Posts Tagged ‘Christian’
Posted by Shirley Anne on December 16, 2013
January 3, 1863 cover of Harper’s Weekly, one of the first depictions of Santa Claus (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Posted in Christianity, Jesus | Tagged: Antichrist, Christ, Christian, Christianity, Christmas, Jesus, Santa Claus, Satan | 8 Comments »
Posted by Shirley Anne on November 17, 2013
Česky: Kříže – symbol utrpení Ježíše Krista a jeho ukřižování (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I believe in God and the Lord Jesus Christ. Once I did not. In my life I have been an atheist far longer than I have been a Christian. I wanted to know about God, I wanted to know if He really did exist so I searched for Him. I wrote poems about Him and I asked if He would reveal Himself to me. I started to read The Bible. I knew there was a message to hear and I wanted to know what it was. For some time I had an idea of what it meant to be a Christian and to follow Jesus but my doctrine was a little off-course. I was encouraged by a friend to speak to the pastor of the church she attended so that I could find out more. I was a little reluctant at first but plucked up the courage to make the appointment. It was a very relaxed and informal meeting I had with this pastor and later his wife and we chatted about my beliefs. I was under no pressure and was simply encouraged to read certain passages from my Bible at my leisure. The pastor explained a few things about Scripture, about religion and about the message of salvation as I recall and after an hour I left for home. Many ‘born again’ Christians will tell you they had an experience of some sort, a revelation, an encounter with God and I can tell you they are not making it up for I had such an encounter if you will. Three days after that meeting whilst lying in bed, I felt an overwhelming sense of love engulf me and I instinctively knew it was God, The Holy Spirit. My whole body was cocooned in a loving embrace which I have never yet been able to truly explain or convey. It was an experience that had to be experienced at a personal level. I was born again. For each person who comes to God, to Jesus, it is different. When someone is living in a dark room and the light is switched on they begin to see things they never knew or saw before. So it is with those who come to believe. They receive forgiveness of sins if they repent, they receive a gift like no other gift they have ever received, they receive the gift of salvation and everlasting life because they believed in God the Father and in the One He sent, His only begotten Son Jesus Christ who actually died for all their wrongdoing. As John 3:16 says
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
And that is it! The message is simple, the gift is free and all you have to do is reach out and take it………
Posted in Gods love, Gods love through Jesus, Jesus, Jesus Christ and The Holy Spirit, Salvation | Tagged: Bible, Christian, God, God the Father, Holy Spirit, Jesus, John 3:16, Only-begotten Son, Salvation | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Shirley Anne on October 29, 2013
In a day or two many people will be celebrating Halloween and many of those people confess themselves to be Christian. As Halloween is based upon ancient pagan and other rituals those who call themselves Christian should consider into which camp they are placing their feet for we cannot worship both God and the things of Satan. This article explains the history surrounding the festival known as Halloween and is taken from this site…
Torn between fun and scary traditions, between religious celebration and pagan superstition, Halloween has long surpassed the boundaries of the English speaking countries. The holiday marked by costumed parties, bonfires, carved pumpkins, wandering souls and creepy house decorations made its triumphal entry in different cultures all over the world, demolishing religious barriers and quenching people’s thirst for spooky fun. However, Halloween has passed through numerous stages and has been constantly “refined” by religious beliefs and historical conditions until it reached its current version. Its history has been marked by witchcraft, strange beliefs, pagan rituals and Christian vanities, culminating with a tribute paid to the Holly Marketing which managed to make Halloween a profitable business all over the world.
During Samhain people dressed up in animal skins to chase away the spirits and the wild animals which may get close to the celebrating crowd. There was also the habit for women to endorse manly clothing and men to dress up in women’s clothing to deceive the spirits. This is probably the first trace of the Halloween costume tradition, a tradition that will be successfully perpetuated along time.
Another Halloween tradition that it’s supposed to have its origins in this 2,000 years old festival is the pumpkin carving. The Celts took parts of the bonfire to their homes to protect their belongings from the avenging spirits, so they carved turnips, rutabagas and gourds to safely transport the fire. However, other traditions, legends and myths, including the well-known Stingy Jack’s story, are also associated with the pumpkin carving tradition.
Halloween and the Roman Conquest
In 43 A.D., the territories inhabited by Celtic population were conquered by the Romans, who brought with them their own culture civilization and beliefs. The Romans celebrated the dead on Feralia, a holiday which took place in late October, so the Celtic traditions were successfully combined with the Roman ones, bringing Halloween one step closer to the holiday we all know today. In addition to Feralia, there was another Roman holiday which impacted Halloween – Pomona. Pomona was the goddess of trees and was symbolized by an apple, therefore there are signs that the tradition of bobbing apples was a Roman ritual taken over by the Celts and incorporated in the traditional Samhain.
Halloween and Christianity
Samhain was a celebration which survived in time and the Celtic beliefs, although altered by the passing of time, continued to have a great impact on the British Islands inhabitants. Their Christianization has not affected their faith in wandering spirits, in the purifying power of bonfires and in Druidic prophecies. However, the Christian authorities were not fond of the idea that a festival reminiscent from a pagan religion was still practiced in Christian communities. Therefore the efforts of abolishing the Samhain were more intense in the 7th and 8th century, culminating with a “Christianization” of the original celebration.
In 609 A.D. Pope Boniface IV established May 13th as Day of the Dead in an attempt to erase old Celtic rituals and beliefs. However, the bonfires and costumes specific to Samhain were still seen in the last day of October, sign that the pagan celebration was held in parallel with the Christian holiday. This determined Pope Gregory III to overlap the Christian holiday with the pagan ritual, in an attempt to transform the old celebration in a religious holiday that will commemorate the dead as well as the Christian martyrs and saints. The holiday was renamed “All Saints Day” or “All Hollows Day” (or Hallowmas which in Old English stands for “All Saints Day”) and was celebrated on November 1st. Yet, the ghost of Samhain continued to hunt the Christian authorities as the English communities did not want to give up the ancient festival. Because it preceded All Hollows Day, the celebration was known as “All Hollows Eve” (which has later on evolved into “Halloween”).
