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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FACING UP to the DANGEROUS REALITY of ABUSE in the CHURCH

PART ONE of the ESSEX HALL LECTURE 1999 POWER FOR GOD’S SAKE by REV DR PAUL BEASLEY-MURRAY Lecture 7.

Churches can be cockpits of conflict; deeply neurotic places where people play power games and deny the reality of their own circumstances. I have witnessed these things and been part of the strange collusion that allows churches to be extremely dishonest places.

 The moment I read these words of Richard Holloway, Bishop of Edinburgh, bells began to ring. Yes, I said to myself, how, right you are. Power is not only a reality in the world outside, it is also a reality within the church. Indeed, power may well be more of a dangerous reality within the church, precisely because it is for the most part unowned and unrecognised.

Spiritual Blindness

There is, it seems to me, a large degree of naivety, if not self-inflicted blindness, on the part of Christian people. We know that power games are a reality in the world of politics and in the world of business, but we do not want to accept that they are also a reality in the church. And yet why should the church in this respect be any different from the world? If all the other sins of the ‘flesh’ are to be found in the church, then why not this one? Any intelligent reading of the New Testament would reveal that there were power struggles right from the beginning of the life of the early church. Not only James and John come to mind, with their desire to sit on the right and left hand of Jesus in his glory, but the Judaizers who wanted to impose their way of doing church on the Gentile converts, the bickering factions at Corinth. It is almost no exaggeration to say that within every strand of the New Testament we can find evidence of power struggles affecting the life of God’s people. Yet time and again we seem to close our eyes to this underlying reality, and many of us seem to prefer to live with an ‘ideal’ picture of the church.

I say ‘us’ because if I am honest there was a stage toward the beginning of my ministry when I too was blinkered and as a result, operated with this romantic picture of a church where power struggles never took place. Strangely, even before my taking pastoral charge of a local church, I had experienced power struggles, both on a small scale within the life of a Christian student organisation of which I was a member and also on a larger scale within the life of the denomination to which I belonged. And yet somehow these experiences had failed to register as an ongoing fact of church life. I would maintain that the theological college at which I was trained was all part of that strange conspiracy of silence.

Silence of Gods Lambs

At no stage do I remember anybody ever talking about power in the church as being an issue. Certainly, no training was given to me and to my fellow students as to how we might handle power struggles of one kind or another. Instead, we were taught how to preach! Although a revolution has taken place in theological education and ministerial formation since I first trained for Christian ministry, I am not convinced that ordinands, in this respect at least, are in most colleges trained any better. By and large, ministers must learn on the job when it then becomes a matter of either sinking or swimming. Sadly, for many, it is the former.

The Sin of Hypocrisy

Power in the raw of course there is overt and organised power struggles in churches, which hit the national headlines, and which are therefore recognised by all and sundry. In the North American scene, one such public power struggle took place in the early 1990s at First Baptist Church Dallas, described by some as the most influential church in America. Too Great A Temptation: The Seductive Power of America’s Super Church is the title of the book Joel Gregory wrote after his losing the battle with W.A. Criswell. It is a searingly honest and painful account, revealing the power, the politics and the hypocrisy which not only plagued that church but which plague many others too. The book’s concluding six pages should be compulsory reading for all church leaders, both ordained and unordained. From his own bitter experience, Gregory came to see that the church is an institution divine in its original foundation but tethered to this celestial ball by every frailty to which humans are subject. Covetousness, littleness, jealousy, lust for power, ego, sacrilege, and a hundred other demons all lurk within the hallways.

Lessons from Jesus

The church on earth at its best is a crippled institution that God may elect to use for His purposes. The divinization of the church in an egotistic triumphalism denigrates the very purpose for which it is founded. After all, its founder died on the cross between two criminals. Out of his weakness came strength and out of His death came life. Humanity does not consider Jesus Christ its centrepiece because he behaved like the CEO of a gigantic ecclesiastical corporation. He washed the feet of others; He did not trample them under His own in the name of God.

It Hit the Headlines!

 In Britain probably the most well-known recent ecclesiastical power struggle was the fight between the Dean, Brandon Jackson, and the Canons of Lincoln Cathedral. Time and again this battle hit the national headlines. The power struggle appeared to concern a loss-making exhibition of the cathedral’s copy of the Magna Carta in Australia in 1988: However, what fascinated me was to discover that this long-running conflict, marked by “the presence of fear and rage within the group and of a sense of intolerable pain”, actually had its roots in the distant past.

 The official report of Brim Thorne and Kathleen Baker, who were brought in by the Bishop of Lincoln to act as mediators between the protagonists, speaks of historic myths and “powerful unconscious forces at work”. It goes on to say: “These basic assumptions have probably permeated the Lincoln environment for centuries and they operate in complete opposition to the spirit of the cathedral statutes, which require collegiality and cooperation based on an atmosphere of trust.”

 Here we have a salutary reminder that unless major power struggles are properly dealt with, the seeds of their destructiveness may spill over from one generation to another. To put it in different terms, institutional ‘viruses’, as it were, can develop, with the result that although the players may change, the struggle does not. Hence the phenomenon, seen in certain local churches, whereby one minister after another leaves that church in unhappy circumstances. There is an abusive corporate mindset (heart-set?) which desperately needs attention.

I hope you enjoyed and found Part One of this lecture helpful.  Be sure to like and subscribe to receive Part 2 in your inbox in a few days’ time.

If you are or have been affected by power abuse / spiritual abuse, I am here to help. Watch my video on the Home page of my Blog to know what to do next. May God bless and heal you in His love.

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

Paula Rose Parish

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God has Wonderful Plans for You!

The Lord has plans for you. Reading for Sunday 21st of August year C.

     Jeremiah 1: 4-10

‘Now the word of the Lord came to the same before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you I appointed you a prophet to the nations.’

Do you often feel overwhelmed regarding God’s call upon your life? Do you feel sometimes that you aren’t good enough or prepared enough? If you can say yes to those questions, then continue reading this blog post.

We are delving into the character of Jeremiah who symbolised the overwhelming burden that God’s spokesperson faced during that continual decline of the people of Israel. Called and appointed by God, Jeremiah undertook the daunting task of proclaiming a message of judgement against Israelites and their removal from the land that they once received as a gift from God’s hand. While overwhelming, Jeremiah’s warnings came from God alone, and the profit had no recourse but to share them with the people. (Jeremiah 20:9).

The belief that you are known by God and have always been known by God since before one’s conception deeply strengthens your sense of individual worth. Our human nature tells us that in a vast universe our small lives might be meaningless.

God declares to Jeremiah that ‘before I formed you in the womb, I knew you’.

I think we really need to hear the affirmation that God has known us longer and better even than our own parents and prior to our own consciousness. Who knows you better than anyone else besides God?

The Call

Awareness and trust in God’s presence are what drives out fear and bring deliverance. For Jeremiah, this will include fears and dangers from actual enemies who both slander his name and seek physically to harm him. Importantly, this promise of divine presence drives out the inner fear and leads to self-doubt and the temptation to abandon the trusting God. At the heart of the call is to proclaim God’s word. God’s call upon our lives is not without danger or temptation. It is certainly not a bed of roses and probably a little bit more overwhelming than we had expected. Despite any difficulties that you face God uses you to help others because God is a rock who saves and rescues. Likewise, this is what happens in the book of Jeremiah.

The Task

As we read Jeremiah’s words it is full of anguish and grief over the spiritual state of Judah (a tribe of Israel). In spite of their chosen status, in God’s eyes, the people had continually given themselves to idolatry and proven themselves incapable of keeping their covenant commitment to God. God had willingly bound himself to these people in covenant love and the people were expected to respond with worshipful obedience. But they did not. As a result, God wanted to bring them back to himself, so the coming judgement would be sure, swift, and severe. God brought Judah back into his loving presence through Jeremiah the prophet.

At the time of Jeremiah’s warnings, the nation of Judah was in its last days. Jeremiah warned that God would raise up the nation of Babylon to defeat God’s people and haul them off into captivity. The fall of Jerusalem in 586BC fulfilled the long-standing warnings regarding the results of Judah’s sinful rebellion. However, Jeremiah’s warnings are not without a glimmer of hope for a secure future.

