Category Archives: Heaven

The future……………your future!

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What is going to happen in the future? (1 Corinthians 15:51–58)
What happens when we die? The New Testament indicates that people experience an “intermediate state,” which refers to a person’s existence between their time of death and the promised resurrection of their new body. Their earthly body goes into the grave; their spirit lives on in one of two places—in God’s presence where they enjoy a time of peace until they receive their resurrected bodies or in a place of torment where they await final judgment. Jesus talked about this vividly in the story about a rich man and Lazarus (not the Lazarus Jesus raised from the dead). Jesus depicted the place of blessedness for the righteous as Abraham’s side and the place of torment for the wicked as Hades. (See Luke 16:19-31.)
The grand promise of God and the ultimate hope for all Christians is the resurrection. Just as Christ was raised from the dead and received an imperishable body, so will all those who believe in Christ. Paul, writing to the church at Corinth, details this major truth.(See 1 Corinthians 15:51-58.)
The event that will trigger this promised resurrection is the Second coming of Christ. Often the Bible refers to the return of Christ as the “day of the Lord.” Paul explains that on the great day of Christ’s return God will resurrect those who have died and then all believers will be brought together and will be with the Lord Jesus forever.
After Jesus returns and we are resurrected into our imperishable bodies, there will be a final judgment by God of every nation. John saw and recorded a vision from God about what will happen at this time of judgment. John wrote down the final movement in God’s grand story—the restoration of what was lost in the beginning. What we read in the opening creation story of Genesis we see again in Revelation—a re-creation—but on a grander scale to accommodate all the people over the centuries who have embraced Christ and received eternal life. (See Revelation 20:11-22:21.)

Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? (John 14:1–2)

I believe (Christians) there is a heaven and a hell and that Jesus will return to judge all people and to establish his eternal kingdom.
What difference does this make in the way I live?
I ask you to prayerfully take a moment to do an inventory of your relationships. How many non-Christians are currently in your circle of influence? And of these non-Christians in your cir­cle, how many are you actively sharing God’s love with?
Taken from NIV Believe

For my non-believing readers: Although you may not believe in God it doesn’t mean He doesn’t exist. For many years I resisted the possibility that there was a God and no matter what people told me I just refused to take it seriously. What did I want with a God? How was it possible for God to be omnipotent and omnipresent? Thinking as a human being who was proud and unyielding and could only see things my way kept me from my Creator. All this time He waited patiently until one day……….I reached out to Him and was welcomed with open arms.

Shirley Anne

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Hang on a minute

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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

Sound familiar?

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Justice in Colossians (Colossians 1:15–23)

Justice in African cosmology is associated with truth telling, fairness, equity, doing what is right, giving right judgment, being impartial and being straightforward. Biblical justice has these elements too. Upholding what is true and fair is central to the idea of justice.
At the heart of Paul’s letter to the Colossians is this idea: that simple truth should be the basis of life. And so, justice underlies everything.
We treat people unjustly and unfairly when we deny them the rightful place and honor due to them. The heretics treat Jesus Christ unjustly by denying him his rightful position as the Creator, Saviour and Lord of the universe. By denying Jesus’ ability to save completely, the Christians in Colossae undermine his power and Colossians is relevant for our faith today, for it addresses the challenges we are facing with false teachings in the church. Many cults today claim to be Christian, yet they deny the deity of Jesus Christ. Their false claims have the appearance of wisdom, but they end up cutting people off from the source of life and the possibility of living the rich, full and just life God intends.
He gives us a portrait of Christ as God’s Son, the object of the Christian faith, the Redeemer, the image of God, Lord of creation, head of the church, and the reconciler of the universe. In addition, Christ embodies the fullness of the Godhead, and all authority in the universe is under him and subjected to him. God’s treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hidden in him. He is the standard by which all religious teachings are measured, and he conquered the mystic powers of evil by his cross. Paul, therefore, affirms the lordship of Jesus Christ over life and over the cosmic powers.
For Paul, Jesus Christ is simply the truth. The Colossians are dabbling in “hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ.” To live lives of justice, as they were created to do, they must clear away all competing ideas and focus on Jesus. In him, “all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and in Christ you have been brought to fullness” (2:8–10).
— James Nkansah-Obrempong Ghana, Kenya (Excerpted from the book introduction to Colossians)
Taken from NIV God’s Justice Bible

Latter-day Saints believe in the resurrected J...

