How to Navigate Life as a Christian and Avoid unnecessary detours.

My parents told me that as a child, I never wanted help around the house, and I didn’t want my parents to help me either. In the 60s we had summer and winter school shoes. Our winter shoes had laces. I couldn’t manage to tie them myself, so I talked my big sister Susan into doing it for me. I could not figure out the pattern of movement to tie the laces, but apart from that, I tried to do most things by myself.

The task of learning was stressful for me, so I didn’t have the patience to accept instructions. I winged most things. Fake it till ya make it– I would say. It may have been that as an undiagnosed dyslexic, I found learning taxing. Maybe that is why I refused to follow instructions, perhaps I just couldn’t. I remember very clearly as a child trying to absorb instructions, and I would get very angry and agitated inside. I just could not understand the idea that was being conveyed to me.

All I wanted was to get whatever it was over and done with, I didn’t want to hear all of the ‘how’s to’s, so I became very impatient. Maybe it did have something to do with my dyslexia, or maybe it is more to do with a stubborn personality that resisted instruction. Some of us live our whole lives in a cycle of resistance. It becomes an ingrained habit where we react to everything that way, and when we eventually meet God, we resist his leading- I certainly did. 

Many of us don’t want to be patient and wait for God to lead us. Instead, we want to do it our way – right now! Were in a hurry, we want it all done yesterday. When in the throes of bereavement the first reaction may be-I want to get outta here – Now! You may want to be rid of the feeling of sadness as soon as possible, escaping from the feeling of shock and trauma. At these times, we can get agitated and get ourselves wound up, and fail to listen to good advice. Most of all, we fail to listen to God’s leading and counsel. Then when it all goes pear-shaped, we blame God or others.  

Any person that travels and uses a map knows the principle of learning from those who have gone before. Someone mapped a journey for the very first time so others could follow. It is the expertise of the map maker that guides us. When we are going through difficulty, we can get impatient, and we might rip the map up, we think we can make it to our intended destination without guidance. Without the guidance of the map, however, there is a chance that we will lose our way, and so it is with our lives. When we navigate the dark valley, we rely on the expertise of the map maker. God, the Shepherd, is our map maker.

With God’s guidance, we can avoid the detours that may be quite dangerous for us. Our Good Shepherd leads us, not because he wants to control us, but because he loves us. God our Shepherd leads us into the path of righteousness, the good and right path that will lead us forward out of the valley. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 Seeds of Hope, Love, and Faith- The Woman at the Well.

Click here to read John 4:5-42.

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

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

I love trees and enjoy looking at them, so I bought 2 big pots and a lot of potting soil, bought a cherry tree and an apple tree, and planted them. New buds form within a few days, and I am looking forward to them producing some fruit for me in years to come. I chose cherry because cherries are expensive to buy in the shops, and I really enjoy cherries, and they’ve got very high antioxidant properties being a dark fruit. Usually, apples are easy to grow, and I can do all sorts of things with apples like apple pie, sauce, and much more and an added bonus, apples are very high in vitamin C. Then I got thinking about apples and cherries because they have seeds.    

SEEDS AND NEW LIFE   

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

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

WE ALL HAVE A PURPOSE IN THIS LIFE

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

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

Briefly looking at the context, we find that Jews had little to do with Samaritans. Jews tended to avoid even traveling through Samaria. But Jesus didn’t share this hatred towards Samaritans. He traveled from Judea to Galilee to go through Samaria rather than by-passing it. He was not trying to save time, but Jesus continually sought out the outcasts of society––the tax collectors, the prostitutes, the lepers––and his travels through Samaria carried him through a nation of what the Jews regarded as outcasts.

THE WOMAN AT THE WELL

Jesus came to the little town in Samaria and stopped at the well for a drink. A woman was there, drawing water. Usually, women came to the well in the mornings and evenings, but this woman came at noon. It was hot at noon, but she was alone at the well. But today, a strange man approached. It was not suitable for men to converse with women in this culture. The rule was,

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

The idea of what Jesus told the woman is that he is getting rid of old prejudices and rivalries and because God is spirit, worship cannot be confined to a particular place or a particular people. God is everywhere, so He can be worshipped everywhere by all people. True worship is an affair of the heart.

ALL PEOPLE MATTER

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

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

SOULS MATTER

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

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

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

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

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

 The late Billy Graham said:

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

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

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

CHURCH MATTERS

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

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

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

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

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

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

And another preacher put it this way: “go to the outcasts; it is the church’s business to kiss frogs.” So, let us rejoice that Christ has transforming power in changing lives!

This week, let us resolve to allow God to plant seeds of hope, faith, and love to fill us with His Spirit so we might plant the same seeds in the life of others. Let us pray that we will touch lives with seeds of hope, love, and faith this week and see the transforming love of Christ in action!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

👛SHOP WITH ME

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

SHOP www.moonrosemindfulness.com

FOOD for your Soul- www.paularoseparish.com

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

👱‍♀️ CHAT WITH ME 

📸 Instagram: paularoseparish2020. 

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

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Unwrapping Psalm 23 for Your Wellness.

