Comfort and Hope Come Through Grace.

Luke 20:27-38 https://www.bible.com/bible/1/LUK.20.27-38.KJV8

2 Thess 2:13-17 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2%20Thessalonians%202%3A13-17&version=NIV

                     “And no one dared to ask him any more questions.”

That must have come as a great relief to Jesus in that he had lately been pummelled with one tricky query after the next. 

If ever there was a group of people who were invested in the so-called “Gotcha” kind of question, the religious authorities of Jesus’ day were it. 

FIRSTLY, The point that is made here is with just 2 brothers marrying the same woman, but just for effect, the Sadducees crank up the scenario to seven grooms for one woman, which alludes to an OT story. 

This scenario is almost childish.  It’s the kind of thing my kids would have done when they were about 9 years old, exaggerating the point just to get your attention.  

The purpose of the Sadducee’s question was to mock Jesus.

 If you think that someone has silly ideas or a stupid stance on a given issue, then one way to reveal your opinion is to construct an absurd scenario and try to force the other person to enter it while trying to answer your question.  It’s a sinful thing to do, and it’s unfair.  

The Sadducees thought the idea of resurrection to be foolish.

Since Jesus was a prominent teacher, they thought it would be fun and instructive to publicly humiliate him and so they invented their over-the-top scenario that exploited the old Israelite practice of marriage.

Jesus, of course, wriggles out of the question by challenging its entire premise.  

The Sadducees wanted to make resurrection look senseless by showing the impracticality of what to do with people who had been married more than once in this life.  

Jesus simply challenges them that marriage as we now know it has nothing to do with life in the kingdom of God.

 Essentially Jesus said, “Whoever told you marriage would be part of life in a post-resurrection existence?”  That left the Sadducees with egg on their faces.

SECONDLY, In preaching on this text, there is a temptation to make it some kind of textbook on sexuality and marriage in the kingdom of God.  It seems likely, however, that if we make too much of Jesus’ words here on marriage in the kingdom, we will be guilty of the error of the Sadducees all over again.  

That is, we will believe things that are not explicitly taught.  We are probably better off saying no more than what Jesus teaches here, which is that we should not assume that life in the kingdom of God will be just like life here.  

Yes, there is good biblical evidence for the idea that the kingdom will include a new earth and so we should not always envision heaven (as we tend to do) as some ghostly, non-physical domain that will be devoid of mountains, rivers, clouds, and songbirds.

But even so, we need to remember that the mysteries are yet to be revealed. We need to understand exactly what our bodies and being will be like in the life to come, which is not clear.

 What we need to be content with, is the line in Luke 20:36 where Jesus reminds us that we will be “God’s children” in that life to come.  And if that is not enough for us, I don’t know what would be!

                                       “And no one dared ask him any more questions.”

It probably was a relief for Jesus to get to that point. 

Thirdly,         2 Thess 2:13-17 This is where God grounds us.

Paul reminds us that God loves us. God has given us eternal comfort and good hope through grace. Paul prays for “eternal comfort” and “good hope”. This comfort is unbreakable, and from eternity past to forever more. What will be in the future- will be and we can’t alter it.

But here and now- Our hope is in God’s promise to save and glorify us in the resurrection with Christ. God is good on his promises. This hope is certain, sure and it is true. We can rest on it. This comfort and hope come through grace.

We rest on God’s grace towards undeserving sinners. We have comfort even in the attack of chaos because God’s grace is behind our salvation.

We have a sure hope of God completing his salvation because God’s grace is behind it.

LASTLY,

If you wondered how you are going to stand firm all the way, remember that it is by God’s grace, we have no hope in ourselves….. HC…….

We will hold fast. The resurrection is by God’s grace… Paul is most concerned with our hearts. He prays for us to be divinely comforted and established in good works. We too can pray this way today, that our hearts are comforted by God, and we be used for every good work and word by God to the glory of Christ.

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 Paula Rose Parish💕

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Sowing Seeds of Hope, Love, and Faith.

Christ calls us to take the Gospel to everyone––even to sinners such as the woman at the well––and to witness to Christ as the woman did after her encounter with Jesus. Jesus demonstrates His care for all, regardless of their social standing. We can also be inspired by the Samaritan woman’s excitement in sharing the good news of Jesus

SCRIPTURE:  John 4:5-42   

Having moved into my own home, I used my holidays to decorate and sort the small courtyard behind my house. I love trees. In the suburb where I grew up in Australia, the streets in my suburb were utterly tree-less; however, many were planted in people’s back gardens. I think there are not many trees because of the scarcity of water, and trees need lots of water. Local councils didn’t want the residents to waste their water, particularly during times of drought, for those who did, were issued heavy fines. So, when I came to Wales Uk to live, I was so pleased to see the trees everywhere!

I bought a house in Wales, where I am surrounded by beautiful Parks, a river, mountains lined with trees, and a sandy beach.

I love trees and enjoy looking at them, so I bought two big pots and a lot of potting soil, bought a cherry tree and an apple tree, and planted them. New buds form within a few days, and fruit appeared after 3 years. I am looking forward to them producing some fruit for me in years to come. I chose cherry because cherries are expensive to buy in the shops, and I really enjoy cherries, and they’ve got very high antioxidant properties being a dark fruit. Usually, apples are easy to grow, and I can do all sorts of things with apples like apple pie, sauce, and much more an added bonus, apples are very high in vitamin C. Then I got thinking about apples and cherries because they have seeds.    

SEEDS AND NEW LIFE   

A traditional gift for a teacher from the student is an apple. Think about a good teacher that you may have had. A good teacher plant seeds of ideas in our thinking and helps us explore those ideas, and they explain things to us in an exciting way. A good teacher is a teacher because they love to teach and want to help the student be all they can be and pursue a successful future.

Most teachers never know what the results of their teaching will be. It takes many years for the student to mature and become an adult. During that time, they will discover their interests and talents and decide how to use them. A good teacher plants a seed, in their student’s mind, and years later, others will see the results of that teacher’s work, and the teacher may never know the outcome of their student’s life. 

WE ALL HAVE A PURPOSE IN THIS LIFE – John 4:5-42

Jesus talks about this idea in (4:37)- He says, “One sow and another reaps” – one person plants the seed, and another person may harvest the fruit. So, when we say something helpful to another person or do something kind, it is planting a seed of God’s love. 

We may never know the result; we may never know the outcome of that planted seed. However, we can be sure that there will be a good result when we work with God’s love. This is what we are focusing on in this text today: Sowing Seeds of hope, love, and faith.

JESUS AND THE OUTSIDERS

Briefly looking at the context, we find that Jews had little to do with Samaritans. Ever felt like an outsider? I have many times. Jews considered Samaritans as outsiders who hold little worth.

