Me reading?

Throughout my life I have never been one who took much interest in reading unless it was something factual or was supposed to be. Remember we have to read untruths too before we discern those things which are true. Knowledge is a fine thing but truth has to be supported by evidence. There are many things purporting to be true but they lack supporting evidence. We may read something which is the truth yet we don’t recognise it as such. We even reject the truth when the evidence is plainly there to see! Preconceived ideas and beliefs hold back the truth from us. I never read fiction, it has to be real for me. My earliest interests centred around astronomy. Beginning with the solar system and extending out to the stars and galaxies my interests grew so much I could digest huge amounts of information and still hunger for more. The more I discovered the more deep my interest. You might guess therefore that I possess many books about astronomy though these days I seldom read any of them. With the advent of The Internet there is little point as any information is out there to be had at the touch of a keyboard button. I still take an interest in the subject and probably always will. During my search for God in the years 1987 and 1988 my focus had been in reconciling the vastness of ‘space’ with the God who made it and it was somewhat of a stumbling block to my becoming a Christian believer. There was a yearning in my heart to know the truth and in my simplicity I asked God to reveal Himself to me. At this point I could diversify and write about my conversion but that isn’t the subject of this post. Save to say, I was converted and as I grew in my understanding things began to make sense. My Bible studies drew as much if not more interest as did my study of astronomy and so all my reading was in that direction. One can only learn facts by what is read, spoken or seen. There are many folk who think they know it all though they neither read, listen or look. They deceive themselves and the truth evades them. Since becoming a Christian in 1989 I have done much in the way of studying my faith and still continue to this day. As with any study we have to discern what is truth and what isn’t. For the Christian there is an assistant, a helper to guide us to the truth….The Holy Spirit. It is He who reveals the truth of the matter in our hearts as we study, for He reveals His own truth, God’s truth. After all The Bible is the inspired Word of God, The Holy Spirit inspired the writers to write what they did. Without a knowledge of anything anyone else wrote! It isn’t an instinctive awareness, for that is something we all have both believer and unbeliever alike. So I read a lot about my faith so that my understanding will grow. At the moment I am reading a book (online) about ‘The End Times‘ or more accurately the years preceding Christ’s return as prophesied in Scripture. The web site is  https://in-gods-service.com/   and specifically the article named ’69th-generation a biblical commentary on Daniel 9 (Book of) and the generation of Christ’s return.’ There is a link where the book may be downloaded free of charge for anyone wishing to read it. Having read the Bible around thirty times through and many isolated passages many times it never ceases to amaze me when new things are revealed to me from its pages. The particular article mentioned above draws out some very interesting facts otherwise passed over when being read as it links these facts together. The information is there for all those who seek it but remains hidden from those who don’t.  Even though the information is in plain view, God, The Holy Spirit, has presented it in such a way as not to be obvious to the casual reader. The book is well worth reading for any Christian who is serious about their faith and who wishes to understand the times. It is all there in The Bible……

Shirley Anne

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With all my heart

I’ve a wonderful love
That’s so deep in my heart
Came into my life
Gave me a new start
Through all of my sorrows
My troubles and pain
Whenever I fell
I was lifted again.
The joy of this love
Gives to each one a share
With no special favours
To black, brown or fair.
Take hold of this love
There for each one of us
The love of my Saviour
My sweet Lord Jesus.

Copyright Shirley Anne 31 March 2003

Dear Lord my God, my Heavenly Father I give you praise

You are worthy to receive honour and glory and praise

For You are the I AM, you are the Creator of all things

You created all things through your Son my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ

He is my Redeemer my Saviour God

Today the world celebrates your birth, the day you came down from heaven to live amongst us

Immanuel! We cry out Immanuel – God with us

You take away the sins of the people that we may be presented pure and holy before The Father

For all those who believe on your name there is Salvation.

Thank you for the greatest gift we could ever receive

Thank you Jesus for loving me.

Today as in every day my soul rejoices in the knowledge of your love

I pray for those who don’t know you, for those who reject you

Forgive them Father for they know not what they are doing forgive them in Jesus’ name I ask

Give them O God another opportunity today to get to know you.