Understanding the Context

We need to understand that there is really nothing old about this Testament because all of it is still relevant in modernity and links beautifully with the New Testament. Without the Old Testament or correctly known as the Hebrew Scriptures, the New would be irrelevant, not least exceedingly difficult to understand.

Psalm 23 is situated in the Old Testament. During more than 40 years of ministry, many people have related to me that diving into the Old Testament is a risky and scary thing to do, so it must be avoided like the plague! They say the main reason for this is that it seems to be a lot about getting rid of people, wars, and exiles all in God’s name. When we try to weigh up a loving God with the stories of violence we find it difficult to make sense of it all, which creates many more unanswered questions and makes it easier for us to avoid the whole book. Moreover, most of us would rather shy away from all the horror of the OT to concentrate on the good news of the gospel in the NT, which is quite understandable. The problem with avoiding the Hebrew Scriptures is that it limits our understanding of the Gospels of Jesus Christ, who he is, and why he came.

Jesus of Nazareth knew, used, and quoted the Hebrew Scriptures. He understood the law and obeyed it in daily life and taught and interpreted the law in the way that God had always intended. Jesus taught nothing brand new he simply explained the law as God intended it to be implemented, with love being the focus. Jesus’ re-interpretation had nothing to do with killing but had lots to do with turning the other cheek and loving one’s enemy. It never had anything to do with selfishness but has everything to do with feeding the poor and hungry. It has nothing to do with keeping strict laws, or with an eye for an eye vengeance system. Conversely, Jesus’ re-interpretation of the law has everything to do with forgiving and loving everyone. Luke 11:2-4 (NIV) Forgive our trespasses and we forgive those who have trespassed against us. In other words. We forgive those who have hurt us. Jesus turned popular belief on its head displaying the way of love – which has always been God’s way of doing things.

If we approach the Hebrew scriptures/Old Testament at face value without applying the eight principles, the lessons will be easily misunderstood. This ancient book is full of God’s love, justice, grace, and mercy towards all, and Psalm 23 is within the OT and echoes God’s love. The OT sets the stage for God to show humanity, who he is, how he feels toward us, and the plan for saving the world. The OT heralds the coming Messiah – Jesus Christ and the NT confirms him. It is there we see the beginning of time as we know it, and the ending of time in the prophetic (foretelling) writings. The Hebrew scriptures help us to touch base with God and the New Testament helps us to know God intimately.

 Knowing Jesus is Knowing God

All the books of the Old Testament have links to the New, which demonstrates to us that knowing Jesus is knowing God. Through the birth of Christ, the cross, and the resurrection, we can enjoy a relationship with Jesus. If we are acquainted with Jesus Christ, then we are acquainted with God who is our humble Creator as well. We in fact dance with the Holy Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in celebration of the universal beauty and diversity of all creation of which you are an integral part. Jesus said, if you have seen me, you have seen the Father -John 14:9-14, also, the Father and I are One (unity) in John 10:30. Therefore, when we come into a relationship with Jesus, we also come into a relationship (unity) with God who is the Holy Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. To go one step further – God lives in you! Colossians 1:27 To them God has chosen to make known among all peoples the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

I hope you enjoyed this blog post, if you did let me know💕

😀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, and a life member of (ISFP) The International Society of Female Professionals.

 Paula Rose Parish is a Pastor, Author, and founder, of Hope. Faith. Love. She studied at the University of Derby and received a Master of Arts in Counselling in Professional Development. Over the years Paula Rose has served as a pastor, chaplain, counsellor, coach-led workshops and retreats, and spoken worldwide on Christian spirituality. Author of over 100 articles and two books, Paula Rose continues to write on the spiritual life. Paula Rose is adding a string to her bow and is presently reading Health and Wellness. She has four grown children, five grandchildren, and lives in South Wales, UK.

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

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

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

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

👛SHOP WITH ME

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

SHOP www.moonrosemindfulness.com

FOOD for your Soul- www.paularoseparish.com

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

👱‍♀️ CHAT WITH ME

📸 Instagram: paularoseparish2020.

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

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

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Send me Email: paularoseparish@gmail.com

The Power of an Empty Tomb: God of surprises.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 Paula Rose Parish💕

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What is God’s Mandate for the Care of our Planet?

A lot has been said over the past 20 years or so about climate change. Initially, when the subject of climate change began to appear on our screen, few people believed it thinking it was just another way to extract money from the working person. As the years have passed, and research has progressed, the fact of climate change is slowly being accepted as a crisis of our time.

 As followers of Christ, we have a God-given responsibility toward our planet.

Genesis 1: 28 New International Version
God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”

We need to be aware, therefore, of the small things we can do to help heal our planet before it is too late. In order to do this, we need to be clear of the biblical plan and mandate regarding our earthy existence.

God Created the Earth

God is not just a powerful figure in the world—he is the creator of the world. He brought it into existence with all of its interconnected processes, animate and inanimate, which means that even the smallest pebble is the work of his design:

Psalms 104: 25-30
“There is the sea, vast and spacious, teeming with creatures beyond number—living things both large and small. There the ships go to and fro, and the leviathan, which you formed to frolic there. These all look to you to give them their food at the proper time. When you give it to them, they gather it up; when you open your hand, they are satisfied with good things. When you hide your face, they are terrified; when you take away their breath, they die and return to the dust. When you send your Spirit, they are created, and you renew the face of the earth.”