The prophet knew that God’s character was unchanging and his mission sure concerning the people of Israel, so he was assured that God would eventually rescue his people. God would secure a remnant of worshippers from amongst the exiled nation of Israel. Because of God’s faithful love for his people, he would bring the people back from obscurity into a right relationship with himself, and we see this in Jeremiah chapters 30 to 31. As a result, the people would once again sing for joy at the glory of God’s salvation.

Jeremiah’s Words are Relevant for Us Today

Later down the track through Jesus, Jeremiah’s words ring out to Israel once again and still hold true for us today. God promised a new covenant and you will find that in Jeremiah chapter 31 to 34. God’s promises are fulfilled in the person and work of Jesus Christ who secured salvation through his righteous life substitutionary death and victorious resurrection. Through faith, God’s people can be born-again to a living hope that pulses with life eternal. Sin is grotesque and the consequences are painful, and yet Jesus’s work is altogether complete and provides the sure hope that God will fulfil his promises to his people.

Jeremiah found the call upon his life difficult to obey. There have been many times when I have struggled with God’s call upon my life not least the continually moving and travelling and saying goodbye to loved ones. Answering God’s call can be painful and often confusing at times, however, I have found solace in Jeremiah 29: 11, which points out

      ‘For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a future and a hope.’

I encourage you today to take heart that God is with you by the Holy Spirit to give you strength courage and hope every single step of the way as you fulfil his call upon your life. God does not expect you to climb the mountain in one go. Rather, it is putting one step in front of the other and trusting God in every single one.

Excuses Galore!

So, you may make the excuse to God I am not old enough, or I am far too old. My health is failing. Or I am not educated enough or some other excuse we may come up with, but which really are just lame excuses. And they are lame excuses because they are quite unfounded. The apostle Paul says that when I am weak, then I am strong in the Lord. Even in your weaknesses, Father God will give you his strength. All you need to do is to give God your doubts and he will give you his faith.  Give God your mind body and spirit for his holy use, and he will surely fill you to overflowing as you reach others with his love and grace in ways that you could never have imagined.

It is my hope that you enjoyed this blog post and found it helpful to you. If you did please like it and subscribe to this blog so I may be able to continue to bring the content of hope, faith and love to you.

Let’s Pray

Lord God, my father, maker of heaven and earth, I put aside my excuses and fears and purpose to fulfil your call upon my life every single day step by step because I know that you are with me even to the ends of the earth. Amen

Remember live life on purpose, and Jesus loves you and so do I.

Paula Rose Parish

1182 words

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The Power of an Empty Tomb: God of surprises.

Although we are in the fall, I thought I would share an Easter story. With all the leaves falling and the days are drawing in, we need a bit of good cheer!

The God of the Bible is always active, always making new, consistently doing a new thing. It is one of the ways God is different from idols, those things we make who do not move, speak, or do anything at all. By contrast, the God whose story is told in the Bible is continuously creating and recreating. It is why God is surprising, the God of surprises.

Of course, not everyone likes surprises. However, a quiet, dependable sure and steady life is what many desire, particularly after the drama of COVID 19. In enjoying quiet, dependable sure and steady life, we feel secure; at least we know where we are. Anyway, even those who profess to like surprises must acknowledge that not all surprises in life are pleasant and welcome, and some surprises come as a shock!

So, recalling that part of John’s Gospel 20.1-18 (please read), we might imagine how it was for Mary Magdalene. She was deeply in love with Jesus. He was the one who had given her back her life, love, and dignity. Yet, she comes on the Sunday after Sabbath to his tomb in the grief that goes with profound bereavement. The one she loved is dead and buried. That is a hard enough reality to bear. But how will she live without him?

(Dear friend, if you are struggling with grief, please check out my book ‘Nothing Good About Grief’ available at Amazon).

Getting back to Mary, who finds her way to the tomb. She expects to find everything as she left it days ago; after all, there are no surprises in death. It is all so predictable and final, except that she finds the tombstone is rolled away. This must have been for her an upsetting experience, a cruel and wounding surprise. She may have been wondering- ‘Can Jesus not be left in peace after all that has been done to him?’ She feels a knife being turned in her wounded heart.

She goes to find Peter. Her first word of witness on Easter Day is of sorrow and anger, and she cries, “They have moved his body! They have taken away the Lord! “It’s scandalous. She speaks in sorrow and burning anger. Her message is bad news indeed.

On hearing this news, Peter and John race to the tomb, with thoughts confused, they may question- “Can this indignity be true? ” When they reach the tomb, they find that Mary’s testimony, unfortunately, is the truth. The grave is empty. Strangely the grave clothes are in their place. Are they not needed anymore? Someone must have moved the body. It is the obvious but bitter explanation.

The Gospel writer says that John is outrun by Peter, nevertheless, goes into the tomb first. Then, says the evangelist, he saw and believed. Believed what? We are not told. However, the evangelist does tell us that they did not understand the scripture that he must rise from the dead. This possibility is not available to them, and all they have is an empty tomb, and there may be many reasons for that; grave robbers, a meddling gardener, who knows? So, they go home.

 So far this story, is not much of a good news story- where are the angels and the great hallelujahs? It’s what we latter-day readers expect, but to this point, the text is bleak like it was for Mary and for many in the face of death. What a disappointment this story of Jesus has turned out to be! We are left with emptiness in several senses. But, like the disciples, we are left with a puzzle. 

 So, Mary is weeping and looks deeper into the tomb. John says she saw two angels in white. They ask her why she is weeping. She tells them, “they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him. ” That is reason enough for tears. She turns away to hide her grief, but she is aware of another standing near in this morning of surprises. It must be the gardener. He asks, “why are you weeping? Who are you looking for?”

 Perhaps this man has the answer to her cruel puzzle. She replies, “Tell me where you have laid him.” And the man says, “Mary.” this is when she realises that it is the Lord! The calling of her name is the start of Mary’s resurrection because Jesus is not dead and gone. The tomb is empty, and Jesus has come to her in his risen love and grace. Now she has a different testimony. I have seen the Lord in her experience and announcement to the disciples.

This is how John tells the Easter Day story. No one expected this, despite what the ancient scriptures said of God. Easter is a surprise. It is the good news we proclaim today. Both the approaches in John’s witness are essential. Does the empty tomb story matter? Yes, because we are not talking about something in a private otherworldly sphere of inwardness.

 The empty tomb matters because it speaks of the new creation, of that work God is doing with the matter he first created, how he is doing a new thing. Christians proclaim that the tomb is empty, and the new resurrection body is recreated by God. Death is not the end, not even for this vulnerable creation that waits for renewal.

Although scientists today speak of many dimensions, life on other planets and parallel universes. We can hardly imagine what this means, and the Gospel proclaims that here is the work of God, taking our failure, taking the love of Jesus, and from it, bringing forth something new and wonderful. It is a miracle, a work of God. 

Some of our teachers speak of a miracle as an overflowing love at the heart of creation. The love that was in Jesus, even unto death, is met by the endless love of God for his creation and, in the dynamic, new, and beautiful things happen. Death is not the end.

As we have seen, however, the empty tomb is not necessarily good news. It needs setting in a context. That context is God’s work from the beginning, in the creation and the call of Israel, in the coming of Christ and his remarkable life of suffering love, breaking the cycle of sin and violence in his sacrificial death on the cross. It is over this Christ that God speaks the great “Yes” of resurrection. He is let loose again in the world, and Mary and countless others will speak of being restored, healed, renewed by his presence.

God raised Jesus from the dead. For Mary, this means her grief is turned to joy as he calls her name. For Thomas, it means his doubt is turned to faith as he meets the risen Lord in the company of the disciples. For Peter, who denied the Lord, resurrection means being welcomed again by Christ and entrusted with new and vital work. John wants us to understand that resurrection is not just something that happened to Jesus. It is God’s work for us.

It means that each act of worship, each gathering at the Lord’s Table, is an encounter with Christ Jesus. It means that far from life being full of boring predictability, there are the surprises of God who raised Jesus from the dead and is ever seeking to make all things new. It means that our death, even the decay of our planet, is not the end, and the tomb of Jesus is empty because God is at work. So, Christ comes to us with grace, forgiveness, love, and laughter. The Lord has risen! He is risen indeed!

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

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Remember to Live Life on Purpose

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

 Paula Rose Parish💕

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What are you Giving up for Lent – or Not?

