The Coptic martyr recognised by the Vatican.

I have connections with Our Lady of Margam near where I live. I have attended the Mass and received their newsletter, click here if you are interested in taking a look at their website. SEE HERE.

What I found in the Margum Newsletter

An article was posted in the Our Lady of Margum newsletter, which caught my attention. The article was all about recognising the non-catholic martyr of the 21st Century.

I appreciate the idea of celebrating and recognising 21st-century martyrs and saints. In the Free protestant Church, which I am a part of, does not regularly acknowledge those who give their lives for Jesus Christ.

For those of you who don’t know, the Free Church is all Protestant Churches and traditions apart from the Anglians, commonly known as The Church of England. However, the Anglians do routinely celebrate martyrs and saints, but the Free Church usually does not. Free Protestant Church does not regularly celebrate passed martyrs or Saints within their official liturgy either.

As a Protestant Free Church minister of word and sacrament, I have never seen any official liturgy acknowledging those executed because they refuse to deny Christ. I think this is such a loss to the Church. Acknowledging such people brings us the absolute seriousness of keeping the faith and the possible consequences of doing so.

In modernity, Protestant Christians of all sorts are watering down the Gospel to the point that it has lost its power to save a soul from the power of sin and death. SEE HERE. and HERE.

In my own life and ministry, I am examining this very thing and revisiting the nature of my Church tradition and my call to ministry. The Holy Spirit is challenging me regarding the ‘fluffy’ or ‘woolly’ theology, which is a steady diet of modern protestant Christianity, particularly in the charismatic and liberal camps, and please note that I have lived and worked in both.

I have seen for the longest time that, sadly, Christianity has become no more than a ‘spiritual’ community-based organisation that seeks to put bums on seats and fails to concern itself with the grave matter of sin and the salvation of souls. Recognising the martyrs and Saints’ past and present brings home to each of us how important it is to learn what sin is and its dire consequences. I will write more about this in future posts and how this thinking challenges me SEE HERE.

Below is an excerpt from an article from the Catholic Pillar about a modern-day martyr who is not Catholic.  Matthew Ayariga is one of only 21 people officially recognised as 21st-century martyrs by the Coptic Orthodox Church (which is not Catholic) and the Catholic Church. 

For the very first time, Pope Francis has joined with the Coptic Orthodox in this recognition, and I speculate that it maybe because of the doctrine of Divine Mercy- I don’t know- to learn more about Divine Mercy, click & SEE HERE.

Now, dear Christian, at this point, you may be thinking, ‘What on earth does all this have to do with me?’ Well, the death of a brother or sister in Christ profoundly affects us all, even if we have never met them- SEE HERE.

Today, I challenge you in love, as the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity, has been and still is challenging me to work out our salvation with fear and trembling seriously, SEE HERE. 


With his inscription in the Roman Martyrology, Matthew Ayariga will be listed among the saints and blessed recognized by the Catholic Church. The feast day of the 21 martyrs is expected to be Feb. 15, the day they are remembered in the Coptic Orthodox Church.

A gruesome propaganda video released by Islamic State in February 2015 showed Ayariga and his colleagues dressed in identical orange jumpsuits as they were led along a beach by towering black-clad figures.

The 21 were lined up facing away from the waves, each with an Islamic State member behind them. As they were forced to their knees, the camera panned across them, showing Ayariga kneeling serenely in front of the leader, the only one of the terrorists not dressed in black. 

The workers — many of whom were clearly praying in their final moments — were then simultaneously beheaded. 

The five-minute video depicting their murder described the 21 as “people of the cross, followers of the hostile Egyptian church.”

It was said that the militants had questioned Ayariga about his faith before his death, no doubt wondering what linked him to a group of Egyptian Christians. Ayariga reportedly told them simply that “their God is my God.”

After the Islamic State was driven out of Sirte, local authorities said they had located the construction workers’ bodies. DNA tests confirmed that the remains were indeed those of the martyrs.

Twenty of the bodies were flown on May 15, 2018, to Egypt, where they were greeted with the nationwide ringing of church bells. They were laid to rest in a shrine dedicated to their memory. 

But Ayariga’s body remained in Libya. 

In 2019, a delegation requested that Ayariga “be joined with his Coptic brothers in their final resting place.” The Libyan government agreed, and his remains were transferred to Egypt in September 2020. The martyrs’ families were quoted as saying: “Our joy is complete.”

If this excerpt has caught your interest, click HERE to read the full article.

May God bless you all and keep you safe

in your witness for Christ our Lord and saviour.

Prayer for Christian Martyrs

Lord, so great is our love for you
That even though we walk in a world
where speaking your name can mean certain death
Your faithful still speak it
And speak it all the louder.

Help us work for a world where all may speak their creeds
And pray their prayers
Without fear of violence.

Hear the prayers of those who abide with you
in dangerous times
and in dark valleys,
And who die with your name on their lips.
Draw them quickly to your side
Where they might know eternal peace.


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

To be notified whenever I post new content by subscribing using the banner as you come onto the site.

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

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

Paula Rose Parish💕

🖤Want to help support me as an author?

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

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

 📚Psalm 23 Unwrapped: Hope in difficult times.


Confusion is Part of the Learning Process

 John 16  New International Version 

 “All this I have told you so that you will not fall away. They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact, the time is coming when anyone who kills you will think they are offering a service to God. They will do such things because they have not known the Father or me. I have told you this, so that when their time comes you will remember that I warned you about them. I did not tell you this from the beginning because I was with you, but now I am going to him who sent me. None of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ Rather, you are filled with grief because I have said these things. But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. When he comes, he will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment: about sin, because people do not believe in me; 10 about righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; 11 and about judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned. 

12 “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. 13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. 14 He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. 15 All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.” 

The Disciples’ Grief Will Turn to Joy 

16 Jesus went on to say, “In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me.” 

17 At this, some of his disciples said to one another, “What does he mean by saying, ‘In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me,’ and ‘Because I am going to the Father’?” 18 They kept asking, “What does he mean by ‘a little while’? We don’t understand what he is saying.” 

19 Jesus saw that they wanted to ask him about this, so he said to them, “Are you asking one another what I meant when I said, ‘In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me’? 20 Very truly I tell you, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy. 21 A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world. 22 So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy. 23 In that day you will no longer ask me anything. Very truly I tell you, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. 24 Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete. 

25 “Though I have been speaking figuratively, a time is coming when I will no longer use this kind of language but will tell you plainly about my Father. 26 In that day you will ask in my name. I am not saying that I will ask the Father on your behalf. 27 No, the Father himself loves you because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God. 28 I came from the Father and entered the world; now I am leaving the world and going back to the Father.” 

29 Then Jesus’ disciples said, “Now you are speaking clearly and without figures of speech. 30 Now we can see that you know all things and that you do not even need to have anyone ask you questions. This makes us believe that you came from God.” 

31 “Do you now believe?” Jesus replied. 32 “A time is coming and in fact has come when you will be scattered, each to your own home. You will leave me all alone. Yet I am not alone, for my Father is with me. 

33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” 


What About You? 

Are you familiar with the meaning of Jesus’ teachings? While smugness may attempt to claim that you fully grasp everything, Jesus points out that we all are likely be in a similar state of confusion as the disciples in our scripture passage. It’s OK, confusion is not necessarily an unfavourable position to be in. 

First and foremost, the disciple’s confusion demonstrates that they took Jesus seriously. A good thing to do is to admit you don’t know it all because it enables you to be open to learning.

I am a learner. I studied for my master’s degree in my late 50s and then began a PhD in my 60s. I also study the Bible under various Teachers of different Church traditions to glean an overview of interpretation.  

I know a secret; the more I learn about the Bible, the more I learn about myself. Take a look at 2 Timothy 3:16 ESV. 

