Why Mindfulness and Christianity are Compatible 

Why Mindfulness and Christianity are Compatible 

Christianity, in many ways, has caused anxiety and fears because of the emphasis on sin and hell. Many believers have been taught that even the most minor misdemeanour requires hellfire from a small child. Therefore, to think of oneself as having a ‘worth’ escape many. 

Reformed theologians have criticized mindfulness as being a ‘religion of self’. This claim is another dangerous doctrine that takes away the preciousness of our living and puts us into fear and despair.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying there is no sin, and the wage of sin is death. That’s true; what I am saying is that the merciful goodness of God runs a lot deeper than ours.

Children are often taught about the fundamentalist belief in hell and wrongdoing to keep them in control. The idea is to scare the ‘hell’ out of them. But the result is empty religiosity because of fear and not out of a love relationship with God.

 Mindfulness is a simple way to ease our fears by stilling our minds, so we can focus on good things, as we see in Philippians 5: 16.

The fundamentalist Church teaches the cessation of self, where we can escape God’s wrath. The cure is facing ourselves and our sins and by repentance and faith being reconciled to God. 

 If we are in fellowship with God through Jesus Christ, the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit, where perfect love casts out fear. The rule of God in our lives is productive of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit, who is with us forever. 

St Paul declares that we have the mind of Christ because Christ was in perfect fellowship with his Father, and as we walk in the love and grace of God, we are shrouded in Gods’ loving embrace. Therefore, the Christian can rest in the Lord, filling our minds with his word of truth and applying it to our circumstances, which takes spirit, mind, and body discipline. 

As the Psalmist says, “I meditate on all that you have done, I ponder the work of your hands,” and “I will meditate on all your statutes.” Mindfulness, therefore, helps in this regard. 

St Paul declares that we have the mind of Christ because Christ was in perfect fellowship with his Father, and as we walk in the love and grace of God, we are shrouded in Gods’ loving embrace. Therefore, the Christian can rest in the Lord, filling our minds with his word of truth and applying it to our circumstances, which takes spirit, mind, and body discipline. We can become mindful as we focus upon God’s creation. Mindfulness can help us appreciate what God has put in front of us at this moment. How many times have you missed the leading of the Holy Spirit because you were not focusing on what was put in front of you? 

How many times were you distracted from what is really important? Maybe you were thinking about the next thing to do and failed to notice what God was saying to you?

 Mindfulness is a discipline of the mind, and the Bible tells us to take control of our minds. How can one allow the mind of Christ to come to the fore if your mind is undisciplined?

So many times, in Christianity, we spiritualize stuff that should be accepted on a purely practical basis. Mindfulness is an efficient practice to help you to enable the mind of Christ to dominate in your life.

 I encourage you- don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater, allow your mind to be disciplined through mindfulness, which is an easy, sure way to achieve this.

Christianity Today writes that ‘Mindfulness is our God-given, universal capacity for awareness and attention.’

One example of how it works is in dealing with anxiety. A non-mindful person might think, “I am an anxious person”. Someone trained in Mindfulness might think, “I have an anxious thought.” 

Mindfulness and Jesus teach us that we are not our thoughts and feelings –Matthew 6:34. 

We are not defined by our stress, anxiety, and fearfulness. Instead, we can witness them as overcomers and not victims. Christianity today explains that it’s the difference between being on a train of thought and a hilltop looking down at the train.

The command of Scripture regarding all our fears and anxieties is to cast them all upon God because he cares for us, and in so doing, God will keep those in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on him, because he trusts in you” (Isa. 26:3). God’s peace will guard our minds, not empty them (Phil. 4:7), and it is this reality, not cessation, that surpasses all understanding. 

Mindfulness helps you to ‘stay’ your mind on God.

 I have many blogs and videos about Mindfulness for beginners to help you to get started, be sure to check them out.

 Also, if you have stress and anxiety, Mindfulness will help with that. Check out my course – it will lead you through the basics of Mindfulness. 

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.