In the next few weeks, someone will probably ask you, “What are you giving up for Lent?” I want to offer a couple of thoughts on this subject.

Before we begin, though, I need to stress that what follows is certainly not everything that needs to be said on this subject.

Lent is a deep and meaningful time used wisely that can revitalize your relationship with God which will flow over others.  The significance of Lent is related to many other issues such as the place of fasting in the Christian life, the significance of the church year, and devoting oneself to stay in God’s presence. These are too complicated to discuss in-depth here.

I guess you have noticed that I’m not saying whether I think we should observe Lent. That’s deliberate. How and why we do what we do is at least as important here as what we do. With that in mind,

Firstly, the way that the above question is phrased (What are you giving up) I think gets us off on the wrong foot. It focuses on abstinence rather than activity, it focuses on ‘Doing’ and not on ‘Being’ and it focuses on ‘Us’ rather than Christ.

Lent has become a secular tradition about getting skinner by abstaining from chocolates or bread, or soberer by abstaining from alcohol, or raising money for charity, and it has become almost nothing about God. It has lost its meaning.

If you’re going to “do something” for Lent, make sure the focus is not on self-deprivation or inactivity. Instead, focus on devoting yourself positively to something spiritually beneficial, like 30 minutes a day reading your Bible or some other Christian book, a few minutes praying or reading through the Psalms, or whatever. Pursue abstinence or self-deprivation only if it helps you to pursue these positive goals: missing a meal or getting up a bit earlier, for example, so that you have more time to read or pray.

Finally, for me lent is summed up in the Lord’s prayer –if we take time to unpack it and understand it, then we can BE it.

😀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 The University of Derby, UK.

BACP Life Coaching Course, Bristol, UK

A life member of (ISFP) The International Society of Female Professionals.

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

Paula is a Wellness Coach Ordained Minister, 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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Without experiencing change, we can not Grow in Faith.

It’s been such a cold winter here in the UK. For some, the cold may be difficult to cope with particularly if one has to stand at bus stops or train stations.

For me, I enjoy the change that will come in Spring and then Summer- although the hot weather wears me out a little. Life is about change, isn’t it? We can’t avoid it. 

The theme of change is all the way through the Holy Bible and tells us that without change there is no growth, nothing new can emerge because new life comes from change. 

In my ministry for the last several years, there has been a season of change, which looks like it’s continuing. For some time I didn’t want anything to change as I have had continuous change since 1980 when I was ordained into the ministry.

Particularly as one gets older, one gets tired of moving and saying goodbye to dear friends and family, and there comes a time when enough is enough. However, God has something different for me in mind becaus4e my ministry is constantly changing. Mainly due to the effect of the pandemic.  

Changes in my life and ministry even though highly unexpected however, I see that God’s hand in even which hadn’t been accounted for. 

As you know as the United Reformed Church minister I Pastor 2 Churches and work with three denominations being the Methodist Church, Presbyterian, and the Congregationalist. 

For the last few years, I have also been working with the Church in Wales. This has come about because our Methodist circuit needs to adjust its ministry in the view of a couple of ministers leaving. Therefore the ministers remaining have been asked to juggle various pastoral responsibilities. 

And because I am a minister on the circuit I too have been asked to rearrange my pastoral responsibilities.

Working with three different denominations and their ways of working is quite different from each other so I must be very open-minded, extremely flexible, and have a good sense of humor! But what really helps me through all the changes and the new things to learn is the power of the Holy Spirit in my life. 

I pray early each morning and study the Word in my devotion time for an hour. I pray in the spirit throughout my day. I recognize that my own personal resources are limited, my ideas are limited, my gifting is limited. But I serve a God of our Lord Jesus Christ who is unlimited and grants me and you, an unlimited power through his Holy Spirit who is given to all of us, to live in us.

So where the end of my personal resources,  the Holy Spirit continues on and so, therefore, I can declare that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13).

I wish to encourage you all at this time, no matter what changes are in your life for good or for ill, being minded to pray specifically will help you through.  

The Bible tells us to make our requests to God (Philippians 4.6) and we have not because we ask not (James 4.3)  The father will give us the Holy Spirit if we ask because the Father once to give good gifts to his children (Luke 11.13).

 Each and every one of us needs the Holy Spirit who manifests in our lives daily. So I want to encourage you today to pray without ceasing to allow this Holy Spirit to lead and guide you, to strengthen you, and to empower you.

 The Spirit will lead you into all truth so God our Father may do exceedingly abundantly in your life beyond what you ever can ask beyond what you ever can think (Ephesians 3.20).

😀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 The University of Derby, UK.

BACP Life Coaching Course, Bristol, UK

A life member of (ISFP) The International Society of Female Professionals.

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

Paula is a Wellness Coach Ordained Minister, 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

👛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

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BIBLE STUDY / The Crucifixion and Resurrection is NOT Metaphor- it actually happened!

The season of Easter is after Lent which is coming up in March this year. I thought we would get arena and chat about the truth of the resurrection. Somebody told me recently that Jesus wasn’t real so the crucifixion and resurrection could not have happened. Well, let’s see what scripture says shall we?

Isaiah 6:1-8  (NIV) Isaiah’s Commission

6 In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. 2 Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. 3 And they were calling to one another:

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty;
     the whole earth is full of his glory.”

4 At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke.

5 “Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.”

6 Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. 7 With it he touched my mouth and said, “See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.”

8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”

And I said, “Here am I. Send me!

Luke 5:1-11  (NIV)  Jesus Calls His First Disciples

5 One day as Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret,[a] the people were crowding around him and listening to the word of God. 2 He saw at the water’s edge two boats, left there by the fishermen, who were washing their nets. 3 He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from shore. Then he sat down and taught the people from the boat.

4 When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.”

5 Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.”

6 When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. 7 So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink.

8 When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” 9 For him and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken, 10 and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon’s partners.

Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.” 11 So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything, and followed him.

1 Corinthians 15:1-11  (NIV) The Resurrection of Christ

15 Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. 2 By this gospel you are saved if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.

3 For what I received I passed on to you as of the first importance that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve. 6 After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, 8 and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.

9 For I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them—yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me. 11 Whether then, it is I or they, this is what we preach, and this is what you believed.

16 For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins.18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost.19 If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.

20 But Christ has indeed been raised from

  • My story how if felt unclean for years before I met Christ

It’s a shocking fact that even some people who stand in the pulpit believe that the Stores in the OT and indeed the NT didn’t exist. They say they are only stories to show the truth, but not truth in themselves. This is called Liberalism.

We can get caught up in it if we are not careful, the truth that archelogy bears out the stories from the bible even as far back as the garden of Eden. 

 People say that These stories are a metaphor of a Universal truth and inner reality.

 However, if we believe this, we….

  • We can’t understand forgiveness
  • Reformed resurrected/ evangelical/. Charismatic
  • Coptic/ Catholic crucified
  • Crucified OR resurrected- dual thinking
  • We eliminate to negative- focus on the positive
  • Can’t separate the two one leads to the other = truth
  •  We only can appreciate Gods love/grace fully if we have experience the absence of it.

THE CHRISTIAN LIFE IS ABOUT TRANSFORMATION!

how can we enjoy the transformed life if we don’t believe that Christ dies and is resurrected and only stands as a metaphor???

All things work TOGETHER for good Romans 8:28

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

Conclusion

Christ Died for you

Christ was raised for you

We need to recognize our spiritual poverty before God

Live a life of humble repentance and faith!

Galatians 2:20

I have been crucified with Christ, therefore,

 I no longer live,

but Christ lives in me.

The life I now live in the body,

I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

😀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 The University of Derby, UK.

BACP Life Coaching Course, Bristol, UK

A life member of (ISFP) The International Society of Female Professionals.

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

Paula is a Wellness Coach, Ordained Minister, Blogger, Podcaster, Course Creator, Published Author, 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

👛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.

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Do you loose your temper – 4 different kinds of Anger.

The story is told that in the latter 1800’s, Alfred Lord Tennyson invited a Russian nobleman to his estate. And early one morning this nobleman took off with dogs & guns & servants to go hunting.

At mid-day he returned & Lord Tennyson asked him how he did. He answered, “Not very well. I shot two peasants.” Lord Tennyson thought for a moment & then said, “No, we pronounce it with a ‘ph’ here. It is ‘pheasants.’ You shot two pheasants.”