Many people today do not give Jesus Christ the recognition he deserves. They treat him unjustly as they do with some of those around them yet they do not realise his authority, his Lordship and the fact that it is only through him that any of them can be saved. They sneer, they mock the very person who gave them life and he is treated unjustly. The early Christians in Colossae were beginning to treat Christ the same way they treated each other and Paul had to show them their error. Then as now there was great opposition to the truth that Jesus Christ is part of the Godhead, God come down to earth reaching out to His creation in His love. If only the eyes of the blind would be opened and they could see the truth. I myself saw that truth early in 1989 and turned to my Maker. My life changed and for the better. When you see the truth that is Jesus Christ you will wonder why you waited as long as you did. The Salvation Army‘s founder William Booth is credited with saying he wished his ‘officers’ could spend but ten minutes in Hell when thereafter they would be totally committed to evangelism, reaching out to the unsaved with the message of salvation. That is why it is important to give Christ the honour he deserves, the Just and Righteous One who has the power to save you from Hell.

Shirley Anne

Something to live for

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Not only something to live for but more importantly something to die for. Who would not want to be in such a place as Heaven? Those who believe in Heaven know that their ideas of it will be nothing like it really is, no-one knows except those who are there already. We can only imagine what it must be like. So what will Heaven be like?

Shirley Annesunset
What Is Heaven Like? (Revelation 21:1–2)

Right now, heaven is the literal but unseen realm in which God reigns in unimaginable glory. Moses, Daniel, Ezekiel, Paul and John were all offered glimpses of this holy place. And we know that Christians who have died are with the Lord in paradise (see Lk 23:43). They are in heaven, awaiting the second coming of Christ.
When Jesus Christ returns for his bride, the church, a new era of “heaven” will begin—what might be called “life after life after death” (N. T. Wright). Revelation 21:1—22:5 captures the most complete description of this “new heaven” and “new earth” (Rev 21:1). John saw “the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband” (Rev 21:2). When Jesus promised in John 14:2 that he was going to “prepare a place” for his disciples, this Holy City is the place he was referring to.
This eternal home will truly be “heaven on earth,” for God will re-create his world as a great and beautiful city with streets, protecting walls, a life-giving river and the tree of life—all lit by the glory of God in his inexpressible beauty. The triune God himself will live in that city with his people. All sorrow will be gone. God’s children will worship him forever, accompanied by the angels. Believers will worship God with the great songs of heaven (see Rev 7:10; 15:2–4; 19:1–3), by exploring God’s new creation and through the fellowship of the saints. Believers will reign with Christ and be responsible for governing various parts of God’s kingdom. It will be a bliss that never ends!
Taken from NIV Essentials Study Bible

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

Regrets

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Many times in my life I have made decisions that I later regretted, as we have all done no doubt but unless we learn from them we can end up in a miserable state. Bad decisions can be reversed, bad habits eliminated if we make the effort. It is too easy to simply go with the flow or to make the decision not to change things in our lives. We can be so lazy when it comes to self-discipline sometimes.We have to realise the benefits we can reap by making necessary changes. Some though are that stubborn they will never change, even if at the possibility that the change would be in their favour! They don’t like being told they are wrong or that there is a better way. It is all to their detriment however and sadly some will go to their graves not knowing how much better it could have been. I was watching a video on YouTube recently where the subject was about Biblical prophecy concerning the ‘End Times’. So many things written in Scripture focus on prophecy, almost one-third of the Bible itself! Of course not all will be aware of such things because in some instances they have never heard about The Bible and in other instances unbelief and stubborn hearts are a stumbling block. Prophecy is God telling us what is going to happen in the future so if we refuse to listen we are putting ourselves in danger. Many Biblical prophecies concern events which actually came to pass many years ago but many concern events yet to happen. Prophetic signs point the way and show us even now that events happening today seem ‘to indicate we may be heading fast into those ‘End Times’.