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, reproof, correction, and training in righteousness. ‘

 The Disciples weren’t indifferent or apathetic. On the contrary, they genuinely cared about and desired to understand His teaching. They must have possessed some level of faith in Jesus. Otherwise, they would have disregarded him. But they didn’t. They actively listened, sought to understand, and engaged in discussions about his teachings. They hung around Jesus, asking Him questions and strove to understand the meanings behind His words. 

Confusion is a part of learning. Before we actually ‘get it,’ we need clarification as we struggle with meaning. Interestingly, Jesus doesn’t criticise their confusion. Instead, he errs towards the positive by recognising their efforts and acknowledging their faith. Even though the disciples are perplexed, Jesus continues to communicate using figurative language; he does not give up on them. 

 Instead of straightforward and clear explanations, the message is mystical because what he imparts is profound. The mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven are deep, as the book of Revelation points out to us- Revelation 2:29Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. 


How can you cultivate a deeper understanding and appreciation of the mysteries of life and faith? Also, what steps can I take to humbly admit my confusion and seek the gift of faith from our Lord? 

Then some of his disciples asked us what he was saying to us?  

A little while, and you will not see me. And again, in a little while, you will see me. And for I am going to the Father, and they said, what is this that he is saying a little while? We need to understand what he is saying. John 16:17 to 18. 

This passage seems confusing to the disciples, who did not realise that Jesus would die, rise, and ascend to heaven.  

Read with Your Faith 

Because Jesus’ teachings are so vastly profound, and mystical, we cannot begin to comprehend them with our cerebral minds. To fully understand what is happening, we must first approach Jesus’ teachings through her faith. Faith only implies a partial understanding of some things. Instead, it is a supernatural gift that allows one to believe without foresight and comprehension. Faith is simply trusting without the need for explanation.  

Faith in God stems from God, not from one’s reasoning abilities. However, faith always leads to a deeper understanding, so as the disciples express their faith, they also come to understand. Ultimately, despite Jesus’ figurative language, the disciples believe anyway. 

John 16:30  New Living Translation 
Now we understand that you know everything, and there’s no need to question you. From this we believe that you came from God.” 

The Remedy for Confusion 

If you find yourself confused about matters of faith, God, morality, or other mysteries of life, don’t be afraid to acknowledge your confusion. We all need clarification. It’s a part of being human, particularly a part of learning.  

Admitting confusion is a humble recognition of the truth, and this humility serves as a crucial step toward receiving the gift of faith.  

Today, take a moment to reflect on whether you struggle with indifference toward Jesus teaching or something else. Commit yourself to imitate the disciples who intentionally grappled with all that Jesus taught, no matter your struggles. Don’t hesitate to confess your confusion, lay it before the Lord, and ask for His help. Strive to receive the gift of faith and let that flicker of faith become the pathway to a deeper understanding of life’s mysteries. 

 Let’s Pray.  

Lord my God, you are so profound and unfathomable that no one can ever fully grasp the debt, breath, of you. 

My mysterious Lord you open the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven to us who believe. Open my mind to a deeper understanding of you so I may profess my faith in you and all you have chosen to reveal.  

I do believe. I believe, my God, Help me in my moments of confusion and doubt.  

Jesus, I trust in you- Amen. 

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

To be notified whenever I post new content by subscribing using the banner as you come onto the site.

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

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

Paula Rose Parish💕

🖤Want to help support me as an author?

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

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

 📚Psalm 23 Unwrapped: Hope in difficult times

The Importance of the Ten Commandments

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

I was living in Oklahoma, USA, when Dan, my husband and father of four children, announced he was leaving our family without warning.

After speaking to the children privately, I found out he slandered me to them, telling them it was my fault I was leaving.

To my dismay, he grabbed everything and crammed what he could into the family car. With panic and terror in my heart and voice, I cried out-you can’t leave us with no money! (he had exclusive access to our bank account). With a smile, he slowly reached into his pocket and drew out a single dollar. As he gave it to me, he said, don’t let anybody tell you that I never left you with any money and then disappeared into the night. I was devastated and suffered a breakdown.

That was in 1994; from then on, neither I nor the children have seen him again. Dan did not explain his reasoning for leaving; we were terrifiednot knowing what the future would bring.

The letter that changed everything

  A year later, the week of my 40th birthday, the children and I lived in the UK. To my surprise, my youngest son, who was six then, received a letter from Dan, his father. The letter was bizarre, not at all one that should be written to a six-year-old. 

However, through this letter, we learned why he abandoned us. The letter stated that he left us to start a new life with another woman. This woman, he explained, was younger, prettier, and smarter than me and had no children to hold him back. He wrote that God told him to leave because the burden of his wife and children hindered him from God’s perfect will. To his absolute shame, he used God to justify his actions. The reality was, unbeknown to me that he had committed adultery for some time even though he professed to be led by God.

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

Dan did this so he could be free from blame and the judgement of others. Sadly, some people believed his lies for a time because he was so convincing, a typical narcissist personality. 

My husband’s behaviour has nothing to do with God’s love revealed to us in the Bible. However, such behaviour is typical of the influence of a false god of one’s own making. 

Dan created his own God with his own values to suit his lusts. This God was created by his selfishness, delusion, and sin. In the shock of our sudden loss, we grieved and felt the loss deeply; our lives were never the same again, nor was our relationship with each other .

Be Wise in What You Do

 Decision-making, when we are distressed is tricky. It is tempting to make unwise choices as Dan did without fully considering the consequences.

Be careful who you follow because we can be fooled into thinking that so-called well-meaning folk have our welfare at heart. Some scammers make offers we may interpret as an answer to prayer, but we must be alert and discerning. If the paths they offer do not lead to righteousness, they will lead us to sin.

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

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

The paths that God has chosen for us are clearly marked out for us in God’s Word. No path of righteousness, for example, will ever pass through the field of extramarital sex.

No path of righteousness will ever travel over gluttony, adultery, slander, dishonesty, unloving behaviour, or engage with anything illegal. The righteous path will not lead us away from the Ten Commandments.

Exodus 20 NIV

The Ten Commandments

And God said these words: “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt and the land of slavery.

1 “You shall have no other gods before me.

2. “You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above, on the earth beneath, or in the waters below. 5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.

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

4. “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. 9 Six days you shall labour and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

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

6. “You shall not murder.

7.”You shall not commit adultery.

8. “You shall not steal.

9. “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbour.

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

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

To be notified whenever I post new content by subscribing using the banner as you come onto the site.

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

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

Paula Rose Parish💕

🖤Want to help support me as an author?

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

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

 📚Psalm 23 Unwrapped: Hope in difficult times.

My Thoughts about the Coronation of the King and Queen

Here in the United Kingdom, we recently witnessed the Coronation of King Charles the Third and the crowing of Queen Camila.

I would have loved to go to London, join the crowds, and be part of the celebration. However, I had arranged to watch the Coronation on the big screen with friends at my local and attend a street party afterwards. But unfortunately, I could not do that because I have a knee operation coming up and need to be shielded to prevent catching COVID. Because if I get positive for COVID, the operation will be cancelled. I’ve been waiting for this operation since 2017, so I don’t want anything to go wrong this time.

So, instead, I had an early lunch with a glass of Champagne and watched the Coronation celebrated on my TV. And it was lovely because I watched it on television; I could see and experience things that I wouldn’t be able to if I were physically there. So, it worked out OK.

And then Sunday night, I enjoyed watching the Coronation concert, which was quite impressive. I marvelled at how all that incredible light display was achieved. Absolutely amazing what can be done these days; it is undoubtedly genius!

And as I watched the Coronation live on TV, my heart became overwhelmed and tearful at one stage. Confused, I said, ‘Lord, why am I feeling like this?’ Then the strong thought came to me that one day I’ll be at the marriage supper of the Lamb where I’ll see my Jesus Christ face to face. So Jesus Christ is crowned King of Kings and Lord of Lords Forever and Ever.

