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GOD'S STORY

GOD’S STORY: Part 62 What is a Covenant?

Genesis 9:14-,17

“It shall be, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the rainbow shall be seen in the cloud; and I will remember My covenant which is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh; the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh. The rainbow shall be in the cloud, and I will look on it to remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.” And God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant which I have established between Me and all flesh that is on the earth.”

What is a covenant?

Preparing the Bride for GOD’s Story

How do we prepare as the Bride of Christ? One aspect is to learn GOD’S STORY. He created us in His image…. Piece by piece, and peace by peace, we learn to walk as He has walked. And we learn His perspective.

A Covenant is…

A promise, and more —

A contract, an agreement, a binding together like a marriage.

GOD made a covenant with mankind when He promised Noah He’d never again flood the entire earth, and as marriage is symbolised by the wearing of a ring(s), GOD marked His covenant with mankind with a rainbow in the cloud.

And so to End Times

As the wars and rumours of wars increase (Matthew 24), as floods and earthquakes become more frequent and more intense, as moral decay continues to erode healthy society as we have known it, we seem to be approaching the promised return of Jesus. 

If this is the case, what else will this return bring? 

Before Jesus’ Return

Jesus is coming to judge the world imminently, but GOD will not flood it. What will happen instead?

Will there be a rapture of GOD’s Church aka His believers?

Will fire and brimstone rain down upon the earth?

Jesus will come to judge between sheep nations and goat nations: those whom He deems to be His and those who are not. (Matthew 25:32) But there will not be a flood.

Armageddon

Revelation 16 speaks of 7 bowls of wrath of GOD. A read of this will help us to understand some aspects of the Judgment.

Revelation 16:15-16 speaks of the sixth bowl, “Behold, I am coming as a thief. Blessed is he who watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked and they see his shame. And they gathered them together to the place called in Hebrew, Armageddon.”

We know from cinema and a cursory glance at scripture that Armageddon references a battle. This too is not the end but war is a part of the consequence to the evil in the World and a drawing to a close the end of Satan in this world.

The Seventh Bowl brings with it an earthquake like no other

Revelation 16:20-21 states, “Then every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. And great hail from heaven fell upon men, each hailstone about the weight of a talent. Men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail, since that plague was exceedingly great.”

From Genesis to Revelation

Jesus says, “I am the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.” (Revelation 22:13)

A comprehensive study of Revelation will unveil the rise of the beast, the fall of Satan, the Lake of Fire and the final Great White Throne judgement (Revelation 20:11-15) before the New Heaven and the New Earth are established. Hallelujah! “Behold, I make all things new,” He says in Revelation 21:5.

Nowhere is there a flood of water to destroy the earth and mankind in it. GOD upholds His promises.

GOD goes on to make further covenants with man, which we shall look at in due course. For now, we leave the Rainbow promise to see what else unfolds in our story of Genesis in GOD’s Story.

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For Mothers

For Mothers: Listening

It’s a skill that is difficult to teach but an important life and relationship skill: Listening.

What is listening?

To hear the words of another person without passing judgement or waiting for your turn to speak demonstrates listening.

To engage with the words and emotions behind the words of another person demonstrates listening.

To hear, consider and respond to the words of another person demonstrates listening.

Hearing and digesting, showing interest and responding: these are the responses that demonstrate listening.

Boring, Funny, Important sharing

Sometimes our children, especially when they are quite small, are repetitive. Sometimes they say something which is so innocent or ignorant — or wise — we laugh. Sometimes, there is drama and anxiety wrapped up in our children’s words, which causes us to cringe. What do we do with our feelings?

Listening is so important for us to do with our children, because they need to share.

Listening is so vital to our children’s growth, because it builds their confidence.

Listening to our children is crucial to our building and holding a good relationship with them, not only now but in the long run.

Listening is hard work

I find I have to remind myself not to interrupt when my offspring decides to share. Sometimes I need to hold my tongue to show respect and interest, because talking is a whole lot easier for me than listening.

But whenever I listen, I learn and am blessed to discover more about my own child. And that is hugely rewarding.

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Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

Living in the Moment

I was an actor before I was a writer

Once upon a time, in a part of my life long, long ago, I was a performing artist – an actor and singer. The heart of my training was from New York City’s Neighbourhood Playhouse, which boasts graduates such as Gregory Peck, Steve McQueen, Robert Duvall, Dianne Keaton, Mary Steenburgen,  and many, many other well known thespians. It was a joy to live and study in New York City. I spent a year in London thereafter, but I drew my technique primarily from what I learned in New York.

Living in the Moment

The heart of the training was learning how to listen and answer, honestly and earnestly, thus developing responses that were simple, truthful, powerful. Applying that technique to scripts came eventually, but the human development and relationship development in the meantime was profound for every student, because we all learned two key things:

  1. Basically, human beings learn to lie — to themselves and to others — in order to survive in society, to present a good front and 
  2. Honest living comes from listening and responding truthfully to what we see moment-by-moment.

This living moment-by-moment is what I want to address here…

Life free from Worry

Jesus said, “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” (Matthew 6:34)

We can become so anxious with worry about the next day, the next month, the next year. Rather, Jesus advises us to focus on the day, rather than “laying up treasures” (Luke 12) on earth.

Control v Spontaneity

We are often drawn to the story of Jezebel and Elijah when asked to consider the spirit of control. Jezebel was controlling of her husband Ahab. Elijah was not compliant to her control, so she sought to destroy him.

Control seeks its own will. Control uses threat and intimidation to dominate in order to get its own way. As a spirit, control inhabits and controls individuals. For example, in 1 Kings, Jezebel is exposed as controlling and domineering. In 1 Kings 19 we see that she despised Elijah and successfully threatened him. He ran away from her in despair, although eventually his confidence was restored. Ultimately, Jezebel was betrayed by her own servants and was literally cast to the dogs.

Opposite to control is spontaneity: responding to situations as they arise, seeking to live freely and to allow freedom for others, experiencing peace and fearless living.

Jesus has said he offers life and to live life more abundantly (John 10:10).

Abundant life

When we have peace with GOD we are protected from fear.  Without fear, the need to control is side-stepped; there is no need to control when we have no fear. Without fear and the need to control, we have less need to plan and more opportunity to live “in the moment” — safe in the assurance that as GOD guides us, He leads us in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.

Living in the moment is how children live, how Jesus lived on earth, and offers life and joy to us as we experience the safety, security and peace that intimacy with GOD offers. It’s also uncomplicated, honest and freeing. May our journey draw us from control to more spontaneous living. Amen.

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GOD'S STORY

GOD’S STORY part 61 The Rainbow

Preparing the Bride for GOD’s Story

How do we prepare as the Bride of Christ? One aspect is to learn GOD’S STORY. He created us in His image…. Piece by piece, and peace by peace, we learn to walk as He has walked. And we learn His perspective.