John 1:3
“Through him, all things were made; without him, nothing was made that has been made.”

Colossians 1:16-17
“For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him, all things hold together.”

Nehemiah 9:6
“You alone are the LORD. You made the heavens, even the highest heavens, and all their starry host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them. You give life to everything, and the multitudes of heaven worship you.”

Every Living Thing Is Part of God’s Creation

The weather, plants, and animals are all part of the environment God created on the Earth. The Bible says that they are as much a part of God’s creation as mankind itself:

Isaiah 43:20-21
“The wild animals honour me, the jackals and the owls, because I provide water in the desert and streams in the wasteland, to give drink to my people, my chosen, the people I formed for myself that they may proclaim my praise.”

Job 37:14-18
“Listen to this, Job; stop and consider God’s wonders. Do you know how God controls the clouds and makes his lightning flash? Do you know how the clouds hang poised; those wonders of him who is perfect in knowledge? You who swelter in your clothes when the land lies hushed under the south wind, can you join him in spreading out the skies, hard as a mirror of cast bronze?”

Matthew 6:26
“Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?”

God Uses the Earth to Teach Us

It is important, according to the Bible, to study the Earth and the environment. The Bible says that knowledge of God and his works can be found in understanding plants and animals and the delicate web of life:

Job 12:7-10
“But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds of the air, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish of the sea inform you. Which of all these does not know that the hand of the LORD has done this? In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all humankind.”

Romans 1:19-20
“…since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.”

Isaiah 11:9
“They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea.”

God Asks Us to Take Care of His Creation

In the Bible, God commands man to be a steward of the environment. Isaiah and Jeremiah prophesy about the dire consequences that occur when man disobeys God and fails to take care of the Earth:

Genesis 1:26
“Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and overall the creatures that move along the ground.'”

Leviticus 25:23-24
“The land must not be sold permanently, because the land is mine and you are but aliens and my tenants. Throughout the country that you hold as a possession, you must provide for the redemption of the land.”

Ezekiel 34:2-4
“Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel; prophesy and say to them: ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Woe to the shepherds of Israel who only take care of themselves! Should not shepherds take care of the flock? You eat the curds, clothe yourselves with the wool and slaughter the choice animals, but you do not take care of the flock. You have not strengthened the weak or healed the sick or bound up the injured. You have not brought back the strays or searched for the lost. You have ruled them harshly and brutally.”

Isaiah 24:4-6
“The earth dries up and withers, the world languishes and withers, the exalted of the earth languish. The earth is defiled by its people; they have disobeyed the laws, violated the statutes and broken the everlasting covenant. Therefore, a curse consumes the earth; its people must bear their guilt. Therefore, earth’s inhabitants are burned up, and very few are left.”

Jeremiah 2:7
“I brought you into a fertile land to eat its fruit and rich produce. But you came and defiled my land and made my inheritance detestable.”

Revelation 11:18
“The nations were angry, and your wrath has come. The time has come for judging the dead, and for rewarding your servants the prophets and your saints and those who reverence your name, both small and great—and for destroying those who destroy the earth.”

If you are a believer and follower of Christ, then you have a God-given mandate to care for the earth that feeds you and shelters you. The earth is your home. If you trash your home, eventually you will have nowhere to live- so, let’s look after this beautiful blue planet for now and for future generations.

  YOUTUBE: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvdQ4NPTNfXSnwd3pimPh0g

YouTube videos are posted on Wellness WEDNESDAY.

Join me on FAITH FRIDAY when we chat about our faith.😀please share, subscribe, click the notification bell, and a Thumbs up! I would love to hear from you, so please leave a comment or contact me.

Paula Rose Parish is an author, and the founder, of Hope. Faith. Love. She studied at the University of Derby and received a Master of Arts in Counselling in Professional Development. Over the years Paula Rose has served as a pastor, chaplain, counsellor, coach and taught at Christian university, led workshops and retreats, and spoken worldwide on Christian spirituality. Author of over 100 articles and two books, Paula Rose continues to write on the spiritual life. Paula Rose is adding a string to her bow and is presently reading Health and Wellness. She has four grown children, five grandchildren, and lives in South Wales, UK.

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.

FOOD for your Soul- www.paularoseparish.com

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Lessons in Lent -The Meaning of the Lost Sheep

Luke 15: 1-7

Tax collectors and other notorious sinners often came to listen to Jesus teach. 

This made the Pharisees and teachers of religious law complain that he was associating with such sinful people—even eating with them!

So Jesus told them this story:

 “If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them gets lost, what will he do? Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others in the wilderness and go to search for the one that is lost until he finds it? 

And when he has found it, he will joyfully carry it home on his shoulders. 

When he arrives, he will call together his friends and neighbours, saying, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.’ 

In the same way, there is more joy in heaven over one lost sinner who repents and returns to God than over ninety-nine others who are righteous and haven’t strayed away!