What we experience about our Kings and Queens in this life is just a mere shadow of what we will be experiencing in eternity, when Jesus Christ redeems all things to himself and calls his bride to sit down at His supper and to celebrate the consummation of the Bride of Christ with the Bridegroom.

And then a Psalm came to me that was a cry from the heart of King David of Old. David wrote the Psalm. It said, my heart yearns for the courts of the Lord. David writes, ‘My heart and flesh sing for joy to the living God. You are my King and my God.

Psalm 84

For the director of music. According to Gittith. Of the Sons of Korah. A psalm. How lovely is your dwelling place, O LORD Almighty! My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the LORD; my heart and flesh cry out for the living God. Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young– a place near your altar, O LORD Almighty, my King and my God. Blessed are those who dwell in your house, ever praising you. Blessed are those whose strength is in you, who have set their hearts on pilgrimage. As they pass through the Valley of Baca, they make it a place of springs; the autumn rains also cover it with pools. They go from strength to strength till each appears before God in Zion. Hear my prayer, O LORD God Almighty; listen to me, O God of Jacob. SelahLook upon our shield, O God; look with favour on your anointed one. Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked. For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favour and honour; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless. O LORD Almighty, blessed is the man who trusts in you.

The King of My Life

During the Coronation service, there was an opportunity to pledge faithfulness and support to the Crown. I didn’t pledge allegiance to the Crown because I’ve already pledged allegiance to Jesus Christ, my Saviour, Lord, and King.

 Jesus is the King of my life. Jesus didn’t receive a jewelled crown as Charles 3rd did, but a terrible crown of thorns for the redeeming of our souls.

And no matter what mistakes I make or what hurts. I experience whatever achievements and joys I may achieve. And it’s all because of the guidance of my King and the King who reigns in me by the Holy Spirit. So when I became quite emotional about the Coronation, I realised that it reflected my heart on how I feel about King Jesus.

Nothing can compare in this life; nothing can ever replace what is prepared for those who love God through Jesus Christ.

The Coronation concert was spectacular. The singing in the Abbey was terrific, putting tingles up one’s spine. But the singing in heaven, well- It will be unimaginable. And the light display will be – unprecedented because Christ is the light who will shine throughout all eternity.

And in that place, there will be no more night, and there will be no sun. The sun will not be needed because Jesus will rule, reign, and emulate all the lights we need. 

Isaiah 60.19 

 ‘The sun will no longer be your light by day, nor will the moon’s brightness shine on you, for the LORD will be your everlasting light, and your God will be your glory.’

Our unimaginable, absolutely amazing. The warmth of the glow of God’s Love and Grace and Mercy poured forth from the throne forever and ever- Amazing- can’t wait!!

 And it is there for any of us freely in faith through Jesus Christ and then living a life of service and love.

And that’s one thing that came through loud and strong at the Coronation of King Charles, and indeed Queen Camilla is the King’s prayer for God to enable him to serve, not to be served.

And Jesus calls us all. To serve and not to be served.

And sometimes, I do not get it right. 

Of course, I don’t, and you don’t either. We’re human beings, we fall, but then we pick ourselves up and have another go. If our motivation is correct, if our hearts are right, God can forgive the rest. We must live a life of honour, love and consecration to God, filled with repentance and forgiveness.

As the Nicene Creed points out – see below- we must not forget to honour our ancient church traditions that have been in place for 2000 years that are Apostolic and Catholic.

We honour God in all we do and say to the best of our ability, And love others the same way we love ourselves. 

Then we can kneel before Jesus our King. With no shame, but in love and adoration as we meet him face to face because He took our shame away upon that cross. 

Because of the blood of Jesus, who died upon the cross for you and me, we no longer live a life of shame but of love and victory over the power of sin and death. Because of Jesus, we can live a free and triumphant life – if we choose it!

 Jesus Christ lives, rules, and reigns in heaven and in our hearts as a king of Kings. And the Lord of Lords Glory to his name forever.

A Prayer for King Charles & Queen Camilla

O God, to whom every human power is subject, grant to your servant our sovereign Charles success in the exercise of his high office so that, always revering you and striving to please you, and may he may constantly secure and preserve for the people entrusted to his care, the freedom from civil peace and that your servant Charles, our King, who, by your providence, has received the governance of this realm, may continue to grow in every virtue, that, imbued with your heavenly grace, he may be preserved from all that is harmful and evil and, being blessed with your favour, may, with his consort and the royal family, come at last into your presence, through Christ, who is the way, the truth and the life and who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

God, forever and ever.


Thank you for visiting me here; I hope this post was helpful. Also, to be notified whenever I post new content by subscribing using the banner as you come onto the site.

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

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

Paula Rose Parish💕

🖤Want to help support me as an author?

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

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

 📚Psalm 23 Unwrapped: Hope in difficult times. 

Let Not Your Heart be Troubled!

John 14. 1-6

What steps can you take to overcome the fear & anxieties that keep your away from a deeper relationship with God?  

Jesus told His disciples, ‘ Don’t let your heart be troubled; you have faith in God, so have faith in me also’. 

Chapters 14-17 in John’s Gospel present to us what is known as the Last Supper Discourses, also known as the  Final Discourses.  

These discourses are a series of homilies our Lord gave to the disciples the night he was arrested, full of symbolic imagery. 

Jesus speaks of the Holy Spirit, the advocate, the vine and branches and concludes with Jesus’ High priestly prayer.  

In these homilies, Jesus addressed coming persecutions and troubles, so he exhorted them to not let their hearts be troubled; in other words- don’t allow themselves to be fearful. 

When Jesus said, ‘Let not your heart be troubled’, and looking a little closer, we find that it is not a request but a gentle command. Our Lord knew his disciples would soon see him arrested, falsely accused, mocked, beaten, and finally killed. Jesus knew to witness all would stress his followers becoming overwhelmed by fear that they too may suffer such treatment. The disciples’ vision and hope of a better world through Jesus would come crashing down in disillusionment.  

The Many Faces of Fear 

Fear can come to us from many different sources. Some fear can be helpful to us and protects us from harm. However, there is another fear that is just plain unhelpful or highly destructive to us.  

The fear that Jesus pointed out if the disciples succumbed to it would cause them to make irrational decisions, confusion,  hopelessness and despair. 

 Jesus loved his followers and wanted them to succeed in spreading the Good News, and fear would cause them to withdraw from their calling and mission. Therefore he commands them not to be fearful.  

What causes you to fear at times?  

Many people struggle with anxiety, worry and fear for many different reasons. If you struggle with this, allowing Jesus’ words to resonate within your mind and soul is vital.  

Trusting in Jesus is the Cure for Fear 

The best way to overcome fear is to deal with it at its source. Hear Jesus say to you,  listen to his command, ‘Let not your heart be troubled’. ‘ You have faith in God and also have faith in me’. When we have faith, we put ourselves under God’s control. We hear his voice clearly, which settles our hearts and calms our fears.  

It is God’s truth that comforts us and helps us to overcome the difficulties we are facing. Fear can lead us to irrational thinking.  Irrational thinking can lead us deeper into confusion. Confusion will lead us to fear. It’s a never-ending cycle of destruction designed to rob and destroy our faith in Christ. 


Reflect today about what causes you to worry, fear and be anxious and deal with it at its core. Allow Jesus to call you to faith in Him through the scriptures and holy sacraments. When you have faith in God, you’ll be amazed at what difficult things you can endure. The disciples eventually endure their crosses.  

Allow Jesus to speak to your heart so you can endure and overcome whatever is troubling your heart today. 


Let’s Pray

 My loving shepherd, you know all things. Give me the courage to face every temptation and trial so I may not fear but have complete confidence in you. Bring clarity to my mind and peace to my troubled heart. I love you Lord….

Jesus, I trust in you. Amen  

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

To be notified whenever I post new content by subscribing using the banner as you come onto the site.  