Samaritans were hated so much by the Jews that they tended to avoid even travelling through Samaria. But Jesus didn’t share this hatred towards Samaritans. He travelled from Judea to Galilee to go through Samaria rather than bypassing it. He was not trying to save time, but Jesus continually sought out the outcasts, the outsider of society––the tax collectors, the prostitutes, the lepers, all those who were considered to have little worth. Jesus loves all people regardless of how others may devalue a certain section of society, Jesus accepts them.

THE WOMAN AT THE WELL

Travelling left Jesus exhausted, and hot and he needed a rest and a drink of water. So, when Jesus came to a little town in Samaria he stopped at the local well for a drink. As Jesus approached the well, he discovered a lone woman drawing water.

Usually, women came to the well in the mornings and evenings, but this woman came at noon. It was very hot at noon, but she was alone at the well and free to draw water without ridicule. But today, a strange man approached. It was not suitable for men to converse with women in this culture. The rule was,

 “Let no man talk with a woman in the street, no, not even with his wife.”

Jesus spoke and ministered to the woman and in doing so, he was getting rid of old Jewish prejudices and rivalries that were held against the Samaritan people.  Jesus addressed the discrimination of women, particularly toward women who were regarded as sinners. God is spirit, so our worship cannot be confined to a particular place or a particular people. God is everywhere, so He can be worshipped everywhere by all people. True worship is an affair of the heart.

WOMAN MATTER

After the conversation with Jesus, the Samaritan woman left her water jar at the well and excitedly ran into the city to tell the people there of her conversation with Jesus. “Come, see a man who told me everything I did. Can this be the Christ?” (v. 29).  Many people “believed in Jesus BECAUSE OF THE WORD OF THE WOMAN” (v. 39). How amazing! In that time and place, people didn’t take a woman’s word very seriously. 

Until Jesus came along, this woman was practically invisible; no one would have sent her into town as their spokeswoman. But her contact with Jesus transformed her life and status in the community. The people heard her and said, “You are right. This is the saviour of the world” (the meaning of v. 42).

SOULS MATTER

William Booth, the founder of the Salvation Army, said: ‘Go for souls and go for the worst’.

 That’s what Jesus did when he turned this so-called outcast into a well-received evangelist. 

Jesus planted seeds of hope, love, and faith in her heart, and she received them, and she let those seeds grow to where she acted and shared her story.

 Jesus does that. He changes people’s lives, and we do that too, we are seed planters, and if God wishes, we help to grow those seeds by protecting and nurturing them – and we may or may not see the final result.

Jesus especially loves to help outcasts because they most need help, and so should we.

 The late Billy Graham said:

“Jesus stopped dying on the cross long enough to answer the prayer of a thief. 

 He stopped in a big crowd one day because a WOMAN touched the hem of His garment,

 and He’ll stop to touch your life, change you, and forgive you – that’s Good News”!

CHURCH MATTERS

As the church, we are Christ’s hands for service in this world, and he uses you and me to do his work, to change people’s lives: How?

   • We plant the seeds of Christ each time we CARE;

   • We plant the seeds of Christ each time we LISTEN;

   • We plant the seeds of Christ each time we REACH OUT;

   • We plant the seeds of Christ each time we TOUCH EACH OTHER IN LOVE.

A quote from John Wesley “The Church has nothing else to do but to save souls; therefore, be devoted to this work. It is your business to bring as many sinners as possible to repentance”.

This week let us resolve to allow God to plant seeds of hope, faith, and love to fill us with His Spirit so we might plant the same seeds in the life of others.

Let us pray that we will touch lives with seeds of hope, love, and faith this week and see the transforming love of Christ in action!

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

 Paula Rose Parish💕

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The Inexhaustible Love of Jesus Christ

 

Luke 19: 1-10   

When you were a child, did you sing this song in Sunday school? I never went to Sunday school regularly so I didn’t know this song at all.

It’s a catchy tune, and children seem to love it.

Zacchaeus was a wee little man, A wee little man was he, 

He climbed up in a sycamore tree For the Lord he wanted to see. 

And as the Saviour passed that way, He looked up in the tree, 

And He said, “Zacchaeus, you come down, For I’m going to your house today, For I’m going to your house today.” 

Folk tells me they loved that song and found the thought of a wee little man amusing. 

We loved it, in part, because the wee little man–small like us–was the hero of the story. 

They sang about the “wee little man,” we held our thumb and forefinger about an inch apart to show how small he was. 

it is an amusing, happy story:

  • Amusing, because it involves a short but rich man climbing a tree to see Jesus. 
  • Happy, because it shows Jesus welcoming this man whom nobody else liked.  It says that Jesus saved him–brought salvation to his house–restored him to be a son of Abraham. 
  • And it is also a happy story because of the last verse.  In the last verse of the story, Jesus talks about you and me.  Listen to what he says: 

“For the Son of Man came to seek and to save that which was lost” (v. 10). 

That’s you.  That’s me.  We were lost.  Jesus came to save us. 

Of course, in this story, Jesus was referring to Zacchaeus, who was lost.  Zacchaeus was a tax collector and was probably dishonest.  People hated him.

If we needed reasons to hate Zacchaeus, we could surely find them.  Zacchaeus had probably gotten rich by overcharging poor people. 

But God didn’t want to damn Zacchaeus to hell.  God wanted to SAVE him!  That is the happiest part of this story.  Zacchaeus didn’t deserve to be saved, but God WANTED to save him.  We know that because of something that Jesus said.  When Jesus spotted Zacchaeus up in the sycamore tree, he said: 

“Zacchaeus, hurry and come down, for today I must stay at your house” (v. 5). 

For Jesus to single out Zacchaeus conferred great honour on Zacchaeus.  Jesus was popular.  People loved him.  People wanted to hear him–to touch him–to get near enough to him so that even his shadow would touch them. 

Jesus was a great celebrity.  For him to go to Zacchaeus’ home was like having the King come to lunch.  It was hard to imagine such an honour.  It would have been especially hard for Zacchaeus to imagine that Jesus would come to his house because everyone knew that Zacchaeus was a sinner. 

 If Jesus were going to honour someone with a visit, surely, he would honour a saint!  But no!  Jesus decided to honour this sinner!  Amazing! 

 Jesus Fulfils His Ministry

Jesus explained his visit this way.  He said, “Zacchaeus…, today I MUST stay at your house.” 

This little word, “must,” is important.  In the original Greek, the word is dei (pronounced day-ee).  Dei suggests a Godly duty.  When Jesus says that he MUST stay at Zacchaeus’ house today, he means that God has called him to do this. 

It was God’s providence when that Jesus spotted Zacchaeus sitting up in the sycamore tree. Just as Zacchaeus was trying to see Jesus, Jesus was trying to see Zacchaeus.  Jesus was looking for Zacchaeus, because he had a God-given duty to seek him and to save him. 

The crowd didn’t get it.  They grumbled, “He has gone into stay with a man who is a sinner” (v. 7).

