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Politics and Society today

Election Fever Pt 3 Judeo-Christian values

I’ve heard one national candidate in the general election say he stands for Judeo-Christian values. Bravo! So do I.

Shall we vote?

I have at least one brother in the LORD who is so fed up with politics that he says he won’t vote. I’ve disagreed with him and explained the value of our democratic vote, that we’re meant to pray for our leaders and rulers. But he and I don’t agree on this matter, though we agree on many other matters. He is faithful to Jesus regardless of his politics. Praise the LORD!

I think we should vote if we can, because society depends upon those who believe GOD, whether they agree to this reality or not. 

The Word says we are to pray for our rulers that we may have a peaceful life. 

The Word encourages us to engage in society, to lead people to the Truth.

The conclusion I draw from this is that, when we live in a democracy, it is our duty, calling, responsibility, to be involved, even if it is only to the degree of putting an X in a box.

The LORD brings the leaders we deserve and if we can pray and take His lead, He will hear us and may give us leaders who may bring about good laws and conduct. 

“If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14)  

How shall we vote?

Whether it is according to our conscience, or according to a prompting directly from the LORD, we will know how to vote if we study the candidates.

Studying to show ourselves approved

“Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15)

We need to become familiar with what the candidates stand for…

We need to put all cynicism aside. Each candidate needs to be scrutinised by us, if we are to vote according to the LORD’s leading.

That’s what I think.

For some, this will be analysing the manifestos, watching videos and tv debates, and/or going to hustings.

For others, it will mean looking at the flyers that come through our doors, praying over each one to ask the LORD for guidance. 

For some, it will draw us to go against the grain, as the LORD leads us in a direction we don’t understand or don’t like. For others, it will be confirmation of our initial discernment.

For many the process may not be an easy one. But it’s important.

This is a battle for our nation

At the present time, our society is in chaos: economic, moral, spiritual. 

If I may, I encourage you to find the party or the candidate, or the leader whom you believe will best represent Christian values, so that our society can find its Judeo-Christian roots once again. If time is short, and I personally think it may not be long before GOD intervenes in our society on the grandest of scales, we need revival in this land. We need Jesus back in our schools and at the centre of our holidays. We need the values GOD has offered people through His Word to be returned to the United Kingdom.

I’m going to vote as one step toward this goal.

In Jesus’ name.

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GOD'S STORY

GOD’S STORY part 69: His mercy & compassion delay human progress

Tower of Babel, multiple languages and the scattering of mankind

GOD is full of love, compassion, patience, mercy. It is out of mercy that He disperses mankind so that their bad choices don’t cause even more destruction. His mercy & compassion delay human progress deliberately. Let’s unpack why…

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.

From Genesis 11:8-9,

“So the Lord scattered them abroad from there over the face of all the earth, and they ceased building the city. Therefore its name is called Babel, because there the Lord confused the language of all the earth; and from there the Lord scattered them abroad over the face of all the earth.”

Why would GOD thwart the will of the people whom He created? Why would He give them authority over all the earth only for it to be given away to Satan? 

I can’t help thinking that there are two strands going on throughout history:

Battles against GOD

One strand is a story about mankind learning the power of GOD, abusing it and then some — learning to submit to it, they are trusted to hold it.

The other strand is a story about the Creator of the universe and a jealous and spiteful creation, Lucifer, who needs to learn he is not powerful, that rather, all that he was given was gifted to him, not deserved or earned, but by the grace of GOD.

Ultimately, both stories are about man’s relationship to GOD and His relationship with us, because satan is a type of personality who is like fallen man, choosing  not to surrender to GOD.

GOD’s Salvation Story

In Genesis 11, from verse 8 we see GOD disperse man and confuses the languages as a means to protect themselves from themselves.

Hallelujah!

So how does that line up today?

First, we all have a means of salvation and have had it for 2000 years. Before that, the Jews had it and to the measure others caught on, they had an opportunity to become a part of “Israel” too.

Why did GOD prevent mankind from creating the tower to reach heaven? In “nothing that they propose to do will be withheld from them”, what was GOD preventing?

Science and Technology advance

We only need to see how science & technology has advanced since maths and chemistry became “universal languages” along with English. Let’s see what mankind has “contributed” to the world since discovery and invention have exploded throughout the Industrial and Technological Revolutions.

We’ve had two world wars in the 20th century and since then: abortion on demand, euthanasia, social and political unrest to disturb our world, and the threat of nuclear war. Most recently, Artificial Intelligence threatens humanity. All of this is thanks to technology. Do you think the LORD anticipated this as He observed the Tower’s design and construction? I do.

We’ve had incredible medical advances. But that also has reduced the miracles in the same societies which have found their own cures. As we have become more self sufficient and self reliant, GOD’s presence and power have been pushed out.

Out of compassion and a consequent delay of the inevitable, GOD dispersed mankind thousands of years ago. He confused language to delay invention which would be — which has been proven to be — self destructive. 

I think this tactic was an act if wisdom and profound love. What do you think?

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For Mothers

For Mothers: Teaching how to share

Sharing

I know so little about sharing. My mother always ensured my sister (my only sibling) and I “each got one”. She meant well I’m sure. She was fair, generous, but therefore I never really learned how to share as a consequence. My mother was an only child. Perhaps she never learned to share either, so couldn’t teach us.

So how am I going to write a post For Mothers: Teaching how to share, if I don’t know how myself?

How to share

I’m going to tell you what I learned from my grandson recently. He’s three. Never underestimate the generosity or wisdom of a child…

My grandson: so keen to share

One day I was taking him back home from a visit with me. He asked for a biscuit for the car. I was a little reluctant because I’d just had the car valeted, but that was less important and so I gave him a biscuit as he got into the car. Next thing I knew, he’d broken it into pieces. One piece was for his brother and other was for him. So concerned to share, he’d not thought to ask for 2 biscuits but was willing to share from all that he had.

That’s a generous spirit!

What I learned about sharing

I must always keep in mind the child’s perspective, and assume s/he has a heart to share.

I hope this was enlightening for you as it was for me!

Every blessing and let’s remember,

“Teach a child in the way he should go and when he grows up he will not depart from it.” (King Solomon, from long, long ago)

Categories
Politics and Society today

The Bumble Bee

The bumble bee is proof of GOD’s creation. It is proof that by GOD’s design, He created the living creatures we enjoy even today…

“The scientists have ample proof —

Proof no one can deny,

That by accepted theories — well

The bumble bee can’t fly.

With fat and rounded fuselage,

With such small, fragile wings, 

He cannot even leave the ground.

Bees are but crawling things!

Yet though these facts may all be true,

And proved by people wise,

The bumble bee not knowing this,

Just goes ahead and flies!”

(c) Dr Ian Tait

This little ditty came courtesy a friend of mine who’s father wrote it.

I enjoy it and share the idea that something as simple as the bumble bee reveals GOD’s creativity and creation itself.