Thank you Jesus

Amen

 

Shirley Anne

Beans at the ready

If there is one thing you could say about beans it is that they really let you know who your friends are! I refer to the following day after eating them of course but we’ll not explore that. It has become somewhat of a small tradition with me that I have beans on toast on Christmas day instead of a roast dinner with turkey (or some other unfortunate bird), roasted potatoes, vegetables and all the trimmings that come with a Christmas dinner.

English: Beans on toast
Beans on toast (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What is so special about a Christmas dinner anyway? Many folk have roasted dinners every week which are not any different from a Christmas dinner. The real difference is probably the company with which the meal is shared, this is what makes it special. For myself I no longer eat Christmas dinner. One reason, probably the main reason is I have no-one with which to share it but there are other reasons too, I don’t really want to stuff myself silly with a large roast dinner. The tendency is to eat far more than we should on such occasions and that habit I am happy to forego. I spend Christmas day, that is the afternoon and early evening alone. E spends the day with her mom and brother and some members of the family. I am never invited just as her sister now isn’t either. This doesn’t bother me and it doesn’t matter as I don’t celebrate the day as they do anyway. So much for the love we are supposed to be showing to others at this and any other time of the year. The secular Christmas should have no meaning to a Christian except maybe to have an opportunity to witness. So as long as I can have my beans on toast, with a fried egg or two on top I am happy. Why did Christmas get hi-jacked by the secular world? They saw it as an opportunity to revel, to party and to have a good time (nothing wrong with all that) but it lacks endurance, it simply doesn’t last and at the end of the day (literally) doesn’t really satisfy completely for if it did there wouldn’t be a reason to do it all over again. Having Jesus as your Saviour however does satisfy because that lasts forever.

Shirley Anne

Never ending story

No not the movie…..life! Do you ever feel you are on a treadmill going nowhere? Yes you do things, you have a routine, you change your routine as often as you feel but nothing really changes does it? Recently retired and when working having purpose really meant nothing either, it simply meant I had something to occupy my time. I still have things to occupy my time, it is simply a different routine. We set goals in life or just live for the moment or maybe we do both but in the end everything we do eventually leads us to the next for we are never satisfied. It is like food for our souls, it is our thoughts which spurs us on, they are what keep us moving forward and ever seeking something that in fact we seldom find if we are truthful. Life can be very satisfying and rewarding but none of it really lasts. We aim to satisfy our physical needs first and foremost and neglect our spiritual needs though the two are inseparable, at least whilst we live. We are driven by what we think but we can change what we think. If we are comfortable with the changes we continue in them or we can make an attempt to do so but in the end if we are not happy we revert. No matter what we do in life, what choices we make along the way can we really say that we’ve been happy one hundred percent of the time? Our thoughts might tell us otherwise and in reality we know we are never fully happy, never fully satisfied with our lot. So our lives are a never-ending struggle with ourselves and our situations. Some resign themselves to never achieving their hopes and dreams and others think they’ve hit the jackpot when they think they have. It is all an illusion, a passing fancy and we have to make the most of it until we die. How often have you heard the expression ‘Life is for living’? Did it have an effect on your choices thereafter? We can but do nothing else but live out our lives as best we can and be happy and contented. In this world there is nothing else.

Story of My Life (album)
Story of My Life (album) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Ecclesiastes 1

Everything is meaningless

The words of the Teacher, son of David, king of Jerusalem:

‘Meaningless! Meaningless!’
    says the Teacher.
‘Utterly meaningless!
    Everything is meaningless.’

What do people gain from all their labours
    at which they toil under the sun?
Generations come and generations go,
    but the earth remains for ever.
The sun rises and the sun sets,
    and hurries back to where it rises.
The wind blows to the south
    and turns to the north;
round and round it goes,
    ever returning on its course.
All streams flow into the sea,
    yet the sea is never full.
To the place the streams come from,
    there they return again.
All things are wearisome,
    more than one can say.
The eye never has enough of seeing,
    nor the ear its fill of hearing.
What has been will be again,
    what has been done will be done again;
    there is nothing new under the sun.
10 Is there anything of which one can say,
    ‘Look! This is something new’?
It was here already, long ago;
    it was here before our time.
11 No one remembers the former generations,
    and even those yet to come
will not be remembered
    by those who follow them.