From < https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke+15&version=NLT

The parable of the Lost Sheep, taught by Jesus Christ, is one of the most beloved stories in the Bible, a favourite for Sunday school classes because of its simplicity and expressiveness.

 The story sheds light on the celebratory atmosphere in heaven when even just one sinner confesses his sin and repents. The parable of the Lost Sheep also illustrates God’s profound love for you!

99 and Counting

Jesus spoke in metaphors using a parable to bring home this point. This parable is no exception. 

The ninety-nine sheep in the story represent self-righteous people—the Pharisees. These people keep all the rules and laws but bring no joy to heaven. 

God cares about lost sinners who admit they are lost and turn back to him. So, likewise, the Good Shepherd seeks after people who recognize they are lost and need a Saviour. 

The Pharisees are arrogant and never recognize that they are lost.

Have you recognized that you are lost? Have you realized yet that you need to closely follow Jesus, the Good Shepherd, to make it home to heaven instead of going your way?

The parable of the Lost Sheep is found in Luke 15:4-7Matthew 18:10-14.

Lost and Found

Jesus spoke to a group of tax collectors, sinners, Pharisees, and teachers of the law. These people taught the masses and led them astray with false teaching by twisting the scriptures. Jesus wanted to show them what God is like and far removed from a harsh God they taught about.

He asked them to imagine having a hundred sheep, and one of them strayed from the fold. A shepherd would leave his ninety-nine sheep and search for the lost one until he found it. 

When he found it, he then, with great joy in his heart, but the sheep on his shoulders, took it home and told his friends and neighbours to rejoice with him because he had found his lost sheep.

Jesus concluded by telling them there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous people who do not need to repent.

But the lesson didn’t end there. Jesus went on to tell another parable of a woman who lost a coin. She searched her home until she found it (Luke 15:8-10). He followed this story with yet another parable, that of the lost or prodigal son, the stunning message that every repentant sinner is forgiven and welcomed home by God.

So, What Does the Parable of the Lost Sheep Mean for You?

The meaning is simple yet so profound that we often miss the truth. 

 We are lost humans who are in desperate need of a loving Saviour. 

Jesus taught this lesson three times in succession to drive home his meaning., showing that God deeply loves and cares for each of us personally as a community and individuals. 

We are so valuable to him, and he seeks you far and wide to bring you back home to him. 

When the lost one returns, the Good Shepherd receives him back with joy, and he does not rejoice alone.

Points For Further Study

Sheep have an instinctive tendency to wander. Therefore, if the shepherd did not go out and seek this lost creature, it would not have found its way back on its own.

Jesus calls himself the Good Shepherd in John 10:11-18, who not only searches for lost sheep (sinners) but who lays down his life for them.

In the first two parables, the Lost Sheep and Lost Coin, the owner actively searches and finds what is missing. 

In the third story, the Prodigal Son, the father lets his son have his way, but waits with much love and patience for him to come home, then forgives him and celebrates. Again, repentance is a general idea here.

As a point of interest, the parable of the Lost Sheep may have been inspired by Ezekiel 34:11-16:

“For this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I will search and find my sheep. I will be like a shepherd looking for his scattered flock. I will find my sheep and rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on that dark and cloudy day. 

I will bring them back home to their land of Israel from among the peoples and nations. I will feed them on the mountains of Israel and by the rivers and in all the places where people live. 

Yes, I will give them good pastureland on the high hills of Israel. There they will lie down in pleasant places and feed in the lush pastures of the hills. I will tend my sheep and give them a place to lie down in peace, says the Sovereign Lord. I will search for my lost ones who strayed away, and I will bring them safely home again. I will bandage the injured and strengthen the weak…” (NLT)

 CITATION

Adapted from the Blog written by Zavada, Jack. “Parable of the Lost Sheep Bible Story Study Guide.” Learn Religions, Dec. 6, 2021, learnreligions.com/the-lost-sheep-bible-story-summary-700064.

From < https://www.learnreligions.com/the-lost-sheep-bible-story-summary-700064

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

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

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

Virtual Hugs

Paula Xx

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

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 Rose Parish is an author, and the founder, of Hope. Faith. Love. She studied at the University of Derby and received a Master of Arts in Counselling in Professional Development. Over the years Paula Rose has served as a pastor, chaplain, counsellor, coach and taught at Christian university, led workshops and retreats, and spoken worldwide on Christian spirituality. Author of over 100 articles and two books, Paula Rose continues to write on the spiritual life. Paula Rose is adding a string to her bow and is presently reading Health and Wellness. She has four grown children, five grandchildren, and lives in South Wales, UK.

Subscribe to my YOUTUBE CHANNEL, 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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The Church and the Mindfulness question

Over the years, I have worked with many people who really struggle to make self-care a priority or do not know how to start caring for their mental health. So, I tried to find easy ways to help them on their journey. So, I began to research, which led me to the principles of mindfulness.

So I began to practice mindfulness, and in finding its great benefits, I became intensely interested in mindfulness issues around mental health. One thing that puts people off earning about themselves is that it seems far too complicated. So I searched for ways to make it easy and relatable to most people.