In Genesis 9 we read about the Rainbow

“And God said: “This is the sign of the covenant which I make between Me and you, and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations: I set My rainbow in the cloud, and it shall be for the sign of the covenant between Me and the earth.” (Verses 12-13)

The Rainbow has been captured

In recent decades the symbol of the rainbow has been used to promote the LGBT Pride as a symbol of freedom and hope for Gays, Lesbians and others in that group.

Without discussing the politics and social aspects to this use of the rainbow, what I do believe is this is not GOD’s desire for the rainbow. The rainbow is a sign between GOD and the earth, not a sign of man.

GOD’s take on the overtaking of the rainbow

Surely in His omnipotence, nothing surprises the LORD GOD. However, the rainbow is His sign, not ours.

And so, regardless of how mankind chooses to use the sign of the rainbow… or the sign of the cross or anything else the LORD originates, GOD reigns and GOD’s will ultimately will be done.

In the meantime, we pray for those who miss GOD’s point in offering the rainbow as a sign.

When I see a rainbow, for example such the double rainbow which crossed the sky when Queen Elizabeth II passed away, I consider the splendour of GOD, His beauty, His creativity, His power, His hope, and I am blessed, encouraged and invigorated.

May the rainbow continue to be a sign of hope from GOD to mankind: that He will never again flood the earth, however decadent we become, and that He offered His own son do live, die and be resurrected, as the opportunity to become right with GOD. The rainbow offers hope. The cross offers reconciliation. The relationship between GOD and man can be restored, not by our using or misusing GOD’s signs, but by embracing them, on His terms, and glorifying Him so that all creation waits in anticipation for Jesus’ return and the revealing of the sons of GOD.

“For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of GOD.” (Romans 8:19)

Hallelujah, GOD (not man) reigns!

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For Mothers

For Mothers: building self respect

Nowadays, parents are often encouraged to build their children’s self esteem. 

But I think that does more harm than good. I think it’s far more helpful to our children when we build self respect. 

Self esteem and self respect are not the same thing, not at all.

Self esteem

When we praise our children, it builds their confidence. They may glow with pride and self esteem, but so often the praise is empty — built upon giving them a false impression or over estimation of themselves. 

Self esteem is the feeling of pride and superficial confidence in ourselves which is built upon what others have said of us. It is self- centred.

Self respect

Self respect is a sense of personal dignity; it is a recognition of our responsibility we aim to demonstrate in the world. It calls us to consider our place within society.

Self respect is a sense of inner confidence and integrity. It draws us to take ourselves seriously and is largely other-centred, built upon the results of our choices and decisions.

Building self respect within our children

When we respect our children, we encourage the growth of their own self respect. 

Telling children the truth demonstrates respect. Teaching them responsibility and the consequence of our actions — both positively and negatively — helps them to become respectful individuals. Listening to their concerns demonstrates respect. Insisting they be accountable for themselves teaches them self respect. 

Giving them what they want does not show respect, though it can show love, compassion and kindness.

Encouraging self respect

When we respect ourselves it shows our children we take ourselves seriously.

When we respect our children, it shows them we take them seriously.

Of course our expectations are age-relative but taking this into account: right from the start of life, I believe if we respect a child as a gift, a separate entity from us, a person of potential and possibility, we can teach him/her to be grateful,  personably responsible, eager and motivated to achieve what they are able to achieve in society.

A child is a blessing. Teaching this to our children will enable them to thrive with personal dignity and self respect…. and, ultimately, make a positive difference to their world one day.

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Politics and Society today

Why the West is in Decline

Demise of Britain, fall of America. As they turn their backs on GOD, why is the West in decline?

The decline in Britain: Crime and raw sewage on the rise are marks of the fall of a once-great nation. The British flag for this summer’s Olympic gear has been changed so dramatically — warped for dramatic effect I’d say — that it is unrecognisable. Is this distortion of the flag symbolic the decline in Britain?

A broken bridge in Baltimore, America — the day after it turns its back on Israel — doesn’t seem like a coincidence to me. Drug addiction destroys the youth in inner cities. Gun crime is rife (no pun intended). Illegal immigration is running in the millions. What can salvage the American dream now?

The conditions and situations in the nations of UK and USA are only examples of what is effecting the Western nations across Europe and around the world. 

Why is the West in decline?

There are no coincidences 

As the leading nations in the West have turned their backs on GOD, they have made bad decision after bad decision, which in turn has removed GOD’s blessing over them. I believe there is a direct correlation between relationship and blessing, as the LORD seeks to cover and support us as individuals and nations, but He has given us the freedom to choose whether we walk with Him or not. When we choose not, we suffer some horrendous consequences.

As though ignoring GOD isn’t enough, most recently, a vote taken in the UN revealed nation after nation turning its back on Israel: GOD’s beloved and our older brother. The Western nations turning their backs on the Israeli government, which is fighting against Hamas for the nation’s survival — and that of the West I’d say — will bring decay to those nations who turn against Israel.

Of course it is important to distinguish between GOD’s identity and Israel’s. Israel is not the same as the LORD GOD. But in rejecting GOD, we lose His protection. And in rejecting Israel, we reap GOD’s curse.

I will bless those who bless you…

GOD promised Abraham, “I will bless those who bless you… Unequivocally it is the nation of Israel who are Abraham’s descendants and “the Apple of GOD’s eye”. (Zechariah 2:8)

“And I will curse him who curses you.” (Genesis 12:3)

Hamas has cursed Israel, seeking to destroy the people and the nation. And although the life of Gazans was difficult until October 7th 2023, afterward it became far worse.

Israel will survive

The Psalms say over and over again how GOD has protected and defended Israel, even though at times He has chastened the nation (Psalm 118). And although He has sometimes used nations to punish Israel, those same nations were then punished themselves, if they revelled in their crushing of Israel (Zechariah 1:15).

Believers called to bless Israel

We must learn from the mistakes of others if we are to thrive as the Church. Befriending our Jewish neighbours is a start. Blessing Israel, encouraging the people and the nation to know their Messiah has come and His name is Yeshua, is another way to interact. A third is to defend Israel’s political right to exist, just as GOD has done throughout the centuries.

Those of Jewish heritage who know Yeshua are to be embraced by the Church, and vice versa. This is conveyed in Ephesians 2: “Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh—who are called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands— that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace” (v 11-14)

We must pray for all of our nations and especially for Israel

Psalm 122:6 calls us to “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem”.

We must all grow in our relationship with the LORD. We must all grow toward ‘our older brother’ Israel. We are called to accept Israel as GOD’s first love and likewise recognise GOD loves for us as His children, and therefore as Israel’s brothers and sisters.

Father bring revival to the West, I pray in Jesus’ name. 

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Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

GOD’S STORY: GOD’s grace revealed again

GOD’s grace revealed again

When Adam sinned, GOD had to send him out of the garden. But GOD clothed him, sent him with Eve, made provision for his survival.

Even though Adam could have had his life taken from him immediately, GOD gave him centuries to continue: to have children, to have a mortal existence. In this we see GOD’s grace. (Genesis 3:23)

And again, we’ll see GOD’s grace in the continuation of humanity, through Noah.