But Zacchaeus got it!  When he realized what Jesus was doing for him, he welcomed Jesus with JOY! 

The Greek translation says that Lazarus welcomed Jesus with JOY!  Zacchaeus could hardly imagine that Jesus would honour him by visiting his house, and his heart was full of JOY! 

And then Zacchaeus, in his great JOY, said: 

“Behold, Lord, half of my goods I give to the poor. If I have wrongfully exacted anything of anyone, I restore four times as much.” (v. 8). 

We are in chapter 19 of Luke.  In chapter 18, Luke talked about Jesus’ encounter with another rich man–a rich man who refused Jesus–a rich man who loved his money more than he loved Jesus–a rich man who went away sad when Jesus told him to give his money to the poor. 

Now Luke tells us this story about Zacchaeus, another rich man–but one who loves Jesus–a man who in his JOY at meeting Jesus decides to do something that Jesus has not even asked. 

  • He VOLUNTEERS to give half of his money to the poor, because he loves Jesus more than he loves money. 
  • He loves Jesus because of the JOY that Jesus has given him by singling him out–because of the JOY that Jesus has given him by coming to his house–because of the JOY that Jesus has given him by loving him. 

Then Jesus says, “Today salvation has come to this house” (v. 9).  TODAY!  Not tomorrow!  Not next week!  Not in the eternal hereafter!  But TODAY!  It has already happened.  Zacchaeus has been saved–restored as a son of Abraham–restored as a child of God. 

Today salvation has come

And it isn’t just Zacchaeus who was saved.  Jesus says, “Today salvation has come to this house.”  He means that Zacchaeus’ family has been saved too. 

Jesus even lays the groundwork for the salvation of the community.  They will see that Zacchaeus means business.  They will see him give money to the poor.  They will see him make restitution.  They will see him begin to treat them fairly.  They will begin to trust him.  This rich and powerful man will become an honoured, beloved member of the community. 

Who knows what wonderful things he will do!  That is part of what Jesus means when he says, “Today salvation has come to this house.” 

And then, in the last verse, Jesus explains.  He says, “For the Son of Man came to seek out and to save the lost.”  That’s Jesus’ job!  That’s Jesus’ calling! 

  • The Lord started seeking to save us before the creation of the world (See John 1:1-18) 
  • the Lord has been seeking us since BEFORE the day that he separated the waters from the dry land–since BEFORE the day that he set the sun in the sky. 
  • The Lord has been seeking us since BEFORE the beginning of time. 
  • He has been seeking to move us from the Kingdom of Darkness to the Kingdom of JOY! 

And Jesus has been seeking you!

  The Lord needs to seek out to save the lost–and you were lost–so he is seeking you.  He is seeking to move you from the Kingdom of Darkness to the Kingdom of JOY! So, respond to him with joy.

Lord Jesus, this is my simple prayer to you. I know that I am a sinner and that I often fall short of the glory of God. No longer will I close the door when I hear You knocking. By faith, I gratefully receive Your gift of salvation. I’m ready to trust You as my Lord and Savior. Thank You, Lord Jesus, for coming to Earth. I believe You are the Son of God who died on the cross for my sins and rose from the dead on the third day. Thank You for Your forgiveness of sins and for giving me the gift of eternal life. I invite Jesus to come into my heart and be my Savior. In the name of Jesus, Amen. 

Sinner’s prayer for salvation

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Is Regular Bible Study Important to Your Spirituality?

 Appreciate the Importance of Study

I have been a believer in Christ since 1976 and a Minister of Word and Sacrament since 1980. Over the past 30 years or so, I have lived and ministered in different countries and cultures. Christians cross-culturally share many things in common, one of which is the struggle to adhere to regular Bible study.

In this post, I share a study I wrote many years ago for a small group that met each week. These folk were hungry to learn more of the Bible; however, those attending this Bible study comprised 1% of the congregation.

As I talk to my Minister/Clery colleagues, this is a common problem. So the question remains and can not be answered quickly: How do we motivate people to engage in serious, regular Bible study?

I hope this short article may hold a few answers for you.

People must be motivated before they will study a subject. Christians have all the reasons they could possibly need to study the Bible. Consider a few. As you do, note the emphasis on regular, frequent study.

#1: Study so you can obey God and grow in His service.

Joshua 1:8 – Success in pleasing God requires obedience. To obey, we must meditate on God’s word day and night. Frequent, regular study is required.

1 Peter 2:2 – Can a baby grow without nourishment? No, and neither can Christians grow without Bible study. Do we long for the word like a baby longs for milk if we neglect to attend assemblies or study at home?

(See also 2 Tim. 2:15; Rom. 10:17; Matt. 4:4; John 6:44,45; 2 Peter 1:12-15.)

#2: Study so you can avoid error and false teaching.

Hosea 4:6 – God’s people were destroyed for lack of knowledge. Many Christians and congregations have been led astray by error and false teaching. To avoid this we must put teachers to the test (1 John 4:1,6). How do we do this unless we know God’s word (Gal. 1:8,9)?

Acts 17:11 – The Bereans distinguished truth from error because they studied the word. To imitate their example, we must study “daily.”

(See also Matt. 22:29; 15:14; Prov. 2:1-20; Rom. 10:1-3.)

#3: Study so you can teach others.

Deuteronomy 6:6-9 – Parents should teach their children diligently through the day. This requires us to first have God’s word in our own hearts. How can we teach what we do not know?

Hebrews 5:12 – The time comes when we ought to be teachers, but these had not studied so they needed others to teach them! There is no excuse for Christians who do not study. Teachers know they need to study. If you are not a teacher, you must study to prepare yourself to become a teacher!

(See also 2 Tim. 2:2; 1 Tim. 1:7; 1 Peter 3:15; Col. 3:16; Rom. 15:14.)

#4: Study to express love for God and His word. Psalm 1:2; 119:47,48,97-99 – One who delights in God’s word will meditate on it day and night. The time we spend thinking about God’s word indicates how much we love Him. Those who truly love Him will not complain about “having to go” to worship services or prepare for Bible classes. (See Psalm 19:7-11.)

John 14:15 – If we love God, we keep His commands (cf. 1 John 5:3). But obedience requires knowledge. So one who loves God must study His word.

Look at it this way, suppose a young lady is separated from her boyfriend. He writes every day, so she prominently displays his letters on the coffee table. But they sit there for days before she opens and reads them. Does she really love him? No, we want to hear from those we love. The Bible is your only way to hear from God. How much do you love Him? If we studied all subjects as negligently as some people study the Bible, we would surely be ignorant people. On the other hand, if we would study the Bible as diligently as some people study sports, hobbies, etc., we would all be excellent Bible students. How much more important is it to understand the Bible than to understand secular subjects?

WHAT DO YOU THINK?