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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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

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

Subscribe to my YOUTUBE CHANNEL, 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

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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

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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

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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

👛SHOP WITH ME

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

SHOP www.moonrosemindfulness.com

FOOD for your Soul- www.paularoseparish.com

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

👱‍♀️ CHAT WITH ME

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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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Why was Jesus Baptised?



St. Patrick baptized King Aengus by full immersion in the Fifth Century AD. During the baptismal ceremony, (so the story goes) St. Patrick leaned on his sharp-pointed staff and inadvertently stabbed the king’s foot.

After the baptism was over, St. Patrick looked down at all the blood, realized what he had done, and begged the king’s forgiveness.

“Why did you suffer this pain in silence,” St Patrick asked.

The king replied, “I thought it was part of the ritual.” !

The story may make us chuckle, but there may be more truth in that than meets the eye. The Baptism of Jesus is one of the events that all three of the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) describe and so was obviously an event that the early Church saw as of great importance.

St. Mark’s Gospel gives us the briefest details. Surprising the historian St. Luke doesn’t give us much more, but St. Matthew fills out the story a little bit more:

(Mt. 3:13-17). Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John consented. As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him, I am well pleased.


The story is well known. John the Baptist has been summoning people everywhere to repent and Jesus, amongst others, responds by being baptized. 

But have you ever wondered,

              Why did Jesus need to be baptized?”

Does Jesus, the incarnate Son of God need to repent? Well before I am accused of heresy let me say no I don’t think Jesus needed to repent.

But I do think that St. Matthew’s account gives us a clue why Jesus was baptized. In that account, we read that John the Baptist at first refused to baptize him, because John felt unworthy. However, Jesus said:

“Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.”

What did Jesus mean? I think theologian Michael Green hit the nail on the head when he said: “By submitting to baptism, Jesus acknowledged God’s claim on him, as on others, for total consecration of life and holiness of character” (The Message of Matthew – Michael Green p. 80).

This makes sense. I believe there are three reasons that Jesus was baptized.

1. The first reason that I believe Jesus was baptized is that Jesus’ baptism was a manifestation (epiphany) of his Godhood. This was shown when the Spirit of God manifested to Jesus and declared his sonship.


For everyone else who came to John for baptism, it was required of them, a change in direction in their lifestyle– hence the call for them to repent of their old ways and to turn to God’s way of life. 

But for Jesus baptism was also a public declaration of his love of God the Father and to acknowledge that he was following the will of God in His life.

And you will recall Jesus words in the garden of Gethsemane when he knew that he was going to die on the Cross, he prayed:
Father if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will but yours be done” (Lk 22:42) 

It was the ultimate submission to the Father’s will – to go to the cross for our sakes – to reconcile us to the Father. But following the Father’s will was going to be a painful experience.

Jesus’ baptism was a public declaration of his commitment to the Father. But Jesus baptism was more:

2. The second reason that I think Jesus was baptized was it announced the beginning of Jesus’ earthly ministry. Both John the Baptist and God the Father both confirmed Jesus’ unique calling publicly. Jesus’ baptism was a consecration for ministry. Perhaps you will remember the Father saying something similar at the mount of Transfiguration.

(Mk 9:7) Then a cloud appeared and enveloped them, and a voice came from the cloud: “This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to him!”

3. The third reason that I think Jesus was baptized was as an example to us.

Jesus taught his followers to be baptized – and here he is giving a firm lead. His baptism was an example that we will do well to follow.

The Great Commission in Mt 28 reads as follows: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the Name Father Son and Holy Spirit and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you “(Mt. 28:19-20)

And we see God the Father’s response: “This is my Son, whom I love; with him, I am well pleased.”

I think this is the nugget that we do well to apply to our own lives is that we should live so that the Father is pleased with us. For when God is pleased, nothing else matters- or does it?

It reminds me of a story that Jonathan Goforth (1859-1936) the great Canadian missionary in China, used to tell the story about his
 father who put him in charge of one of the family’s many farms. He drew special attention to one very large field, which had become choked with weeds. His father told Jonathan “Get that field clear and ready for planting. Then at harvest time, I’ll return and inspect it.”

