Category Archives: God

In the blink of an eye

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

We are mortal beings created in the image of God but one day we will pass away, we will return to the dust (elements) from which we were made, that is our flesh will experience that death. Everyone dies this way there are no exceptions, though some have not experienced death

Genesis 5
24 Enoch walked faithfully with God; then he was no more, because God took him away.
By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death: ‘He could not be found, because God had taken him away.’ For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God.
The life you have was given by God and He takes it away….

Job 1:21
and said: ‘Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I shall depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.’

There is a purpose for life regardless of what many might say. God has a purpose in everything He does. Many argue against there being a God forwarding excuses such as ‘why is there evil in the world, why does God allow sickness and suffering?’ and many other things. Answers to these questions and many more can be found here http://www.godandscience.org/apologetics/sciencefaith.html for those who want to reason with an open mind.

All About Evil

All About Evil (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So it will be that our flesh decays but our spirit will not. So why did God make us? No-one can say with certainty for who knows the mind of God? However, those He made He wants a relationship with. Because God is pure and holy there can be no evil in His presence, in fact ‘evil’ is the absence of God. He made the angels but some  turned away from God, they became vain and in the absence of God they ‘became’ evil. In the same way God made humans and in the same way some rebel and reject Him and in the doing so become evil, sin is the evidence. Because humankind cannot rectify that we remain in our sin and are accordingly separated from God. God however provided the solution, Jesus died that we might be saved. He took upon himself our sins and if we believe we are cleansed and pure in the eyes of God. That means that although our flesh dies our spirit will dwell with God. If we refuse that wonderful gift we remain outside of God’s presence forever!

One day in the future Jesus will return but no-one knows the day, it could be tomorrow, next month, next year, no-one knows. There will come a time when it will be too late to accept God’s gift…..

Matthew 24:40
Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left.

Matthew 24:41 Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.

Luke 17:34
I tell you, on that night two people will be in one bed; one will be taken and the other left.

Luke 17:35
Two women will be grinding corn together; one will be taken and the other left.’

Why will this happen?

Isaiah 57:1
The righteous perish, and no one takes it to heart; the devout are taken away, and no one understands that the righteous are taken away to be spared from evil.

At that time there will be great suffering and despair, it will be the time of the end

Daniel 12

[ The end times ] ‘At that time Michael, the great prince who protects your people, will arise. There will be a time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then. But at that time your people – everyone whose name is found written in the book – will be delivered. Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt. Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever. …
What will it be, a promised everlasting life or condemnation forever? The choice is yours, no-one else’s and all you have to do is believe in Jesus, repent of your sins and invite him to be your Saviour. After all there is no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.
Shirley Anne

Things will change, you can count upon it

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The Lord’s devastation of the earth Isaiah 24:1-6

1 See, the Lord is going to lay waste the earth
and devastate it;
he will ruin its face
and scatter its inhabitants –
2 it will be the same
for priest as for people,
for the master as for his servant,
for the mistress as for her servant,
for seller as for buyer,
for borrower as for lender,
for debtor as for creditor.
3 The earth will be completely laid waste
and totally plundered.
The Lord has spoken this word.
4 The earth dries up and withers,
the world languishes and withers,
the heavens languish with the earth.
5 The earth is defiled by its people;
they have disobeyed the laws,
violated the statutes
and broken the everlasting covenant.
6 Therefore a curse consumes the earth;
its people must bear their guilt.
Therefore earth’s inhabitants are burned up,
and very few are left………..

Photo of the Book of Isaiah page of the Bible

Photo of the Book of Isaiah page of the Bible (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

How and when will God devastate the earth? (Isaiah 24:1–6)

To this point, Isaiah’s warnings have been about God’s judgment on specific nations. But here he broadens the word of doom to encompass the entire world: destruction will come to all who sin.
The picture he paints is of devastation so complete that it will rival the flood God sent in the time of Noah. Ruin its face (v. 1) suggests a disaster that will change the contours of the planet, much like the flood did. Natural disasters such as earthquakes, droughts and crashing meteorites have the potential to do that. This much is clear: God, not human beings, will lay waste to the planet in judgment for sin.
We don’t know when this destruction will happen. But Isaiah seems to say that after the earth is laid waste (v. 3), God will make a new creation (26:1). Perhaps this will be in the last days of human history, when God defeats evil once and for all. Because many scholars have interpreted the message this way, chapters 24–27 are known as the “Apocalypse of Isaiah.”