I escaped a very abusive marriage many years back, which caused me to be emotionally and physically ill. I developed bodily weakness and became susceptible to the flu. The abuse became a lifestyle- every day was the same. I tried to leave, but many complications prevented me.

However, finally, I did leave the relationship, which took a lot of courage. I began seriously fearing for my safety when my spouse abused me, and I was admitted to the hospital for several days. Living with this man wreaked havoc with my mind and immune system, making me feel like an old lady. Not only within my body but in my mind as well. After we separated and began to live alone. I spent over a year with women’s aid to receive weekly counseling. However, I was still working full time, and my colleagues nor my family knew the gravity of my situation.

For my continued safety and wellbeing, I moved away from my spouse to the other side of the city. On moving day, I had some help from friends, then the time came for them to return to their homes. By this time, it was by late afternoon. I was alone, but I wanted to move my microwave from one bench to another, where the accident occurred. Unfortunately, the microwave oven was cumbersome. I am a petite woman, and I barely could reach the bench height, so I decided to stand on a low table (I am only 4ft 11ins) to move the microwave from one place to another.

Lifting the oven while balancing on the table proved far too heavy for me, toppling me over. As I placed the microwave in place, down, I fell, landing with a sickening ‘thud’, on my right shoulder as I slammed into the hard kitchen floor. I was in great pain and taken to hospital by a friend I called upon. The doctor reported that I had ripped my shoulder, and two of the main tendons snapped. Unfortunately, I lost the use of my arm for over three months, and because I could no longer drive, I also took sick leave from work for that time.

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

I became so weak I would crawl up the stairs on my hands and knees. I had physically slowed down because I lost the use of my arm and really didn’t feel well most of the time. To top it all off, I was grieving for my marriage that once held so much promise of love and happiness. However, my brain was still in work mode; it had not slowed me down, I wanted to recover and get back to my usual self as quickly as possible, so I surfed the web, bought books, studied the mind, and its working, and discovered mindfulness.

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

Then I discovered mindfulness. I have enjoyed practicing holistic living all my life, which means caring for my mind, body, and soul in equal parts. However, I never really ventured into the mindfulness territory. I didn’t know much about it or understand what it was and why I should learn about it.

Thinking about it, I never connected mindfulness with God or my lifestyle or even the health of my mind, body, or soul. The opinions of my ministry friends did not help, warning me against it because it was of the devil. I think this idea is because of the fundamentalist doctrine that anything of the mind has its origins in evil.

This prevailing attitude caused me to write a new book, which I am currently working on. I found significant Biblical evidence to support mindfulness that I had to address the issue and share the theological view of mindfulness.

In my book, I will share what I have discovered about mindfulness within Biblical narratives. The word ‘ mindfulness’ is not found in the Bible, but the principles are. Mindfulness is a modern interpretation of the process, as ancient as creation itself.


I began practicing mindfulness and approached everything I did intentionally. I found that for me, mindfulness worked well if I made it a ‘lifestyle’ rather than as a practice where one dips in and out. Then, of course, I would forget to be mindful through practice, but become a lifestyle, and soon would become a well-habit and second nature.

To create a mindful life, I knew I must become familiar with mindfulness and learn all that I could. I came to understand that if I studied the theories of mindfulness, I would understand it, then slowly, I would become more mindful a little bit more every day.

 Let me know, what you think  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.

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

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

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

Virtual Hugs

Paula Rose 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.

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 Rose Parish is an author, and the founder, of Hope. Faith. Love. She studied at the University of Derby and received a Master of Arts in Counselling in Professional Development. Over the years Paula Rose has served as a pastor, chaplain, counselor, coach and taught at Christian university, led workshops and retreats, and spoken worldwide on Christian spirituality. Author of over 100 articles and two books, Paula Rose continues to write on the spiritual life. Paula Rose is adding a string to her bow and is presently reading Health and Wellness. She has four grown children, five grandchildren, and lives in South Wales, UK.

Subscribe to my YOUTUBE CHANNEL, 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

👛SHOP WITH ME

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

SHOP www.moonrosemindfulness.com

FOOD for your Soul- www.paularoseparish.com

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

👱‍♀️ CHAT WITH ME

📸 Instagram: paularoseparish2020.

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

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

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

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

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https://anchor.fm/paula-rose-parish

Send me Mail

Email: paularoseparish@gmail.com

Does Your Church Make You Happy, Spiritually Fed- or Fed Up?

I thought i knew the recipe for a successful in a church. Now, I  wonder sometimes, how much we think about our personal purpose with in the church that we are part of. My perspective has changed over the years. I have seen a lot happen that brings me to the conclusion that I now have- so this brings me to the question-

Do you attend church for what you personally get out of it, or do you go to pour yourself into the lives of others?

An Incorrect View of a Church- Does This Church Make ME Happy? 

I often read and respond to questions and comments regarding attending church and engaging in a church. There are so many people who have an incorrect view of why the church (Global and Local) exists.

There are far too many people who go to church for what they receive from attending or being part of a church.

The right way to view is- what can I do for my church? 