Jonathan put a lot of time in plowing and reploughing, sunning the deadly roots and plowing again until the whole field was ready for seeding. He then went and procured the best seed for sowing. 

When all was finished, Jonathan invited his father over to inspect the field. When his father arrived, Jonathan led him to a high spot from which the whole field of beautiful waving corn could be seen. Jonathan didn’t say a word – he only waited for the words.. ” Well Done”.

His father stood for several minutes silently examining the field for any sign of weeds, but there were none. Turning to his son, he just smiled. Johnathan Goforth said that smile was all the reward I wanted. Goforth used to say “I knew my father was pleased. So, it will be if we are faithful to the trust our heavenly father”.

Can you relate to Johnathan Goforth 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.

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.

Remember to Live Life on Purpose in Hope, Faith & Love,

Virtual hugs,💕

I look forward to your visit to my next blog post.

Here at Hope- Faith – Love we talk about our Faith in Jesus Christ and how our faith benefits the health of our Mind, Body, and Soul.

😀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’s 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.

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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.

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. 

 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.

😀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!

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.

👛SHOP WITH ME

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

BLOG articles & 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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Forge forward in hope, faith, and love and find a new way of living.

Forge forward in hope, faith, and love and find a new way of living.

I love Psalm 23 has been such strength since I came to faith in Christ well over 30 years ago.

The Psalm is commonly believed to be just about death; however, it’s a lot more than just a cute funeral poem. Although the context is often misunderstood, I use the Psalm as a template for coping with everyday problems.

Psalm 23 is a metaphoric story of our journey through life and a guide to comfort and strengthen us in our dark valleys. This wonderful Psalm assures us that God is our friend who is shepherding us through our pain. In the middle of suffering, God promises to be always there.

David wrote this Psalm, which appears to be his own personal experience of God as his Shepherd. He declares that God provides, and he paints a beautiful picture of the excellent care that God gives amid suffering. 

When David was a shepherd, his job was to look after the pregnant ewes (Ps 78:70,71). He knew first-hand of the care and tender warmth of a good shepherd towards his flock. One day David risked his life to rescue a lamb, illustrating God’s respect for every individual. 

Jesus Christ, our Saviour, seems to refer to this when He says, ‘I am the shepherd of the sheep the good shepherd’ John 10:11. We know the familiar story of when Jesus left the ninety-nine sheep to search for that lost one. A good shepherd guides his sheep into the fold and then cares, protects, and provides for them because they are his. The sheep knows Shepherd’s voice, and they follow him.

 When looking into Psalm 23 to use at a funeral that I was leading, I noticed that the process of going through the valley is like journeying through grief. Since then, I often refer to it at funeral serves and worship meetings, and at times, people say they feel really helped. 

 I really like and appreciate this Psalm because it allows us to understand how much God loves us. Father God is omnipresent, which means God is present everywhere at once. This is possible through the work of the Holy Trinity.

I have never been rich; however, I have lacked nothing from the time I committed my life to Christ, even during the dark valley of grief. In the middle of grieving, God has enabled me to lie down in green pastures, not striving or worrying, but lying down, chilling out in the greenness of God’s love. 

Often, I feel his guidance, albeit a still small voice, impression, or wise advice. Even though I have often strayed from the designated path, as we all do from time to time, I have been gently guided back. Sometimes I have been returned kicking and screaming, realising much later that the momentary discipline from God saved me. Through it all, God is there. You may feel in despair right now, but don’t worry; you will come through this because your Shepherd is walking with you through all the grief and pain.

Each of us has a choice, to either deal with bereavement and the grief it brings, or crawl under a rock somewhere and hide from it, and even worse, we could pretend it is not there. 

I read psychology and counselling at the University of Derby, UK, on a master’s level. It was an excellent course because I became better equipped to help those I ministered to and counselled. The spin-off was that it helped me in my personal life immensely. It was one of the ways God restored and healed me from past emotional trauma. 