“No,” the nobleman replied, “I shot two peasants. They were insolent towards me, so I shot them.”

 Now we smile in disbelief at a story like that. But last May  a driver in Swansea abused  another driver a woman in road rage. He was charged with verbal assault. When asked why he was angry and abusive, he said it was because she was black.

That happened in Swansea, South Wales, UK. But stories like that have popped up all over the country. People becoming abusive due to their uncontrolled anger.

 Now, of course, none of us  would do anything like that. But have you ever lost your temper? Do you ever do things you wish you hadn’t done, or say things you wish you had never said?

Well, the Bible has something to say about overcoming anger. Proverbs 19:11 says, “A man’s wisdom gives him patience. It is to his glory to overlook an offense.”

Now there is the secret, isn’t it? If someone offends you, & if you are a person of wisdom (God’s wisdom) then you can overlook it, & not allow the situation to become a major event that overwhelms you. I discovered that there are 4 types of anger dealt with in the Bible.

First of all, there is sudden anger. The Bible says that sudden anger is to be controlled.

Secondly, there is sinful anger. The Bible says that sinful anger is to be condemned.

Thirdly, there is stubborn anger. Stubborn anger is to be conquered.

Finally, there is sanctified anger. And sanctified anger is to be channeled.

 So let’s look at each of those 4 types of anger.

I) SUDDEN ANGER IS TO BE CONTROLLED

First of all there is sudden anger, & the Bible says that sudden anger is to be controlled.

Proverbs 14:17 says, “A quick-tempered man does foolish things.” We already knew that because we’ve experienced that in our own lives. We may blame our quick temper on our red hair. Or we may blame it on our heritage. After all, we’re Irish or something like that. We may even be proud of it.

But the bottom line is, if we have a short fuse, we’re going to do a lot of foolish things. When we lose our temper we’ll say things we know we shouldn’t have said, & do things that we’re going to be sorry for later on.

Next, Proverbs 15:18 says, “A hot tempered man stirs up dissension.” That simply means that if you have a short fuse, if you’re always losing your temper, if you’re walking around with a chip on your shoulder, if you’re just looking for somebody to say something that will irritate you, then you’re going to leave a trail of hurt feelings & unhappiness behind you.

A movie start from the 1930’s -Will Rogers said, “Whenever you fly into a rage, you seldom make a safe landing.” And he is right.

The American preacher- Chuck Swindoll said, “I got so angry that I gave him a piece of my mind. And it was a piece that I couldn’t afford to lose.”

The writer of Proverbs said, “A hot temper stirs up dissension.”

Proverbs 18:13 says, “He who answers before listening – that is his folly & his shame.” He is talking about jumping to conclusions. We hear just a little bit of what is said, & we instantly jump to a conclusion, & oftentimes it is the wrong conclusion.

Have you heard about the dog named “August” who was always trying to chase a mule named “Conclusion?” One day he jumped at Conclusion & bit him, & Conclusion kicked back at August. And that was the last day of August. Think about that for a moment.

Sometimes we jump to conclusions, & Solomon says that it is to our folly & our shame.

Proverbs 19:19 says, “A hot-tempered man must pay the penalty.” We’re being told that almost every day. Doctors tell us that losing our temper consistently brings about high blood pressure, dryness of mouth, & a fast-beating heart. It could even bring pre-mature death.

A hot temper could also mean loss of family & friends. The penalties of losing our temper are many.

So the Bible says, “If you have a sudden temper, then you need to control it.” But how can we do that?

You say, “Why, I just can’t control my temper. It gets away from me.” But you can. Have you ever found yourself engaged in a heated discussion with your voice getting louder & your words becoming more rapid? Then the telephone rings & you say, “Hello.” Sure, you can control your temper.

So we need to recognize that we have a problem with temper. As long as we deny it, as long as we blame it on heritage or short-fuse or whatever we choose to blame it on, we’ll never improve.

Then we must confess our problem to God & ask for His help. “Lord, I’m beginning to lose my temper, & I’ve done it many times before. Please help me see what is causing it to happen, & then help me to overcome it.”

SUMMARY. The Bible teaches that when the Holy Spirit guides our life, that one fruit of the spirit is self-control. And if you have a sudden temper, you need to control it.

2) SINFUL ANGER IS TO BE CONDEMNED

The second type of anger discussed in scripture is sinful anger. Not all anger is sinful, & we’ll talk about that in just a minute. But some anger is. So let me give you some tests this morning to help you determine whether your anger is sinful or not.

In Matthew 5:21, Jesus says, “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, `Do not murder, & anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment.”

Now that passage tells us some things about anger that should help us realize when our anger is sinful & when it is not.

Notice first of all that it says, “Anyone who is angry with his brother.” Now if you’re a brother or sister to someone it indicates that you are a member of the same family, whether a domestic family or the family of God.

If we’re brothers & sisters, we ought to be lifting each other up, supporting & helping each other. We should not spend our time being angry at one another.

The King James Version speaks about being angry at your brother “without a cause.” If we are angry & don’t have a legitimate reason for being angry, then this tells us that our anger is sinful.

Then if you’re angry at your brother, that indicates that you are focusing your anger on a person. We should never focus our anger on people, but rather on the sins they commit.

Jesus was never angry at people, but He was angry at their sins. So look beyond the person. We must love the person, but hate their sin.

So if you’re angry at your brother, if you’re focusing on a person, then that means that your anger is sinful.

Now in Romans 12:19 Paul says, “Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: `It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord.”

So the third test of our anger is this: Is it anger that seeks revenge? Are we always trying to get even? The Bible teaches that God is the one who has the right of vengeance. Not us. “Vengeance is mine,” says the Lord. We don’t have the right to repay anyone. But rather, turn that over to God.

So if our anger is geared towards seeking revenge, then it is very definitely sinful anger. If it is vengeful, then most likely it is also an anger that is cherished.

Remember what Jesus said to the man who was by the pool, waiting to be healed, & he couldn’t get to the water soon enough? Jesus asked him, “Do you want to be healed?” Important question!

There are a lot of people who enjoy being sick because of the attention it gets them. And there are a lot of people who love being angry. They’ve been angry for years. Inside of them there is a boiling mass of anger.

So if anger is cherished, it most certainly is sinful anger.

If it is a cherished anger it will also be an anger with an unforgiving spirit. And the secret to getting rid of anger is to be able to forgive. But if you can’t forgive, if you can’t release it, then it is a sinful anger.

SUMMARY. So here are the 5 tests to tell whether or not our anger is sinful anger.

1. Is it anger directed towards a person?

2. Is it anger without a justifiable cause?

3. Is it anger that seeks vengeance?

4. Is it anger that is cherished?

5. Is it anger that has an unforgiving spirit?

If any of the answers to those questions is “yes,” then our anger is a sinful anger. And the Bible says that it is to be condemned.

CONCLUSION. If it is sinful, then we need to repent, to turn away from it, & allow God to forgive us of it so that we can become forgiving people, too.

3). STUBBORN ANGER IS TO BE CONQUERED

The third type of anger is stubborn anger. It is an anger that just stays there, day after day after day.

One of the classic passages that deals with anger begins in Ephesians 4:26. The KJV says, “Be ye angry, & sin not. Let not the sun go down on your wrath.” And the next verse says, “And do not give the devil a foothold.”

One day you go home & you’re angry. You’re carrying a chip on your shoulder, just waiting for someone to knock it off.

Then your partner says something you don’t particularly appreciate, & soon heated words are being exchanged. It really doesn’t amount to much, but you’re determined to get your way, & she is determined to get her way. So the argument continues.

The sun goes down & nighttime comes. Then in bed she faces that way & you face this way, & you both make very sure that you don’t touch each other.

Do you realize what has happened? The Bible says that you have opened the door, & said, “evil one come right on in. We’ll make you welcome here.”

Then in vs. 31, Paul mentions what happens when Satan begins to do his dirty work.

The first result is “bitterness.” You begin to think about all the bad things people do & say to you, all the insults, all of the inconsiderate things that go on.

Then Paul says, “After bitterness comes rage & anger.” “Rage” is bitterness boiling & bubbling inside of you. And “anger” is rage being expressed. It is no longer just inside you. Now you begin to kick the cat, & hit the wall. Now you begin to say all kinds of things, until finally it becomes “brawling,” which means “shouting loudly,” & “slander” or “insults.”

