✔BOOKS BY PAULA available at AMAZON in the UK, USA, Aust;

📚Nothing Good about Grief: Path to recovery with Psalm 23 after COVID-19 & other losses.

 📚Psalm 23 Unwrapped: Hope in difficult times.

The Reason for the Season. Christ before time and space.

based on Hebrews 1:1-4; 2:5-12

For many people, the only time they think about God, religion or Jus is at Christmas time. And many more others, have never heard that Christmas is a celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ our Saviour!

You may not realise it, but many of the traditions you hold dear such as Christmas, the expressions you use, and the ideas you have originate from a time and place in history.

We also change things and create our own traditions: expressions, ideas, etc. The given passage in Hebrews which I encourage you to read is about history. The writer is encouraging the Hebrew Christians about the value of their history in relationship to Christ. The history he is teaching occurred before time and space. So, in this article, I will take a couple of verses at a time and briefly explain them.

So let’s acknowledge the real reason for the season- which is Jesus! Let’s learn a little more about him and where he came from- Let’s jump in!

Introduction

The opening affirmation in verse 1 that God spoke through the prophets is essential. While Hebrews as a whole is written to establish Christ’s superiority to the old covenant, which is a foundational belief. Thus, the old-new contrast presented in Hebrews is not arguing what is the finest, but between what is most excellent and the incomparable. It was no easy thing for God’s revelation in Christ to surpass the old ways — but it is terrific that it does!

Verses 2-4 present a series of assertions about Christ that establish this exceptional quality. Each describes aspects of Christ’s status as God’s Son, distinguishing Christ from the prophets. 

New Revised Standard Version readers may be surprised that Christ is referred to as “a” Son of God in verse 2, rather than “the” Son (most other translations add “his,” though there is no such word in Greek). 

Christ’s Divinity

The first point that the verse makes is about the superiority of sonship to being a prophet as a method of disclosure; it is not making a direct trinitarian assertion even if we suggest that the verse ultimately does point to the idea of the Trinity.

The second point is that the prophets were spokespersons for God; we would not claim that any of the prophets were “heirs of all things” or involved in the act of creation.  

These two points together establish Christ’s presence at the beginning and at the end, or as revelation puts it, the Alpha and Omega (Revelation 22:13). 

Verse 3 adds the third point of Christ’s role in sustaining all things by his powerful word.” 

So, all three points combine to make a powerful statement about the son’s role and activity in creation throughout time from genesis to revelation. In other words, Christ always existed.

Such a claim of extensive pre-eminences makes no sense apart from understanding the son’s relationship to God, and verse 3 supplies this understanding. 

The meaning of Jesus is “the reflection of God’s glory and the exact imprint of God’s very being.”  The emphasis on the unity of Christ and God is also seen in Colossians 1:16-20 and 2 Corinthians 4:6, “the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”

It is worth reflecting on the whole meaning of such phrases is to fully understand the concept. The latter part of verse 3 adds that Christ “made purification for sins” and “sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.” 

The previous claims focus on who Christ is and points out the chief elements for the Hebrew believers of the purpose of Christ. 

Christ’s exalted status at God’s right hand connects to the first claim in verse 2 that he is the “heir of all things.”  It is an image from Psalm 110:1, mentioned here and there throughout Hebrews and the New Testament as a messianic prophecy. 

It also provides the primary basis for the claim here in verse 4 that Christ is superior to the angels. In fact, the rest of chapter one is occupied with demonstrating Christ’s superiority to angels. This theme is continued in 2:5, which points out that God “did not give the coming world…to angels, but to Christ. This idea picks up again on Christ being the “heir of all things” and is seated at God’s right hand, and in the new world, which is the coming kingdom of God, and Christ will be overall.

Christ’s Humanity 

So, how can Christ’s humanity be reconciled with this superior status? The basic answer provided by Hebrews is that for Christ to atone for the sins of humans, he had to share in their humanity. Therefore, Christ’s humanity does not detract from his superiority but makes him relatable to us.

Hebrews 2:6b-8a quotes Psalm 8, as I have read, and the first part of the quote is translated in the RSV as, “What is a man that the Father be mindful of him, or the Son of man, that YOU care for him? the Father made him for a little while lower than the angels. 

Jesus, the Son of Man, referred to in the psalm, was temporarily made lower than the angels when he became human to fulfil this psalm’s prophecy. But, as the rest of chapter 2 explains, he had to become human to save humankind.

Christians today often stumble over the idea of Jesus having to be made perfect, but the claim here is merely about Jesus’ being fitted to his task. Perfection here is not about sin or morals or anything else regarding his character — it is about Jesus perfectly fulfilling his role in salvation. This role requires him to enter the whole human experience. In that sense, Jesus’ experience of suffering and death indeed was a matter of achieving perfection. Verses 11-12 affirm Jesus’ solidarity with humankind – he calls us his brothers and sisters. 

Thank you for visiting me here; I hope this post was helpful.

Please subscribe using the banner as you come onto the site. Also, please follow this blog, and you’ll find a button on the lower bottom right and leave a comment with any questions or prayer requests.

Virtual hugs, I look forward to your visit to my next blog post!

Remember to live life on purpose, in Hope. Faith and Love

Paula Rose Parish💕

🖤Want to help support me as an author?

 ✔BOOKS BY PAULA available at AMAZON in the UK, USA, Aust;

📚Nothing Good about Grief: Path to recovery with Psalm 23 after COVID-19 & other losses.

 📚Psalm 23 Unwrapped: Hope in difficult times.

Photo by Brett Sayles on Pexels.com

Paula’s Story- How I came to Faith in Christ.

I know I shared this a few years ago in this community. However, I have a few people ask me how did go from an atheist to a believer in Christ.

Although It’s Christmas, If you’re interested in my story please read on. Also found my book Psalm 23 Unwrapped purchase on Amazon.

I was born in 1948: Grange Primary School - Moving the Old School
Grange Primary school, Adelaide 1960

The year was 1965 when the school bell rang. Usually, I never bothered to stop and chat with friends, but rather, I ran home as fast as my little legs could carry me. Nonstop I went as fast as I could, from Grange Primary School up the street to my home at Henley Beach Adelaide, South Australia.

The distance was just over a mile, and I had to get there quickly, or I would miss out. My goal was to park my butt in front of the black-and-white telly just in time to enjoy another adventure of superman. I couldn’t miss my daily dose of the Adventures of Superman, he intrigued me and made me think that there was more mystery to life than I understood. As the introduction began, I would chime in, Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Noooooo it’s SUPERMAN!!! – I loved it. George Reeves, an American actor, played the handsome superman. He was born on January 5, 1914, and died on June 16, 1959, the series continued long after he died and he became my hero.

super manI did not have a role model, and God was not in the equation at the time, and I thought superman was the embodiment of all that was right, good and just. As a ten-year-old, growing up in the 60s, I thought his outfit was quite fetching! Superman was more of a reality to me than God.

I was convinced that if God did exist, he must be like an old man in the clouds ready to throw down thunderbolts as soon as I did something wrong. God was someone who didn’t think much of us mortals at all and seemed to take pleasure in punishing us. When I was at primary school when it thundered, the kids used to say- Oh, don’t worry, that’s only God upstairs moving his furniture around. I found that to be a frightening concept. So, for me, if there was a God, he was not a very approachable character, a thing to be feared.

My idea of God was that he was a thing, not a real person. Just like a cartoon character, not real at all. I was told by other kids that parents used the idea of God to put the heebie-jeebies in the kids to control them – maybe it worked- I don’t know. I considered that perhaps he was something that you really wouldn’t want to come face to face with within a dark alleyway on a rainy night. Putting all these ideas together, I decided it’s best to stay away from God for one’s safety and to avoid him at all costs! From what I was told about God, it was clear that he was a pretty mean fella indeed, and there was no way that I wanted to shake hands with him any time soon.

Over the years, here and there, I meet a few Christians. I was in high school for only six months, and I meet two Christian sisters. They attended a Methodist church and tried to persuade me to go with them. I refused as I didn’t see the reason for it. However, one of them told me that Jesus loved me and invited me to ask Jesus into my heart – whatever that meant I didn’t know. I certainly didn’t like that idea anyway. Well, it was stuck in my mind of a big bad God, an old bloke with a beard and there was no way that even with the kindest invitation that I was going to let that God get into my heart and life.

My teenage years proved to be difficult, often felt restless. I was dyslexic but was not aware of it at the time. This brought a deep sense that I did not belong somehow. I often felt like a fifth wheel, on the outside of life looking in, and so I began the search for life’s purpose and meaning. I asked questions of those who knew more about life than I did. I would often ask- what happens before we are born, and what happens after we die?

My questions were never answered, leaving me disappointed and empty. However, I still searched for them diligently, which usually led me in all the wrong directions and in the wrong places, bringing me more despair and misery, and also to my family. I reasoned that if a question can be thought of and asked, indeed it can be answered, so I kept looking. Then one day, I got fed up with life and all the unanswered questions.

   A few months before my 21st Birthday, in 1976, after a short time of planning, I took off with my friend Robyn to travel around Australia. I met Robyn at an Adult education class on clay sculpturing, it was an exciting time. We decided together to take time out and just leave all we knew to travel around Australia. It was the popular thing to do at the time, and thousands of young people from all around the world would arrive at Australia’s shores to begin their adventure to backpack around Australia. We thought we were lucky, because we were Australian, and we had a car, but little money, however, we could work our way around our sunburnt country. But we did not realise just how sunburnt Australia really was in 1976.

  We imagined that we were in one of super man’s grand adventures, we felt invincible. Our plan was to travel about 500 miles which would land us in the next state. We would then find temporary work to earn enough money to move on to the next destination on our itinerary. This sounded great and doable, however, what we did not know was that there was a severe drought across Australia and whole towns were shutting down. Bush fires raged everywhere, taking with its flora and fauna, houses, businesses and livelihoods disappeared.

  To our parent’s dismay, we packed up our worldly goods, into an old station wagon and off we went. However, the jobs we hoped to find did not exist anymore while people struggled to cope with the drought. This pushed us further northward, and it wasn’t long before our car broke down, and we ran out of money. Unable to find work, we ended up destitute. The story of how we progressed for the next few weeks is stuff for another book because it doesn’t really fit into the remit of this book. Anyway, we became homeless and had to abandon our car at a garage because we could not pay for its repair.