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

 Finding the Right Path

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

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

Doing What’s Right and Just

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

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

Follow the Leader

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

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

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

Much love, Paula Rose Parish

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Abandonment- Life Can Be Scary -Paula Rose Parish Story

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

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

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

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

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

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

Be Wise in What You Do

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

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

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

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

Exodus 20 New International Version

The Ten Commandments

20 And God spoke all these words:

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

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

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

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

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

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

13 “You shall not murder.

14 “You shall not commit adultery.

15 “You shall not steal.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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What does it mean that Psalm 23:1b says that ‘I shall not want?

This is an extract from CHAPTER 3 of the book I wrote called Psalm 23 Unwrapped available on Amazon- Enjoy!

I Have All I Need

We have explored the God is our Shepherd in the first part of verse one. Now we will examine the second part and ask the question – why do we have no need?

 Needs are a part of our human existence. From the time we draw in our first breath to our last, we have needs. Humanity has one main thing in common, and that is to fulfill our needs so we can survive and thrive. When David says “I shall not want” he is acknowledging how completely reliant he is on God as his Shepherd. “I shall not want” because God, as a good shepherd, will ensure I have everything I need. “I shall not want,” not because of what I have done or can do, but because God loves me. “I shall not want” because I know God personally as Shepherd. This is comforting indeed and makes sense in the light of the first part of this verse. However, what might this look like in the highs and lows of everyday life? 

Social scientists, Medics, philosophers, and theologians alike, tell us that the fundamental human needs are not recognized as every little individual need, but as a category of needs. It is generally recognized that there are seven categories of basic human needs, as shown below. These needs are interrelated and form a system that may look slightly different for each individual, and yet these needs are the same in all humans across all cultures and at all times. People in different periods of life will fall at various places on the scale of needs. This is the reason why there is no set order, which is why I have not numbered them. However, to remember what these  categories are, the categories of requirements are represented by S.U.C.C.E.S.S,

Subsistence

Understanding and growth

Connection and love

Contribution

Esteem and Identity

Self-governance (Autonomy)

Significance and purpose

I will take the point individually to untangle their meaning, determine the relevance to us, and where verse 1b fits into all this. You will find the meaning of the other points in my book, Psalm 23 Unwrapped available on Amazon

Subsistence is the need for survival, safety, security, self-care, structure, and control. Generally, it incorporates everything needed to sustain life. This includes physiological needs like food, water, air, breathing, excretion, reproduction, warmth, shelter, rest, and sleep. Personal security, work, resources, property, and health are the to thrive. It also covers self-care needs, like leisure, entertainment, healthcare, etc.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, cases of depression, alcohol and drug abuse, and suicide have significantly increased across the world. In order to survive and thrive, we have the need to control the structure of our lives making us feel safe and secure. During the pandemic, we have experienced imposed locked downs and unwanted social restrictions. The control and structure of daily life have, on the most part, been taken away, which has increased our vulnerability to negative influences. Therefore, finding help to put back a secure structure of some kind is especially important. It has been said that people search for meaning in religion at the most vulnerable times in their lives. This is true. 

We need to accept that our need for control and certainty is always unsettled because we live in an ever-changing world. The only thing we can guarantee is that change will happen. The people around us and our environment are always changing, and we can become exhausted with it all. However, change can be of benefit, and very often, it is not until we run out of our own resources do, we then search for something outside of ourselves, and many people look to God.

Jesus taught the eight beatitudes, which are in essence, about beautiful attitudes. We find these in the gospel of Matthew:1-12. Beatitude 1 v 3 says this… “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “

The poor in spirit are those who feel a deep sense of spiritual destitution and need before God, and so recognize the need for God’s intervention in their lives. Another word for this is ‘humble’. Humbleness is an intentional approach to gaining meaning and purpose. The kingdom of heaven is theirs, because they seek it, and therefore find and abide in it. In order to find the kingdom of God, there must be the emptiness of self (ego) before there can be fullness, and so poverty of spirit precedes riches and grace in the kingdom of God. So, in a sense, we have no need.

The Lord, who is our Shepherd, becomes and provides all that we need. This is because we have put God in control of our lives, so the supply emanates from within that divine relationship. In other words, we have placed our subsistence issues in God’shands. We are following the Shepherd despite the dark valleys of life. Consequently, we feel secure and safe. We adopt the conviction of needing nothing because the Lord is the Shepherd taking care of things, giving us a personal sense of life meaning and a greater sense of individual agency.

Pause and think about your life and experiences to find a unique sense of life purpose and significance. It might be worth to give it some thought to how your Shepherd is providing for you.

Why is Significance and Purpose, Important to your Life?

Please enjoy this excerpt from my Book called Psalm 23 Unwrapped💕Available on Amazon!

We all need meaning, purpose, and the pursuit of a goal more significant than the self.

“Man’s search for meaning is the primary motivation in his life” Victor Frankl

The inner ache of the heart is to find meaning and purpose in life.” Ravi Zacharias

“He who has a why to live can bear almost any how.” – Friedrich Nietzsche.

Viktor Frankl was an Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist, as well as a Holocaust survivor. Frankl was the founder of logotherapy, which is a form of existential analysis that is focused on the meaning of human existence as well as on man’s search for meaning. His work became popular and was publicized in his classic book, Man’s Search for Meaning, it illustrates the significance and universality of meaning as a motivating force in human life.

The need for meaning is a powerful and fundamental human need. We cannot thrive without significance and purpose; it gets us up out of bed in the morning. Nietzsche’s’ work outlines this, and his work is readily accepted among academics.

Nietzsche, however, did not hypothesize anything new. His thesis echoes the Biblical principles of significant meaning. The concept of significant meaning is an age-old need that is in-built in all of us. It’s worth noting here that if we are created in God’s image, and we need a love connection and significant meaning, then God needs that as well. This might be why he took to the task of creating and keeping in touch with his handiwork – how do you view this?

 One thing is for sure in order to find a healthy way of life that is lasting, you must believe that you are valued and very much loved. The Shepherd values you and you are very much loved and wants you to be free to love yourself and others. Each of us is unique and made in God-image. Whether we realize it or not, we are connected to our Creator, to each other, and to all of creation, giving us joy, meaning, and purpose.

Each of us is incredibly special and loved by God, our lives have deep intrinsic value; therefore, we need to value and love ourselves. This means looking after ourselves and asking for help when needed. We hear so much about loving our neighbor, but how often do we hear about loving ourselves?

You are of immense value and a significant human being in time and history. Today is yours, you are created for a particular purpose, so go and find it. The real you, the true self, naturally strive toward this end. 

Why we are a Greedy western society- Need or Greed?

This is a short expert from my book, Psalm 23 Unwrapped, available from Amazon to give you a flavor of the content- enjoy!

How can I tell if it’s a Need or just Greed?

If we have all that we need, why do we keep gathering those things to ourselves that we think we think are necessary?