“Look at this house. It’s a pig sty. I come home every day & these kids are dirty. You don’t know how to take care of them. What makes you think you’re a homemaker?” And on & on it goes, back & forth.

Paul says, is malice, and “malice” means that you really desire to harm. That’s why we’re always reading about someone shooting his wife & turning the gun on himself. Because the ultimate end of stubborn anger is malice.

SUMMARY Paul said, “Here is the way to get rid of stubborn anger. Don’t let the sun go down on your wrath.” Vs. 32 says, “Be kind & compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”

So first of all, there is sudden anger. And it must be controlled.

Then there is sinful anger. And it must be condemned.

Then there is stubborn anger. And it must be conquered.

4) ANGER MUST BE CHANNELED IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION FOR GOD

Finally, there is HEALTHY anger. And that must be channelled in the right direction for God. Remember, Ephesians 4:26 says, “Be ye angry. . .” It is okay to be angry, but do not sin.

Let me read to you from Mark 3:1-5. This is a passage that deals with a situation in the life of Jesus that I think is very revealing. It says:

“Another time he went into the synagogue, & a man with a shriveled hand was there. Some of them were looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, so they watched him closely to see if he would heal him on the Sabbath. And Jesus said to the man with the shriveled hand, `Stand up in front of everyone.’”

“Then Jesus asked them, `Which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?’ But they remained silent.”

“He looked around at them in anger &, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts. . .” You see, the focus of His anger is their hearts. He is angry because of their stubborn hearts & their stubborn anger. The sun has gone down. The sun has come up. And the devil has established a foothold in their lives. And Jesus is angry at their stubborn anger.

Then Jesus said, “Stretch out your hand.” And he stretched it out, & his hand was completely restored.”

SUMMARY. The Bible says that Jesus was tempted in all points, even as we are tempted, but He never sinned. So this passage teaches that Jesus became angry but it wasn’t sinful anger. It was sanctified anger, channelled anger, anger that has the right focus, & the right object.

Maybe an infusion of anger is the very thing that the church needs. To become angry at the corruption of the world. To become angry at the forces of evil. To become angry at pornography that reaches into every segment of society.

To become angry at injustice. To become angry at the increase in crime & murders & rapes. To become angry at the abuse of alcohol & drugs in our society. To become angry because there are millions of people who are dying & going to God- less graves.

It is time for the church to become angry, with a sanctified anger, a holy anger, that is channeled in the right places.

SUMMARY; There are all kinds of anger. And if you are wrestling with them, God promises to give you victory, if you’ll let Him.

So be angry, but don’t sin. Don’t let the sun go down upon your wrath. Don’t allow the devil to have a foothold in your life. But channel that anger so it can begin to accomplish victories for Jesus.

We offer His invitation this morning. He stands ready & willing to come into your heart & into your life. If you’ll confess your faith in Him, & repent of your sins, & be faithful to him in Christian baptism, He has promised to forgive your sins.

If you are already a Christian, an immersed believer in Jesus, then we invite you to join with us in the ministry that God has given us here. Whatever your decision, we offer the invitation of Jesus.

Please contact me an let me know what you have decide- God bless you!.

😀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 The University of Derby, UK.

BACP Life Coaching Course, Bristol, UK

A life member of (ISFP) The International Society of Female Professionals.

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

Paula is a Wellness Coach Ordained Minister, 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

👛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

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What happened at the Transfiguration of Jesus?

SCRIPTURE:   Luke 9:28-36, & 37-43

Luke begins by telling us that Jesus and his three closest disciples––Peter, James, and John––went up on the mountain to pray.

Mountains are special places in the Bible.  They are places where people encounter God.  Moses encountered God on Mount Sinai.  Elijah called down fire from heaven on Mount Carmel.  Jesus revealed his glory to his disciples on the Mount of Transfiguration.  It was on mountains that people experienced grand and wonderful things.

As I thought about that, I wondered what our modern-day equivalent might be.  Where would we go to experience grand and wonderful things?

I hate heights however; I have climbed many hills and mountains on my travels around the world. I took in the most amazing sights, and smells with little sound!

Some people would love to take a ride into space.  I can’t think of anything WORSE! However, some fold think it would be most wonderful. I think it would be scary as the engines start––being pressed hard into the seat as the ship accelerates. However, the wonder of weightlessness––and the view of the world as a blue and white jewel set on black velvet, might be nice!

But to be honest, I feel a sense of wonder when I see a beautiful sunset––or snow-capped mountains––or even a great building. And when I climb the Welsh mountains where I live, I come truly alive!  

JESUS AND HIS DISCIPLES

But to show his disciples grand and wonderful things, Jesus took them up on a mountain.  That in itself would seem wonderful enough.  I bet the view from a mountain was glorious.

But Jesus didn’t go there to enjoy the panorama- he took his disciples up there to pray.  He wanted to give them something more than a spectacular view.  He wanted to give them a glimpse of God.  And he wanted to give them a glimpse of his glory.  He wanted to let them know that he was something more than a great leader, like King David.  He wanted to confirm to them that he––was God––is God.

So he took them up on a mountain to pray.  “As he was praying, the appearance of his face was altered, and his clothing became white and dazzling” (v. 29).  Moses and Elijah, the great men of Israel’s past, came to visit.  A cloud descended on the disciples, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my beloved Son. Listen to him!” (v. 35).

The disciples weren’t really ready for that.  They had expected Jesus to do some exciting but conventional things––like forming an army to drive the Romans out of their land.  This experience on the mountain was more like grabbing an electrical wire and getting a jolt.  But it awakened them to the fact that Jesus was more than they had expected.  They wouldn’t fully grasp the meaning of Jesus until after the cross and resurrection, but this experience on the mountain began to prepare them––planted a seed in their hearts that would grow and blossom in due time.

 HAVE YOU HAD A CONVERSION EXPERIENCE?

 I have! You can read about in if you click on the menu and go to about.

Have you ever had an experience like that?  Some people have.  I have heard people talk about conversion experiences almost as dramatic as the things that these disciples experienced on the Mount of Transfiguration––people whose lives had been headed in the wrong direction for years, but who suddenly and without warning came face to face with God and had their lives turned around.

FROM GUTTER TO GLORY

There’s a week known story of Eldridge Cleaver.  As a young man, Cleaver was involved in various kinds of crime.  At age 22, he was convicted of assault with intent to commit murder.  He admitted to raping a number of women.  He advocated violence as a way of redressing racial injustice.  In 1968 he was involved in a shootout with Oakland police.  He jumped bail and lived for a number of years in Algeria and Paris.

Then Cleaver had one of those dramatic conversion experiences that we hear about.  He saw a vision.  This is how he reported his vision in his book, Soul on Fire.  He said:

I saw all my former heroes paraded before my eyes…

Fidel Castro, Mao Tse-tung, Karl Marx, Frederick Engels,

passing in review––

each one appearing for a moment of time,

and then dropping out of sight, like fallen heroes.

Finally, at the end of the procession,

in dazzling, shimmering light,

the image of Jesus Christ appeared.

As a result of that vision, Cleaver became a Christian––turned on to Jesus as fervently as he had been turned on earlier to violence.  His life was never the same again.  In one moment, he was a man of violence.  In the next moment, he was a man of peace.

I mention Cleaver’s story because his dramatic vision of Christ was so unexpected––so dramatic ––so life-changing––and thus so like the experience of these three disciples on the Mount of Transfiguration.

But not many of us have that kind of dramatic vision–– that kind of sudden conversion.  Most of us either grew up in the church, learning of Christ from the very beginning, or we came by our faith more deliberately––more slowly––over a period of time.  We are more likely to have come by our faith at our mother’s knee than on a mountaintop.  This story of the Transfiguration, then, probably seems a bit peculiar––something that has little or nothing to do with our experience of faith.

But I thought it interesting that Jesus took these disciples up on that mountain to pray.  They didn’t go up the mountain for exercise.  They didn’t go there for the view.  They didn’t go there to find a good place to build a house or restaurant.  They went there to pray.  In other words, they went there for the expressed purpose of placing themselves in the presence of God.

 PRAYER CHANGES THINGS

They went to that mountain to talk to God, but perhaps even more importantly they went there to listen to God.  Sometimes we approach prayer as if the burden of communication were ours––as if we somehow had to find the right words to persuade God to do our will.  But prayer is something far different.  Prayer is not a magical incantation to persuade God to obey us.  Prayer is a conversation with a loving God that helps to align us with God’s will.