Through a series of different circumstances, eventually and a genuinely kind couple took us into their home. Their names were Xenoia and Paul. She was Russian, and he was Australian. I was so touched by the love and warmth they offered to us both.

Here we were, two total strangers, from the other side of Australia, taking us in as their own. Although Paul was a pastor of a church (I didn’t understand what a Pastor was) this couple had absolutely nothing to gain by helping us.

Xenoia and Paul. made it clear that they expected nothing back, except to just accept their kind hospitality, which we did. Over a meal, they shared with us the love of Jesus Christ, and this was when all my negative thoughts and preconceptions about God began to whirl around my head uncontrollably. I thought, ‘NO WAY HO-SAY, here we go, just like I was told, they are trying to brainwash me, I need to get out now!’ My heart hardened toward these people, my words became harsh, and I didn’t want to stay anymore. I voiced my objections, (actually, I swore at them) and they very calmly, asked me to stay for a short while to pray.

              ‘WHAT, pray, this is unheard of, totally, unacceptable! ‘

  Then the whole scenario took a turn for the worse when my friend Robyn wanted to become a Christian by asking Christ into her life, and wanted to stay and pray. I was appalled. I attempted to talk her out of it, as any sane person would. I pointed out that she will be trapped forever by this big old man with a grey beard in the sky, who is really just a figment of her imagination. Not to mention forever having every time it thundered to listen to him move around his furniture and should have to dodge his lightning strikes every time, she did something wrong!

   And of course, to my dismay, she did not listen. I was horrified seeing my dear friend kneel on the floor with the pastor and his wife as they prayed. What was kneeling down have to do with anything anyway? As they prayed, I sat as far away as I could. I positioned myself at the far side of the room, just sitting and watching cynically. Then I became bored, as one does because it felt like the prayers go on forever and ever. This was all very strange to me, I didn’t understand what prayers all were about, never really experienced the need for them before.

I waited patiently but then got more bored, so I began looking around the room. I thought about these lovely, kind folks, and how rude and unkind I had been to them.

My thoughts also went to Robyn, who was still grieving for her baby and was desperate for help and support. It was only a year prior that she had given her baby boy up for adoption, she named him John-Mark. She didn’t want to adopt him out, but this was the 1970s in Australia where a lifestyle of single unmarried motherhood was not socially acceptable. She was shunned by her friends and family, and she had no regular income. Robyn had little choice, but to bend to her parent’s wishes, to give John-Mark up. It devastated her. Robyn, must have been feeling very alone, and I felt such a wave of compassion for her. I looked up to the ceiling, and I thought, well, when in Rome do what the Romans do, and thought I’d better go along with it, just a little bit, out of respect for everyone.

The strange thing is that I did not know that the saying when in Rome do what the Romans do, came straight from the pages of the Bible. Because the others were still kneeling, I decided to conform and knelt; however, I refused to close my eyes to pray. By this time, I was feeling quite sad for Robyn and how hurt she must feel, so I just decided to chat with God on her behalf. My eyes wide open, cast toward the ceiling, I said out loud, God, if you are really there, I ask you to help Robyn because she really needs it! The last word barely left my mouth when the whole room disappeared, and a huge white light shone before me brighter than the sun. Its brightness seemed to penetrate my soul, but it didn’t hurt my eyes, it was drawing me in, while I gazed with amazement straight into it.

   It is challenging to find the right word to describe it, but that light was pure as could be, a shimmering transparent gold liquid light. There is nothing on earth like it and seemed to be a three-dimensional feeling that I could fall right into it. The vision excluded the whole room and the other people in it. It was just me and that light. Its brilliant warmth permeated my very being and coming from it, is what I could only describe as the feeling of intense love. I felt entirely accepted and loved. I was a bit perplexed because if this was God, why isn’t there an old man with a beard throwing lightning at me?

It was only a few weeks prior that I was doing all sorts of other things that one shouldn’t be doing. But instead, I was encompassed by this beautiful, indescribable light. I could actually feel it as well, it felt like liquid love, acceptance, and hope. And best of all it felt like I had come home.

  Then to my surprise, a voice spoke that said, follow me. I reacted quite quickly and responded out loud. Later on, the people in the room told me that they heard me say, show me the road, and I will follow. Because really, that’s what I was looking for. I was looking for a purpose. I was not looking for any road, but the way to life. I was looking for the right path to lead me to discover my purpose on this planet.

Throughout my life, I asked some of the most challenging questions, like; what I’m supposed to be, and what was I born for? When I heard the words, follow me, I knew I had found the way to live.

Suddenly out of that light emerged a road of the same liquid love of the brilliant white-gold light, pure and holy. The road came out of the light and surrounded me as I knelt. It covered my whole being, and with that, I felt as if somebody was standing behind me, hugging me. In reality, there was no person there, but I certainly could physically feel that hug. I was held with great love and care, it seemed like I was cradled for an eternity, but it was just for a nanosecond. It was at that moment that I knew that it was the love of God cradling me. I understood my own sinfulness, my pride, and selfishness. I saw my own shortcomings. In a split second, I understood everything that I had done to others and to myself. I broke down and cried and just wept in repentance. This holy amazing God bothered to reach out to me talk to me, hug me, love me, – a person such as me. It was humbling, I came face to face with pure love and beauty.

   Closing my eyes, I broke down and cried, and the vision vanished away. The room returned, and I felt people around me, asking me what had happened. I struggled to find the words to tell them. That was in 1976, and I think it was about April, but not sure of the date, it was a long time ago, and I have been following God on that road ever since.

Thank you for reading and  I hope this testimony has inspired you to seek God with all your heart for yourself – may you be blessed as you do.

Paula Rose Parish💕

Jesus wants You to be Mentally Healthy this Christmas

Unfortunately, Christians are among the suicide statistics. I recently heard about a friend who took his life just after Christmas. It didn’t make sense, but he must have been hurting desperately and wanting to escape the feeling of helplessness.  

Caring for our mind, body and soul as Christians is a serious responsibility that God gives because we are the temple of the Holy Spirit. 


1 Corinthians 6:19 New Living Translation
Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself,

Mental Health Foundation reports that 54% of UK adults are worried about their mental health or someone they know this Christmas.  

As we approach Christmas, significant numbers of people are expressing their concern for the mental health of relatives (38%), friends (31%), partners/spouses (27%) and children (28%). 

AUSTRALIA

Psychological Health Care, based in Australia, reports that A third of Australians report that their relationships are negatively affected by Christmas due to work-life balance issues and financial concerns. 

According to a new Pew Research Center survey, only 46% of Americans celebrate Christmas as primarily a religious rather than a cultural holiday.

Christmas is often thought to be a season of peace and good cheer; however, the opposite is true for many.

 I live in the United Kingdom, where the suicide rate, domestic abuse, family estrangement and job losses peak during Christmas and New Year.  

So instead of celebrating the birth of the saviour Jesus Christ (Christ- Christ-mas celebration) with joy, thousands are facing an uncertain future. 

The expectations of celebrating Christmas, whether one wants to or not, can be enormous. As a result, researchers point out that the role of Christianity in Christmas is at an all-time low.

The ME Culture

Most have taken the ‘Christ out of Christmas and celebrate it as a regular holiday. When we are devoid of the original value of a long-held tradition of being Jesus Christ’s Birthday, we go down the rabbit hole of secularism that widely holds to the ‘me’ culture. If we are honest, we have fallen into that hole at times! 

 The ‘me’ ideal promotes one’s desires above all others. At the same time, the Christian ideal is to put others above oneself. 

 I include believing Christians in this following statement- have we lost the practical teachings of Christ to conform to the status quo? We have no wonder that even believers end their own lives, abuse or divorce those they promised to love and protect. 

However, if you celebrate the Christmas season or don’t, you must care for yourself and those you love.

So, here are a few tips for your consideration.

Have Realistic Expectations

Christmas can become highly stressful when your grand plans float adrift. When things don’t go as you intended, tension between people can ensue. Instead of promising that this year will be the biggest, brightest, and best Christmas ever, permit yourself to have a less-than-perfect Christmas. Accept that you live in the real world where things go wrong- and this is normal! 

Have a Back-Up Plan

Because things may not go as planned, having a plan B in your back pocket is wise. For example- have a pre-cooked meat joint or vegetarian option in the freezer that you can quickly defrost if needed. The same goes for desserts or other foods. 

Plan Ahead

some people hold to the that Christmas Eve is their primary celebratory day. It has been my family tradition that the primary day is Christmas day. These days, I visit my family for Christmas; however, when they visit me, I cook as much food as I can the day before. I would arrange the house to accommodate extra people and set the table a day or two before. Pre- preparation allowed me to be more restful on Christmas day and enjoy friends and family company.

Avoid Debt or Overspending. 

Pray before you buy. It is wise to Set a Budget and Stick to it!  My family and I agreed that we would not spend a certain amount of money on each other. We also exchange our wish lists 4 – 6 weeks before Christmas day, which is helpful because it allows us to stay within our budget. 

Also, the wish list helps because we buy gifts that are actually needed or wanted. Nothing is more disappointing for many people than giving a gift that will be returned or re-gifted. 

Remember Christmas is about the Giver of life- Jesus Christ- which is the greatest gift anyone can possess.

Take Some Time Out

Ensure you take time for yourself daily to get away from your busyness. For example, getting yourself outside for a walk in the fresh air, and exercising, no matter how light, is a great way to boost your hormones, such as serotonin, which positively affects your mood. Equally, spending some quiet time in prayer elevates your mind from the pressures of constantly engaging with people. 

What strategies do you employ to cope with the Christmas season? Let me know- and if this article was helpful to you, please let me know. I would love to hear from you. 

Thank you for visiting me here; I hope this post was helpful.

Please subscribe using the banner as you come onto the site. Also, please follow this blog, and you’ll find a button on the lower bottom right and leave a comment with any questions or prayer requests.

Virtual hugs, I look forward to your visit to my next blog post!

Remember to live life on purpose, in Hope. Faith and Love

Paula Rose Parish💕

🖤Want to help support me as an author?

