The Power of an Empty Tomb: God of surprises.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 Paula Rose Parish💕

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

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

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

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

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

God Created the Earth

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

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

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

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

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

Every Living Thing Is Part of God’s Creation

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

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

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

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

God Uses the Earth to Teach Us

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

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

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

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

God Asks Us to Take Care of His Creation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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So what next? What does God want?- Reflections for Lent

Here in the UK, we have had winter, where the days are dark and short, and downright depressing at times. As we are moving into the New Year, thankfully, now the days are getting a bit longer, and we no longer are under Coronavirus strict restrictions. It’s so lovely and oddly strange to be free at last and have the power to choose how we do things. I think it will take a while for our newfound freedom to play out, but we move forward together toward relative normality.

Here we are at the start of Lent and this is where we can ask ourselves the question- So what next?

We’ve been locked down forever disrupting our lives in every way. One thing I know is next for us, is that God wants us to build His Kingdom here through us, and not our selfish empires. It’s so easy to lose focus when everything else is going on around us. Through the pandemic, God taught us forgiveness, patience, love, and kindness, yet our focus can be taken away from Jesus by all that goes on.

 Another question we can ask is- what does God want?

We can discuss these questions with our family and Church. We have had two years of stopping and restarting and pausing and not knowing what will come next. But one thing has remained constant. God’s love never fails, His mercy and love endure forever, He is good, and He will never leave us.

So, as we press into the new year, maybe God is stirring up new things within us, so in that stirring, one more question needs consideration – If not now, ‘when’ do we decide what’s next, and what does God want, and how and when do we apply it to our lives and our Church?

Let us not put off seeking His precious face each day. Let us not put off taking the steps that lead us closer to Him and let us remember that God gives us strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow. Ephesians 1:18-20.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Is this Church teaching the full gospel of God?

Is this church for me?

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

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

Does My Church Feed Me? 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Discipleship – is Feeding Others

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

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

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

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

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

BIBLE STUDY / The Crucifixion and Resurrection is NOT Metaphor- it actually happened!

The season of Easter is after Lent which is coming up in March this year. I thought we would get arena and chat about the truth of the resurrection. Somebody told me recently that Jesus wasn’t real so the crucifixion and resurrection could not have happened. Well, let’s see what scripture says shall we?

Isaiah 6:1-8  (NIV) Isaiah’s Commission

6 In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. 2 Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. 3 And they were calling to one another:

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty;
     the whole earth is full of his glory.”

4 At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke.

5 “Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.”

6 Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. 7 With it he touched my mouth and said, “See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.”

8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”

And I said, “Here am I. Send me!

Luke 5:1-11  (NIV)  Jesus Calls His First Disciples

5 One day as Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret,[a] the people were crowding around him and listening to the word of God. 2 He saw at the water’s edge two boats, left there by the fishermen, who were washing their nets. 3 He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from shore. Then he sat down and taught the people from the boat.

4 When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.”

5 Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.”

6 When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. 7 So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink.

8 When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” 9 For him and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken, 10 and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon’s partners.

Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.” 11 So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything, and followed him.

1 Corinthians 15:1-11  (NIV) The Resurrection of Christ

15 Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. 2 By this gospel you are saved if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.

3 For what I received I passed on to you as of the first importance that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve. 6 After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, 8 and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.

9 For I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them—yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me. 11 Whether then, it is I or they, this is what we preach, and this is what you believed.

16 For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins.18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost.19 If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.

20 But Christ has indeed been raised from

  • My story how if felt unclean for years before I met Christ

It’s a shocking fact that even some people who stand in the pulpit believe that the Stores in the OT and indeed the NT didn’t exist. They say they are only stories to show the truth, but not truth in themselves. This is called Liberalism.

We can get caught up in it if we are not careful, the truth that archelogy bears out the stories from the bible even as far back as the garden of Eden. 

 People say that These stories are a metaphor of a Universal truth and inner reality.

 However, if we believe this, we….

  • We can’t understand forgiveness
  • Reformed resurrected/ evangelical/. Charismatic
  • Coptic/ Catholic crucified
  • Crucified OR resurrected- dual thinking
  • We eliminate to negative- focus on the positive
  • Can’t separate the two one leads to the other = truth
  •  We only can appreciate Gods love/grace fully if we have experience the absence of it.

THE CHRISTIAN LIFE IS ABOUT TRANSFORMATION!

how can we enjoy the transformed life if we don’t believe that Christ dies and is resurrected and only stands as a metaphor???

All things work TOGETHER for good Romans 8:28

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

Conclusion

Christ Died for you

Christ was raised for you

We need to recognize our spiritual poverty before God

Live a life of humble repentance and faith!

Galatians 2:20

I have been crucified with Christ, therefore,

 I no longer live,

but Christ lives in me.

The life I now live in the body,

I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

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

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

BACP Life Coaching Course, Bristol, UK

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

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4 Simple Steps to the best way to make a decision you won’t Regret.

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions, WATCH THIS VIDEO!

Sometimes making decisions is hard, especially when some doubts or fears make you reconsider your position, and so you hesitate and wonder if you should give up or keep going. This indecisiveness can be a torment if we allow it to be. Trying to make a choice that feels unclear is really difficult to do. Choosing to move on from something, to take a new job, to begin or end a relationship – you know the big decisions – can sometimes be so all-consuming, confusing, and fearful that we end up making none at all, and just settle for the status quo.
So, how can we teach ourselves to make our decisions with confidence? The best way through is to try to be objective.

Ask Yourself Questions

To be objective, ask yourself a question as if someone else is asking you. Try to remove yourself from any apparent emotion that may influence you and ask..

.a. how do I choose the right thing?

b. How do I know that I am not making a mistake?

In this blog, I am here to share with you that Mindfulness can help you in this regard.’ Along with prayer, I have found Mindfulness to be a powerful tool that enables your mind to focus your attention to get the answers you need. It can become more than a practice, but a lifestyle that helps you be aware at all times. Mindfulness teaches you to pay attention to what’s happening right now. It also answers how and why enabling you to focus on the decisions you need to make.