It is a never-ending story……..until we die

Shirley Anne

Hang on a minute

Again we as a nation were subjected to acts of terrorism by religious fanatics as now eight people have died through their actions with many more having been wounded. The attackers, three of them, were shot and killed by the security services. Their motive? To kill as many unbelievers as they could or simply a retaliatory act as a punishment for the nation having been involved in the fight against religion-based terrorism in foreign parts? It doesn’t matter but what does matter is the fact that innocent people are killed or maimed in the process. What bothers me more is that I believe the atrocities are carried out in the name of a false god. Now hang on a minute, isn’t Allah God? He certainly is not, there is only one true God and He is The Creator, the ‘I Am’, who reveals Himself through His creation and through His Son Jesus Christ, for it is through Jesus that all things that have been made (created) have their being. Now hang on a minute all you believers in Allah who maintain that there was something extra that God did after Jesus’ sacrifice for mankind…………Jesus died that all might be saved and when He took His last breath as a human being He said it Himself…’It is finished’. All that could be done had been done. God (the Godhead, Father, Son and Holy Spirit) had planned it all and there was now nothing more that could be done. Why would God change His mind?

Mohammed (right) and the Angel Gabriel (left) ...
Mohammed (right) and the Angel Gabriel (left) in a building with three domes. Provenance unknown. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Why would the angel Gabriel be sent to give a message to Mohammed to tell him that ‘hang on a minute, God was only kidding when He suffered on The Cross (through Jesus Christ) for all mankind and now you are the true messenger’? The fact is He didn’t. Mohammed is called a prophet by his followers yet he didn’t prophesy anything. He gleaned information from existing texts of both the Old and New Testaments and concocted a ‘holy’ book called the Q’ran. A book filled with good sayings but also filled with untruths. Mohammed himself had lead a rather dubious lifestyle before he ‘got’ religion. He was in fact a military man a  soldier who had been ruthless in killing in his quest for followers and now he was preaching a false religion in the name of his false god Allah. Nothing much changes does it? I am sorry for my Muslim brothers and sisters who have been led up the wrong path, especially those who think that by killing others it will get them into their Paradise. It won’t. If it did then Allah is proven a god of hatred and Christ died for nothing.

English: Resurrection of Christ
Resurrection of Christ (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Praise be to God for Jesus Christ who is the only way anyone can get to Paradise (Heaven). For there is no other name under Heaven by which we must be saved.{Acts 4:12 Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.’ }. If you haven’t got Jesus therefore you haven’t got anything!

Shirley Anne

A real concern

A Christmas Without Snow
A Christmas Without Snow (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have just written a comment on an article posted by AOL regarding snowfall at Christmas. Our weather forecasters seemingly cannot say with certainty if we in the UK will get a white Christmas. My comments centred on the fact that I thought it utter nonsense that people yearn for such things forgetting as many do what Christmas is supposed to be all about, the birth of our Saviour and not the fact that we might or might not get snow!
I was at work on Saturday afternoon. I had no work in the morning but had arranged to work in another town for someone in the afternoon because they had no free time during the week. I didn’t mind, after all it is Christmas as they say. Anyway the work was to replace a few light fittings with sparkling new ones. The lady for whom I was doing the work began chatting with me. Usually it is off-putting when people won’t just let me get on with the work but on this occasion I didn’t mind. I was taken a little by surprise because her questions all centred upon me, my family, friends, about my faith and about Christmas. I am not forthright in opening up to people regarding my family and friends my faith and beliefs unless they ask of course but if they do I don’t hold back. She began by asking what I was doing over Christmas. When I replied ‘nothing different from usual’ she was intrigued and wanted to know more so I explained, telling her that I don’t think Christmas is celebrated for the right reasons these days and it has become a secular and commercial machine having nothing to do with Christ. I also told her that my family have all but distanced themselves and my friends all live afar, not that I can claim having many friends as I don’t which means I couldn’t celebrate the holiday with them as they do even it was my wish to do so. My social life is just about zero too but that’s another story. She became very concerned and it prompted more questions which I answered as honestly as I could. She couldn’t believe I don’t celebrate Christmas as I once did, in fact I don’t celebrate it at all. The look of concern upon her face was evident. She asked if I was a Christian, a question I usually end up asking of those I talk with rather than it being asked of myself. Asking what church I went to and discovering I don’t prompted her to ask why. The answer I gave made her feel sad for me and she said she thought it was sad that I wasn’t in a fellowship and no longer felt the urge to be in one. I was more concerned about her feeling a sadness for me instead of just accepting the way I feel about things as being my own choice. I have to admit I haven’t felt such a concern for me for many years, not even from those closest to me, my own family. I am more concerned that people should believe in God and Jesus Christ rather than be concerned for me and never mind whether it will snow or not.