 ✔BOOKS BY PAULA available at AMAZON in the UK, USA, Aust;

📚Nothing Good about Grief: Path to recovery with Psalm 23 after COVID-19 & other losses.

 📚Psalm 23 Unwrapped: Hope in difficult times.

Advent 2022

We are entering the season of Advent (appearing) which is the four weeks before Christmas day. It begins on the last Sunday of November and is a time to prepare our hearts to worship Christ, the Lord, who is the promised Messiah.

No longer a baby in the manger, but now is the risen Lord. Jesus has done the work of salvation on our behalf, and as a result, we are free from the power of sin, which is eternal death. The first Advent has passed, and now we wait for the second Advent when our saviour Jesus returns, and can be valuable so us to think about such things. Our faith in Christ is hallmarked by worship.

So, through this Advent, I share a little of what worship means and what it is. Whether you are still shielding at home or can attend a Church service, I encourage you to continue in daily worship this Advent, Christmas and beyond.  

1.Worship Involves Sacrifice

In New Testament times, worship consisted initially of sacrifice (of animals). However, the focus of worship for Christians today is the sacrifice of praise.  It is a self-sacrifice in honour and adoration of Christ (Mark 8:34-36). Worship is the total response of our gratitude toward the grace of God that comes to us in the work of Jesus Christ (see Romans 12:1-2). It is no longer related to the temple notion of animal sacrifice, but rather, in Christ, the whole Church has become a temple and a priesthood inhabited by the Holy Spirit or presence of God (see 1 Cor. 6:19; Eph. 2:19-22; and 1 Pet. 2:9).

2. Worship Is Spiritual 

For many Churches, worship may involve some rituals. However, our worship from a New Testament perspective, is essentially spiritual (see 1 Pet. 2:5; Rom. 12:2). Jesus instructed the women at the well, to worship God in spirit and in truth. It was an internal attitude of heart, rather than a practice of external rituals. This understanding is also found in Isaiah 1:11-20 and Psalm 51:15-17.

3. However, Worship Did Include Specific Practices

Some of the rites in the New Testament include baptism (Matt. 28:19), communion (1 Cor. 11:23-34), laying on of hands (Acts 6:6; Acts 8:17; 13:1-3), foot washing (John 13:5-17), lifting up hands in prayer and worship (Luke 24:50; 1 Tim. 2:8; see Psalm 134:1-2 and Psalm 143:6), the reading of Scriptures (1 Tim. 4:13), and contributions for ministry to those in need (1 Cor. 16:2). Because we are not given explicit instruction on how to practice these rituals, many variations of their practices emerged in the early churches. Of course, the early Church patterned much of its worship service after that of the Jewish synagogue service. Worship services at first were on the Sabbath (Saturday). An edit was given y the Roman Church in the middle of the first century to order Christians to gather regularly on the first day of the week on a Sunday. At first, however, followers of Jesus in Jerusalem gathered daily in the Temple for prayers on the Sabbath-Saturday (Acts 3:46). (see 1 Cor. 16:2; Acts 20:7; Rev. 1:10)

4. Worship Was Filled with Charismatic Praise

The offering of enthusiastic praise and prayer under the influence of the Holy Spirit was characteristic of the early Church’s worship. This was demonstrated through speech (1 Cor. 14:19) and tongues or jubilant speech (1 Cor. 14:2, 6 ff.). Each person was given a manifestation of the Spirit for the common good (1 Cor. 12:7) and to build up the body of Christ to maturity (Eph. 4:11-15).

5. Worship is Educational 

The early Christians were a teaching community giving instruction in their time of worship (see 1 Cor. 12:8; 14:26; Eph. 4:11; 1 Tim. 3:2; 4:13; 5:17).

6. Worship Was giving thanks- rejoicing

The early Christians were a happy bunch. The early Christian community was conscious of the need to give thanks to God and to rejoice in the Lord always.  (Eph. 5:19-20; Col. 3:17).

7. Worship Was giving thanks- rejoicing

The Greek word, koinonia, means “sharing” or “participation” and is seen as the kind of giving in the fellowship that builds up the family of Christ (Acts 2:42-47). This is the focus of 1 Corinthians 12:1-7-each person was expected to come and share in the event of worship rather than simply listen to one person. 

8. Worship Was Corporate

There was also corporate worship in every sense (1 Cor. 12:12-26). The Church was consciously a body or a fellowship of persons who saw themselves as inextricably bound together as brothers and sisters in Christ. We need to find out a community that upholds the Word of God and welcomes you into its midst.  

9. Worship Included Music

The early Christians lifted their voices in praise to God. The New Testament frequently mentions the corporate singing which took place in their midst and also indicates some of their hymns and spiritual songs, can we do any less? (e.g., Phil. 2:6-11; Eph. 5:19-20; Rev. 4:8-11; 5:9-13).

10. Worship Included Singing and Songwriting

There are several hymns or spiritual songs in the New Testament literature. Among many others, here are examples of Christian spiritual songs: Eph. 5:14 (three lines, first two rhyme in Greek, and the last is a promise), 1 Tim. 3:16, Phil. 2:6-11, Col. 1:15-20, Heb. 1:3. There are also the Nativity hymns in Luke: the Magnificat (1:46-55), the Benedictus (1:68-79), and Nunc Dimittis (2:29-32). Besides these, there are several well-known Christian hymns that date from roughly the early second century AD currently known as the Odes of Solomon, a collection of some 42 spiritual songs. One can see in all these songs both praise and testimony to the greatness of God’s activity in His Son Jesus Christ.

The words of the hymns should relate to the person and work of Jesus Christ. They sometimes mention His pre-existence or how He became a man and accomplished redemption (salvation) for the world through His suffering and death. The dominant motif in most New Testament hymns is that Christ is victorious over all our enemies and is rightly worshipped as the image of God Who is overall.

Finally,

The above examples show us how the Worship Was Corporate lived out its life in worship of God. Worship, of course, was not a simple act done occasionally, but rather a way of life that involved one’s complete dedication to honour Christ and give our complete lives to serve Him. Worship cannot be reduced to just a few songs, a Scripture reading, a sermon, and a closing prayer. Looking at the original language in which the Bible was written, we find that Worship is in fact a whole life of submission to the call of God that comes to us in the proclamation of good news. It is my hope this advent and Christmas that your worship be sincere and heartfelt and bring you close to the One who loves you the most- Father, Son and Holy Spirit –  One God, now and forever.  

Thank you for visiting me here; I hope this post was helpful.

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Virtual hugs, I look forward to your visit to my next blog post!

Paula Rose Parish💕

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Do You Want Your ears Tickled?

Paul’s final Word to Timothy. READ HEREhttps://enduringword.com/bible-commentary/2-timothy-4/

As Paul sat in his cold, damp prison cell, he understood there was a spiritual reality present that went beyond the walls of his cell. Through this letter, he gave solemn testimony to his young friend and protégé Timothy, and he did it in the presence of the God who will judge us all.

Paul still believed in the second coming of Jesus Christ. He had been in ministry for more than 30 years, and his earliest letters (such as 1 and 2 Thessalonians) mentioned the return of Jesus. Now, so many years and experiences later, he still believed it with all his heart. So, the words ‘shall judge’ more literally are ‘is about to be judging’; they point to the fact that Paul was living in the hope of the imminent return of Christ.

The Testimony: Preach the Word!

Preach the Word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.

Paul’s emphasis on the Word of God has been constant. There are some 36 references to the true gospel in this letter and some 17 references to false teachings. This constant emphasis makes Paul’s point clear to Timothy:

· Do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord (2 Timothy 1:8).

· Hold fast the pattern of sound words (2 Timothy 1:13).

· The things that you have heard from me among many witnesses commit these to faithful men (2 Timothy 2:2).

· Rightly dividing the Word of truth (2 Timothy 2:15).

· A servant of the Lord must be… able to teach (2 Timothy 2:24).

· All Scripture is given by inspiration of God (2 Timothy 3:16).

 As a pastor, Timothy was not required to preach ‘about’ the Word or approve of the Word; he was required to preach the Word. The Word of God must be preached by Timothy; it was to be the content of his message. Not everyone who opens a Bible and starts talking is preaching the Word. Many well-intentioned preachers are actually preaching themselves instead of the Word. If the focus is on the preacher’s funny stories or emotional life experiences, they may be preaching about themself more than about God.

Paul points out to Timothy to be ready in and out of season, convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. This tells us when the pastor should be ready to preach the Word. The preacher should preach it when it is easy and hard. Moreover, preach it when the fruit is evident and when it seems invisible. Whatever the circumstances, they should just preach it. In his preaching, Timothy was to bring the Word of God to bear on the lives of his people. He was not to treat the Word as if it were filled with exciting ideas or fascinating theories. Instead, he was to hold up God’s Word so the hearers could apply it to their lives and let God the Holy Spirit do His work.

 The need for the faithful preaching of the Word.

For the time will come when they do not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will gather up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth and be turned aside to fables.

Timothy needed to keep focused on the Word of God because, by natural human instinct, they do not want God in their lives. Most folk would rather hear what they want – something to affirm what they are doing is right and good – even if it’s not.

The term itching ears mean an endless curiosity, an insatiable desire for variety, and they get their ears tickled with the language and importance of the person, abandoning the good and faithful preacher for the popular speaker.

This also shows that if we do want to hear God’s Word, God is doing something extraordinary in us. Left to ourselves, we would instead do it our way, but God changes our hearts in beautiful ways, giving us a desire for His Word.

Paul reminds Timothy that people will gather for themselves preachers to tell them what they want to hear. Therefore, the most popular teachers are not necessarily the most faithful teachers. 

We shouldn’t assume a teacher is scratching itching ears just because they are popular, but neither should we assume that they are faithful to God’s Word just because of popularity.

These kinds of teachers will turn the hearers aside to fables. I have found that many people want to be told what to believe rather than sorting it out for themselves. Sadly, these folks are prime picking for false teachers who lead them away from the Word of God. Once people leave the Word of God, they often then embrace fantastic fantasies. When a people reject God’s truth, it isn’t that he believes in nothing; he will believe in anything – anything at all.