Preparing the Bride for GOD’s Story

How do we prepare as the Bride of Christ? One aspect is to learn GOD’S STORY. He created us in His image…. Piece by piece, and peace by peace, we learn to walk as He has walked. And we learn His perspective.

Genesis 6:7-8

“So the Lord said, “I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.” But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.”

As a result of Noah’s character, which pleased GOD, GOD showed him — and through him all of mankind — His grace. He gave Noah a task to build the ark (which took the man 100 years to complete amidst all kinds of mockery — he built a boat on dry land with no sea anywhere near) and the instructions to save the animals and his own family in order to preserve mankind, as undeserving as man had already proved to be.

“I will remember My covenant which is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh; the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh. The rainbow shall be in the cloud, and I will look on it to remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.” (Genesis 9:15-16)

After the flood, GOD promised He would never again flood the earth, ostensibly promising the next generations would survive; which they have to this day.

GOD’s grace revealed again and again

Through the building of the ark by one man of obedience and faith, through the opportunity GOD gave Noah to preserve animate life on earth, we see the grace of GOD: always seeking relationship with mankind, always seeking preservation of mankind, always showing love toward mankind, in spite of his failings.

This is a GOD of the second chances. Hallelujah! I certainly often need a second chance. Don’t you?

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For Mothers

For Mothers: Honesty is the best Policy

If you want your child to be honest with you, don’t lie to him/her… not even a tiny lie. Honesty is the best policy.

If you want your child to trust you, tell the truth (not necessarily frank, blunt, rude or totally transparent or age-inappropriate, but be honest).

If you want a relationship built upon trust, be honest with your children. In everything, be honest. That’s what I believe.

I’ve never lied to my child

I made a decision when my boy was very young, never to lie to him.

Of course there are things I don’t share. Age appropriateness is important to a child’s well being.

But I remember when my son was heading toward his first Christmas and I thought, ‘I’m not going to encourage Santa Claus stories. I won’t fabricate or lie. I won’t tell him there’s no Father Christmas, but I won’t encourage the story either.’ 

Why not encourage Santa? 

There is a principle in child rearing, “Start the way you want to finish.”

I decided never to lie to my son because one day, when I said to him, “Don’t lie me,” I didn’t want him to come back at me and say I’d lied to him.

I figured if I never lied to him, I would have moral authority over the argument about truthfulness. If I told him the truth, I would be fostering honesty, whereas if I lied even on something like Santa Clause, I wouldn’t be able to say, “I’ve never lied to you” and he could accuse me of hypocrisy.

One day it happened!

And sure enough, that day of accusation came. 

One day, I said I expected him to tell me the truth. He said I’d not always told him the truth. I said I had.

He said, ”What about Santa Claus?”

We talked it through and he realised that, yes indeed, I’d never lied to him about Santa. I had never announced or endorsed Santa. I’d never even given him a present from Santa, but the unlabelled presents he’d assumed were from Santa.

I’m so grateful

My son and I get along very well. I’m so grateful.

I’m sure my son has secrets — He needs to grow independently as he grows in his adulthood. And I give him room, give him his privacy. 

But I’m also convinced, he doesn’t lie to me. I’m so grateful.

I really believe honesty is always the best policy. We need wisdom to ensure what is shared is always healthy, age relevant information. But in our mothering, I encourage us all to be honest with our children.

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Politics and Society today

Western World is Unstable

Jesus is alive. And we need to proclaim it. Why now especially?

Because the Western world is unstable.

Western worldwide instability

Last week in Milton Keynes UK a mob of 300 high school pupils “ran amok” in a shopping centre, frightening shopkeepers and shoppers alike. The police remedy: lock up the shops. 

Today on Social Media there is a short video of a church in New York City being interrupted by a group of climate protesters, standing on the stage and interrupting the service. Security guards pushed them out amidst the congregants.

This is just a small sample of what’s been happening and what continues to happen with pro-Palestinian marches and climate protesters abusing the privilege of freedom of speech to disrupt “normal life”.

Wars and rumours of wars continue: political wars, military wars, social wars of all kinds. (Matthew 24)

Social Media largely responsible

From Arab Spring beginning in Tunisia in 2010 and expanding across the Arab world to Pro-Palestinian Protests which started in October 2023 throughout the West: Europe, North America, Australia and beyond, we are inundated with protest and assault on our western history and democracy. I won’t expand on this to demonstrate (pun intended:) but will allow you to contemplate the political and social situation in your own country.

Until recently, what has been the basic rule of thumb in the West has been freedom of speech, freedom to vote and freedom to buy-sell-trade. Now all of this is in disrepute as Colonialism undergoes vicious attack in the name of anti-racism; and freedom of thought is under vicious scrutiny in the name of minority rights.

Everyone seems to have a right except the people who are accustomed to their freedom.

What this means for Western Society

We cannot take our freedom for granted. And for those of us who love Jesus, we cannot take our right to freedom of religion for granted either. Under attack are Judeo-Christian values upon which Western Society was built, because those who oppose it are those whose rights are dominating the political scene now: transgender and LGBTQ+ rights for example, abortion rights as well. It isn’t enough for us to live and let live, to disagree politely and even silently with their lifestyle. Laws are being passed to make our faith illegal, and that is a dangerous thing.

So now perhaps more than ever before in history, and certainly now more than any time in our lifetime, we must give glory to GOD, shout “Hallelujah Yeshua/Jesus is alive”, and “Holy Spirit you are welcome here!” Why? Because we still can. And because time is short. 

Those who focus on church building, you do so at your peril. The church is Jesus’ church. It is a global church, not a 4-walled confine. Although we are not to be of the world, we certainly are to be in the world.

Jesus is alive. And we need to proclaim it… out there. Why now especially?

Because the Western world is unstable.

And so on with proclaiming: “GOD’s-Word-as-Jesus” we must… while we still can.

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GOD'S STORY

GOD’S STORY: part 59 God’s Grief

Can we put ourselves in GOD’’s shoes?

For one moment, imagine you are the Creator of the Universe. You have created perfection. The pinnacle of your Creation is Man, created in your image. He is your son. But lacking trust or seeking personal gain… or more likely preferring his own company to yours (ie Adam prefers relationship with Eve to you), he turns his back on you. You must send him away but you will not linger far from him. 

But then he has offspring and generation after generation, they become more and more evil. 

Can we look at GOD for a moment and recognise GOD’s grief?

Preparing the Bride for GOD’s Story

How do we prepare as the Bride of Christ? One aspect is to learn GOD’S STORY. He created us in His image…. Piece by piece, and peace by peace, we learn to walk as He has walked. And we learn His perspective.

Genesis 6:5-6

“Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intentof the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.”

For me it is impossible to imagine the grief of GOD. He has everything in His hand for us, His children. But we choose to do “our own thing”. We choose to reject His wisdom, love and relationship and determine our own destiny. 

Imagine as a parent, loving our children and wanting what is best for them, but watching them choose what is second best, or worse, degenerating from what is good to what is just plain bad for them. How painful to see our children living in the consequences of their poor choices rather than in the joy of salvation, grace, love and peace of GOD which passes all understanding.