Shirley Anne

The way it crumbles…..

…..or how I missed my Sunday morning walk. Actually I missed my Sunday morning breakfast too! I had some extra time in bed though I had no more sleep than I usually get, I had made a few visits to the toilet which broke it up. Anyhow I was just sitting at my dressing table and about to apply my make-up when my phone rang. it was from an elderly lady living in a small township about nine miles away along the coast. I used to live at the north end of the same town a few years ago. She apologised for calling on a Sunday morning but she was looking for an electrician who would be available to fix a fault. I asked what the problem was and she told me the electrical supply had tripped and there was a fluorescent light fitting hanging from the ceiling in her kitchen. As my readers might know by now I will only work on a Sunday if it is an emergency. Well a total loss of power would constitute an emergency in our modern society as there would be no heating, lighting or power for fridges and freezers. I told the lady I would be there within the hour and I arrived there forty-five minutes later. First of all I had to put on my make-up of course but that only takes a few minutes. Naturally I skipped breakfast and drove straight there. As it happened her daughter, who was living there, had not long ago returned from hospital after an operation and she was desperate to get the heating switched back on. As I walked into the hallway I saw the fluorescent light hanging there on the cable. The main RCD unit on the distribution panel had tripped thereby cutting off all the electrical circuits. I disconnected the light then re-instated the supply much to the relief of the customer who promptly prepared each of us a hot drink of coffee. Whoever had installed the light hadn’t used the correct fixings for the ceiling and the weight of the light had gradually loosened them. Fortunately no-one had been in the kitchen when it fell from the ceiling. I refitted the light, this time securely! As is usual when a few women get together much chatting goes on, which is exactly what happened while I was there.

Liverpool Anglican Cathedral
Liverpool Anglican Cathedral (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

They were asking me about my faith and what church I attend. I told them that I no longer go to church but that when I did it was first of all a Methodist church and after I had become a Christian, a Pentecostal church. The daughter especially wanted to know about the practice of speaking and worshipping in ‘tongues’ and how I became a Christian. They were Christians too. They told me that they travel into Liverpool (a further fourteen miles along the coast) to the Anglican Cathedral for worship and especially the teaching they receive from the clergy there. Finally I had to return home, it was time for something to eat. I had prepared a chicken and vegetable stew late on Saturday afternoon so I had no cooking to do, just heating it up. I suppose I could have then gone for a walk but somehow the novelty had worn off and I rested instead……I had work to do the following day.

Shirley Anne

Brothers

Expulsion of Ishmael and His Mother, from Gust...
Expulsion of Ishmael and His Mother, from Gustave Doré’s illustrated Bible of 1866. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Genesis 16

Hagar and Ishmael
1 Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children. But she had an Egyptian slave named Hagar; 2 so she said to Abram, ‘The Lord has kept me from having children. Go, sleep with my slave; perhaps I can build a family through her.’

Abram agreed to what Sarai said. 3 So after Abram had been living in Canaan ten years, Sarai his wife took her Egyptian slave Hagar and gave her to her husband to be his wife. 4 He slept with Hagar, and she conceived.

When she knew she was pregnant, she began to despise her mistress. 5 Then Sarai said to Abram, ‘You are responsible for the wrong I am suffering. I put my slave in your arms, and now that she knows she is pregnant, she despises me. May the Lord judge between you and me.’

6 ‘Your slave is in your hands,’ Abram said. ‘Do with her whatever you think best.’ Then Sarai ill-treated Hagar; so she fled from her.

7 The angel of the Lord found Hagar near a spring in the desert; it was the spring that is beside the road to Shur. 8 And he said, ‘Hagar, slave of Sarai, where have you come from, and where are you going?’

‘I’m running away from my mistress Sarai,’ she answered.

9 Then the angel of the Lord told her, ‘Go back to your mistress and submit to her.’ 10 The angel added, ‘I will increase your descendants so much that they will be too numerous to count.’