Paul is firm in his theology and establishes that the universe did not come about by chance. To believe the universe’ just happened is to believe in a fable. It is to believe lies. It is possible for many worshippers to turn aside from the truth and to believe many fables like- 

· The fable that you must earn your way before God.

· The fable that God only loves you when you are good.

· The fable that you should walk around thinking of yourself as better than unbelievers and other Christians because you are a born-again Christian.

Interestingly, Paul emphasises But you: This is a contrast phrase against the people mentioned in the previous sentence. Paul is saying, ‘although others turned aside to fables, you Timothy be even more dedicated to doing what God wants you to do. “

The more determined folk are to despise the teachings of Christ, the more ardent should godly ministers be to affirm it and the more strenuous their efforts to preserve it.

Paul tells Tim to be watchful in all things. This is because Timothy could not fulfil his ministry unless he kept careful attention, kept his eyes open and knew what was going on.

Paul warns to endure afflictions. Ministry is just like life – there are difficulties, and for some, this is an unsettling thought because they thought that the ministry would be one beautiful spiritual experience after another. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of beautiful blessings in serving God, but afflictions must be endured.

Timothy is directed to do the work of an evangelist and fulfil his ministry. There may be many reasons why someone’s ministry goes unfulfilled; some are-

· Fear.

· Unbelief.

· The cares of the world.

· The Fear of man.

· Criticism and discouragement.

· Conscience sin.

Paul’s Farewell 

Paul’s final words hit hard and strong “For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought the good fight, finished the race, and kept the faith.”

There is powerful symbolism here. A drink offering brought wine before the Lord and poured it out at his altar. It was a way to give wine to God, just as an animal might be given as a sacrifice.

The idea of a drink offering is first presented in Genesis 35:14, where Jacob poured out a drink offering before the Lord as a sacrifice. In the Mosaic Law, drink offerings could be a part of the sacrifice to the Lord (Exodus 29:40-41 and Leviticus 23:13).

There was also a Roman idea here. Paul uses language and metaphors that his hearers fully understand. Every Roman meal ended with a small sacrificial ritual to the gods where a cup of wine was taken and poured out before the gods. In this sense, Paul said, “The day is done, the meal is just about over, and I’m being poured out unto God.”

Paul said he felt poured out, with the idea of a complete giving, with no hesitation, like wine that is completely emptied from the cup and given to God. 

Paul knew he was leaving the scene, and Timothy must carry the torch. God’s workers pass on, but God’s work continues through others. Throughout his ministry, Paul used the metaphor of the Christian being an athlete running that race (Philippians 3:12-14Acts 20:241 Corinthians 9:24Hebrews 12:1). Here, talking to Timothy, he knew his race was just about finished.

 Paul’s Crown of Righteousness.

Paul knew a crown was waiting for him in heaven, ready to receive it. There are two main words for the crown in the New Testament. One of those words refers to a royal crown and the other to the victor’s crown (the Stephanos). Here Paul referred to the victor’s crown – a crown like they awarded to the winner at the ancient Roman Olympics. The crown was essentially a trophy, recognising that one had competed according to the rules and had won the victory over temptation.

Before Paul was a Christian, he supervised the execution of the first martyr Stephen and began killing as many other Christians as possible. But now, at the end of his life, he was ready to receive a crown – a Stephanos. He likely remembered the name of the first martyr, who died at Paul’s own hands: Stephanos (Stephen).

In the Roman world, winners in the world of sports received a crown of olive or ivy leaves that soon withered and died. But the crown for God’s people lasts forever (1 Corinthians 9:251 Peter 5:4). We are promised the crown of life if we endure temptation (James 1:12).

In Revelation 4:10, the elders surrounding the throne of God take their crowns and cast them before Jesus – giving any trophy they have received right back to Jesus.

 Thank you for reading this post, if it helped you please like it and feel free to comment. Subscribe if you wish to have my posts delivered to your inbox. remember to live Life on purpose, in Hope, Faith and love.

Virtual hugs, I look forward to your visit to my next blog post! 

Paula Rose Parish 

  

Paula Rose Parish

Paula Rose is an Ordained Minister, Speaker, Blogger, Podcaster, Course Creator, and Published Author and has a Master of Arts in Counselling.  Paula is a life member of (ISFP) The International Society of Female Professionals.

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Farewell to my Churches

A CHANGE IN MINISTRY

I am pleased to share with you that I have received a call to be the URC minister in the Bridgend United Area. The six churches in this group consist of both URC and Methodist Churches. The Churches issued the call, and I have accepted. I am looking forward to commencing the new post this October 2022. I will be working with a Methodist colleague, and I am looking forward to it very much. 

On this website, I will soon add a tag on the menu bar to the preaching schedule in case you are in the area and wish to attend a worship service. I appreciate your prayers as I lead the Churches forward in their mission, worship and share the love of Jesus Christ.

GOD ANSWERS PRAYERS

This new post answers my prayers for my Ministry’s continuation. Upon the age of 68 URC minister must retire. I reach that age soon and found it difficult to accept that my long pastoral Ministry must end. I asked the Lord to allow me to continue to minister to God’s people according to his will, and my heavenly Father heard me. Otherwise, I’ll have to retire due to URC rules. 

THE CALL OF GOD DEMANDS OUR ALL

I have led churches in Australia, the United States of America, England and now in Wales, UK. The hardest part in moving on to take up a new post is saying goodbye to family and friends. The call to Ministry means many sacrifices; for some Ministers, the sacrifice is small, yet for others, it is overwhelming. However, any form of sacrifice is certainly not easy to accept, but one response is for the love of God and his will for our lives.

I have been asked after 40 years of Ministry, “you must be used to making those sacrifices for now”. The answer is I don’t want to get used to it, people are precious, and the sense of loss I feel when I move on is genuine and heartfelt. If I get hardened in the process, I will get hardened toward the people- and I don’t want that. 

It’s impossible to remain in contact with so many people, but their faces often pop into my mind, and when it does, I bow my head to pray for them.

BITTER-SWEET

As I write, leaving to serve a new pastorate is a happy and sad time for me. The Church folk and the broader community, whom I have served for many years, has been most important to my life.

But at the same time, I am very excited about the new post and what it offers in the future. At least I will spend less time travelling as most of the six churches I will serve are only a short distance from my home.

THE UNKNOWABLE FUTURE

 I will leave my post at Dan Y Graig LEP, Tabernacle URC, and NPLW Methodist circuit on the 30th of September.

The unknowable future can be frightening and downright scary. But that’s when our faith in God’s sovereignty gives us comfort, support, and strength. All new opportunities involve challenges and new experiences that shape and change us. Change also help us to grow spirituality if we approach this transition time positively.

THANK YOU

I announced in August to my Churches that I am leaving the area. I want to thank them for being a generous, wonderful, supportive Church family over these many years.

 Any minister will tell you that one feels that one has never done enough. One lives with the continual frustration of wanting to do more than one can do. I hope my time with you have been constructive and helped you spiritually in some way.  

GOD IS CALLING YOU

 I pray for the very of God’s best for you as an individual and as a Church family. As I leave, I want you to remember that God calls you. Sometimes he can call us to a specific individual task which can also be quite challenging, taking us completely out of our comfort zone. One thing that we are all called to do, however, is to share the good news with all we meet. We must give people hope and the light in Jesus Christ. 

Luke 5:1-11 talks about the calling of the first disciples. They had no idea what would happen when Jesus first called them, but they put themselves out there. They took a risk, a chance. They left everything behind to follow him. 

They weren’t the people you would have expected Jesus to pick to help him in his mission. It’s a bit like you and me. We are ordinary people with no special abilities but are called in God’s ability to be extraordinary in our witness for Christ. 

The disciples, as ordinary as they were, were the people that would change the world. Jesus extraordinarily equipped them to carry out the tasks he had called them to, just as he equips us all, enabling us to change the world where we live.

You may be thinking, what can I do? He won’t call me. I can’t do this, or I can’t do that. But, take it from me; I suppose you might be wrong. 

God calls and equips every one of us because he knows what we can and can’t do and enables us to fulfil his calling upon our lives in his strength. So, we need to listen and trust, then go out and do what he asks us to do, knowing that he goes with us by the Holy Spirit and will never leave us. 

Whenever I think of this daunting task ahead of me, I hear God’s words in my heart ‘Yes, you can do it.’ So, I choose not to think of what I can’t do but what God is asking me to do. No matter what lies ahead, I know he will equip and support me to carry it out, for nothing is impossible with God. 

I want you to think about what you ‘can’ do and go for it because God is calling you, an ordinary person, to be extraordinary for his kingdom’s sake.  So, what is God calling you to do? Will you answer that call? If not, then why not? I encourage you to trust in Jesus Christ, continue to follow him, and answer his call, knowing that he is with you every step of the way. 

God calls each of us to change the world in some small way. So, let us do just that. Let’s change the world by being salt, bringing hope, and light to all we meet. 

As believers, we also are blessed with the grace that equips us for divine service.‘ John MacArthur Jr. 

I will continue to post blogs here at Hope.Faith.Love, and the occasional video, which I hope will continue to be an encouragement to your faith in Christ.

PRAYER 

Loving Father, you call us daily to serve you, so equip us for the tasks you call us. Please help us to fulfil our calling and bring about your kingdom. You know the challenges that every one of us has, and we ask that you guide us through times of transition and challenges. 

As we move through challenges into change, we go knowing that you are with us every stage of the way. So, we ask these and all our prayers in the name of Jesus. Amen. 

FAREWELL DEAR FRIENDS

I came into the Newport area from Lincolnshire in 2011. Since then, I have worked with Stowpark Church Center, Trinity Pontywaun, DanYGraig, St David’s Tysign, Tabernacle Llanvaches, and as a Presbyter within the NPLW circuit and Presbyterian Church. 

Over this time, I’ve worked with community groups which helped to provide a link to the Church. As a result, I’ve been in this area the longest at one stretch than ever in my 40-year Ministry, which has enabled me to form solid friendships – may God bless you.

I am not sure where the following quote comes from. However, I came across it in my files, and I hope it will encourage you in some way.

Do not pray for easy lives;  pray to be stronger people. 

Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers;  pray for powers equal to your tasks. 

Then the doing of your work shall be no miracle, 

           but you shall be a miracle.

May the Lord bless and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you – Numbers 6:24-25. 