Alongside the religious celebration, another Halloween tradition was born. Instead of leaving food at the doors for the wandering spirits, people were encouraged to share parts of their meals or specially baked “soul cookies” with the poor in exchange of prayers for dead’s souls. Christians believed that the dead will not step in the other world unless the living prayed intensely for their soul. In exchange of a “soul cookie” (sweet pastry) poor people promised to pray for the dead, ensuring their smooth passage in the other world. The process was called “go a-souling” and it rapidly grew popular among children too, preceding what we now know as “trick-or-treat”.
Halloween and Guy Fawkes
The introduction of the Protestant religion left people without one of their favorite holidays: the All Hollow’s Eve. The Protestants did not recognize the saints and their importance in the mediation between person and God, therefore a holiday that would celebrate the saints was unnecessary. However, the holiday was reincarnated in Guy Fawkes Day in 1606, when Fawkes was executed for his attempt of removing King James from the throne on November, 5th. Bonfires (known as “bone fires”) were lit again, this time to symbolically burn Pope’s bones, while children roamed from door to door asking for money to build their own effigies. While the phrase “a penny for Guy” was popular at the time, the Guy Fawkes Day was soon left in oblivion.
Halloween is a complex holiday which has grown, evolved and refined along with the times and societies in which it has been practiced. Yet, its core always remained the same: there is a time when boundaries are blurred, social barriers are crossed and reality mingles with fantasy in a one of a kind moment. That time is called Halloween!
Christian, come out from among those who worship not the things of God……..
Posted in Belief, Christianity, Evil, God, Religion and Spirituality | Tagged: Celts, Christian, Halloween, Jack O Lantern, Samhain, Satan, Stingy Jack | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Shirley Anne on September 14, 2013
The Greatest Promise of God (Photo credit: MikeVC)
Isaiah 9 v 2-7
2 The people walking in darkness
have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of deep darkness
a light has dawned.
3 You have enlarged the nation
and increased their joy;
they rejoice before you
as people rejoice at the harvest,
as warriors rejoice
when dividing the plunder.
4 For as in the day of Midian’s defeat,
you have shattered
the yoke that burdens them,
the bar across their shoulders,
the rod of their oppressor.
5 Every warrior’s boot used in battle
and every garment rolled in blood
will be destined for burning,
will be fuel for the fire.
6 For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
7 Of the greatness of his government and peace
there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne
and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
with justice and righteousness
from that time on and for ever.
The zeal of the Lord Almighty
will accomplish this.
In a couple of month’s time, yes it isn’t that far off, Christians and non-Christians alike will be celebrating Christmas. Those who believe will be celebrating the birth of their Saviour and the rest will be celebrating for other reasons. Those other reasons may well be for good things such as being with family and friends and enjoying pleasant times together but they will not be celebrating the birth of a saviour, yet a saviour is exactly what they need. They don’t see that because their eyes are blind to the truth, their backs are turned away from the light and they are held captive by the things of the flesh. Their hearts are cold. God foretold the birth of a saviour, the Saviour of the world, His only begotten Son our Lord Jesus the Christ, the Messiah some six hundred years or more before it happened. Not only His birth but how it was to come about! His birth was therefore expected and yet when Jesus came and died for mankind many rejected Him. Even today they still reject Him, yet they need Him. The problem is they do not realize their need nor recognize it. Why did God give His Son? Why did Jesus suffer on a cross? Because we are all sinners and that alone keeps us from God, separates us from Him but God demonstrates His love for us in this…………
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
He died that we, if we repent and believe in our hearts that He died for us we will be saved. Saved from what? Saved from eternal damnation and separation from God. God is just and will judge our hearts but He is merciful not wanting that anyone should perish. He offers us a way out, a free gift, Jesus. Would you really not accept such a gift? Why remain stubborn and condemned? Do something about it today, come to Jesus. Remember, God is true to His word, He will do what He promises to do……..
Posted in God, Gods love, Gods love through Jesus, Jesus, Jesus Christ and The Holy Spirit, Salvation | Tagged: Christian, God, Jesus Christ, Salvation | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Shirley Anne on July 19, 2013
It isn’t that often I receive nice comments and compliments from my readers, or anyone else for that matter, so it is lovely to receive one when it happens. This is especially so when it is received from a complete stranger. Brandye, as she is known had read one or two of my posts and pages and decided to follow my blog, which was very nice of her to do. As always when somebody follows my blog I write back and thank them. Unfortunately not all those who do leave contact information and I am unable to respond but I thank them anyway. Here is the thread on her blog in connection to Brandye’s ’follow’ of my site,
Shirley Anne says:
July 17, 2013 at 3:49 pm
Thanks for the follow at Minkyweasel World
Shirley Anne x
Brandye Dague says:
July 19, 2013 at 4:52 am
Has anyone told u lately that you’re awesome! I love your about me page! I can feel a love flowing from you just from the words you wrote! Wow, so you were an atheist – what was that like? When did u accept Yeshua & how did it happen? I think this comment stuck out the most when reading your page: In all that I do I try to be fair with people and will not shy away from those I meet who are in need.
You are awesome! Father, I pray that your wisdom & guidance be upon Shirley. I thank you for her heart. Fill her with ALL of you Yah, a burning fire w/in her heart that cannot be snuffed out by anything or anyone. I bless her w/ peace, abundance & perfect self-expression in Your name – amen.