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

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

Paula Rose Parish💕 

🖤Want to help support me as an author? 

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

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

 📚Psalm 23 Unwrapped: Hope in difficult times.  

What Is True Greatness?

John 13:12-20 Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition  

12 When he had washed their feet, taken his garments, and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. 14 If I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you should also wash one another’s feet.   

For I have given you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you. Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant[a] is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.   

I am not speaking of you all; I know whom I have chosen; it is that the scripture may be fulfilled, ‘He who ate my bread has lifted his heel against me.’ 

  I tell you this now, before it takes place, that you may believe that I am he when it does take place. But, honestly, truly, I say to you, he who receives anyone I send receives me, and he who receives me receives him who sent me.”  

How can you actively cultivate a spirit of humility in your daily life?  

What fears do you need to overcome to serve as Jesus did? 

Are You Blessed?  

The Thursday before Good Friday, Jesus spent His final evening of freedom with his disciples. Jesus said you are blessed if you understand and do what He taught.  

So what did Jesus teach? Jesus shows his teaching through His actions by taking the role of an enslaved person and washing the disciple’s feet. His action is louder than words. The disciples were humbled by this act, and Peter initially refused it. 

Jesus lowered himself in this humble act of service and made a powerful impression upon His disciples. 

Our cultural view of greatness differs from Jesus washing the disciple’s feet. In our world today, to be great is to elevate oneself. Striving for recognition or approval by praising and boasting about one’s self to others seems to be an accepted way to be ‘someone’ in the eyes of others. People are impressed with this rhetoric and deem the person ‘great’. 

But this worldly, superficial greatness is a far cry from True Greatness. 

Often worldly greatness can be driven by fear of not being accepted or a fear of others’ opinions of you, and maybe a desire to be honoured and adored by all.  

True Greatness  

Jesus made it clear that true greatness happens when we serve the good of others from the depth and sincerity of our hearts. We must put others before ourselves and humble our will to the Father. In serving others, we are showing them the love and kindness of God with deep respect.  

Humility can be difficult for us to understand. This is why Jesus demonstrated to us what being humble should look like. Jesus realised that His disciples, as well as all of us, do struggle to understand what true humility really is.  

By washing the disciple’s feet, Jesus showed the natural way to Godly greatness that will last and find rewards for all eternity. 

Jesus invites us to live by His example, Jesus invites us to humble ourselves before his mighty hand, and he will lift us up on that great day- James 4.10 

Humility and Blessing 

According to our story today, living a humble life will bring us great blessings. You will not be blessed in the eyes of the world, but you indeed will be blessed in the eyes of God, who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit. 

When we overcome our fears by purifying ourselves of the desire for honour and prestige, God’s desires become ours, and in serving and blessing others, we serve God. Seek to eliminate every selfish desire you struggle with. I have found that this is a daily struggle, but we are victors nonetheless. Understand the gift of humility and live it; only then will you be truly blessed. 


Reflect today upon this humble act of the Son of God lowering himself before those he led and taught the mysteries of the kingdom. He enslaved himself to serve. He denied himself for the blessing of others. Try to imagine yourself doing this for others.  

In this coming week, How can you bless others?  

Let’s Pray

My humble lord, you set a simple yet profound example for us. Please help me to understand this beautiful virtue and to live it each day. Free me from selfishness and fear so I may love freely, and you love us all. 

Jesus, I trust in you- Amen. 

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

To be notified whenever I post new content by subscribing using the banner as you come onto the site.

If you wish to follow my blog, you’ll find a button on the bottom right and leave a comment with any questions or prayer requests. 

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

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

Paula Rose Parish💕 

🖤Want to help support me as an author? 

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

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

 📚Psalm 23 Unwrapped: Hope in difficult times.  

Are You Hearing God’s Voice?


 JOHN 10.22-30 

Then came the Festival of Dedication at Jerusalem. It was winter, and Jesus was in the temple courts walking in Solomon’s Colonnade. The Jews gathered around him, saying, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.”

Jesus answered, “I did tell you, but you do not believe. The works I do in my Father’s name testify about me, but you do not believe because you are not my sheep. My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all[ no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. The Father and I are one.”

Why is it that these people didn’t know that Jesus was the Christ? 

They wanted Jesus to speak plainly so they could understand and surprise them by telling them that he already answered their question.  

This gospel continues the teaching that Jesus is the good shepherd. Interestingly, these people want Jesus to speak clearly about whether or not he is Christ. He answered them, yet they did not believe. They did not believe for the simple fact that they were not listening. They completely missed what he said,  

One thing that this story teaches us is that God speaks to us in how own way. His way is not ours and is not always how we want Him to speak to us.

Through the mouthpiece of Jesus, God speaks the mystical, profound, gentle and often hidden language. He only reveals His most profound mystery to those with an ear to what the spirit is saying… Revelation 

But for those who do not have an ear- in other words, honest seeking and genuine heart-felt interest, God’s words can be confusing and difficult to understand. 

If you find yourself confused in life or about the plan God has for you, then maybe it is time to examine how carefully you listen to God’s words. Of course, we could beg God day and night to ‘speak plainly’ to us, but How will he only speak in the way he has always spoken. So, how does He speak? What is the language?? 

On the deepest level, it’s the language of love-infused faithful Prayer.  

This kind of Prayer, of course, is a lot different than just ‘saying’ prayers.  

Infused Prayer

Infused Prayer is different from just ‘saying’ prayers. Infused Prayer is born from a loving relationship with God the Father through Christ. To develop such a relationship, it takes commitment, time and effort on your part. Father is ready to meet you- are you ready to meet Him? 

A prayer is an act of God within our soul by which God invites us to love, believe and follow Him.  

This invitation is continually offered to us, but far too often, we fail to hear it because we fail to connect with God in Prayer. 

Hear with Your Soul

Much of John’s gospel mystically speaks to us. Therefore, it is only possible to fully comprehend what Jesus is saying to us at a glance or a quick read. No, we must diligently propose to learn and understand, which means we must commit to studying the Bible in its context.  

Jesus’ teaching must be ‘heard’ in your soul, touching the deepest part of your humanity. This approach will open the ears of your heart to the freedom from doubt to the voice of God. 


Reflect today upon the mysterious ways in which God speaks to you. That is a good starting point if you need help understanding how He speaks. 

Spend time in the gospel, prayerfully pondering it. Meditate upon the words of Jesus, listening for His voice as you read the Gospels.

f reading is a problem for you, you can download audio Bibles cheaply off the internet. Being a dyslexic, I use my audio Bible often and find it a great help to me to learn Jesus’ words. Learn His language through silent Prayer and allow Jesus’s holy word to draw you to Himself. 

Let’s Pray

My Lord and God, you speak to me day and night and continually reveal your love. Help me learn to listen to you so I may grow deep in faith and genuinely become your follower in every way.  

Jesus, I trust in you- Amen.  

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

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

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

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

Paula Rose Parish💕 

🖤Want to help support me as an author? 

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

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

 📚Psalm 23 Unwrapped: Hope in difficult times.  

Your Body is the Temple of the Holy Spirit – Look after it!

Defining Wellness

There are a variety of reasons that not all of us are healthy. However, good health is a good goal for us to go for. We may be struggling with a disability, frailty of years, an injury or something else. However, we can endeavour to care for and nourish ourselves through it all.

It’s a daily effort to ensure we stay healthy through nutrition, lowering stress levels, and many other ways. The Bible tells us that we are the temple of the Holy Spirit, so we are responsible for looking after ourselves to the best of our knowledge. I enjoy increasing my knowledge and perpetually learning how my mind, body, and soul works and how best to nourish them.

To understand the significance of wellness, it’s important to understand how it’s linked to health. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), health is defined as..

“being a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”

The Global Wellness Institute defines wellness as the active pursuit of activities, choices, and lifestyles that lead to holistic health.