Every blessing as you use this information, or even this poem, to spark conversation with others about Creation v Evolution.

Every blessing….

Categories
GOD'S STORY

GOD’S STORY: Part 68 GOD’s Feelings

GOD’s feelings

Have you ever stopped to think how GOD feels? Does He feel?

I’d say yes. The shorted verse in the Bible reads, “Jesus wept.” (John 11:35) The verse doesn’t have to say more does it, to convey that GOD has feelings.

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 11:5

“But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower which the sons of men had built.”

Before looking beyond this verse, I’d like to ponder for a moment. 

GOD gave man His own creativity and authority. What did man do? Adam squandered it didn’t he, in disobeying GOD and therefore giving his authority to Satan and losing his immortality.

Then Adam and Eve are sent out of the garden. And they have children, and their children have children and so on. Adam lives for several generations, watching as his children grow.

Society develops until it is so decayed, so debauched, that it has to be all but destroyed by flood waters.

Society begins again. But here we are at Genesis 11 where they plan to build a tower to get to heaven, to “make a name for ourselves” (Genesis 11:4a).

And what does GOD do?

The GOD who walked in the garden with man, who kicked him out of the garden because of his rebellion, He comes to see what man has done.

GOD still cares. He still wants relationship. He is still interested.

What does GOD think of the tower?

“And the Lord said, “Indeed the people are one and they all have one language, and this is what they begin to do; now nothing that they propose to do will be withheld from them. Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.” (Genesis 11:6-7)

He doesn’t like it!

How does GOD feel about the tower, and mankind?

GOD is our Father. 

As a parent, how do you feel when your child makes a big mistake, exercises poor judgment, or goes against the best plans and purposes? It hurts, right?

So, I reckon GOD is very disappointed. 

Why does man build the tower?

In Genesis 11:4 the people say, “let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.”

In anticipation of separation, man creates this tower. And then the very thing they fear comes to pass.

We can’t get ahead of GOD

GOD does not seek to punish us but to draw us to Himself. 

We cannot pre-empt Him, cannot second guess Him. When we disappoint Him, He is grieved. When we rebel, He puts consequences in our path to teach us. When we repent and draw near, He comforts us.

The tower is built. GOD sees. GOD separates man. As He separated man from Himself at Adam’s rebellion, He separates man from each other because of their scheming. 

With each step, GOD is disappointed but continues to instruct, teach, guide. If only we would turn and face Him, GOD would draw us back to Himself.

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For Mothers

For Mothers: Protection for our children

Do not be anxious!

We need to protect our children. As part of that protection, we need to rise above fear for our children. Why? Because worry, anxiety and stress can cause strife and disagreement, disharmony and discontent. They can destroy the peace and harmony of the home. We must try to avoid it… in order to protect our children, even from ourselves.

I’m guilty

Sometimes I worry for my son. He’s an able, healthy, decent human being. And yet, I worry anyway.

This gets in the way of fun and it gets in the way of his freedom and his learning curve. If I worry, I distract him. Or I persuade him, rather than leave him to his own judgment. 

He won’t learn unless I leave him alone.

Young ones

Of course whether our children are young, or old, we seek to protect them. But the level of protection is relative to their age and capability. And so, the little ones need much more of our direct protection for their physical and emotional well being, than do the older ones.

Love them

Let’s not hound our children, or fret about their decisions. Let’s lead and guide them so that they will learn and grow as they need to. Let’s set boundaries that will protect them on the one hand, and release them to grow on the other. Balance, age appropriate freedoms and boundaries, will help our children to feel loved, nurtured, safe… and free.

Bless them with respect

When we endorse our children’s good decisions and choices, we build them up. When we throw cold water on their ambitions and endeavours, we demoralise them.

Let’s look forward to the future with hope and positive expectation. And let’s show our children we have faith in them. Let us give them safe guidelines and trust in their best, protecting them from harm but allowing them to make their own achievements and even their own mistakes.

That’s what I’m saying to myself as much as to anyone else.

Categories
Politics and Society today

Election Fever part 2: Detachment

Detach from the Frey

Have you been watching the news? Are you reading the news about the upcoming general election (UK readers)? That’s important, isn’t it? We — I believe very strongly — need to exercise our responsibility to vote. And an informed decision with prayer, is the best possible decision we can make.

Romans 13:1 says, “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.”

Since we are subject to the rules and regulations, I believe we need to do our best to ensure those who will seek righteousness are elected.

But…This post isn’t about how to make a decision whether to or how to vote. Rather, this is about maintaining GOD’s peace within us. So, whilst I do believe we need to investigate, be aware of what’s going on, we also need to be aware of the motives of those feeding us the information we are searching for. Therefore, I have a proposal.

Let’s everyone take a step back… Do you know the media’s main aim is to keep us engaged and their main strategy is to keep us excited?

Media 

The main stream media, and even the You Tubers and Podcast providers, design their information to keep us engaged. How do they do that? Mostly, I observe and experience that their main strategy is to implant fear and to cause panic, excitement, high-intensity emotion such as anger, hostility, vulnerability… Not life-giving emotion but death-triggering emotion.

Detachment

So, I believe — and certainly I’m speaking to myself here — we need to disengage. We need to step back and observe, analyse, pray. We need to keep the information at arms length, so as not to get ourselves caught up, losing our peace, and our perspective as people of the sovereign and most high GOD.

How to detach?

We recognise the facts, and also that much of what is presented onto the airwaves and into print is hype, speculation and suggestion, perhaps mixed with fact but manoeuvred to engage us by inthralling us, frightening us, and getting us to look at to the journalists for truth and even (sometimes) for solutions.

Instead, we need to keep our heads on our shoulders, keep our feet on the ground and above all, keep our eyes on Jesus remembering the LORD is sovereign.

Mayhem

2024 is an election year for over 20 nations. South Africa has just had the result of theirs yesterday (at the time of writing this post). The UK will have theirs on 4th of July and the US on 4th of November. 

Several nations appear to be imploding upon themselves. In SA the ruling party for the last 30 years has not won the majority this time… making for a huge change! And in the US the ruling party in opposition to the most popular candidate for the presidency has just criminalised him. In Spain, the current government says, ‘We support a Palestinian State’; meanwhile, the opposition says to Israel, ‘don’t worry as soon as we’re in government, we’ll cancel that decision.’

There is much strife.

Fever reduction

And so, let us be the witness for calm. Let us be the ones to avoid gossip and speculation. Let we who know Jesus as our King and Prince of Peace be calm in the storm. Then, others may calm down too. This is certainly what we hope and pray.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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Politics and Society today Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

Election Fever

An election has been called in the UK. This is a time of uncertainty, unpredictability, and we who know Jesus must take this time to our hearts and minds: Let’s pray for the nation and hold on….