I think we can have a distorted view of what our needs really are. These days we are bombarded with advertising that sells us stuff that we are told we need before we knew we needed it! We have grown up with continual advertising negatively affecting our psyche. Marketing is part of our moment-by-moment lives and we are so accustomed to it, that we respond quite unconsciously to advertising. In fact, social science confirms that we very rarely buy something unless we have been sold the idea at least 5 to 7 times.

We usually do not respond to advertisements unless we are inundated with pictures of that beautiful item that we didn’t know we needed. The item pushed on us may be a little bit outside of our budget, but we disregard that. Our heart starts pounding, and we respond somewhat emotionally. We convince ourselves with self-talk like-

 ‘Well, perhaps I do need this, perhaps this would help me to make my life easier, or maybe this will make me happierAll my friends have this, so perhaps I really do need this.’

Having persuaded ourselves, we take ourselves down to the shops, or we click the buy button on our laptops, and before you know it, we are a little poorer than we were 5mins ago. The day comes when our parcel arrives, or we walk out of the shop, and we look at this beautiful thing wondering what the heck am I going to do with it?!!

We are all familiar with this kind of lifestyle, it is very typical of our modern lives, which often leaves us dissatisfied. We try to fulfill our category of needs through ‘things’, but it doesn’t work. We find ourselves wanting more, striving for more. We get ourselves in debt, so we have difficulty sleeping at night with worry. We assure ourselves that we need more and more to justify our spending. Perhaps we have lost the real sense of the word – need

Is that the true meaning of Psalm 23:1b I shall not want? I think not. There is a saying that there is a fine line between need and greed and are spelled remarkably similar. We do not really hear about the word greed very much, and most of us don’t like to consider ourselves as being greedy. After all, it is not the thing to be. It is not a desirable trait to have. So, we never really think about greed very much at all. But in actuality, that is what most of us struggle with – greed.

 We are a greedy society and encouraged to be so through advertising. Greed is when you are not satisfied with the perfectly good things that you have, and you want more, and more, and more – and more!

 Advertisers tell us what we need, and some people will do absolutely anything to get more. The scary thing is that some folks will commit murder or robbery, and all sorts of other horrible things to get what they think that they need, but really, it is under the guise of greed.

So, if I shall not want has nothing to do with greed, what does it really mean then? I invite you to read my book to find out!

So, -what will you do now?-Read this.

David started out in life as a humble shepherd, and his needs were limited compared to ours today. David did not need a mansion, a washing machine, or a car, all he needed was food, water, green pastures, rest, and safety for his sheep. He needed a safe place away from the bears, wolves, and the other beasties that were lurking around looking for a lamb chop.

David Loved his Sheep

David was concerned, not for his own well-being, but for that of his sheep. He loved his sheep, and he will ensure that they are fed and watered, rested, and kept safe because they were his livelihood. If David had lost his sheep, he would be unable to put food on the table. David worked to provide for their essential needs and ultimately trusts God to supply.  This reflects God’s mindset toward us. He loves his sheep, and he will ensure that they are fed and watered, rested and kept safe.

 So, what has the humble Shepherd of Psalm 23 got to do with us, in our modern time? Well, that answer is found in the word- need. What do you need? I know for me; I need my gas and my electricity to be paid. So, I need to keep my job. My mortgage payments need to be consistent throughout the year to keep a roof over my head. I have bills for water and for council tax to pay for folk to take away my rubbish and keep the streets clean. I need food – good healthy fresh food, to restore my body and to keep it healthy. I need rest and exercise to keep my body revitalized and healthy. I need to have fun and relaxation and a consistent spirituality. I need all these things to be healthy and safe in my mind, body, and soul. Being able to provide for oneself, fosters a worry-free life.

David our Example

David started out in life as a humble shepherd, and his needs were limited compared to ours today. David did not need a two-storey mansion, a washing machine, or a car, all he needed was food, water, green pastures, rest, and safety for his sheep. He needed a safe place away from the bears, wolves, and the other beasties that were lurking around looking for a lamb chop.

David was concerned, not for his own well-being, but for that of his sheep. He loved his sheep, and he will ensure that they are fed and watered, rested, and kept safe because they were his livelihood. I David had lost his sheep, he would be unable to put food on the table. David worked to provide for their essential needs and ultimately trusts God to supply.  This reflects God’s mindset toward us. He loves his sheep, and he will ensure that they are fed and watered, rested and kept safe.

A Lesson for Us

 So, what has the humble Shepherd of Psalm 23 got to do with us, in our modern time? Well, that answer is found in the word- need. What do you need? I know for me; I need my gas and my electricity to be paid. So, I need to keep my job. My mortgage payments need to be consistent throughout the year to keep a roof over my head. I have bills for water and for council tax to pay for folk to take away my rubbish and keep the streets clean. I need food – good healthy fresh food, to restore my body and to keep it healthy. I need rest and exercise to keep my body revitalised and healthy. I need to have fun and relaxation and a consistent spirituality. I need all these things to be healthy and safe in my mind, body, and soul. Being able to provide for oneself, fosters a worry-free life.

 I have a car; I need the car taxed, MOT and serviced annually and make necessary repairs. My need is to put fuel in my car so it can be in regular use. What else do I need? I need the love and the fellowship of family and friends. I need to feel good about myself and develop healthy attitudes like self-esteem, desire for personal development, and that sort of thing. I need to have a holiday every now and then to recharge my batteries. Well, I have a perfectly good car, it meets my travel needs. However, if I were to deeply desire another car I don’t really need it, but I want it for my own ego, because my friends have one like it, so I want one. Maybe I must have it because it’s a status symbol and makes me look good, I want it because of its luxury mod-cons do I have a need? No, I do not. Why? The reason that I don’t need another car is that I have already got a perfectly good car that gets me from A to B.

Another example might be that I have a two-bedroomed terraced house in South Wales. It is not a prominent place. It has a ridiculously small garden which is sufficient for me and easy to look after. It is not everybody’s cup of tea, but everybody does not live in it. I think my house is quaint, others may think it’s just old; however, I like it. I have lovely neighbors with who I enjoy chatting, and I feel safe and secure in my neighborhood. However, on the downside, it is around about 100 years old. My home and garden need a lot of repairs and renovation. Now, I could want and desire a different house, a bigger house, one that is newer, a house in an upmarket estate. Do I need it? No! Why?

Well, I have a home that shelters me, a place to work, rest, a place to enjoy and so I can express my gifts and talents. It is a place where I can be me. I have what I need, and my basic needs are met, so I am content. This is what David meant when he said he has no need.

What Are Your Needs?

What else do I need? I need the love and the fellowship of family and friends. I need to feel good about myself and develop healthy attitudes like self-esteem, desire for personal development, and that sort of thing. I need to have a holiday every now and then to recharge my batteries. Well, I have a perfectly good car, it meets my travel needs. However, if I were to deeply desire another car I don’t really need it, but I want it for my own ego, because my friends have one like it, so I want one. Maybe I must have it because it’s a status symbol and makes me look good, or I want it because of its luxury mod-cons. Do I have a need? No, I do not. Why? The reason that I don’t need another car is that I have already owned a perfectly good car that gets me from A to B.