 Wellness is an individual pursuit—we have self-responsibility for our choices, behaviours, and lifestyles—but it is also significantly influenced by our physical, social, and cultural environments. Wellness is a series of positive daily choices to live your life to the fullest! 

I want to support you in making the right daily choices for your wellness. I do this through coaching, counselling, speaking publicly, and writing.

Wellness is a modern word with ancient roots. The fundamental tenets of wellness as preventive and holistic can be traced back to ancient civilizations from India, China, Greece, and Rome. 

Various intellectual, religious, and medical movements developed as conventional medicine developed. However, focusing on holistic and natural approaches, self-healing and preventive care, these movements have provided a firm foundation for wellness practices.

The idea of wellness is broadly defined, but each has several similar components. I am interested in wellness for your soul as well. Faith in Christ will aid the wellness of your mind and body, which should not be overlooked.

To be able to maintain wellness, it is something that you desire and choose to pursue. It’s a choice you make in life that requires constant effort to achieve.

While associated with a healthy lifestyle, wellness goes beyond the confines of general health. It encompasses a positive outlook on your mind, body, and soul and is something we often have more control over than health.

Wellness has various dimensions and can be viewed as a quality, state, or process.

At face value, the idea of wellness may appear complex- but it need not be.

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

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


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

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

Paula Rose Parish💕 

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

To be notified whenever I post new content by subscribing using the banner as you come onto the site.

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

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

Paula Rose Parish💕

🖤Want to help support me as an author?

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

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

 📚Psalm 23 Unwrapped: Hope in difficult times.

God is With You Even in the Hard Times.

This year, lent fell on 26th March 2023. The Gospel scripture is John 11:1-45. Here we read Jesus arrived in Bethany four days after his friend Lazarus had died. He could have gone earlier, but he didn’t. So while he delayed, Lazarus died.

When he arrived in Bethany, Martha went to greet him. When she saw him, she said, “Lord, if you would have been here, my brother wouldn’t have died” (v. 21). Do you hear the reproach in that? “Lord, if you had been here, my brother wouldn’t have died.”

I can’t remember the last time that someone expressed that kind of disappointment in me–my mind has repressed the memory–but I can remember feeling the shame of it. It’s terrible to have someone look you in the eye and tell you how you have disappointed them- to have their say they depended on you, but you let them down.

I can’t remember the last time that happened to me, – maybe as a child- but I can remember wilting under the glare of honest judgment. When that kind of thing happens, you want the earth to open up and swallow you. At least, that is how I felt. I wanted the earth to open up and swallow me.

Martha said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother wouldn’t have died.” But instead of wilting under her reproach, Jesus said, Your brother will rise again” (v. 23). That sounds familiar. So our whole world caves in, and a friend, who does not know what to say and is not intelligent enough to keep his mouth shut, says, “It’s God’s will.” Or “Hang in there!” Or “It’ll be O.K.”

When that happens, we want to shout, “My wife just died! Don’t tell me that everything’s going to be all right! It’s not all right, and it’s not going to be all right!”

Martha responded to Jesus’ promise that Lazarus would rise again by saying, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day” (v. 24). She might have added, “But what good does that do me now!” Martha could have said, “I know that I will see Lazarus in heaven, but I want him here now!” She could have said, “Jesus, you have been healing strangers. Why couldn’t you do that? You’re your friend Lazarus! Why didn’t you come when we called for you?”

Have you ever felt like that? Have you ever wondered why God didn’t help when you were hurting?

Some people say a loving God would never allow good people to suffer. But on the other hand, some Christians say God will always give us what we ask if you have enough faith.

I know Christians who talk about praying for a parking place and getting one–as if that somehow validated God’s love and their faith. They are the same people who will tell you that God will always heal you if you have enough faith.

But that isn’t what the Bible says. Jesus says that God “makes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the just and the unjust” (Matt 5:45). Christians sometimes prosper and sometimes don’t–just like everyone else. It means we cannot expect that life will always be a bed of roses just because we are Christians. Christians get sick, just like everyone else. Christians die, just like everyone else.

That doesn’t mean that there’s no benefit to faith. On the contrary, those of us who have faith have a decided advantage. I believe that God does help us in adversity.

And yet, we must admit that Christians suffer–and Christians die. That is neither an indication that God doesn’t love us–nor that our faith is weak. It’s just a fact of life. We see it in our Gospel lesson. Lazarus is a dear friend of Jesus, and yet he dies. Jesus could have moved more quickly to help him–could have saved him–but he didn’t.

Jesus explained to his disciples that Lazarus’ illness was for God’s glory. That’s significant. We need to hear it. Lazarus’ illness was for God’s glory. What does that mean? It means that Lazarus’ illness and Lazarus’ death–provided an opportunity for people to see the presence of God in their midst–to witness God’s power–to experience .

Jesus finally Shows Up

Jesus came to Bethany four days after Lazarus died. The four days are essential to the story. People believed that the soul resided near the body for three days, hoping to rejoin the body. Finally, on the fourth day, the soul gave up and departed. Four days meant that it was over–there was no hope.

And that means that it would be a resounding miracle if Jesus could bring Lazarus back to life after four days when it had become hopeless. Then, people would give God glory. And that’s what happened.

The tough times in our lives glorify God too. It is one thing to have faith when everything is going right. It is another to have faith when everything is going wrong. Faith amid adversity is a powerful witness. It glorifies God.

Tragedy pushes us through a one-way door, and once we pass through it, we can never return to how life was before.

We can’t go back, no matter how much we ache to do so. All we can do is give thanks for what once was, for the good that was there, the happy times we had, the laughter, love, and the memories we shared.

Then, saying goodbye to those times and those loved ones, we put our hand in the hand of him who gave orbit to the sun, moon, and stars and trust that he has a course for our lives from there.”

But the troubled times in our lives do more than provide an opportunity for us to glorify God. Instead, they provide opportunities for us to become closer to God. Many would never have found God if life had not forced them to their knees.

And our troubled times allow God to redeem us – in others words, bring us back to himself. God does redeem his people. The Bible is one long story of God redeeming his people.

In the case of Lazarus, Jesus raised him from the dead. That was the way that he redeemed that situation. But that was unusual. God doesn’t let many people return from the dead but redeems them.

The promise of the story of Lazarus is not that we will never suffer tragedy. Nor is it that God will never let us die. Nor is it that, once dead, Jesus will give us back our physical life on this earth. Instead, the promise is that God walks with us through all of life–even the hard times–primarily through the hard times–even through the valley of the shadow of death. It’s a promise that God redeems his people.

Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen said The Church is not so much a continuously living thing as something that has survived a thousand crucifixions through a thousand Resurrections.

Believe that promise! Whatever your situation, put your hand in God’s hand and see if it isn’t true. You will survive a thousand crucifixions through a thousand Resurrections.

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

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


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

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

Paula Rose Parish💕 

Spiritual Abuse

Many years ago I was a Post Graduate Researcher at the University of Derby, UK. For those who are interested in the subject of spiritual abuse, I have posted an excerpt from my Master’s Thesis. The wording is dense being academic. Please cite as you wish, but please be aware of plagiarism and clearly acknowledge your source.- Thank you


This study investigates the human experience of a phenomenon that is little researched or understood. Stories of those who have identified themselves as having been spiritually abused within the Christian tradition are explored, together with existing theories, whilst the implications for counselling practice are also briefly discussed. This study acknowledges and builds upon previous research in spiritual abuse; however, much of the research completed to date has its origins in the United States and within the Christian Fundamentalist Movement; it is also ten or more years old.

From a cultural perspective, research into spiritual abuse is generally inadequate within the United Kingdom. Furthermore, study exploring the implications for counselling practice is lacking in this context, resulting in noticeable gaps in academic work. Research into counselling spiritually abused victims who are Christians is also very limited within the United Kingdom and there is therefore a fundamental lack of awareness of spiritual abuse within the Church and the social sciences.