Election Fever has struck

On Wednesday 22nd May, unexpectedly by all but only a handful of people, the Prime Minister Rishi Sunak of United Kingdom called a general election. As with all nations that use the parliamentary system, there is not a set election date as in the USA but the structure calls for an election every 5 years (if not before). Since the last election was in 2019, it was a known fact that the election would be held before the end of December 2024. 

This call was sudden and generally unexpected. 

The immediate results are:

  1. A scramble by the press to get the stories
  2. A scramble by MPs to get their campaigns up and running
  3. A scramble by political parties to fill their constituencies with viable candidates
  4. Just generally, a lot of scrambling.

So let’s pray for calm.

What else can we do

I believe the most important thing we can do as Believers in Jesus is to become informed and then vote.

Since we live in a democracy, however sincere or controlled that democracy may be, we need to exercise our vote as citizens of the nation. But to vote, we need to be informed and pray.

Speculation verses opinion verses fact: We need to discern. What is news hype? What is true? What are the issues we are most concerned about? Who addresses those issues best or most in the way we do? ‘Whom does GOD say I should vote for’ (If he says anything directly to us about it)?

Turbulence (flight London to Singapore was prophetic)

Our society is under great strain at the moment. 

I think even the heavens creating turbulence is a part of that. Recently, there have been 2 incidents reported about flight turbulence causing injury and 1 death. I think the flight from London to Singapore was a prophetic warning, highlighting the turbulence in our times.

Research and Vote

I believe the establishment is corrupted. But not all politicians are corrupted. And just as the established church has strengths and weaknesses — some believing we need to steer it from within and others thinking we need to avoid it — we need to take our opportunity to vote and take it seriously. Even the “Monster Raving Loony Party” is valuable in that it gives those who are very cross an opportunity to vote.

So, I encourage us all to pray, to be as positive aka as hopeful as we can be, research and vote.

Let’s not get swept up in excitement or panic, nor get so angry we choose to throw in the towel. But let us dig in for the next 6 weeks and pray. 

Let’s pray for the nation to be a sheep nation and not a goat nation. Let’s pray for the earnest politicians to win. Let’s pray for the victors to care, truly about this nation, and to make good laws, not self-serving, and let’s pray this nation is a nation turned to GOD. 

We who are in Christ, let’s love one another, discuss and discern together.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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GOD'S STORY

GOD’S STORY: part 67 Communication and Human Endevour

Let’s look at language and international communication

Genesis 11:1-4 is as follows: “Now the whole earth had one language and one speech. And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar, and they dwelt there. Then they said to one another, “Come, let us make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They had brick for stone, and they had asphalt for mortar. And they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top is in the heavens; let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole 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.

Communication and Human endeavour

Mankind, made in GOD’s own image, is creative and really quite brilliant. So, when mankind in Shinar was unified, had an idea and could communicate it, they began to build a tower to reach to heaven.

Why did GOD object to the tower?

What was the result of man’s attempt to reach heaven? God confused their communication. This is the beginning of different languages, a splitting up into various cultures and lands over the earth. But why did GOD object to the ingenuity of mankind?

Global communication and the result

Now that we have English as a “global” language, and maths and science which have universal understanding, look where technology has taken us?

We are more connected than ever before. And we have more aggression, rebellion and planned protest than ever before.

Yes, there is much mankind can do when they are united. Fortunately, some of this “doing” is helpful and constructive. Sadly, much is violent and has brought us into turbulent times.

Yes, mankind can achieve just about anything… But that is not necessarily a good thing.

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For Mothers

For Mothers: Receive

Is being a mother easy? Nope! It’s hard work.

It’s hard work to love unconditionally even when you’re exhausted. It’s hard work to balance the needs of each child and other family members. It’s hard to work, rest, play in balance. It’s hard, but it’s worth it!

Accept Help

You might want help from your hubby or from a mother/mother-in-law. You might want to do it on your own to prove you can! But the first step is acknowledging having help in practical ways is understandable, reasonable and when available, a real blessing.

But help may not come in the form or from the source you’d like or expect. 

Receive

Be sure not to miss the opportunity of support when offered. Receive graciously. If it is a source you think unsafe, it’s okay to say “no thank you” but otherwise, we all need to learn to be better at receiving. I sure do!

Accept Support

Whether it is in the form of emotional support — having a listening ear or a shoulder to cry on…. or literally physical — running your child to school or having her/him over night, when offered, do take the support. 

And if support is not forthcoming, you can always ask a trusted friend or relative to help out. Some people won’t offer because they don’t want to interfere, or don’t realise you need a helping hand. But they might be totally keen to help if only you’d ask!

Be Humble

First we need to recognise our humanity, our limitations, our needs. 

Then we need to accept help — even ask for it. That can be scary or humbling. 

I remember the first time I really needed emotional support because I felt quite isolated, sad for being so. When I expressed to a small group of friends I was hurt and frustrated sometimes, the others gathered round me and good acquaintances became life long friends. To them, I’d seemed confident and competent. They hadn’t realised — because I hadn’t shown them — I felt really vulnerable sometimes. And they rallied round.

We can be our own best friend

We can allow others into our world, and discover we are very much loved and supported. That’s being our own best friend.

And when circumstances don’t allow* for a group of friends, we can learn to overcome our obstacles by being thankful for what we have and persevering.

*BUT if ever you are in a situation which is abusive or dangerous, there is The Samaritans and there are other organisations to help. Find them in your area and call them. You are reading this off the internet. Search the internet for local confidential help and you’ll find phone lines where you can start the conversation. Don’t brush it off: You are important. 

Every blessing,

Sarah

Categories
Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

Chaos at Pentecost

Pentecost has just passed (although in the Jewish calendar it will come on 11th June).

In our world, sirens blaze, war is all around. There is chaos at Pentecost. 

What shall we do?

The West has imploded

Bombs are going off in Ukraine and Israel, political war is throughout the West; US and UK campuses have young people wanting to overcome the established government. Far right Islamic extremists are threatening Christians and claiming, “We have taken over” from the shops and street markets of London. Paris has had various torching in churches and elsewhere. And I could go on….

Still we go on even though the West is at war with itself.

But GOD

Recently a friend asked me if I thought we could regain / reclaim our society. Upon reflection I think not. We might have a bit of an ebb-and-flow, but I think the West as we’ve known it for a few hundred years is now essentially gone. My friend thinks our culture hangs in the balance. We’ll watch, we’ll see how things unfold.

We pray, “LORD GOD, Your will be done on earth as in heaven!”

Our LORD is always and ever in charge. As citizens, humanity reaps what it sows; yet He has paid the ultimate cost of sacrifice. He is ever-victorious, even if we suffer the consequences of kicking His word out of our schools and institutions, and of breaking His laws one after another.

Overcome chaos

It is time now to consider: is the end of life as we know it in sight? 

We in the West may continue to live a high lifestyle for a while. But as the billionaires grow in number, the poverty-stricken do also. Without huge intervention, the Judeo Christian roots that provided sound leadership in the West seems lost. 