We, after all, are not the ones with the perfect plan––God is.  God doesn’t need to learn from us––we need to learn from God.  So I am convinced that the quiet moments in prayer––the times when we invite God to guide us–– and then sit quietly communing with God––listening to God––are possibly our most important prayer times.

When these three disciples went up on that mountain to pray, they were “heavy with sleep” (v. 32).  That’s common, isn’t it!  How often we begin our prayers––and then wake up later realizing that we never finished. That’s all right!  What better place to fall asleep than in the loving arms of our Heavenly Father?

But these three disciples managed to stay awake and were rewarded with a glimpse of Christ’s glory.  They had gone up on the mountain to pray––to commune with God––and God revealed himself to them in a way that they had not expected.

There is a lesson to be learned here.  While it is possible for God to take the initiative to break into our lives, it is also possible for us to take the initiative to invite him into our lives.  That is one of the purposes of prayer––to invite God into our lives.  These disciples went up on the mountain to pray––to invite God into their lives.

I am reminded of a famous painting of Christ painted by Holman Hunt more than a century ago.  It pictures Christ knocking at a closed door.  When Hunt showed the painting to his friends, one of them saw that he had forgotten something.  He said, “You put no handle on the door.”  Hunt replied, “We must open the door to Jesus.  The handle is on the inside.” 

Whenever we think that God has somehow absented himself from our lives, we might take a moment to check the door––to see if we have opened it to invite him in. Have you invited God the father in?

What I am proposing here is that we follow the example of these disciples––that we go up on the mountain––or into the quietness of our room––or wherever we can be alone to commune with God––and that we go there to pray––that we go there to talk to God and to listen to God––that we go there expecting a blessing––and that we not be surprised when we receive on––when God reveals himself to us in ways beyond anything that we ever expected- or even imagined. 

😀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 The University of Derby, UK.

BACP Life Coaching Course, Bristol, UK

A life member of (ISFP) The International Society of Female Professionals.

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

Paula is a Wellness Coach Ordained Minister, 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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SHATTERED DREAMS – LOST HOPES- A NEW LIFE !

If you are following me, you will know that this is not the whole story of course, but a snippet from my new book about Holistic Living, which features Mindfulness and issues around mental health. that I am in the process of writing. It will be published and made available to you later in the year – so keep a lookout for that! Please follow me here or subscribe to my newsletter to get your updates on this. Regardless of where you are on your journey, I hope you will find something useful here- if so, please let me know down in the comments.

MY STORY

After I completed my Master of Arts in counselling at university, I went on to read social science on a | Ph.D. level. I was working full time and opted to study for my Ph.D. part-time for six years. My dream was to earn the postgraduate award in my 60th year. It was an achievable goal and a great birthday present for me. I was three years into research and could no longer endure my abusive marriage after I spent time in hospital as a result of an attack. Against advice, I decided to put my studies on hold and took a long break from work so I could try to salvage what was left of my marriage. Over the next couple of years, the abuse would continue, despite a series of reconciliation meetings, counselling sessions, and eventually, a divorce ensued.

All this left me burned out, feeling hopeless, defeated, and helpless. I did not want to face the future, so I extended the deferment of my studies. Even without the relationship problems, if you forget to schedule time for activities that care for and nurture you – then you may be at risk for burnout.

Eventually, when I felt stronger, using mindfulness to recover, I attempted to enrol to continue my studies but sadly, the limit of deferment had been reached therefore I lost all my scores. Three whole years of hard study, tuition, and research came to nothing. I had to start from the beginning if I wanted to earn a Ph.D. However, the fees increased dramatically, and I could not afford 6 years of study. Through all this, I was burnt out – yet again. I felt as if I was in a desert wandering around aimlessly with nowhere to go.

BROKEN HEART

My dream of a Ph.D. had vanished. My marriage which held so much promise of happiness, love, and hope at one time, was a thing of the past.

If you are recovering from a traumatic event or if you’re a hyper-focused, motivated, achiever, then I know you can successfully apply yourself to create a better balance in your life. At times, life sucks and isn’t fair or kind. However, there is hope on the horizon. Mindfulness is a wonderful tool to help you to succeed on your journey.

However, to live mindfully, you must develop what I call- Well-Habits. Unlearning bad habits and learning new ones is not so easy. We know this because most of us fail to keep our New Year’s resolutions. Usually, it’s because most of us start off far too big. We decide to launch into a whole new lifestyle all at once- it’s all or nothing!

We think we’re just going to get there by the sheer exercise of willpower and come up disappointed. Well-Habits are formed bit by bit, day by day through disciplining yourself to put them in place and practice them. Right now, get out your calendar and schedule a daily slot of time to spend on your health and happiness. Learn to build systems to prevent further burn-out. I have found that by scheduling my well-being as a priority in my diary, by promoting my personal well-ness activities at a regular time each week, I’m building healthy habits for wellness.

The more you plan, organize, creating good habits, you increase your answerability to yourself for your behaviour, it will be easier for you to improve your work-life balance and recover from trauma. It will give you a structure that will help to make you feel secure and that you are progressing forward positively. Mindfulness is about intention, to enable meaning and purpose.

PLAN FOR TODAY AND FOR TOMORROW

 Intentionally planning and organizing your daily activities will give you a reason to get up in the morning to live purposefully throughout your day. Build a growth mindset. You can grow as a person, change, and improve the way that you want to. It means that you are not born successful but become successful as you work through ‘stuff’.

As part of your Well- Habit development, ensure that you also practice self-acceptance and self-compassion – stop being so hard on yourself. Remember, no one should make you feel bad about who you are – not even you! It’s important to establish boundaries. What does this mean? It means that you decide what is acceptable to your goals, values, and lifestyle.

Once you establish what is acceptable for you, you must be assertive in upholding your own needs. Because no one else will. I hope this post was helpful. If it was, I would love to hear from you. Feel free to contact me and share any thoughts you have. And if you enjoyed reading this blog, please support it by subscribing to my FREE newsletter.

If you feel you would like further support through prayer, counselling, or coaching, please contact me. Details of How to get in touch with me are found in the top menu on my home page.

😀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 The University of Derby, UK.

BACP Life Coaching Course, Bristol, UK

A life member of (ISFP) The International Society of Female Professionals.

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

Paula is a Wellness Coach Ordained Minister, 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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Three Steps to learn to love yourself and why you should.

Your relationship with yourself is one of the most important relationships you have. So the first thing I want you to do is to spend some time thinking about what you actually think about yourself – write it down.

Looking at your list, if you are finding that you really don’t love yourself, below is a couple of tips to help you to start that all-important relationship with yourself. This month, there will be more blogs to follow with more tips.

  1. Forgive Yourself

Forgiveness means that you accept what has happened and your behavior and be willing to move past it and move on with your life without worrying about things that cannot be changed. As a therapist, I learned this approach to self-forgiveness, which is also the Biblical way to forgiveness. The below method suggests that four key actions can help you to forgive yourself.

The 4 R’s of Self-Forgiveness

  1. Responsibility
  2. Remorse
  3. Restoration
  4. Renewal

Forgiving yourself is beneficial for any good mental, physical and relationship health. 

Letting go and offering yourself forgiveness can help boost your feelings of wellness and improve your self-confidence. The act of forgiveness can also positively impact your physical health. Have you heard the expression “he’s eaten up with hate”? Science and the Bible tell us that unforgiveness can manifest itself negatively in our physical bodies. If we can’t forgive ourselves, then it will be impossible to forgive others impacting our relationships. 

  1. Remind Yourself – No more People Pleasing. 

Have you heard the expression keep your opinions to yourself? Well. That’s the philosophy I was brought up with, as were many of my generations. As a result, I became fearful of what others thought of me. To this end, I expressed no personal opinion of my own in case someone did not agree with me, and I would upset them. To avoid upset, I learned to keep my opinions to myself. Unfortunately, this led me to the weakness of people-pleasing. The problem with this approach is that one forgets what is important in their own life and tends to live ‘through’ other people’s experiences, which I sad.

