Do You Want Your ears Tickled?

Paul’s final Word to Timothy. READ HEREhttps://enduringword.com/bible-commentary/2-timothy-4/

As Paul sat in his cold, damp prison cell, he understood there was a spiritual reality present that went beyond the walls of his cell. Through this letter, he gave solemn testimony to his young friend and protégé Timothy, and he did it in the presence of the God who will judge us all.

Paul still believed in the second coming of Jesus Christ. He had been in ministry for more than 30 years, and his earliest letters (such as 1 and 2 Thessalonians) mentioned the return of Jesus. Now, so many years and experiences later, he still believed it with all his heart. So, the words ‘shall judge’ more literally are ‘is about to be judging’; they point to the fact that Paul was living in the hope of the imminent return of Christ.

The Testimony: Preach the Word!

Preach the Word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.

Paul’s emphasis on the Word of God has been constant. There are some 36 references to the true gospel in this letter and some 17 references to false teachings. This constant emphasis makes Paul’s point clear to Timothy:

· Do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord (2 Timothy 1:8).

· Hold fast the pattern of sound words (2 Timothy 1:13).

· The things that you have heard from me among many witnesses commit these to faithful men (2 Timothy 2:2).

· Rightly dividing the Word of truth (2 Timothy 2:15).

· A servant of the Lord must be… able to teach (2 Timothy 2:24).

· All Scripture is given by inspiration of God (2 Timothy 3:16).

 As a pastor, Timothy was not required to preach ‘about’ the Word or approve of the Word; he was required to preach the Word. The Word of God must be preached by Timothy; it was to be the content of his message. Not everyone who opens a Bible and starts talking is preaching the Word. Many well-intentioned preachers are actually preaching themselves instead of the Word. If the focus is on the preacher’s funny stories or emotional life experiences, they may be preaching about themself more than about God.

Paul points out to Timothy to be ready in and out of season, convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. This tells us when the pastor should be ready to preach the Word. The preacher should preach it when it is easy and hard. Moreover, preach it when the fruit is evident and when it seems invisible. Whatever the circumstances, they should just preach it. In his preaching, Timothy was to bring the Word of God to bear on the lives of his people. He was not to treat the Word as if it were filled with exciting ideas or fascinating theories. Instead, he was to hold up God’s Word so the hearers could apply it to their lives and let God the Holy Spirit do His work.

 The need for the faithful preaching of the Word.

For the time will come when they do not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will gather up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth and be turned aside to fables.

Timothy needed to keep focused on the Word of God because, by natural human instinct, they do not want God in their lives. Most folk would rather hear what they want – something to affirm what they are doing is right and good – even if it’s not.

The term itching ears mean an endless curiosity, an insatiable desire for variety, and they get their ears tickled with the language and importance of the person, abandoning the good and faithful preacher for the popular speaker.

This also shows that if we do want to hear God’s Word, God is doing something extraordinary in us. Left to ourselves, we would instead do it our way, but God changes our hearts in beautiful ways, giving us a desire for His Word.

Paul reminds Timothy that people will gather for themselves preachers to tell them what they want to hear. Therefore, the most popular teachers are not necessarily the most faithful teachers. 

We shouldn’t assume a teacher is scratching itching ears just because they are popular, but neither should we assume that they are faithful to God’s Word just because of popularity.

These kinds of teachers will turn the hearers aside to fables. I have found that many people want to be told what to believe rather than sorting it out for themselves. Sadly, these folks are prime picking for false teachers who lead them away from the Word of God. Once people leave the Word of God, they often then embrace fantastic fantasies. When a people reject God’s truth, it isn’t that he believes in nothing; he will believe in anything – anything at all.

Paul is firm in his theology and establishes that the universe did not come about by chance. To believe the universe’ just happened is to believe in a fable. It is to believe lies. It is possible for many worshippers to turn aside from the truth and to believe many fables like- 

· The fable that you must earn your way before God.

· The fable that God only loves you when you are good.

· The fable that you should walk around thinking of yourself as better than unbelievers and other Christians because you are a born-again Christian.

Interestingly, Paul emphasises But you: This is a contrast phrase against the people mentioned in the previous sentence. Paul is saying, ‘although others turned aside to fables, you Timothy be even more dedicated to doing what God wants you to do. “

The more determined folk are to despise the teachings of Christ, the more ardent should godly ministers be to affirm it and the more strenuous their efforts to preserve it.

Paul tells Tim to be watchful in all things. This is because Timothy could not fulfil his ministry unless he kept careful attention, kept his eyes open and knew what was going on.

Paul warns to endure afflictions. Ministry is just like life – there are difficulties, and for some, this is an unsettling thought because they thought that the ministry would be one beautiful spiritual experience after another. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of beautiful blessings in serving God, but afflictions must be endured.

Timothy is directed to do the work of an evangelist and fulfil his ministry. There may be many reasons why someone’s ministry goes unfulfilled; some are-

· Fear.

· Unbelief.

· The cares of the world.

· The Fear of man.

· Criticism and discouragement.

· Conscience sin.

Paul’s Farewell 

Paul’s final words hit hard and strong “For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought the good fight, finished the race, and kept the faith.”

There is powerful symbolism here. A drink offering brought wine before the Lord and poured it out at his altar. It was a way to give wine to God, just as an animal might be given as a sacrifice.

The idea of a drink offering is first presented in Genesis 35:14, where Jacob poured out a drink offering before the Lord as a sacrifice. In the Mosaic Law, drink offerings could be a part of the sacrifice to the Lord (Exodus 29:40-41 and Leviticus 23:13).

There was also a Roman idea here. Paul uses language and metaphors that his hearers fully understand. Every Roman meal ended with a small sacrificial ritual to the gods where a cup of wine was taken and poured out before the gods. In this sense, Paul said, “The day is done, the meal is just about over, and I’m being poured out unto God.”

Paul said he felt poured out, with the idea of a complete giving, with no hesitation, like wine that is completely emptied from the cup and given to God. 

Paul knew he was leaving the scene, and Timothy must carry the torch. God’s workers pass on, but God’s work continues through others. Throughout his ministry, Paul used the metaphor of the Christian being an athlete running that race (Philippians 3:12-14Acts 20:241 Corinthians 9:24Hebrews 12:1). Here, talking to Timothy, he knew his race was just about finished.

 Paul’s Crown of Righteousness.

Paul knew a crown was waiting for him in heaven, ready to receive it. There are two main words for the crown in the New Testament. One of those words refers to a royal crown and the other to the victor’s crown (the Stephanos). Here Paul referred to the victor’s crown – a crown like they awarded to the winner at the ancient Roman Olympics. The crown was essentially a trophy, recognising that one had competed according to the rules and had won the victory over temptation.