The problem is if you’re looking for a church to make you happy, you’ll be always disappointed. With this attitude you end up super judgemental and scrutinise it at every turn.

As soon as that church no longer makes you happy, you become dissatisfied, and end up leaving finding somewhere else to go – or you will stop going altogether. There is NO such thing as a perfect church so you will continue looking and be wander from one church to the next. 

Don’t get me wrong – we need to be discerning about the church leadership and ask the questions,

Is this Church teaching the full gospel of God?

Is this church for me?

Does the Lord want me to be part of this church?

if the answer to these few questions is yes- then you need to ride the rough times that every churches experiences and support it regardless.

Does My Church Feed Me? 

When you are a new Christian, you just accept what comes your way and are so grateful that your sins are forgiven- forever. Sometimes those who have been believers for a long time expect to be fed a certain “spiritual diet”. It seems that big spiritual words that few understand are better along with some Greek and Hebrew! 

 I went to two Christian colleges and university, I learned a lot. However, I don’t believe that I must be constantly fed more and more head knowledge. In fact, I am still learning to live more like Christ day to day and how to put into action more and more of His Word. Living for, and like Christ is far more important than having a head full of deep theology. 

 “If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.” 1 Corinthians 13:1-2 

Many of us have been believers for several years and want to eat this so called “spiritual diet.” The apostle Paul writes about eating meat, versus the milk of the Word, If we view this verse in context, he’s address a rift in the church as they go over and over again the rite of baptism, salvation and the resurrection etc. Paula is telling them to get on with living the gospel and stop trying it into some dead religious exercise.

But today many take this out of contest, and believe the church ‘owes’ them something and they must feel that they are spiritual fed.

But do we have to get fed “meat” at our own local church?  

As I was studying this topic, I came across the verses also about “Am I of Paul, or Apollos or Peter?” in I Corinthians. This passage reminds me that I don’t have to get my spiritual teaching only by my Pastor at my own church. I also need to take responsibly of my own spiritualty and study the Word on my own!  I need to learn to feed myself!

So many resources are available now, such as Christian radio, Podcasts, Books, Seminars and the Internet. We can get fed “spiritual meat”, very easily. Scripture tells us also to encourage each other at church too.

Do you look for what you can get only at church, or do you try to give to newer believers, seekers or anyone who wants to learn, while at your local church? 

“But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.”  Hebrews 3:13 

Discipleship – is Feeding Others

“Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely, I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20 

Again, we must take responsibly of own our spiritualty to be able to make disciples successfully.  

Do you “Pour” into others’ lives? If not, are you willing to? How about investing in a new believer or one who needs to understand the Word of God better?  

Jesus had 12 disciples that He chose to invest in. Do you have someone in your sights or a few people that you can invest in? 

Too many times, we get caught up in buying and gaining more and more, and then we take that world view into our church life. Its a ‘giv-my’ culture instead of laying ones life down for others.

Without experiencing change, we can not Grow in Faith.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Paula Rose has a Bachelor of Pastoral Counselling and Theology, Vision Christian University, USA

Master of Arts In Counselling & Professional Development, specializing in Spiritual Abuse The University of Derby, UK.

BACP Life Coaching Course, Bristol, UK

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

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

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

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

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WALKING THE CAMINO a spiritual journey

When I walked the Camino in Northern Spain, I knew how important the yellow signposts were to stay on the trail, especially in the remote and rugged terrain or new areas of exploration I experienced.  Sometimes the markers which were arrows- were hard to find, and many times I thought I made a wrong turn.

These arrows kept me safe and focused on the trail. Those sign markers allowed me to enjoy my pilgrimage without the fear of getting lost and potentially spending hours or days in a detour. Sadly, many die on the Camino each year-why?

Because they fail to follow the arrows, go off track and end up over a mountain cliff somewhere. 

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

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

Joseph was a pilgrim. He took his family far away from home, before and after the birth ofChrist. I love Joseph. This a a great story to use as a template to understand what the signpost of your life is. Joseph was an innocent and somewhat naïve guy, but everything just always went wrong for him. Trouble seemed to find him and even follow him. But in the end God raise him up as a mighty leader- why? Because he kept the faith and understood the signposts God had placed in his life and followed them.

Ruth is another pilgrim. She is a person I identify closely with. A widow in strange land with a family not her own, only through marriage, life went terribly wrong for her, yet God provided for her in her poverty- why? Because she trusted in the God of Abraham and saw the signs posts laid before her and followed them.

These characters intentionally consented to God’s presence and God’s action in their life.  If you do the same, you will see Gods provision and will work out as they did.

Turn to your Bible and Enjoy reading those stories and others and glean all the truth you can and live in faith, joy, and peace, in our saviors name- Jesus Christ.

😀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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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

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You Need THIS if you’re Grieving.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Talk soon,

Paula Rose💕

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

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

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

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

Virtual Hugs

Paula Xx

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

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

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Ruth in the Bible :

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

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

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

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

RUTH BEGINS HER JOURNEY 

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

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

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

Ruth 1 NIV -In – Bible Gateway

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lesson – WE WILL LIVE PURPOSEFULLY WHEN WE TRUST GOD

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 my SHOP, lifestyle tips, and details of my Stress Relief Master Class. 

