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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 Jesus stills the storm.

 Heals the Gerasene demoniac.

Restores a girl to life.

 Heals a woman with a haemorrhage.

Feeds the five thousand..

Heals the sick in Gennesaret.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Who Cares?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

COURSE ONE Launching July 31st, 2021.

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

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

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the mirror …

           None of us really know what life all is about. We can surmise and suppose, but we can not see or even begin to understand the complete picture at the end of the day. This is what the author of 1 Corinthians 13:12 was alluding too. ‘For now, we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.‘ We can only view God, and his will, like looking into a reflection in a mirror can only partially see what’s going on. But one day, we will see God face-to-face and fully know, him in the same way that God knows us. 

We see through a glass darkly…

  If we didn’t, we would not need faith. Faith comes in when the person leading us knows how and we are following them because we do not. We are behind them following. Their body in front of us obscures the path, so our way is shrouded. But if we keep their back in full view, we can follow their footsteps and eventually end up where they are going.

 Our Christian life is like that. We do not know everything that the future holds for us. However, we know our future holds wonder, mercy, and grace because of the one we follow. The one we follow is Jesus Christ, who is God on earth and is the substance of love and good and leads us on righteousness paths. So, we can be assured that we won’t get led up the wrong path if we follow.

When we get bored, we doubt and question, that we stop following and go off the right path to one of our own. This is where we head into danger and end up way off course. So, my friends, be patent, keep your eyes on Jesus and follow him closely every day, and the kingdom of God will be yours.

1 Corinthians 13 KJV

13 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.

And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.

And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,

Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;

Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;

Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.

For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.

10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.

11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

Let me know how things are going for you,

Until next time- Jesus loves you, so Live Life on Purpose in Hope. Faith. Love,

Rev Paula 💕

My Blog posts are part of Paula Rose Parish Ministries for your encouragement.

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

📚Psalm 23 Unwrapped: Hope in difficult times

Coping with loss at Christmas Time

There is Nothing Good about Grief, particularly at Christmas time. When grief strikes at the heart, the effects send us reeling into bereavement. We are drawn into a vortex of loss, and it can feel like that we cannot escape. This experience is familiar to us all, vortex of loss, and we get hurt. Sometimes our grief is left unresolved. What can you do when When grief strikes at the heart What happens when you find yourself in one of the darkest periods of your life which can feel like the valley of the shadow of death? During COVID-19 pandemic we have suffered loss, changing our lives forever. How can you cope when your whole life is turned upside down and all that is familiar and held dear is There is Hope-?


I have written a book for the Bereaved called- Nothing Good about Grief . If you are a person of faith, or no faith, or somewhere in between, this book is a little ray of light and hope. Perhaps you are supporting someone whom you know is grieved, or just want to research the topic, then this book is for you. Like everyone else on the planet, I have experienced the dark valley of mourning.

Change is all about us these days, and our reality is vastly different from a few months ago. Suddenly we all have become very vulnerable. The world is experiencing an unprecedented catastrophe. Collectively, we weep and grieve. The worldwide pandemic of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) is still a reality for us all. This unforeseen disaster has swiftly taken the lives of loved ones, leaving the grieving disillusioned and struggling to make sense of it all. During the government-imposed lockdown, people lost livelihoods, assets, and social freedoms. The economy, families and marriages were all under great strain. People living together every day and night, with no respite, has caused domestic abuse to rise sharply across the world. Families lived in fear of loved ones who were meant to care and protect them. Basic daily needs became increasingly challenging to meet, and many others became homeless. We stayed home to stay safe, while daily routines and lifestyles were turned upside down. Restricted freedom of movement caused much psychological strain, and people felt hemmed in. Sadly, for some, suicide was the only way out. The losses have been incalculable, unbearable, and extraordinary. Every human being on the planet shared a sense of unspeakable loss, collective grief, and we are left bereaved. Nothing will be the same again. What will the future look like? The good news is that all is not lost.


There is Hope– Within the beautiful images of the 23rd Psalm, we will find the way forward and by applying its truth’s we have a sure and certain hope for a happy future. Through all the grief and pain, the Shepherd is walking with you, leading you on the right path to recovery. Grief is a natural reaction to loss. Bereavement is the process we go through when we grieve. Being a member of humanity means we walk through dark valleys throughout our lives. As described in Psalm 23, some of those valleys may feel like we are passing through death itself, dramatically changing our reality forever.