The video mentions things like one world government, cashless society, RFID chip technology and other things. We are most certainly heading in the direction of the end times. Many of these things are not on the face of it a problem but the evil behind them is. They are insidious and the people are too stubborn and blind to see it. There will be a price to pay for ignoring the warnings as Scripture again tells us. Those who receive in themselves the ‘Mark of the beast’ will have no opportunity to regret it, their fate will be unchangeable. Scripture tells us that they will be cast into the fire (hell). You don’t want to be in hell regretting a decision you had the ability not to make in the first place. This is a call to make the right decision right now by turning to Jesus Christ before it is too late.

Shirley Anne

Dropping like flies

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"It's goodnight from me." "And ...

“It’s goodnight from me.” “And it’s goodnight from him”. On left, with partner Ronnie Barker in their regular news anchor spoof. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I was watching the news on television a couple of days ago and heard the report that one of our country’s beloved comedians had just died that morning at home with his family around him. Those outside the UK may not have heard the name Ronnie Corbet but he was well-known here as the other half of the comedy duo ‘The two Ronnies‘. His stage partner Ronnie Barker died some time ago. It was only a matter of weeks ago we learned that Terry Wogan had died. He was well-known as a comedian amongst other things too. As I sat and listened I was reminded of the many famous television personalities, impresarios, celebrities and politicians who have died in latter times and who were at their peak as I grew through adulthood. It is a sobering thought and a reminder that we are all mortal and our day will follow whenever it is time for us. This is something over which we have no control. Many people live to a ripe old age though if you read Scripture you will see that in the beginning people lived far longer than they do now. Adam we are told lived until he was 930, Seth his son live 912, Enosh 905, Methuselah lived 969, the oldest recorded age for a human. Up and until the time of Noah people lived for hundreds of years but thereafter began to experience shorter lifespans. When God created mankind His intentions were that they should not die at all and it was because of man’s sin that death and decay ensued. In today’s world scientists are striving to seek that formula to make us all able to live longer. It will never happen. There is now only one way to live forever and that is through the gift that God has provided for all who will place their trust in His Son. If we believe in Jesus Christ and in the One who sent him we will be saved. We can live forever as it was originally planned but now only through Jesus Christ. How sad the world of today has become without the knowledge and trust in Jesus. We do not just die and rot in the ground but we will be judged. Don’t allow yourself to die without the love of and for Jesus in your heart, without the love of God to save you. If you don’t accept Jesus, don’t believe in God a place has been set aside for you but it won’t be nice and it will last forever. If you want to live forever in Heaven it is there for the taking but you will live forever one way or the other so Scripture tells us. Make sure it is in the right place.

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

Shirley Anne

His Story

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Timeline of the Universe

Timeline of the Universe (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

History or His Story? We have history because we live in this thing called ‘time’. We can look back to the past and ‘see’ what history holds there. The unique thing is that history cannot be changed for as everyone knows time only goes in one direction, forward. We cannot change the past but we can influence what happens in the future. Where did time come from? Did it have a beginning? Will it end one day? These seem at first glance to be ridiculous questions but for those who believe in Creation and in a Creator God it isn’t ridiculous at all. Scientists will say that our universe had a beginning and indeed that is true. It is also true that the Universe is in decay and will end one day. It is suggested that time itself will end with it. It is difficult for us to understand the concept of a ‘timeless’ situation simply because we experience living in time but there will be a time when we will no longer be in ‘time’ and I don’t mean when the Universe comes to an end. When you die you will no longer be ‘living’ in time even though you will still be in existence. That part of you we call your spirit will certainly remain in existence when your body decays though many will not accept this for they will argue that once our flesh dies so will we. As a believer in God I cannot accept that because I have faith to believe there is a place set aside in Heaven for all those who acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord and declare it with their tongue. So history is really His Story, He invented ‘Time’ because we as humans in the flesh cannot live anywhere else. Our flesh cannot be saved from decay but our spirit can be saved from eternal punishment and condemnation, only if however we call upon the name of the Lord and place our trust and hope in Him. Without Jesus this is impossible………….think about it.