Spiritual abuse is often thought to be limited to a phenomenon of sects or cults and not generally viewed as a problem within the Christian community. Therefore, to raise awareness of the problem and further the research, this paper examines what constitutes spiritual abuse within Christianity, its core features and causalities, and the counselling implications that are likely to be encountered. The literature reviewed is of a qualitative design and a phenomenological analysis.

Key words:

Spiritual Abuse: Pastoral Care: Counselling Practice


Aims and purposes of this study

This study is a review of research literature into spiritual abuse and answers the questions that the literature provokes. Material is gathered from a range of literature, crossing the full spectrum of the Christian tradition and secular organisations. I have employed a phenomenological analysis and have identified from the data, links between individual pieces of work, and a cluster of meanings from significant statements, sentences, or quotes that provide an understanding of lived experiences.  Furthermore, I have identified what is meant by spiritual abuse and its key themes. A phenomenological approach is implemented in attempting to gain an understanding of human experiences and the meanings they attach.

  1. Hart, A. (2004). The body/mind/spirit connection: Is spirituality always a good thing?

Rationale and Contribution to Knowledge

The rationale for this paper is drawn from relevant literature, personal experience, and testimonies of victims of spiritual abuse. Little has been written that focuses on spiritual abuse in the cultural context of the Christian tradition and considers the implications for pastoral care or counselling practice. It is therefore important to investigate issues relating to spiritual abuse and relevant existing theories and to create a dialogue between the research in spiritual abuse, the Church, and the social sciences, 2whilst also investigating gaps in the literature.

This review explores individual experiences of spiritual abuse, their descriptions, definitions and meanings, providing a rationale for further research and knowledge for pastoral care and counselling practice. It provides a significant contribution to the Church and the social sciences and provides counsellors and clergy in particular, with a greater understanding when working with those who have been spiritually abused. The aim is to urge professionals to consider the fullest range of abuses and including spiritual abuse; by examining the very structures and processes that aid the perpetration of this form of abuse Spiritual abuse can occur within virtually any organisational structure, (Henke 1996) whether it is a family, Church, or any other authoritarian relationship that involves faith issues. As Oakley and Kinmond confirm spiritual abuse is often thought to be limited to a phenomenon of sects or cults and not generally viewed as being a problem within the Christian community.

Explaining Spiritual Abuse

Ward (2007) argues that a problem arises in the definition of the term spiritual abuse because it is somewhat new in general literature and, to date is sparingly used. ‘Abuse’ is a broad term that is generally understood, ‘spirituality’ is equally broad and however, it is less implicit.

The phrase spiritual abuse rarely appeared in literature until around ten to fifteen years ago and remained mainly within the context of Christianity. There was some earlier material that explored the dynamics of unhealthy spirituality, but it failed to specifically name this as spiritual abuse.

According to Henzel spiritual abuse has been described as the abuse of power in the context of Christian fellowship with the core features of legalism, authoritarianism, spiritual intimidation, manipulation, and excessive discipline.

  • Creswell, W. C. (2007). Qualitative inquiry and research design: Choosing among five approaches. Second edition. California. Sage.
  • Beed, C. (1998). Cultures of secrecy and abuse. Cara Beed, PO Box 2190, Hawthorn LPO, Vic 3122, Victoria Australia.
  • Oakley, L. and Kinmond, K. (2007) Spiritual abuse: raising awareness of a little understood form of abuse. Thresholds summer 2007. pp9.
  • Ward, D. (2007). Wounding the soul: the lived experience of spiritual abuse.

(Unpublished thesis) The University of Queensland. M. Phil. School of Social Work and Applied Human Services.

  • Henzel, R. (1997). The Bible and spiritual abuse: Available at: (Accessed April 2009).

How Does it Happen?

Blue suggests that all abuse occurs when someone exerts power over another and uses that power to hurt.

Ward clearly, describes spiritual abuse as, spiritual bullying, this being the maltreatment of a person in a spiritual context. Churches with sound and solid Biblical doctrine can be considered cultic when they practice techniques of manipulation and thought reform (brainwashing). In general, spiritual abuse is acknowledged to be the misuse of a position of power, leadership, or influence to further the selfish interests of someone other than the individual who needs help. It occurs out of a doctrinal position, or of legitimate personal needs of a leader that are being met by illegitimate means.

A Spiritually Abusive System

Spiritual abuse is an issue of power and, according to Benyei, power is the ability to influence an outcome. Beed also confirms that power is a necessity of life and that humans need to exercise power to organise society.

The behaviour of persons in a community is determined by where they are placed in relation to others and  Benyei points out that this has to do with issues of power.

Religious institutions see themselves as communities because their members share commonalities of religious history or tradition. This type of community has similarities to a family system where members move within it according to their perception of explicit and implicit rules. Moreover, members of the Christian Church generally see themselves as a family of faith where the Clergy and congregation ideally function within an egalitarian partnership. However, many Churches develop into an uneven hierarchical structure, similar to a parent-child relationship. In these settings, Clergy may become very powerful and lead from the top of the hierarchal structure, accountable to no one, and congregations tend to idolise them. Unless there is the accountability of the Clergy to a higher body or peers, and/or explicit codes of conduct and ethics, there remains a potentiality to abuse within these structures.

In a spiritually abusive system, an authoritarian stance often develops where the leader or person in the system claims the right to command their followers. This system tends to be scrupulous in attempting to maintain an image of consciousness of righteousness at all costs, which gives rise to secrecy. The suppression of criticism occurs where questions cannot be allowed and, as a result, there is no place for criticism; this is seen as a direct challenge to authority.

A perfectionist philosophy in an abusive system means the person’s accomplishments come through the performance of spiritual requirements and failure is strongly condemned.

  • Blue, K. (1993). Healing spiritual abuse: How to break free from bad Church experiences.  Downers Grove Illinois.  IVP Books.
  • Ward, D. (2007). Wounding the soul: the lived experience of spiritual abuse.

(Unpublished thesis) The University of Queensland. M. Phil. School of Social Work and Applied Human Services

The Problem with Leadership

In some Christian denominations leadership is seen as a powerful symbolic authority in representing God Biblically 15 .  16Hunter argues that the responsibility of leaders within the Christian Church is to serve others in a way that represents the incarnation of Christ to humankind; serving as Christ served, laying down their lives for the sake of others.

The leader is therefore an ambassador of this relationship, leading others into association with God through Jesus Christ, and not to themselves. Ideally, the Christian leader should not govern others under a hierarchal leadership. Conversely, the leader is an overseer, an advocate, leading in order to serve and, in doing so, following the example of Christ.

Hunter points out that the philosophy of serving guards against the possibility of Clergy abusing those under their care and is ideally implemented through the structures of the Church in all its activities and teaching. However, within hierarchal structures, leadership is incredibly powerful.

17 Henke argues that organised hierarchical structures are especially well suited to the perpetration of systemic spiritual abuse. 18 Shupe echoes the declarations of 19 Henzel,

20 Johnson and Van Vonderen, add that leadership that hides its true management plans, and promises empowerment to its followers, is making its authority absolute.

21 Shupe refers to the phenomenon of the abuse of religious followers by its leaders as Clergy malfeasance.

Clergy Malfeasance

Irrespective of whether or not the abuse is perpetrated intentionally or unintentionally, the issue remains that spiritual abuse is inflicted by persons who are accorded respect and honour in society, by virtue of their role as religious leaders and models of spiritual authority 22. 23 Shupe states that Clergy malfeasance is a core feature of a spiritually abusive system. It is the misconduct of a religious leader abusing his/her position and in doing so, perpetrating harm to others which occurs within a unique type of altruistic institution where power is equitably distributed. A Christian organisation is a trusted hierarchy where followers believe in, or are encouraged or instructed to believe in, the good intentions, sincerity, and wisdom of the leadership.