Another example might be that I have a two-bedroomed terraced house in South Wales. It is not a prominent place. It has a ridiculously small garden which is sufficient for me and easy to look after. It is not everybody’s cup of tea, but everybody does not live in it. I think my house is quaint, others may think it’s just old; however, I like it. I have lovely neighbors with whom I enjoy chatting to, and I feel safe and secure in my neighborhood. However, on the downside, it is around about 100 years old. My home and garden need a lot of repairs and renovation. Now, I could want and desire a different house, a bigger house, one that is newer, a house in an upmarket estate. Do I need it? No! Why?

Well, I have a home that shelters me, a place to work, rest, and a place to enjoy and express my gifts and talents. It is a place where I can be me. I have what I need, and my basic needs are met, so I am content. I believe that this is what David meant when he said he has no need.

Make Your Choice

Perhaps you don’t think you need Christ because you see Christians who live like they don’t. Do not let this fool you – (Phil 2:21). the Son of God is alive and well, Christianity is not dead.

Jesus is alive and well, and lives in you by the Holy Spirit and because of this, We share Jesus Christ, not every trivia or mystery from the Bible. We share the Lord Jesus Christ, not any denomination, preacher, commentary, philosophy, or opinion.

God can supply all you need when you acknowledge your need for Jesus Christ. So why would you reject Christ and lack these things?

The need for Christ is more significant than anything else, but it is easy to ignore your greatest needs when you don’t know how to meet them. What is most important gets reduced to only those needs you can fulfil: food, money, temporary happiness. The greatest needs of humankind remain unfulfilled, and your life will be too without Christ.

Your need for Jesus Christ can be met by believing the gospel that Christ supplies everything you need for salvation, life, truth, and joy. Christ can be in you today, providing forgiveness, strength, the hope of glory, and grace freely when you believe he provided what you need.

Everyone needs the Lord Jesus Christ, but unfortunately, not everyone knows it. 

You read this, so you now know. What will you do now?

Trust the gospel, and receive what God has provided for you in Christ from God’s word rightly interpreted.💕

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

👛SHOP WITH ME

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

SHOP www.moonrosemindfulness.com

FOOD for your Soul- www.paularoseparish.com

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

👱‍♀️ CHAT WITH ME 

📸 Instagram: paularoseparish2020. 

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

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

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

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

 Listen to PAULA’S BLOG PODCASTS on Spotify

Please send me an Email: paularoseparish@gmail.com

So what next? What does God want?- Reflections for Lent

Here in the UK, we have had winter, where the days are dark and short, and downright depressing at times. As we are moving into the New Year, thankfully, now the days are getting a bit longer, and we no longer are under Coronavirus strict restrictions. It’s so lovely and oddly strange to be free at last and have the power to choose how we do things. I think it will take a while for our newfound freedom to play out, but we move forward together toward relative normality.

Here we are at the start of Lent and this is where we can ask ourselves the question- So what next?

We’ve been locked down forever disrupting our lives in every way. One thing I know is next for us, is that God wants us to build His Kingdom here through us, and not our selfish empires. It’s so easy to lose focus when everything else is going on around us. Through the pandemic, God taught us forgiveness, patience, love, and kindness, yet our focus can be taken away from Jesus by all that goes on.

 Another question we can ask is- what does God want?

We can discuss these questions with our family and Church. We have had two years of stopping and restarting and pausing and not knowing what will come next. But one thing has remained constant. God’s love never fails, His mercy and love endure forever, He is good, and He will never leave us.

So, as we press into the new year, maybe God is stirring up new things within us, so in that stirring, one more question needs consideration – If not now, ‘when’ do we decide what’s next, and what does God want, and how and when do we apply it to our lives and our Church?

Let us not put off seeking His precious face each day. Let us not put off taking the steps that lead us closer to Him and let us remember that God gives us strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow. Ephesians 1:18-20.

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

Virtual Hugs💕

😀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

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

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

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How to see God’s Signs Posts to lead your life.

When I walked the Camino in Northern Spain, I knew how important the yellow signposts were to stay on the trail, especially in the remote and rugged terrain or new areas of exploration I experienced.  These markers kept me safe and focused on the experience, without fear of getting lost and potentially spending hours or days in a detour. Many people die on the Camino each year-why? Because they fail to follow the signposts, go off track and end up over a mountain cliff somewhere.

 Likewise, on the spiritual journey, there are signposts that mark stages in the journey, stages that usually correspond to certain spiritual, emotional, and psychological experiences. 

It is helpful to know about these stages and be supported at each one, especially because it is common to wonder if we’re on the right track or not. We might even think we are going crazy, or getting worse, or feel like abandoning the whole thing.  This is one of the reasons why it’s important to study the bible regularly, we see the actions and outcomes of the bible characters and we see how God deals with them, why, and what the outcomes will be.

I love Joseph. This is a great story to use as a guide to understanding what the signpost of your life is. Joseph was an innocent and somewhat naïve guy, but everything just always went wrong for him. Trouble seemed to find him and even follow him. But in the end, God raised him up as a mighty leader- why? Because he kept the faith and understood the signposts God had placed in his life and followed them.

These characters intentionally consented to God’s presence and God’s action in their life.  If you do the same, you will see God’s provision and will work out as they did. Enjoy reading those stories and others and glean all the truth you can and live-in faith, joy, and peace, in our savior’s name- Jesus Christ.

 WHO WAS JOSEPH?

Joseph was born in the Mesopotamian town of Haran, to his parents Jacob and Rachel. At the age of six, he left Haran along with his family and journeyed to the land of Canaan, eventually settling in Hebron.

Joseph was one of the twelve tribes of Israel, a son of Jacob and his wife Rachel. Joseph was known as “the righteous one,” he was highly favoured by his father because he came from his favorite wife who bore him in his father’s old age. Jacob gave him a special-coloured coat to show his love for his son. This triggered feelings of jealousy within his brothers, especially the sons of Jacob’s other wife, Leah. There was a lot of competition between Rachel and Leah who were sisters, to how many sons they could give their Husband Jacob. This may have prompted the jealousy that Leah’s children felt toward their half-brother Joseph.

These ill feelings make worse when Joseph told them two of his dreams, in which he described he is ruling over his brothers. In the first dream, the brothers were gathering wheat in the field, and the brothers’ bundles bowed to Joseph’s bundle. In the second, Joseph envisioned the sun, the moon, and eleven stars which symbolized his parents and brothers bowing to him, is it any wonder that his 11 brothers became jealous!