I began to observe the same behaviors in others and saw what resulted from their lives down the track. Therefore, I decided that I would no longer be a people pleaser and that my opinion does matter. After a struggle of years, much prayer, sweat, and tears, I finally rid myself of such behavior and began to value myself. In valuing myself, I was able to love myself. 

  1. Do Things That Make you Happy.

Someone once said, ‘you were not born to live to just pay the bills then die’.

No, you are more highly valued than that!

If you are happy, you will be more productive, motivated, and fulfilled. So when the alarm sounds, you will bounce out of bed in the morning, ready to begin ad brand new day with its challenges. However, if you are unhappy, you’ll be more likely to pull the covers over your head when the alarm sounds because you just can’t face your day.

If you are happy within yourself, it will become self-evident. You’ll automatically spread positivity, love, and joy, and Others will notice and want to be around you. After all, who wants to cozy up to a grump?

So, think about what makes you happy and ensure you engage with those things regularly. Don’t get so busy that that provides no time to do the things you enjoy. Maintaining happiness takes effort because it is a state of mind, and then doing those things that make you happy will reinforce that attitude.

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

If it was, please follow this blog, you’ll find a button on the lower bottom right and leave a comment with any questions or prayer requests. Also, head over to my other blog www.moonrosemindfulnes.com for lifestyle tips and details of my Course. 

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

 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.

Subscribe to my YOUTUBE CHANNEL, it is free!

Paula is an Ordained Minister, 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.

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You Need THIS if you’re Grieving.

Is it just me or has the first week or so of the year felt more like a month!? Between balancing work, home, and the grief that I am experiencing, there’s a lot with which to cope.

There are many types of grief that we go through throughout our lives.

We grieve because of the loss of a loved one, as I have experienced recently. We grieve over a divorce and, with it, a loss of lifestyle and perhaps family and beloved friends. We grieve when we move house away from family, friends, and all familiarity. We grieve when we lose our job or enter into retirement when we feel we have lost our sense of purpose.

I wrote the book Nothing Good about Grief in the first year of the pandemic. The losses that everyone experienced worldwide were incalculable, which prompted me to share my experience and expertise within the pages of an uncomplicated book packed with information to support you. 

I have revised Nothing Good about Grief and updated its cover. If you have been through grieve, experiencing it now, or supporting somebody who is, then Nothing Good about Grief will aid you through the lowest times in your life. 

Nothing Good about Grief gives you a small insight into my life and how I have managed my grief and found a way through. Steering your way through grief is not easy, but it is essential to living a whole and happy life. 

We can do nothing about the losses that we have experienced, but we can do something about how we will react to those losses. Nothing Good about Grief will help you turn our lemons into lemonade. Nothing Good about Grief helps you heal your devastation and provides hope for a bright future from now on.

No matter your age, Nothing Good about Grief, with its simple format and workshop towards the end of the book, will guide your way through the experience of grief and help you come through that dark valley into the bright sunshine of expectation.

Pick up your copy of Nothing Good about Grief from Amazon now!

Copy & paste this link into your browser or click on the link-    Nothing Good About Grief: from grief to recovery eBook: Rose-Parish, Paula: Amazon.co.uk: Kindle Store.

If you would like more personal support as well, I have a Master of Arts in counselling and coaching, so I am happy to help you through your grief- let me know! 

I’d love to hear from you – for any reason. So hit reply and let me know how are you doing after the first couple of weeks of the year? No, really… how are you doing? We put so much stress on ourselves in these first few weeks of the year with all these goals and habits… and it is ok if you haven’t sorted everything yet. So just let me know, how are you doing?

Talk soon,

Paula Rose💕

If you want some ideas and tools to relieve and manage stress, check out the course on the home page.

Please subscribe (using the pop-up banner as you come onto the site), share, and click on links on the Home Page for more inspiration!  

 If you feel you would like further support, please contact me. Details of How to get in touch with me are found in the top menu above.

Bye for now- and remember live life in Hope, Faith & Love!

Virtual Hugs

Paula Xx

😀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.

Subscribe to my YOUTUBE CHANNEL,  its free!

aula is an Ordained Minister, 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.

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Lessons from the Book of Job 

Prince William, Catherin, and Harry founded a mental health charity after figures showed the number of female suicides rose sharply in 2015.

The number of women who killed themselves rose sharply last year as the number of suicides for England and Wales reached a 20-year high. According to figures released from the Ministry of Justice, there were 3,899 rulings of suicide in coroners’ courts in 2015. This was more than for any 12 months since 1995 when the data series began.

While the number of men who killed themselves fell to 2,997, 23 fewer than in 2014, the statistics for women increased by 70 to 902. The fewest suicides were in 2007 when 3,007 such verdicts were recorded, and the number has risen consistently since then.

What is it that causes a person to take their own life? The easy answer is to say its’ mental illness, shrug our shoulders and move on. But who assesses what mental illness is? By what measuring rod does one assess if a person is mentally ill or not?

I have ministered to perfectly healthy people who outwardly seem successful, and happy but have experienced an acute amount of stress that caused them to despair for their very life. However, these people were not mentally ill. 

I really believe that some people will not admit they feel suicidal for fear of being labeled mentally ill. However, wanting to die in the face of acute stress, illness or circumstances is not so unusual. 

For example, in the book of Job, we read how he wanted to die and cursed the day he was born. The Bible did not label Job as mentally ill, but we see a very human reaction through Jobs’ despair when there seems to be no hope. 

Lessons from Job 

Job can be a difficult book to understand, however, it can help us in our everyday life. I am studying Job in my personal daily quiet time and found it a wonderful insight into the human condition. None of us need to feel ashamed by having such thoughts, even if an attempt to die has been made. Like Job, we are human, and we are weak at times and may feel there’s is no way out of our circumstances expect to die. 

That’s why, just like Job, we need to be in a relationship with God through Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ gives us hope and strength to live each day. Read John chapter 3 & 1 Corinthians as the whole 13th chapter.  

You have Meaning & Purpose.

We were born for a purpose, and that purpose is to love. To be loved by God and love God back and love other human beings. Each of us is unique and very important and much loved by God. We may want to end our life, but God wants us to live life to the full.

 If you haven’t already, give your life to Christ and wait on Him to fill you with His Holy Spirit, and you will have the passion to live out God’s purpose for your life. You will find true meaning and happiness and courage to face the most difficult of circumstances. 

Every day you will be living in God’s strength and not your own. 

Also, if you know someone who is struggling with life, pass this article to them, and pray for them. Be light in someone’s darkness today.

The real problem arises when we don’t know what to do with our troubles. We wonder how on earth do we get through this! And how do we survive this phase of mourning and not allow it to immobilize us in some way? How can we make sense of what is happening?

 This is where the 23rd Psalm helps us. As you read on, I pray that the Holy Spirit of God will minister to you and heal you in this time of grief. Psalm 23 is found in the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament). 

WHAT’S IN A NAME?

It is important to understand who God is. If really difficult to receive healing from someone you know little about. So, let’s take a brief look at the character of God.

So, who is God? There is no name for God as we understand the term to be. God is not a John or an Eric or even a Fred, for example. But what we believe are names for God are actually descriptions of God’s nature, characters, and actions.

For instance, Jehovah-Raah, which means The Lord, my Shepherd. Jehovah is translated as “The Existing One” or “Lord.” It also suggests “to become” or specifically “to become known. This denotes a God who always discloses who He is. A shepherd is the one who feeds or leads his flock to pasture (Ezekiel 34:11-15). An extended translation is “friend” or “companion.” This indicates the intimacy God desires between Himself and His people and can be understood as “The Lord, my Friend.” 

 GOD HAS NO GENDER

I refer to God as Father a lot however it does not indicate that God is a man. To be able to accept help from God. we need to trust who God is and will do what he promised us. Therefore, understanding God will benefit our faith greatly. So here we will briefly discuss who God is. God is Spirit- not a man.

People get hung up on God’s gender, but God has no gender. Why is this so important? I have found that some find it challenging to receive from God because God is a man. Past or current toxic relationships with men cause their relationship with God to become problematic. Therefore, understanding that God has no gender is especially important. 

Well, He’s a father, right? He’s a he – The concept of a genderless God can be confusing.

So let’s take a brief look and see. 

In Christianity, the Hebrew scriptures are referred to as the Old Testament. Here, God is a He. The ‘he’ simply is an allegory for His authority and creativeness. The Hebrew word he is usually not written out, but more understood from the verbal form. Then he is used as a reference to God not to be confused with the Latin HE, which refers to one’s gender.

