Category Archives: God

God’s ‘mother’

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John 1

The Word became flesh
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

6 There was a man sent from God whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe. 8 He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light.

9 The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognise him. 11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God – 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.

14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

15 (John testified concerning him. He cried out, saying, ‘This is the one I spoke about when I said, “He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.”’) 16 Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given. 17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in the closest relationship with the Father, has made him known.

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I finished my working week on Friday morning chatting to an old lady in whose house I shall be working on Wednesday. I had been working in another house a half-hour earlier and was ready to work in her house but she was going out with her daughter later in the morning. It turned out that she had been born in Liverpool as I had and we chatted about that. She knew all the places that I mentioned whilst telling her where I had lived. We had a good laugh together during the time I was there making an assessment of the work she wanted me to do which was to supply and fit lighting beneath the wall units in her kitchen. After I had left her house I went to the electrical supplier and purchased what was necessary. I don’t remember how the subject arose but she mentioned something about God. I asked her if she believed in God and in Jesus and she said that ever since she was a young girl she had believed. I told her that I was a Christian believer. Then she said something that took me by surprise. She said that when she prayed she prayed first of all to God’s mother. In reply I said God doesn’t have a mother. She was referring to Mary of course and immediately I knew she was a Catholic. I quoted the first two lines of John’s Gospel as above. The opening verses are self-explanatory but for those who miss the point they are saying that from the beginning of all time Jesus (the Word) was with God (The Father) and that he was (is) God. Now look at these verses…

Genesis

The beginning

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

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The Scutum Fidei, a diagram frequently used by...

The Scutum Fidei, a diagram frequently used by Christian apologists to explain the Trinity. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

They are saying that the Holy Spirit was also there at the beginning. So we have God the Father, Jesus Christ the Son and God the Holy Spirit, all God. No-one else existed for the material world only came into existence through Jesus Christ (verse 9 above). This means that Mary wasn’t there either! If we say that Mary is the mother of God as the Catholics maintain, then Mary must be God BUT SHE ISN’T. God is Father, Son and Holy Spirit. I asked the lady that if it was her birthday and I was to present her with a gift would it be hers for I had also asked if she claimed to be a Christian? She told me that she had been a church-goer all her life but that was the point, had she taken the gift that is offered by God so freely, forgiveness and salvation through Jesus? I got no answer which told me she hadn’t. I explained that the (theoretical) gift I was presenting would not be hers until she took hold of it. I said that we have to invite Jesus to be our Saviour, for that is what Scripture tells us we must do. God’s gift isn’t ours unless we take hold of it. Salvation isn’t an automatic right. I had to leave at that point and although I will be returning I will make no further mention about what we had discussed unless she brings up the subject of course but I pray she will consider what I was saying.

To worship anyone else but God is wrong, it is idolatry. To put anyone else above God is wrong.

1 Timothy 2:5

For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus,

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This is why we pray though Jesus and no-one else.

No, God doesn’t have a mother as many have been led to believe.

Shirley Anne

Stuck in the material world

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Spirits in the material world USCover

Spirits in the material world US Cover (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I was born into the material world and am stuck with that. The desires of the flesh, the lusts of the mind, the sights for the eyes and sounds for the ears to hear are all part of this existence. Those drawn to the materialistic side of life are lost to it for they know little else and are not prepared to seek out the spiritual. We are spirit beings but for the moment live in the material world. We are here for a reason. This life is a testing ground if you will. It tests our ability to resist temptation. It tests our ability to love and not be selfish, to be humble and not proud or boastful, to be kind and not be arrogant, aggressive or mean. Everything we do is recorded and those who think otherwise are in for a huge surprise. Everything we have will remain after we are gone, our treasured possessions, if we have any, will be given to someone else or be destroyed. What we thought was important now has no meaning or use for a spirit being no longer in the material world. For those who are wise, they never did. Which is more important, what you own, what you possess or how you treat your fellow beings and how generous you are? If in your life you are number one there is something wrong but you will most probably not know. If you do know then it is even worse unless you change your attitude. The material world has its attractions but they don’t last. How many times have folk enjoyed themselves in some way only to find they need to do it again or look for something better? They never will. The pleasures of this world are so transitory.

Matthew 6:19-21

‘Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.’

How do we do that? Invite Jesus into your heart and everything will change. You will still be in the material world but you will see it for what it is, you will look at it with a different view. Your real treasure will be elsewhere and stored away for when you depart.
John 14:6
Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
Romans 1:25
They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshipped and served created things rather than the Creator – who is for ever praised. Amen.
Shirley Anne

A forgiving God

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Psalm 130

A song of ascents.