It is so sad.

Next time someone judges GOD

Most reading this will have a personal relationship with GOD, borne out of our own journey to come to the knowledge of His passionate love, grace and wisdom toward us. Some will not yet know GOD’s love, mercy and goodness.

For those who know GOD through Jesus, when someone says, “If there is a God, how can he let people starve, or kill themselves through war, or die from a horrible disease…?” Can you reply with some version of this:

“GOD allows us to choose. He loves us so much that He’s given us the freedom to choose. And just like a parent who loves his child knows the child must make his won choices to mature, GOD sees the bad choices we make and it causes Him no end of grieving.”

I cannot imagine GOD’s grief

I cannot put myself completely in GOD’s shoes, but it must have torn Him apart to watch mankind make such a mess of Creation that it drove Him to “be sorry that He had made man on the earth…” He wasn’t sorry He made earth. But He was sorry He put man into His wonderful creation. 

How sad. How absolutely devastatingly sad. 

…… Let’s love and worship GOD, showing Him our gratitude for His loving us.

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For Mothers

For Mothers: Love covers a multitude of sins

(1 Peter 4:8)

Our children are so forgiving of us

As parents we do our best for our children. But sometimes we fail. That’s reality.

But our children need us, love us and so they forgive us, accept us. Love covers a multitude of sins (ours!)

We love our children

Though imperfect, we love our children unconditionally. ‘Love covers a multitude of sins.’ Even though children are only learning right from wrong, the older they become, the more they have learned about right and wrong. They tend to want to please us; they also tend to want their own way. So, they make mistakes as we all do. But our love for them continues; love covers a multitude of sins (theirs!). 

My recent realisation

I’m writing this post because recently, I realised I’ve been too critical of my now 19 year old son, who is kind, honest, hard working and independent.

When he was little, I was so eager to train him in responsibility that I was too quick to look at his shortcomings when he was in disagreement with another child. I was so eager to raise him with good values that I was often too quick to judge, suspicious of his intentions…. even got out of the starting blocks! (even before he did anything naughty)

Self reflection

How could I be suspicious of him when, in my own innocence, I was mistrusted as a child? As an adult, I should have known better….

So grateful

And yet, he knows I love him and he expresses his love for me too…. As well, he is quite capable of expressing his displeasure. I respect that and I like the healthy balance.

In the mix of raising him, I seemed to have managed to reveal my love even amidst my too-hasty correction and criticism.

I’m grateful that love covers a multiple of sins. So grateful!

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Politics and Society today

Has all News become Gossip?

Recently, I had an “Ah ha!” moment while I was watching a news commentary programme on TV.

I’m discovering that almost all political news is gossip. Perhaps it’s borne out of 24/7 news broadcasting with the need to discuss a news story before the topic has had time to be exposed naturally, that “news” has become speculation, opinion and gossip more than hard core, evidence-based information.

News as Gossip

Sensationalism and speculation keep the viewer or reader engaged, but it is at an unnatural, heightened level.

I’m not sure innuendo and speculation are very good for the conscience. Certainly they can spike our interest and get the prayer engines running; but perhaps this is somewhat unnecessarily, as the “news” isn’t based on fact but suggestion, speculation, and a drawing of possible outcomes based on possibilities rather than a series of facts.

Keeping people watching or reading is the goal of the producers and editors, rather than sharing information to enable the audience to draw their own conclusions.

Ignoring the headlines

It may be cynical of me, but I’m not going to get caught up any more in headlines. Without a reporting of factual details, I’m learning to be wary of the snippets that suggest disaster is looming. Instead, I look at the detail. If there isn’t any, then there’s no news. Politics as gossip isn’t politics at all, but merely a temptation to get excited over what could possibly be. 

Prayer amongst the Chatter

Instead of frantic worry or speculative thoughts about what might evolve, I’ll look at the gossip for what it is, and pray for the parties being talked about.

I’d like to pray that communication might occur and truth might be exposed. Then there will be something substantive to talk about.

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GOD'S STORY

GOD’S STORY: part 58 More about Nephilim

I’m going to take time to digress slightly from the usual format in order to highlight some thoughts about the Nephilim, about whom I first wrote last week.

Preparing the Bride for GOD’s Story

How do we prepare as the Bride of Christ? One aspect is to learn GOD’S STORY. He created us in His image…. Piece by piece, and peace by peace, we learn to walk as He has walked. And we learn His perspective.

Genesis 6:1-4

“Now it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born to them, that the sons of God saw the daughters of men, that they were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves of all whom they chose. And the Lord said, “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, for he is indeed flesh; yet his days shall be one hundred and twenty years.” There were giants on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown.”

Greek Mythology, Roman. Mythology, Norse Mythology…

I know a relatively small smattering of mythology. What I know for certain is that the mythical gods and goddesses were often part god and part man. They also were super-sized and super-strong. Sounds a lot like Nephilim to me. Do they to you?

Connecting the dots

What if the Ancient Greeks surmised from what they saw of these super human people in their midst that they were not fully human at all but in fact gods? What if the Greeks did not make up the existence of these beings; in reality, those whom they called gods actually were not myth but living beings, who were given god-like status because of their size and strength? These may have been the fathered by demons or fallen angels who had left GOD’s grace to join Satan, fallen angels who had mated with human women (whether consenting or not we do not know) producing these others who were superhuman as well. Could these beings be the Nephilim, who co-existed with mankind and who were elevated into positions as gods, elevated because of their physical stature and strength?

If this were the case, then mythology is not purely myth but is grounded in some degree of reality. The spiritual world mated with the natural world to bear beings not of GOD’s creation. Super humans did exist, although were attributed powers and stature beyond reality.

GOD’s response

GOD was not pleased with the mating of these beings to human women. Because of the antics of mankind, their lifespan shrank from hundreds of years to 120 (Genesis 6:3). 

Even with the flood and the rebirth of human civilisation, man did not learn his lesson. More of these Nephilim would be born (including Philistines such as Goliath), suggesting the sexual antics continued even after Noah, the flood, and the reboot of mankind. 

Mythological gods mingling as men

As the mating of these fallen angels or demons with human women occurred, man would have seen the products of these relationships as gods in their own eyes. Stories of their godlike attributes could have been fabricated, stories to explain the powers of the universe, not as held in GOD’s hand but in the hands of the gods — Satan would like that. Anything but the worship of Elohim – Jehovah – I AM is suitable to him.

As we consider this, light is shed on mythology and its origins. Satan achieved pagan worship at the expense of the worship of the One True GOD. 

BUT this paved the way for GOD’s plan through one man Abraham, and one nation Isreal, to worship Him and point the way back to Truth.

Oh Satan, you cannot win. Ultimately, any achievement you make is temporary, fleeting, and ultimately takes you into deeper depths of self destruction.

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For Mothers

For Mothers: Is it wise to show your vulnerability?

Vulnerability

Google defines vulnerability as, “the quality or state of being exposed to the possibility of being attacked or harmed, either physically or emotionally.” 