Taken from NIV Quest Study Bible

Isaiah was one of The Old Testament prophets living hundreds of years before the birth of Christ. He foretold of Christ’s birth which as we all know came about….viz….

Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: the virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.
(Immanuel means God with us)

Isaiah 9:6-7
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. 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.

Do you therefore suppose that the devastation of the world isn’t going to happen as the prophet says? We have an all-powerful and mighty Creator God. Believe.

Shirley Anne

 

 

 

Borrowed time

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Borrowed Time (John Lennon song)

Borrowed Time (John Lennon song) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I suppose most of us give little thought about our mortality. It’s not something people like to dwell upon when they are enjoying their lives. For many people the act of dying simply means they cease to exist, they have no hope of a life beyond the grave because they don’t believe in such things. It says in Scripture these things…

Ecclesiastes 3:11
He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.

God has set eternity in our hearts so for those who don’t believe in God does that mean they never think about eternity? I think not. I think the unbelieving heart is simply not ready to accept it. The fact is eternity does exist. How could it not? Whether we believe in it is irrelevant. We cannot say that something doesn’t exist because we don’t believe it, that is an absurd assumption. It is the same with God, not believing in Him doesn’t mean He doesn’t exist. Because we don’t understand doesn’t mean it isn’t true. In the latter half of the verse shown it reminds us that NO one can fathom what God has done. It is all above our understanding, yet if we believe in God, if we believe in Jesus Christ, God actually gives us the understanding through His Spirit! It all becomes clear and in fact not believing becomes an abhorrent thought. What God reveals in our hearts is the truth and we have hope if we trust in Him. What’s more He give us that eternal life once we believe in Him and in the One He sent, The Lord Jesus, it becomes the reality we didn’t previously understand.

One of the most amazing things is He gives us the choice to believe or not. From someone who spent 43 years of her life as an unbeliever but became a believer, who did not understand but now does, believe me when I say that knowing God and having that eternal hope is worth reaching out for. Don’t put off seeking God for your days may be numbered, in fact they are numbered. Waiting for another time may prove too late, you are living on borrowed time…………….

God is calling you to Salvation through His Son Jesus……….reach out and believe.

Shirley Anne

Here is a true story…..
Sharing Your Story (Acts 4:1–22)
Peter and John are “unschooled, ordinary men.” Both are fishermen—a lower-class vocation. Some of the Pharisees who arrest the two for healing a crippled beggar are particularly puzzled by the men’s ability to speak articulately and effect healing. The only possible explanation is that these men have spent time with Jesus.
Jesus’ forgiveness and grace together comprised the only reason Peter and John had a chance to succeed in life. The same holds true for Ken Freeman, who emerged from homelessness to become a lifelong evangelist.
His mother was an alcoholic, and his father didn’t care enough to stick around. In a seemingly unending succession, Ken called nine different men his stepfather, but not one of them proved to be a worthy father figure. His home life brought only continuing abuse and neglect. As a young teen, Ken decided that he was better off on the streets than living the continuing nightmare at home.
When he was 16, Ken heard about a local church revival. He didn’t care about the revival as such, but he was lured by the free pizza being offered. Although he attended with the goal of filling his belly, God had other plans.
That night Ken met Jesus for the first time, and the encounter transformed him completely. He developed a growing passion for teenagers and their families, and at age 19, he began traveling and speaking at youth camps and church revivals across the country. Ken did not attend seminary to learn how to tell people about Jesus. He simply told his story. And people listened.
More than 200,000 people have come to know Jesus through Ken’s ministry. Despite having grown up in a broken home, he and his wife have been married for almost 40 years. Ken credits Jesus for the miraculous changes and incredible ministry that have blessed his life.

How do you think Ken Freeman can maintain such a positive outlook on life despite his difficult childhood?