Shirley Anne says:
July 19, 2013 at 10:02 am
Thank you for your nice comments, I don’t deserve them. What you want to know is on another page, ‘My Faith’. However, I became a Christian on 6th February 1989 at the age of 43. I began searching for God the year before through the poems and songs I’d written at that time. I began to read the Bible and I did that from beginning to end. I wanted to learn and God was teaching me. I have since read The Bible 30 more times and continue to do so. The whole story can be found in the other pages at Minkyweasel World if you are interested. That fire in my heart continues to burn and it shall not be snuffed out, it is guarded by The Holy Spirit within me.
Shirley Anne x
If anyone wants to know more about me the information is all there in the above pages but more especially and importantly the information on how to receive forgiveness for sins and eternal life through and in the name of Jesus is there too. You only have to seek God with all sincerity of heart and He shall be found. It is something you should not ignore for tomorrow may be too late.
Posted in Faith, God, Gods love, Gods love through Jesus, Jesus, Salvation | Tagged: Bible, Christian, God, Holy Spirit, Jesus, Shirley Anne, Yeshua | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Shirley Anne on May 15, 2013
“Selkirk reading his Bible” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
On Wednesday last week I reached a bit of a milestone. Since becoming a Christian I set my mind to reading though The Bible as many times as I could, simply to gain more understanding as to the reasons I came to believe and what it all actually means. During the previous seven months to my conversion, my deliverance, my accepting Jesus as my Saviour, call it what you will, I had read through The Bible from cover to cover in my search for God and to gain understanding. I was determined to read through its pages again for I realised there was much more to learn than just from reading it through once or by selecting abstract passages alone. The whole set of its books must be read because they are inextricably linked. I have honoured that promise I made to myself and throughout my 24 years as a Christian I have read through The Bible now 30 times having just finished reading through from cover to cover again on Wednesday. That is on average more than once a year. Of course I read many of its books and pages in isolation as well as making reference frequently to confirm what other Christians are saying or just for self-edification and reassurance but mostly to learn and to gain understanding. People who make reference to certain passages to perhaps justify their unbelief or their attitude and lifestyles and who have probably not read through The Bible even once do not realise that The Bible cannot be used in this way. The Bible and the messages it contains need to be studied in-depth and that takes time. Although I have read it more than 30 times I am still learning and I am the first to admit that I have much to learn yet. A milestone may have been reached but there are many more of them along the road yet! After a short break I will probably return again to The Book of Genesis and start over.
- How Important Are Bible Lessons For Kids (adventurebible.wordpress.com)
- Bible Study (thetwilightyears.wordpress.com)
Posted in Bible | Tagged: Bible, Bible Study, Christian, Christianity, God, Jesus, Learning | 15 Comments »
Posted by Shirley Anne on April 11, 2013
First of all I must state that as a Christian I have no problem with those who are atheist for I was one once. It isn’t a disease just as much as being a Christian isn’t. Conflict arises where there are social issues and concerns to consider. Christians are people who believe in a deity, a creator who made all things, everything we can and cannot see even ourselves whereas atheists do not believe in a deity and therefore must believe everything we see including ourselves came about by other means. That is simple logic. Christians are under attack when they try to influence how everyone else is supposed to live and which laws we should have to govern our societies. In the case of the UK, Christianity has been the influencing power, whether for the good or in some cases unfortunately for the bad over most of the last two millenia. Our laws are based upon those written in Scripture and from a Christian’s point of view, God-given. At this point I think many, if not all atheists would agree with the basic laws we have but not necessarily all of the others, the ones written in Scripture concerning certain moral and behavioural lifestyles. The Christian believes and agrees with the whole tenet of the law whereas the atheist agrees only in part. As an example, atheists who happen to be homosexual would not agree with what Scripture says about it but may be perfectly in agreement over the law which says, we should not kill (murder). There are many other examples. People will pick and choose from Scripture as it suits their belief system or non-belief system. Either the Bible is wholly true or none of it is. It cannot be both, at least to the believer. Atheism is also a belief system, though many atheists would immediately disagree and this is where they are illogical. Everybody believes in something, including atheists. Ask an atheist what they believe and it will probably be different from another who is an atheist. The real problem starts with Creation. Just how did we get here? This is a question that has been asked since the birth of mankind and there are only two fundamental possibilities. One is that everything was created and the other is that all things have eternally existed and only one of those can be right. When the latter possibility is studied and examined it becomes impossible to believe but when we study Creation as having been created by God everything falls into place quite easily. The more we delve into the Universe and how it came about the more the Creation model appears to be the truth. Unless we consider how the Universe was made we cannot make the decision that God doesn’t exist. If only the atheist would see that. Christians have the faith to believe He does.
- C. S. Lewis (mariesalh.wordpress.com)
- Atheist Holy Day! (jkys.wordpress.com)
Posted in Bible, Christianity, Creation, God, Knowledge | Tagged: Atheism, Belief, Bible, Christian, Christianity, Creation | 6 Comments »
Posted by Shirley Anne on March 31, 2013
This video was originally posted on http://vineoflife.net
People just do not want to admit that God exists even when there is much evidence. I mean it’s ridiculous isn’t it that there should be a God who wants us to know about Him. Those who take the time to watch this short video may turn and say things like ‘There are unseen forces that we know nothing about yet’, or ‘We have much to learn about the human body and its capabilities to heal’. They will make up any story other than face the fact that God really does exist. The Bible says as much. There is a veil which blinds them to the truth and their hearts are hardened. They see with their eyes yet they cannot understand. I know these things for I was in that state before the veil was lifted from my eyes. I always chose not to believe until that one day I began to seek God out and months later it all finally dawned upon me. I became a Christian and if you’d have known the previous version of me you would swear it was impossible. Since that glorious day when I saw and understood I have come into contact with more and more evidence of things like miraculous healing and activity in the spirit realm. You see, if you are not actively following God you are doing something else which keeps you from seeing these things because they are of no interest to you. Here is a remarkable story about God’s angels and the subsequent miraculous healing that followed one man’s rescue from certain death. Take the time to watch this short video.