The Middle Classes were temporary, an anomaly, and they are dwindling in number and authority. Through democracy, the people held the power, but it is all but illusion now. If anarchy doesn’t destroy democracy, war or Islamic fundamentalism or AI may. We are on a collision course with self destruction, unless something extraordinary happens.

But GOD can do extraordinary things!

But it isn’t doom and gloom we dwell on

Jesus is alive. Revival is coming. Put your boots, coats and hats on. Be ready to share the Gospel. And pray. Pray and worship in every season, day and night, alone and in fellowship. 

GOD is with us, will be with us, forevermore.

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GOD'S STORY

GOD’S STORY part 66 Generations populate the earth

Generations populate the earth

“These were the families of the sons of Noah, according to their generations, in their nations; and from these the nations were divided on the earth after the flood.” (Genesis 10:32)

In chapter 10 of Genesis we see a detailed account of the 3 sons of Noah and their offspring, culminating in the above verse. What is the value of this list of names?

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.

Names, Generations, Details

I read into the details of Noah’s progeny as GOD’s determining to reveal to us His historic accuracy and His attention to detail in His Word: The Bible.

From Japheth came the Gentiles who included the caucasians — the white people — of Europe and beyond. From Ham, the middle son*, from whom would come all the African peoples and the Arab peoples. And from Shem, the youngest, came the Asians and the Jews.

It is the Canaanites and many “ites” who were defeated when the Hebrews went into the promised land and whom King Saul was meant to destroy, though he failed to do so during his reign. 

Importance of History

When we learn history, we are better equipped to pray and to deal with today. When we know history, we learn the roots of our current situation. In the case of the Bible, when we know history, we discover the accuracy of the historical accounts in the Bible as measured by historians throughout the ages, so that those who ponder the Word of GOD can know that the context of human history, it is true.

A list of names

Throughout history, the LORD has listed in His Word many genealogies. It may not be interesting reading at a glance, or upon our introduction to this part of the Bible, and that’s okay… But it is important as geographical evidence, anthropological evidence. And when traced back, it also helps us to understand better Biblical progression. So, the Genesis 10 is not only a list of names. It is reveals the roots of our civilisation and helps us to understand our humanity.

I believe GOD wants us to understand who we are. And his genealogies helps us to do that. Hallelujah

2 Timothy 3:16 says, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” and we are not to change nor to replace it.

*I think in an earlier post I suggested Ham was the younger son

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For Mothers

For Mothers: Being Stretched

Mothers Being Stretched

I’m being stretched. It has nothing in particular to do with parenthood but the message to me is clear and it can be very useful to we Mums:

The Message

Sometimes we are tested beyond what is comfortable but we need to persevere -> to go through the s-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g -> to grow as people and in our relationships with other people.

There is no situation more important to letting go control than in parenting. The timing is gradual and dependant upon the age and maturity of the child. But let go we must! That process is a significant part of our being stretched as mothers.

Letting Go Control

I wrote last time a bit about control. Personally, I think control is over-rated and over-used, as a concept for parenting. Rather than look upon us as controlling our children, I think we need to shift our attitude and instead, steer and guide them. As children grow, their needs for independence can be encouraged — not by relinquishing our responsibility as parents, but by encouraging the children to make decisions and to learn how to follow-through on them. 

Yes, we need to instil self-discipline in our children and this will sometimes call for us to put up boundaries and ensure the youngsters stay within them. That is not so much about controlling them but is rather more about teaching them self control, self discipline and healthy independence.

At the same time, let’s release our children by letting them make age-relevant decisions and learn the consequences of those decisions. Can we support them rather than rescue them? And in the process, the more self aware we are of our own worries and anxieties, the better we can overcome our fears, enabling our children to thrive as they become more independent, socially responsible and mature.

Mothers Stretching

Eventually, our children will lead their own lives. As mothers, innately, we want them to live enriched, happy lives. Part of this will come as they learn healthy independence from us: not having to fight their way to freedom but having joy in our release of them into their own lives.

Sometimes we might find it hard to let go, to allow our children to explore their independence. What if they make a wrong decision? What if they choose the wrong friendship group? What if they take a risk and get hurt physically or emotionally or academically?

That’s part of the stretching: for them and consequently, for us.

When we allow our children to make age appropriate decisions, they will learn, and grow more as a result.

Who hasn’t learned most through mistakes? Who hasn’t learned most through pain?

So, mothers: being stretched is a sign that we are growing. And when we grow, others around us grow, and than includes our children.

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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 and relational 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. Living honestly 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… How is it relevant to walking as a Believer?

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

Living honestly and with some measure of spontaneity encourages others to do the same… The opposite is living under control.

Do you recall the story of Jezebel and Elijah? It’s a story about 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 despised 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 or encourage freedom for others, experiencing peace and fearless living.

Jesus has said he offers life and to live life more abundantly (John 10:10). I think spontaneity is compatible with abundant living.

Abundant life

What is abundant life? How can we live an abundant life?

This is not about material abundance but rather about living peacefully, fulfilled, free from fear or anxiety. This is an abundant life…

When we have peace with GOD we are buffered from fear.  Without fear, the need to control our situation is less intense. Overcoming control, we have less need to plan and more opportunity to live “in the moment” — safe in the assurance that as GOD looks after us and guides us. He “leads us in the paths of righteousness” for His name’s sake. (Psalm 23)

Living in the Moment

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.

Categories
Politics and Society today

Joel 2 and why it matters right now

The Day of the Lord

Chapter 2:

Blow the trumpet in Zion,
And sound an alarm in My holy mountain!
Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble;
For the day of the Lord is coming,
For it is at hand:

A day of darkness and gloominess,
A day of clouds and thick darkness,
Like the morning clouds spread over the mountains.
A people come, great and strong,
The like of whom has never been;
Nor will there ever be any such after them,
Even for many successive generations.

A fire devours before them,
And behind them a flame burns;
The land is like the Garden of Eden before them,
And behind them a desolate wilderness;
Surely nothing shall escape them.

Their appearance is like the appearance of horses;
And like swift steeds, so they run.

With a noise like chariots
Over mountaintops they leap,
Like the noise of a flaming fire that devours the stubble,
Like a strong people set in battle array.

Before them the people writhe in pain;
All faces are drained of color.

They run like mighty men,
They climb the wall like men of war;
Every one marches in formation,
And they do not break ranks.

They do not push one another;
Every one marches in his own column.
Though they lunge between the weapons,
They are not cut down.

They run to and fro in the city,
They run on the wall;
They climb into the houses,
They enter at the windows like a thief.

10 

The earth quakes before them,
The heavens tremble;
The sun and moon grow dark,
And the stars diminish their brightness.

11 

The Lord gives voice before His army,
For His camp is very great;
For strong is the One who executes His word.
For the day of the Lord is great and very terrible;
Who can endure it?

12 

“Now, therefore,” says the Lord,
“Turn to Me with all your heart,
With fasting, with weeping, and with mourning.”