Taken from NIV College Devotional Bible

Shirley Anne

You are unique

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Do you know that in this world there is no-one else the same as yourself? People may be similar and in so many ways, looks, attitudes, talents and ability but each one no matter who they are is a unique creation. Yes, we are all unique and yes, we were all created. We are the offspring of our parents as far as our flesh is concerned but our spirit is from the Creator of all things. When we die in the flesh that spirit lives on, it returns to God. We face judgement, every one of us, yes, even Christian believers will face judgement. Believers in Christ, in God, already have salvation but they will be judged on both the good and bad things they have done. Unbelievers will be judged too whether they believe it or not but they won’t have an intercessor they won’t have Jesus pleading their case for although he died for everyone’s sins redemption and salvation only come through accepting his gift of life (everlasting). Yes, we are all unique and we all have a choice, to believe in God and Jesus Christ or not to believe. God gave us all a free choice but warns us of the consequences of turning our backs to Him.

Shirley Anne

English: Zambrów - the monument of Jesus Chris...

Zambrów – the monument of Jesus Christ in the front of the church of the Holy Spirit Italiano: (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

MADE IN GOD’S IMAGE (Genesis 1:26–27)
Human beings are uniquely created in the image of God. When the rest of creation was being birthed, it was “good.” God created the birds, fish, plants and stars to display his splendour and oh, how amazing they are. God said these creations were good. However, when it came to humans, the tone changed. He said that the creation of humans was “very good.” Human beings are an extra-special creation for at least three reasons. First, it is clear that humans have an identity that is rooted in God. When God said, “Let us make mankind in our image,” he reiterated the presence of Jesus and the Holy Spirit in the act of creation . . . .Humans are special because Jesus, as a part of the Trinity, created them in his image. Second, humans are special because they were created for a unique purpose. No two humans are the same. Other aspects of creation serve general functions, but only humans have a unique, individual purpose. Third, humans are designed to have a one-on-one relationship with God through Jesus, powered by the Holy Spirit. As a right of being created in the image of their Creator, humans can relate directly to him. It is through Jesus that this relationship is made possible. He came and tore down the dividing wall of hostility that separated his special creation from God (Ro 8:34–39).
Jesus, thank you for tearing down that dividing wall between my Creator and me. Show me my purpose in this life and help me to accomplish it, starting today. Amen.
Taken from NIV The Jesus Bible

Shirley Anne

A real concern

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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 days grow long

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English: Holy Spirit church: Cellingpainting: ...

Holy Spirit church: Cellingpainting: Birth of Christ Locality: Heiligengeistplatz Community:Klagenfurt  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Around this time of year in the Northern Hemisphere of our Earth the days begin to lengthen, that is the hours of daylight. At the same time of course the nighttime hours get shorter. The day is almost upon us, the celebration of the birth of our Saviour and many will be marking the day in their usual way. Before I became a Christian believer I had another faith, I was an atheist, I didn’t believe in God or Jesus Christ and I’d never heard of the Holy Spirit. I followed, like many others, in the tradition of men, celebrating Christmas as non-believers do. People around me would say, Christmas is about family and it is a time for children. Children were told, as they still are, that Santa Clause would be bringing them toys if they were good. Why are children told such lies? There is no harm in make-believe I hear you say but it is just as easy to tell the truth is it not? Children end up growing as non-believers and the lies are perpetuated. If you are going to celebrate someone’s birth surely they will be at the centre of it won’t they? No-one goes to a birthday party that has nobody there whose birthday it is! There cannot be a party without its host. There cannot be a party without an invitation to join-in either, that would be stupid, yet it happens every year at Christmas. If Christ is not in Christmas there is no birthday party to celebrate. Time is short and Christmas will be upon us in a day or two. Time is short for us all and one day we each of us will pass away. For those who believe there is a party in Heaven that will last for eternity and Jesus will be there to greet them, he is their host and will welcome them in because he knows them. Do you know Jesus? Is he the host at your party? Without him there is no real celebration. The invitation is there…..are you going to accept it?

I no longer celebrate Christmas as I once did, the way the world does but I celebrate in my heart each and every day for what Jesus did for me and praise him.

Shirley Anne

People and stuff

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I got up a little later than usual on Saturday, for me anyway, it was around nine-thirty as I began to have breakfast. I had been up a couple of times during the night with toilet visits but it had been a bit more involved than simply just relieving myself. I had a vaginal bacterial infection specifically a urinary tract infection and they are never nice to endure. Fortunately I have a routine I use whenever this happens which makes the experience less painful. Medication is a must for conditions like this so I make sure I have something to hand for such emergencies. I usually have some medication left over from treating previous infections as more often than not I get them during the night and over the weekend. I was able to get things under control but I wanted to purchase some new medication in case it was needed. I also wanted to visit my electrical supplier for some items to replenish my van stock. The other reason I wanted to go out shopping was to pay a visit to the garden centre once more to purchase more plants for the flowerbed I had been working on recently. My first stop was at the chemist (drug store/pharmacy) to purchase medications. The chemist asked me all sorts of questions as to why I wanted the medications and when it was I last contracted an infection. Having vaginal infections too frequently of course is a problem though fortunately that hasn’t been my own experience. However the chemist suggested a visit to the doctor should I contract it again. I would do that anyway. I was given the medication and I drove off to the electrical supplier.