Before Paul was a Christian, he supervised the execution of the first martyr Stephen and began killing as many other Christians as possible. But now, at the end of his life, he was ready to receive a crown – a Stephanos. He likely remembered the name of the first martyr, who died at Paul’s own hands: Stephanos (Stephen).

In the Roman world, winners in the world of sports received a crown of olive or ivy leaves that soon withered and died. But the crown for God’s people lasts forever (1 Corinthians 9:251 Peter 5:4). We are promised the crown of life if we endure temptation (James 1:12).

In Revelation 4:10, the elders surrounding the throne of God take their crowns and cast them before Jesus – giving any trophy they have received right back to Jesus.

 Thank you for reading this post, if it helped you please like it and feel free to comment. Subscribe if you wish to have my posts delivered to your inbox. remember to live Life on purpose, in Hope, Faith and love.

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

Paula Rose Parish 

  

Paula Rose Parish

Paula Rose is an Ordained Minister, Speaker, Blogger, Podcaster, Course Creator, and Published Author and has a Master of Arts in Counselling.  Paula is a life member of (ISFP) The International Society of Female Professionals.

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Farewell to my Churches

A CHANGE IN MINISTRY

I am pleased to share with you that I have received a call to be the URC minister in the Bridgend United Area. The six churches in this group consist of both URC and Methodist Churches. The Churches issued the call, and I have accepted. I am looking forward to commencing the new post this October 2022. I will be working with a Methodist colleague, and I am looking forward to it very much. 

On this website, I will soon add a tag on the menu bar to the preaching schedule in case you are in the area and wish to attend a worship service. I appreciate your prayers as I lead the Churches forward in their mission, worship and share the love of Jesus Christ.

GOD ANSWERS PRAYERS

This new post answers my prayers for my Ministry’s continuation. Upon the age of 68 URC minister must retire. I reach that age soon and found it difficult to accept that my long pastoral Ministry must end. I asked the Lord to allow me to continue to minister to God’s people according to his will, and my heavenly Father heard me. Otherwise, I’ll have to retire due to URC rules. 

THE CALL OF GOD DEMANDS OUR ALL

I have led churches in Australia, the United States of America, England and now in Wales, UK. The hardest part in moving on to take up a new post is saying goodbye to family and friends. The call to Ministry means many sacrifices; for some Ministers, the sacrifice is small, yet for others, it is overwhelming. However, any form of sacrifice is certainly not easy to accept, but one response is for the love of God and his will for our lives.

I have been asked after 40 years of Ministry, “you must be used to making those sacrifices for now”. The answer is I don’t want to get used to it, people are precious, and the sense of loss I feel when I move on is genuine and heartfelt. If I get hardened in the process, I will get hardened toward the people- and I don’t want that. 

It’s impossible to remain in contact with so many people, but their faces often pop into my mind, and when it does, I bow my head to pray for them.

BITTER-SWEET

As I write, leaving to serve a new pastorate is a happy and sad time for me. The Church folk and the broader community, whom I have served for many years, has been most important to my life.

But at the same time, I am very excited about the new post and what it offers in the future. At least I will spend less time travelling as most of the six churches I will serve are only a short distance from my home.

THE UNKNOWABLE FUTURE

 I will leave my post at Dan Y Graig LEP, Tabernacle URC, and NPLW Methodist circuit on the 30th of September.

The unknowable future can be frightening and downright scary. But that’s when our faith in God’s sovereignty gives us comfort, support, and strength. All new opportunities involve challenges and new experiences that shape and change us. Change also help us to grow spirituality if we approach this transition time positively.

THANK YOU

I announced in August to my Churches that I am leaving the area. I want to thank them for being a generous, wonderful, supportive Church family over these many years.

 Any minister will tell you that one feels that one has never done enough. One lives with the continual frustration of wanting to do more than one can do. I hope my time with you have been constructive and helped you spiritually in some way.  

GOD IS CALLING YOU

 I pray for the very of God’s best for you as an individual and as a Church family. As I leave, I want you to remember that God calls you. Sometimes he can call us to a specific individual task which can also be quite challenging, taking us completely out of our comfort zone. One thing that we are all called to do, however, is to share the good news with all we meet. We must give people hope and the light in Jesus Christ. 

Luke 5:1-11 talks about the calling of the first disciples. They had no idea what would happen when Jesus first called them, but they put themselves out there. They took a risk, a chance. They left everything behind to follow him. 

They weren’t the people you would have expected Jesus to pick to help him in his mission. It’s a bit like you and me. We are ordinary people with no special abilities but are called in God’s ability to be extraordinary in our witness for Christ. 

The disciples, as ordinary as they were, were the people that would change the world. Jesus extraordinarily equipped them to carry out the tasks he had called them to, just as he equips us all, enabling us to change the world where we live.

You may be thinking, what can I do? He won’t call me. I can’t do this, or I can’t do that. But, take it from me; I suppose you might be wrong. 

God calls and equips every one of us because he knows what we can and can’t do and enables us to fulfil his calling upon our lives in his strength. So, we need to listen and trust, then go out and do what he asks us to do, knowing that he goes with us by the Holy Spirit and will never leave us. 

Whenever I think of this daunting task ahead of me, I hear God’s words in my heart ‘Yes, you can do it.’ So, I choose not to think of what I can’t do but what God is asking me to do. No matter what lies ahead, I know he will equip and support me to carry it out, for nothing is impossible with God. 

I want you to think about what you ‘can’ do and go for it because God is calling you, an ordinary person, to be extraordinary for his kingdom’s sake.  So, what is God calling you to do? Will you answer that call? If not, then why not? I encourage you to trust in Jesus Christ, continue to follow him, and answer his call, knowing that he is with you every step of the way. 

God calls each of us to change the world in some small way. So, let us do just that. Let’s change the world by being salt, bringing hope, and light to all we meet. 

As believers, we also are blessed with the grace that equips us for divine service.‘ John MacArthur Jr. 

I will continue to post blogs here at Hope.Faith.Love, and the occasional video, which I hope will continue to be an encouragement to your faith in Christ.

PRAYER 

Loving Father, you call us daily to serve you, so equip us for the tasks you call us. Please help us to fulfil our calling and bring about your kingdom. You know the challenges that every one of us has, and we ask that you guide us through times of transition and challenges. 

As we move through challenges into change, we go knowing that you are with us every stage of the way. So, we ask these and all our prayers in the name of Jesus. Amen. 

FAREWELL DEAR FRIENDS

I came into the Newport area from Lincolnshire in 2011. Since then, I have worked with Stowpark Church Center, Trinity Pontywaun, DanYGraig, St David’s Tysign, Tabernacle Llanvaches, and as a Presbyter within the NPLW circuit and Presbyterian Church. 