1 Out of the depths I cry to you, Lord;
2 Lord, hear my voice.
Let your ears be attentive
to my cry for mercy.
3 If you, Lord, kept a record of sins,
Lord, who could stand?
4 But with you there is forgiveness,
so that we can, with reverence, serve you.
5 I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits,
and in his word I put my hope.
6 I wait for the Lord
more than watchmen wait for the morning,
more than watchmen wait for the morning.
7 Israel, put your hope in the Lord,
for with the Lord is unfailing love
and with him is full redemption.
8 He himself will redeem Israel
from all their sins.

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Everything You Want for Christmas

Everything You Want for Christmas (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I will be the first to admit that I am a sinner and that my life is a constant struggle against sin. I fall short of succeeding in that sometimes and I hate myself for it. My God sacrificed His only begotten Son for me that I might live, that my sins might be paid for, my debt done away with and forgotten. When therefore, that I do let slip, my shame overcomes me and I am sorrowful for having succumbed to temptation. It is because I have let my Saviour down that I am remorseful for He paid such a price for me. Praise be to my God and my Saviour, He who came in the flesh, He for whom the Christmas celebrations are intended. It is such a shame that some who celebrate Christmas do so for all the wrong reasons. Let us remember why we needed a saviour in the first place. I praise my God for He is a forgiving and merciful God. You can know His love, forgiveness and salvation too. Turn to Him this Christmas, turn to Jesus and know real love and real forgiveness.

Shirley Anne

Something much better

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Philippians 3

No confidence in the flesh

1 Further, my brothers and sisters, rejoice in the Lord! It is no trouble for me to write the same things to you again, and it is a safeguard for you. Watch out for those dogs, those evildoers, those mutilators of the flesh. For it is we who are the circumcision, we who serve God by his Spirit, who boast in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh – though I myself have reasons for such confidence.

If someone else thinks they have reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for righteousness based on the law, faultless.

But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in[a] Christ – the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. 10 I want to know Christ – yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.

12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and straining towards what is ahead, 14 I press on towards the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenwards in Christ Jesus.

Following Paul’s example

15 All of us, then, who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. 16 Only let us live up to what we have already attained.

17 Join together in following my example, brothers and sisters, and just as you have us as a model, keep your eyes on those who live as we do. 18 For, as I have often told you before and now tell you again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. 19 Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things. 20 But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Saviour from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.

Footnotes:

  1. Philippians 3:9 Or through the faithfulness of

Are you an enemy of Jesus Christ? Are you putting all your faith in earthly things which cannot save? All that you possess, all that you have in the bank, all your belongings count for nothing once you are dead. Nothing can be taken with you, you will be alone and naked before your Creator. What excuse will you give for your unbelief? No doubt you will say it doesn’t matter because you don’t believe in God, Jesus, Heaven and Hell or in the devil himself but even the devil believes in these things. His fate is sealed, is yours? You have the time to turn your life around and invite Jesus into your heart. You have the time to seal your fate too but only whilst you take in breath. Who knows when their time is up? Don’t wait until it is too late. What have you got to lose? Your possessions? You will lose them anyway. Your life? You will surely die one day. Your future in Heaven has to be decided upon today! Your future in Hell is a definite possibility but why take that chance? Make it an impossibility now, come to Jesus!

Shirley Anne

Life after death

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Is There Life After Death? Study Suggests

Consciousness Continues After Heartbeat Stops

Posted: 08/10/2014 11:27 BST Updated: 5 hours ago

Is there such a thing as life after death?

While this was once a question pondered by philosophers and religious groups, scientists are now seriously considering the possibility that consciousness can continue after a person has been clinically diagnosed as dead.

A large-scale study involving 2,060 patients from 15 hospitals in the UK, USA and Austria has found that patients experience real events for up to a three-minute period after their heart has stopped beating.

Dr Sam Parnia, assistant professor of critical care medicine and director of resuscitation research at the State University of New York and a former research fellow at the University of Southampton, said it was previously thought only hallucinatory events were experienced in these circumstances.

These are normally described as out-of-body experiences (OBEs) or near-death experiences (NDEs).

The Awareness during Resuscitation (Aware) study, sponsored by the University of Southampton, used objective markers to establish whether the experiences were real or hallucinatory.

The results showed that 39% of patients who survived cardiac arrest described a perception of awareness but did not have explicit recall.

A total of 46% experienced a broad range of mental recollections, 9% had experiences compatible with NDEs and 2% exhibited full awareness compatible with OBEs with explicit recall of “seeing” and “hearing” events.

One man in particular, a 57-year-old social worker from Southampton, was reported to have given a “very credible” account of what was happening in the room during the three minutes that he was “clinically dead”.

The man could describe the movements of the doctors and nurses in the room with uncanny accuracy. He told the researchers he felt he was standing in the corner of the room, observing the medical staff resuscitate him.

Dr Parnia said: “This is significant, since it has often been assumed that experiences in relation to death are likely hallucinations or illusions, occurring either before the heart stops or after the heart has been successfully restarted, but not an experience corresponding with ‘real’ events when the heart isn’t beating.