I seems to me to be more negative than I think of vulnerability… “Being exposed” — emotionally and physically I agree with, but rather than it being the possibility of being harmed or attacked, I’d say it is being exposed emotionally or physically, to such a degree as one could be harmed but one chooses to allow themselves to be transparent in spite of the risk of the consequences of exposure.

All that being said, many social and family psychologists could debate whether parents need to appear confident and assured rather than show any vulnerability, for the sake of the security and peace of mind of their children. 

However, I’m asking: For mothers is it wise to show your vulnerability? I think particularly if there are two parents, it might be okay for one to show her vulnerability to a young child at some point. 

Mostly for the security of the child, we parents need to appear to have it all together, so the child doesn’t worry about his safety or the security of the family unit. But sometimes, maybe, the child needs to see more of our humanity as mums… 

Personal story

I once was so tired of my young child’s antics, I finally let him see my frustration through my tears. Yes, I cried a little in front of him which surprised him — I could see in his face that he saw my reaction to him and it caused him to pause and look. At that moment, he saw me. I think because he saw the human frailty in someone he loved, he stopped the naughty behaviour. 

Was it a bad thing I did? I don’t know. Child psychologists might say it was.

It was a sincere, rather than a manipulative demonstration of emotional vulnerability in response to his behaviour. But did it burden him? I don’t think so…. Rather I think it “woke him up” to the reality that I could be frail. 

I don’t think it would have been good if this were a lifestyle choice for my child-rearing. But I think at that particular moment, (I hope) it was alright for him to see my vulnerability — the real affect his behaviour was having upon me was negative; I think his seeing me sad helped him to see the cause and effect of his negative behaviour.

Confidence

Generally, I think our children need to see us exercising self confidence and self control. That is so they can feel safe even if they lack confidence or control over their situations. They are vulnerable, simply by the fact that they are smaller than adults, less experienced and less powerful than we are.

My son as a teen once said to me while I was driving and I kept repeating, “I’m not sure where I’m going..”

“Mom, you have to be confident no matter what, even if you don’t feel you are….” In the context of our situation, it was shortly after my husband’s/his father’s death. He was saying, ‘I need you to show me absolute confidence right now…’ And his frankness did shut me up and get me better focused on the task at hand.

Frankness on both sides is a good building block to a relationship with our children. 

SO the answer is Yes and No…

Sometimes it is right to expose our children to our weakness. Not usually, but sometimes. They need to know they are safe. But sometimes, they need to discover we are not brick walls but open windows… open to what life brings, courageous to deal with it, but also vulnerable to the circumstances they might inflict upon us. 

It’s important for our children to feel safe. But they also need to know that the world — or they — can cause us grief, from time to time. It is never for us to make them feel ashamed or guilty. But they do need to learn their negative behaviour can effect us, especially if they have not yet discovered their behaviour does impact other people’s lives. 

As human beings we are not responsible for how someone receives our personalities, whether they like us or whether they don’t. But we all do need to learn our behaviour and our choices do impact other people. Once we know that, it’s up to us to decide the value of our freedom verses our responsibility toward others in our day to day lives. It’s a basic aspect to socialisation.

Sometimes allowing our children to see our vulnerability will help them in their social development. At some point, our only recourse might be to let them see our weakness when they are exhausting us or frustrating us with their disagreeable behaviour. One way or another, our children need to learn the cause and effect of their behaviour on others and at some point, that may mean we need to let them see us just as we feel in response to them.

Every blessing as we all learn to navigate parenting better and better!

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Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

GOD’s Mercy Seat: His protection against Himself

The LORD GOD loves us. He is  all powerful, omniscient, omnipresent, an all consuming fire…. And all loving.

GOD’s Power

When we recognise the powerful presence of GOD, then we might begin to fathom the depth of His love for us. He could fry us all in an instant, and yet, He does not. 

How can we see the depth of His love in original scripture right back to the beginning of time? Well, let’s at least look at Exodus and Psalms to gain some insight…

GOD’s Mercy Seat in Exodus 25 reveals His protection even against Himself. He has to judge mankind because of their association with sin and Satan. Yes, His Psalm 91 is just one Psalm which declares — and reveals in action — His love. And  all this is even before He sent His son to die on our behalf!

These two amazing passages of scripture reveal GOD’s love for us, His commitment to us and His power over us.

GOD’s mercy seat

Exodus 25 reveals GOD’s love for us in that He protects us…. from Himself.

First, a read of the whole chapter will offer context. Then, look at verse 2, “Speak to the children of Israel, that they bring Me an offering. From everyone who gives it willingly with his heart you shall take My offering.” 

What does GOD offer?

“You shall make a mercy seat of pure gold… (Exodus 25:17a) and “two cherubim of gold” (verse 18a) “And the cherubim shall stretch out their wings above, covering the mercy seat with their wings, and they shall face one another; the faces of the cherubim will be toward the mercy seat.” (Verse 20) “And there I will meet with you and I will speak with you from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim…” (verse 22)

What is happening? GOD is offering His mercy: a way of communication, a way of protection against His judgement, a way to be a part of Him rather than against Him. Against Him draws us to judgment, fire, death; but with Him draws us to Him and Him to us, in relationship, safe within His mercy.

He even includes His angels’ protection for us, as symbolised by the cherubim on His mercy seat.

GOD’s Psalm of protection

Psalm 91 begins, “He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.” GOD is our “refuge”, our “fortress”. Wow! What are we up against? Yes, Satan. But also the wrath of GOD if we are not with Him. He offers us protection even against Himself.

Again in verse 11, He offers us angelic protection rather than their power against us:

“For He shall give His angels charge over you, To keep you in all your ways.”

But why does GOD give us His protection?

GOD offers protection “Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver Him…” (Psalm 91:14)

GOD is not random

In His Word, sampled in Exodus 25 and Psalm 91, we see that when we love Him, when we honour Him, He protects us.

It is not because He is an egotist, but because He loves us and wants to protect us. He offers protection from Satan and also from our own sin.

BUT we can truly receive only when we love and honour… otherwise we are in the hands of the enemy and vulnerable to both the evil of Satan and the wrath of GOD.

When our heart is pure, our safety is sure. We hold our protection in our own will. 

GOD loves us and wants us to choose Him. He has chosen us. What will be do with that, every step of our day? Salvation from the beginning of the Word of GOD has been available. It is all about offering our love to Him. He’s waiting with open an heart.

Something to ponder. 

Amen.

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GOD'S STORY

GOD’S STORY: Part 57 Nephilim

Genesis 6

There were people who were the product of the sons of GOD mating with the daughters of men. Who were these people called Nephilim?

Preparing the Bride for GOD’s Story

How do we prepare as the Bride of Christ? One aspect is to learn GOD’S STORY. He created us in His image…. Piece by piece, and peace by peace, we learn to walk as He has walked. And we learn His perspective.

Nephilim

According to Google, there are a group of people mentioned in the Old Testament who, by definition are, “a group of mysterious beings or people of unusually large size and strength who lived both before and after the flood”. These are called Nephilim. They were conceived “when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born to them, when the sons of God saw the daughters of men, that they were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves of all whom they chose.” (Genesis 6:1-2)

Goliath, the Philistine whom David fought and defeated, was a Nephilim, for example.