Over this time, I’ve worked with community groups which helped to provide a link to the Church. As a result, I’ve been in this area the longest at one stretch than ever in my 40-year Ministry, which has enabled me to form solid friendships – may God bless you.

I am not sure where the following quote comes from. However, I came across it in my files, and I hope it will encourage you in some way.

Do not pray for easy lives;  pray to be stronger people. 

Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers;  pray for powers equal to your tasks. 

Then the doing of your work shall be no miracle, 

           but you shall be a miracle.

May the Lord bless and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you – Numbers 6:24-25. 

Until the next blog post, Live Life on Purpose, in Hope, Faith and Love

Paula Rose Parish

A Tribute to the Late Her Majesty Queen Elisabeth 11

Scanning the internet there are hundreds and thousands of wonderful tributes to the Queen. Her passing has shocked and upset us for sure and reminded us of our loved ones who we have lost. It is fitting and right to pay tribute to her here on the Hope. Faith. Love Community. However, I really do not think I can pay a fitting tribute to her better that the Bible Society. I have placed a link here for those who wish to read and gain solace from it.

May our beloved Queen rest in the arms of Jesus Christ. We pray for the royal family that God will hold them close in their time of bereavement.

Suffering and God

In the whirlwind of global suffering, we face pressing questions- Why are we suffering? How can we deal with suffering? What does suffering mean?

As our world deals with pandemics, natural disasters, political unrest, and war -to name a few- Christians have an opportunity to share one of our faith’s most distinctive truths: suffering. Suffering is disturbing; however, it’s meaningful. Suffering is perceived quite differently within each religion, and it’s helpful to us to know the difference of opinion since every religion has its unique worldview, which explains how the world works.

A fundamental premise of Buddhism, for example, is that life is suffering. Yet, as creatures of desire, we attach ourselves and cling to things like prosperity, attractiveness, youthfulness, love, and even life itself. Thus, in Buddhism, we are only delivered from suffering by ridding ourselves of the ego and material attachments. This worldview is non- dualities which deny any real distinction between good and evil. Buddhism sees health and sickness, love and hate, or even life and death. It so denies that which Christianity affirms – the sinful nature of human beings. St. Paul put it this way-God set free from corruption.

While many seekers of truth, including many Christians, I might add, play around with a quasi-Buddhism, the secular view of suffering is far more common in our western world. The secular view of suffering is based on the individual’s lived experience. Therefore, it lacks a worldview foundation to make sense of it. Suffering interrupts our pleasure and happiness, but in a world without purpose or design, we can’t say that it’s wrong or bad or shouldn’t be.

We believe, as those with the most resources in human history to avoid sickness and disaster and inevitable sufferings, that we somehow have a right not to suffer or, for that matter, to feel dissatisfaction or distress of any kind. But why would that be if the world is, as Richard Dawkins once stated that the world is a place of “blind, pitiless indifference” and we are, as he also put it, merely “dancing to our DNA? Dawkins presents, in my opinion, a worldview void of meaning or hope for any of us.

Further, Dawkins points out that suffering is utterly meaningless for a confirmed atheist. It’s not good. It’s not bad. It’s just there- it’s part of the human condition.

God and Suffering

Photo by Kindel Media on Pexels.com

What about Christianity? Christianity is honest in that it doesn’t deny the genuine goodness of the world, or the actual nature of our suffering, and the actual potential of restoration. In 1 Corinthians 15, St. Paul named death the last enemy, which will be annihilated at Christ’s return.

The author of Hebrews called the fear of death how Satan enslaves humankind. Quite different to the secular view a Buddhist view, Jesus appeared to identify with human suffering as something he felt in his being. We see this in the Gospels where Jesus entered the suffering of others, such as the mourning sisters of Lazarus in John 11, and He prayed to avoid suffering Himself in the Garden of Gethsemane.

The Bible is clear, as is the example of Jesus that suffering is not good and avoiding it isn’t possible, even though suffering is not seen as meaningless. On both the personal and universal levels, suffering points to higher truths and more excellent good; however, we need to understand that suffering is not our ultimate destiny.

The Christ drank from the same cup of suffering and death as all of us – so we don’t have to. The author of Hebrews says that Jesus tasted death for everyone, yet, rising from the grave three days later, Christ Jesus shows us that while suffering and death are real, they do not have the last word or are our destiny.

No human person has solved the problem of suffering, but we can endure and make sense of it if we love and trust the God who has suffered for us.

 Christianity teaches neither resignation to suffer nor detachment from the world. Christianity neither denies the realities of suffering nor gives it credence. On the contrary, because of Christ’s suffering, death and resurrection, Christianity alone offers a basis for meaning and hope in this world and in the one to come.

I hope you enjoyed this article and found it helpful. If you have, please like it and consider subscribing- Thank you. Xx

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I Discovered the Amazing Benefits of Mindfulness

I Discovered the Amazing Benefits of Mindfulness

Hello, hope, faith, love family!

 This is just a short testimonial about how I learned the benefits of Mindfulness as I recovered and how I began integrating Mindfulness into my life.

Why don’t you try out a Mindfulness Lifestyle which can benefit your health and total wellbeing? 

As a Christian, I enjoy looking after my body as it is the temple of the Holy Spirit. I have an obligation to God to care for my mind, as I have the mind of Christ. My spirit/ soul is redeemed by the Lord and it’s my duty to nurture it and help my faith to grow.

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

Then I discovered Mindfulness. I have enjoyed practising holistic living all my life, which means caring for the health of my mind, body, and soul. However, I never really ventured into the mindfulness territory. I didn’t understand what it was and why I should learn it. Thinking about it, I never connected Mindfulness with my lifestyle or the health of my mind, body, or soul.  

Photo by Sebastian Voortman on Pexels.com

I escaped a very abusive marriage many years back, which caused me to be emotionally and physically ill. As a result, I developed bodily weakness and became susceptible to colds and flu. The abuse became a lifestyle- every day was the same. I tried to leave, but there were many complications. However, finally, I did leave the relationship. I began seriously fearing for my safety when my spouse put me in hospital. But through all this experience, my lifestyle wreaked my immune system, making me feel like an old lady, not only in my body but also in my mind. After we separated and lived alone, I spent over a year with women’s aid to receive weekly counselling. I was still working full-time, and my colleagues nor my family knew the gravity of my situation. 

For my continued safety and well-being, I moved away from my spouse to the other side of the city. On moving day, I had some help from friends; then, the time came for them to return to their homes. By this time, it was by late afternoon. I was alone, but I wanted to move my microwave from one bench to another, where the accident occurred. Lifting the cumbersome microwave oven, I barely reached the bench height, so I decided to stand on a low table (I am only 4ft 11ins). Unfortunately, I toppled over, fell with the microwave, landed on my right shoulder, and slammed into the hard kitchen floor. I was in great pain and taken to hospital by a friend I called upon. The doctor reported that I had ripped my shoulder, and two of the main tendons snapped. Unfortunately, I lost the use of my arm for over three months, and because I could no longer drive, I also took sick leave from work for that time. 