“In this case, consciousness and awareness appeared to occur during a three-minute period when there was no heartbeat.

“This is paradoxical, since the brain typically ceases functioning within 20-30 seconds of the heart stopping and doesn’t resume again until the heart has been restarted.

“Furthermore, the detailed recollections of visual awareness in this case were consistent with verified events.

“Thus, while it was not possible to absolutely prove the reality or meaning of patients’ experiences and claims of awareness, (due to the very low incidence – 2% – of explicit recall of visual awareness or so-called OBEs), it was impossible to disclaim them either and more work is needed in this area.

“Clearly, the recalled experience surrounding death now merits further genuine investigation without prejudice.”

Research psychologist at Nottingham Trent University Dr David Wilde, is currently gathering data on out-of-body experiences in an attempt to discover a pattern.

Speaking to The Telegraph, he said: “Most studies look retrospectively, 10 or 20 years ago, but the researchers went out looking for examples and used a really large sample size, so this gives the work a lot of validity.

“There is some very good evidence here that these experiences are actually happening after people have medically died.

“We just don’t know what is going on. We are still very much in the dark about what happens when you die and hopefully this study will help shine a scientific lens onto that.”

The study was published in the journal Resuscitation.

End of article……………..

Paradise: Ascent of the Blessed

Paradise: Ascent of the Blessed (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The problem I find with this argument is that it speaks about the conscious mind and nothing is said about the spirit which is the essence of the being. Conscience and spirit are two separate things. Conscience is linked to the physical whilst spirit is not. There can be no definitive proof of life after death unless somebody rises from death to live again as Jesus did and was visible proof to thousands who saw him after he had arisen. Anything connected with the brain dies when the brain dies but the spirit within the body, the person, rises for it cannot be destroyed by physical death. Only one person can destroy the spirit and that is He who made it, our heavenly Father. I firmly believe this to be true and was discussing this very thing with someone recently. My argument is this, if I am wrong I have lost nothing but if I am right I have gained more than I can imagine. However if someone doesn’t agree that I am right they too have lost nothing if I am wrong but have lost their soul, their spirit and are condemned for eternity if they discover that I was right. Some choice isn’t it? Some choice it may be but certainly one that should be seriously considered whilst the opportunity to do so is still possible.

Shirley Anne

 

Simply a video

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This video runs for just over two hours so unless you have that spare time all in one go I suggest only part is watched at a time. I make no excuses for its content and but do not necessarily agree with everything in it. It certainly opened my eyes regarding one or two things. As a Christian I have to take care of what is being presented and rely on The Holy Spirit for guidance and for those who are not Christians or believers in God the video is still something which can open our hearts and minds to what is actually going on in this world in secret. You may consider it contrived nonsense and ignore it altogether. That will always be your choice but ask yourself why things happen the way they do, why this world is seemingly headed in one direction, one that any sane person would wish not to. But do take the time to watch it at least. It is called Dragons Deception and can be found at the link below. Be patient with the ‘musak’, I personally found it a little distracting toward the end but persevere.

Shirley Anne

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Death? What’s that?

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Poster for It's a Wonderful Afterlife

Poster for It’s a Wonderful Afterlife (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Let me ask you a question. Do you believe in an afterlife or do you believe this life is all there is? No doubt if you believe in only this life you will not be afraid of death. Is that true of yourself? Are you frightened of dying? Many will be unsure about what happens after death and may be too frightened to even think about it. There are some who just don’t give it a thought. There are many religious beliefs in the world and probably all of them have a take on the subject of an afterlife and more especially how to get there, what you have to do yourself to get there. It may be that you believe in re-incarnation and that when you die you come back as a different person or even a different creature! Only the Christian faith tells us that we cannot earn a place in Heaven and that we don’t have to do much either to get into hell! Our afterlife as a Christian is determined by whether we accept the gift that our Creator God offers to us. Of course if one is a Christian that gift has already been accepted. The Bible tells us that we cannot earn the right no matter how ‘good’ we are in this life for if we could get to Heaven under our own steam I suppose there wouldn’t be a person living who would not make the effort. The truth is none of us have the ability for the gift is only by God’s grace and the sacrifice of Jesus who died that we may live, live in His presence for all eternity. Death has lost its sting for those who are in Christ Jesus, our debts have all been paid and we have been set free as prisoners who have served their time for their wrongdoing. Jesus took upon himself the punishment we ought to pay for our wrongdoing , if we believe and repent of them. What could be easier, what could be simpler? We may think we deserve a life hereafter in Heaven but unless our sins, our wrongdoings are paid for beforehand we will pay the price for them in hell. Jesus is the answer, He alone is our salvation, He alone can cleanse us from our wrongdoing and present us clean and holy before God. If you believe otherwise then ask yourself this question, ‘Can I really know that what I believe will be enough? When I die, what really happens to me and will it be too late once I am dead’? It would be a horrible thing not to have accepted Jesus then find out you were wrong. If believers are wrong they have lost nothing but if unbelievers are wrong they have lost an eternity in Paradise. Death, where is thy sting?