13 

So rend your heart, and not your garments;
Return to the Lord your God,
For He is gracious and merciful,
Slow to anger, and of great kindness;
And He relents from doing harm.

14 

Who knows if He will turn and relent,
And leave a blessing behind Him—
A grain offering and a drink offering
For the Lord your God?

15 

Blow the trumpet in Zion,
Consecrate a fast,
Call a sacred assembly;

16 

Gather the people,
Sanctify the congregation,
Assemble the elders,
Gather the children and nursing babes;
Let the bridegroom go out from his chamber,
And the bride from her dressing room.

17 

Let the priests, who minister to the Lord,
Weep between the porch and the altar;
Let them say, “Spare Your people, O Lord,
And do not give Your heritage to reproach,
That the nations should [g]rule over them.
Why should they say among the peoples,
‘Where is their God?’ ”

18 

Then the Lord will be zealous for His land,
And pity His people.

19 

The Lord will answer and say to His people,
“Behold, I will send you grain and new wine and oil,
And you will be satisfied by them;
I will no longer make you a reproach among the nations.

20 

“But I will remove far from you the northern army,
And will drive him away into a barren and desolate land,
With his face toward the eastern sea
And his back toward the western sea;
His stench will come up,
And his foul odour will rise,
Because he has done monstrous things.”

21 

Fear not, O land;
Be glad and rejoice,
For the Lord has done marvelous things!

22 

Do not be afraid, you beasts of the field;
For the open pastures are springing up,
And the tree bears its fruit;
The fig tree and the vine yield their strength.

23 

Be glad then, you children of Zion,
And rejoice in the Lord your God;
For He has given you the former rain faithfully,
And He will cause the rain to come down for you—
The former rain,
And the latter rain in the first month.

24 

The threshing floors shall be full of wheat,
And the vats shall overflow with new wine and oil.

25 

“So I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten,
The crawling locust,
The consuming locust,
And the chewing locust,
My great army which I sent among you.

26 

You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied,
And praise the name of the Lord your God,
Who has dealt wondrously with you;
And My people shall never be put to shame.

27 

Then you shall know that I am in the midst of Israel:
I am the Lord your God
And there is no other.
My people shall never be put to shame.

28 

“And it shall come to pass afterward
That I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh;
Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
Your old men shall dream dreams,
Your young men shall see visions.

29 

And also on My menservants and on My maidservants
I will pour out My Spirit in those days.

30 

“And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth:
Blood and fire and pillars of smoke.

31 

The sun shall be turned into darkness,
And the moon into blood,
Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord.

32 

And it shall come to pass
That whoever calls on the name of the Lord
Shall be saved.
For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be deliverance,
As the Lord has said,
Among the remnant whom the Lord calls

My brief comment

In a recent prayer meeting, my pastor read this Joel 2 in entirety. His message was simple: we can dwell on the pouring out of Holy Spirit referred to in verses 28-29 but in context the picture is far more complete.

We need to prepare!

We need to recognise the signs: the consequences of sin, fast and pray, repent, blow the shofar, and call upon the name of the LORD.

Then He will come with His mercy, truth, forgiveness and grace.

Come Lord Jesus

Prepare us and be with us, guide us and lead this nation back to you.

Categories
GOD'S STORY

GOD’S STORY: Part 65 Noah after the flood

Genesis 9:28-29

“And Noah lived after the flood three hundred and fifty years. So all the days of Noah were nine hundred and fifty years; and he died.”

Noah, after the flood, would have lived to see his grandchildren and great grandchildren and even further down the line of offspring. Why did GOD share this with us? 

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.

Noah – after the flood

Noah had cursed one of his children. What was the consequence? 

What was his relationship with GOD after the flood? After his drunkenness? After his curse toward his son?

Noah lived to see the consequences of the flood and the rise of humanity yet again. And what did he make of it?

We don’t know.

We don’t know how Noah lived after the flood

We don’t know how GOD felt about Noah’s humiliation. We don’t know what GOD thought about Noah’s curse toward one of his sons. We don’t know how close GOD and Noah were after the flood. And we don’t know Noah’s thoughts on the increasing population of the earth after the flood.

We do know he lived 350 years after the flood. We do know he would have met his offsprings’ offspring. Would he have been pleased with them? We don’t know.

Sometimes we don’t know

“For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.” (1 Corinthians 13:12)

Although it is centuries before Paul writes to express how some things we simply do not or cannot know yet, it is a reality we recognise as regards Biblical history.

There is physical evidence of the reality of scripture in the creation all around us. There are artefacts found regularly that prove the existence of ancient civilisations which support the Biblical account of Israel and surrounding nations. 

But we do not have answers to all of our questions. Not yet. 

However, just as Paul has written, “but then…” — one day all will become clear.

In the meantime, we keep asking, keep probing, keep researching, keep digging for the kernels of truth that support the entire theme: GOD is True, GOD is real, and GOD is for us.

Prepare for the world to be turned upside down once again

As for today, like in Noah’s time, change is happening as we live and breath. Change is here. Further change is on the horizon. Reality is coming to make its mark on our world now. Let’s be ready for it.

Hallelujah! Jesus is coming and in the meantime, we prepare.

Joel 2: The Day of the Lord

“Blow the trumpet in Zion,
And sound an alarm in My holy mountain!
Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble;
For the day of the Lord is coming,
For it is at hand:

A day of darkness and gloominess,
A day of clouds and thick darkness,
Like the morning clouds spread over the mountains.
A people come, great and strong,
The like of whom has never been;
Nor will there ever be any such after them,
Even for many successive generations.

A fire devours before them,
And behind them a flame burns;
The land is like the Garden of Eden before them,
And behind them a desolate wilderness;
Surely nothing shall escape them.

Their appearance is like the appearance of horses;
And like swift steeds, so they run.

With a noise like chariots
Over mountaintops they leap,
Like the noise of a flaming fire that devours the stubble,
Like a strong people set in battle array.

Before them the people writhe in pain;
All faces are drained of color.

They run like mighty men,
They climb the wall like men of war;
Every one marches in formation,
And they do not break ranks.

They do not push one another;
Every one marches in his own column.
Though they lunge between the weapons,
They are not cut down.

They run to and fro in the city,
They run on the wall;
They climb into the houses,
They enter at the windows like a thief.

10 

The earth quakes before them,
The heavens tremble;
The sun and moon grow dark,
And the stars diminish their brightness.

11 

The Lord gives voice before His army,
For His camp is very great;
For strong is the One who executes His word.
For the day of the Lord is great and very terrible;
Who can endure it?

12 

“Now, therefore,” says the Lord,
“Turn to Me with all your heart,
With fasting, with weeping, and with mourning.”

13 

So rend your heart, and not your garments;
Return to the Lord your God,
For He is gracious and merciful,
Slow to anger, and of great kindness;
And He relents from doing harm.