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

I became so weak I would crawl up the stairs on my hands and knees. I had to physically slow down because I lost the use of my arm and didn’t feel well most of the time. However, my convalesces afforded me time to think, pray and reflect. I was still grieving for my marriage that once held so much promise of love and happiness. 

However, I wanted to recover and return to my usual self as quickly as possible. Therefore, I needed to learn the best route to recovery for my mind, body and spirit. Therefore, I decided to do a little research. I surfed the web, bought books, studied the mind and its working, and discovered Mindfulness. 

I watched Youtube videos, learnt Mindfulness from books and even found its principles in the Bible! As I studied, I began seeing the many benefits that would help me return to my usual self. 

I began practising Mindfulness and approached everything I did intentionally. I found that Mindfulness worked well if I made it a ‘lifestyle’ rather than a practice where one dips in and out. I would forget to be mindful by practice, but becoming a lifestyle soon became second nature. 

I hope you found benefit from this post; if you did, please like it and subscribe if you haven’t already to help me to make helpful content.

 Feel free to contact me if you need prayer support or share any thoughts; we are on this journey together through life.

 I look forward to your next visit here and remember. 

Live life on Purpose in Hope, Faith & Love

 Paula Rose Parish 

I’m an Ordained Minister, Blogger, Podcaster, Course Creator, and published author and have a Master of Arts in Counselling and many other qualifications and a lifetime so, I have heaps to share with you.

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Working through Chronic Pain Syndrome

Hello, hope, faith, love family!

I thought I’d make this blog post an informal one. I have been away from my desk lately because I am recovering from COVID, which hit me quite hard and put me out of action for a couple of weeks. 

As I was convalescing and thinking about how to restart my work routine, I would have to create a new routine since the circumstances have changed, which I will share with you in my next post.

Being in bed daily, I’ve left my budgeting unchecked and neglected my website and social media. As a result, I have not done any writing, only made a few phone calls and lost interest in anything that I once found very exciting. 

Even writing this blog post is challenging. I’ve been thinking about it for several days and now forcing myself to sit down. Still, it was just thinking about doing it when I haven’t quite recovered. I have to refocus my mind completely out of routine and when something used to be just second nature getting out of routine is like you have to almost relearn again since really very strange, whether that’s my dyslexia or just me. Have you experienced a similar thing? If you have, let me know.

 I think pain doesn’t allow you to focus on things you want to, and I experienced a lot of joint pain in my COVID experience. Laying in my bed, not knowing what to do with myself, the pain was so intense; my thoughts went to those of you who live with chronic pain, day in and day out. Mine only lasted a week, which caused me a lot of distress, but if you live with chronic pain, I understand it will drive you crazy. 

When dealing with chronic pain, one’s whole focus is on how to get through the next hour, indeed, the next minute breathing through the pain. There are many reasons for chronic pain, and I won’t deal with them here. But I want to encourage those experiencing chronic pain and struggling to live with it. I hope to bring you some measure of love and put a smile on your face, even if it’s only for a few minutes. 

Pain is such a Private and Personal Thing.

As a child in Australia, when one was sick or injured or had some pain, parents and teachers told us to put our socks up and get on with it. As a 17-year-old, I was in the hospital for three days. I had an operation on the soul of my feet because I had a verruca dugout. It was so deep I had about four stitches, and every movement of my foot was excruciating. When the pain got so much I was writhing from side to side in the bed, the nursing staff told me to pull my socks up instead of administering more painkillers. It’ll soon heal. And that is an excellent philosophy to measure because it stops one from feeling sorry for oneself while motivating one to push forward to better things into recovery. However, this attitude is not helpful when living with chronic pain day in and day out, as no matter how often one pulls one’s socks up and tries to get on with them, it never seems to work. We are human beings, and sometimes a little tea and sympathy do not go amiss.  

When dealing with pain, your resources get depleted, and you feel exhausted and worn out from thinking about how much pain you’re in. But, unfortunately, when you’re in pain, it does dominate your thinking. It dominates your decisions and lifestyle, even what you eat, what you wear, how you sleep, et cetera, et cetera; living with pain dominates every part of one’s life. And when you try to share how this pain feels with even your closest loved one, it does fall short of what you’re experiencing. 

Someone else may be battling chronic pain similar to you, but it’s not the same as your pain. We must understand that every person experiences chronic pain differently; sharing and finding solace through others can be difficult. But when one does find similarities with another, it can help and be of great comfort to you.

 Look to join a support group of some sort or therapy group. People share their stories in support groups, so listening to other people’s stories will help you not feel alone. In addition, listening to other people’s experiences will help you realise that others are experiencing something similar and may share tips about coping with day-to-day activities. 

Networking

For all of us, no matter who we are, healthy or not, networking is such an essential part of our human social experience. Whether we network for work, support or friendship, networking is vital for us to be able to live an integrated, purposeful, and fulfilling life. 

I encourage you to ask someone to help you find any support groups in your local area or a group that meets online. However, If you haven’t got anybody to help you, take courage and do the research for yourself when you’re feeling up to it. Of course, this can prove difficult because depression often comes along with chronic pain, and when one is depressed, you don’t want to do anything or try to motivate yourself.

Reaching out to strangers can be scary and problematic, but isolation is the only alternative. Suppose you have got somebody to help you with this. In that case, ask them for their assistance; perhaps you have your local doctor or your local social worker or counsellor who may be able to help and guide you in this.

Making Most of the Good Days

In my younger years, I worked as a nurse. I am an ordained minister of 40 years, hospital chaplain, mental health chaplain, counsellor, and coach. I’ve come across many people with chronic pain who say, ‘today is a good day; yesterday was a terrible day.

 I learned a lot from these people. First, they taught me well that making the best of their good days made them as productive as possible. We all need to find meaning and purpose and setting goals to fulfil our dreams is essential. 

It’s like the old saying ‘make hay while the sun shines ‘. You never know; tomorrow might be a bad day spending most of your time on bed rest. So if you find yourself with strength and vigour today, use it to do the things you want and need to do.

 Here’s a word of caution when you feel better, don’t overdo it because when you feel good, and you feel great, I can do things I haven’t done for a while, and you can go overboard and find that you wish you hadn’t you might you have set yourself back. So, gauge yourself, take it little by a little, and set your daily goals. Make realistic goals. If you don’t complete them, that’s fine when you’ve got another good day to fulfil those goals.