Shirley Anne

What does it take?

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My readers will know that I am a Christian believer, an exile from atheism, turned-around, born again person, all of those things but still me. It’s all about realising something is truth, experiencing a change of heart and a revelation from God Himself. You will often hear Christians saying that God revealed Himself to them in one way or another which opened their hearts to the fact that they were in need of salvation because they were heading for eternal damnation otherwise. God has a plan and knows in advance which way people will go in believing or not in His gift of life eternal in Jesus Christ. As human beings we all fall short of His glory, no-one but no-one is anywhere near perfect in His eyes and never will be by their own efforts. It is because we are all sinners that we remain separated from Him and that can be forever. Hell is indeed being separated from God. God knows our imperfect state and knows we are helpless to do anything about it ourselves but we are His creation and He loves us so much that He died for us in order that we may be redeemed. ‘For God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life’, John 3:16 . Jesus Christ paid the penalty for each and every one of us but we must believe that and accept him as our Saviour. When we invite him in he will come. We are given The Holy Spirit who then dwells in our hearts like a live-in helper. As we allow The Spirit to guide us and teach us we become more and more at one with our Maker.

It isn’t a religion as some think, it isn’t a religion but a relationship and one with a promise. We become heirs to a great kingdom, we have been washed clean of all our sins and made pure in the eyes of God because of what Jesus did for us. If anyone does not believe that it is their choice, it always was and always will be. I can only wonder why people so easily reject the message and maintain a belief in something else which will leave them condemned and without hope for all eternity.

NOW READ THIS IF YOU ARE STILL SKEPTICAL………http://y-jesus.com/wwrj/6-jesus-rise-dead/?gclid=COX-prfzyb8CFWnpwgod3ZAA8g

Shirley Anne

 

Time for God

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PhotonQ-Homer' s Evolution Theory

PhotonQ-Homer’ s Evolution Theory (Photo credit: PhOtOnQuAnTiQuE)

Many atheists will tell you that we, the Universe and everything came about by chance and that we as human beings evolved from other species. Despite the fact that there aren’t and valid links or in-between species as would be expected at some point in the evolutionary time scale people insist that evolution and chance are the reasons we exist. I have to say at this point those beliefs were also once mine years ago but something stirred within me to change my thoughts on the subject though I will admit that not everything is clear to me at the moment. I have learned that the Universe did not happen by chance but only long after I became a Christian and a believer in a supreme being, God. The beliefs were not related. What I am saying is that my eyes and heart were opened to God before I understood things about creation. It has been demonstrated by certain scientists that the matter of which the Universe is made needed to be imperfect for it to remain stable enough for the creation model to work for had it been perfect there would have been no possibility of molecules forming bonds. The one surprising thing about it all is that the chaotic nature of the developing universe makes it almost impossible for the creation of life in any form. People talk of the primordial soup, a conglomeration of chemicals that suddenly developed into basic life forms which then developed into larger forms and all by chance. That is equal to saying that if all of the components parts (and there are millions of them) that make up a Jumbo Jet airplane were put into a large bag and shaken for some time would eventually turn into the plane. That is the sort of odds we are talking about. In other words it is practically impossible. Everything points to a creator and that creator has to be all supreme to have achieved it all. I often wonder why it is that I ever came to know God and to accept the free gift of everlasting life in Jesus Christ in the first place but when I think about it I know the reason. For one thing I was in possession of a seed which grew and developed within me and for another I was seeking out knowledge of God and wanted proof of His existence. I had my wishes fulfilled because I earnestly sought with an open heart. I didn’t find God as one might find or discover a tangible object for God isn’t something or someone who can be seen with the eyes. It says in Scripture that no-one has seen God but we have seen God in the flesh in Jesus Christ. That is those of us who were there at the time of course. I see other people and their religions but they are all empty promises. Muslims worship a moon-god they call Allah and think they worship the God of The Bible. They follow after a prophet called Mohammed who was originally a soldier who had shall we say a wicked past. Hindus worship animal gods, Buddha supposedly resides in a man. Some religions are centred around re-incarnation but non offer the promise of everlasting life and forgiveness of sins but one, and that is Christianity. For, it says in Scripture, that there is only one name under heaven by which we must be saved and that name is Jesus. There is only one way to the Father (God) and that is through Jesus Christ. We are all God’s creation and as such we are all loved by Him. It is the sin in our lives that keep us from Him or from having a relationship with Him, the very thing He desires. Jesus died for our sins and if we accept that fact and invite him into our hearts we have the assurance of everlasting life in the presence of our Creator. From dust we were made and to dust we shall return but our spirit lives forever. Question is, where, Heaven or Hell? You alone can determine that. Make time for God.