Jesus Heals … Cancer?? (Photo credit: Better Than Bacon)
Posted in Accidents, Angels, Christianity, Gods love through Jesus, Miracles | Tagged: Bible, Christian, Christianity, God, Jesus, Miracles | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Shirley Anne on March 17, 2013
It ain’t good and it ain’t my fault
On Thursday last week I was asked to try to sort out an electrical problem with someone’s shower circuit. The fault was discovered by a newly qualified electrician, an acquaintance of mine, who had installed a new distribution board but he couldn’t trace the fault. I found the fault in a section of the wiring and replaced that section that afternoon and finished the job the following morning. The woman was extremely grateful for my work considering what I had to do to put things right. She had received poor service from many people who had worked for her over the last couple of years and was overjoyed to find somebody who not only could do the job but do it well and for a reasonable price. She placed myself and my electrical colleague in that category. Now I am not one to blow my own trumpet but it is nice to know that what I do is appreciated, I know only too well that some people are never satisfied even when they get good service, it’s in their nature to moan and groan. As I had done a good job for this woman she asked if I could lay a supply to her garden shed, fit a power point and a light inside and a small floodlight outside. I arranged to do it on the Thursday just past at her request. I had it all done inside four hours and again she was full of praise when I had finished. She told me that I was good at my work but she also told me that I was a good person. I suppose she was looking from two different aspects, one, the work met with her approval and according to her needs and two, she must have taken note of my attitude and response to her and my nature and personality as we spoke during the days I have been there. I do try to be accommodating to those I work for but that is my nature. When she told me that I was a good person I replied that no-one is good, all of us fail at some point, we are all sinners in this world, it is just that some are more sinful than others! I was witnessing to her as I know she isn’t a Christian. She understood what I was saying though. There is no one person on this planet who is good, who is perfectly good but there are those whose sins are forgiven and paid for through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. No, I am not good at all, just forgiven…………
- Here I go again! (minkyweasel.com)
Posted in Faith, Gods love through Jesus, Humanity | Tagged: Christian, Electrician, Goodness, Shed, Sin | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Shirley Anne on February 28, 2013
Stormy Monday Blues
Well Monday began as many of my Mondays seem to be doing lately, with nothing to do. Nobody had called for my services on Sunday, the day I receive most of the work I get for Monday and so there was no real reason to get up early if I didn’t wish to. As it happened I woke up around 8.20 and got up anyway. I got dressed ready for work should there be any but nobody had called by noon and I began to think I might get changed and go to the pub for lunch, a late lunch that is. I wasn’t particularly hungry when I got up so I just had a banana, a pear and a drink. By 2 o’clock I was feeling peckish so I changed into more decent attire and arrived at the pub around 3 o’clock. There were few people in at that time so I was served immediately I got to the bar. I ordered a meal and took some soft drinks to the table. Jill, the landlady, asked if I wanted to open a tab so I accepted as it saves having to pay at each visit to the bar. I hadn’t been sitting down very long when my meal arrived. Evidently somebody had ordered the same but either they were not ready to eat that course else it was made in error. In any event it was delicious even though I’d have preferred it to arrive a little later. Normally the waiting time is twenty minutes or thereabouts as everything is cooked to order. After I’d finished eating a regular customer arrived with her mum and a friend of the family and they occupied a table in the corner. Soon they were surrounded by others until the whole area was filled. It seems they had all been to a funeral. Why do people only get to see each other when there is a death in the family? One lady, probably around 70 years of age, came in with a man friend and was soon making her presence known. She was very lively and out-going, the kind of person who is the life and soul of any gathering, it was simply who she was. She kept glancing in my direction as I was sitting alone. I knew that inevitably she would come over for a chat, I just had that feeling. Sure enough she came over and explained who she was, which was the sister of the elder of the two women who had first arrived, the aunt of the other woman and she invited me over but I declined. She even offered to buy me a drink but again I declined. Whilst she was talking with me she took hold of my hand and was caressing it as though I was an old friend she hadn’t seen for a long time and she kept hugging and kissing me, apologising in case I was offended by her presence. Far from it! I wish there were more people like her around. They all seemed to be enjoying each other’s company whilst even more guests arrived. One of these guests kept running here and there moving chairs and tables trying to accommodate everyone. It was obvious to me there was something special about her, a feeling I had which was verified when she and I spoke. She was the one who told me that they were all there because of the funeral earlier and she told me who had died. Naturally, for me that is, I asked if the deceased had been a Christian to which she replied that he hadn’t but that his wife was. We chatted together about our faith before she returned to the others. It’s funny that Christians always seem to know when they are talking with their brothers and sisters in Christ but not really surprising I suppose. About an half-hour after she had arrived, the life-and-soul of the party, the older lady, came over to speak with me again and gave me more hugs and kisses. She then bade me farewell but sang it! The whole pub went quiet whist she sang. What a voice she had and so surprising for someone her age but as I learned later, she had been a professional singer all her life. After she had finished singing I led the folk in the pub in applause. When she finally left the building her absence was very noticeable…..for all the right reasons. My Monday afternoon had been pleasantly changed by the appearance of one person. Maybe I was guided to the pub just to meet her for she certainly seemed to convey a message of love to me that she hadn’t expressed even to those around her. Wouldn’t the world be a better place with more people like her in it? For a while longer I sat alone until more people came in and chatted with me but I didn’t stay too long and was back home just after 6 o’clock.