11 The angel of the Lord also said to her:

‘You are now pregnant
and you will give birth to a son.
You shall name him Ishmael,
for the Lord has heard of your misery.
12 He will be a wild donkey of a man;
his hand will be against everyone
and everyone’s hand against him,
and he will live in hostility
towards all his brothers.’
13 She gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her: ‘You are the God who sees me,’ for she said, ‘I have now seen the One who sees me.’ 14 That is why the well was called Beer Lahai Roi; it is still there, between Kadesh and Bered.

15 So Hagar bore Abram a son, and Abram gave the name Ishmael to the son she had borne. 16 Abram was eighty-six years old when Hagar bore him Ishmael.

In the next chapter we read the following……….

Genesis 17

The covenant of circumcision

1 When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, ‘I am God Almighty; walk before me faithfully and be blameless. 2 Then I will make my covenant between me and you and will greatly increase your numbers.’

3 Abram fell face down, and God said to him, 4 ‘As for me, this is my covenant with you: you will be the father of many nations. 5 No longer will you be called Abram; your name will be Abraham, for I have made you a father of many nations. 6 I will make you very fruitful; I will make nations of you, and kings will come from you. 7 I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you. 8 The whole land of Canaan, where you now reside as a foreigner, I will give as an everlasting possession to you and your descendants after you; and I will be their God.’

9 Then God said to Abraham, ‘As for you, you must keep my covenant, you and your descendants after you for the generations to come. 10 This is my covenant with you and your descendants after you, the covenant you are to keep: every male among you shall be circumcised. 11 You are to undergo circumcision, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and you. 12 For the generations to come every male among you who is eight days old must be circumcised, including those born in your household or bought with money from a foreigner – those who are not your offspring. 13 Whether born in your household or bought with your money, they must be circumcised. My covenant in your flesh is to be an everlasting covenant. 14 Any uncircumcised male, who has not been circumcised in the flesh, will be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant.’

15 God also said to Abraham, ‘As for Sarai your wife, you are no longer to call her Sarai; her name will be Sarah. 16 I will bless her and will surely give you a son by her. I will bless her so that she will be the mother of nations; kings of peoples will come from her.’

17 Abraham fell face down; he laughed and said to himself, ‘Will a son be born to a man a hundred years old? Will Sarah bear a child at the age of ninety?’ 18 And Abraham said to God, ‘If only Ishmael might live under your blessing!’

19 Then God said, ‘Yes, but your wife Sarah will bear you a son, and you will call him Isaac. I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him. 20 And as for Ishmael, I have heard you: I will surely bless him; I will make him fruitful and will greatly increase his numbers. He will be the father of twelve rulers, and I will make him into a great nation. 21 But my covenant I will establish with Isaac, whom Sarah will bear to you by this time next year.’ 22 When he had finished speaking with Abraham, God went up from him.

23 On that very day Abraham took his son Ishmael and all those born in his household or bought with his money, every male in his household, and circumcised them, as God told him. 24 Abraham was ninety-nine years old when he was circumcised, 25 and his son Ishmael was thirteen; 26 Abraham and his son Ishmael were both circumcised on that very day. 27 And every male in Abraham’s household, including those born in his household or bought from a foreigner, was circumcised with him.

In the new covenant brought about by the grace of God through His only begotten son Jesus, circumcision of the flesh was no longer a requirement but simply the circumcision of the heart. If we believe in God our Father and in the one He sent, Jesus and if we repent of our ways and seek only what God wants of us and putting our faith in the Lord Jesus who has washed away our sins we, by God’s promise will be saved. 

Christians trace their ancestry to Isaac, Moslems trace their ancestry to Ishmael. We are by birthright brothers, our earthly father was Abraham.

Why is there such hostility between (some) Moslems and Christians? The Bible tells us, it was written in Scripture all those years ago.