When Joseph was seventeen, the conflict within the family came to a head

Then One day, the 11 brothers were tending their sheep in Shechem, and Jacob told Joseph to visit them.  Jacob was totally unaware that Joseph would be on the disappeared list because this would be the last time he would see his dearest son, until their reunion some twenty-two years later.


When Joseph arrived in Shechem, the brothers grabbing their chance threw the unsuspecting Joseph into a pit. A short while later they spotted an Arab caravan passing, so the brothers agreed to sell Joseph to the merchants. Eventually, he was taken to Egypt, where he was sold to Potiphar, one of King Pharaoh’s ministers.

LIFE GOES SOUR

For a while, things looked pretty good for young Joseph. God gave him favour which enabled him to in in the good books of his jailer, and eventually, he was appointed head of Potiphar’s estate. However, this would not last for very long.

Potiphar’s wife was attracted to Joseph and desired to be intimate with him. However, to her bewilderment, Joseph constantly refused her invitation. Then one day, when no one was home, Potiphar’s wife grabbed Joseph’s garment, demanding that he consent to have sex with her. Thinking quickly, Joseph slid out of his cloak and ran outside. Although Potiphar’s wife was insulted, this self-control earned him the nickname, “Joseph the righteous.”

But Potiphar’s wife in her embarrassment, took revenge upon Joseph, telling her husband that it was Joseph who had tried to entice her. Potiphar was mortified and reacted in anger by placing his once dependable assistant in prison.

BACK in PRISON

Joseph being a highly honest and competent man, his jailer soon chose him as his right-hand man. In time, his good character went in his favour once again, when Joseph effectively interpreted their dreams, accurately predicting that the cupbearer would be released and the baker, hanged.

Two years later, King Pharaoh had two dreams, and none of his priests were able to interpret them. Then the cupbearer remembered the Hebrew youth from his prison days, suggested that Joseph could give an interpretation to Pharos dreams. By this time, Joseph was now thirty and was able to interpret Pharaoh’s dreams as being a divine warning for seven years of plenty followed by seven years of famine. Joseph advised Pharaoh to prepare by storing grain during the first seven years. Amazed by Joseph’s wisdom, Pharaoh appointed him as his viceroy, second only to himself, and tasked him with equipping the nation for the years of famine.

Meanwhile, the effects devasted nearby Canaan where Joseph’s family lived. Joseph’s brothers heard that there was grain in Egypt, so they went there to buy needed food from the viceroy, not realizing that he was their very own brother.

Joseph upon recognizing his brothers decided to use this opportunity to observe whether they truly regretted having sold him, and used the youngest son Benjamín as the bait. On several occasions, Joseph tested his brothers’ resolve to save their youngest brother Benjamin—Joseph’s only maternal brother—from the plot he set up for him. Once he saw their devotion toward Benjamin, Joseph finally revealed his identity to his shocked siblings.

THE POWER OF FORGIVENESS

Following a sincere reunion, Jacob and his family settled in the Goshen section of Egypt. This series of events teaches us the proper attitude toward difficulty and misfortune. Upon discovering Joseph’s identity, his brothers thought he would use his royal powers to take revenge against them for selling into slavery.

However, the sentiments expressed by Joseph were quite the opposite, he said-“But now do not be sad, and let it not trouble you that you sold me here, for it was to preserve life that God sent me before you… You did not send me here, but God.”

Should we adopt this attitude as well?

.  Have you had a Joseph experience? If so, how did you deal with it?

Let me know, and I would love to hear from you in our comments section below. 

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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.

If you want some ideas and tools to relieve and manage stress, check out the course in the top menu.

Please like, subscribe, share, and click on my social media if this post was helpful.

Have you found purpose and meaning for your life?

If you have, how did it get you?

Let me know, and I would love to hear from you and your testimony, in our comments section below. 

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😀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 feel stuck in their faith and long 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’s free!

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How to Survive Transition – Ruth, the Bible’s Cinderella Story

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Ruth in the Bible :

Ruth is a person I identify closely with. I’m drawn to the story of Ruth again and again. Ruth was a widow in a strange land with a family not her own, her life went terribly wrong for her, yet God provided for her in her poverty- why? Because she loved Naomi and trusted in the God of Abraham. There is a book in the Hebrew Bible devoted to telling Ruth’s story, and Jews read her book every year at the Feast of Weeks.

The Gospel of Matthew mentions Ruth as a Gentile who was adopted into the Jewish family for doing the right thing. It’s interesting to note that The genealogy of Jesus includes Ruth the Moabite.

There are only two books of the Bible named after women: Esther and Ruth. Ruth is also one of the few women mentioned in the genealogy of Jesus in Matthew when women weren’t ordinarily included in genealogies.

Ruth’s story – it’s an important one. A simple Moabite widow becomes an essential character in the powerful story of salvation woven through the Bible. Ruth’s story is commonplace, and possibly that’s what makes Ruth’s story so fascinating. She doesn’t come from a famous family. She doesn’t have great riches or a great position. Ruth is just a widow from a foreign land. At first, nothing is going in her favour, but she’s brave, and her faith never wavers. The life of a foreign widow who has nothing becomes so vital that it’s included in the Bible and her name recognized in the lineage of Jesus.

RUTH BEGINS HER JOURNEY 

A food crisis in Canaan forces Elimelech, Naomi, and their sons, to migrate from Bethlehem to Moab. In Moab, the sons marry Moabite women, Orpah and Ruth. Unfortunately, Elimelech passes away, and about 10 years later, both of Naomi’s sons die, as well, so Naomi, Ruth, and Orpah become widows.

Being a widow back then was even more difficult than it is today. In fact, Naomi encourages both girls to go back to their parents and find husbands who can take care of them. 

The story goes that Ruth refuses to leave her mother-in-law, Naomi.

Ruth 1 NIV -In – Bible Gateway

 VERSEThen Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, “Go back, each of you, to your mother’s home. May the Lord show you kindness, as you have shown kindness to your dead husbands and to me. May the Lord grant that each of you will find rest in the home of another husband.”

Then she kissed them goodbye, and they wept aloud 10 and said to her, “We will go back with you to your people.”

11 But Naomi said, “Return home, my daughters. Why would you come with me? Am I going to have any more sons? Who could become your husband? 12 Return home, my daughters; I am too old to have another husband. Even if I thought there was still hope for me—even if I had a husband tonight and then gave birth to sons— 13, would you wait until they grew up? Would you remain unmarried for them? No, my daughters. It is more bitter for me than for you because the Lord’s hand has turned against me!”

14 At this, they wept aloud again. Then Orpah kissed her mother-in-law goodbye, but Ruth clung to her.

15 “Look,” said Naomi, “your sister-in-law is going back to her people and her gods. So go back with her.”

16 But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go, I will go, and where you stay, I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. 17 Where you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.” 18 When Naomi realized that Ruth was determined to go with her, she stopped urging her.”