If you want more details about Mindfulness and how to implement it into your life, search my blog post because I have many articles that will help you with that. T

To make the right choice, you need to understand each part of the step-by-step process that goes into making informed decisions.

Here are Four Simple Steps to help you Prayerfully make informed decisions

  1. Identify the problem
  2. Gather the information to define the decision to be made
  3. Make a choice
  4. Learn from feedback

1. Identify the Problem.

For effective decision-making, you need to accurately identify the problem to be solved. This might sound straightforward, but it’s impossible to begin working on a plan of action when you don’t fully comprehend the question you are trying to answer. Mindfully (stay in the moment) and reflect upon the problem, develop questions accordingly, and then write them down. Look at them and allow them to soak into you. Ensure that these are the right question to ask. Wrong decisions are repeatedly made when the question is incorrectly identified, so make sure you precisely and accurately spot the decision that must be made. When you are satisfied, move to the next step.


2. Gather the information to define the decision to be made.

Now, Take your notebook or computer and write down the information you gather. This is part of the mindfulness process. Mindfulness is kind to your brain and your brain cannot remember all that you need to. So use your notebook so you can refer to it later. Also, by writing it down it can be shared with others. Decision-making requires a good understanding of the current state of the problem to be solved to understand all implications of the potential choices you have. For this reason, it can be valuable to consider the views of all parties involved because they will be affected by the decision. These may include family, customers, employees, or suppliers. Gather accurate information on how the current problem is affecting people now.


Be sure to identify existing conditions that may be connected to the decision in question. As much information as possible should be gathered to build your confidence that a decision has been accurately and appropriately made before additional evaluation and alternatives begin. It is rare for there to be only a decision that is conclusive and there’s no alternative; Once a decision has been defined, the next step is to identify the alternatives to select from. Try to identify as many different alternatives as possible without making too narrow a distinction between them, and narrow the list based on evaluation, resource limitations, or time constraints or any other revenant factor. You may decide to do nothing, which is an alternative worthy of reflection.


3. Make a choice

To make the right choice Meditation or if you prefer to call it- prayer and reflection is a mindful process. Prayer and reflection together give you time and space just for you to clear your head of any bias and look at the facts objectively. There is nothing worse than an emotional decision- I know I have a lot of them behind me!


But when you sit down and close your eyes to meditate or reflect, you are pressing pause for a few minutes. This is a moment of quiet and peace that can help to put all the heaviness and confusion surrounding a big decision into a balanced perspective. This mindful process helps you to connect with what is right for you. There is an inner voice we all hear – our intuition. We often make decisions with our emotions which can be all over the place. If you’re confused, unsure, or overwhelmed by a decision, concentrate on listening to yourself and the voice of others.


4. Learn from feedback

Feedback isn’t simply about someone telling you what you did right or wrong – it’s a process in which you reflect on your decision and take action to correct it or improve future decision-making. Feedback is quick and easy if you ask yourself these questions….

  1. what is the outcomes of the decision?
  2. what I need to improve, or adapt and
  3. Could I have dome thing differently – If so, How?

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How to Reduce Your Stress

One of the blights of humanity is frustration. We get frustrated when we don’t get what we want or what we think we deserve. It seems that we’re a living contradiction. We really are our own worst enemy, working at cross purposes against our own best interest. We want meaning, purpose, and peace of mind, but we aren’t ready to strive or sacrifice for it. Why? Because human beings are forever seeking that kind of thing through enjoyment, which is temporal by nature. 

 Pleasure is a good thing, and we need to have some fun; however, it’s not the be-all, end-all that we imagine it to be, and we become disappointed with our life and can’t put our finger on why. Maybe it’s about expectations, and when those expectations are not met, we become very disappointed. For example, when we are having fun, and the pleasure we feel comes to an end, we want to chase after it, trying to create familiar feelings of joy. Sometimes we try to recreate experiences at a considerable cost to ourselves; we try to convert pleasure into something permanent.

When life goes wrong, we try to fix it by increasing the feel-good factor and strive to make it stay with us, but we just can’t do it. When we are frustrated, we search for ways to make ourselves happy, and often unwisely so. No matter how hard we try, we cannot make what is temporary permanent, and we cannot make what is imagined real. We can’t get back our loved one who is gone, the job that fell through our fingers is in the past, or even the children who have become adults and now live their own lives many miles from us. Also, it’s worth noting here that the COVID-19 pandemic has taken its devastating toll, and we will never get back what we lost.  

Several hundred years ago, along with other religions, Christianity began engaging the West in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction. Although it was not named as such, that is precisely what it is, the aim and objective and results being the same. Within the act mindfulness practice, if one removes the idea of God, it still works. However, I prefer to still relate to God as far as mindfulness goes because it enhances not only my mind and body but also my spiritual person.

The scientific evidence to date of the success of mindfulness to enhance human life is overwhelming, and for those interested in their wellness, we cannot ignore it. Various professional disciplines and social movements, such as medicine and health care, psychology and brain science, and education at all levels, the law, business, leadership, and much more, enhance their practice by inserting mindfulness.

 Today’s mainstream medicine is developing an ever-growing interest in mindfulness-based intervention, such as Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT). Mindfulness is something we can practice for peace of mind and a way of relieving a wide range of chronic medical conditions. It is much like snowmelt flowing inevitably downhill from a high mountain source, flowing around obstacles, finding many pathways under the gentle tug of gravity, and ultimately merging into major rivers systems. The gravitational pull is the promise of liberation from suffering and the potential safe harbour. As human beings prepare for the awakening and embodying of wellbeing, greater wisdom and wise action in the conduct of our individual lives so we may peacefully carry ourselves in the world as a species. In other words, mindfulness can become a normal and natural way to live your life, and the feeling of wellbeing is inevitable. Living a mindful life as Jesus Christ did would not end our frustrations but the beginning of successfully managing them. 

Jesus gave us the answer to our frustrations and said don’t chase after things that are here today and gone tomorrow, but rather, strive for eternal things. Eternal things are more satisfying, like top quality peace, joy, and love, that only God can supply. Mindfulness can help us to pursue eternal things naturally and consistently.