A young girl greeted me and I was served immediately as there were no other customers in the shop. After the sale we spoke a little. She had noticed the bag containing my medications as I reached to get my purse and asked if I was feeling well. She must have thought I had the ‘flu! As there was no-one else in the shop I told her what the medication was for and she was sympathetic as she knew from experience how nasty the infection can be. I don’t remember how the subject turned to Jesus but we ended up talking about what people do to enjoy themselves, partying, drinking and so on yet they are never satisfied. Isn’t it so true that people are always seeking new thrills and experiences and never tire of it? They are trying to fill a God shaped hole in their lives with material things so they end up constantly attempting to satisfy their need yet never succeeding. Why don’t they simply turn to God instead? Life with Jesus in your heart gives you a different perspective on life and its meaning. I left the shop and drove off to the garden centre.

On my arrival I decided to treat myself to one of the two free cups of coffee or tea I am entitled to as a member each month. This particular month I am entitled to a free pot of tea and two scones because my birthday is in November. When I got to the restaurant the queues were too long so I went into the garden and selected nine plants and proceeded to the check-out. I had spent another £72 and that was with the 20% promotional discount. As a member I get a 10% discount at other times but I wanted to take advantage of the extra discount while it lasted. I loaded them into the van and returned to get that coffee. This time the counter was empty. Now although I had the coffee I had to go to the payment desk to pay for it or in this case have my card debited first. I had to wait in a small queue and my drink was getting colder. Eventually I got to a table but my drink was by this time cooled down somewhat. It was hardly worth sitting down to drink it but I did. A few seconds later I was up and walking out of the restaurant and off to my van. It was eleven-thirty when I got back home so I decided to put the plants in the flowerbed……..greenhouse-flowerbed-5

You should be able to see the new plants as they have all been placed at the front of the bed. Compare to pictures taken a few days earlier.

Shirley Anne

Out of the equation

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A wonderful christmas card we received. Certai...

A wonderful Christmas card we received. Certainly good enough to photograph, so here it is. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Christmas is not far away, a few weeks is all. Soon people will be thinking about presents,what to buy and for whom. Greetings cards will be sought and bought too. E herself is making greetings cards at home as part of her newfound hobby of crafting. I mentioned something about this a few posts ago. None of the cards she has made reflect the true reason for Christmas and nice as they are none have Nativity scenes on them or any reference to Christ Jesus which is kind of pointless. Most shops don’t sell cards with references to Jesus on them either. The reason for this is that the celebration of Christmas as the birth of our Saviour has been hijacked by the secular world and people who subscribe to secularism are only interested in the festivities which are now associated with the holiday (Holy Day). You see God has been left out of the equation in today’s society by all except those who are believers. People it seems would rather go with the majority than have anything to do with God. Father Christmas (Santa Claus) rules instead. Their celebrations centre around self-indulgence, alcohol, chocolate, roast dinners, puddings, mince pies and all the other things which are common in most homes at Christmas.

Greeting card with horses on

Greeting card with horses on (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There is nothing wrong in people enjoying themselves of course but at Christmas they do it for all the wrong reasons. Jesus Christ is the reason for the celebration or should be but that falls on many deaf ears. God has been left out of many people’s lives but when they need Him they cry out. I just pray He will answer. God in fact does answer if we are sincere. We just have to believe, the unbeliever has to believe. Many pay God lip service, they do as they please whilst thinking God doesn’t notice, they lack understanding because they refuse to seek the truth. They even question the truth when it is presented before them. What kind of equation is balanced when only one-sided? We need a relationship with God and He wants a relationship with us so don’t leave Him out of the equation or your life will be totally one-sided and truly out of balance.

 

 

Isaiah 55

6 Seek the Lord while he may be found;
    call on him while he is near.
Let the wicked forsake their ways
    and the unrighteous their thoughts.
Let them turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on them,
    and to our God, for he will freely pardon.