Shirley Anne

Insurance with benefits

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insurance

insurance (Photo credit: I am marlon)

When I was young I never gave much thought to insurance, it was something I knew very little about. About the time I was courting and just prior to my marriage I was prompted by my future father-in-law to take out a life insurance policy. My only knowledge of insurance and the need for it centred around my vehicle. We can insure ourselves against almost any kind of misfortune or disaster if we are willing to pay for it of course. These types of insurance policies only become beneficial afterwards. We can protect ourselves from any form of liability too, at a cost. Life insurance policies with benefits ensure a lump sum of money at the end of the term, as with endowment policies. You pay for insurance cover whilst saving at the same time, as long as you keep up the payments. Is it wise then to take out insurance? Well yes it is I hear you say and most folk would agree. Well there is an insurance policy of sorts that we can take out that costs absolutely nothing in financial terms and when it matures there are great benefits to be found. All we have to do is trust the provider and admit to our own failings and the policy is free! I am speaking about an eternal life policy that provides a mansion too! As a Christian believer I find it astounding that people will take great measures to protect their possessions against damage or theft yet take no measures to protect their eternal existence. All they are concerned about are the material things in this life yet one day they will all have to give them up. They will then face their Maker with nothing to show for their lives. No earthly insurance policy covers you and protects you once to die. There are no benefits to be had with them. To ensure an eternity, yes AN ETERNITY in peace and contentment all you have to do is allow Jesus to be your Saviour, confess your sins and repent of them and the free gift of life is yours! No need for an insurance policy.

Shirley Anne

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The law of God

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Bible

Bible (Photo credit: Light from Light)

These laws given by God still stand today despite what some people would say. God loves the sinner but hates the sin. Continuing in sin is self-condemnation. Are you guilty of this?

Leviticus 18

New International Version (NIV)

Unlawful Sexual Relations

18 The Lord said to Moses, “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘I am the Lord your God. You must not do as they do in Egypt, where you used to live, and you must not do as they do in the land of Canaan, where I am bringing you. Do not follow their practices. You must obey my laws and be careful to follow my decrees. I am the Lord your God. Keep my decrees and laws, for the person who obeys them will live by them. I am the Lord.

“‘No one is to approach any close relative to have sexual relations. I am the Lord.

“‘Do not dishonor your father by having sexual relations with your mother. She is your mother; do not have relations with her.

“‘Do not have sexual relations with your father’s wife; that would dishonor your father.

“‘Do not have sexual relations with your sister, either your father’s daughter or your mother’s daughter, whether she was born in the same home or elsewhere.

10 “‘Do not have sexual relations with your son’s daughter or your daughter’s daughter; that would dishonor you.

11 “‘Do not have sexual relations with the daughter of your father’s wife, born to your father; she is your sister.

12 “‘Do not have sexual relations with your father’s sister; she is your father’s close relative.

13 “‘Do not have sexual relations with your mother’s sister, because she is your mother’s close relative.

14 “‘Do not dishonor your father’s brother by approaching his wife to have sexual relations; she is your aunt.

15 “‘Do not have sexual relations with your daughter-in-law. She is your son’s wife; do not have relations with her.

16 “‘Do not have sexual relations with your brother’s wife; that would dishonor your brother.

17 “‘Do not have sexual relations with both a woman and her daughter. Do not have sexual relations with either her son’s daughter or her daughter’s daughter; they are her close relatives. That is wickedness.

18 “‘Do not take your wife’s sister as a rival wife and have sexual relations with her while your wife is living.

19 “‘Do not approach a woman to have sexual relations during the uncleanness of her monthly period.

20 “‘Do not have sexual relations with your neighbor’s wife and defile yourself with her.

21 “‘Do not give any of your children to be sacrificed to Molek, for you must not profane the name of your God. I am the Lord.

22 “‘Do not have sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman; that is detestable.

23 “‘Do not have sexual relations with an animal and defile yourself with it. A woman must not present herself to an animal to have sexual relations with it; that is a perversion.

24 “‘Do not defile yourselves in any of these ways, because this is how the nations that I am going to drive out before you became defiled. 25 Even the land was defiled; so I punished it for its sin, and the land vomited out its inhabitants. 26 But you must keep my decrees and my laws. The native-born and the foreigners residing among you must not do any of these detestable things, 27 for all these things were done by the people who lived in the land before you, and the land became defiled. 28 And if you defile the land, it will vomit you out as it vomited out the nations that were before you.

29 “‘Everyone who does any of these detestable things—such persons must be cut off from their people. 30 Keep my requirements and do not follow any of the detestable customs that were practiced before you came and do not defile yourselves with them. I am the Lord your God.’”