- All afternoon! (minkyweasel.com)
- Mundane Monday (theconservativehillbilly.wordpress.com)
- Monday for Shirley Anne (minkyweasel.com)
- Monday’s Motivation Courtesy of Ruth (twentyfiveseasons.com)
Posted in Christianity, Death and mortality, Faith, Life, People | Tagged: Christ, Christian, Death, Monday, People, Public house, Sunday | 2 Comments »
Posted by Shirley Anne on February 24, 2013
To watch the full version of the video and to watch another similar one click on here……….
I hope it opens your heart….
Posted in God, Gods love, Gods love through Jesus, Heaven, Hell, Jesus, Jesus Christ and The Holy Spirit, Religion | Tagged: Christian, God, Heaven, Hell, Jesus Christ | 2 Comments »
Posted by Shirley Anne on February 2, 2013
Reblogged from In Love with Jesus Christ:
This is a powerful vision that a dying man received from God, please watch and let his words stir your soul. If you doubt now about the existence of God please take a small moment to watch this video, hear his words and let his conviction open your heart towards Jesus. Don’t take another second of your life not believing because tomorrow might be too late.
- Asleep In Jesus (pttyann2.wordpress.com)
Posted in God, Gods love through Jesus, Salvation | Tagged: Christian, God, Jesus Christ | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Shirley Anne on January 6, 2013
Copyright Lucy Melford
SATURDAY, 5 JANUARY 2013
I may through my time and place of birth be part of Western Christian Culture, but I wouldn’t say that I was a Christian, even though I have many personal standards that are not greatly different from those a Christian would stand by.The often conflicting dogma of competing faiths is really hard to understand, and very offputting. I can readily see why some look for their own direct connection with God, or their own version of spirituality, and stay away from conventionally-organised religion.I also see why, despite private reservations on the detail, it is a very human thing to come together and share a moment reflecting on a higher realm quite separate from everyday life. Occasionally I want that kind of company. But usually I want to be alone when I go into a holy place. Sometimes I light a candle in a cathedral, and think of my parents, if I do no more. I could light a similar candle at home; but somehow in a church or cathedral I feel that my thoughts will travel immeasurably further.Despite my very secular position as an outsider, I do care about the Anglican Church‘s internal arguments about bishops. The Church is still a major force in British society, at least in so far as people look to it to set a moral standard. I want it to be relevant and inspirational, something even I can come to, leading and inspiring society with a focus on love and harmony and charity and justice and spiritual advancement. And not divided in a damaging war between what looks awfully like the old and dusty and hidebound versus the new and bright and freethinking. A war that may cripple the status and effectiveness of an important and stabilising national institution. That’s my concern: the weakening of things that cement our society together.As for the dispute itself, some questions now that I can’t see the answer to. First, am I right to suppose that if the Bible said explicitlythat both male and female bishops (and archbishops) were appoved of by God, and that He didn’t care about sexual orientation, the argument would then simplify to who in particular had the best qualifications for the job? It looks however as if the Bible doesn’t say that at all.All right then. Second, third and fourth questions: should ancient Biblical words matter more than the insights of serious religious thinkers in more recent centuries, including our own? Does the accumulated experience of two thousand years really count for nothing? And how is it that some people can be disqualified by chance events during their conception and embryonic development? Surely God, if you believe in Him, did not intend that.I certainly do want to see women bishops and archbishops, and I don’t mind at all what any candidate’s sexual orientation is, so long as they are people I’d respect, and have the right qualities for the job.
Copyright Lucy Melford
And my response.
Shirley Anne 5 January 2013 13:56
Psalm 119:105 “Your Word is a Lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” (Photo credit: UnlockingTheBible)
First of all Lucy there is no salvation without Christ Jesus and without having the Holy Spirit there is no connection with God. Going to a church building will not make anyone’s thoughts travel further and neither does lighting a candle make any difference. God knows your thoughts before you think them but if you’ve no relationship with Him He does not hear you. The early Church recognised that fact by the Word of God, the Old Testament, as the New Testament had not been written. Many of the early members saw Jesus first hand and the things he did and saw the fulfilment of the Old Testament before their very eyes. They were taught from the Old Testament and knew it well for they were Jews. When the first apostles and disciples taught them it was from the Old Testament with admonition through the likes of Paul by his letters to the church groups scattered around the eastern Mediterranean (see letters to Corinthians, Ephesians etc). As Christians we must obey the word of God otherwise we make a mockery of His word, this is why it is important to follow the teachings in Scripture without turning to the right or to the left or being persuaded from outsiders (secularists, atheists and so on) to oblige them in their agendas. This is why the Church is struggling because it is wandering from the truth. The word of God is the same as it always was and is not subject to the whims and fancies of a modern society. Changing the word of God to suit the times makes a mockery of it. The truth will always be the truth.
People are not excluded from the Kingdom of God, provided they accept Jesus as their Saviour and reject the sins of the flesh and that is the crunch isn’t it? God indeed did not intend that we should be the way we are, sin came into the world and remains in the world until Christ Jesus returns. I believe in God but do not seek to influence His way of doing things. Can the pot dictate what the potter does?
The last sentence in your post I assume is rhetorical for it has to be from someone outside of the Church.