  Communicate with Your Loved Ones

I had one child who would never open up and talk to me. I would ask her to come and sit down and have a chat because something was bothering her, and she would reply -‘ you don’t understand.‘ My reply would always be, ‘share it with me; I will try to understand. ‘

She would look at me blankly, shrug her shoulders, repeat the chant- you just don’t understand and walk off. This unsettling behaviour continued through her teenage years and very sadly into adulthood. It hurts when you want to help someone, and they refuse. However, if they give you the benefit of the doubt, they may find that you want to listen to their problems and help them through them. 

So, the point of this little story is that please do not ‘presume’ that your loved one does not want to hear about how you’re feeling. Instead, ask, ‘may I share with you how I feel today?

 It will probably be the wrong time if you suddenly dump all of your mad, bad, sad feelings upon them without any warning. There is a chance that you’ve caught them at the wrong time and are unprepared. They may want to listen to you but can’t listen to you at this particular time. If this happens, you could easily take it as rejection. 

 People are busy and have a head full of things they have to get done. They have their issues to cope with, so it’s best to ask them if you could about how you’re feeling today. In taking this cautious approach, you’re also respecting their space and time. If your loved ones learn a bit more about what you’re going through and how you feel, they may be more ready to learn how actually to support you. If they don’t want to listen, I am sure that there is somebody else, if not within your family, but a friend that will be there with you and for you through thick and thin.

Keep the Faith

I find it hard to do any form of Bible study devotion or even formal prayers when unwell. However, I do talk to the Lord like I am talking to you; it’s just that I can’t do anything structured and organised, which leaves me exhausted, and my mind is all over the place! 

When you are experiencing chronic pain daily, you may find that any form of structured Bible study and prayer may be impossible. Yet, nurturing your faith is essential because, like anything else, it can wane, get weak then eventually disappear through neglect, and you don’t want that. 

When you are not up to prayer or Bible study, audiobooks can help. If you have a smart TV or an iPad, signup to Google and download the YouTube app, it’s completely free, and you will get unlimited access to YouTube.

On YouTube, you will find audiobooks, hundreds of Christian audiobooks and indeed fiction or any other books that you want to listen to. You will also find the Holy Bible, sermons, Bible studies, prayers, and more. In addition, you will find the complete audiobooks of the Old and New Testaments. Even if it is for 10 or 15 minutes a day, listen to the Bible and allow it to soak over you. If you are alert enough, take a few notes as you hear the person narrate whatever part of the Bible you’re listening to. Don’t forget to ask your Pastor or Christian friends to pray for and support you.

Don’t Give Up

I’ve already shared that I’ve ministered to many suffering from chronic pain syndrome. In my observations, once a person gives up on themselves, gives up hope of any remedy, or stops learning how to cope with their pain, they begin a deep downward spiral. 

Don’t allow your circumstances to overwhelm you to the point where you don’t want to carry on living and withdraw from people and society.

People with chronic pain often self-medicate once they’re in a lonely state. When there is no one around you to love and support you, addiction can develop very quickly. Before you know it, you can be addicted to prescription drugs, alcohol, or even illicit drugs to cope with the pain. Addiction is just a big, endless pit of horror that is deeper than you realise and challenging to get out of – so I encourage you not to go there in the first place.

You’re Stronger Than You Think

Don’t give up on your ability to find your way through this; you are far more potent than you think. And for those of you who have faith in God through the Lord Jesus Christ as you call out to God, he will strengthen you and help you to find that you have got ideas and the motivation to fulfil those ideas to be able to help you to live a more fulfilling life.

Facing the mountains in our lives can be difficult. Any sickness, whether associated with pain or not, is a horrible place. When we accept our situation, we find a way to cope with the condition. I’ve seen folk who have struggled against their situation and refused to accept their condition are more likely to slip into depression because they will not face the reality of what they are experiencing. 

Even though I walk through the valley of the Shadow of Death

If you want more help on this subject, pick up a copy of my book on Psalm 23, Unwrapped by Paula Rose Parish, from Amazon. 

You can get Psalm 23 Unwrapped in paperback, and I am now editing it to create the Kindle book, which will be available on Amazon soon. 

I have taken Psalm 23 verse by verse and unwrapped its meaning to help you get through your valley of the shadow of death. Father God says that ‘even though I walk through the valley of the shadow’ – in other words, when you walk through the valley of the shadow of death. 

God never said that you would find never experience the valley nor avoid the valley, go around it, or pretend it’s not there. God didn’t say- confess it away, pray it away!

No- God is even though you walk through the valley, Father God is with you, walking with you. God is there to bring comfort, healing, and strength. Psalm 23 Unwrapped explains how to journey through that dark valley into restoration.

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Well, thank you for reading this blog post. I hope it was helpful to you. If it was, please like it, and if you haven’t already, please subscribe to this blog so you can get updates every time I post. 

Until the next blog post or a video, God bless you and remember to live life on purpose in hope, faith, and love.

Paula Rose Parish💕

FACING UP to the DANGEROUS REALITY of ABUSE in the CHURCH

PART ONE of the ESSEX HALL LECTURE 1999 POWER FOR GOD’S SAKE by REV DR PAUL BEASLEY-MURRAY Lecture 7.

Churches can be cockpits of conflict; deeply neurotic places where people play power games and deny the reality of their own circumstances. I have witnessed these things and been part of the strange collusion that allows churches to be extremely dishonest places.

 The moment I read these words of Richard Holloway, Bishop of Edinburgh, bells began to ring. Yes, I said to myself, how, right you are. Power is not only a reality in the world outside, it is also a reality within the church. Indeed, power may well be more of a dangerous reality within the church, precisely because it is for the most part unowned and unrecognised.

Spiritual Blindness

There is, it seems to me, a large degree of naivety, if not self-inflicted blindness, on the part of Christian people. We know that power games are a reality in the world of politics and in the world of business, but we do not want to accept that they are also a reality in the church. And yet why should the church in this respect be any different from the world? If all the other sins of the ‘flesh’ are to be found in the church, then why not this one? Any intelligent reading of the New Testament would reveal that there were power struggles right from the beginning of the life of the early church. Not only James and John come to mind, with their desire to sit on the right and left hand of Jesus in his glory, but the Judaizers who wanted to impose their way of doing church on the Gentile converts, the bickering factions at Corinth. It is almost no exaggeration to say that within every strand of the New Testament we can find evidence of power struggles affecting the life of God’s people. Yet time and again we seem to close our eyes to this underlying reality, and many of us seem to prefer to live with an ‘ideal’ picture of the church.

I say ‘us’ because if I am honest there was a stage toward the beginning of my ministry when I too was blinkered and as a result, operated with this romantic picture of a church where power struggles never took place. Strangely, even before my taking pastoral charge of a local church, I had experienced power struggles, both on a small scale within the life of a Christian student organisation of which I was a member and also on a larger scale within the life of the denomination to which I belonged. And yet somehow these experiences had failed to register as an ongoing fact of church life. I would maintain that the theological college at which I was trained was all part of that strange conspiracy of silence.