Trying to hold onto relationships or things that are gone will leave you frustrated and keep you grieving for as long as you hold onto them. All human relationships, albeit long term, are temporal and subject to the joys and pains of this life; our lives are so fragile and short. The only permanent relationship and forever is a relationship with God offers to us through Jesus Christ.  

The nature of my work is that I aim to empower others with education and motivation to help them make for themselves a purposeful and happy life. In addition, I enjoy helping others to set wellness goals and then provide resources, helping you determine which changes would make the most significant impact on your health.

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

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Remember to Live Life on Purpose

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 Paula Rose Parish💗

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#103 How to Enjoy a Better Life: Pray and Plan Each Morning

The first thing I do when I get up I grab a coffee and meditate because it sets me up for the day, clearing the fog of sleep and unclutters my mind from any unwanted thoughts. Helps to prepare you to have the right mindset for the coming day. Meditation is a mindfulness practice in its many forms and is extremely good for one’s mental health.

You may be a person of faith or of no faith at all. I am a Christian, so I will share a little about Christian meditation which is a method of prayer. However, many forms of meditation have nothing to do with God that you may feel more comfortable with. You can research various forms for yourself. Other than that, why not challenge yourself and try out Christian meditation! 

Meditation has been a part of the Christian tradition since its origin. This form of prayer is to help us set our eyes on God in silence and grow closer to the Divine with gratitude and love. 

Start fresh in the morning, it is undoubtedly a worthwhile habit to create for your wellbeing not just for your Spirit, but for Mind and Body.

To start you off, meditate on this Psalm and own it and thank God for it….

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.           Psalm 19:14

In your morning meditation time, we learn to rely on God for the day. Setting time aside to be alone in meditation creates space and time to grow closer to God. Through this type of prayer, you discover who you really are, what God desires for you, and it is a wonderful opportunity for you to continually discover just how mysterious and incredible God is. 

Wellhabit 2.-Plan and set your priorities before starting the day.

When it comes to setting up your day for success, it’s essential to identify the things that may hold you back. Unfortunately, we often ignore the impact that our own mindset and the atmosphere surrounding us has. Once you acknowledge their power, you can do something about it.

When you have no plan to tackle the day, you let everyone else create a plan on your behalf. In other words- ‘run your day, or it will run you’.

So, when you realize what’s derailing or distracting you from getting on with your day, then you can ascertain what’s worth focusing on and what can be kept waiting or be eliminated. Then go ahead and distinguish between urgent and essential to-dos. The importance you place on your To-do should be a measure of the impact of your goal. 

Now that you have spent time in meditation prayer, sorted the distractions, and have a positive mindset for a successful day, you can set your daily goals. So now is the time to get your planner out and choose and plan your daily priorities.

If you want to make progress, you need a clear direction. When your goal is solid and clear to you, setting priorities becomes easy. You will know how to accomplish your overall mission and not get distracted or derailed by useless tasks, other people’s requests, and the feeling of being busy. Enjoy your day!

#100 How to “wait” on God, to “hope” in Him

  Lets Celebrate! this is my 100 Blog article ! I get feedback how much these articles are helpful to you which spurs my on to keep writing.

The Bible  readings below encourage us to keep trusting God even when we a tired and weary. These truths that should bolster our Faith. We are waiting in hope for God’s salvation from this pandemic. Are you lockdown weary? I certainly am!! Although it seems to be over by now, and no more lock downs are in the pipeline, its has left me feeling exhausted.

When we feel exhausted and just plain worn out feeling that we can’t go on we need reminders to wait on God, and to hope in Him. When we do, our strength is renewed. By our own resources, we will never achieve total satisfaction or serenity. Trusting in God produces confident expectations which gives us a meaningful life.

Isaiah closes this chapter with words of enormous meaning and encouragement which shows that he understands deep despair. Some were complaining about God; others had given up and were resigned to their fate. They were sitting–despondent and weeping–by the waters of Babylon. In their minds, God had ceased to care. God had not given up on them; they were not abandoned. To all who’ve lost hope, Isaiah cries out… “Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary.”…We do, and often. We may be on the verge of giving up- we cry, “I’m down and out!”.

That’s when we need a reminder to “wait” on God, to “hope” in Him. When we do, our strength will be renewed. By our own resources, we will never achieve satisfaction or serenity. Trust in God produces confident expectations and meaningful life. We need to recall God’s actions in the past so that we may trust His providence for the future.

Part of our problem is that we’re time-bound; God is not. He is “the everlasting God.” God belongs to eternity; He is outside of time, not limited by time, so He sees the beginning and the end. We can face tomorrow knowing that God’s already been there in our future- exciting!

God “gives strength to the weary.” We grow tired and discouraged, yet God provides all we need.

God “gives power to the weak.” The word “power” is related to the Hebrew word for “bone”. Our bones hold us together, and so the image is one of durability and stability. 

If we trust purely in ourselves, we will faint and fall…when we hope in the Lord, we find the strength to carry on. Trust enables us to “renew our strength”, verse 31. The word “renew” means “to exchange”, as in taking off old clothes and putting on new. “We exchange our weakness for God’s power”. God alone sees the big picture, and it takes Faith to trust that He has all things under control, and Faith assures us that God is up to something good!

A Psalm – 147:1-12, 21

Hallelujah! How good it is to sing praises to our God! *
how pleasant it is to honour him with praise!

The Lord rebuilds Jerusalem; he gathers the exiles of Israel. He heals the broken-hearted and binds up their wounds. He counts the number of the stars and calls them all by their names. Great is our Lord and mighty in power; there is no limit to his wisdom. The Lord lifts up the lowly but casts the wicked to the ground. Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving; make music to our God upon the harp. He covers the heavens with clouds and prepares rain for the earth; He makes grass to grow upon the mountains and green plants to serve mankind.10 He provides food for flocks and herds and for the young ravens when they cry.11 He is not impressed by the might of a horse; he has no pleasure in the strength of a man.12 But the Lord has pleasure in those who fear him, in those who await his gracious favour. Hallelujah!