Sin

You can have a read of The Book of Enoch, which is not scripture but was written concurrently and is referenced by Jude who’s book is the last before Revelation in Canon. The Book of Enoch refers to the Nephilim. The essential information is that they were the offspring of fallen angels mating with human women. This mating in GOD’s eyes was abhorrent! The result were giant beings neither human not angelic. 

Contemporary relevance

I only draw attention here to point to the concept of AI and computer chips inside our hands, arms or heads; I’d like to suggest part man/part anything else is counter to GOD’s creation and is ungodly/sinful/evil even monstrous!

I do not believe it is GOD’s will to enhance His creation: humanity.

I do not believe AI or a part human/part robot is within GOD’s will.

I do not believe we can improve on GOD’s Creation.

I leave this with you to ponder. Please share your thoughts if you’d like to discuss.

Every blessing.

Categories
For Mothers

For Mothers: TIME

On the last blog post, I touched on the issue of Time as an important part of parenting. On this occasion I’d like to focus upon it.

Time

A mother’s time is taken up with work, our partnership with the other parent (or compensating if parenting solo), attention to our children’s direct needs, taking care of our health and that of others’ in the family. 

Feeding, clothing, ensuring child development: physically, educationally, socially, emotionally, spiritually cannot really be delegated, though the brunt of time spent at school or with church-related activities, social “playdates” and heart-to-heart conversations with others does help. But really, you and I know that ultimately, “the buck stops here” which is why I created this blog in the first place.

For Mothers

This space is about you and me, the mum for whom there is no retirement — not really. 

And so we need to be able to balance our time: our attention, our devotion, our awareness, our support for our children, always balancing a giving with a letting go as they grow.

We need time for them, time for others, time for ourselves. 

The best use of our time

Learning to prioritise is key. How do we do that? 

For me, it has always been considering that, in the long run, what is important > is more important than what is urgent. That fits for every compartment of our lives.

Compartment of Parenting

And so, yes the late homework or the fire on the stove needs attention. 

But somehow, we mustn’t drop the ball on the important: consistently leading and guiding our children to their homework (so it isn’t late), to brushing their teeth (so the emergency trip to the dentist doesn’t arise), to respecting others (so the fist fight or the trauma in the school ground doesn’t happen… or they already know how to cope when they see it coming).

“Prevention is worth a pound of Cure”

Giving time and attention to the little things, day by day, keeps, our children emotionally, socially safe and attended to as they navigate nursery and school. Prayer every night builds their spiritual awareness so they don’t have a vacuum that needs filling and gets filled with self harm as a teen. Good eating and hygiene habits ensure life long physical health and strength. 

At the heart of life is our learning to balance our time, focusing on what’s important in the long run.

Long-term vision

Taking the long view, rather than living in crisis management, will give us the ability to live and thrive. This is for ourselves and for the rest of the household.

So I guess the takeaway here is to learn to manage our time: for all us mums to let time be our friend and to allow us to manage our time as a gift, to respect and treasure it, to do the important things consistently, so that our children benefit most from the time we have to give them.

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Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

I don’t want to operate on my own anymore

I don’t want to operate on my own anymore.

By that I mean I want to walk in step with Holy Spirit

Holy Spirit and I

One morning recently, as I finished a prayer time, I said, “I could pray for hours… I don’t want to operate on my own anymore, LORD.”

I decided to write about this because it’s vital to life!

Vital to Life

When we are in step with Holy Spirit, He leads and guides us to walk peacefully, full of grace, His Truth, and calmly.

I love it! When walking in step with Holy Spirit I have greater love and grace toward others, I have more gentleness and patience — two of the spiritual fruits in which I am otherwise quite deficient.

Fruits of the Spirit

In Galatians 5:22-23 it is written, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.”

It is so refreshing to walk in the Spirit. I have an inner peace that defies anxiety and stress and any sense of condemnation, because I have His grace toward others and therefore inner acceptance. For me, this is life-giving and guards me against the sort of condemnation the enemy likes to try to pour over me from time to time.

The term longsuffering

The word longsuffering — in our time and culture — is what we usually call patience. Patience and gentleness are fruits I don’t have much of naturally. In the natural: in my flesh, my natural personality, I’m more a bull-in-a-China-shop sort of person, compelled to get things done. That in itself isn’t wrong. But when the Spirit is leading me, I still manage to “get things done” but in a more relaxed manner. Then, I tend to say things more gently. I like that and I’m sure others around me would prefer that too.

Natural and Supernatural

Within our personalities, all of us will have, by our nature, some of the fruits of the Spirit. But when we are walking in Him, those fruits are magnified and all the fruits flow from us in a supernatural way, and what we have been given in the natural is amplified

Be filled with the Holy Spirit

Every day, every moment, we can ask to “be filled with the Holy Spirit”. Isn’t it time we surrender and expect our inner being and our outer behaviour to match, emulating our walk with Jesus? It is like being wedded, not as two humans become one flesh, but rather as we each become interlinked with Holy Spirit, our source of intimacy with Jesus grows and the Spiritual fruit — and our character — become more and more like His. Let’s be wedded to Holy Spirit.

As it says in Acts 17:28, “for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring.’”

Be encouraged. Jesus is with us. And by His Spirit, inner peace and outer love can and will shine through as we surrender more and more to Him.

Every blessing:)

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GOD'S STORY

GOD’S STORY: How Society emerged

Genesis 5 sites the genealogy of Adam all the way to Noah. On the last post I jumped forward from Seth to Noah, because I wanted to touch on the complete corruption of mankind. After the birth of Adam’s son Seth and his son Enosh, “men began to call on the name of the LORD” (Genesis 4:26). Yet, by the time of Noah, all of humanity had become unrighteous — except Noah. 

What about the in-between? Where did society come from? This post is about how society emerged from Adam and Eve and their two sons, Cain and Seth.

Preparing the Bride for GOD’s Story

How do we prepare as the Bride of Christ? One aspect is to learn GOD’S STORY. He created us in His image…. Piece by piece, and peace by peace, we learn to walk as He has walked. And we learn His perspective.

How society emerged

“This is the book of the genealogy of Adam. In the day that God created man, He made him in the likeness of God.He created them male and female, and blessed them and called them Mankind in the day they were created. And Adam lived one hundred and thirty years, and begot a son in his own likeness, after his image, and named him Seth. After he begot Seth, the days of Adam were eight hundred years; and he had sons and daughters.” (Genesis 5:1-4)

Adam lived a very long time. As you will see as you read through Chapter 5 of Genesis, the lifespan of all those recorded was hundreds of years. 

Before the flood, mankind had great longevity, almost a thousand years. Only after the flood, do we see life expectancy gradually diminishing. 

Moses lived 120 years: 40 years in Egypt, 40 years in Moab, 40 years in the wilderness.