 All the names of God in the Scripture are simply a description of his actives in creation. By this, we then understand who God is. Therefore, the is He is referring to the Infinite Being (Ain Sof), who is the creator of the universe and is above all divine names. So, God is not a he or she (Numbers 23.19-20). God is a spirit.

Jesus taught us to worship God in spirit and in truth (John 4.24). A spirit is a genderless being who is eternal, beyond time and space. God is the Alpha (the beginning) and the Omega (the end) of all things. Beyond time and space (Revelation 21:6). It is the eternal creator who lives in you by his Holy Spirit so you can succeed, “you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you” Philippians 4.13.

 We could grapple with meanings of words all day, but the vital point to grasp is that God is Yahweh, which means, I Am who I Am. It is not God’s name but describes the Eternal Divine. God in Christ is above all names, in other words, God just IS. God is past, present, and future. God is a timeless, genderless Spirit being whose essence is love.

God The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit exist as One beyond the universe or human imagination and yet present with us in our worst fears and the most profound grief. God shows himself in Christ, on earth. I know it’s mind-blowing, but that same Christ lives in you, who we call, the Holy Spirit. Colossians 1:27-To them, God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 

To place that into today’s understanding – Christ is the matrix of all that is. Christ IN YOU the hope of glory. ( the promise of beauty). How wonderful!

God is also depicted widely in Scripture as having female attributes. This is a beautiful metaphor depicting his nurturing character. We see this clearly in many scriptures, and just for an example here Deut. 32:18 “You forget the rock who begot you, unmindful of the God who gave birth to you“. Here we understand that God is not a rock, but the allegory is used to describe the steadfastness of God’s nature. Likewise, ‘he’ is also used in this way. Job knew the steadfastness of God and place his trust in this infinite being.

In my book ‘NOTHING GOOD ABOUT GRIEF: from grief to recovery’ I go into this in more detail.

 When we know who God is, we come to understand God in Jesus Christ, securing us in our journey through our darkest valley. 

You have meaning & purpose because God loves you and has a wonderful plan for a happy life.

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#99 Conquer the Fear – Trust God and Fulfill Your Dreams!

Available on Amazon

As you know, last year I wrote 2 books that are available on Amazon and scheduled to write another this year.  Starting a new book is far more complex than one would think. With each book, I found that getting in the flow is difficult. However, once that flow begins its like sailing happily downstream. I am dyslexic, so writing for me is a mixed bag. It’s both pleasurable and painful. I pray and ask the Holy Spirit to give me ideas. It may take a little time and starts with a trickle, but then they flow through my brain like fast-flowing water in a river.

The problem is that I need to capture the ideas before they float out of sight. It’s capturing the ideas that are the hard part. Writing them down in some semblance of order is even more challenging. I have toyed with many ideas for my next book for months, but fear has prevented me from making a start. God supplies the ideas, then it’s my task to put them too good use. There’s no point in praying and receiving ideas and doing nothing about them, is there? 

Sometime ago I made a video for my YouTube channel ‘The Christian Lifestyle Channel’ about setting goals. In that video, I share how, as believers, we can tend to leave ‘everything up to God’ then we sit back and do nothing. In sitting back, we think we are being faithful and relying on God. However, we need to understand that Jesus taught us that we are co-workers with him. God, the Holy Spirit, supplies the ideas and the strength and understanding. We need to put all of that together into action. We need to start somewhere. If we don’t begin somewhere, we end up nowhere. 

I have a routine when I do morning pages. The ideas i from Julia Cameron who wrote ‘The Artist Way’. I read through the artist way for guidance and then i write my morning pages. This give me inspiration and semablec eof though helping me to over comes my fear of writing.

In the Artist Way, Julia points out that ‘God will take care of the quality if we supply the quality’.

This is a pulled idea from the Bible which teaches that we work together with Christ in this world to build his kingdom on earth. Sitting back on our laurels is not the luxury we have. If you are a kingdom builder- you need to do just that- BUILD!

When building a house the bricks, mortar and all the other materials and tools that are you needed must be available for you to use, otherwise you can not build the house. Tools are useless unless you use them. Often we take our un-used spiritual tools to polish them, admire them, and carefully put them back into our toolbox for another day. In the meantime, you are not building the kingdom, you are starting nowhere, and the reality is that if you continue, you will end up no-where ! 

Some people think it’s being ‘spiritual’ to wait on God- and to wait on God- and to wait on God (whew!) years pass, and they are still waiting on God! The only result is that we get thoroughly worn out in our waiting. We misinterpret what waiting is, and in all our waiting- we end up being redundant in the kingdom. 

I am talking to myself as much as I am talking to you about this. Don’t let fear dictate your goals, today, I began somewhere to plan my next book. I seriously began. I set up a particular process folder, outlined my chapters and researched different cover designs. Writing this post is giving me accountability because now I have shared this with you, I need to continue to move forward in the book writing process. Then I can continue to share with you what I am doing in my life authentically. 

I am in the last part of my life, and due to circumstances that I will share with you at another time, I had to reinvent myself. Part of the reinvention is becoming an author. I learnt a very long time ago that life is for living, not for just existing. Jesus promises us abundant life and calls us to build his kingdom, and it’s up to us to put it into action. So I encourage you, don’t let fear dictate what you will do and what you will not. Follow your dreams by overcoming you fear and trusting in the ONE who supplies all the tools you need.

I hope my sharing has been of help to you and I wonder, what will you do with your visions and dreams? Will you let them float forever in the forgotten realms in your head, or will you begin somewhere, will you begin now? Let me know where you are in achieving your Goals,

Until next time- Live Life on Purpose in Hope. Faith. Love

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Happy New Year 2019!

I want to thank you for the lovely cards and well wishes I received from you over Christmas, much appreciated, and I look forward to fellowshipping with you this year, please contact me to make a time for me to visit with you. The Christmas season can be a wonderful time and is still here until Epiphany arrives on the 6th January.  Somehow, I don’t think we consider the 12 days of Christmas from 25 Dec -5 Jan; which can be a time to regroup after a hectic Christmas holiday. Jesus told us to give no thought for tomorrow – Matthew 6:34 Therefore don’t worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. But he’s is NOT saying don’t plan. He is talking about the unknown that tomorrow might bring and worrying about it and missing the blessings of today. He is talking about living in the NOW, enjoying this moment because you will never experience this moment, this day ever again. Jeremiah 29:1 says… For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. So, God is into plans, and our plans should match His for us so we can be happy.

I belong to a health club. Each year they bring in new gym equipment, I guess to keep the people interested. The place is packed out in January, but come February, things get back to normal and my guess is that most people have given up on their New Year’s resolutions- to get thinner, fitter and healthier. There is nothing wrong with New Year’s resolutions because it’s all about a fresh start, I made some and many of us try hard to keep them. The good news is that with each new year, comes an opportunity for a fresh start. But then, this is so each week. Every Sunday is the first day of the week which affords us a new beginning and we can put the past week well and truly behind us. Learning from its lessons and starting again for a new week afresh. Indeed, we could go further and say Gods mercies are New Every morning, Lamentations 3:22-23. The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. And we see this pattern in the first three words in the Bible – in the beginning – there is a new start from the dawn of time, from chaos to light. In Gods’ world, there’s always a beginning, no matter if it’s the first, second third or more!

For many of us, 2019 is a blank page. You may have some appointments, holidays and plans in your new diary, but by and large, it’s not all filled in. So, what are you going to do with this time, this gift of time given to all of us? We could squander it, or we could use it for Gods glory while drawing on His new mercies every morning. It starts with us giving our all to God. Ask God to be your time clock, for His will to be done for the day. Then you will find, come hell or high water that it is all in his plan. Maybe you are being tested and need to learn something that no other circumstance can teach. Having said that, I don’t believe God tests us with sickness or disease, and there are several good theological reasons why I say that, however, God does use all circumstances and will turn them around for our good if we give it to Him and trust Him. Whatever happens this year, Christ is all in all and loves You very much- give him a go and see yourself grow, in faith, love, a hope of a bright tomorrow. The fresh start may be a part of His loving plan as you put yourself in his loving hand, today, tomorrow and all year long!

God bless you all and Happy New Year!!!