OT Reading – Isaiah 40:28-31 Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint and strengthens the powerless. Even youths will faint and be weary, and the young will fall exhausted; but those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.

The Epistle – 1 Corinthians 9:16-23If I proclaim the gospel, this gives me no ground for boasting, for an obligation is laid on me, and woe to me if I do not proclaim the gospel! For if I do this of my own will, I have a reward; but if not of my own will, I am entrusted with a commission. What then is my reward? Just this: that in my proclamation I may make the gospel free of charge, so as not to make full use of my rights in the gospel.

For though I am free with respect to all, I have made myself a slave to all, so that I might win more of them. To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though I myself am not under the law) so that I might win those under the law. To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law) so that I might win those outside the law. To the weak I became weak, so that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that I might by all means save some. I do it all for the sake of the gospel, so that I may share in its blessings.

The Gospel Mark 1:29-39After Jesus and his disciples left the synagogue, they entered the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. Now Simon’s mother-in-law was in bed with a fever, and they told him about her at once. He came and took her by the hand and lifted her up. Then the fever left her, and she began to serve them. That evening, at sundown, they brought to him all who were sick or possessed with demons. And the whole city was gathered around the door. And he cured many who were sick with various diseases and cast out many demons; and he would not permit the demons to speak, because they knew him. In the morning, while it was still very dark, he got up and went out to a deserted place, and there he prayed. And Simon and his companions hunted for him. When they found him, they said to him, “Everyone is searching for you.” He answered, “Let us go on to the neighbouring towns, so that I may proclaim the message there also; for that is what I came out to do.” And he went throughout Galilee, proclaiming the message in their synagogues and casting out demons.

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

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

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#98 Anger Management: 5 Tips to tell if your anger is hurting others.

The story is told that in the latter 1800’s, Alfred Lord Tennyson an English aristocrat, invited a Russian nobleman to his estate. And early one morning this nobleman took off with dogs & guns & servants to go hunting on Tennyson’s vast estate.

At mid-day he returned & Lord Tennyson asked him how he did. He answered, “Not very well. I shot two peasants.” Lord Tennyson thought for a moment & then said, “No, we pronounce it with a ‘ph’ here. It is ‘pheasants.’ You shot two pheasants.”

“No,” the nobleman replied, “I shot two peasants. They were insolent towards me, so I shot them”!

 Now we smile in disbelief at a story like that. But last May  a driver in Swansea South Wales UK, abused  another driver a woman in road rage. He was charged with verbal assault. When asked why he was angry and abusive, he said it was because she was black.

That happened in Swansea,  But stories like that have popped up all over the country. People becoming abusive due to their uncontrolled mindless anger.

 Now, of course, none of us  would do anything like that. But have you ever lost your temper? Do you ever do things you wish you hadn’t done, or say things you wish you had never said? I can certainly say YES to that!

Well, the Bible has something to say about overcoming anger. Proverbs 19:11 says, “A man’s wisdom gives him patience. It is to his glory to overlook an offense.”

If someone offends you, & if you are a person of wisdom (God’s wisdom) then you can easily overlook it, & not allow the situation to become a major event that overwhelms you, causing rage within you.

 I discovered that there are 4 types of anger dealt with in the Bible.

First of all, there is sudden anger. The Bible says that sudden anger is to be controlled.

Secondly, there is sinful anger. The Bible says that sinful anger is to be condemned.

Thirdly, there is stubborn anger. Stubborn anger is to be conquered.

Finally, there is sanctified anger. And sanctified anger is to be channeled.

 So let’s look at each of those 4 types of anger.

SUDDEN ANGER IS TO BE CONTROLLED

First of all there is sudden anger, & the Bible says that sudden anger is to be controlled.

Proverbs 14:17 says, “A quick-tempered man does foolish things.” We already knew that because we’ve experienced that in our own lives. We may blame our quick temper on our red hair. Or we may blame it on our heritage. After all, we’re Irish or something like that. We may even be proud of it.

But the bottom line is, if we have a short fuse, we’re going to do a lot of foolish things. When we lose our temper we’ll say things we know we shouldn’t have said, & do things that we’re going to be sorry for later on.

Next, Proverbs 15:18 says, “A hot tempered man stirs up dissension.” That simply means that if you have a short fuse, if you’re always losing your temper, if you’re walking around with a chip on your shoulder, if you’re just looking for somebody to say something that will irritate you, then you’re going to leave a trail of hurt feelings & unhappiness behind you.

Will Rogers was a famous American actor in the 1940s and a believer in Jesus Christ. Will said, “Whenever you fly into a rage, you seldom make a safe landing.” And he is right.

Chuck Swindoll an American author said, “I got so angry that I gave him a piece of my mind. And it was a piece that I couldn’t afford to lose.”

The writer of Proverbs said, “A hot temper stirs up dissension.”

Proverbs 18:13 says, “He who answers before listening – that is his folly & his shame.” He is talking about jumping to conclusions. We hear just a little bit of what is said, & we instantly jump to a conclusion, & oftentimes it is the wrong conclusion.

Have you heard about the dog named “August” who was always trying to chase a mule named “Conclusion?” One day he jumped at Conclusion & bit him, & Conclusion kicked back at August. And that was the last day of August. Think about that for a moment.

Sometimes we jump to conclusions, & King Solomon who is mentioned in the Holy Bible, says that jumping to conclusions before knowing the facts is to our folly & our shame.

Proverbs 19:19 says, “A hot-tempered man must pay the penalty.” We’re being told that almost every day. Doctors tell us that losing our temper consistently brings about high blood pressure, dryness of mouth, & a fast-beating heart. It could even bring pre-mature death.

A hot temper could also mean loss of family & friends. The penalties of losing our temper are many.

So the Bible says, “If you have a sudden temper, then you need to control it.” But how can we do that?

You say, ” I just can’t control my temper. It gets away from me.” But you absolutely can. Have you ever found yourself engaged in a heated discussion with your voice getting louder & your words becoming more rapid? Then the telephone rings & you say, “Hello.” very calmly ? If you have- then you can control your temper.