So, Ruth and Naomi both return to Bethlehem; unfortunately, they have nothing, so Ruth works in the grain fields to survive. It’s there that Ruth meets Boaz, who also turns out to be her “redeemer.” This means as a relative of her dead husband, he has a legal right to claim her as his wife.

 After Boaz legally secures his place as her redeemer, the two are married and later produce a son named Obed – the grandfather of King David.

What you do see is an ordinary – and challenging – life shaped by faith and guided by the God she believes in, and today we can look back and see the mighty way her life was used.

There are many things to learn from the story of Ruth, however in this article, here is just ONE powerful lesson that helped me when I was in crisis.

Lesson – WE WILL LIVE PURPOSEFULLY WHEN WE TRUST GOD

At the very beginning of the book of Ruth, she’s living in Moab, her home nation. Moab was a place that most Israelites didn’t like. It was an enemy nation, and Israelites hated the Moabites. To make matters worse, Ruth was a widow, she was childless, and she lived with her mother-in-law, in other words, not socially acceptable.

Ruth chose to stay with Naomi and help her, all the while knowing that life would be hard. Her country of origin made her an outcast, and so it would be the same in Israel. Having no husband, no children gave her plenty of reason to disappear and simply live the rest of her life in obscurity.

But that’s not what she did. She decided to go with Naomi to Bethlehem, left her country and her family behind. Ruth didn’t let her past hold her back. She chose to serve the God of Naomi while believing she would live purposefully and meaningfully.

No matter your past, it does not count for anything-you still have a purpose in your life. 

You will find meaning if you put your most authentic faith in Jesus Christ. Your past is not the predictor of your future when you make a choice in faith. Your fantastic Future Awaits YOU!!

Can you relate to Ruth in some way? If so – leave a comment- I would love to hear from you!

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 post.

Paulax💕

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My Top 5 Tips to Self-Awareness of Mind, Body & Soul

The phrase ‘know thyself, is a famous adage that is often attributed to Socrates or Plato. It’s a great saying, and we know it well, but what does it actually mean to know oneself? Of course, this can be a subjective question. However, here are a few questions to start your thinking.

· Do you welcome change? 

· Do you believe that you can learn self-awareness?

· Do you believe that if you become more self-aware, it will change your health and life?

Bad Habits

Today, hundreds of thousands are battling a chronic disease, and many have multiple chronic conditions. Statics say that by 2030, these chronic conditions could cost sufferers upwards of 47 trillion U.S. in healthcare spending. Why is this happening? Two short words give us part of the answer- Bad Habits. Changing habits is not easy, and for most people, one habit alone isn’t to blame. Realistically, it’s repetitive, multiple negative habits over time that is the culprit. This is because habits lead us to be well in our mind, body, and spirit. 

Alternatively, they can lead us into struggling with un-wellness and eventual sickness. If you want to find a way to overcome feelings that drag you down, you must become aware of what is going on. My mission is to help you work with you through the destructive mind, body, and spiritual habits that hold you back from a fruitful life. I will help you to cultivate good habits. In fact, I like to call them Well-Habits! Let’s get first things first. You cannot develop sound habits if you are not self-aware.

So, let’s take a moment and ask yourself-

· What drives my decisions? 

· How do I honestly feel about myself?

· How do I honestly feel about the people in my life?

· What causes me to behave the way I do? 

Jesus said, ‘you shall know the truth, and the truth will set you free. Do you want to be free to be the real You? If the answer is Yes! I invite you to read on.

In this article, you will learn my Top 5 Tips for self-awareness 

  1. Tip Self-awareness is important
  2. Tip: Understand what self-awareness is 
  3. Tip: Become self-aware of your mind (mindfulness)
  4. Tip: Become self-aware of your body (body awareness)
  5. Tip: Become self-aware of your spirit (inner self/spirituality)

I am not explaining each tip but will point out a few points. These tips are for you to explore for yourself, to give you food for thought. 

What is Self Awareness?

Self-awareness is often defined as the ability to engage in honest self-reflection. Seeing yourself as others see you. Self-awareness is about understanding why you feel what you do and why you react in a particular way.

Once you begin to understand this, you then have the opportunity and freedom to change things about yourself, enabling you to create the life you want. You will become the CEO of your own life. No longer will you be bounced around by unruly behaviours and emotions. You will be better able to keep yourself in check because you know ‘how ‘you work.

It’s almost impossible to change and become self-accepting if you are unsure as to who you are.

Having clarity about who you are and what you want is empowering, giving you the courage and confidence to make even the most challenging change. How self-aware are you are? Being self-aware is vital for both personal and professional success. It is also vital to overcoming negative behaviours and habits.

When you are self-aware, you empower yourself. You have the power to choose where to focus your emotions, your energy, and your personality so that you can improve and direct the course of your life. Self-awareness helps you be much more aware of your thoughts, emotions and behaviours and helps you guide your life. 

Create Good Habits 

The best way to continually develop self-awareness is to learn the habit of looking at yourself objectively. In other words, see yourself as others see or perceive you. The more self-aware you become, the more you can improve and make positive changes in your life and lifestyle. As you develop an awareness of the self, you begin to connect with your uniqueness. You connect with the essence that makes you – You!

 As you honestly examine your inward self and your associated behaviour, in comparison to your core values, you become self-conscious and an objective evaluator of yourself, which is a very important well-habit to develop. So let me share something with you.

Good Stress

When feeling overwhelmed and panicked, it’s easy to plunge into negative habits that often worsen matters. Stress is your body’s way of responding to any demand or threat. When you sense danger—whether it’s real or imagined—the body’s defences kick into high gear in a rapid, automatic process known as the “fight-or-flight” reaction or the “stress response. What makes me feel down isn’t always clear to me at the time, which adds to my distress. However, when I realized why these unwanted feelings occurred, I realized more than half the battle was won, which makes me hopeful that things will be okay. I know it doesn’t feel like it, but the stress response is the body’s way of protecting you. When working correctly, it helps you stay focused, energetic, and alert. 

There is good stress that gives you extra strength to defend yourself in emergencies. Healthy stress can save your life, for example, urging you to slam on the brakes to avoid a car accident.

Write it!

Over the years, I have learnt the considerable value of jotting things down. So, when I feel low, I note it down. I briefly describe how I feel and the circumstance that led up to it, then date it. Later, I can look back and understand why a particular activity, circumstance or situation made me feel out of kilter.

Inner self/spirituality

 My faith has been paramount in helping me to become self-aware. I am not always aware of myself, but I am mindful of being so every now and then through my day. I also pray, asking God to help me in this. None of us has arrived. None of us is perfect. However, we can work each day to learn by becoming self-aware.

Are you Learning to be self-aware? What Have you learned so far?  Let me know- Leave a comment- I  would love to hear from you!

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 Stress Relief Master Class.  

Remember to Live Life on Purpose

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

https://health-well-being.uk/2022/01/26/tips-on-how-to-stay-well-when-experiencing-family-estrangement/