Shirley Anne

What is the point?

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The Meaning of Life (Tankard album)

The Meaning of Life (Tankard album) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ever wonder what the meaning of life is? Are we here by accident, the result of eons of development through evolution or are we here by design? What is life after all? Throughout our lives we are always seeking after something. Stop and think about that for a moment. We seek peace, prosperity, good health, good relationships, happiness, a good time, financial security, physical security, acceptance in society and other individuals and these are only a few. Whenever we reach a goal we are often still not satisfied having achieved it, we want more, we strive for things that in the end are of no real benefit, in fact anything we gain in our lives doesn’t really benefit us at all and we have to give them up with our last breath. So what is the point?

Shirley Anne

Ecclesiastes 12:13–14
Throughout the book of Ecclesiastes, Solomon points out the futility of life. He walks down several paths as he looks for meaning in life—pleasure, wealth, wisdom, work. Not many of us will ever possess the time or the resources to do the kind of searching that Solomon did, so this book gives us the benefit of his experience and allows us to peek at the end of the story. His conclusion? No matter how hard we try to manufacture meaning in life, time passes and we all die.
But don’t despair! Solomon directs us to the ultimate source for finding meaning in life: knowing and living with God.
Think of unanswered questions as doors that slam in our faces. With gut-wrenching accuracy, Solomon forces us to look at our lives and recognize that these obstacles exist. But instead of trying to supply us with keys to open those doors by ourselves, Solomon points us to God, the Locksmith who promises to help us find a way. Ultimately, true meaning in life can be found only in a relationship with God—a relationship that is the “duty of all mankind” (verse 13).
Taken from NIV The Journey Bible

Shirley Anne

Thank God

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No One Cares

No One Cares (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Thanks be to God for……well everything! For who He is, for what He has done. You may ask what has He done for me? All I get is a hard time, poor job, poor pay, lousy relationships and no-one cares. If you think that way have another think. You are here and you are alive aren’t you? God has surely gotten you this far because according to you your situation couldn’t be worse yet your wages have paid for your food and shelter have they not? There are always people worse off than ourselves. Many have fallen on hard times through no fault of their own but they don’t give up. Some however think that the world owes them a living and won’t put much if any effort to improving their situation. Some will simply thieve what they want and some will thieve out of desperation. In every case God is with them but not all can see that, some mock God because He isn’t giving them what they want. In the beginning mankind decided to turn its back to God and the result is an existence which is ofttimes a struggle but those who listen to God will be blessed. God laid down the rules for living and it is when we ignore them we suffer, either in this life or in the next. God isn’t our meal ticket to a better life, He expects us to work, to help ourselves and others to a better existence. Sometimes He will give us more than we ask of Him but He will always provide for us.

Matthew 10:   29 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. 30 And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

Full chapter https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+10&version=NIVUK

Give praise to God your Creator, for His provision, His love and His concern for you. As someone once told me. ‘Don’t wallow in your sorrow’. Get up. dust yourself down, take hold of God’s hand and move forward into a better life.

Shirley Anne

He got the message

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There are many people like the man in the short video below who simply did not understand for one of many reasons. Something in him directed his thinking and he began to reason things out for himself. Rather than remaining as he was he was open-minded and had a determination to seek the truth which in fact is very near to us all. It just needs a willing heart and an inquisitive spirit but each one has to make the journey in their own way. Here is his testimony….

I hope you found it interesting enough to take stock and examine your own beliefs and maybe realise that there is something lacking in them.

Shirley Anne

God is dead?

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Many people in my country and probably around the world say they have no time for religion. Religion they say is the root cause of many of the problems we face in today’s world. Nothing could be further from the truth. It isn’t religion which causes the suffering and the pain, the greed and the lust, the hatred and the deceit, it is mankind. Mankind is the real problem because mankind lives in sin, sin is a part of us like a bad rash that clings to our skin and nothing will remove it. God can remove it though and He did it through Jesus Christ yet still many refuse the idea so they remain in their sins and nothing changes but it can be different………….Open your hearts and see that God is good, that we are sinners and are in need of salvation or we are doomed….Christ died for our very souls but he rose from the dead and conquered death……

The Resurrection of Christ

The Resurrection of Christ (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Christ Is Risen (1 Corinthians 15:55)