So we need to recognize that we have a problem with temper. As long as we deny it, as long as we blame it on our parents or short-fuse or whatever we choose to blame it on, we’ll never improve.

God is there to help us if we ask. Confess your problem to God & ask for His help.

Pray something like this “Lord, I’m beginning to lose my temper, & I’ve done it many times before. Please help me see what is causing it to happen, & then help me to overcome it.”

The Bible teaches that when the Holy Spirit guides our life, that one of the fruits of the spirit is self control. And if you have a sudden temper, you need to control it.

SINFUL ANGER IS TO BE CONDEMNED

The second type of anger discussed in scripture is sinful anger. Not all anger is sinful, & we’ll talk about that in just a minute. But some anger is. So let me give you a test to help you determine whether your anger is sinful or not.

A. In Matthew 5:21, Jesus says, “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, `Do not murder, & anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment.”

Now that passage tells us some things about anger that should help us realize when our anger is sinful & when it is not.

Notice first of all that it says, “Anyone who is angry with his brother.” Now if you’re a brother or sister to someone it indicates that you are a member of the same family, whether a domestic family or the family of God.

If we’re brothers & sisters, we ought to be lifting each other up, supporting & helping each other. We should not spend our time being angry at one another. If we do, the Bible says its a sin.

The King James Version speaks about being angry at your brother “without a cause.” If we are angry & don’t have a legitimate reason for being angry, then this tells us that our anger is sinful.

Then if you’re angry at your brother, that indicates that you are focusing your anger toward that person, instead of trying to love them. We should never focus our anger on people, but rather on the sins they commit.

Jesus was never angry at people, but He was angry at their sins. He loved everybody that’s why he died for everybody. So look beyond the person. We must love the person, but hate their sin.

So if you’re angry , if you’re focusing on a person, then that means that your anger is sinful.

REVENGE

Now in Romans 12:19 Paul says, “Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: `It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord.”

So the third test of our anger is this: Is it anger that seeks revenge? Are we always trying to get even? The Bible teaches that God is the one who has the right of vengeance. Not us. “Vengeance is mine,” says the Lord. We don’t have the right to repay anyone. But rather, turn that over to God.

So if our anger is geared towards seeking revenge, then it is very definitely sinful anger.

If it is vengeful, then most likely it is also an anger that is cherished.

Remember what Jesus said to the man who was by the pool, waiting to be healed, & he couldn’t get to the water soon enough? Jesus asked him, “Do you want to be healed?” Important question!

There are a lot of people who enjoy being sick because of the attention it gets them. And there are a lot of people who love being angry for the same reason. They’ve been angry for years. Inside of them there is a boiling mass of anger. They are used to it, they think its normal to feel like that.

So if anger is cherished, it most certainly is sinful anger.

If it is a cherished anger it will also be an anger with an unforgiving spirit. And the secret to getting rid of anger is to be able to forgive. But if you can’t forgive, if you can’t release it, then it is a sinful anger.

So here are the 5 tests to tell whether or not our anger is sinful anger.

1. Is it anger directed towards a person?

2. Is it anger without a justifiable cause?

3. Is it anger that seeks vengeance?

4. Is it anger that is cherished?

5. Is it anger that has an unforgiving spirit?

If any of the answers to those questions is “yes,” then our anger is a sinful anger. And the Bible says that it is to be condemned.

If it is sinful, then we need to repent, to turn away from it, & allow God to forgive us of it so that we can become forgiving people, too.

STUBBORN ANGER IS TO BE CONQUERED

The third type of anger is stubborn anger. It is an anger that just stays there, day after day after day.

One of the classic passages that deals with anger begins in Ephesians 4:26. The KJV says, “Be ye angry, & sin not. Let not the sun go down on your wrath.” And the next verse says, “And do not give the devil a foothold.”

One day you go home & you’re angry. You’re carrying a chip on your shoulder, just waiting for someone to knock it off. Then your loved one says something you don’t particularly appreciate, & soon heated words are being exchanged. It really doesn’t amount to much, but you’re determined to get your way, & she/he is determined to get their way. So the argument continues.

The sun goes down & nighttime comes. Then in bed she/he faces one way & you face the other way, & you both make very sure that you don’t touch each other.

Do you realize what has happened? The Bible says that you have opened the door, & said, “Mr. Devil, come right on in. We’ll make you welcome here.”

Then in vs. 31, Paul mentions what happens when Satan begins to do his dirty work.

The first result is “bitterness.” You begin to think about all the bad things people do & say to you, all the insults, all of the inconsiderate things that go on.

Then Paul says, “After bitterness comes rage & anger.” “Rage” is bitterness boiling & bubbling inside of you. And “anger” is rage being expressed. It is no longer just inside you. Now you begin to kick the cat, & hit the wall. Now you begin to say all kinds of things, until finally it becomes “brawling,” which means “shouting loudly,” & “slander” or “insults.”.

And the end result of it all, Paul says, is “malice.” And “malice” means that you really desire to harm. That’s why we’re always reading about someone shooting his wife & turning the gun on himself. Because the ultimate end of stubborn anger is malice.

Paul said, “Here is the way to get rid of stubborn anger. Don’t let the sun go down on your wrath.” Vs. 32 says, “Be kind & compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”

So first of all, there is sudden anger. And it must be controlled.

Then there is sinful anger. And it must be condemned.

Then there is stubborn anger. And it must be conquered.

SANCTIFIED ANGER MUST BE CHANNELED IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION FOR GOD

Finally, there is Sanctified anger. And that must be channeled in the right direction for God. Remember, Ephesians 4:26 says, “Be ye angry. . .” It is okay to be angry, but do not sin.

Read Mark 3:1-5. This is a passage deals with a situation in the life of Jesus that I think is very revealing. It says:

“Another time he went into the synagogue, & a man with a shriveled hand was there. Some of them were looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, so they watched him closely to see if he would heal him on the Sabbath. And Jesus said to the man with the shriveled hand, `Stand up in front of everyone.’”

“Then Jesus asked them, `Which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?’ But they remained silent.”

