More Hope in Difficult Times- A new eBook coming out soon! Free Excerpt

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https://www.amazon.co.uk/s?k=psalm+23+unwrapped&crid=2ADCNMP6TCKCJ&sprefix=psalm+23+unwrapped%2Caps%2C424&ref=nb_sb_noss

 Have you ever had one of those days where everything goes wrong? What about one of those weeks, where every day is one big blur, and nothing seems to work out? You may look back over the last 12 months and just see disaster after disaster happening and all is totally out of your control? I think most of us can relate to one or two of these at least. How many people do you know who suffer from a restlessness that makes them so disconnected that they fall into depression, or just give up on life? Perhaps the death of a loved one has stripped the person of purpose and meaning, the grief being so overwhelming that they feel that they will never get over it? I know loads of people in this place, and I have helped them and in fact, I’ve been there a few times myself – and I am sure you have too- not a nice place to be! Or possibly you are unwell and facing your own impending death, and you don’t know what to think or which way to turn.

 So, what can we do when things like this happen? How can we find joy and a realistic coping strategy to get us through rather than allowing it to defeat or destroy us? Contentment is a precious thing, but how can we find it in our darkest valley? Lots of people ask these questions and spend a lot of time and money looking for answers.

 If you have loved much you will grieve much. Grieving is not bad, but for it to hang on for years is certainly not good either. As pointed out in my book, Nothing Good about Grief, bereavement can leave us with the feeling of utter emptiness. As human beings, we have a need to grieve because it is healthy to do so. We must understand that there will be a silver lining somewhere. Grief can be turned around self-discovery in the long run, even when we can’t imagine it at first. But this only happens if we are willing to learn, change, and learn the right attitude allowing bereavement to be turned around for our benefit. However, it is also true that there is a possibility that we can become trapped in our grief, not knowing how to let go of it.

This is book is designed to help you find solutions to work through the difficult times in your life. Psalm 23 Unwrapped shows God’s nature as Father in the image of the Good Shepherd. In the same way, as a good Father does, the Shepherd leads, provides, protects, and guides. Whatever your circumstances, this book offers ideas that will assist you to discover coping strategies while maintaining equilibrium. If you rely on the right conditions to make you happy, you will always be tossed about and will never experience inner calm and joy- even in the face of death. Psalm 23 Unwrapped, can be used as an enhancement to my book Nothing Good about Grief. The book you hold in your hands will help you to let go of the pain of your problems, resentment, grief, and the fear of death. Using Psalm 23 as a template – which is also known as the Psalm of David – this book guides you in your journey through your troubled times, to find meaning, purpose, and peace. 

The experience of loss, mainly if it is sudden, can bring about the reaction of immense psychological shock. This traumatizes us psychologically. Some people think the effects of grief are purely psychological things and have nothing to do with our physicality. However, recent research shows that our psychological health has a direct bearing on our physical health. This is why I approach my work holistically. It is my aim to minister to the whole person, body, mind, and soul. Our spiritual life cannot be separated from our everyday existence and adjusting to a daily rhythm to fulfill your basic human needs is the first step to getting a handle on the feeling of fear, panic, and uncertainty. It is a step to curing the virus of anxiety and panic. It helps us to see life, health, death, and spirituality differently, even amid your difficulties. When we have re-connected to the sense of the present while trusting in God, we will find peace – the peace we lost in all that stress – is closer to us, deeper within us, than we had ever imagined.

Psalm 23 Unwrapped, offers strategies to cope with your journey through the dark valley. I have chosen the study of Psalm 23 because it shows the Lord as our Good Shepherd, our protector, our daily provider, our peace and rest, and our guide through every circumstance in life or death. God’s faithfulness leads us through dark valleys while watching over us with his rod and staff. All of that is amazing enough to prompt us to praise him, but we may wonder what happens after we pass through the valley? What does the Lord do then? How do you maintain your joy and happiness?  

Studying God as Shepherd helps us with these and other questions. For instance, Jehovah-Raah, which means The Lord, my Shepherd. A shepherd is a role description, not a name of a person. Jehovah is not a name either. Translated as The Existing One or Lord. So again, it describes who God is. Also, it suggests becoming or specifically becoming known. This implies that God always discloses who he is. God reveals himself in the metaphor, or even in the image of a shepherd. A shepherd is the one who feeds or leads his flock to pasture (Ezekiel 34:11-15). An extended translation is a friend or companion. This indicates the intimacy that God desires between himself and his people.