God’s Wrath Against Sinful Humanity

Romans 1

18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.

24 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25 They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.

26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.

28 Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. 29 They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31 they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. 32 Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.

What may be considered right and proper in today’s society, same-sex marriages, fornication, debauchery, pornography and other degrading things does not mean it is right in the eyes of God. Repent and turn away from such things, your eternal salvation may depend upon it. Heaven or Hell? Which will you choose?

Shirley Anne

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It was all known long ago

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English: This illustration shows abstracted &q...

English: This illustration shows abstracted “slices” of space at different points in time. It is simplified as it shows only two of three spatial dimensions, to allow for the time axis to be displayed conveniently. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I was watching a program about the creation of the Universe presented by Professor Stephen Hawking which told the story about the mechanics of the creation step by step right up to the creation of life. The Universe sprang up from nothing it was said, created from nothing as nothing existed before its creation, even time itself. Step by step we were taken through the process and why it became possible in the first place. There had to be imperfection for it to work because theoretically perfection would be the natural result of what is described as the Big Bang, creation. Professor Hawking is only one of the many scientists who have made the study of the origin of the Universe their life’s work. Once the Universe’s creation began it was gravity which was and is the force that set things in motion. Thousands of years ago, before there were scientists and theorists to explain these things an accurate account of Creation was written down. Scientists today have proven its validity but cannot explain how it was possible to know these things all those years ago. That account is in the first book in The Bible………….

The Beginning

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. (The heavens and the Earth were a creation) Now the earth was formless and empty, (The Earth had just been formed by the coagulation of matter through gravitational force) darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. (The Sun had yet to be formed or was still in the process)

And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. (The Earth rotated) God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.

And God said, “Let there be a vault between the waters to separate water from water.” So God made the vault and separated the water under the vault from the water above it. (Water in the atmosphere was there before it was on the land as it could only be whilst the land was cooling down) And it was so. God called the vault “sky.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the second day.

And God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear.” (Formation of the continents and islands) And it was so. 10 God called the dry ground “land,” and the gathered waters he called “seas.” And God saw that it was good.

11 Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” (Development of life) And it was so. 12 The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. 13 And there was evening, and there was morning—the third day.

14 And God said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years, 15 and let them be lights in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth.” (Acknowledgement of the creation of the stars, sun and moon) And it was so. 16 God made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars. 17 God set them in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth, 18 to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19 And there was evening, and there was morning—the fourth day.

20 And God said, “Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the vault of the sky.” 21 So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living thing with which the water teems and that moves about in it, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 22 God

blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the

water in the seas, and let the birds increase on the earth.”23 And there was evening, and there was morning—the fifth day.

24 And God said, “Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: the livestock, the creatures that move along the ground, and the wild animals, each according to its kind.” And it was so. 25 God made the wild animals

according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and

all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.

26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals,[a] and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”

27 So God created mankind in his own image,
    in the image of God he created them;
    male and female he created them.

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

29 Then

God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole

earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours

for food.30 And

to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the

creatures that move along the ground—everything that has the breath of

life in it—I give every green plant for food.” And it was so.

31 God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.

When I watched that program all the events highlighted in red were explained in detail just as it was written those thousands of years ago. The big question is….. How did the writer know these things? Who told him? There are other references to things in the Universe written in Scripture which at the time of writing could not possibly have been known. Again, how did the writer know these things? The Bible is considered to be the inspired word of God, that is those who wrote it were inspired to do so. It wasn’t guesswork but fact and it has subsequently been proven so. Even Professor Hawking confessed to there being a Creational force at work. The Universe wasn’t created by chance but by design.

Shirley Anne

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Dust thou art!

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This article is re-blogged in its entirety and all credit is given to its author the Reverend  Dane E. Boston, Curate of Christ Church, Greenwich, Connecticut.

http://bostondane.wordpress.com/2014/03/05/dust-thou-art-and-unto-dust-shalt-thou-return/

Dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.

by bostondane

May I speak in the Name of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost. Amen.

“Dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.”

Those strange and solemn words are at the heart of this strange and solemn day. They are the words that you will hear in a more contemporary form when you come forward to receive the mark of ashes as a sign of penitence. In that moment, the dust will be physical, literal—the gritty symbol of real ashes smudged on fingers and faces—but the force of those words will connect them to our need for repentance, and our mortality. ”Remember that you are dust, and unto dust you shall return.”

Book of Genesis, Fall of Man.

Book of Genesis, Fall of Man. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

But where do these strange and solemn words come from? If you look
back over the readings in your bulletin, you will not find them
there. The prophet Joel is not interested in ashes—in the outward signs
of repentance—as he calls the people of Israel to “rend [their]
hearts and not [their] garments.” Our Lord Jesus is not thinking of
smudged foreheads—indeed, he seems to challenge, if not expressly to
forbid, practices such as these—as he urges his disciples, ”When you
fast, put oil on your head and wash your face.”