To continue with the thread click on http://lucymelford.blogspot.co.uk/
Posted in Christianity, Church | Tagged: Bible, Christ Jesus, Christian, Church, God, New Testament, Old Testament | 2 Comments »
Posted by Shirley Anne on November 28, 2012
A Kranz (wreath) of Kölsch beer. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Recently I made the decision to quit drinking alcohol altogether. I explained the reason for that decision in another post a few days ago. It won’t stop me visiting the pub as there are many non-alcoholic drinks available. When I last stopped drinking alcohol I didn’t touch a drop for thirteen years and was never tempted to do so. When I did resume it was a choice I made and not a temptation. I had misinterpreted what was written in The Bible regarding alcohol and it’s consumption. It was a genuine mistake and I wasn’t trying to justify my decision to have the occasional drink. A little of what you fancy does no harm does it? Well that was my thinking but now I have learned that thinking was in error. Apart from the fact that quite often a little of what you fancy leads to a lot of what you fancy and before you know it you’ve had way in excess. Not a good idea. References to drinking wine abound in Scripture but in fact the term ‘wine’ is a misinterpretation for it wasn’t really wine as we know it. It was fruit juice, possibly slightly fermented but nothing like the wines we have today which are quite potent. So I made the decision to stop drinking alcohol completely this time. I last went to the pub on my birthday, that was Wednesday last week and sat in one of the corners, in fact right behind where I had to sit because the place was quite full, was the Christmas tree, still bare as it had only arrived that morning. A few weeks ago I spoke to an acquaintance of mine who I first met in the pub and he talked about the approach to Christmas. I told him that I will not be visiting the pub over the Christmas period which would probably be from the beginning of December. He naturally asked why so I told him. Once the decorations go up in the pub I stop going there until they are taken down, which will be in January. He looked a little perplexed when I told him that I didn’t like the falseness and insincerity that surrounds Christmas and that people celebrated it for all the wrong reasons. He knows I am a Christian. Essentially the whole event is riddled with pagan rituals and themes and is a far cry from it’s intended purpose which is celebrating the birth of Christ, something that most certainly will not be celebrated by imbibing huge amounts of alcohol in a pub. I don’t wish to be a part of that. It seems they have already decided to decorate the place and it is still November! So it is no more pub for me for a while.
Posted in Christianity | Tagged: Alcohol, Bible, Christian, Christmas, Public house, Soft drink, Wine | 2 Comments »
Posted by Shirley Anne on November 13, 2012
English: A protester attends a pride parade in Ottawa, with a sign with a quotation from 1 Corinthians. Several neo-pagans express their amusement. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
In February of 1989 I became a Christian. The subsequent change in me was dramatic, I was indeed a new creation. The commemorative verse given to me by the pastor of the church where I was baptised was 2 Corinthians 5:17 ‘ Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!’ The pastor had no idea that I had written a poem around that verse and neither did he know that I was presenting it as part of my testimony to the church. Furthermore I received a congratulatory card from a friend in which was printed the same verse although she had no idea I was using the same verse in my testimonial presentation either. This meant that my previous life of selfishness, drinking and using foul language together with a host of many more unsavoury attitudes and afflictions simply melted away. I had been born again. This is in fact what the phrase means. My life changed for the better and I grew in my faith. However, as I live in the real world too I was still subject to its temptations and over time I have to confess to giving in to some of them. I didn’t fall away from God or my beliefs but I did wander a little off the straight and narrow path. Since I left my last fellowship in 1998 I have actually grown in my understanding but it was also during this time that I found myself picking up bad habits too. One of those habits was drinking alcohol. I was never one to over-indulge but drinking did have an affect upon me by rendering me less capable than I ought to be but that is what it does, it is a drug. I am constantly renewing my faith and my relationship with God and by His Holy Spirit am reminded of my shortcomings. Last year I wrote a song entitled ‘I’m coming home dear Father’
I’m comin’ home dear Father
I’m comin’ back to you
I’ve done my share of roamin’
And I was so lonesome it’s true.
Wandered from you for a season
For I thought that I would win through
But without your love to guide me
I would just be empty and blue.
Copyright Shirley Anne 2 Oct 2011
It is a song where I am telling God that I am coming back home from my meanderings from Him, a bit like the story of the prodigal son who realised the error in his ways and turned back to his father. I have allowed the sins of this world to overtake me on occasion but now I have come to my senses and have returned to my former love. God has never deserted me, He has never left my side, no, it was me who wandered off and now I realise where I should be. No more alcohol, no more trying to make excuses for my behaviour or trying to justify myself. There is only one way and I am back on that road now. I was created a new being when I came to Christ, I have to remember that fact and keep up the good fight. I must strive to keep the ways of the world at bay. I am no longer my own for I have been bought at a price, I belong to Jesus.