Through the course, I experienced many cathartic moments- green pastures. I must admit that I have no unique gifts on walking through grief, but I have God in Christ. I give thanks from the depths of my being because Creator God has held my hand all the way and guided me through that dark valley, showing me how to live in it, emerging victorious. As I sojourned with God through the darkness, I had peace in my heart because I knew that God was with me. And you know what? God is with you as well and can bring you through the darkest of valleys.

I discovered that God heals is not the way I would expect; his ways are higher than ours. God did not just magically wave the sorrow away as if it did not exist. He did not rescue me from it but taught me how to get through it, and to journey through the valley. As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the LORD is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him (Psalm 18.30). But, Gods ways are certainly a lot different from ours.

Father God taught me how to say goodbye to many relationships and people in all circumstances. Eventually, I learned how to grieve appropriately, how to move on. I do not boast that I have cracked it because each situation is unique.

 Each experience of grief is different from your previous experience. I am sure there will be new challenges ahead and victories to be won. So, let’s forge forward in hope, faith, and love and find a new way of living, a new normal.

What method do you use to manage your grief? Let me know, and I would love to hear from you in our comments section below. 

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

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 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.

How to Transform your Life: God’s free gift to you

If you’re not taught to endure suffering, failures, losses when young, one may never learn it. Those who don’t learn it check out of life, using addictions or anti-social behaviours to cope. To cope well when we experience suffering, we need to accept that suffering is a normal part of life. Yet, our culture does not embrace that. We rail against it. We develop a worldview that is primarily for our ease and comfort.

Philippians 3:10 King James Version (KJV) That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death.

Following the ways of Jesus Christ is an absolute assault on the worldview that culture imposes upon us. Because it is a different mind. The failure of liberalism is trying to critique the mind conforming it to what’s popular. But this is what is called the conniving mind. It is a mind that wants its own way and will do anything to achieve it. The Bible calls it the mind of the flesh. The apostle Paul calls it the old man. It is the egocentric mind that interprets everything in the sense of personal advantage. It is a mind that rejects suffering as a tool for self-growth. The mind of the flesh says, what’s in it for me? How would this situation be to my advantage? What can I get out of it?

If you read everything from that small worldview and read everything methodically, I don’t think you will see life in any new way. You may move along with the political spectrum from left to right and back again, but your life won’t change. But Jesus teaches us a different way of seeing, a different perspective, a different advantage point, and a different starting point. 

Einstein said that the problem cannot be solved by the same mind/ or consciousness that caused the problem in the first place. This is because the mind reads everything in terms of personal advantage, cause and effect.

UNDERSTANDING PRAYER

The word contemplation became popular through the works of Thomas Merton, which is reasonably recent. In the fifth 50s and 60s. A lot of people use the word meditation which is more or less the same thing. The word that most Christians are familiar with is the word prayer. 

We need to be aware that the understanding of prayer has a different connotation here in the West than in the East, where it originated. In the West, prayer became something functional, something that produced an effect. It became – what’s in it for me

This is due to the idea that the ego is the centre of their universe. For example-

· It’s all about me. 

·       If I get offended, I’ll sue somebody

·       If someone hurts me, I’ll take revenge

·       If I don’t get what I want, only to react in some way.

·       If I can’t resolve the conflict ill just cut the people off. 

·       If someone has something that I want, then I go out and get myself in debt to better it.

Western culture has taught us that – it’s All about me, the egocentric self is all about me. Sadly, this attitude has hugely overlapped Christianity. Individualism rules and reigns in the West. That’s why a lot of people could not cope with lockdown and bulk at the rules. They wanted to do things their way, to benefit them. They did not think of the others who they could pass the virus onto.

This kind of behaviour is not what Jesus intended for us, and it’s certainly not what he taught. As soon as you make prayer an exercise to get something, it puts you in charge. However, Jesus does say ask, and it will be given. We must be aware that this kind of prayer is from a humble and obedient submissive attitude towards Jesus Christ in the first place. 

most people approach prayer with egocentric consciousness, which says- I will try to get what I want to get from God. however this is the world’s way; worldly values are the seat of our culture. In this way, instead of being a transformed mind or consciousness, we remain egocentric and try to manipulate God and everyone else, and we think we did okay. 