No, to find the source of today’s reminder that ”Dust thou art, and
unto dust shalt thou return,” we must go back beyond our appointed
lessons—back beyond the earthly ministry of Jesus Christ; back beyond
the prophetic pronouncements of Joel. We must go back to the beginning,
to the Book of Genesis.

In Genesis, we are told of how God created the heavens and the
earth. We are told of how the Spirit of God moved mightily over the face
of the waters, and how, out of chaos and darkness, God brought order
and light. In Genesis, we are told of God’s great goodness in calling
forth the bounty and rich diversity of this earth: plants and
animals, fish and birds, the beasts of the earth and the cattle of the
fields and “every creeping thing that creepeth upon” the ground.

In Genesis, we are told of how God in his mercy and in his love made
human beings in his image—out of the dust of the earth and enlivened
with the breath of his Spirit. We are told of how he set them over the
good earth which he had made, to tend and keep it, in order that we
might rule and serve all creatures. In Genesis, we are told that God set
the first humans in a garden full of good fruit growing on abundant
trees.

And one more thing. We are told of one command that the Lord gave to
the first people—the dust creatures made in the image of God: ”Of every
tree in the garden, thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the
knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day
that thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surely die.”

Of course, we know what happens nest. The serpent seduces. The people
eat. And God comes to walk through the Garden of Eden in the cool of
the day, only to find Adam and Eve hiding: ashamed of their
nakedness. The relationship of trust and intimacy that the first people
enjoyed with the Lord their God was broken.

And so it is, at last, that in the Third Chapter of the Book of
Genesis, we find the strange and solemn words for which we have been
searching: the dread words that we will hear again in just a few moments
this evening. The Lord pronounces judgment, first upon the
serpent, then upon the woman, and then at last on Adam, the first
man, whose name in Hebrew means ”earth.” God declares: ”In the sweat of
thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out
of it thou wast taken. For dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou
return.”

Here, beloved, is the source of this tonight’s strange
pronouncement. Here, then, is the meaning of this day’s solemn
declaration. The startling and unsettling truth proclaimed in the
imposition of ashes is that you and I stand in the line of Adam. Over
us is spoken the same condemnation, the same curse. ”Remember that you
are dust, and to dust you shall return.”

Now perhaps this is too much for you. Perhaps here you might raise an
objection. Perhaps, as modern Americans in Greenwich, Connecticut in
2014, you chafe against so simple an application of so ancient a
story. Talking serpents? First parents? A divine curse? Can you imagine a
more preposterous explanation of human origins?

But let us be very clear this Ash Wednesday. The story we have just
heard—and the curse at the heart of that story—is not meant to explain
the past. The truth of this tale cannot be confirmed by an
archaeological dig or a mitochondrial analysis. The story of Adam and
Eve is not a story about where we come from, explaining our background.
This is a story about where we are, and it explains where we are
headed. This is not a story about the past, but about the present and
the future. For the truth is that the fruits of Eden’s loss still fall,
heavy and rotten, all around us.

We see them falling in the Crimea, as the great powers of the
world once again find themselves drawn into the tired, terrible dance of
war. To be sure, this day we hope and pray that peace will yet
prevail. But we must also acknowledge that each time nations collide and
tyranny rises and blood is spilt, the fruits of Adam’s fall can be
seen, and the ancient curse can be heard again in our time: ”Dust thou
art, and unto dust shalt thou return.”

We see those fruits falling in Mexico, where Joaquin “El Chapo”
Guzman now sits in federal custody. The arrest of perhaps the world’s
most powerful drug lord late last month has been major news, supplanted
only by the crisis in the Ukraine. Guzman rules over a multi-billion
dollar cartel. His actions and activities have brought misery and pain
to the streets and suburbs of America, even as he has brought violent
death to the towns and cities of Mexico. Yet we must not forget that his
enormous wealth is driven by the enormous American appetite for his
products—cocaine, methamphetamines, and heroine—and therefore, by
the enslaving power of addiction. Here, surely, around one life we see
the fatal fruit fall abundantly, and hear the curse spoken to so many of
the innocent and guilty alike: ”Dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou
return.”

And lest we forget the purpose of this season of Lent, if we would
see the truth of this day’s pronouncement—if we would see the fruit of
Adam’s fall—let us look within ourselves. You and I may not be as brash
as Vladimir Putin or as ruthless as “El Chapo” Guzman. But can you
outrun the terrible words we hear this night? For all our advancement
and enlightenment, for all our wealth and wisdom, for all our piety and
our spiritual practices, who among us can claim a perfectly clean
conscience, or the knowledge that we have not been disobedient?