Simple explanation

Humanity developed from Adam and Eve as the first persons on the earth. They had children, their children had children, and so on. As Adam lived hundreds of years, this is a simple and viable explanation…. However, if that’s the case, where did the sons of Adam find their wives?

One last question in my mind

Where Cain found is wife is a question I still ponder. He had a wife after he left the Garden. Where did she come from? And Lamech had two wives (Genesis 4:19). Where did he find them?

The only explanation I can come up with is time lag. The time from which Cain was sent from GOD after murdering his brother Abel, to marrying, may well have been hundreds of years, plenty of time for Adam and Eve to have more children. Does that mean that Cain married his sister? Yes, it would imply that. But this would have been before the Law and before the concept of incest. Procreation had to have emerged from Adam and Eve and the origin of mankind and society from them.

That’s my take. Any other suggestions are most welcome. I always field and reply to your comments.

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For Mothers

For Mothers: PLAY

Play is perhaps the most important way of relating to our children.

We know the Hollywood cinematic storyline of the boy who wants to play ball with his dad and his dad never has time… and the fallout from that is stuff of the tale on screen.

We know that play is important because infants do all their learning from play: exploring their world, interacting with their toys is the way they are stimulated.

We know that mothers have so much to undertake in their traditional role as provider and parent, nurturer and bonder with their children. And a part of all of this is play.

I remember in early years being so bored with repetitive play, because it is so repetitive. But my child loved to read the same book, play the same game, over and over again. Boring yes! But his delight made it all worthwhile.

I remember the same game over and again. I remember Chinese checkers, until my son stopped wanting to play because I got better at it. Same for so many games… all good until he grew and I became proper competition (except for Monopoly… he’s still the best in the family at that!)… And yet, we need to let them win and later learn competition.

Interaction during play is important. Conversations during play are important. There is, according to “The Five Love Languages” by Gary Chapman, one love language of five which is TIME. Love is spelled TIME for many people once adult…. And for all children up to a point it will be of key importance…. Ironically, then TIME becomes our love language in relation to them as we long for any bit of time with them!:)

Please never underestimate the value of play to our children, as part of giving our time and attention. Yes, they need food, shelter, trainers and schoolbooks (or Ipads or laptops). But most of all, they need our time, and there is no price tag on that.

Every blessing to you as Mum, as we develop our strategies to keep on playing with our children, no matter how young or old they — or we –are. The games may change, but the essential value of them never will.

Sarah

Categories
Politics and Society today

Praying for government

We must pray for our leaders

“Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same.” (Romans 13:1-3)

I believe 100% that praying for government is a responsibility and a duty all Believers share.

Preparing the Bride for GOD’s Story

How do we prepare as the Bride of Christ? One aspect is to learn GOD’S STORY. He created us in His image…. Piece by piece, and peace by peace, we learn to walk as He has walked. And we learn His perspective.

Governments are not always what we want

Although politics is often not an easy discussion point and friends have become enemies (hopefully only temporarily) over such discussions, as followers of Jesus we are given some guidelines:

“Render unto Caesar what is due to Caesar…” Yes we must pay our taxes:)

“Be subject to the governing authorities” Yes, we must obey the law of the land.

We are also called to pray for our leaders:

“Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour,” (1 Timothy 2:1-3)

There is a reward

As we pray for the leaders of the land, we are promised a quiet and peaceable life.

There are governments we might prefer and others we might despise, but we must pray… and intercede… for all in authority over us. 

We cannot afford to ignore politics in these darkening times. Satan loves to stir dissent and so we must do battle against the whiles of the enemy. 

Covering ourselves

We can pray without ceasing.

We can use Ephesians 6:10-18 and stand for our nations.

We can ask others — our pastoral leaders, other prayer warriors —  to cover us as we battle for the lost and for the nations.

But I believe firmly, we must pray. It’s nearly election time… No more important time to pray! GOD’s will be done. Hallelujah and Amen.

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GOD'S STORY

GOD’S STORY: part 55 Noah

It is through the line of Seth and his son Enosh that Noah is born. We know Noah, but from where did he come and why was he chosen by GOD to build the ark that would protect his family — and only his family — from the flood that would wipe out all living creatures on the earth?

Preparing the Bride for GOD’s Story

How do we prepare as the Bride of Christ? One aspect is to learn GOD’S STORY. He created us in His image…. Piece by piece, and peace by peace, we learn to walk as He has walked. And we learn His perspective.

The family of Adam

“This is the book of the genealogy of Adam. In the day that God created man, He made him in the likeness of God. He created them male and female, and blessed them and called them Mankind in the day they were created. And Adam lived one hundred and thirty years, and begot a son in his own likeness, after his image, and named him Seth. After he begot Seth, the days of Adam were eight hundred years; and he had sons and daughters. So all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years; and he died. Seth lived one hundred and five years, and begot Enosh. After he begot Enosh, Seth lived eight hundred and seven years, and had sons and daughters. So all the days of Seth were nine hundred and twelve years; and he died.” (Genesis 5:1-8)

Throughout Chapter 5 of Genesis the genealogy is listed until Noah and his sons are born.

Note first that all those listed lived for hundreds of years and would have known their children, grandchildren and several generations beyond. Even taking into account that most had children after they were 100 years old, Noah would have known relatives at least 5 generations born before him. Oddly, he didn’t have his own children until he was over 500 years old. I wonder why? Might he have been walking particularly closely with GOD before he married and had children? Might he have delayed his personal romantic life for the sake of intimacy with his Creator?

The key to the genealogy from Seth

Whilst Cain and his descendants were building and living in the city, what was Enosh doing? It was from Enosh that “men began to call upon the name of the Lord.” (Genesis 4:26)

And so, it is from the line of Seth and not Cain that Noah descended. Unfortunately, all of humanity had become depraved, except for him and his family, by the time he was called to built the ark. 

Perhaps Noah delayed raising a family because he saw what was evil in the sight of the LORD and found no desire to bring people into the world. 

What we do know is that GOD waited until depravity was extensive and until Noah was mature. Then He called Noah to build the ark. 

Reading Genesis 5 carefully, we see that it only took the righteous line of Seth 8 generations to fall into such depravity than GOD decided to rid the world of sinfulness. We need not contemplate for long to what degree those from the line of Cain developed evil at the same time.

Noah was the only righteous man only 10 generations from Adam. 

Today’s decay

When we look at our society today, how quickly it has eroded since removing Biblical prayer from schools, removing church from our lives, and entrusting most schools and homes to the secular influence. It is easy to understand how the world in the beginning could erode so quickly.

Noah

“But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.” (Genesis 6:8)

Noah was a ‘righteous’ man and so we see GOD’s mercy upon him and his family. When we look at Genesis, we see humanity quickly descending into evil when unchecked by GOD or His goodness. Looking at our own society’s reflection, we can see the difference between a society soaked in GOD’s Word and what happens when the teaching of that Word is removed.

UK revival

We need to pray for this nation, for the Word to be welcomed back and for the name of Jesus to return to the lips of those who seek to know GOD.

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For Mothers

For Mothers: No, not everything

“Mama I want…”

One of the best lessons we can teach our dear children is

that they can’t have everything they want.