Untangling the nature of God reveals to us that God is our friend, guide, companion, and the ever-existing One. The One who loves and cares for his sheep. The Shepherd guides us on our journey. The loving One who just doesn’t point us the way but walks with us through the darkness.

We can view our life’s experience as a spiritual journey beginning and ending in mystery, full of inexplicable pain and joy, yet full of wonder. In the end, it is faith, hope, and love that frees us from any kind of fear. However, we are exposed to our real predicament: not having a spiritual path in times like this. We may lack even a trace of meaning, not seeing the bright spark of life hidden in the darkness of our anguish or in our demise. All these are symptoms of another virus rampant in our materialism and delusion. I hope that this book shows the way out of that delusion. Faith in Christ Jesus is good news because it is the remedy that overcomes the hopelessness of grief and the fear of death and dying, and what is beyond.

In this book, we Unwrap Psalm 23 verse by verse to guide us in this journey. I invite you to travel with me – the adventure awaits……….

Paula Rose-Parish 

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

The sayings of Jesus- Steps to Finding Peace in the Storms of Life.

   This Post is based upon Mark 4:35-41- so please give it a read first

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I wrote my second book, Psalm 23 Unwrapped- hope in difficult times, because I have had a lifetime of difficult times, and I am sure you have as well. Christ doesn’t promise that we will not experience difficult times, but does promise that, if we walk in faith, he will redeem the difficult times, and that is what my book is all about.

Jesus’ role as teacher is important in this Gospel.  Chapter 4 opens with a series of parables like the Sower, the Lamp and the Bushel Basket, the Growing Seed, and the Mustard Seed. 

 Speaking to the disciples, Jesus explains the purpose of the parables, saying, “To you is given the mystery of the Kingdom of God, but to those who are outside, all things are done in parables, that ‘seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest perhaps they should turn again, and their sins should be forgiven them'” (4:11-12).

This seems strange when we look at the story of the storm at sea.  The disciples are insiders, but they still don’t “get it”–not even close.  In Matthew and Luke, the disciples won’t “get it” until well after the resurrection.  In this Gospel, the original ending (16:8) closes with the women at the tomb being seized with terror and amazement–end of story–the disciples never do “get it.”  Even the longer ending (16:20) presents the disciples as unbelieving until the very last verse!

Mark 4:35 – 8:26 recounts a series of miracles: 

 Jesus stills the storm.

 Heals the Gerasene demoniac.

Restores a girl to life.

 Heals a woman with a haemorrhage.

Feeds the five thousand..

Heals the sick in Gennesaret.

Phew- shall I go on- There is a heap more! No, I won’t, for the sake of space- but you get the drift…..

Mark 4:35 – 8:21 includes three boat stories, all of which present the disciples in an unfavourable light.  The other two stories are:

 Jesus’ walking on water to the disciples’ boat in a windstorm–and their fear and hardness of heart (6:45-52).

The disciples worrying about having only one loaf of bread, despite having recently witnessed the feedings of the five thousand and the four thousand (unbelievable unbelief!) (8:14-21).

MARK 4:35-36.  LET’S GO TO THE OTHER SIDE

On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let’s go over to the other side. The other side is the Gentile side – the no-go area!

  It is easy to be seduced by popularity and difficult to walk away from a favourable crowd.  Jesus, however, could walk away from the crowd to pray or to carry on his work elsewhere.

We love crowds, especially those that fill our pews and coffers.  We are tempted to follow wherever the crowd would lead.  But we need to evaluate popular opinion carefully and walk away from crowds so that we might spend time alone with God in prayer. To be super charged through prayer- we will be able to get through the difficult times safely.

MARK 4:37-39.  TEACHER, DON’T YOU CARE THAT WE ARE DYING?

“A big windstorm (Greek: lailaps megale) arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so much that the boat was already filled. He himself was in the stern, asleep on the cushion, and they woke him up, and told him, “Teacher (Greek: didaskale), don’t you care that we are dying?” He awoke, and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” The wind ceased, and there was a great calm”.

A big (megale)–we will see this word again in verses 37 and 41) windstorm (lailaps) arose” (v. 37).  The Greek word lailaps refers to a violent storm–a whirlwind or tempest.  Mark takes it a step further by telling us that it was a megale -big or great storm.