“He looked around at them in anger &, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts. . .” You see, the focus of His anger is their hearts. He is angry because of their stubborn hearts & their stubborn anger. The sun has gone down. The sun has come up. And the devil has established a foothold in their lives. And Jesus is angry at their stubborn anger.

Then Jesus said, “Stretch out your hand.” And he stretched it out, & his hand was completely restored.”

The Bible says that Jesus was tempted in all points, even as we are tempted, but He never sinned. So this passage teaches that Jesus became angry but it wasn’t sinful anger. It was sanctified anger, channeled anger, anger that has the right focus, & the right object.

Maybe an infusion of sanctified anger is the very thing that the church needs. To become angry at the corruption of the world. To become angry at the forces of evil. To become angry at pornography that reaches into every segment of society to corrupts it- the list goes on.

To become angry at the millions of abortions. To become angry at the increase in crime & murders & rapes. To become angry at the abuse of alcohol & drugs in our society. To become angry because there are millions of people who are dying & going to Christless graves.

It is time for the church to become angry, with a sanctified anger, a holy anger, that is channeled in the right places, and anger that springs a person into action.

There are all kinds of anger. And if you are wrestling with bad anger, God promises to give you victory, if you’ll let Him.

So be angry, but don’t sin. Don’t let the sun go down upon your wrath. Don’t allow the devil to have a foothold in your life. But channel that anger so it can begin to accomplish victories for Jesus.

I offer His invitation He stands ready & willing to come into your heart & into your life. If you’ll confess your faith in Him, & repent of your sins, & be faithful to him in Christian baptism, learn of Him and from Him. He has promised to forgive your sins.

If you are already a believer in Jesus, then I invite you to join with us in the ministry that God has given us here. Please support and pray for this ministry that people all over the world will come to know that God loves them and the saving knowledge of Christ our Lord.

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

If it was, please follow this blog you’ll find a button on the lower bottom right, and leave a comment with any questions or prayer requests

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

Paula Rose Parish

NEW Course is Live on Udemy . Mindfulness Masterclass for Stress Relief – click here for more details. www.moonrosemindfulness.com

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#97 Does God rescue us from disaster? Answered prayer.

I’ve been reading Psalm 69 particularly versus 14 to 17, – ‘rescue me from the mire, don’t let me sink any deeper. Deliver me from my foes, from the murky depths. Prevent the flood waters from sweeping me away. Do not allow the ocean to engulf me, the pit to close its jaws around me. Lord, answer me, are you are good and merciful, in your boundless kindness, turn to me. I am in difficulty, do not conceal your face from me. Answer me speedily!’

In 20216 a plane disappeared and later found crashed in the Mediterranean Sea. Egypt’s air craft left the airport with so many souls on board, none of them knew that they all had only a short time to live. I know it leaves me cold and nervous to think about air travel now. I have travelled on hundreds of planes around the world; long and short haul, and I don’t really enjoy it, I don’t like sitting in crowned seats, and feeling like death warmed up when I get to my destination.  I only do it, because I want to get to a certain destination quickly. So, how does Psalms 69, play out in a situation where death is imminent through an accident, or indeed any other means? Does God rescue?

Christians can be overcome by disaster as much as anybody else. We can find ourselves in the wrong place at the wrong time. Yet we believe that God can deliver us in times of crisis, or help us through the situation, nonetheless. That’s certainly the conviction expressed in this Psalm above. 

David, who penned this psalm, was clearly confronted a desperate situation of some kind, from which he feared there may seemed to be no escape. Yet the fact that he ends the Psalm praising God, not to mention that later David became king, strongly suggests that his prayer was answered!

God does not appear in person, by stretching out his arm from heaven to strike down our enemies, nor does he lift us out of harm’s way. However, we believe God responds nonetheless, working through all kinds of people, in all kinds of surprising ways, to strengthen, support and deliver.

Let me encourage you today. We need to keep the faith in the face of adversity, and difficulty. We are unable to see the big picture, however, God is bigger than our circumstances and knows the beginning from the end so we can place our trust in God our father– always. Psalm 81 v7

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

Paula Rose Parish

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for more details.

#95Inspiring Bible Psalm for Encouragement : You are cradled in God Love!

Psalm 139 

Here in the UK the weather – has been beautiful and hot, warm, calm light nights and early mornings. Gardening is a pleasure as we reap the harvest of our toil, picking our strawberries, lettuces, and other plants and flowers that we have planted in the spring. It is indeed a beautiful time of year, although changeable, so keep that umbrella to hand!

Brexit and the Pandemic brought changes into our lives. Recent history has presented us with a lot of change, some welcome, others not so much. Life is all about change. Nothing stays the same. I am a grandmother to five grandchildren now, the eldest 20 years old the youngest 2 months. I have recently met my new granddaughter. I couldn’t meet her until 6 weeks ago when she was 2 months old due to the pandemic lockdown. It’s been a while since I last saw her, she has changed a lot since then I am sure, she will continue to change as she grows.

Like it or not, our society must constantly change to renew itself; otherwise, we will get stuck in the status quo and never progress. It is all change that will affect us in various ways, positively or negatively, depending on how we view that change and respond to it.

However, In the mix of all this upheaval and change, we may feel that we are just part of a nameless crowd, a mere statistic in an impersonal society that cares little for the individual. Compare that with the biblical understanding of how God views us as unique individuals in our own right valued for what we are. Psalm 139 says that we are fashioned in every part. God was there when we were woven together in our mother’s womb and are dependent on him from birth. Since before we were born, and God has loved us and been faithful to us.

Yet, we may not be aware that God knows all about us and loves us deeply. To me, to know how much we are loved by God is totally amazing, wonderful and beyond my human understanding comprehension!!!

Whomever we are and however our soul-less society can sometimes make us feel, there is one we can always turn to in confidence, knowing that our welfare and happiness matter. We can turn to our Father God through Jesus Christ.

As we continue to experience change, perhaps within our bodies, minds, family, or society, let us think about and pray for those who feel themselves to be alone. So many people feel they are in a cold and impersonal universe, having no sense of God’s love and care reaching out to them. No sense of his compassion or offer of salvation. Let’s pray for those who feel lost in a faithless and uncaring world and perhaps even within their own family. Let’s pray for those who believe that their personal well-being is of little concern to others.