Silence of Gods Lambs

At no stage do I remember anybody ever talking about power in the church as being an issue. Certainly, no training was given to me and to my fellow students as to how we might handle power struggles of one kind or another. Instead, we were taught how to preach! Although a revolution has taken place in theological education and ministerial formation since I first trained for Christian ministry, I am not convinced that ordinands, in this respect at least, are in most colleges trained any better. By and large, ministers must learn on the job when it then becomes a matter of either sinking or swimming. Sadly, for many, it is the former.

The Sin of Hypocrisy

Power in the raw of course there is overt and organised power struggles in churches, which hit the national headlines, and which are therefore recognised by all and sundry. In the North American scene, one such public power struggle took place in the early 1990s at First Baptist Church Dallas, described by some as the most influential church in America. Too Great A Temptation: The Seductive Power of America’s Super Church is the title of the book Joel Gregory wrote after his losing the battle with W.A. Criswell. It is a searingly honest and painful account, revealing the power, the politics and the hypocrisy which not only plagued that church but which plague many others too. The book’s concluding six pages should be compulsory reading for all church leaders, both ordained and unordained. From his own bitter experience, Gregory came to see that the church is an institution divine in its original foundation but tethered to this celestial ball by every frailty to which humans are subject. Covetousness, littleness, jealousy, lust for power, ego, sacrilege, and a hundred other demons all lurk within the hallways.

Lessons from Jesus

The church on earth at its best is a crippled institution that God may elect to use for His purposes. The divinization of the church in an egotistic triumphalism denigrates the very purpose for which it is founded. After all, its founder died on the cross between two criminals. Out of his weakness came strength and out of His death came life. Humanity does not consider Jesus Christ its centrepiece because he behaved like the CEO of a gigantic ecclesiastical corporation. He washed the feet of others; He did not trample them under His own in the name of God.

It Hit the Headlines!

 In Britain probably the most well-known recent ecclesiastical power struggle was the fight between the Dean, Brandon Jackson, and the Canons of Lincoln Cathedral. Time and again this battle hit the national headlines. The power struggle appeared to concern a loss-making exhibition of the cathedral’s copy of the Magna Carta in Australia in 1988: However, what fascinated me was to discover that this long-running conflict, marked by “the presence of fear and rage within the group and of a sense of intolerable pain”, actually had its roots in the distant past.

 The official report of Brim Thorne and Kathleen Baker, who were brought in by the Bishop of Lincoln to act as mediators between the protagonists, speaks of historic myths and “powerful unconscious forces at work”. It goes on to say: “These basic assumptions have probably permeated the Lincoln environment for centuries and they operate in complete opposition to the spirit of the cathedral statutes, which require collegiality and cooperation based on an atmosphere of trust.”

 Here we have a salutary reminder that unless major power struggles are properly dealt with, the seeds of their destructiveness may spill over from one generation to another. To put it in different terms, institutional ‘viruses’, as it were, can develop, with the result that although the players may change, the struggle does not. Hence the phenomenon, seen in certain local churches, whereby one minister after another leaves that church in unhappy circumstances. There is an abusive corporate mindset (heart-set?) which desperately needs attention.

I hope you enjoyed and found Part One of this lecture helpful.  Be sure to like and subscribe to receive Part 2 in your inbox in a few days’ time.

If you are or have been affected by power abuse / spiritual abuse, I am here to help. Watch my video on the Home page of my Blog to know what to do next. May God bless and heal you in His love.

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

Paula Rose Parish

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

 Finding the Right Path

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

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

Doing What’s Right and Just

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

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

Follow the Leader

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

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

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

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After you confirm your free subscription, the e-book will be delivered to your email inbox. If it’s not, please let me know, and I will send it to you directly.

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

Much love, Paula Rose Parish

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😀So many people want their faith and church to grow. The problem is that hurt and disappointment get in the way and it’s hard to figure out where to begin. This site is about helping people find spiritual health and healing, by sharing the love of Jesus Christ. It’s for anyone who feels stuck in their faith and longs for a breakthrough. It’s for people who are exploring Christianity and want to know what it’s all about – apart from what they see in the media. If that’s you – please consider subscribing.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Abandonment- Life Can Be Scary -Paula Rose Parish Story

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

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

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

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

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

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

Be Wise in What You Do

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

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

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

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

Exodus 20 New International Version

The Ten Commandments

20 And God spoke all these words:

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

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

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

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

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

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

13 “You shall not murder.

14 “You shall not commit adultery.

15 “You shall not steal.

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

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

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

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

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After you confirm your free subscription, the e-book will be delivered to your email inbox. If it’s not, please let me know, and I will send it to you directly.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Why is the Green Grass in Psalm 23 Significant for you?

Psalm 23 is set in the land of Israel where the city of Jerusalem was considered to be its center. Around the outskirts of Jerusalem, are rolling hills. The hillsides are not green and lush but are mainly bare ground and rocky desert with perhaps a scattering of grass popping up here and there.  because the rainfall is very low it is hard to find lush, green grass, so shepherd had to travel far and wide in search for green grass for their sheep. So what David was writing about was not the landscape surrounding Jerusalem. David did not write about in Psalm 23 that there was brown grass or sparse grass but made a point that the grass is green.

So, what could David have been referring to when he wrote that God makes him lie down in green pastures? To find out we need to take a look at the colour green to derive its meaning. In art, green is a secondary colour which is made by mixing yellow with blue. Yellow is the colour of the sun which gives life and warmth, and blue is the colour of the sky because it holds the oxygen giving us atmosphere, both are life-giving. So, combining yellow and blue gives us green. The green colour of plants, trees, and grass occurs because they contain chlorophyll. The green pigment is essential in photosynthesis, allowing plants to absorb energy from the sun so they can grow and flourish.

So, putting this all together, we understand that in the Bible, the green grass is a metaphor for the sustainability and flourishment of life.  To go a little step further, most biblical scholars agree that one of the primary Biblical meanings of the colour green is the immortality of the soul.

Green denotes that the soul- the real you- grows and thrives after the death of the physical body.  Green can also be a symbol of resurrection, praise, spiritual growth and prosperity, new beginnings, and renewal. As so it is with you. God by his Holy Spirit walks with you, beside you, and is leading you into new beginnings and renewal; to help you grow and thrive. 

We see here that Green is used as a metaphor to bring home the point that God leads you to grow and flourish in the midst of the most difficult circumstances. 

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

Would you like to receive a free e-book? If the answer is Yes, then take notice; as you come onto my site, a banner will pop up after 50 seconds that describes the content of the e-book. So, if you wish to receive the e-book, please subscribe through the banner, which will lead you to a few steps.