14 

Who knows if He will turn and relent,
And leave a blessing behind Him—
A grain offering and a drink offering
For the Lord your God?

15 

Blow the trumpet in Zion,
Consecrate a fast,
Call a sacred assembly;

16 

Gather the people,
Sanctify the congregation,
Assemble the elders,
Gather the children and nursing babes;
Let the bridegroom go out from his chamber,
And the bride from her dressing room.

17 

Let the priests, who minister to the Lord,
Weep between the porch and the altar;
Let them say, “Spare Your people, O Lord,
And do not give Your heritage to reproach,
That the nations should [g]rule over them.
Why should they say among the peoples,
‘Where is their God?’ ”

18 

Then the Lord will be zealous for His land,
And pity His people.

19 

The Lord will answer and say to His people,
“Behold, I will send you grain and new wine and oil,
And you will be satisfied by them;
I will no longer make you a reproach among the nations.

20 

“But I will remove far from you the northern army,
And will drive him away into a barren and desolate land,
With his face toward the eastern sea
And his back toward the western sea;
His stench will come up,
And his foul odour will rise,
Because he has done monstrous things.”

21 

Fear not, O land;
Be glad and rejoice,
For the Lord has done marvelous things!

22 

Do not be afraid, you beasts of the field;
For the open pastures are springing up,
And the tree bears its fruit;
The fig tree and the vine yield their strength.

23 

Be glad then, you children of Zion,
And rejoice in the Lord your God;
For He has given you the former rain faithfully,
And He will cause the rain to come down for you—
The former rain,
And the latter rain in the first month.

24 

The threshing floors shall be full of wheat,
And the vats shall overflow with new wine and oil.

25 

“So I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten,
The crawling locust,
The consuming locust,
And the chewing locust,
My great army which I sent among you.

26 

You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied,
And praise the name of the Lord your God,
Who has dealt wondrously with you;
And My people shall never be put to shame.

27 

Then you shall know that I am in the midst of Israel:
I am the Lord your God
And there is no other.
My people shall never be put to shame.

28 

“And it shall come to pass afterward
That I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh;
Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
Your old men shall dream dreams,
Your young men shall see visions.

29 

And also on My menservants and on My maidservants
I will pour out My Spirit in those days.

30 

“And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth:
Blood and fire and pillars of smoke.

31 

The sun shall be turned into darkness,
And the moon into blood,
Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord.

32 

And it shall come to pass
That whoever calls on the name of the Lord
Shall be saved.
For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be deliverance,
As the Lord has said,
Among the remnant whom the Lord calls.”

My brief comment

In a recent prayer meeting, my pastor read this Joel 2 in entirety. His message was simple: we can dwell on the pouring out of Holy Spirit referred to in verses 28-29 but in context the picture is far more complete.

We need to prepare!

We need to recognise the signs: the consequences of sin, fast and pray, repent, blow the shofar, and call upon the name of the LORD.

Then He will come with His mercy, truth, forgiveness and grace.

Come Lord Jesus

Prepare us and be with us, guide us and lead this nation back to you.

Categories
for Writers

For Mothers: no time to waste

Important for Today

I believe with my whole heart that we need to keep short accounts with our children, living as though each day is our last… Not in the sense that we spend all of our money recklessly, nor to empty our bucket list like there’s no tomorrow… but in the sense that our relationships need to be in tact and where they are not, we need to do our part to rectify this straight away.

This is with all our relationships but especially with our children: Let’s set them free from broken expectation, criticism and condemnation. And if they’ve blamed us, whether justified or not, let’s let them know we love them and ask their forgiveness for our shortcomings… Someone’s got to make the first move. Let it be us.

I’ve got a sense of urgency

It’s time to make sure there are no broken bridges and there is no unexpressed appreciation.

It’s time to make apologies and to accept those offered to us.

It’s time to take nothing for granted and to take everything to heart.

It’s time to make amends

Let’s have nothing left unsaid with our children and let’s help our children ensure they can do the same with one another and with us.

Let’s not let the sun go down on our anger or frustration or intolerance or disappointment. Let’s forgive. We cannot forget wrongs and sometimes trust can be broken. But we can forgive and allow peace between us and our children. 

Let’s build rather than tear down

There’s no time like the present, is there!?

That’s my thought, my belief, my recommendation for today. May a bridge be built in your life today:)

Every blessing.

Categories
Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

No Time to Waste

A Time to Celebrate

I was at the Royal Albert Hall in London UK this past weekend for the Prom Praise 2024 concert, an annual event for Christians to celebrate together, worshipping Jesus. It was great fun and a delight to worship the Lord in a secular venue with lots of other Christians.

There was a particular moment when the LORD’s presence became palpable; it was a beautiful moment sparking an extended blessed time in the auditorium. Then another moment came where I had a strong sense that there is very little time left for the nation to repent. I wept.

A Time for Repentance

What has the nation to repent for? 

Has the UK not turned from GOD — taking Him out of school assembly, passing laws which are contrary to Biblical principles, raising up other gods and practising idolatry?

No Time to Waste

It’s time to pray. To my mind, we have a small window to draw people to the LORD, to pray for our society, before something… War? Rapture? Western decline in finance as it has declined in morality?… And is their a collapse, a fall or a takeover coming? Is it inevitable or can it be averted, like the Ninevites who avoided the catastrophe that Jonah warned them of? (Jonah 3)

Something is about to happen which will shift life for us in the West hugely. But we don’t know what it is.

I do not have a prophetic edge on what is coming. However, I’m not convinced Britain is going to avoid the consequences of rebellion against GOD which began in the 1960s. We pray — and we must pray — for our families, our communities. However, I do not know that GOD is going to relent. We may be passed the point of no return. I do not know.

And that is why I’m calling for prayer: Earnest heartfelt prayer. Nonstop prayer. Dedicated prayer.

“If my people who are by my name will humble themselves and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear them from Heaven, and forgive their sin, and heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14)

“The effective fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” (James 5:16)

This is a call to prayer, now.

Let’s be still. Let’s get on our knees (or whatever position you are accustomed to take), pray, and seek GOD as to what to pray. 

Then let’s pray and follow as GOD leads whatever direction He then gives to us. 

This is a must, for us all. A tsunami is coming. Maybe it can be diverted, maybe it can be transposed. Maybe not. 

What I do know is it’s time to pray without ceasing! (1 Thessalonians 5:17)

“The effective fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” (James 5:16)

Categories
GOD'S STORY

GOD’S STORY part 64 Variety and Disfavour

“Variety is the spice of life,” right?! (William Cowper)

We have billions of people on the planet and every face is unique (even identical twins can be identified individually by those who know them well.) Finger prints are unique to each individual as are our irises.

There are diverse cultures, diverse religious practices, a variety of physiques and skin colour. The human race is full of diversity and it is beautiful!

But often differences produce hostility. Noah triggered an issue that would provoke hostility throughout the centuries.