- Blessed Beyond Recognition (freshwind-ministries.org)
- Clean and Loyal Hearts: Psalm 51:10-11 (psalmslife.com)
- New Creation (purpleanchors.wordpress.com)
Posted in Behaviour, Christianity, Gods love, Gods love through Jesus, Jesus Christ and The Holy Spirit, Relationships, Sin, Well-being | Tagged: Christ, Christian, Christianity, God, HolySpirit, Jesus, Pastor, Second Epistle to the Corinthians, Sin | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Shirley Anne on November 11, 2012
The Examination and Trial of Father Christmas, (1686), published shortly after Christmas was reinstated as a holy day in England. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Well we are in that time of year once again, the run-up to Christmas. It starts tentatively in September and by the time we get into December it is an all out war, a battle of advertising, promotions, incentives, ideas and all to encourage a mad spending spree. For what? I smile at it all these days because I now look upon the whole affair as an outsider, one who got off the silly ride a couple of years ago and refuses to take part in it all. Let’s get one thing straight at the outset though, I am a Christian, I am a believer in God and in the salvation wrought through Jesus Christ but I realised that the celebration of the man-made festival we call Christmas is not really what God desires of us and there is no precedent for it in Scripture. There is nothing wrong in enjoying and celebrating with family and friends just for the sake of it but to infer that it has anything to do with Christ is wrong especially if those celebrations do not really honour God. In truth Christmas is merely an excuse to overdo things, get drunk, eat too much and just have a hedonistic time. Most people these days do not believe in God or in salvation through Jesus Christ or at best they give lip service to Him. If there were any real sincerity it might be different but even so it isn’t what God wishes. Getting back to the secular side of things and the annual goings on I am glad I no longer a part of it. I see no point in spending money on presents just to receive presents in return. I see no point in drinking more alcohol and partying just because everyone else does it. I see no point in spending vast amounts of money on the traditional fayre of Christmas food just for one day knowing that it isn’t going to be eaten in just one day or probably even one week! Christmas is a time to tell children lies instead of telling them the truth that is in Jesus. No it is a time to tell them about a fictional character who has flying reindeer and who is able to climb down the millions of chimneys dotted about the planet all in one night! How he quite manages that, especially considering his girth, never seems to matter. How is a child supposed to trust you if you start their lives by telling them lies? Christmas is a time for unbelievers to make a mockery of the birth of Christ by filling the time with sinful ways. Christmas, if it ever was truly supposed to be a celebration for Christians has long since been hijacked but in fact it was originally celebrated in an effort to turn pagans and others to God. Well it failed miserably! Christmas is now a time for unbelievers! The same old roundabout revolves with the same old excuses by those riding on it. When Jesus returns as he says he will there will be no reason to celebrate Christmas but will all those unbelievers recognise that fact? Will they see the truth and realise their error? Time will tell but it will be too late for some.
Posted in Celebration, God, Gods love, Gods love through Jesus, Jesus, Religion, Sin, Wisdom | Tagged: Christian, Christianity, Christmas, God, Jesus, Jesus Christ, Religion | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Shirley Anne on October 31, 2012
Traditions (Photo credit: Luxerta)
At the end of next month or perhaps the beginning of December I will curtail my visits to the pub, not returning again until after the first week in January, God permitting of course. I call this time the ‘silly season‘ when the world gets all wrapped up in the Christmas festivities and shallow well-wishing toward one another. It is the season for struggling in the shopping areas of town worrying about what presents to buy for those in our lives, a pointless ritual that people feel obliged to be a part of. That belief is rooted in a lack of self-confidence to make a stand against tradition, mostly because they enjoy the experience of it all. It matters not to the majority that what they do doesn’t honour God, if they had any belief in Him at all. What is more important to them is that they are enjoying it all. It is a time to get merry, to give and receive gifts, to eat too much food and to generally make pigs of themselves. The run-up to it all is probably more enjoyable than the holiday itself and when it is all over it is back to the normal routine again. What benefit is there in all of that I ask? Well once upon a time I indulged in the same way and then I became a Christian and the festivities had meaning but since those days I have realised that all I had been doing was based upon tradition and what I was getting out of it all. God doesn’t want us to fall into the trap of traditionalism, man-made festivities and seasonal hedonism. He would rather we lived our lives honouring Him and not just for a season but throughout our lives. Loving and pleasing God is a lifestyle, far better than any Christmas party or any of the trappings surrounding it. I no longer wish to be a part of it and for the last few years I have isolated myself from this tradition. I enjoy the company of people, that is why I go to the pub in the first place and I can do that all year round but something happens to people at Christmas and there is a sense of ignorance in their hearts regarding Christmas itself and why it was originally ordained. That subject I will not go into again for I have expounded upon it many times before. As they say these days ‘Google it’, or you could look into my archives at posts I have made around this time of year more recently. Key in the word ‘Christmas’ in the search box on the right. No, I shall not be going to the pub when they start their silly season in a few weeks time.
Posted in Holiday, Tradition | Tagged: Christian, Christmas, Christmas and holiday season, God, Google, Holiday, January, Tradition | 2 Comments »
Posted by Shirley Anne on October 24, 2012
Author: Bagande (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
What does that word conjure up in your mind? We all would like to think that we really know what love is and I, as a Christian, can quote from The Bible verses which describe what love is but that falls on the deaf ears of the unbelieving person. We know what love is because we experience it as human beings. We can know the love that someone has for us and we can show that same love to other human beings. True love is the complete denial of self for others and most of us fall short of that ideal in many ways, though we wouldn’t admit to it. At some point we miss the mark because we are not perfect, none of us are. It is possible to love another even though that love may not be reciprocated or at least not wholly. I treated E to a meal out on Monday afternoon and we had a great time. We talked about many things but at one point I turned the conversation to religion, specifically God and asked her right out if she believed in God. Now I have known E for more than forty years, almost forty-one to be precise but throughout that time I have never known for certain what her beliefs really were. I had an inkling but I was never sure. That was because she would never reveal her feelings on the subject and refused to talk about it. Now most people to whom I ask that question will answer yes or no and we may go on to discuss the reasons why depending on the circumstances but E has always shied away from that possibility. I don’t know why she acts that way but I have always thought that it might be she doesn’t want to be challenged on the subject. Consequently I never pressed for an answer though I often skirted the subject seeking a response of some sort. I pray for her constantly in the hope that she will eventually come to believe just as I do for all those who do not believe. When she knows God she will know what true love is all about, as will all those who turn to Him. God loves His creation and we are His creation. God’s love goes far beyond our human understanding and we can never love one another in the same way that He loves us. We are told to love God first and then love our neighbour as ourselves but many do neither though they may love some. If, as some suggest, we came into existence completely by chance then there is no precedent for love, why should there be? The fact is love exists and we cannot deny it but there is hatred too. However, how many of us would subscribe to the idea that living in a world full of hatred and one lacking completely in love is more desirable? No, we all want the opposite but sadly make no real effort to achieve it. True love is found in God, not in human beings and until every last soul on this planet realises that, nothing is going to change. Only with the promised return of Christ will true love reign here on Earth.