We know what it is to exploit our fellow human beings in ways big and
small. We know what it is to eat gluttonously, to
drink intemperately, to look and act lustfully, to yearn enviously, to
react wrathfully, to amass greedily, and to stand pridefully. And what
is the price of all this? What is the cost of these actions? Is it not
the same penalty paid by Adam: the loss of a relationship of intimacy
and trust with the Lord our God, and with one another?

For all our sophistication and satisfaction, for all our charity and
our credentials, for all our goodness and our gratitude, who among
us can escape death? ”Dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.”

And yet let us make something very clear. Ash Wednesday is not, in
fact, a day to sit in our sin; to wallow in the warped, worn-out
weariness of our hearts; to fixate on death. Our worship this day does
not end with the imposition of ashes. Our story this day does
not conclude with the pronouncement of a curse.

For behold, Christian, the shape of the ashes that will soon
bedeck your brow! The dust with which you are marked today is no mere
smudge. Instead, the symbol of mortality applied to our foreheads this
night will be made in the form of a cross.

And that realization lifts us to the true and better meaning of
this strange and solemn day. For what that sign of a cross shows
forth is that we have not been left alone in our fallenness and our
mortality. What we remember this day is that the same God whose justice
drove Eve out of Eden has come down from heaven to be born a son of
Eve. The same God whose righteousness could not bear the disobedience of
our father Adam took on our flesh—our flesh of earth and dust—to become
for us a new Adam, a new creation: a new and better beginning for our
race.

The sign we receive this Ash Wednesday reminds us, not only that we
are dust, but that God himself has come to share in our dusty, deathward
life. The purpose of this long season of Lent is not to fix our hearts
on our fallenness, but to prepare us for the announcement that on the
Cross of Calvary, Jesus our Lord has conquered Death and Sin
forever, and in the bright light of the Resurrection he calls us to
share in a new life that cannot end.

So it is that this evening (and only this evening in the whole cycle
of the Church year) we come forward twice. The first time, we come
forward to hear the dread reminder; to be told “Dust thou art”; to
acknowledge and bewail the fact that the seeds of Adam’s fall have taken
root in us and grown up and produced rank fruit in our souls.

But then, beloved, once we have been marked with the cross and have
made our confession, and heard words of absolution, we will be called
forward again. We will be called forward to hear, not a curse, but words
of blessing and holy union. We will be called forward to taste, not the
bitter fruit of fallenness, but a new and better fruit: the fruit of
the new Jerusalem, the fruit of Christ’s Body and Blood.

Tonight, Christ Jesus invites all those who have shared in his death
through baptism, and who repent of their sins, and who embark now on the
holy road of Lent, to draw near in faith, and to see the fulfillment of
words not from the first book–from Genesis–but from the last book–from
Revelation–and to taste at this altar the fruit of the Tree of Life.

“And the angel showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as
crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the lamb. In the
midst of the street of the city, and on either side of the river, there
was the Tree of Life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded
her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing
of the nations.

“And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the
lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him: And they shall
see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads.”

AMEN.

 

Shirley Anne

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Walking blind

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Cover of "Faith"

Cover of Faith

I have always been an inquisitive person, always wanted to know how things work. My interests have always been in seeking knowledge in one field or another, especially in Astronomy and Science. I was never one who sat and read a novel and even now the thought of doing that is foreign to me. My preferences have always been in fact and not fiction. It was understandable therefore that anything I considered to be fiction was left for others. As I grew up I don’t remember having learned much if anything about religion and God though my mother often told me that I had. When I became a teenager I rejected any notion of there being a creator God and when anyone suggested it I refused to believe. It would be many years before that changed and I finally came to believe. That was 25 years ago almost to the day (actually 6th February 1989) and more about that can be read in the ‘My Faith‘ page above. Save to say I had been walking blind, a veil covered my eyes and I couldn’t see the light. I remember watching a presentation in church which sought to show unbelievers that they were walking in the dark. A guy, the unbeliever, had his back toward a very bright light which could be seen by those he was facing, his friends. They were encouraging him to turn around and see for himself but his stubborn heart refused to allow him despite his friends telling him how good it was and trying to explain just what he was missing. In the presentation sketch he did finally turn to look and he was amazed at what he saw. He couldn’t understand why he hadn’t responded sooner. He hadn’t realised that his friends were not fooling and that what they said was in fact the truth. That truth was Jesus Christ, He was the bright light behind him and all Jesus wanted was for him to turn around and see. The good news he was missing out on was the offer of life eternal and it was free! Quite often people who don’t believe in God have to reach a crisis point in their lives before they reach out to Him. There is nothing like finding out the truth sooner but finding it even later is better than not finding it at all. The greatest thing that ever happened to me was finding that truth, finding out that God was real because I took the time to seek Him. My inquisitive heart lead me to God and to believe in Him and in the One He sent, Jesus Christ. The blindness would lead to death but now the veil was lifted and I could see.

Ephesians 2:8-9

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.

Shirley Anne

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