Matt Maher, Mia Fields

Let no one caught in sin remain
Inside the lie of inward shame
But fix our eyes upon the cross
And run to him
Who showed great love
And bled for us
Freely you’ve bled for us
Christ is risen from the dead
Trampling over death by death
Come awake, come awake
Come and rise up from the grave
Christ is risen from the dead
We are one with him again
Come awake, come awake
Come and rise up from the grave
Beneath the weight of all our sin
You bowed to none but heaven’s will
No scheme of hell
No scoffer’s crown
No burden great
Can hold you down
In strength you reign
Forever let your church proclaim
O death, where is your sting?
O hell, where is your victory?
O church, come stand in the light
The glory of God has defeated the night
O death, where is your sting?
O hell, where is your victory?
O church, come stand in the light
Our God is not dead
He’s alive! He’s alive!

Behind the Song

Matt Maher finds inspiration for songs in unusual places. One of his friends, a Ukrainian priest, told him about an amazing sermon from the fourth century, and Maher immediately resonated with its message.

“There was a priest named John Chrysostom,” Maher explains. “His nickname was ‘The Golden Tongue’ because he was such a great preacher. One year on Easter, he preached a homily with the message; ‘Christ is risen from the dead, trampling over death by death and redeeming us from the grave.’ ” Maher was so moved by both the original Chrysostom message and the passion of his Ukrainian friend as he told him about it, that he began to explore the concept within the context of a worship song for Easter.

“The whole song is about the cross—the death and the resurrection of Christ,” Maher adds. “Hell thought it had swallowed another victim; just another human being, but it swallowed God Incarnate. So God literally used death to destroy death and that’s something only God can do!”

The song ends by triumphantly proclaiming “He’s alive! He’s alive!” “It’s a refutation of modernism in a way,” Maher admits. “There’s this whole notion in these times that religion is obsolete or God is dead. He is not dead. He’s alive!”

Taken from NIV Worship Together Bible

Remember there is no other name given under heaven by which we must be saved. Jesus Christ is the only way to Salvation. No ‘religion’, no prophet, no false god or idol, only Jesus.

Shirley Anne

Broken bones

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English: X-ray shot of Trachemys scripta with ...

X-ray shot of Trachemys scripta with bone fracture of femur. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We are like broken bones and often we are in need of repair just as our bones would if they were indeed broken. Sometimes though the damage is so bad that we cannot see how repairs of any kind would help. We live broken lives and put up with it but there is hope, we are not left in that state forever as long as we believe it can change.
Shirley Anne

Tending Each Other’s Wounds (Hebrews 10:24–25)

The book of Hebrews was written to Christians who were facing persecution. Though evidently none of them had as yet been martyred because of their faith (see Hebrews 12:4), a number had been jailed or had their property confiscated (see Hebrews 10:34).
Most of the believers addressed in Hebrews had converted to Christianity from Judaism. Now, because of persecution, they were being pressured to return to Judaism. Some went along with the change, reasoning that the commandments and teachings of the Hebrew religion were the same as that of Christianity, but without Jesus.
The writer of Hebrews urged these believers to recognize that no faith is complete without Jesus. To turn away from Jesus is to cut out the very heart of Christianity.
Still, the threat of further persecution was real. Things would get very difficult for the believers. The writer of this letter responded to this threat by reminding his readers, first, that Jesus had endured hardships and persecution and therefore understood what they were going through. Jesus would provide them with divine assistance and encouragement, no matter how severe their suffering. Second, they could not make it on their own; they needed to help one another, precisely because of the tough times ahead.
That is good advice for spouses who need to encourage one another, particularly in times of crisis, such as financial hardship, relationship challenges, infertility issues or painful losses. No matter what happens or how severe our pain, the only way to triumph over trial is to be anchored in Christ and in each other.
Years ago, anthropologist Margaret Mead was asked by a student what she considered to be the first sign of civilization in a culture. The student expected Mead to talk about fishhooks or clay pots or grinding stones. But no. Mead said that the first sign of civilization in an ancient culture was a femur (thighbone) that had been broken and then healed.
Mead explained that in the animal kingdom, if you break your leg, you die. You cannot run from anger, get to the river for a drink or hunt for food. You are meat for prowling beasts. No animal survives a broken leg long enough for the bone to heal.
A broken femur that has healed is evidence that someone has taken time to stay with the one who fell, has bound up the wound, has carried the person to safety and has tended the person through recovery. Helping someone else through difficulty is where civilization starts, Mead said.
That sounds a lot like the gospel, doesn’t it? Jesus died for our sins when we were still sinners. He is our comfort and salvation when we are broken and dying. He is our lifeline in suffering. Now, as the writer of Hebrews said, we get to do the same for one another.
—Wayne Brouwer
Taken from NIV Couples’ Devotional Bible

Remember, no-one is unrepairable or unreachable where Christ Jesus is concerned…………

Shirley Anne

Who’s Jesus you ask?