That’s why Christianity is in dire straits today because it’s not transforming people as the Bible clearly states that it should and does. It’s just giving people a form of religiosity to be in charge and control. It still the ego/natural/fleshly/false self.

Jesus always talked about was the transformed self (John 3). The apostle Paul uses that beautiful phrase, it’s no longer their lives; Christ lives in me. So it’s a different way of being. It’s a different sense of self. As long as you’re operating from the egocentric will, you’ll never be free. You will never be transformed.  

THE EGO SELF

The ego-self can be pious, religious, be theologically sound, may even be a church leader in some way, but never totally free. So religion has always performed two very important but two very different Stages. 

The first stage is to create meaning for the self. The first stage offers mixed narratives, truths, and rituals to provide meaning. And that’s okay. You’ve got to be aware of the self to move beyond the self. But most religions stop at that first stage by simply giving you a positive self-image. 

Christians rarely move beyond this first stage, and it’s perhaps because they don’t think there’s anything else beyond it. This satisfied with the fact they believe they are a religious, moral person with good standing in a community. However, most people do not go beyond that. The problem is that this kind of religion does not raise or transform a person’s consciousness. It does not deliver true freedom of overcoming the egocentric self. This type of religion does not transform or fully satisfy the true self. Instead, it fortifies self-comfort, and even deceives this true self into thinking, you are okay – I’m okay.

Underneath it all, there is this innate satisfaction and unrest, a yearning for something more and not knowing what it is. Christianity is the best thing in the world and the worst in the world. Why? The religious often think they are right in all things and start from that vantage point. And when one thinks that one is always right, they become egocentric, narrow-minded and intolerant of others.

 It’s challenging to get to know egocentric people because the ego is so sure that they are right and you are wrong. They will protect their point of view at any cost, even the cost of hurting others leading to spiritual abuse. Spiritual abuse is prevalent, which is why I wrote a Master of Art thesis on that subject as it’s so common in the churches- but that’s another subject.

If the egocentric self is warm and fed and thinks it is correct, it is then convinced that it is saved. But what does being saved mean?

 Most people think that being saved is a ticket to heaven, and fire insurance from hellfire. For them, it is something that is not here now but will come one day. It’s always in the future. It’s by the sweet by and by. The egocentric self says If I am religious enough, good enough, say the sinner’s prayer, and I do the right thing then be saved, I’ll get to heaven

This point of view comes from a punishment and reward system. If I play the game right, I will be rewarded. It is about the works that I can do, and God will be pleased, so I’ll get into heaven. That point of view has absolutely nothing to do with transformation, absolutely nothing to do with the teachings of Jesus Christ. This, unfortunately, is a lot of Christians point of view, but Jesus had something completely different in his mind when he spoke to Nicodemus, as written in John chapter 3. Please turn to it and read the whole chapter.

A FREE GIFT

It’s by the grace of God we come into fellowship with God. So then, in God’s strength and ability working in us, we learn to be patent and pray, renewing our strength. When our strength is renewed- transformed- we then mount up with Eagles’ wings, we will run and not be weary, walk and not be faint. 

Accepting God free gift of salvation, confessing our sins, and repenting (turning away from sin) is the basis of our prayers. God is in the business of transforming you because He loves you. It starts with the renewing of your mind in Christ Jesus. Mindful prayer is a life’s style that will help you transform the self into A Different Way of Being.

Thank you for visiting me here; I hope this post was helpful. If it was, please subscribe, or leave a comment with any questions!

 If you feel you would like further support, please contact me. Details of How to get in touch with me are found in my home page’s top menu.

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

Paula Rose Parish

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Christ the king.