Hebrews 1

In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. So he became as much superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is superior to theirs.

 

Shirley Anne

In your lifetime

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Recently we have been reading about and listening to news broadcasts on television reporting the events surrounding the death of a policeman in the course of his duty. The cause of his death as we all know here in the UK was that he was run over by a driver behind the wheel of a stolen pick-up truck who had been trying to evade capture after a reported burglary. The unfortunate policeman leaves a young wife and two young children after the meaningless murder. I say murder because that is what it was, a deliberate action on behalf of the driver who apparently drove at police officers who had laid a ‘stinger’ in the path of the stolen vehicle in order to avoid it. At the time of writing this on Wednesday afternoon two days after the event four people are being questioned in connection with the incident. Nothing more about the events which have taken place can be said at this time. Sadly this is only one incident in the many hundreds and thousands of anti-social incidents which are reported each year. Moral standards mean nothing to some people who are prepared to go to any lengths to satisfy their needs without working for them, even killing innocent people in the process. There is no respect given to others, no consideration except to self-satisfy at whatever cost. Something is lacking in their brains when they think nothing is wrong with their behaviour. It is alright to thieve, assault, murder and behave as they do whilst everyone else has to put up with it according to them. They have no fear of the consequences for they never expect to be caught. Fortunately most of them do get caught but sometimes even this is no deterrent. Many are persistent offenders and return to their former ways once they have served out their sentences. For the young policeman killed in the line of duty there is no second chance, his life has ended. I have said this before on a number of occasions that this world is getting worse, not better. Some think otherwise but they walk with blinkered eyes. As a Christian believer I live out my life in the knowledge that I will be judged by my Creator but many will not agree with those beliefs and I say to their own peril. The word of God tells me about these ‘end times’ and the events leading up to them and after them and I can see these things slowly happening all around me. The Bible speaks the truth but people won’t listen, their eyes are closed, their hearts are hardened and they live as if there isn’t a tomorrow in which they will be judged. In my lifetime I have seen or heard about many incidences of evil and it has gotten worse not better. Do not be deceived, even more wicked and difficult times are ahead. Now is the time to repent and call upon God to save you through Jesus Christ because you never know the time you have left.

Shirley Anne

Life after death

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Is There Life After Death? Study Suggests

Consciousness Continues After Heartbeat Stops

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

Is there such a thing as life after death?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The study was published in the journal Resuscitation.

End of article……………..

Paradise: Ascent of the Blessed

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

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

Shirley Anne

 

The law of God

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Bible

Bible (Photo credit: Light from Light)

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

Leviticus 18

New International Version (NIV)

Unlawful Sexual Relations

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

God’s Wrath Against Sinful Humanity

Romans 1

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

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

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

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

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

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

Shirley Anne

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The train station

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train station

train station (Photo credit: nolifebeforecoffee)