Genesis 9:20-27

“And Noah began to be a farmer, and he planted a vineyard. Then he drank of the wine and was drunk, and became uncovered in his tent. And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brothers outside. But Shem and Japheth took a garment, laid it on both their shoulders, and went backward and covered the nakedness of their father. Their faces were turned away, and they did not see their father’s nakedness. So Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done to him. Then he said:

“Cursed be Canaan;
A servant of servants
He shall be to his brethren.”

And he said:

“Blessed be the Lord,
The God of Shem,
And may Canaan be his servant.

May God enlarge Japheth,
And may he dwell in the tents of Shem;
And may Canaan be his servant.”

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.

Noah’s Curse

When Noah got drunk, Ham responded with mocking, gossiping, showing his brothers their father’s nakedness. He drew attention to his father,’s humiliation, sharing it with his brothers. 

However, the brothers gave their father dignity, covering his nakedness.

Noah’s response toward his youngest when he learned Ham had seen him naked was to curse him, putting him — and his line descending — in the place of servitude to his brothers.

Consequences of the Curse

The descendants of Ham and the Canaanites are the negroid people who settled and multiplied in Africa. Those of Shem are the Orientals and Jews. From Japheth have come the Gentiles.

Although each of the three racial groups migrated to huge land masses and had equal opportunity, we do see historically that the black people have had the harder time to prosper. And although slavery has been a part of human civilisation throughout the ages, it does appear that black people have developed more slowly and less prosperously, seeming to be placed in subservience to caucasian and asian people groups across the globe.

American Civil War

One of the most striking and distressing examples of racism toward black people was demonstrated in the United States before 1860, which led to the American Civil War in 1861. The above Genesis Bible verses were quoted amongst American Southerners to justify the ongoing slavery in America when most European nations, beginning with France, Denmark, Norway and then Great Britain, had abolished slavery.

Variety is revealed through GOD’s Creativity

Look across the globe at the variety of flora and fauna. Look at the variety in landscape and see the unique beauty in each human face. Variety is a blessing but we’ve turned it into a curse, beginning with Noah’s hostility toward his son’s actions and attitude, so that one of the three people groups have been made the underdog for centuries.

Categories
For Mothers

For Mothers: the most important thing

Love is the most important thing

“Love covers a multitude of sins.” (Bible, 1 Peter 4:8)

“Love conquers all.” (Virgil)

“Perfect love casts out fear.” (Bible, John 10:10)

“Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind, And therefore is winged Cupid painted blind.” (William Shakespeare)

“All you need is love…. Love is all you need.” (John Lennon)

What is love?

Love is kind. Love does not keep a record of wrongs. Love puts another before self. 

Love bears all things, endures all things.

“Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.” (Bible: 1 Corinthians 13)

Love is

Expressed with acts of kindnesses: hugs, words, patience, steadfast encouragement and yes, discipline.

Mothers love. Trust your love. Trust your dedication. And above all, trust that your child loves you, needs you, and seeks your love — no matter what he or she may say. 

Don’t doubt but just love. Keep loving no matter what. And love yourself in the meantime too.

Hope that’s helpful!

Categories
Politics and Society today

Prophetic Signs

Chris Wickland for 24.04.24

On 24th of April, 3 remarkable things happened in the UK.

Horses bolted

Five military horses, well-trained, well-disciplined: 4 black, 1 white, bolted in terror caused by noise from a nearby construction sight in Central London (was it in Horseguards Parade?). Some ran 6 km through the streets. At least one was injured, blood covering the white horse’s chest and front legs. A prophetic sign.

Revelations 6 talks about the 4 horses of the Apocalypse. The first is white, and Jesus rides the horse. Well, a white horse bearing a blood-stained chest is surely a prophetic sign, a warning that the wrath is to come, or Jesus in His glory is to come, or we are simply being warned we need to remember the sacrifice of the Messiah during this Passover.

Will you listen to a prophecy from Chris Wickland which resonates with me above.

Big Ben Stopped and then…

On the same morning these horses bolted, Big Ben, not far from Horseguards Parade, stopped. The clock in the Elizabeth Tower which has had millions poured into its refurbishment just suddenly stopped at 9am! About an hour later, around 10am it was re-started. However, when it chimed, it rang 11 bells at the 10th hour. My first thought when I learned this: I thought of the day GOD stopped the sun for 24 hours while Joshua did battle.

Do you know the chime of Big Ben is based upon part of Handel’s Messiah and there are long-established lyrics to the chime? The lyrics are,

“All through this hour, LORD be my guide.

That by Thy power, no foot shall slide.”

Wow! 

Dates

These events in London, England occurred on 24.04.24.

Saint Georges Day for England and the Passover for Isreal were the day before.

Do I need to expand upon the possible reasons Big Ben stopped and the horses bolted? I shall add my thoughts of the possible prophetic significance of this…

A hearing against 2 committed Christians was heard

And on this same day, 24th April 2024, when chaos was arising in London, even moreso there was chaos in Northern Ireland because a high profile Christian couple were facing very serious charges. Scapegoats I should think.

These days of violence, aggression, suffering where time stopped!

While in London UK pro-Palestinian protests become more intense and anti-Jewish sentiment is multiplying exponentially, highly trained horses bolt, and the clock of all clocks stops short; while people attack and hurl insults at a pre-trial hearing where innocent until proven guilty seems to be a tradition of the past; while fear seems to have gripped the politicians and the people flounder leaderless: the decline of the UK  seems to run unabated and in fact accelerates.

These are the signs of the times

Read Daniel and Revelation. Yes all of it!

Be still before the LORD. Yes, still.

Trust in the GOD of GOD’. Yes, trust.

And ask: LORD, What shall I do?

Be still and know that I am GOD (Psalm 46:10)

We need to be still: We need to wait upon the LORD to renew our strength. (Isaiah 40:31)

We need to trust the LORD. (Proverbs 3:5-6)

We need to prepare, to be ready as the wise virgins were. (Matthew 25)

And we need to ask, “LORD, what shall I do?”

Shalom and the the shalom of GOD rest upon you.

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GOD'S STORY

GOD’S STORY part 63 Family

What is something vitally important to the LORD GOD? Family.

Family

Genesis 9:18-19

“Now the sons of Noah who went out of the ark were Shem, Ham, and Japheth. And Ham was the father of Canaan. These three were the sons of Noah, and from these the whole earth was populated.”

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.

World Population

Mankind (men, women and children) was re-started after the flood through Noah, his wife, his three sons and their wives.

Through Shem, Ham and Japheth sprang the semites and orientals, the caucasians, the negroes.

This variety has been both a blessing and has provoked issues throughout history. You LORD love variety; sadly, mankind has exploited one people group, putting them in submission to the others. More to this in later posts…

Family

The focus for us today is GOD’s structure of family, which brings comfort, strength, unity.

When GOD puts us in families, He does so in order to echo His ideal structure for mankind with a head (father), comfort (mother) and joy (children).