Shirley Anne

The madness to come

Christmas gifts.
Christmas gifts. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In one calendar month almost everyone in the western world (and the eastern world too) will be celebrating Christmas. Naturally they will not be people of other faiths though even some of them might celebrate. It is intended as a Christian festival though having said that not all will be believers and followers of Christ and will be celebrating for different reasons best known to themselves. Their Christmas will not be a celebration of the birth of Jesus but it will be for a celebration centred around family, presents, partying and other things none of which honour Jesus. When Christ was born (and it certainly wasn’t on December 25th) three wise men, actually mystics from eastern lands had heard that a new king was to be born or had been born and as was the custom in those days when entering into the presence of a king they each brought a gift. The gifts themselves were not given on the day of his birth but some time later, maybe months later. People today might use the argument of giving presents to justify doing that because Jesus received gifts. They are not honouring Jesus by doing that but are simply satisfying themselves. ( http://rcg.org/books/ttooc.html ). Today of course everything is driven by commerce and there is an incessant pressure encouraging us all to buy into it. During the last few weeks and into the next four there will be a bombardment of advertising in the hope that people will buy things they don’t really need for themselves or for others. It seems rather stupid to me that people give gifts and then receive something from the recipient. It isn’t an act of kindness or love but one that is selfish and self-centred, especially when the whole point of Christmas was to celebrate the birth of Jesus as Saviour and praising God for it happening. How many will actually do that? It is a sign of the times I suppose and each year the truth behind Christmas is pushed further into the background until one day the association will be irrelevant. It is already meaningless in the eyes and hearts of many. It is all a sign of things to come, a sign of lawlessness and a turning away from God all prophesied in Scripture. Yes it is all there in black and white, a prophecy many hundreds of years ago and is being ignored because people would rather do their own thing than obey God. We don’t worship God with useless festivals and self-indulgency.

Daniel 12:10  Many will be purified, made spotless and refined, but the wicked will continue to be wicked. None of the wicked will understand, but those who are wise will understand.

Ecclesiastes 12: 13-14

Now all has been heard;
here is the conclusion of the matter:
fear God and keep his commandments,
    for this is the duty of all mankind.
14 For God will bring every deed into judgment,
    including every hidden thing,
    whether it is good or evil.

If you celebrate Christmas then do it for the right reasons and not for any sense of self-gratification. Remember there is no salvation through material things or self-righteousness, there is only one salvation and this is through Jesus Christ, the one Christmas is supposed to celebrate.

Shirley Anne

 

Just sick of it all

House of Horrors
House of Horrors (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I was watching the news program on television on Saturday morning and there was an article about a guy who had built a ‘house of horrors‘ with a Halloween theme for people to explore and be frightened all in the name of charity. It basically showed me how much people are willing to experience all kinds of things in support of charity. Absolutely nothing wrong in supporting a charity. However, charitable giving should be done privately and not done so that we can be praised by others for doing so. Ah but this is the secular world where those sentiments mean nothing. People like to boast about what they have done or are doing, half the time to impress others. It is all about pride. There is a greater reward for those who remain silent about what they do. I speak as a Christian and feel sad for the secular world where everything is done with great pomp and boastfulness. The world has sadly lost its way. The secular world is a treadmill, a calendar of repetition jumping from one event to the next throughout the year all guided and fuelled by commerce where all follow as if mesmerised. During the past week it has been very difficult to watch television without there being some reference to Halloween somewhere. Everything is geared to persuading participation in the meaningless celebrations surrounding it. Don’t they know they are dabbling with the occult? Of course they don’t, they don’t believe in such things, how can they if they don’t believe in God? That is the whole problem, people will believe in anything but the truth that is in God’s Word. Some confess a belief in God yet still follow in the ways of this world and its useless and worthless celebrations. What shall it profit a man if he gains the (whole) world yet loses his soul?  (Matt 16:26 paraphrased).

Pudsey Bear raising funds for BBC Children in ...
Pudsey Bear raising funds for BBC Children in Need 2009, in a Sheffield Pizza Express (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For many weeks during October and into November the BBC  promote the ‘Children in Need‘ event which encourages people to raise funds for the charity by any and many different ways in their own community. Shouldn’t they be doing that anyway? Many do of course but far more don’t. How one supports a charity is really not the point. The point is that yes we should support whatever charity or charities we are drawn to support but there should be no song and dance about it. The BBC promotes many things but we don’t need it all ramming down our throats every day. Well maybe the secular world does and maybe the secular world likes it but I don’t. We are told it is all about supply and demand but really without the supply there would be no demand. People will follow like sheep. Next in line Guy Fawkes, Armistice Day, Christmas, New Year, St Valentines Day, Easter……………..For Halloween our town has started yet another excuse to get people to spend their time and money chasing after the wind, they have called it ‘Screamfest in Spookport’ (Southport) and guess what? Yes, it was successful.