Until the next blog post, Live Life on Purpose, in Hope, Faith and Love

Paula Rose Parish

I Discovered the Amazing Benefits of Mindfulness

I Discovered the Amazing Benefits of Mindfulness

Hello, hope, faith, love family!

 This is just a short testimonial about how I learned the benefits of Mindfulness as I recovered and how I began integrating Mindfulness into my life.

Why don’t you try out a Mindfulness Lifestyle which can benefit your health and total wellbeing? 

As a Christian, I enjoy looking after my body as it is the temple of the Holy Spirit. I have an obligation to God to care for my mind, as I have the mind of Christ. My spirit/ soul is redeemed by the Lord and it’s my duty to nurture it and help my faith to grow.

I wanted to become more self-aware, and like many of you, I have experienced stress, joy, and much sorrow. I am also very dyslexic, so I shied away from anything to do with writing or public speaking as much as I could. Through the years, I tried journaling but never was consistent with it. Due to my dyslexia, writing caused me GREAT anxiety. So, I would abandon my efforts only after a few weeks.

Then I discovered Mindfulness. I have enjoyed practising holistic living all my life, which means caring for the health of my mind, body, and soul. However, I never really ventured into the mindfulness territory. I didn’t understand what it was and why I should learn it. Thinking about it, I never connected Mindfulness with my lifestyle or the health of my mind, body, or soul.  

Photo by Sebastian Voortman on Pexels.com

I escaped a very abusive marriage many years back, which caused me to be emotionally and physically ill. As a result, I developed bodily weakness and became susceptible to colds and flu. The abuse became a lifestyle- every day was the same. I tried to leave, but there were many complications. However, finally, I did leave the relationship. I began seriously fearing for my safety when my spouse put me in hospital. But through all this experience, my lifestyle wreaked my immune system, making me feel like an old lady, not only in my body but also in my mind. After we separated and lived alone, I spent over a year with women’s aid to receive weekly counselling. I was still working full-time, and my colleagues nor my family knew the gravity of my situation. 

For my continued safety and well-being, I moved away from my spouse to the other side of the city. On moving day, I had some help from friends; then, the time came for them to return to their homes. By this time, it was by late afternoon. I was alone, but I wanted to move my microwave from one bench to another, where the accident occurred. Lifting the cumbersome microwave oven, I barely reached the bench height, so I decided to stand on a low table (I am only 4ft 11ins). Unfortunately, I toppled over, fell with the microwave, landed on my right shoulder, and slammed into the hard kitchen floor. I was in great pain and taken to hospital by a friend I called upon. The doctor reported that I had ripped my shoulder, and two of the main tendons snapped. Unfortunately, I lost the use of my arm for over three months, and because I could no longer drive, I also took sick leave from work for that time. 

During this time, my divorce went through and living alone; I was trying to manage one-handed, which was not easy. I prayed and cried and repeated that – a lot! I knew that if I didn’t have a strategy, I feared becoming an invalid and, consequently, being forced to retire early. 

I became so weak I would crawl up the stairs on my hands and knees. I had to physically slow down because I lost the use of my arm and didn’t feel well most of the time. However, my convalesces afforded me time to think, pray and reflect. I was still grieving for my marriage that once held so much promise of love and happiness. 

However, I wanted to recover and return to my usual self as quickly as possible. Therefore, I needed to learn the best route to recovery for my mind, body and spirit. Therefore, I decided to do a little research. I surfed the web, bought books, studied the mind and its working, and discovered Mindfulness. 

I watched Youtube videos, learnt Mindfulness from books and even found its principles in the Bible! As I studied, I began seeing the many benefits that would help me return to my usual self. 

I began practising Mindfulness and approached everything I did intentionally. I found that Mindfulness worked well if I made it a ‘lifestyle’ rather than a practice where one dips in and out. I would forget to be mindful by practice, but becoming a lifestyle soon became second nature. 

I hope you found benefit from this post; if you did, please like it and subscribe if you haven’t already to help me to make helpful content.

 Feel free to contact me if you need prayer support or share any thoughts; we are on this journey together through life.

 I look forward to your next visit here and remember. 

Live life on Purpose in Hope, Faith & Love

 Paula Rose Parish 

I’m an Ordained Minister, Blogger, Podcaster, Course Creator, and published author and have a Master of Arts in Counselling and many other qualifications and a lifetime so, I have heaps to share with you.

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Working through Chronic Pain Syndrome

Hello, hope, faith, love family!

I thought I’d make this blog post an informal one. I have been away from my desk lately because I am recovering from COVID, which hit me quite hard and put me out of action for a couple of weeks. 

As I was convalescing and thinking about how to restart my work routine, I would have to create a new routine since the circumstances have changed, which I will share with you in my next post.

Being in bed daily, I’ve left my budgeting unchecked and neglected my website and social media. As a result, I have not done any writing, only made a few phone calls and lost interest in anything that I once found very exciting. 

Even writing this blog post is challenging. I’ve been thinking about it for several days and now forcing myself to sit down. Still, it was just thinking about doing it when I haven’t quite recovered. I have to refocus my mind completely out of routine and when something used to be just second nature getting out of routine is like you have to almost relearn again since really very strange, whether that’s my dyslexia or just me. Have you experienced a similar thing? If you have, let me know.

 I think pain doesn’t allow you to focus on things you want to, and I experienced a lot of joint pain in my COVID experience. Laying in my bed, not knowing what to do with myself, the pain was so intense; my thoughts went to those of you who live with chronic pain, day in and day out. Mine only lasted a week, which caused me a lot of distress, but if you live with chronic pain, I understand it will drive you crazy. 

When dealing with chronic pain, one’s whole focus is on how to get through the next hour, indeed, the next minute breathing through the pain. There are many reasons for chronic pain, and I won’t deal with them here. But I want to encourage those experiencing chronic pain and struggling to live with it. I hope to bring you some measure of love and put a smile on your face, even if it’s only for a few minutes. 

Pain is such a Private and Personal Thing.

As a child in Australia, when one was sick or injured or had some pain, parents and teachers told us to put our socks up and get on with it. As a 17-year-old, I was in the hospital for three days. I had an operation on the soul of my feet because I had a verruca dugout. It was so deep I had about four stitches, and every movement of my foot was excruciating. When the pain got so much I was writhing from side to side in the bed, the nursing staff told me to pull my socks up instead of administering more painkillers. It’ll soon heal. And that is an excellent philosophy to measure because it stops one from feeling sorry for oneself while motivating one to push forward to better things into recovery. However, this attitude is not helpful when living with chronic pain day in and day out, as no matter how often one pulls one’s socks up and tries to get on with them, it never seems to work. We are human beings, and sometimes a little tea and sympathy do not go amiss.  

When dealing with pain, your resources get depleted, and you feel exhausted and worn out from thinking about how much pain you’re in. But, unfortunately, when you’re in pain, it does dominate your thinking. It dominates your decisions and lifestyle, even what you eat, what you wear, how you sleep, et cetera, et cetera; living with pain dominates every part of one’s life. And when you try to share how this pain feels with even your closest loved one, it does fall short of what you’re experiencing. 

Someone else may be battling chronic pain similar to you, but it’s not the same as your pain. We must understand that every person experiences chronic pain differently; sharing and finding solace through others can be difficult. But when one does find similarities with another, it can help and be of great comfort to you.

 Look to join a support group of some sort or therapy group. People share their stories in support groups, so listening to other people’s stories will help you not feel alone. In addition, listening to other people’s experiences will help you realise that others are experiencing something similar and may share tips about coping with day-to-day activities. 

Networking

For all of us, no matter who we are, healthy or not, networking is such an essential part of our human social experience. Whether we network for work, support or friendship, networking is vital for us to be able to live an integrated, purposeful, and fulfilling life. 

I encourage you to ask someone to help you find any support groups in your local area or a group that meets online. However, If you haven’t got anybody to help you, take courage and do the research for yourself when you’re feeling up to it. Of course, this can prove difficult because depression often comes along with chronic pain, and when one is depressed, you don’t want to do anything or try to motivate yourself.

Reaching out to strangers can be scary and problematic, but isolation is the only alternative. Suppose you have got somebody to help you with this. In that case, ask them for their assistance; perhaps you have your local doctor or your local social worker or counsellor who may be able to help and guide you in this.

Making Most of the Good Days

In my younger years, I worked as a nurse. I am an ordained minister of 40 years, hospital chaplain, mental health chaplain, counsellor, and coach. I’ve come across many people with chronic pain who say, ‘today is a good day; yesterday was a terrible day.

 I learned a lot from these people. First, they taught me well that making the best of their good days made them as productive as possible. We all need to find meaning and purpose and setting goals to fulfil our dreams is essential. 

It’s like the old saying ‘make hay while the sun shines ‘. You never know; tomorrow might be a bad day spending most of your time on bed rest. So if you find yourself with strength and vigour today, use it to do the things you want and need to do.

 Here’s a word of caution when you feel better, don’t overdo it because when you feel good, and you feel great, I can do things I haven’t done for a while, and you can go overboard and find that you wish you hadn’t you might you have set yourself back. So, gauge yourself, take it little by a little, and set your daily goals. Make realistic goals. If you don’t complete them, that’s fine when you’ve got another good day to fulfil those goals.

  Communicate with Your Loved Ones

I had one child who would never open up and talk to me. I would ask her to come and sit down and have a chat because something was bothering her, and she would reply -‘ you don’t understand.‘ My reply would always be, ‘share it with me; I will try to understand. ‘

She would look at me blankly, shrug her shoulders, repeat the chant- you just don’t understand and walk off. This unsettling behaviour continued through her teenage years and very sadly into adulthood. It hurts when you want to help someone, and they refuse. However, if they give you the benefit of the doubt, they may find that you want to listen to their problems and help them through them. 

So, the point of this little story is that please do not ‘presume’ that your loved one does not want to hear about how you’re feeling. Instead, ask, ‘may I share with you how I feel today?

 It will probably be the wrong time if you suddenly dump all of your mad, bad, sad feelings upon them without any warning. There is a chance that you’ve caught them at the wrong time and are unprepared. They may want to listen to you but can’t listen to you at this particular time. If this happens, you could easily take it as rejection. 