The Hebrews and Israelites were set in families, the model for society. How many times are the tribes identified and organised in Bible text? How much emphasis does GOD put upon the family in the context of His raising up the Jewish nation? David was son of Jesse. The book of Matthew gives the extensive genealogy of Jesus. 

Family is so vitally important to man that GOD sets us in families within the structure of the Church of Believers today. Jesus says those who obey and follow His father are His family,

“For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother.” (Matthew 12:50)

And to assure us blood family is important too, He remembers His own mother when He’s on the cross,

“When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing by, He said to His mother, “Woman, behold your son!” Then He said to the disciple, “Behold your mother!” And from that hour that disciple took her to his own home.” (John 19:26)

We all need family

GOD sets us in families.

He made us to live in families.

He makes for us families where there is no family.

He began this in Adam and Eve. He maintained it through Noah and his family. He continues it today.

If you are part of an earthly family, that is good. If you are a part of a fellowship family, that is vital. “No man is an island,” wrote John Donne. If you need family, pray and ask GOD where you need to go, how you need to open up, what you can do to bring family to yourself and offer yourself to family.

NO MAN IS AN ISLAND (John Donne, 1624)

“No man is an island,
Entire of itself,
Every man is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thy friend’s
Or of thine own were:
Any man’s death diminishes me,
Because I am involved in mankind,
And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls;
It tolls for thee.”

Every blessing,

Sarah

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For Mothers

For Mothers: Teaching about Friendship

What is friendship?

An old adage (at least in Canada where I grew up) goes like this:

“If you want to have a friend, you’ve got to be one.”

I think teaching about friendship to our children is likely something we do instinctively. It’s a valuable and an important area for our children’s growth.

But what is a friend?

I grappled with socialising my child because I wanted him to get on with others but I encouraged depth and quality of friendships rather than breadth and popularity in his relationships.

As far as I make out, a friend is someone who is loyal and dependable, someone who is supportive in your ups and downs and for whom you are supportive toward them in theirs.

A friend helps when you need help, accepts your help when they need yours. 

A friend laughs when you need to laugh and sits with you when you are sad or disappointed.

A friend is reliable, dependable. But also, in friendship, you enjoy one another’s company and perhaps share common interests.

Popularity v solemnity

It’s great to be popular but it’s also important to learn to be on one’s own. Having people around who affirm you is important but learning to be on your own comfortably is also valuable. If we always need others around to affirm us, what happens when we get a job in a far away land or where there are few colleagues? If we always need people to entertain us, what happens when we’re alone?

I believe whole-heartedly, we need to know how to hang out with others and equally, we need to know how to enjoy our own company.

Loyalty and reciprocity

A friend sticks by you (and you stick by him) in times of trouble: illness, grief, celebration….

Misguided loyalty can arise when a friend won’t rat on their buddy when something criminal or dangerous or life-threatening is occurring. On those occasions, a true friend will get help as needed!

Friendship hopes and wants the best for the other person, is not jealous or demeaning, is respectful and encouraging. 

Friendships start from a very early, pre-school age. 

We all need friends. I’m still learning and hope I’ve downloaded what I can to my offspring but am also learning how to learn from the next generation. Once they are adults, our children can, in a unique sort of way, become friends, if we respect each other, admire and encourage each other, and release one another to be the best person they can be.

Those are my thoughts on Friendship. I’d like to know what you make of it. Feedback is always invited:)

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Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

Who is the Bride of Christ?

I have been writing about Preparing the Bride, and writing “Preparing the Bride” for some years now. But who is the Bride? Let’s look at who are the Believers, the followers of Jesus, to find out. Let’s take nothing for granted….

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.

Born from Above

Nicodemus the Pharisee, came to Jesus one night. They had a conversation. Jesus is quoted in John 3:16-17 which says,

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”

But how is one saved? Jesus explains this to Nicodemus in John 3:3-8,

““Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?”

Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.””

Christians or Followers of Jesus

Who are we who follow Jesus? Does this include all who call themselves Christians?

First to recognise us, we must be — according to Jesus’ words — born again. Born of water and of the Spirit.

“I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.”

That references baptism, I believe… emersion = baptism. That’s what the word baptism means. But rather than dive into debate about that, let’s look further into being born of the Spirit. 

By “Spirit” Jesus means Holy Spirit. He left in order to allow the Spirit to come to us. There are many references that give us the information we need. As a follower of Jesus, He himself says in John 14, many useful and clear messages:

“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.” (Verse 1)

“Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (Verse 6)

“If you love Me, keep My commandments.” (Verse 15)

“And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.” (Verses 16-17)

“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.” (Verse 26)

Holy Spirit

There is no doubt that Holy Spirit is essential to our salvation. We must be born of water and of the Spirit. 

So who then is the Bride? Is that all who are born again?

Description of the Bride

Recently, I sat with several others to hear from a brother who goes by the pen name Walter*…

Walter highlighted 3 things about the Bride. He said, the bride listens, the bride learns, and the bride is encompassed by — is enveloped by — GOD…

The 10 Virgins – 5 wise, 5 foolish

Let’s explore Matthew chapter 25 briefly to see who listens, who learns and who is encompassed by GOD. Turn in your Bible to Matthew 25….

Listens: 5 virgins were wise. Having listened to the times, their lamps were full and ready for the bridegroom (Jesus).

Learns: These 5 wise virgins had learned from the Master and were ready. All 10 virgins had their lamps but only 5 had them full. What is the point of having a lamp without any oil? 5 had learned to be ready.

The oil by the way, is one of many references to Holy Spirit in scripture, including from Genesis 28, when Jacob poured oil on the rock which had been his headstone. And in Exodus anointing oil is referenced in 29:7 and later in the chapter, it is an ingredient in the offering to the LORD. All of these references give honour to Holy Spirit in one way or another.

Is encompassed by GOD: The 5 wise virgins were devoted to the bridegroom and to His coming. They did not compromise by giving some of their oil away, though they were kind to encourage the 5 foolish who had chosen to be not ready, to go and fetch more oil for themselves.

Conclusion

One may be a Christian without being a follower of Jesus. One may be a follower of Jesus, without being His Bride. My personal testimony will vouch for this. I never doubted the truth or reality of Jesus but it wasn’t until I gave my life to Him, that I was born again and His follower. I was far from perfect at that point (and though I continue to grow, I still am imperfect), so perfection is not the measuring stick. At first, I was still very willful, not knowing any better. But in my heart of hearts, I wanted more of Him and to follow Him. I believe that was His measuring stick and He has brought me along, step-by-step, to the point where I do believe, by His grace, I am His bride.

Through surrender, obedience and devotion, we are His bride. Have you given your all to Jesus? Are you prepared to give Him your all? 

* Thank you Walter for your kindness in sharing your understanding of GOD’s Word and your testimony of the many times GOD has brought miracles into your life. Hallelujah, iron sharpens iron and through GOD and only GOD, is the victory.

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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.