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sunsetNever Heard About Jesus?

That question is often asked whenever I and most other Christians who witness to people. It is assumed that God condemns everyone if they are not Christian believers yet at the same time tells us that the only way to be saved is through Jesus Christ, for there is no other name under heaven by which we must be saved. Those not actually having heard about this God’s plan for salvation through His son will still be judged. No-one can escape the fact that God has revealed Himself through His creation so there is no excuse for not seeing that in their hearts…………so

What About Those Who Have Never Heard About Jesus? (Acts 4:12)

Jesus was clear about the rules for receiving salvation when he said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (Jn 14:6). And when speaking about Jesus, the apostle Peter said in this passage, “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”

Further, all people have to answer to God whether or not they have “heard” about him (see Heb 9:27). The Bible states that God has clearly revealed himself in creation (see Ro 1:19–20) and that he has “set eternity in the human heart” (Ecc 3:11). This means that people see all around them the evidence of God and sense within themselves the truth that they are meant for more than this world. God is not the problem; humankind is. Because of sin, people reject this knowledge of God and rebel against his will (see Ro 1:21–23). It is only because of God’s grace (see Eph 2:8–9) that he saves people from their own sinful desires (see Ro 1:24–32).

How God works out his plan is mysterious and complicated. We have our ideas of what it means for Jesus to be “the way,” but he is not bound by our understanding. God works to accomplish his goals in ways that we will never see or comprehend. The wideness of God’s mercy and the tenacity of his love is beyond our intellectual capacity.

Jesus is central in the redemption story. But God rewards those who seek him (see Heb 11:6). It is our mission to help those who seek him and make sure that those who have yet to answer God’s call hear and understand the gospel (see Mt 28:19–20; Ac 1:8). God always acts justly; he never acts unfairly or wrongly (see Dt 32:4). We might be surprised at the final roll call of heaven. Fortunately, it is God—not us—who will sort out the details in each person’s case.

Taken from NIV Essentials Study Bible

So what’s your excuse?

Shirley Anne

Why the change?

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People often ask me why I became a Christian especially after I have told them I was an atheist beforehand. It doesn’t necessarily follow that someone was an atheist before they came to believe in Christ Jesus. They may simply have been open-minded but unsure. In fact many people claim they are Christians but really they are not when they think about it. Just because a person’s parents had them ‘baptised’ or they went to or still attend church it doesn’t make them a Christian.

When I was about 43 years of age I found myself wanting to read The Bible, I found myself with the desire to know what its pages contained. I wanted to know if there really was a God. Up and until then I had been against the idea. I refused and resisted any suggestion that God existed. I had become open-minded and I even began to write poems asking Him to show me and praying He would reveal Himself to me if indeed He was there. The rest they say is history. God indeed did reveal Himself but not in the way I might have expected. He reveals Himself in different ways to each of us. I woke up one morning with a very strong feeling of love overwhelming me, washing through my body as I lay there and I knew in an instant that is was from God. I began to understand the great love God my heavenly Father has for me and how He showed me that love by the sacrifice He made through Jesus Christ. My sins had kept us apart and I could do nothing about it but because of God’s immense love for me and indeed for everyone He gave me a way out so that He and I could be reconciled. He gave me a Saviour, someone who paid the price for my sins thereby setting me free. The punishment I deserve has been placed upon my Saviour and he suffered the shame and torment instead. It meant I could enter into the presence of God as pure, holy and righteous, the only way I could. Why did I change? I was persuaded by a love I had never known or previously experienced. My Saviour is Jesus Christ. Is he your Saviour too? We all need a saviour whether we believe it or not, we all need Jesus Christ. Get wise, come to the living God, come to Jesus and be saved.

John 1:12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God –

Shirley Anne