So, let’s find our voice in prayer and our voice in our community so we can help make it better. Let’s find our voice in making everyone we meet feel valued, the significant human being that they are. Let’s find our voice in sharing the love of Jesus and his saving power- people need to hear good news!!

By His Grace

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 If you feel you would like further support, please contact me. Details of How to get in touch with me are found in my home page’s top menu.

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

Paula Rose Parish

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How to Pray: Five Simple Steps to Centering Prayer.

Letting go and trusting God is not always an easy thing to do. The practice of contemplation prayer moves us steadily forward.

Staying in a relationship within the God the Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit means finding constant pleasure in Gods divine company. We connect by simply chatting humbly and lovingly without limiting the conversation in any way. Contemplative Prayer is also about listening for the Holy Spirit’s voice. This is especially important in times of temptation, sorrow, and even in times of unfaithfulness and other sins.

Pondering upon and enjoying God’s presence is contemplation. The way of contemplation is nonverbal. Unspoken words and cries of the heart become thought forms manifesting themselves before the throne room of God.

Contemplation was shortened into a simple modern method in the 1970s by three Trappist monks, William Menninger, Basil Pennington, and Abbot Thomas Keating.

This method of prayer is traditionally called Centering Prayer, which denotes focus, to be present with, and to find balance. It consists of responding to the Holy Spirit (Spirit of Christ) by consenting to God’s presence and action within.

 Centering Prayer helps to quieten our sensory faculties to cooperate with the gift of God’s presence. This wonderfully supports us to move from more active modes like a verbal prayer, to focusing and resting in silence before God, even for a few moments is revitalising. This highlights of this kind of prayer is that its easy to foster a friendship with God.

Centering Prayer also fosters a deep discipline which serves the relationship to grow.

Centering Prayer It is Trinitarian in its source, Christ-focused, and pastoral in its effects, and brings and builds together different communities in unity and faith.

There’s so much to say on this vital subject. You have learnt a little about this method of contemplation called centering prayer and prepared yourself for it. Okay now is the time to have a go!

Five Simple Steps to Centering Prayer 

1) set a timer for 10 mins

2) choose a sacred word as the symbol of your intent to give permission to God’s presence and action within. This sacred word can be anything that calms you and helps you to be still. It can be or Jesus, mar-an-atha (come here Lord)

My Word is Yahweh meaning, I AM who I AM which describes who God is.

3) sitting comfortably and with eyes closed, settle briefly, and silently introduce the sacred Word as the symbol of your consent to God’s presence and action within.

4) when you become aware of thoughts, return ever-so-gently to your sacred word.

5) at the end of the prayer period, remain in silence with eyes closed for a couple of minutes.

Make this a habit at least once a day. Soon you will feel comfortable, then increase to twice a day. With regularity, this will help you journey through the valley of grief. Over time it becomes habitual. Keep in mind that it doesn’t take away suffering but rather, takes away the fear of suffering, relieves stress and brings you closer to Father God.

You don’t have to think about God to be in God’s presence. God will never leave or forsake you but is always with you till the end of the earth, (Hebrews 13:5).

Thank you for visiting me here; I hope this post was helpful. If it was, please follow this blog, or leave a comment with any questions!

 If you feel you would like further support, please contact me. Details of How to get in touch with me are found in my home page’s top menu.

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

Paula Rose Parish

NEW Course is going Live on Udemy . Beginners Mindfulness Masterclass for Stress Relief – click here for more details. www.moonrosemindfulness.com

OR GO TO – https://www.udemy.com/course/the-mindfulness-stress-relief-master-class/?referralCode=1FA203E550AC769AC33A

Have you been let down? How to overcome disappointment.

You may have noticed that I haven’t written for a very long time for those who follow my blog regularly. Nor have I produced a newsletter. The reason for this is I have had a bathroom refurbishment and experienced many a difficulty with dealing with a rogue builder. I’ve also had computer problems and had to purchase another; hopefully, this one will be more reliable. The rogue builder started the work in May, made a terrible mess, and scammed me out of money. Finally, I found a fantastic builder called Afan Property and they completed their work today. They rescued the situation, and they did a fantastic job! During the turmoil, I moved away from my usual writing schedule. Dealing with the rogue builder has been of great stress and disappointment to me, and this is the theme upon which I am writing today. 

DISAPOINTMENT

One of the most complex problems in life I have personally found hardest to bear is the feeling of disappointment. Disappointment comes where there is an expectation of something happening which does not occur. With disappointment comes a sick and dramatic feeling of sheer hopelessness, which manifests in the pit of one’s stomach.

Proverbs 13:12 ‘Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but it is a tree of life when the hope is fulfilled.’

 I have come through many a toil and storm as I know you have. I have shared some of my story with you here in my blog, so be sure to look back to earlier posts. I am sure we agree that facing the disappointments that life throws at us is undoubtedly one of the hardest things to make sense of and cope with. 

I am the type of person who wants to believe in and trust the word of others. So, when that person, for whatever reason, does not adhere to their word, in particular if its life changing, I become grossly disappointed. I feel sick to my stomach and leaves all my hopes dashed.

 In my 60+ years living on this earth, if I received £1 for every time I was let down, I would indeed be a wealthy woman! The feelings of disappointment have made me even more determined as a human being to ensure that I stick to my word. I do not want to be responsible for anyone else giving up hope. 

Are you dealing with disappointment? If you are, I know how you feel. The feeling of hopelessness is awful. I have pretty recently felt that way, and one should not live their life in a state of hopelessness, as some do. 

 I am diligent to the best of my ability, not hold a grudge, and I ensure that I forgive. However, being human, I have not always stuck to my word either; I try to bring hope for most of the time rather than dash it.

Unfortunately, I have found some people regularly make it a lifestyle of not sticking to their word, they promise you things, and for the most part, stick to it. But, then as they become more familiar with you, they become less and less reliable.