After you confirm your free subscription, the e-book will be delivered to your email inbox. If it’s not, please let me know, and I will send it to you directly.

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

Paula Rose Parish💕

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

👛SHOP WITH ME

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

SHOP www.moonrosemindfulness.com

FOOD for your Soul- www.paularoseparish.com

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

👱‍♀️ CHAT WITH ME 

📸 Instagram: paularoseparish2020. 

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

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

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 Listen to PAULA’S BLOG PODCASTS on Spotify

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When you pray, do you lift your eyes to heaven, or do you close your eyes?

John 17:20-26 Jesus Prays for All Believers


20 “My prayer is not for them alone. I also pray for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me, and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 I have given them the glory you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— 23 I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.
24 “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.
25 “Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. 26 I have made you known to them and will continue to make you known so that your love for me may be in them and that I may be in them.”

When you pray, do you lift your eyes to heaven, or do you close your eyes?

“Lifting his eyes to heaven Jesus’ praying saying I do not only pray for though these but also those who will believe in me “John 17:1

As Jesus lifted his eyes to heaven, he prayed to his Father. This act of lifting his eyes reveals one unique aspect of the presence of the Father stop. It reveals that the Father is transcendent. Transcendent means that the Father is above all and be on all. The world cannot contain him.

So, in speaking to the Father, Jesus begins by lifting his eyes and acknowledging the Father’s transcendence. But we must also note the imminence of the Father’s relationship with Jesus. The word by imminences means that the Father and Jesus are united as one. Their relationship is profoundly personal. Although the words imminence and transcendence may not be a part of our daily vocabulary, these ideas are worth understanding and reflecting upon. We should strive to be very familiar with their meaning and, more particularly, how our relationship with the Holy Trinity shares in both.

Jesus’ prayers to the Father while sharing in the unity of the Father and the Son and Holy Spirit. We, too, will share in God’s life and love. For us, this means we start by seeing the transcendence of God. We also lift our eyes to heaven and strive to see by faith God’s splendour, glory, greatness, power, and majesty because God is above all and beyond all.

As we realise this prayerful gaze to the heavens, we must also strive to see this glorious and transcendent God descend into our souls, communicating with us loving us and establishing a profoundly personal relationship. It’s incredible how these two facets of God’s life go together so well even though, at first, they can appear to be complete opposites. However, they are not opposite but, instead, are united together and have the effect of drawing us into an intimate relationship with the Creator, who is ever constant in all things.

Reflect today upon the glorious and all-powerful God of the universe, who descend into the secret depths of your soul – acknowledge his presence, adore him because he lives in you – speak to him and love him through the day.

Prayer


Most glorious Father, please help me always lift my eyes to heaven and turn to you in that prayerful gaze. May I also discover you alive in my soul where you are adored and loved.
In Christ’s name, I pray
Amen

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

Just be in God’s presence- make a time – you’ll be glad you did!

Being in Gods’ Presence

The story of Jesus’ transfiguration in Luke 9: 28-36, (see below) begins by telling us that Jesus and his three closest disciples––Peter, James, and John––went up the mountain to pray. Mountains are special places in the Bible. Mountains are deemed to be ‘get away places’ far from the madding crowd.  It was also thought that the higher physically one’s climbs, one will be able to access the divine more readily than if you was situated on sea level. In Holy Bible Scripture, mountains seem to be places where people encounter God.

For example, Moses encountered God and received the ten commandments on Mount Sinai. Elijah, a distinguished prophet, called down fire from heaven on Mount Carmel. Then there was Jesus who was tempted by Satan on a high mountain, and then upon on a mountain he was transfigured before three of his disciples.

New Testament scripture reveals Jesus withdrawing from the business of his ministry and went up to a mountain

It seems to me that in the mountains, people may experience beautiful things. As I thought about that, I wondered what our modern-day equivalent might be. Where would we go to experience the grand and wonderful things of God?

I live very close to mountains, so I can go there anytime to seek God. Although I do seek God anywhere, and find God, mountains do seem to have a particular attraction for me- as does the sea.

I wonder dear reader, What places are sacred to you, that you feel comfortable to soak in God presence?

Luke 9:28-36New International Version

The Transfiguration

28 About eight days after Jesus said this, he took Peter, John and James with him and went up onto a mountain to pray. 29 As he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became as bright as a flash of lightning. 30 Two men, Moses and Elijah, appeared in glorious splendor, talking with Jesus. 31 They spoke about his departure,[a] which he was about to bring to fulfillment at Jerusalem. 32 Peter and his companions were very sleepy, but when they became fully awake, they saw his glory and the two men standing with him. 33 As the men were leaving Jesus, Peter said to him, “Master, it is good for us to be here. Let us put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.” (He did not know what he was saying.)

34 While he was speaking, a cloud appeared and covered them, and they were afraid as they entered the cloud. 35 A voice came from the cloud, saying, “This is my Son, whom I have chosen; listen to him.” 36 When the voice had spoken, they found that Jesus was alone. The disciples kept this to themselves and did not tell anyone at that time what they had seen.

Read full chapterhttps://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke%209%3A28-36&version=NIV

Tips about  PRAYER WALKING – how to prayer walk.

As you know, I really enjoy researching about the mind, body, and spirit and how they interact with each other. I call this, holistic spiritualty. Before God we have a responsibility to care for ourselves the best we can.

1 Corinthians 6:19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own.

Even if you take short walks, the physical benefits of exercise will boost your emotional well-being. In addition, regular walking can help ease symptoms related to chronic mental health conditions like anxiety and depression. Have you ever thought the spiritual benefits of walking as well? God has made us of mind, body, and spirit therefore all these aspects of our come together to make us – well- us. Also, all these aspects need to stay healthy. It is up to us to ensure we stay healthy of mind, body, and spirit (soul) and here a few tips to help you to do just that.

You can walk anywhere without equipment or a gym membership, and the more you do it, the more positive effects you’ll experience.

The Benefits of Walking

There are numerous benefits of walking, and some of them are… 

  • Improved sleep
  • better breathing
  • Better endurance
  • Stress relief
  • Improvement in mood
  • Increased energy and stamina
  • Reduced tiredness can increase mental alertness
  • Weight loss
  • Reduced cholesterol and improved cardiovascular (heart) health.

Walking helps boost your mood by increasing blood flow and blood circulation to the brain and body. It positively influences your hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, which is your central nervous response system. The HPA axis is responsible for your stress response. When you exercise by walking, you calm your nerves, making you feel less stressed.

You can invite friends to join you or take your dogs for a walk. Walking with others as little as one or two days per week can have enormous benefits. Research has shown that physical exercise combined with positive social interactions can improve negative moods, ward off depression, improve self-esteem, and thus energize your physical body. Start by walking three days a week for 10-30 minutes.