NTRODUCTION

 John 18:33-37

We are in the second week of Advent and Christmas is looming large. At Christmas we celebrate the Birth of the Messiah Jesus Christ but we must not forget that he was born to die. Jesus died for the sins of the world- your sins and mine. Jesus was born a King and died a King and rose from the dead so we can be raised also. Our Gospel lesson has Jesus appearing before Pilate, the Roman governor, after having been accused by his enemies of trying to set himself up as king.  In the dialog that follows, Jesus admits to being a King, but says that his kingdom is not of this world.

THE CONTEXT

We can really understand verses 33-37 only if we look at them in the context of chapters 18-19 which include the following:

  • THE BETRAYAL AND ARREST OF JESUS (18:1-11)
  • JESUS BEFORE THE HIGH PRIEST (18:12-14, 19-24)
  • PETER DENIES JESUS (18:15-18, 25-27)
  • JESUS BEFORE THE SANHEDRIN (Matthew 26:57-68; Mark 14:53-65; Luke 22:66-71)
  • JESUS BEFORE PILATE (18:28-32)
  • JESUS OF NAZARETH KING OF THE JEWS (19:15, 19)

The emphasis on Christ the King continues in chapter 19.  Pilate has tried to get the crowd to let him release Jesus (18:38b-40) and has had Jesus flogged in the hope that the flogging will satisfy the crowd (19:1-7).  The crowd, however, frustrates Pilate at every turn, demanding Jesus’ crucifixion (19:6, 15) and disputing Pilate’s loyalty to the emperor (19:12). 

Pilate strikes back verbally, saying to the crowd, “Behold, your King!” (19:14) and asking, “Shall I crucify your king?” (19:15). Then the crowd, which demanded Jesus’ death because “he made himself the Son of God” (19:7),

The crowd responds in the most astonishing fashion.  “We have no King but Caesar,” they say (19:15).  In other words, they criticized Jesus for putting himself in God’s place but themselves now put the emperor in God’s place.  Pilate, by necessity loyal to the emperor, finally gives up and turns Jesus over to be crucified (19:16). But Pilate has the last word.  He has an inscription posted on the cross in three languages that says “JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS” (19:19-20).  The chief priests protest, asking Pilate to change the inscription to read, “He said, I am King of the Jews.”  Pilate responds, “What I have written, I have written” (vv. 21-22).  Earlier, Pilate asked, “What is truth?” (18:38). Now, with irony, Pilate posts the truth for all to see. 

Queen Elizabeth became queen in 1952.  Sometimes it seems as if she will go on forever.  Poor Prince Charles can’t have the top job until his mother dies––an unpleasant sort of dilemma. Although I’m sure her job has many stresses, she has lived a life of luxury and privilege. In 1989 I had the opportunity to visit Graceland, the home of Elvis––the King of Rock ‘n Roll.  Elvis had two private jets, and they were parked near Graceland for the sake of the tourists.  Each was decorated Elvis style––forever locked in 1970.  He too, although he seemed unhappy, Elvis lived a life of luxury and privilege. But the Kings and Queens of history enjoyed even greater power.  A King typically had the power of life and death over people within his realm.  Kings lived in grand palaces and commanded imposing armies. 

That doesn’t sound much like Jesus, does it!  As he told one would-be follower: 

 “The foxes have holes,

and the birds of the sky have nests,

but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” (Matthew 8:20)

 Jesus didn’t live in a palace.  He didn’t live luxury or privilege.  His “army” consisted of ordinary people who brought the family to see HIM.  It would be pretty hard to imagine those mums and dads and kids as any kind of threat to Rome.

But Pilate couldn’t take a chance.  People had reported Jesus as an enemy of Rome––as a man who would be king––as a potential challenger to the emperor.  Pilate had no choice but to get to the bottom of such a charge.  If he ignored it and trouble broke out, it would be Pilate’s head on the chopping block.

So Pilate took time to interview Jesus. Pilate has a bad reputation for his handling of Jesus’ trial, but we need to acknowledge that he handled this questioning well.  He took Jesus aside, so the crowd couldn’t interfere, and he asked three questions:

First, he asked, “Are you the King of the Jews?” (v. 33).  Seeing at this ordinary-looking man, he asked, “Are YOU the King of the Jews?  You gotta be kidding me!” Then Pilate noted that important people had said Jesus was a trouble maker.  Pilate asked, “What have you done?” (v. 35).