We try to express to others how we are feeling. Careworn, we fail to find the words that accurately describe our pain. No one can take away our grief. We feel alone. The devastation of our anguish is not apparent but is visible to the heart. Finding a pathway through can be complicated. There is certainly Nothing Good about Grief! My book will help you to understand and articulate what you are experiencing, and to come to terms with what is happening. The thoughts and ideas I present are the results of forty years of my personal and professional experience and theological understanding. When we are grieving a weighty book is challenging to cope with; therefore, I have written it as an easy read.

Part One is the preamble to later sections. Do not skip through this because this will prepare you for your journey.Part Two is devoted to defining grief and bereavement, understanding what the symptoms of three phases of grief are, and why we feel as we do.Part Three supplies a three-phased guide of recovery and discovering pathways into the new light of day. Part Four provides simple ways to recovery through reflections and guidelines. Part Five will help you make the adjustments you need and assist you on your journey, keeping you on the path to maintain your recovery.


From a therapeutic point of view, to help with grief recovery, I offer a Phased Approach because no one grieves in the same way as you do. Your bereavement is particular to how you feel and react to your grief. I see the term Phase as a statement of hope. The symptoms of grief outlined here in this book are well documented. However, the difference is that I have developed the phased approach because it is flexible, while using Psalm 23 as a guide. A phase is a period in your life, it is fleeting, it does not last. The symptoms of your grief I have outlined are Shock, Suffering and Anger/resentment. As you move through these into recovery, these symptoms will not last. You will eventually fully recover to enjoy life again. A phase denotes qualities that refer to time, a stage and flexibility, softness, and gracefulness. It is not fixed or rigid and can be adapted to each need. On the other hand, the process or step method is the opposite of that of the phased approach. It does not allow for individuality, fundamentally inflexible with a specified way of doing things for everyone. I see the three phases as a prescription of care, in the sense of a remedy and will bring you through to recovery. And like any prescription, the right dose is required for recovery. If you take more than is prescribed, the effects will be damaging. If you do not take enough, the remedy will be ineffectual. If you take someone else’s dose, there will be a problem. For each person, the dosage is different depending on a whole host of factors. That is why each prescription has only your name on it. The three phases are the same, they have your name on it. Utilizing the phased approach, instead, of following steps, or a process method is more realistic, so you can move at your own pace and just far more darn right kinder!

For over 40 years, and over several countries, I have worked as a church leader and professional counsellor. I have had the privilege of helping hundreds of hurting people through the dark valley of grief, into recovery. Nothing Good About Grief is available on Amazon, on this web site you will find a links to the UK Amazon. I have many followers from around the world so, if you are from another country, just Put the book title and my name- Paula Rose Parish- in the Amazon browser and you’ll be sure to find it. If you cant. Contact me and I can make arrangements to get a book sent you.

If you need Counselling, I am available for Telephone or Online Therapy.

We will journey together while learning that you have a Shepherd who leads you on. Your Shepherd who understands, and weeps for your pain, is calling you into His love and mercy.

Every Blessing

Paula Rose- Parish

Christ the king.

NTRODUCTION

 John 18:33-37

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

THE CONTEXT

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 “The foxes have holes,

and the birds of the sky have nests,

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

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

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

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

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

That was exactly the right question. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Therefore God also highly exalted (Jesus),

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

that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 Let’s Pray

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

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

And when Jesus Christ shall appear in power and great glory

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

Amen

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Stay in the Ship

Acts 27:27-31

27 On the fourteenth night we were still being driven across the Adriatic Sea, when about midnight the sailors sensed they were approaching land. 

28 They took soundings and found that the water was a hundred and twenty feet deep. A short time later they took soundings again and found it was ninety feet deep. 

29 Fearing that we would be dashed against the rocks, they dropped four anchors from the stern and prayed for daylight. 

30 In an attempt to escape from the ship, the sailors let the lifeboat down into the sea, pretending they were going to lower some anchors from the bow. 