Shirley Anne

Mostly happy

How Much for Happy
How Much for Happy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Frequently of late I have been experiencing feelings of extreme euphoria and well-being. I am at all times relaxed and happy about my situation, the fact that I am reasonably financially secure, don’t have to work or feel under any pressure to do so. I do work as it is something I like doing but it isn’t a means to an end and I could stop at any time without it affecting my security. I would miss the opportunity to do small jobs for others of course and the joy it gives me. No, the euphoria is not about my work but my work and the option of continuing in it or not is a part of it. I have a wonderful assurance in that no matter what I am going to face each day I am not alone because God is with me through it all. I look at each day in a different way than I used to and I am more relaxed about negative things that come my way. I have become very laid-back as they say. I drive along the highway on my way to work and watch the antics of other drivers for instance who repeatedly ignore the rules or drivers who put others at risk and I take a back seat in the proceedings when once I would get agitated and annoyed. Isn’t it a wonderful thing to be able to switch off from the frantic world around us? People rushing about here and there as if they had only one more minute to live, the pressure of commerce and its intrusion into our lives, the huge merry-go-round that most seem keen to ride now mean little to me and it will not be a part of my life if I have any say in the matter. It is a struggle warding-off the ways of the world and not have them affect my life but sometimes it is impossible to remain completely isolated. I hate the incessant and persistent promotion of advertising and sales, financial services, money-making schemes, insurance and on-line gambling and once these things used to get to me, now they don’t but I still hate them. I just ignore them. My happiness is not dependent on such things. It is like looking through a window and knowing that I am on the opposite side of the glass from it all and safe from it touching me. I don’t need the pressure and will do my best to keep it that way. The world doesn’t know it yet but it is headed for big surprise.

Shirley Anne

Not satisfied

Easter egg
Easter egg (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you were to be asked to indulge in something which went against your principles or your beliefs do you think you would do so anyway? If it were to partake in some ritual perhaps or something in which you thought stupid and pointless would you still resist? How about joining a witches coven? A devil worshiping group? Perhaps these things might be of interest to some but I’ll wager not the majority of people. Suppose you were asked to think about becoming a Muslim or a Christian, a Buddhist or a Hindu if you don’t have any religious convictions, would you refuse? Well of course you would, each of us have our beliefs and when confronted with something totally against our desires and wills we resist. We may be persuaded or not depending upon our openness to such things. For instance those who are not Hindus probably wouldn’t observe Hindu festivals, those who are Muslims not Christian festivals and so on. There are those however who would celebrate festivals of faiths not their own, you have only to see what happens on and around 25 December! Christmas is celebrated by those who don’t believe in Christ and have even gone so far as to demand that Christ is left out of the celebrations. They misunderstand what Christmas is all about and have turned it into something completely different. In the western world this has become the standard, the way people behave, yet it doesn’t stop there. Not satisfied with corrupting Christmas their thoughts now turn to Easter and in a few years I can see that festival going the same way. It all starts supposedly innocently with the introduction of the Easter egg, then the Easter bunny and chicks. I wonder what next they will think of in the name of commercialism and it is all fueled by commercialism. Look at the advertisements on television on the approach to Easter. Special foodstuffs are now being promoted just as they do at Christmas. In fact every known gift is being advertised, things such as perfumes and aftershave lotions. What these have to do with Easter can only be imagined. These sacred festivals become something they are not meant to be and their message is lost to those who might otherwise hear and believe. How many children will be stuffing their faces with chocolate this Easter and not hearing the message about Jesus dying for them? How many parents couldn’t care less? They say secularism and Christianity should be kept poles apart. Try telling that to those in commerce. Where there is money to be made they will never be satisfied. As for me I believe that Jesus died for me, took my punishment for all my sins upon himself thereby setting me free. He didn’t come with a chocolate egg!

Shirley Anne

They do it differently

Differently
Differently (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Red Nose Day or Comic Relief. It is really amazing how this day, this event, has so quickly found its way into the annual roundabout of the things people follow or do each year. As far as raising monies for charitable causes go this particular annual event must rate as one of the best in the country. Another might be ‘Children in Need‘ which similarly raises millions of pounds every year. There is nothing to say against such efforts and successes for who can deny that charitable causes deserve the attention they get except that perhaps at the expense of lesser charitable organisations? I am all for giving to those in need though I will say it is impossible for an individual to give to all of them. We each have our preferences I am sure. Personally I am against the way these charities and the organisations who support their particular charity operate and the way participants act in support. There should be no need to employ ‘celebrities’ to raise extra money either but it seems the only way some will give is if they get something in return even if it is only entertainment. Give what your heart tells you to give and give it cheerfully and in secret.  Speaking of secrecy and as a Christian the way the world does things is against my beliefs for in Scripture it says:

Matthew 6:3-5

But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

‘And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.