How to Create a Prayer Walking Routine

One of the best ways to begin a new walking routine is to start small and take it easy on yourself as you gradually build up endurance. To ensure the best injury-free experience, choose stable walking shoes and before you leave home, stretch your legs, ankles, and feet to warm up. If you have one, take your mobile phone in case of energy. If it’s a little warm out and your walking some distance, take a water bottle to avoid dehydration.

Start at a relaxed pace, then build up to a brisk walk. Toward the end of your walk, give yourself time to slow down again, bringing your heart rate down.

Each time you go out, carve out a comfortable walking route, then extend your distance over the next few days or weeks. Give yourself goals to reach and celebrate your wins. Remember, it’s not always about the length of your route. It’s also about the quality of the walk and the benefits you get from doing it consistently.

How to Prayer Walk

  • As you walk, pray for the occupants of the houses you pass by.
  • Pray for the town or village and the social issues.
  • Pray for the people who pop into your mind.
  • Pray for the peace of your community.
  • Pray for the local council who look after the path you are walking on
  • Pray for your church and its members.
  • Pray for yourself and your health and well-being of mind, body, and soul.
  • Give thanks to God for the scenery around you.
  • Give thanks for the birds and other creatures you see.
  • Give thanks for the opportunity to take your walk.
  • Give thanks for the ability to walk, even if it’s a short distance.
  • Give thanks for God loving you and how he has called you into life.
  • As you walk, think of other things. People and for yourself to pray and give thanks for.

I hope you enjoy your walk and the benefits it affords.

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

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

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

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

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

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

👛SHOP WITH ME

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

SHOP www.moonrosemindfulness.com

FOOD for your Soul- www.paularoseparish.com

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

👱‍♀️ CHAT WITH ME 

📸 Instagram: paularoseparish2020. 

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

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

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

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

 Listen to PAULA’S BLOG PODCASTS on Spotify

Please send me an Email: paularoseparish@gmail.com

Experience being- we also experience doing= discipleship of Christ

The writings of our text in John’s gospel and in the Epistle can seem puzzling because they do not come down on one side or the other, sort of like the question which comes first-  the chicken or the egg ?

So, which comes first, the love of God or the love of our neighbour?  Which is more important, being or doing?  Are we saved by grace or by works?

Instinctively most people come down on one side or the other and we tend to hear only those parts of the good news of Jesus Christ that seem to reinforce what is comfortable to us. 

Some people instinctively hear the message in Jesus’ first public statement of ‘good news to the poor, release to the captives, sites of the blind, freedom for the oppressed.  Luke for 4.18-19.

Indeed, this is the heart of Jesus’ ministry they argue.  Christians witness Christ as the most faithful when he is actively doing things to improve life for society.  Other people automatically see that all Jesus’ activity arises out of his times of silence and prayer.

So there this tension between being and doing, and many of us struggle with these ideas.

The problem is that today’s gospel and Epistle, like most New Testament, does not have an either-or worldview.  This means the Bible is not written with a dualistic lens.

 Instead, they argue it is always both.  Both Epistle and costs for talking about the nature of God, which we contemplate with or at which we are drawn deeply into. We see this in Jesus ministry that begins starts not as he stands up and speaks-  but as he wrestles alone in the desert.

First, St John talks about love as the fundamental nature & of God.  Out of love, God the Son comes to die so that we can draw back into the love of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

In God, love is not an abstract quality but one we experience directly and actively.  We experience being- we also experience doing.

God acts lovingly towards us, and that is how we know that he indeed loves.  Being and doing are not separate – God is love and acts lovingly in creation. 

For us, that is not always the case because, unlike God, we are not yet complete.  We don’t always act lovingly in creation. The people to whom 1 John is addressed are presuming the people who have accepted the saving love of God.  But for most of us particularly in this western world view, Love has a beginning and a finite end.

The view of Love that God has, is embed within his own self- God is love. Its is possible to be and do at the same time. Doing comes from our sense of being- which has not a start or end- it just is.….

Look at it his way – The great aim of our life is to make the beginning and the end of love get further and further apart from us so that there is more and more room to love.  In other words, God’s love has no beginning and has no end, and nor should ours.  As the great 17th-century poet John Donne said in his Christmas sermons, God love is like a circle.  It’s endless.

Our gospel reading points out another one of God’s undeniable characteristics: life

The language 1 Johns about love can sound repetitive and soft-edged, despite the urgency and power of what’s being said.  Still, if you put 1 John alongside Johns gospel, the reason for the urgency becomes clearer. 

God is the only source of life.  If you pick flowers, they die.  If you take people away from God, they die.  It is not that this is a punishment, exactly.  It is more than it is just a fact of life.

 If people choose to live apart from God, that choice is sustained into eternity. 

Because it is sustained into eternity, God urgently invites us with the help of the Holy Spirit to live in God in Christ, each and every day that we enjoy mortal breathe.

 In choosing God, we are grafted as branches into the true vine. There we can live, and bear fruit of the exact nature as the tree. 

The choice between being and doing is a false one.  You are either alive with the life of God, the life in which there is no distinction between what God is and what God does, or you are not alive at all.

Many of us would like to rely on the life-giving love of God for ourselves without having to change too much.  In today’s story from Acts, Philip wouldn’t understand the question, ‘should I spend time being or doing- should I be praying, or should I go out and preach?

Philip has allowed himself to be directly grafted into the life of God.  so, Philip prayed, and Philip also preached.  Phil came across An African who was miles from home. This guy was reading the Bible – Hebrew Scripture- and had some questions.  Philip reacted by being and doing, at the same time and the African eunuch came to faith and was baptised. Most of us wouldn’t know such an opportunity if we part if it passed us by, not even in a golden carriage and so we miss the chance that Philip seized to work with God.  And as Philip showed people the love of God wherever he went.

And we see the love God for us in elements of bread and wine.

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

Would you like to receive a free e-book? If the answer is Yes, then take notice; as you come onto my site, a banner will pop up after 50 seconds that describes the content of the e-book. So, if you wish to receive the e-book, please subscribe through the banner, which will lead you to a few steps.

After you confirm your free subscription, the e-book will be delivered to your email inbox. If it’s not, please let me know, and I will send it to you directly.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

👛SHOP WITH ME

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

SHOP www.moonrosemindfulness.com

FOOD for your Soul- www.paularoseparish.com

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

👱‍♀️ CHAT WITH ME 

📸 Instagram: paularoseparish2020. 

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

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

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

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

 Listen to PAULA’S BLOG PODCASTS on Spotify

Please send me an Email: paularoseparish@gmail.com

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

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

I Have All I Need

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

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

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

Subsistence

Understanding and growth

Connection and love

Contribution

Esteem and Identity

Self-governance (Autonomy)

Significance and purpose

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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