Posted in God, Gods love, Gods love through Jesus, Jesus, Love | Tagged: Christian, God, Human, Jesus, Love | 2 Comments »
Posted by Shirley Anne on September 26, 2012
Old way to call to a door (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Whilst I was sitting down on Sunday afternoon writing the post about doing nothing there was a knock on the door, actually the doorbell rang and I got up to answer it. E was busying herself on her computer in the rear lounge so probably didn’t want to be disturbed. I opened the door to see two young women standing there, one was a black girl and the other Caucasian. Neither seemed to be or to have been born in this country by the sound of their accents, the black girl sounded as if she was originally from the Caribbean and the white girl from Poland or some other eastern European country. However they both had something in common with each other and with me. They were Christians doing a door-to-door survey with anyone who would spend some time with them. Normally I do not invite conversation with door-to-door salesmen, purveyors of household goods, Jehovah Witnesses or other such people but these two girls were different, they were sisters in Christ, members of the Seventh Day Adventist church and they were doing a small survey regarding the breakdown of society as part of their outreach to unbelievers. I invited them inside so they could ask their questions in comfort. When they realised I was well versed in my faith as a Christian and in Scripture they saw that I didn’t need any more convincing and their questions turned out to be somewhat a waste of time but I remained patient with them for they were doing God‘s work. I gave them an abbreviated version of my conversion to the faith, my testimony which they found fascinating and I mentioned that I wrote Christian songs. I was asked to perform one or two and the black girl sang along with me. It turns out she has an amazing singing voice. She sang a song which I’d not heard before and then we sang the hymn ‘I need Thee every hour’ together before kneeling down in prayer. It has been a long time since I enjoyed the company of fellow Christians in such a way and it is something I miss in life. After about twenty minutes they had to depart and I thanked them and wished them well in their endeavours. I returned to my computer to write this. Yesterday’s post was about having nothing much to do and then God sent me two sisters to build me up and encourage me. Now I am already a Christian and don’t need to be witnessed to but it is nice to be able to chat with my brothers and sisters whenever they call. Many people will reject the idea of inviting witnessing Christians into their home because they ‘are not religious’ or ‘don’t believe in God’ but I say to them don’t pass up the opportunity of possibly learning something you didn’t know before. Opportunity does knock sometimes.
- What I learned from Jehovah’s Witnesses (amyhopefrancis.wordpress.com)
- Opportunity is knocking a… (haroldcameron.wordpress.com)
- I’m Seeking & Knocking (jodykyoung.wordpress.com)
Posted in Christianity, Evangelism, God, Jesus, Jesus Christ and The Holy Spirit, Salvation | Tagged: Christ, Christian, Christianity, Door-to-door | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Shirley Anne on September 22, 2012
Healing “laying on of hands” ceremony in the Pentecostal Church of God. Lejunior, Harlan County, Kentucky. – NARA – 541337 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Recent reports tell of a married couple who allowed their 16 year-old son die an agonising death through the results of a burst appendix. The couple, in their late thirties and who had seven children before Austin’s death, are members of the General Assembly and the Church of the First Born in Cresswell, Oregon, which shuns modern medicine and teaches parishioners that faith healing and prayer will cure disease. As a Christian I am dismayed that people can be so brainwashed into thinking that the only way to be healed is to pray for it. Yes, do pray but remember that prayer alone isn’t always the answer. It is true to say that miraculous healing does happen sometimes and people may be healed through the laying on of hands however these incidences occur because God has given someone the gift of healing. This doesn’t mean that they actually heal people themselves but God uses them as an intermediary. The gift of healing is just one of the gifts of the Spirit that God may bestow on an individual and indeed as Christians we are encouraged to seek the gifts. We see this in Scripture
1 Corinthians 12 (New International Version – UK)
Concerning spiritual gifts
12 Now about the gifts of the Spirit, brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be uninformed. 2 You know that when you were pagans, somehow or other you were influenced and led astray to dumb idols. 3 Therefore I want you to know that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, ‘Jesus be cursed,’ and no one can say, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ except by the Holy Spirit.
4 There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. 5 There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6 There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.
7 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 8 To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10 to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.
As you can see not everyone has every gift but they are given according to the will of God. Getting back to the couple mentioned we can see they have been misled in their thinking. It is one thing to hope and pray that God will heal someone and a different thing when He does and by which method He chooses. He may either do it without human involvement or He may employ someone through the gift of healing, the laying on of hands. However, God has also given us alternative ways to heal which we should not ignore such as through medicine, surgery and the skills of the medical fraternity. It is foolishness to ignore the practical gifts God has given mankind through intelligence. There is the old tale of a passenger liner taking on water and sinking with the loss of everyone on board except for one soul who managed to cling to a floating object and who drifted for days thinking he would never be rescued. He prayed earnestly to God asking to be saved from his predicament and after a few days another ship sailed close by and saw him adrift. Pulling alongside they asked him to grasp the rope they had thrown overboard but he refused saying that God was going to rescue him. A day or two later another ship sailed by and the same thing happened. Finally a yacht drifted by and its captain tried in vain to get the man to climb aboard so he too sailed away. The conditions worsened and the man drowned. He found himself in the presence of God and asked Him why he had not been saved to which God replied, ‘I did want to save you, I sent two liners and a yacht but you refused to be saved’! God works in mysterious ways His wonders to perform. We cannot afford to discount any of them by expecting Him to do things our way. Had that couple and the other members of that church really been in touch with God that young man would be alive today.
Posted in God, Health, Jesus Christ and The Holy Spirit, Medicine, Miracles | Tagged: Christian, First Epistle to the Corinthians, Gifts of healing, God, Holy Spirit, Spiritual gift | Leave a Comment »