Remember to Live Life on Purpose

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

Paulax💕

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How do we Prepare for the Second Coming-and for whatever life brings us?  

Reading

Luke 21:25-36  25 “There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea. 26 People will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken. 27 At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 28 When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads because your redemption is drawing near.”29 He told them this parable: “Look at the fig tree and all the trees. 30 When they sprout leaves, you can see for yourselves and know that summer is near. 31 Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that the kingdom of God is near.32 “Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. 33 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.34 “Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you suddenly like a trap. 35 For it will come on all those who live on the face of the whole earth. 36 Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man.”

This is a difficult text.  If it weren’t in the Advent 1 Year C lectionary, I probably would skip it. But that bothers me.  You see, I respect the Bible as God’s Word.  I believe that God inspired the writers of the Bible.  God caused them to write about the things we need to know.  Therefore, if I don’t like a particular scripture, the problem is probably with me and not with the scripture.  In fact, I often find that, when I take the time to deal with a text that I don’t like, God often turns on lights for me that I hadn’t even imagined were there.

 Again, we are tempted to ignore apocalyptic texts such as this.  Not only are they difficult to understand, but we are embarrassed by the extremes of today’s apocalyptic preachers.  However, we must acknowledge that Jesus spoke clearly about the Second Coming (also known as the Parousia), and other New Testament writings emphasize it as well.  The lectionary does us a service by helping us to recover this important doctrine.

Our Gospel lesson for this week has its beginning in Jesus’ prediction that the temple will be destroyed (vv. 5-6) and the disciples’ question, “Teacher, so when will these things be? What is the sign that these things are about to happen?” (v. 7).  Jesus responds by telling of wars and rumours of wars, earthquakes, and plagues (vv. 9-11), the arrest of Christians for witnessing (vv. 12-19), and the destruction of Jerusalem (vv. 20-24).  Then come the cosmic signs of verses 25-26, which is where our Gospel lesson begins.

Jesus does not say these things to frighten us, but to prepare us. 

Our proper response is not to be terrified (v. 9), but to avoid being led astray by false teachers (v. 8) and to take advantage of opportunities for witnessing created by the turmoil (v. 13).  We are not to be concerned about preparing our defence, “for I will give you a mouth and wisdom which all your adversaries will not be able to withstand or to contradict” (v. 15).

This is a very different scene from that which is too often proclaimed from apocalyptic pulpits today.  There is no car suddenly left driverless at the Rapture.  Jesus does not lift us above turmoil and suffering but drops us into the middle of it. 

“The ‘redemption’ that is promised is not a private lifeboat to save a few privileged folks while everything else is destroyed” (Ringe, 253).

Jesus’ purpose is not to insulate us from discomfort, but to prepare us for redemption.
Jesus makes   two major points are made here

POINT ONE LUKE 21:25-28.   THERE WILL BE SIGNS

5″There will be signs in the sun, moon, and stars; and on the earth anxiety of nations, in perplexity for the roaring of the sea and the waves; 26men fainting for fear, and for the expectation of the things which are coming on the world: for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 27Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 28But when these things begin to happen, look up, and lift up your heads because your redemption (Greek: apolytrosis–sometimes used for being redeemed from slavery) is near.”


Jesus has been speaking about the destruction of the temple (vv. 5-6) and Jerusalem (vv. 20-24).  He now turns his attention to the future of the world at large.  The former will be characterized by the coming of armies, who will bring destruction (v. 20).  The latter will be described by the coming of the Son of Man, who will bring redemption (v. 27).  Both events will be devastating, but the destruction of Jerusalem will be catastrophic, while the coming of the Son of Man will be redemptive.

The coming of the Son of Man is heralded in Daniel 7:13-14.  That chapter describes Daniel’s vision, where he saw frightening beasts doing terrible things.  Then the Ancient of Days (God) took his throne, destroyed the beasts, and was joined by “one like a son of man”–a human figure in contrast with the earlier beastly images.  This “one like a son of man” is given “everlasting dominion,” and “The kingdom and the dominion, and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole sky, shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High” (Daniel 7:27).  The picture is that of a world restored to God’s intent–an end of chaos and evil–a beginning of peace and justice.

“There will be signs in the sun, moon, and stars; and on the earth anxiety of nations, in perplexity for the roaring of the sea and the waves” (v. 25).  When Jesus predicted the destruction of the temple, the disciples asked, “Teacher, so when will these things be? What is the sign that these things are about to happen?” (v. 7).  Jesus then talked about wars and earthquakes and famines and plagues and great signs from heaven and persecution (vv. 19).  Those were the signs that would point to the destruction of Jerusalem.  Now, in verse 25, Jesus talks about the signs that will point to the coming of the Son of Man–cosmic signs involving the sun and moon and stars.

Jesus portrays a scene very much like the one described in the book of Daniel.  The coming of the Son of Man will seem catastrophic (vv. 25-26)–and Jesus implies that it will be catastrophic for unbelievers–but it will usher in the redemption of believers (v. 28). 