You see, what is done in the world is in direct opposition to Scripture for people love to be seen doing good things and being praised for it. You only have to look at the television coverage and the promotional advertising encouraging all to partake. If you want to be rewarded for doing good works then do them in secret and your reward will be in Heaven. A stumbling block to unbelievers I know. The problem with unbelievers is they often do not want to think for themselves or seek out the facts and make educated decisions. In tomorrow’s post I present a challenge (again) to unbelievers to look at some facts but as far as today’s post is concerned and about giving, do I give to charities? Well the answer is yes I do but it is done differently and of course I am not about to disclose to my left hand what I am doing with my right hand. If I am rewarded it will be in Heaven.

Shirley Anne

I’ve opted out but she still did it!

Christmas gifts
Christmas gifts (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So at last the end of yet another busy week which turned out to be the busiest and most profitable so far for the entire year! I’m not about to complain though. Friday morning then was hopefully going to be the last time I would work in the week but from what my client told me over the telephone I was expecting the work I had scheduled to be a little messy. My client, a lady about the same age as myself, mentioned something about lowering a power outlet to allow more space in which to fit a wall-mounted electric fire. I had asked her if the room had solid flooring, concrete for instance and she confirmed it had. That meant the wiring to the outlet would be either coming through the wall from behind or else it was coming down the wall from up in the ceiling. It was hardly likely to be coming up from the floor and that meant the existing wires would be too short to move elsewhere. A new cable would have to be run down the wall from the space above the ceiling and sunk into the wall itself, hence the messy job. As it turned out the job was entirely different. The ‘room’ was a glass conservatory that had been erected against the gable end of the house and the wall was built with bricks. The power point didn’t require repositioning as there was just enough space alongside it to mount the fire. My task it seemed was to fit the fire too, which I did. Not only that but I repositioned the glass shelf that had been fitted over the old fire which I also had to remove before fitting the new one. All the cabling was then  neatly hidden in the trunking I’d fitted to end up with a really professional job. The lady was very much impressed and told me that was why she employed a woman to do the work. What can I say? I was accordingly paid well for my efforts but stayed a while to chat with her over a cup of coffee before driving home. I made a slight detour to purchase one or two things from the supplier and soon after midday I was home. Whilst having my lunch the doorbell rang and E, who had not yet joined me at the table, answered the door. I heard her speaking with whoever it was before she entered the room carrying some gifts wrapped in ‘Christmas’ paper. They had been presented by our next-door neighbour. It was only a week or so ago we had taken her a huge bunch of flowers on the anniversary of her husband’s passing. On that evening we chatted about many things, one of which was Christmas and the giving and receiving of presents. She had asked me if I do anything at Christmas and I told her that no, I didn’t and in fact I don’t celebrate the day nor do I give presents or wish to receive any. I explained that I had opted-out of the world’s version of Christmas and the materialistic and hedonistic revelry that passes to commemorate the birth of our Saviour. I have not partaken of such things for some years now. I celebrate the event in a totally different way. Well what I had told her must have fallen on deaf ears for the presents were for E and myself and she had told E that we were not to open them before Christmas Day! Yeah, sure, I was going to do that! I duly opened them to see what they were, a pen (?) and a very large and beautiful silk-like scarf. Now one of the other things I had mentioned when we had visited her was the enormous amount of scarves I possess but hardly ever wear! It is a case of not getting much of an opportunity to wear most of them. What was she thinking? Naturally I shan’t say anything to her but I will thank her for the thought when we next speak. I will insist that she doesn’t give me presents again though, I don’t want them from anyone. It is enough that people are there, they have no need to ply me with gifts to know that they are appreciated or that I am to them. I will not be tempted to reciprocate and fall back into the ways of the world. To me it is totally meaningless. So no Christmas cards from me or anything else for that matter. It has been that way for quite some time.

Shirley Anne

What does it take?

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