“No, not everything you want Darling.”

If our children learn that, life will be easier for them — less painful, less shocking, more peaceful. When they learn they can’t have everything they want, they learn disappointment, they learn compromise, they learn reality. It’s healthy.

Life is full of rich joy and also disappointment

Although it is important to develop a positive, “can do” attitude, we also need to learn to roll with the punches that life brings. We strive for excellence but in the striving forward, we lose some of the races we run. If we lose every race, we get discouraged and give up. But if we win every one, we get prideful and conceited. Win some/lose some is the reality of life, and learning this helps us to negotiate surprises in life, both good and bad.

What if our child doesn’t learn s/he can’t have everything?

They may find life difficult to cope with if they don’t know life has ups and downs.

They may find themselves behaving “like a bully” to get what they want because they don’t know how to accept “no” for an answer.

They may become deceitful — in order to achieve their ends. Certainly, they will be more selfish if they don’t understand the idea of compromise.

Goal setting: good and not-so-good

People who don’t know they can’t have everything set unachievable goals. Their ‘reach can exceed their grasp’ because they don’t know limitations exist. Ambition is good in order to keep us striving to improve. But it can also be soul destroying if our goals are complete fantasy. Teaching our child to accept “yes” and “no” will help them to navigate their own lives and help them to attain their ambitions with hard work and steadfast faith in themselves.

People need people

The person who has learned s/he will have disappointments from time to time will embrace life, yet will also know a contented life is not based upon achievement but on mutual admiration — one person to another…

Life is full of love when we learn to share, to accede to someone else’s preferences from time to time while still standing up for our own when it is vitally important. 

Life is rich and worth living when we share with others and build relationships based on mutual respect and trust. 

Life if full of rich relationship when we learn compromise, the give-and-take of life.

Disappointment is an valuable experience

Teaching a child that sometimes s/he can’t have what s/he “really wants” can be disappointing, but disappointment lasts for a moment. The lesson of overcoming disappointment and moving over the next hurdle will last a lifetime.

Categories
Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

Zion? Israel? What is the Jewish claim to the Holy Land…

Israel documented from ancient history

It is incredible to me how anyone can look into history and suggest that those who call themselves Israel did not exist before 1948.

What is the Jewish claim to the Holy Land?

Zion? Israel? What is it?

In the age of the Egyption Pharoahs, when the Hebrews crossed the River Jordan from the wilderness into the Promised Land… that was the start of GOD’s nation of Israel. It took a few hundred years before it became a nation… but eventually it did. Then it was overrun and folks were displaced…

A look at the history of Babylon or Persia reveals the removal of Jews from the land during the reign of King Nebachudnezer and the return of those exiled under King Cyrus of Persia. This has been well documented in history books.

Biblically, in the Book of Ezra Chapter 2, there is a detailed list of those who returned from captivity to Jerusalem and Judah. This document is one piece of much evidence that the LORD GOD knew would be valuable today, as it was in the 19th and 20th centuries when the British government and many within, first sought to return Jews to their native land. 1948 was the culmination of those efforts, though the borders where somewhat reduced from the earlier promises and the historical geography of the land.

“Now these are the people of the province who came back from the captivity, of those who had been carried away, whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had carried away to Babylon, and who returned to Jerusalem and Judah, everyone to his own city.” (Ezra 1:1). The next 69 verses lists the family names, numbers in the family, sometimes their jobs, other times their livestock. It is detailed. Why? It’s a document of proof.

Jerusalem is mentioned repeatedly; it was and is the historic land of the Jewish people.

Damascus, Jerusalem — these are Old Testament cities which still exist today. The one proves the other. Lebanon, Israel — these are nations from the Old Testament which still exist today. The one proves the other.

Israel’s historical existence is in no doubt

Let there be no doubt of the ancient history of Israel: First it was a nation under King Saul, then King David, then King Solomon. It became divided thereafter but although the Northern Kingdom called Israel dissolved, the Southern Kingdom of Judah survived and the Romans changed the name of the entire territory from Isreal to Palestine to root out the rebels. And yet, through dispersion and return, the Jews have always inhabited the land of Israel. Arabs too lived there in less ancient times, but there was never a nation of Palestine and never were Arabs in charge of the land. It was occupied by one group or another until the British Mandate in the 19th and early 20th centuries, until Jordan (at first called TransJordan) and Israel became the Arab and Jewish nations in their own right.

Those who call themselves Palestinian now

The Arabs who call themselves Palestinian now are simply the Arabs who refused to integrate into either Israel or Jordan. They want all the land of Israel to belong to them and for them, there is no room for the Jewish state or its people. 

“From the River to the Sea” simply means they desire and claim the land so that there will be no more Jews in their own historic land.

What is fair

It isn’t to ask what is fair. What is fair is to have no bullying, no violence, no indoctrination against another nation. But that isn’t relevant. Those who argue the origins of Palestine as a legitamate argument fail to acknowledge there has never been a state of Palestine and weaken their “right” to a nation because Israel has been a nation historically, which they categorically deny.

What is true: that is the question. History cannot be erased or altered. What has been, has been. Israel as a nation has existed for centuries. Palestine has never existed as a nation. For me, that is the starting point.

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GOD'S STORY

GOD’S STORY: part 54 Intimacy with GOD

To worship the LORD is the beginning of holiness, the beginning of our holiness journey.

“Give to the Lord the glory due His name; Bring an offering, and come before Him. Oh, worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness!” (1 Chronicles 16:29)

Genesis 4:25-26 shares that another son of Adam is born,

“And Adam knew his wife again, and she bore a son and named him Seth, “For God has appointed another seed for me instead of Abel, whom Cain killed.” And as for Seth, to him also a son was born; and he named him Enosh. Then men began to call on the name of the Lord.” 

When we look at Seth, we’ll see another man who is born in sin, and yet through Seth a society is developed that seeks after Him.

Preparing the Bride for GOD’s Story

How do we prepare as the Bride of Christ? One aspect is to learn GOD’S STORY. He created us in His image…. Piece by piece, and peace by peace, we learn to walk as He has walked. And we learn His perspective.

Genesis 4 ends with the birth of Seth and the leadership of his son Enosh, and to mankind acknowledging “the name of the Lord.”

Praise GOD!

The most interesting thing

When we look at scripture, there are times when “LORD” is spelled in capitals; this refers to Father GOD, the Creator. Then other times we see it written as “Lord”, and at these times it refers to the Word, Jesus or the Lord who is GOD but not as the 1st Person of GOD: The Creator or Father of the Universe.

I find it interesting that here in Genesis 4, Lord is not put in all caps. What does that imply? That these people acknowledge GOD but as one walking with them, or in proximity or in intimacy.

Wow! Not only did GOD not abandon humanity, but He still walked with the people, in spite of their being cast out of Eden, in spite of their losing their perfection, in spite of their being dead in the Spirit.

It is through the line of Seth and Enosh that Noah is born. This we will look at in some detail next week…

Every blessing as you navigate GOD’s witness within your spirit this week.