The picture is that of the birth of a new world–of all creation in labour.  However, that labour will give birth to a wonderful new world where evil will be ended–where creation will be restored to God’s design.  It is therefore a time for hope–for eager anticipation–for joy.

“the roaring of the sea and the waves” (v. 25b).  If the sun, moon, and stars are affected, they can be expected to have an effect on earthly things as well.  We know how the moon controls tides.  Just imagine the ways an altered sun would affect us.

“men fainting (Greek: apopsuchonton–faint or die) for fear, and for expectation of the things which are coming on the world: for the powers of the heavens will be shaken” (v. 26).  Fear will be so intense that people will faint.  The word apopsuchonton can also mean die, so it seems likely that some people will be literally scared to death.

“Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. But when these things begin to happen, look up, and lift up your heads, because your redemption is near” (vv. 27-28). 

The surprise here is that the warning signs pointed, not to the destruction but to the coming of the Son of Man–to redemption.  Gardner Taylor, the great African-American preacher, had a sermon on this text that he concluded by shouting, “Look up!  Look up!” Then he paused, his voice softening, and he proceeded very deliberately:  “For your redemption–draweth–nigh!”  Great words for an African American congregation that has suffered more than its share of turmoil!  Great words for us all!

“But when these things begin to happen, look up, and lift up your heads, because your redemption is near” (v. 28).

Jesus’ language seems strange to us, but that would not be the case for Jesus’ disciples, who know Hebrew scripture.  Hear these examples (see also Isaiah 13:10; Ezekiel 32:7; Joel 2:10; Haggai 2:6).

o The nations are in an uproar, the kingdoms totter; he utters his voice, the earth melts (Psalm 46:6).

o You rule the raging of the sea; when its waves rise, you still them (Psalm 89:9).

o The earth is utterly broken, the earth is torn asunder, the earth is violently shaken (Isaiah 24:19).

o I will show portents in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and columns of smoke (Joel 2:30).

Such language is poetic.  We cannot expect to connect it to specific events but need instead to hear the promise that God intervenes decisively in our history.  It is not a threat, but a promise!

“your redemption (Greek:  apolytrosis) is near.”  Redemption involves bringing liberty to a captive, usually through a ransom payment–the payment required to secure the redemption.  The New Testament presents Jesus’ death on the cross as a redemptive act for humanity–as a “ransom for many” (Mark 10:45).

Paul speaks of “the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:24).  He says that Christ Jesus became for us “wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption” (1 Corinthians 1:30).  He tells us that “we have our redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace” (Ephesians 1:7)–and that Jesus Christ is the one “in whom we have our redemption, the forgiveness of our sins” (Colossians 1:14).

POINT TWO LUKE 21:34-36.   Be ready & BE CAREFUL

For one thing, this scripture tells us to get ready and to stay ready, because you never know when the day will come.  Jesus says:“Be on guard so that your hearts are not weighed down with overindulgence and drunkenness and the worries of this life, and that day catch you unexpectedly, like a trap” (vv. 34-35).

That’s good advice, isn’t it?  Get ready and stay ready, so that:

Those are three killers, aren’t they!  overindulgence and DRUNKENNESS and the WORRIES of this life.”Those three things literally kill people.  If you don’t believe me, ask your doctor whether overindulgence drunkenness and worries kill people.  I am confident that he will say, “yes”

            Soldiers talk a lot about readiness.  Commanders remind them regularly that they need to be ready for whatever might come–whenever it might come.


“Be on guard so that your hearts are not weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of this life (PAUSE) and that day catch you unexpectedly, like a trap.”

It would be so easy to say, “Well, let’s not get excited now.  After all, Jesus hasn’t come back for two thousand years.  Why should we think that he will come soon?  Let’s not inconvenience ourselves now.  Let’s not pray now.  Let’s not worry now.  After all, we read the Bible last month.  Surely we don’t need to read the Bible this month too.”

But Jesus says to us- Be on guard Jesus calls us to be ready now because we might have no warning. That’s good advice whether we are preparing for the Second Coming or just preparing for tomorrow.  “Get ready” is good advice for every day, regardless of what that day might bring.  If we are spiritually ready for the Second Coming, we will also be spiritually ready for whatever else life brings.

IN CLOSING

Former British Prime minister Benjamin Disraeli said “The secret of success in life is to be ready for opportunity when it comes.”

Then there is this Chinese proverb –“ Dig a well before you are thirsty.”

The early church thought a lot about Christ’s Second Coming, and their message was always one of hope. 

The great preacher, Alexander Maclaren, put it this way.

“The primitive church thought more about the Second Coming of Jesus Christ than about death or heaven. The early Christians were looking not for a cleft in the ground called a grave, but for a cleavage in the sky called Glory. They were watching not for the ‘UNDERtaker’ but for the “UPPERtaker.

I know this can be a difficult subject for some people, however, I hope you enjoyed reading it.

  • ARE you nervous about the second coming?
  • Do you believe that Christ will return in physical form?
  • How are you preparing for the second coming?

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Paula Xx💕

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