I love riding on trains. Many years ago when trains were pulled and no doubt pushed also by steam-driven engines for me riding on trains was an adventure. Mind you, I was only young and it was mostly a rare occasion that found me on a train but nevertheless it was still an adventure. I suppose many of my readers, if not all of them will have been on a train at some point in  their lives, some of them even every day! I was standing on the platform at a local station recently and it was almost empty of people, just a couple on the platform I was standing on and one or two on the opposite platform. I began to think about where each of them were going, to work, back homeward or visiting a place or person. Perhaps they were out on a shopping spree or off on holiday somewhere nice. There are many reasons for riding on trains not least of all simply for the pleasure of it, even though these days they are pulled by diesel engines or electric motors. When I travel on trains I look out of the window at the passing scenery but many people occupy themselves in other ways, reading newspapers and magazines or more likely now twiddling with their phones and electrical gadgets or listening to music. Those things disinterest me, I prefer the window! Travelling locally and often will find us seeing the same faces each time we travel and sometimes friendships result. Some prefer to remain in isolation. Everyone is going somewhere and doing something. One day a train will pull into the station on which we will have no choice but to embark whilst at the opposite platform there will be others doing exactly the same. The only difference will be in the direction and destination for each train. They will pull into the station on a regular basis, both day and night, sometimes picking up only one or two people each time, sometimes many more. On this day the train journey will be the last one we ever take. There will only be two destinations and no-one will be allowed to alight until that destination is reached. There will be no intermediate stations along the way it will be like an inter-city journey, fast and with no stops. Once on board any decisions regarding your destination made will be honoured, there will be no opportunity to change one’s mind and go in the opposite direction. There will be no luggage to hinder the journey and those travelling will have had no time to make any special arrangements, they will travel as they are. The journey will be extremely fast, faster than any journey you have ever known and will never be postponed because of bad weather. Then what are the two possible destinations you might ask? One of those places will be filled with all sorts of nice things to make your stay enjoyable and it will be the finest place you ever saw, a place you will be glad to be in. The other destination will be the complete opposite and very hostile, a place you would rather not be in and a place you wouldn’t have given a second thought about if you were preparing a holiday. One place will be heaven and the other, hell. When making plans for a holiday I know which one I would choose.

Shirley Anne

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It’s the truth!

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English: Jesus Christ - detail from Deesis mos...

English: Jesus Christ – detail from Deesis mosaic, Hagia Sophia, Istanbul (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Acts 3 (New International Version)

Peter Heals a Lame Beggar

One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer—at three in the afternoon. Now a man who was lame from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts. When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money. Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, “Look at us!” So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them.Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong. He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God. When all the people saw him walking and praising God, 10 they recognized him as the same man who used to sit begging at the temple gate called Beautiful, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.

Peter Speaks to the Onlookers

11 While the man held on to Peter and John, all the people were astonished and came running to them in the place called Solomon’s Colonnade. 12 When Peter saw this, he said to them: “Fellow Israelites, why does this surprise you? Why do you stare at us as if by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk? 13 The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified his servant Jesus. You handed him over to be killed, and you disowned him before Pilate, though he had decided to let him go. 14 You disowned the Holy and Righteous One and asked that a murderer be released to you. 15 You killed the author of life, but God raised him from the dead. We are witnesses of this. 16 By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through him that has completely healed him, as you can all see. 17 “Now, fellow Israelites, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did your leaders. 18 But this is how God fulfilled what he had foretold through all the prophets, saying that his Messiah would suffer. 19 Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, 20 and that he may send the Messiah, who has been appointed for you—even Jesus. 21 Heaven must receive him until the time comes for God to restore everything, as he promised long ago through his holy prophets. 22 For Moses said, ‘The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own people; you must listen to everything he tells you. 23 Anyone who does not listen to him will be completely cut off from their people.’ 24 “Indeed, beginning with Samuel, all the prophets who have spoken have foretold these days. 25 And you are heirs of the prophets and of the covenant God made with your fathers. He said to Abraham, ‘Through your offspring all peoples on earth will be blessed.’] 26 When God raised up his servant, he sent him first to you to bless you by turning each of you from your wicked ways.”

 

Now what part of this don’t you understand? Why are events like this so easily forgotten? Why do people refuse to believe even what their eyes are showing them? It isn’t make-believe, these things really did happen and many witnesses saw them, some recording them for future generations, your generation!  Think about what is written above, make sense of it then make up your mind whether you want what God offers through His son or are you content with the thought of being cast into a place you really don’t want to be?

Shirley Anne

Doug’s Testimony

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Doug

Doug (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As a child, I had frequent respiratory and airway infections.

One cool Fall day, I awakened with a fever and sore throat, accompanied by a cough. Mom, a nurse, checked me over and kept me home from school. When the pediatricians office opened, she called and made an appointment for later that same day. I could not eat, and my mom was worried it might be Strep throat. At the time of the appointment, we drove downtown where the pediatrician’s office was located and took the elevator to his floor.

As a young man, it was such a treat to go up the elevator, where an attendant controlled it by a hand-wheel.