That was exactly the right question. 

 And then Pilate asked, “Are you a KING then Jesus had said that his kingdom was not from this world, so apparently he saw himself as a KING.  So Pilate asked, “Are you a KING then?”

We know the rest of the story, of course.  In frustration, Pilate eventually washed his hands of the matter and allowed Jesus to be condemned.  He didn’t make it happen, but he allowed it to happen.

But Pilate wasn’t a fool.  He knew that he was being used, and he didn’t like it.  He had his soldiers nail a plaque to the cross that said, “JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS” (19:19).  Jesus’ enemies said, “Do not write, ‘The King of the Jews,’ but ‘he said, I am King of the Jews'” (19:21).  But Pilate answered, “What I have written I have written” (19:22).

WAS Jesus a king?  That was the question that Pilate needed to answer.

 IS Jesus a King?  That is the question that we need to answer. 

WHAT would it mean if Jesus were king?  How would it affect our lives?

The New Testament certainly sees Jesus as king.  It calls him “King of Kings and Lord of lords” (1 Timothy 6:15; Revelation 19:16). 

The apostle Paul talks about Jesus as coming down from heaven to be born as a baby and to die on a cross.  Then Paul says:

Therefore God also highly exalted (Jesus),

and gave to him the name which is above every name;

that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,

of those in heaven, those on earth, and those under the earth,

and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,

to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:9-11)

 That certainly sounds King-like, doesn’t it!

The question for us today is whether Jesus is king in your life.  You don’t have to hold up your hand and give the answer in front of everyone, but I would like for you to think about the question––Is Jesus King in your life? pause

Then let me ask another question––If Jesus were King in your life, what difference would that make, for you?  Your family?  For your friends?  For your employer?  Think about that for a moment.  What difference would it make if Jesus were king in your life?….

Then let me make this observation.  ONE way to tell whether Jesus is King in your life is to ask whether you are trying to do what he wants you to do.  None of us is doing that perfectly.  None of us is perfectly obedient to Christ.  The question isn’t whether we are obeying Jesus perfectly.  It is whether we are trying––whether we are giving Jesus our best.

Some years ago, it was popular for people to wear bracelets that said WWJD?––What Would Jesus Do?  The idea behind the bracelets was to remind us, when faced with a decision––any decision––to ask “What would Jesus do?”––and to let the answer help us to make the right decision––to help us do what Jesus would have us do. What Would Jesus Do?  How would GOD have you spend your life?  GOD has something for you to do––SOMETHING for each of us to do.

What would Jesus do?  How would he have you spend your retirement years?  The late Andrew Grove, one of the founders of Intel Corporation, the company that makes most of the chips for computers, used his retirement years to try to reform health care in America––especially health care for the poor.  That really bowled me over!  Andy Grove was one of the richest men in the world.  He had plenty of accomplishments to his credit!  He could have sat back and relaxed.  He could have spent his later years playing golf.   Instead, he tried to solve the problem of uninsured people, some of whom were jamming emergency rooms and the rest of whom were getting no medical care.  I think it’s wonderful that this rich man spent his retirement years giving instead of taking. 

 What would Jesus do?  Today, after we leave this church building and scatter throughout the community, each of us will be faced with decisions that will give us a chance to ask, “What would Jesus do?” Asking that question is the first step toward making Jesus King in our lives. If you are wondering how to get your life into focus, and stay on the right track,  ask that question––”What would Jesus do?”––and let the answer set the direction for your life.

 Let’s Pray

Heavenly Father, who is blessed with son was revealed to destroy the works of the devil and make us the children of God and heirs of eternal life.

Grant that we having this hope, may live pure lives, even as he is pure,

And when Jesus Christ shall appear in power and great glory

we will be made like him in his eternal and glorious kingdom, where he is alive and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit ONE God now and forever

Amen

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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!!!