31 Then Paul said to the centurion and the soldiers, “Unless these men stay with the ship, you cannot be saved.”

Remember when Princess Diana died, the people’s princess. Here was a highly attractive woman whose beauty was on the inside as well on the outside. There was reports that she was a down to earth person with great and genuine compassion, grace. One moment Diana was having a wonderful dinner at the Ritz Hotel in France, and the next moment she was fighting for her life in the back seat of a car in Paris tunnel. Diana died. She no longer exists- just like that! All that beauty and grace snuffed out in a blink of an eye. This delightful, lively mother with everything to live for, was deceased quite unexpectedly in a flash of time. Tragic indeed. At this present time, there are people all over the world who are fighting for their life. Perhaps due to COVID-19 or from some other malady. Coming face to face with the tragedy of death, brings it home to us that we all stand on the boundary of our mortality and the uncertainty of future events. The problem occurs when we fail to understand the nature of life and death and resurrection. We cannot perceive what the future might look like, so we tend to put our priorities in those things we count as sure. The things we concentrate on are usually of material value; those things that to which our five senses can connect. This sort of world view creates a long-term problem. In as much that we try to cling to this life as if it is our only hope and in doing so, we fail to see the bigger picture of Gods kingdom. 

Background of the Voyage

The Apostle Paul was arrested and spent two years in prison in Caesarea, which is on the Mediterranean coast of Israel. Paul had been accused of crimes by the Jewish leaders and was put on trial before the Governor, Festus and visiting King Agrippa. During his trial, Paul demanded his right, as a Roman citizen, to be tried by Caesar. Festus agreed and sent him to Rome to stand trial. That brings us to Acts 27

The details of the voyage which took Paul and Luke to Rome begins in Acts 27. The group of soldiers and prisoners were under the command of a Roman centurion named Julius. They set sail from Caesarea and made a couple of stops before they landed at Myra in Lycia. Here they boarded a second ship, an Alexandrian ship, bound for Rome. Beginning in Acts 27:6, the text starts to lay out the details of the voyage and the sinking. They were sailing late in the sailing season and very soon the ship and the 276 people on board were all caught up in a great storm. They fought the storm, but soon gave up all hope of rescue and the ship was driven off course across the Mediterranean Sea.

Fourteen days later the ship would be forced aground and wrecked on a remote island in the Mediterranean. However, everyone on board was saved and managed to get safely onshore. After three months, Paul and Luke would continue the journey to Rome, where Paul was eventually tried before Caesar and ultimately put to death. But the main point I want to drive home today is found in verses 31 unless these men stay in the ship. You cannot be saved. 

Taking this as a metaphor, can anyone guess who the ship might be?……

When I was about 12 years old, I jumped off the jetty at Grange Beach, South Australia, and got caught in a rip…….

The water was warm as it always is in the summer and became very alarmed when the rip began to carry me out sea. I was swept way past the jetty, and I began to panic in fear of drowning. Then I heard a voice, and I do not know whether it was spoken inside of myself or outside of myself, all I know is that voice was not mine. The voice told me to relax and float with the current. That is all that was said. Because it was so sure, and at the same time comforting, and strengthening, I laid on my back and began to float. I was not the best swimmer in the world, but so I knew how to float and to tread water. When I was treading water; it just increased the panic. When I began to float, calm and reassurance overtook me. With my face towards the sky, I knew that I was moving rapidly and then it seemed a short while, when I began to feel the sand beneath my feet. I stood up and looked around and saw the jetty in the far distance. I realised that I landed on the next beach, which was quite a long way away, about a mile and a half. If I had not obeyed the instructions, I would have surely drowned. If I had questioned where that voice had come from, I would not have had no time to stop panicking, and I would not have been here to tell the story. This story serves as a metaphor for how we are to live our life. We will greatly benefit if we relax in the current of Gods love and in the wisdom and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit. We can be assured that in Jesus Christ, we have our salvation and the victory over the power of death. We will be like Him. Like Jesus, our physical death will give away to resurrection and the promised new Jerusalem.  death is certain for all of us as it was for Diana.

The point is, no matter what happens to us, if we stay IN CHRIST, we will be saved. Another passage of scripture shows us this clearly.

Matthew 24:12 Because of the multiplication of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold. 13 the one who perseveres to the end will be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

I encourage you to persevere though the difficulties of Covid-19. Stay in Christ, and you will get through. If you do not know Jesus, please open your heart, and see that the Lord good. Ask Father God in Jesus Christ, to forgive your sins and pledge to follow him all the days of your life. If you sincerely do this, your joy will be made full!

May God bless you. If you have made a commitment to Christ or have any questions- please feel free to contact me. I would love to hear from you.  

Until next time, Live Life on Purpose in Hope, Faith & Love.

<p class="has-pale-pink-color has-text-color has-large-font-size" id="persevere" value="<amp-fit-text layout="fixed-height" min-font-size="6" max-font-size="72" height="80"><strong>Paula Rose Parish </strong>Paula Rose Parish 

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