 People are busy and have a head full of things they have to get done. They have their issues to cope with, so it’s best to ask them if you could about how you’re feeling today. In taking this cautious approach, you’re also respecting their space and time. If your loved ones learn a bit more about what you’re going through and how you feel, they may be more ready to learn how actually to support you. If they don’t want to listen, I am sure that there is somebody else, if not within your family, but a friend that will be there with you and for you through thick and thin.

Keep the Faith

I find it hard to do any form of Bible study devotion or even formal prayers when unwell. However, I do talk to the Lord like I am talking to you; it’s just that I can’t do anything structured and organised, which leaves me exhausted, and my mind is all over the place! 

When you are experiencing chronic pain daily, you may find that any form of structured Bible study and prayer may be impossible. Yet, nurturing your faith is essential because, like anything else, it can wane, get weak then eventually disappear through neglect, and you don’t want that. 

When you are not up to prayer or Bible study, audiobooks can help. If you have a smart TV or an iPad, signup to Google and download the YouTube app, it’s completely free, and you will get unlimited access to YouTube.

On YouTube, you will find audiobooks, hundreds of Christian audiobooks and indeed fiction or any other books that you want to listen to. You will also find the Holy Bible, sermons, Bible studies, prayers, and more. In addition, you will find the complete audiobooks of the Old and New Testaments. Even if it is for 10 or 15 minutes a day, listen to the Bible and allow it to soak over you. If you are alert enough, take a few notes as you hear the person narrate whatever part of the Bible you’re listening to. Don’t forget to ask your Pastor or Christian friends to pray for and support you.

Don’t Give Up

I’ve already shared that I’ve ministered to many suffering from chronic pain syndrome. In my observations, once a person gives up on themselves, gives up hope of any remedy, or stops learning how to cope with their pain, they begin a deep downward spiral. 

Don’t allow your circumstances to overwhelm you to the point where you don’t want to carry on living and withdraw from people and society.

People with chronic pain often self-medicate once they’re in a lonely state. When there is no one around you to love and support you, addiction can develop very quickly. Before you know it, you can be addicted to prescription drugs, alcohol, or even illicit drugs to cope with the pain. Addiction is just a big, endless pit of horror that is deeper than you realise and challenging to get out of – so I encourage you not to go there in the first place.

You’re Stronger Than You Think

Don’t give up on your ability to find your way through this; you are far more potent than you think. And for those of you who have faith in God through the Lord Jesus Christ as you call out to God, he will strengthen you and help you to find that you have got ideas and the motivation to fulfil those ideas to be able to help you to live a more fulfilling life.

Facing the mountains in our lives can be difficult. Any sickness, whether associated with pain or not, is a horrible place. When we accept our situation, we find a way to cope with the condition. I’ve seen folk who have struggled against their situation and refused to accept their condition are more likely to slip into depression because they will not face the reality of what they are experiencing. 

Even though I walk through the valley of the Shadow of Death

If you want more help on this subject, pick up a copy of my book on Psalm 23, Unwrapped by Paula Rose Parish, from Amazon. 

You can get Psalm 23 Unwrapped in paperback, and I am now editing it to create the Kindle book, which will be available on Amazon soon. 

I have taken Psalm 23 verse by verse and unwrapped its meaning to help you get through your valley of the shadow of death. Father God says that ‘even though I walk through the valley of the shadow’ – in other words, when you walk through the valley of the shadow of death. 

God never said that you would find never experience the valley nor avoid the valley, go around it, or pretend it’s not there. God didn’t say- confess it away, pray it away!

No- God is even though you walk through the valley, Father God is with you, walking with you. God is there to bring comfort, healing, and strength. Psalm 23 Unwrapped explains how to journey through that dark valley into restoration.

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Well, thank you for reading this blog post. I hope it was helpful to you. If it was, please like it, and if you haven’t already, please subscribe to this blog so you can get updates every time I post. 

Until the next blog post or a video, God bless you and remember to live life on purpose in hope, faith, and love.

Paula Rose Parish💕

How to Trust God in every Step – God’s guidance Re-imaging your Life. 

 Finding the Right Path

Decision making when we are distressed is tricky. It is so tempting to make kneejerk choices without fully considering the consequences. We can be fooled into thinking that so-called well-meaning folk have our welfare at heart. There are scammers out there who make offers that we may interpret as being an answer to prayer, but we need to be alert and discerning. If the paths they offer do not lead to righteousness, they will lead us to sin.

The paths that God has chosen for us are clearly marked out for us in God’s Word. No path of righteousness, for example, no path of righteousness will ever travel over the ground of gluttony, slander, or dishonesty, or to engage with anything illegal.

Doing What’s Right and Just

 When decisions need to be made, how do you go about finding and following the path of righteousness that God desires? Here is where many of us get confused. You might assume that God has an elaborate plan for your life, detailing it moment by moment, from start to finish. Or perhaps you may think that because God doesn’t give out highlighted road maps, he can’t have a specific plan for you highlighting vague recommendations.

 Some people leave the direction and purpose of their lives up to ‘fate’, trusting in what will be, will be. None of these beliefs is totally accurate. The truth is, God does have a plan for you, however, he does not reveal it to you in detail. I have found in my own life that God does not disclose much, or any of it ahead of time, but often allows me to discover it as you walk the path – so it may be with you as well.

Follow the Leader

 Our job, I believe, is to follow God’s leading, as shown to us in scripture. God needs you to trust in his strength and ability so you can be led on the right path arriving at the right place. When you become aware that you are on the right path, you can be confident that what subsequently unfolds is God’s specific plan for your life.

 When you need specific information or stipulation to make unusual decisions; God will make it clear to you. Plenty of Biblical characters received God’s guidance in unusual ways, and God can guide you by exceptional communications and circumstances if he so chooses.  Remember though, that, for the most part, even the Biblical heroes made their decisions each day using the same normal means that God has given to us, by walking the path and trusting God in every step.  

I hope reading this blog has helped you in a small way. If it was, please like and feel free to comment and please subscribe to this blog so you may receive your free freebie and regular updates.

Would you like to receive a free e-book? If the answer is Yes, then take notice; as you come onto my site, a banner will pop up after 50 seconds that describes the content of the e-book. So, if you wish to receive the e-book, please subscribe through the banner, which will lead you to a few steps.

After you confirm your free subscription, the e-book will be delivered to your email inbox. If it’s not, please let me know, and I will send it to you directly.

Keep safe, remember live life on purpose in Hope, Faith and Love.

Much love, Paula Rose Parish

For More Encouragement Checkout

YouTube Channel

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😀So many people want their faith and church to grow. The problem is that hurt and disappointment get in the way and it’s hard to figure out where to begin. This site is about helping people find spiritual health and healing, by sharing the love of Jesus Christ. It’s for anyone who feels stuck in their faith and longs for a breakthrough. It’s for people who are exploring Christianity and want to know what it’s all about – apart from what they see in the media. If that’s you – please consider subscribing.

Paula Rose has a Bachelor of Pastoral Counselling and Theology, Vision Christian University, USA Master of Arts In Counselling & Professional Development, specializing in Spiritual Abuse through The University of Derby, UK.

She Studies the BACP Life Coaching Course, Bristol, UK and is a life member of (ISFP) The International Society of Female Professionals.

 Paula Rose Parish is a Pastor, Author, and founder, of Hope. Faith. Love. She studied at the University of Derby and received a Master of Arts in Counselling in Professional Development. Over the years, Paula Rose has served as a pastor, chaplain, counsellor, and coach and taught at a Christian university. In addition, she has led workshops and retreats and spoken worldwide on Christian spirituality. 

Author of over 200 articles and two published books, Paula Rose, continues to write on the wellness of mind, body and spirit. Paula Rose is adding a string to her bow and is presently reading Health and Wellness. She has four grown children, and five grandchildren and lives in South Wales, UK.

Paula Rose is a Wellness Coach Ordained Minister, Speaker, Blogger, Podcaster, Course Creator, Published Author and has a Master of Arts in Counselling. And many other qualifications and a lifetime, so I have heaps to share with you.

Paula is a life member of (ISFP) The International Society of Female Professionals.

 🖤Want to help support me as an author? Click here available now on Amazon ✔BOOKS BY PAULA available at AMAZON in the UK, USA, Aust; 📚Nothing Good about Grief: Path to recovery with Psalm 23 after COVID-19 & other losses. 📚Psalm 23 Unwrapped: Hope in difficult times.

FOOD for your Soul- www.paularoseparish.com

FOR All things WELLNESS   http://health-well-being.

MY VIDEOS on YOUTUBE:  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvdQ4NPTNfXSnwd3pimPh0g

FACEBOOK:  https://www.facebook.com/paula.roseparish.5

PINTEREST:  https://www.pinterest.co.uk/proseparish/_created/

LINKEDIN:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/paula-rose-parish-6320a6181/

 Listen to PAULA’S BLOG PODCASTS on Spotify

Want to Connect? Please send me an Email: paularoseparish@gmail.com

Abandonment- Life Can Be Scary -Paula Rose Parish Story

Psalm 23 Verse 3b-he leads me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. 

I was living in Oklahoma USA when without warning, Dan my husband and father of our four children announced he was leaving our family. He grabbed everything in sight and crammed what he could into the family car. With panic and terror in my heart and voice, I cried out-you can’t leave us with no money! (he had exclusive access to our bank account). With a smile, he slowly reached into his pocket and drew out a single dollar. As he gave it to me, he said, don’t let anybody tell you that I never left you with any money and then disappeared into the night.

That was 1994, and from that date to this, neither I nor the children have seen him again. Dan did not explain his reasoning for leaving, we were terrified, not knowing what the future would bring.

  A year later, the week of my 40th birthday, the children and I were living in the UK. To my surprise, my youngest son, who was six at the time, received a letter from Dan his father. The letter was bizarre, not at all one that should be written to a six-year-old. However, through this letter we learned the reason for his abandoning us. The letter stated that he left us to start a new life with another woman. This woman, he explained, was younger, prettier, and smarter than me, and had no children to hold him back. He wrote that it was God who told him to leave because the burden of wife and children were hindering him from God’s perfect will. To his absolute shame, he used God as a justification for his actions. The reality was, unbeknown to me, that for some time he was in having committing adultery even though he professed to be led by God.