It may be a person close to you who has disappointed you. It may be somebody who works for you or a service someone has provided. Perhaps your boss promised you a raise or a promotion, which doesn’t come to fruition. A work colleague may have let you down. Maybe it’s someone you’re in a relationship with who has made false promises, leaving you feeling used. Whatever it may be, disappointment hold sway when somebody else does not fulfil their promise, dashing your hopes entirely, To be sure, disappointment can be pretty overwhelming at times.

This poses a question in my mind,  how can one be rid of the feeling of disappointment and move on?

THE REMEDY

First of all, you must not play the blame game.

When you focus on blame and criticism of the person who has let you down, it makes the matter a lot worse for you. It is an endless merry go round that you can’t get off, stirring your emotions afresh every time you bring it to remembrance. You must stop the blaming and actively seek justice through the right channels. Seeking true justice is not vengeance and will end the matter, whereas blaming and vengeance will keep it going for years. You need to heal yourself of the worry and disappointment, and you cannot do that if you have a bad attitude towards those who have disappointed you. Why?

This is because your emotions will reflect directly upon you and your future. In short- your attitudes eventually become you. What you focus on today will be your reality tomorrow. Therefore, no matter how awful the situation is for you today, don’t hang onto it; otherwise, resentment will build. Resentment will grow to a grudge and then hate, and then you will have a deeper problem on your hands in the future.

Do you think it’s worth hanging on to a grudge against the person who has disappointed you? Jesus tells us that it’s not- he clearly says that we must first forgive for us to be forgiven.

If we hold a grudge, how can we expect that no one in the world will hold a grudge against us? How can we expect others to be forgiving towards us if we hold something towards them? The law of sowing and reaping come into play here. 

Alternatively, if we refuse to hold a grudge, are quick to forgive and are quick to put it out of our minds, we can expect others to be the same towards us. And indeed, God will be the same towards us because this is what is promised to us in the Holy Bible

SCAMMED

I have been scammed, but there is light at the end of the tunnel. This so-called builder scammed me; however, I do not hold a grudge. On the contrary, I have forgiven and pray for him, although I am seeking justice and will move on, and learnt some valuable lessons along the way.

THE TAKEAWAY

If you can take anything from my experience, accept that there always will be evil people who will leave you disappointed.

Accept that they are people who will disappoint you unintentionally.

Accept that the disappointment will hurt you for a time, but there is healing.

Accept that if you do not forgive, you tie God’s hands to forgive you.

Accept that holding a grudge and even taking revenge is a no-win way to play it.

Accept that the blame game will leave you sour and even more disappointed.

These are just some of the things to consider. However, there is much more that can be said that this short blog post muster.

It is worth remembering that when you are grossly disappointed, give it to the Lord Jesus, ask him to give you the power and strength to bless and forgive.

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Thank you for visiting me here; I hope this post was helpful. If it was, please subscribe, or leave a comment with any questions!

 If you feel you would like further support, please contact me. Details of How to get in touch with me are found in my home page’s top menu.

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

Paula Rose Parish

NEW Course is going Live on Udemy . Beginners Mindfulness Masterclass for Stress Relief – click here for more details. www.moonrosemindfulness.com

OR GO TO – https://www.udemy.com/course/the-mindfulness-stress-relief-master-class/?referralCode=1FA203E550AC769AC33A

How to Take Action in 3 easy Steps: God won’t manage your life; that’s your job!

As a follower of Christ, we need to allow God to led us step by step. However, that does not mean that we don’t set goals or work on projects. One the contrary. God calls us to a vision and a mission to act upon. God places the acting upon our shoulders. It’s entirely up to you to put the call God placed upon your life into action.  Goals and project help to fulfil your objectives to implement Gods call on your life.

Step 1

Identify your goals.

Step 2

Sort the goals into projects.

Step 3

Break down the project into small tasks.

THE TAKEAWAY

Eugene K. Choi is a activation coach who helps individuals discover real breakthroughs in their lives. On his blog his Shares his personal faith struggles and  points out that God is able to work with whatever choices you make -good or bad. God is not there to give you step by step instructions on every decision you make. His will for your life isn’t about what you do but more about who you are becoming. If you become who God wants you to be, your choices will reflect your character. 

Over the years, I have found it imperative to write down all my ideas. I sort them into goals and develop projects. From the project, I break it down into tasks so I can bring the project to life. I use many different tools for this, like the Kanban board system. This helps me to manage what I believe God is telling me to do. God won’t manage your life; that’s your job! God put Adam and Eve on this earth to care for it and subdue it, in other words, to manage it. God has given your life to care for and to be the manager of it. God is the leader and your cheerleader, but it is YOU who puts it all into practice.

START WITH PRAYER

It’s not too late to set your goals and projects and set out your tasks. Where to start? I encourage you to start with prayer and, if necessary, fasting. Talk to God as with a friend. Ground-breaking prayers are often the simplest and most sincere cries of Your heart. Be diligent and set time aside; it might be half a day, one day, several days or a whole week. Whatever is suitable for you, make sure that you have a journal and write absolutely everything down those pops into your head. Jot it all down that is illuminated from Gods Word or that somebody says that resonates. If you write them down, you won’t forget them or misunderstand the concept, and you can see the pattern, the ebb a flow in them. We see God in the patterns and the movements of creation, and we can perceive God’s will in the movements and the patterns of our lives..

THE TAKEAWAY

Over the years, I have found it imperative to write all my ideas, thoughts, and God words to me down. I sort then into goals and develop projects from them. From the project, I break it down into tasks so I can bring the project to life. I use many different tools for this, like the Kanban board system. This helps me to manage what I believe God is telling me to do. God won’t manage your life; that’s your job! God put Adam and Eve on this earth to care for it and subdue it, in other words, to manage it. God has given your life to care for and to be the manager of it. God is the leader and your cheerleader, but it is YOU who puts it all into practice.

Thank you for visiting me here; I hope this post was helpful. If it was, please subscribe, or leave a comment with any questions!

 If you feel you would like further support, please contact me. Details of How to get in touch with me are found in my home page’s top menu.

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

Paula Rose Parish