The Sea of Galilee is in the deepest part of the Northern Jordan rift–700 feet below sea level–surrounded by steep cliffs and mountains except in its southern extremities.  Hot air rises and cool air falls, so the cool air in the higher elevations is always wanting to swap places with the warmer air near the water.  This often results in high winds–and waves that can top thirty feet high!

On a map of Israel the sea looks like a large lake, but in reality, from a small fishing boat it would look enormous, especially in a storm.  At least four of Jesus’ disciples are fishermen, have surely survived storms on this sea, and have also surely known fishermen who were lost at sea.  They are strong, self-reliant men who would handle moderate danger as a matter of course.  The danger on this evening is not moderate, but deadly.

Have you read Sebastian Junger’s book, The Perfect Storm? Or have you watched the movie? I saw the movie and I think it helped me to appreciate the danger of a small boat during a storm. There comes a point when physics takes over.  If a boat heads into a wave that is higher than the boat is long, it will get pitchpoled end to end to its doom.  Or if a wave that is higher than the boat is wide hits from the side, it will capsize. Jesus’ disciples wouldn’t have understood the physics, but they would be all too familiar with the danger.

Who Cares?

“He himself was in the stern, asleep on a cushion” (v. 38a).  Sleeping through danger can be a sign of great faith.  The Psalmist says, “In peace I will both lay myself down and sleep, for you, Yahweh alone, make me live in safety” (Psalm 4:8).  However, sleep can also represent passivity in a moment that cries out for an active response.  The disciples interpret Jesus’ sleep as evidence that he does not care enough to save them (and himself) from impending death.

The disciples cried- “don’t you care that we are dying?” (v. 38b).  The disciples panic and want Jesus, their leader, to share their concern–to show a sense of urgency that might lead to a remedy.  “Help us!  Do something!” 

A great leader can often help people to solve great problems, but Jesus’ casual attitude seems to ensure that he will be no help in this urgent crisis.  How can he help if he will not even rouse from his slumber?

Like those early disciples, we pray panicked prayers to a God who appears to have abandoned us.  “God, don’t you care that we are dying?”  I certainly have prayed this during the COVID 19 pandemic which took millions of lives worldwide.

But the Father knows our needs and loves us enough even to send his own son to save us.  When life is difficult, we need to ensure that our faith prevails over our fears.

“He awoke and rebuked (epetimesen) the wind” (v. 39).  Earlier, Jesus rebuked (epetimesen) a demon, ordering it to be silent and to come out of the afflicted man.  This storm represents a demonic force.

“Peace! Be still” (v. 39).  Jesus’ calm voice and brief commands reflect his authority over the elements.

“Then the wind ceased, and there was a great calm” (v. 39). I bet the disciples sent up a Big Cheer!

Jesus’ words, “Peace! Be still!” have a God-like quality to them, in that the Hebrew Scriptures portray God as exercising power over the waters of the earth. 

When we are faced with difficult times, especially when they are unexpected we can go into shock. And when we go into Shock we want to freeze, flee away, or stand and fight. But if we try to send up a LORD HELP ME prayer- may-be God by his Holy Spirit will give you the unction to command- PEACE BE STILL!

Even if the difficult times is still there, we can have an inner peace and calm that will help us to see what is really happening and to get through the storm.

My prayer is for you – PEACE BE STILL- in Jesus’ name!

COURSE ONE Launching July 31st, 2021.

Beginners Mindfulness Masterclass for Stress relief launch date is getting closer. This course will be presented through Udemy platform. Beginners Mindfulness Masterclass for Stress relief is designed for anyone who wants to learn how to use Mindfulness to cope with everyday stresses.

It is also for anyone with an interest in learning self-awareness and coping skills, both in their personal and business life.  course will teach you to understand what mindfulness is, how it works, and give you the tools your need to begin integrating mindful practices into your daily life. This course will show you how to practice daily mindfulness for the reduction of stress, thus increasing your peace of mind and happiness. Increasing peace and happiness ensures that you’re living every day to its fullest.

I hope this post was helpful. If it was, I would love to hear from you. Feel free to contact me and share any thoughts you have- contact me. ✉️ Email inquiries: paularoseparish@outlook.com

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