The truth is that our Shepherd- God, only leads us in the path of righteousness, not into paths of the unrighteousness of sin. My now ex-husband, was on an unrighteous path leading to nowhere-land and blamed the children and me instead of taking culpability himself. To avoid any responsibility in the matter, he put the onus on God and us. The story that God told him to leave was of course, fabricated.

Dan did this I believe, so he could be free from blame and the judgement of others. Sadly, some people believed his lies for a time because he was so convincing, which is a typical personality of a narcissist. This kind of behaviour has nothing to do with Gods of love revealed to us in the Bible, but a false god of one’s own making. This was a God of Dan’s own making, created by his selfishness, delusion, and sin. In the shock of our sudden loss, we grieved and felt the loss deeply, our lives were never the same again.  

Be Wise in What You Do

 Decision making when we are distressed is tricky. It is so tempting to make kneejerk choices like Dan did, without fully considering the consequences. We can be fooled into thinking that so-called well-meaning folk have our welfare at heart. There are scammers out there who make offers that we may interpret as being an answer to prayer, but we need to be alert and discerning. If the paths they offer do not lead to righteousness, they will lead us to sin.

Be watchful, if there is something that does not rightly benefit you, your family, future, or anyone else, do not do it! One great rule is- if in doubt- don’t! If you smell something fishy, trash it immediately. When the red flags come up, take notice of them, because God only leads us on the paths of righteousness. Satan appears as an angel of light but is really our foe. Satan’s job is to cause us to detour onto the unrighteous path, bringing us to eventual destruction.

The opportunity you’ve been offered may look incredible, far too good to be missed, it appears as an angel of light. It may be an opportunity on a new relationship, more money a new job or something illegal. Whatever it may be, every one of us can be fooled into believing that this is a good thing, eventually only to find it is nothing but ashes. The best person in the world can be tricked and fall for the promises of a persuasive individual. What are we to do?

The paths that God has chosen for us are clearly marked out for us in God’s Word. No path of righteousness, for example, will ever pass through the field of extramarital sex. No path of righteousness will ever travel over the ground of gluttony, or slander, or dishonesty, or to engagement with anything illegal. The righteous path will not lead us away from the Ten Commandments.

Exodus 20 New International Version

The Ten Commandments

20 And God spoke all these words:

“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.

“You shall have no other gods before[a] me.

“You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.

“You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.

“Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

12 “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.

13 “You shall not murder.

14 “You shall not commit adultery.

15 “You shall not steal.

16 “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.

17 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”

THIS ARTICLE IS AN EXTRACT FROM MY BOOK PSALM 23 UNWRAPPED NOW AVAILBLE IN SOFT COVER ON AMAZON- SOON TO BE AVAILABLE ON KINDLE.

I hope reading this blog has helped you in a small way. If it was, please like and feel free to comment and please subscribe to this blog so you may receive your free freebie and regular updates.

Would you like to receive a free e-book? If the answer is Yes, then take notice; as you come onto my site, a banner will pop up after 50 seconds that describes the content of the e-book. So, if you wish to receive the e-book, please subscribe through the banner, which will lead you to a few steps.

After you confirm your free subscription, the e-book will be delivered to your email inbox. If it’s not, please let me know, and I will send it to you directly.

Keep safe, remember that Your Wellness Matters and live life on purpose in Hope, Faith and Love.💕

Paula Rose has a Bachelor of Pastoral Counselling and Theology, Vision Christian University, USA Master of Arts In Counselling & Professional Development, specializing in Spiritual Abuse through The University of Derby, UK.

She Studies the BACP Life Coaching Course, Bristol, UK and is a life member of (ISFP) The International Society of Female Professionals.

 Paula Rose Parish is a Pastor, Author, and founder, of Hope. Faith. Love, and Your Wellness Matters. She studied at the University of Derby and received a Master of Arts in Counselling in Professional Development. Over the years, Paula Rose has served as a pastor, chaplain, counsellor, and coach and taught at a Christian university. In addition, she has led workshops and retreats and spoken worldwide on Christian spirituality. 

Author of over 200 articles and two published books, Paula Rose, continues to write on the wellness of mind, body and spirit. Paula Rose is adding a string to her bow and is presently reading Health and Wellness. She has four grown children, five grandchildren and lives in South Wales, UK.

Subscribe to my YOUTUBE CHANNEL, and it’s free!

Paula Rose is a Wellness Coach Ordained Minister, Speaker, Blogger, Podcaster, Course Creator, Published Author and has a Master of Arts in Counselling. And many other qualifications and a lifetime, so I have heaps to share with you.

Paula is a life member of (ISFP) The International Society of Female Professionals.

 🖤Want to help support me as an author? Click here available now on Amazon ✔BOOKS BY PAULA available at AMAZON in the UK, USA, Aust; 📚Nothing Good about Grief: Path to recovery with Psalm 23 after COVID-19 & other losses. 📚Psalm 23 Unwrapped: Hope in difficult times.

👛SHOP WITH ME

ETSY:   https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/PaulaRoseStudio?ref=shop_sugg

SHOP www.moonrosemindfulness.com

FOOD for your Soul- www.paularoseparish.com

FOR All things WELLNESS   http://health-well-being.uk

👱‍♀️ CHAT WITH ME 

📸 Instagram: paularoseparish2020. 

MY VIDEOS on YOUTUBE:  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvdQ4NPTNfXSnwd3pimPh0g

FACEBOOK:  https://www.facebook.com/paula.roseparish.5

PINTEREST:  https://www.pinterest.co.uk/proseparish/_created/

LINKEDIN:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/paula-rose-parish-6320a6181/

 Listen to PAULA’S BLOG PODCASTS on Spotify

Please send me an Email: paularoseparish@gmail.com

Why is the Green Grass in Psalm 23 Significant for you?

Psalm 23 is set in the land of Israel where the city of Jerusalem was considered to be its center. Around the outskirts of Jerusalem, are rolling hills. The hillsides are not green and lush but are mainly bare ground and rocky desert with perhaps a scattering of grass popping up here and there.  because the rainfall is very low it is hard to find lush, green grass, so shepherd had to travel far and wide in search for green grass for their sheep. So what David was writing about was not the landscape surrounding Jerusalem. David did not write about in Psalm 23 that there was brown grass or sparse grass but made a point that the grass is green.

So, what could David have been referring to when he wrote that God makes him lie down in green pastures? To find out we need to take a look at the colour green to derive its meaning. In art, green is a secondary colour which is made by mixing yellow with blue. Yellow is the colour of the sun which gives life and warmth, and blue is the colour of the sky because it holds the oxygen giving us atmosphere, both are life-giving. So, combining yellow and blue gives us green. The green colour of plants, trees, and grass occurs because they contain chlorophyll. The green pigment is essential in photosynthesis, allowing plants to absorb energy from the sun so they can grow and flourish.

So, putting this all together, we understand that in the Bible, the green grass is a metaphor for the sustainability and flourishment of life.  To go a little step further, most biblical scholars agree that one of the primary Biblical meanings of the colour green is the immortality of the soul.

Green denotes that the soul- the real you- grows and thrives after the death of the physical body.  Green can also be a symbol of resurrection, praise, spiritual growth and prosperity, new beginnings, and renewal. As so it is with you. God by his Holy Spirit walks with you, beside you, and is leading you into new beginnings and renewal; to help you grow and thrive. 

We see here that Green is used as a metaphor to bring home the point that God leads you to grow and flourish in the midst of the most difficult circumstances. 

I hope reading this blog has helped you in a small way. If it was, please like and feel free to comment and please subscribe to this blog so you may receive your free freebie and regular updates.

Would you like to receive a free e-book? If the answer is Yes, then take notice; as you come onto my site, a banner will pop up after 50 seconds that describes the content of the e-book. So, if you wish to receive the e-book, please subscribe through the banner, which will lead you to a few steps.

After you confirm your free subscription, the e-book will be delivered to your email inbox. If it’s not, please let me know, and I will send it to you directly.

Keep safe, remember that Your Wellness Matters and live life on purpose in Hope, Faith and Love.

Paula Rose Parish💕

😀So many people want their faith and church to grow. The problem is to figure out where to begin. This site is about helping people do just that. It’s for anyone who feels stuck in their faith and longs for a breakthrough. It’s for people who are exploring Christianity and want to know what it’s all about – apart from what they see in the media. If that’s you – please consider subscribing.

Paula Rose has a Bachelor of Pastoral Counselling and Theology, Vision Christian University, USA Master of Arts In Counselling & Professional Development, specializing in Spiritual Abuse through The University of Derby, UK.

She Studies the BACP Life Coaching Course, Bristol, UK and is a life member of (ISFP) The International Society of Female Professionals.

 Paula Rose Parish is a Pastor, Author, and founder, of Hope. Faith. Love, and Your Wellness Matters. She studied at the University of Derby and received a Master of Arts in Counselling in Professional Development. Over the years, Paula Rose has served as a pastor, chaplain, counsellor, and coach and taught at a Christian university. In addition, she has led workshops and retreats and spoken worldwide on Christian spirituality. 

Author of over 200 articles and two published books, Paula Rose, continues to write on the wellness of mind, body and spirit. Paula Rose is adding a string to her bow and is presently reading Health and Wellness. She has four grown children, five grandchildren and lives in South Wales, UK.

Subscribe to my YOUTUBE CHANNEL, and it’s free!

Paula Rose is a Wellness Coach Ordained Minister, Speaker, Blogger, Podcaster, Course Creator, Published Author and has a Master of Arts in Counselling. And many other qualifications and a lifetime, so I have heaps to share with you.

Paula is a life member of (ISFP) The International Society of Female Professionals.

 🖤Want to help support me as an author? Click here available now on Amazon ✔BOOKS BY PAULA available at AMAZON in the UK, USA, Aust; 📚Nothing Good about Grief: Path to recovery with Psalm 23 after COVID-19 & other losses. 📚Psalm 23 Unwrapped: Hope in difficult times.

👛SHOP WITH ME

ETSY:   https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/PaulaRoseStudio?ref=shop_sugg

SHOP www.moonrosemindfulness.com

FOOD for your Soul- www.paularoseparish.com

FOR All things WELLNESS   http://health-well-being.uk

👱‍♀️ CHAT WITH ME 

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When you pray, do you lift your eyes to heaven, or do you close your eyes?