  1.  (Ward 2007 p51).
  2. (Hunter 1990 p599 &  p636).
  3. Henke (1996)
  4. Shupe (1998)
  5. Henzel, R. (1997). The Bible and spiritual abuse: Available at:  (Accessed April 2009).

  • Johnson and Van Vonderen (1991),
  • Shupe (1998)
  • (Enroth 1992).
  • (Shupe 1998).

Power Play

Historically, Clergy has been the professionals who sought to help guide communities through the difficulties of life. They offered spiritual guidance and direction with emotional and family issues and with everyday life. Although spiritually orientated, these leaders are comparable to the contemporary psychotherapist, although they lacked the title and specialised training available today 24 .

In western culture, Christian Clergy/leadership is considered to be in a prominent position to provide human services on a spiritual level. However, this vocation has rarely been the focus of psychological research, assessing work-related stressors they experience, or their health and coping responses.

Using qualitative methodology, 25 Rhoads-Meek et al investigated clergy malfeasance by a studying 874 Clergy in 45 states of the United States of America by way of a survey, and 398 provided responses. This represented a response rate of 45% and findings indicated that, because of the nature of their work, an advocate was needed who would listen and understand, and who would be beside them in assessing and solving the problems they faced. It is not the remit of this paper to discuss the difficulties with which Clergy cope; however, it is useful to consider that, without support, regular reviews or assessments of any nature, there is a possibility that the pressures of leadership may lead to intentional or unintentional Clergy malfeasance of any type. This important issue could possibly provide a subject for future research.

The process of this kind of abuse is subtle, thus explaining why many respectable, well-thinking people are ensnared in abusive systems.

Christians are asked to give their loyalty to an organisation, Church, or leader and in doing so they believe they are obeying God. This enables the abuse to be accepted by reasonable Christians and permits it to continue long-term. Because leaders within abusive systems actually believe they are representing God, they consider themselves to be beyond support or assessment of any kind. As a consequence, these systems become abusive and therefore create an environment for the perpetuation of spiritual abuse. 26 Ward confirms particular structures and modalities of leadership are used as a means (intentionally or intentionally) to initiate abuse.

Any form of review or assessment of the leader or system may prove to be difficult because it challenges loyalty and faith issues. Similarly, 27 Shupe argues that a long-standing hierarchical Church structure and its polity provide opportunities to abuse. 28 Anson examines pedophilia within the Catholic Church and concludes that the avoidance of Church structures to review its polity establishes abuse in the long term.

  • (Rhoads-Meek et al 2003 p1).
  • (Rhoads-Meek et al 2003 p1).
  • Ward (2007 p85)
  • Shupe (1998)
  • Anson (1998)

Thank you for reading this article. Let me know if you want more about spiritual abuse and I will post more articles from my thesis. Spiritual abuse is a worldwide problem in all church denominations. It’s not God’s fault but the fault of unscrupulous people disguising themselves as believers. (the book of Jude)

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

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

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

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

Paula Rose Parish💕 

Stepping into Lent #2

Matthew 4:1-11

Do you struggle with the hardships you face in life, or do you cling too tightly to life’s comforts?

Read HERE Matthew 4:1-2

I am fascinated by the science of Bible Numeric. To find out more click HERE

By numerics, we mean observing that God has planted order in the world and His Word. The number seven, for example, recurs throughout the Bible – as in the number of days of creation, the days of a week, the number of biblical feasts, and others.

Both the Old and the New Testaments sync with numeric patterns of seven. No writings of other religions display the phenomenon.

We draw the conclusion that only God could have created such a pattern. It could not have occurred by chance. It is further evidence of the seal, or signature, of God. It is proof of divine authorship.

Firstly– 40 is also a significant number. In scripture, it is used over 140 times.

For example, the rain during the great flood lasted 40 days and nights. Each time Moses went to Mount Sinai, he remained there 40 days and nights. The Israelites wandered in the desert for 40 years. After his resurrection, Jesus appeared for 40 days before ascending to heaven. And there are many uses of 40 throughout the Bible. 

In science, forty is the unique temperature at which the Fahrenheit and Celsius scales correspond. 

In mathematics, 40 is a semi-perfect number. 

In Antiquity, beginning around the second millennium BCE, a Sumerian God was sometimes referred to in writing by the numeric ideogram for “40”, occasionally called his “sacred number”.

In Judaism

In the Hebrew Bible, forty is often used for periods, forty days or forty years, which separate “two distinct epochs”.

· Rain fell for “forty days and forty nights” during the Flood (Genesis 7:4).

· Noah waited forty days after the tops of mountains were seen after the flood before releasing a raven (Genesis 8:5–7).

· Moses sent spies to explore the land of Canaan (promised to the children of Israel) for “forty days” (Numbers 13:2, 25).

· The Hebrew people lived in the lands outside of the promised land for “forty years”. This period of years represents the time it takes for a new generation to arise (Numbers 32:13)

· Several early Hebrew leaders and kings are said to have ruled for “forty years”, that is, a generation. Examples include Eli (1 Samuel 4:18), Saul (Acts 13:21), David (2 Samuel 5:4), and Solomon (1 King 11:42).

·        Goliath challenged the Israelites twice a day for forty days before David defeated him (1 Samuel 17:16).

·        Moses spent three consecutive periods of “forty days and forty nights” on Mount Sinai:


Christianity similarly uses forty to designate essential periods. 

· Before his temptation, Jesus fasted “forty days and forty nights” in the Judean desert (Matthew 4:2, Mark 1:13, Luke 4:2).

· Forty days was the period from the resurrection of Jesus to the ascension of Jesus (Acts 1:3).

· According to Stephen, Moses’ life is divided into three 40-year segments, separated by his growing to adulthood, fleeing Egypt, and returning to lead his people out (Acts 7:23, 30, 36).

· In modern Christian practice, Lent consists of the 40 days preceding Easter. In much Western Christianity, Sundays are excluded from the count; there are 46 days total Lent; in Eastern Christianity, Sundays are included.

In Human life

·        Quarantine, the practice of isolation to prevent the spread of epidemic disease, derives from a Venetian dialect of the Italian quaranta giorni meaning ‘forty days’, the period that ships were required to be isolated before passengers and crew could go ashore during the Black Death.

  • Interestingly, 40 is even significant in human nature in that we develop within our mother’s 
  • We are in the Womb for 40 weeks before being born.  

We commemorate the forty days and nights spent in the desert by our Lord while he fasted. Here, 40 is a time of testing, temptation, or trial. 

Saint Bede commenting on this, points out that this period is also a symbol of our entire life on earth, which includes the idea of days and nights.

In St Matthew’s version of events, he primarily uses – 40 days and 40 nights. 

The days represent the many blessings we receive, while the nights symbolise the crosses we endure. 

Thirdly, as we begin our Lenten journey, we must apply the lessons we learn from Jesus’ time in the desert.

What Can We Learn?

First, we see that the spirit led Jesus into the desert to be tempted by the devil. This teaches us that not only did Jesus endure temptation, but he also was not afraid to face the devil and did not fear his attacks. Instead, he willingly faced the temptations of being led by the spirit and overcame them.

This also enables us to confront and overcome every temptation through power and initiative. We must never be afraid to confront temptations directly and confidently when the Holy Spirit leads. 

The second important lesson is that Jesus voluntarily fasted during this time in the desert. This stresses the importance of moderation, self-restraint, and self-control. 

If we see the pattern of 40, we will understand that self-control is always a part of our daily lives.

Therefore, when we experience the joys and blessings of life, symbolised by 40 days, we must indeed celebrate them.

But we must always do so with self-denial, in that we must never allow the passing things of this world to hinder our relationship with God and our discipleship walk. 

St John of the Cross wrote that we could even become overly attached to spiritual solace and embrace the 40 nights of testing and trial by not letting the difficulties of our lives discourage or distract us from seeking and fulfilling the will of God.