John 17:20-26 Jesus Prays for All Believers


20 “My prayer is not for them alone. I also pray for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me, and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 I have given them the glory you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— 23 I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.
24 “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.
25 “Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. 26 I have made you known to them and will continue to make you known so that your love for me may be in them and that I may be in them.”

When you pray, do you lift your eyes to heaven, or do you close your eyes?

“Lifting his eyes to heaven Jesus’ praying saying I do not only pray for though these but also those who will believe in me “John 17:1

As Jesus lifted his eyes to heaven, he prayed to his Father. This act of lifting his eyes reveals one unique aspect of the presence of the Father stop. It reveals that the Father is transcendent. Transcendent means that the Father is above all and be on all. The world cannot contain him.

So, in speaking to the Father, Jesus begins by lifting his eyes and acknowledging the Father’s transcendence. But we must also note the imminence of the Father’s relationship with Jesus. The word by imminences means that the Father and Jesus are united as one. Their relationship is profoundly personal. Although the words imminence and transcendence may not be a part of our daily vocabulary, these ideas are worth understanding and reflecting upon. We should strive to be very familiar with their meaning and, more particularly, how our relationship with the Holy Trinity shares in both.

Jesus’ prayers to the Father while sharing in the unity of the Father and the Son and Holy Spirit. We, too, will share in God’s life and love. For us, this means we start by seeing the transcendence of God. We also lift our eyes to heaven and strive to see by faith God’s splendour, glory, greatness, power, and majesty because God is above all and beyond all.

As we realise this prayerful gaze to the heavens, we must also strive to see this glorious and transcendent God descend into our souls, communicating with us loving us and establishing a profoundly personal relationship. It’s incredible how these two facets of God’s life go together so well even though, at first, they can appear to be complete opposites. However, they are not opposite but, instead, are united together and have the effect of drawing us into an intimate relationship with the Creator, who is ever constant in all things.

Reflect today upon the glorious and all-powerful God of the universe, who descend into the secret depths of your soul – acknowledge his presence, adore him because he lives in you – speak to him and love him through the day.

Prayer


Most glorious Father, please help me always lift my eyes to heaven and turn to you in that prayerful gaze. May I also discover you alive in my soul where you are adored and loved.
In Christ’s name, I pray
Amen

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GO Figure- the Transfiguration and Prayer!

   Before my knee problems started, I would travel to different parts of the world to scale mountains because I loved to take in the spectacular views, and the sense of freedom I felt. However, these days I usually choose somewhere by water, since I find it calming and refreshing at the same time. I grew up in Australia by the sea, and as a child found myself on many occasions walking totally alone to enjoy an empty beach in the coolness of the changing seasons.

Now, in my senior years, I live by the sea once again and I just love the feeling of the deep serenity that an empty beach brings. When it is just me and the sea birds, the sand, and the vast sea, I feel alive and very close to God. Also, near where I live there is a river, and I often walk up the wooded path alongside the fresh bubbling water coming off the Welsh mountains. For me, the sound of moving water is like nature singing thanksgiving to God – beautiful! Nature is wondrously delightful, which reflects the love and nature of God. And what about you? do you feel a sense of wonder when you see a beautiful sunset, or snow-capped mountains, or even a great building? The next time you are out about, try to see God’s handiwork everywhere- even in the eyes of others, this can bring you such joy. All these wonders of nature can help to clear your head and bring peace to your soul. 

Romans 1: 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

To show his disciples something special, Jesus took them up on a mountain. That would seem remarkable enough. The view from the mountain would have been glorious. Jesus wanted to lead them forward into a brave new world, and he needed them to be willing to be led and guided. Jesus had a particular purpose in mind on this mountain visit. He took his disciples to this remote place on the mountain to pray – or that is what they thought, and they could never had imagined the wonders that awaited them.

On that mountain, Jesus wanted to give them something more than a spectacular view of the landscape- he wanted to give them a glimpse of God. So as Jesus prayed, the disciples watched his face change in appearance. His clothing changed as well, they became white and dazzling (v. 29). Then to add to the spectacle, two great men of Israel’s past Moses and Elijah, popped in to visit and joined in with the illumination. Startled, the disciples then found themselves in a mist when a cloud suddenly descended. If there was television around in those days, they would have thought that they were in the middle of a science fiction-fantasy movie. But that is not all, it got weirder by the minute.

Coming from the cloud, a voice spoke. The voice declared “This is my beloved Son. Listen to him! (v. 35). Wow, that was a real clear-cut announcement, no wriggle room there! It was then that the disciples realised that the purpose of this visit was not to simply pray. The deeper purpose, however, was that Jesus wanted to give them a memorable glimpse of his glory so they could be confident in his leading into future. Prayer prepared their hearts and focused their minds on God.

Prayer opened their minds and heart to what was to be subsequently revealed. We don’t know how long they were praying, it might have been hours or minutes, however, the point is that Jesus wanted to get through to them that he was something more than just a great leader, like King David. He was more than just like God- he in fact, wanted them to know that he was Gods’ reflective glory (Son), in other words- he is the manifestation of God on earth- this is the only one true God who would lead them in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake, then eventually, they would take that Name to the world.

However, we know from the scripture readings to follow, that it seemed that the disciples were not geared up for that task because following events were turning out quite different from what they expected. The disciples anticipated that Jesus would apply a predictable strategy, like forming an army to defeat and push the Romans out of their land. The disciples must learn that Jesus was more than a good teacher or a political figure, and their role would be pivotal in building the new kingdom. However, they would not fully grasp the meaning of Jesus’ life and death until after the resurrection (John 20: 6-9). 

Nonetheless, the experience on the mountain started to prepare them to be led, so they could lead in turn. It was a seed planted in the disciple’s hearts and would grow and blossom in due time. Have you ever had an experience like that? Some people have – I have. I have heard people talk about their dramatic experience when they were headed in the wrong direction, and suddenly without warning came face to face with God, which turned their lives around. 

How has God turned you life around. May be your seeking to have your live turned around- you wont be disappointed giving your life to Christ to put God in the driving seat.

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Tips about  PRAYER WALKING – how to prayer walk.

As you know, I really enjoy researching about the mind, body, and spirit and how they interact with each other. I call this, holistic spiritualty. Before God we have a responsibility to care for ourselves the best we can.

1 Corinthians 6:19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own.

Even if you take short walks, the physical benefits of exercise will boost your emotional well-being. In addition, regular walking can help ease symptoms related to chronic mental health conditions like anxiety and depression. Have you ever thought the spiritual benefits of walking as well? God has made us of mind, body, and spirit therefore all these aspects of our come together to make us – well- us. Also, all these aspects need to stay healthy. It is up to us to ensure we stay healthy of mind, body, and spirit (soul) and here a few tips to help you to do just that.

You can walk anywhere without equipment or a gym membership, and the more you do it, the more positive effects you’ll experience.

The Benefits of Walking

There are numerous benefits of walking, and some of them are… 

  • Improved sleep
  • better breathing
  • Better endurance
  • Stress relief
  • Improvement in mood
  • Increased energy and stamina
  • Reduced tiredness can increase mental alertness
  • Weight loss
  • Reduced cholesterol and improved cardiovascular (heart) health.

Walking helps boost your mood by increasing blood flow and blood circulation to the brain and body. It positively influences your hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, which is your central nervous response system. The HPA axis is responsible for your stress response. When you exercise by walking, you calm your nerves, making you feel less stressed.

You can invite friends to join you or take your dogs for a walk. Walking with others as little as one or two days per week can have enormous benefits. Research has shown that physical exercise combined with positive social interactions can improve negative moods, ward off depression, improve self-esteem, and thus energize your physical body. Start by walking three days a week for 10-30 minutes.

How to Create a Prayer Walking Routine

One of the best ways to begin a new walking routine is to start small and take it easy on yourself as you gradually build up endurance. To ensure the best injury-free experience, choose stable walking shoes and before you leave home, stretch your legs, ankles, and feet to warm up. If you have one, take your mobile phone in case of energy. If it’s a little warm out and your walking some distance, take a water bottle to avoid dehydration.

Start at a relaxed pace, then build up to a brisk walk. Toward the end of your walk, give yourself time to slow down again, bringing your heart rate down.

Each time you go out, carve out a comfortable walking route, then extend your distance over the next few days or weeks. Give yourself goals to reach and celebrate your wins. Remember, it’s not always about the length of your route. It’s also about the quality of the walk and the benefits you get from doing it consistently.

How to Prayer Walk

  • As you walk, pray for the occupants of the houses you pass by.
  • Pray for the town or village and the social issues.
  • Pray for the people who pop into your mind.
  • Pray for the peace of your community.
  • Pray for the local council who look after the path you are walking on
  • Pray for your church and its members.
  • Pray for yourself and your health and well-being of mind, body, and soul.
  • Give thanks to God for the scenery around you.
  • Give thanks for the birds and other creatures you see.
  • Give thanks for the opportunity to take your walk.
  • Give thanks for the ability to walk, even if it’s a short distance.
  • Give thanks for God loving you and how he has called you into life.
  • As you walk, think of other things. People and for yourself to pray and give thanks for.

I hope you enjoy your walk and the benefits it affords.

Paula Rose Parish is a Pastor, Author, and founder, of Hope. Faith. Love, and Your Wellness Matters. She studied at the University of Derby and received a Master of Arts in Counselling in Professional Development. Over the years, Paula Rose has served as a pastor, chaplain, counsellor, and coach and taught at a Christian university. In addition, she has led workshops and retreats and spoken worldwide on Christian spirituality. 

Author of over 200 articles and two published books, Paula Rose, continues to write on the wellness of mind, body and spirit. Paula Rose is adding a string to her bow and is presently reading Health and Wellness. She has four grown children, five grandchildren and lives in South Wales, UK.

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Paula Rose is a Wellness Coach Ordained Minister, Speaker, Blogger, Podcaster, Course Creator, Published Author and has a Master of Arts in Counselling. And many other qualifications and a lifetime, so I have heaps to share with you.

Paula is a life member of (ISFP) The International Society of Female Professionals.

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