Fasting helps us with this. Fasting restrains us from looking inward unduly and plants our focus squarely on God the Father, strengthening us through life’s ups and downs.

Fasting helps us keep our eyes on the truths God has revealed to us while rejecting the ideas that the devil speaks to us.

Reflect Today 

Reflect upon the importance of embracing the 40 days and nights model. It will help give you courage throughout life. It will help you make sense of the ups and down’s joys, and sorrows we encounter.

We must embrace the blessings and crosses and, through it all, allow ourselves to be led by the spirit, facing every circumstance with courage and self-control. 

Reflect upon the crosses you endure or may cling unduly to life’s consolations. 

Let’s seek to embrace the road of virtue this lent, imitating Jesus 40 days and nights in the desert.

LET Us Pray

Our temperate and courageous Lord, you confronted all temptation with courage and strength. You fasted throughout the 40 days and nights to teach us how to navigate the ups and downs of life. Please give us the virtues of temperance and courage. May your Holy Spirit empower us to meet any life challenges so we may follow you into the desert of our lives. 

Jesus, we trust in you- amen.

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

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


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

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

Paula Rose Parish💕 

🖤Want to help support me as an author? 

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

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

 📚Psalm 23 Unwrapped: Hope in difficult times.  

Stepping into Lent #1

Matthew 24:36-44 The Day and Hour Unknown

36 “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son,[a] but only the Father. 37 As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 38 For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; 39 and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 40 Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. 41 Two women will grind with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.

42 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know what day your Lord will come. 43 But understand this: If the house owner had known the thief was coming at what time of night, he would have kept watch and not let his house be broken into. 44 So you also must be ready because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.

Isaiah 2:1-5. The Mountain of the Lord

This is what Isaiah, son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem:

In the last days

the mountain of the Lord’s temple will be established
    as the highest of the mountains;
it will be exalted above the hills,
    and all nations will stream to it.

Many peoples will come and say,

“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
    to the temple of the God of Jacob.
He will teach us his ways,
    so that we may walk in his paths.”
The law will go out from Zion,
    the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
He will judge between the nations
    and will settle disputes for many peoples.
They will beat their swords into ploughshares
    and their spears into pruning hooks.
Nation will not take up sword against nation,
    nor will they train for war anymore.

Come, descendants of Jacob,
    let us walk in the light of the Lord.

 Lent is when we can look soberly and reflect upon our walk with the Lord.

St Matthew issues warnings about the days of Noah. Noah’s story of the ark is a memorable one. Even those who are not believers know something about Noah’s ark story. For believers, it’s an important story, and the NT writer thought so as well, so they mention it by example to their hearers.

The point about Noah’s days is that they were ordinary days. People ate, drank, conducted business, married, and had families. They were engaged in ordinary activities, just getting on with life as we do today.

There was no sign that trouble was ahead or hint that their lives and everything they built was in jeopardy. But they did receive a warning from Noah that one day they would lose their lives if they did not heed God’s call to prepare themselves to get on the ark.

We know the story; they laughed at Noah’s predictions, called him a fool, and subsequently lost their lives. God’s warnings fell on deaf ears.

Noah’s story contrasts the previous verse in Matthew, where clear signs herald Jerusalem’s destruction. Some suggest this is a different ‘Day’ and ‘hour’.

The second coming might occur anytime, not necessarily after a generation.

Alternatively, these warnings can too be interpreted as relating to Jerusalem’s fall.

 However, Christians have read this text from the early days referring to the end times. A future that will usher in the end of the world as we know it.

And the fall of Jerusalem in 70AD was just a foretaste, a rehearsal of what was to come, where some will be taken in judgment, and others left in mercy.

We must also balance the Matthew reading with our Romans reading, which wakes us up to the fact that we can not become complacent and lazy.

We must live as children of the day and not of the night. The night-time is for sleeping, and the day is for alertness to work. Therefore, God calls us to be alert and not to be found sleeping when that great day arrives.

 And today we must not be found sleep, today is the day of salvation- we have today- that’s all we don’t have tomorrow yet, today is the only thing in our control, and God wants us to be alert, and whatever we do, we do with an eternal purpose.

The celebration of Holy Communion is designed to help us to remember. We remember the death of our Lord, and if we remember what Jesus said to his disciples while they were in the Garden of Gethsemane only a few hours before Jesus’ death-

Matthew 26:40-45 New Living Translation (NLT)

He asked Peter, “Couldn’t you watch with me for even one hour? Keep watch and pray so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak!”

Isaiah’s promises of universal peace must be taken to ourselves in the same way as the call to holiness as our agenda.

We must neither look helplessly at a dark and sleeping world nor think that we, as a church, are alright as we are. 

We must wake people up to the fact that the sun is already shining and that the judge of the nations is at the door, longing to see his justice and peace enfold the world in a single embrace.

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

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

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

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

Paula Rose Parish💕 

🖤Want to help support me as an author? 

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

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

 📚Psalm 23 Unwrapped: Hope in difficult times.  

Ordinary People–Extraordinary Results!

Christ doesn’t need our ability. But our Availability

SCRIPTURE:  Matthew 4:12-23


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

o Perhaps he preferred ordinary people.

o Maybe he felt more comfortable with ordinary people.

o Or maybe he was making a point.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

He invited them to become his disciples. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Paula Rose Parish💕

🖤Want to help support me as an author?

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

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

 📚Psalm 23 Unwrapped: Hope in difficult times.

New Year Hope

Dear Hope. Faith.Love community,
As we all know, Advent comes before the Christmas season. The Christmas season is then followed by New Year celebrations.

In all our celebrations, as part of the festivity, we exchange messages and greetings with friends and our beloved ones. Especially, as Christians, we celebrate the New Year with great enthusiasm, excited by what the Lord may have in store for us.

Toasting glasses at midnight (if still awake) and the fireworks high in the sky depict the New Year celebrations.

These celebrations signal that it is the time to start new and fresh in all parts of life. It is also an opportunity to reflect upon the past and plan for the future. At the start of a New year, we can better ourselves by making relevant changes.

In addition, the New Year also provides a fantastic opportunity to continually meet each other in Church for worship and to encourage one another in our faith journey into the New Year.

New Year is the right time to reschedule everything thoroughly, do better, and be better, to God’s glory.

At the start of the year, it is a time to enjoy the current moment forgetting the past worries of 2022 while looking forward with hope for 2023.

The New Year brings us many opportunities and adventures. On the occasion of the New Year, we say resolutions, get new things, prepare for the year ahead, work on new goals, etc., with expectations.

In the last 12 months, you may have experienced troubles, worries or lost a loved one, as I have.

The size, intensity and nature of your problem are no barriers to God’s healing power as long as your faith in God’s love for you remains intact.

Whatever you may encounter in the next year, Father God will be with you and help you overcome all your problems. God never said that your life’s journey would be easy, but He did say that the arrival would be worthwhile.

God will be with you, giving you peace of mind. So do not be afraid to face a new year.

This New Year has a lot of promises for us. So trust God, and everything will be well!

If God called you to a task in this new year, He would qualify you for the job, so keep trusting God. True faith means holding nothing back. It means putting all your trust and hope in God’s fidelity to His Promises.

True happiness is obtained through acts of kindness filled with love for loved ones, friends, neighbours, and even strangers. Consistent acts of unconditional kindness will ensure that this new year will be filled with many blessings.

With God as our leader, we may be prepared to live another year under His guidance and love.

I hope 2023 gives you immense joy and beautiful moments, creating memories to cherish in your heart.

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

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

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

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

Paula Rose Parish💕

🖤Want to help support me as an author?

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

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

 📚Psalm 23 Unwrapped: Hope in difficult times.

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

Christ’s Divinity

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Christ’s Humanity 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Paula Rose Parish💕

🖤Want to help support me as an author?

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

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

 📚Psalm 23 Unwrapped: Hope in difficult times.

Photo by Brett Sayles on