We checked in at the desk. Curious, I sat down to look at the large aquarium they had in the office, marveling at the graceful fish and their beautiful colors. Soon after, we were called back to the office by Gail, the nurse. Time to once again sit on the crunchy paper while my temperature was taken with an old glass thermometer.

Gail popped it out of my mouth, ogling it as she said, very matter-of-factly, “I thought you felt hot, kiddo. Your temperature is 101.6.”

I coughed a little bit as Gail notified us the doctor would be in shortly.

I kept going back and forth from hot, to cold, when the doctor finally made his way in. A friendly man, he said hello and came right over, removing one of the tongue depressors from the drawer beneath the exam table. I opened up wide, as most kids do at the doctor’s office, and said, “AAAAHHH!”  I felt the tongue depressor slide back, holding my tongue down, and tasted the familiar flavor of the wooden blade.

“Well, its not Strep this time, but you have a good sinus infection, and its turning into bronchitis.” He moved over to the cabinet in the room and removed a bottle, pouring the liquid into a small measuring cup. It tasted nasty, so I chugged it down fast.

Afterward, the doctor pulled out the prescription pad and began his usual writing routine.  He told me that it was Penicillin. Shocked, mom stood up, explaining that I was allergic to penicillin. He said it was probably not a true allergy; rather, a sensitivity to one of the ingredients.

She remarked, “Well, the last time Doug took it, sheets of skin were peeling off his back.”

It was too late, because he’d already given me one dose of it. But, he doubted it was going to cause a problem, reminding her to call him if I complained of itching or feeling nauseous.

He then discarded the prescription he had written and prescribed a different antibiotic.

He smiled his usual bright smile that always reassured me, “You’ll feel beetter in a couple of days,” as he patted me on the back.

Just a little bit later, mom asked if I wanted to stop by Rike’s, which was the department store right next to the office building. I loved the store, the nicely dressed staff, the beautiful clothes and all the wonderful smells. I told my mom yes, because I was feeling okay at the time.

We walked slowly over to the store and mom quickly picked up the item she came to buy. Afterward, we stopped by the candy counter with all the wonderful candies in the glass cases.

Mom bought me the usual special treat: meltaway mints in pastel colors. I asked for two since I could hardly swallow. Happy, and with our business completed, we headed toward the exit near Main street.

As if something hit me, I immediately stopped, my mints tumbling to the floor. Mom looked at me and asked what happened. I mumbled, “I feel really funny..” as my voice trailed off.  It was like the floor had opened up and I was falling…falling off a precipice into nothingness.

My next awareness was mom yelling for help, but she sounded strange. I looked, but could not see her.  It was then I became aware that I was above her looking down. I was up by the ceiling, quickly taking glances back and forth. For some strange reason, I wasn’t afraid of heights like I normally was, although I was at least 12 feet in the air! In fact, I felt more well than I had in some time. My sore throat was gone.

Without warning, I saw my body lying on the floor, but it was not moving, and I sure looked pale.

Strangely, mom was holding my wrist, moving her fingers to the edge of my neck. I called out, but it was apparent she couldn’t hear me. It was when I called again that I witnessed her blood curdling scream for help. Folks began to crowd around us. I was horrified, not knowing what happened…. until I heard a sound, and felt a presence–a very wonderful sense of peace and wholeness in the presence of this new person.

I glanced up at the nice man and said, “I want to stay here in this wonderful place.”  But he had a different idea.

His smile could have lit an entire room, as he said, “I have made arrangements for you.  You will be allowed to come back, but it won’t be for a long time.”

I peeked behind the man, noting many people looking at us. He seemed to read my thoughts, “There are many people here, Doug. Someday, when the time is right you will be allowed to meet them. But now is not your time,” he paused.  He drew my attention to my mother.  Pointing at her, he said, “You must go back.”

She was pulling up my shirt, pressing on my chest. I remember feeling a pull at my body and felt myself being drawn back in. The man was fading as I said goodbye, and I was aware of the movement growing quicker. In a flash, I remember opening my eyes and seeing my mother.

Tears plummeted to the floor as she cried, “Breathe!  Breathe, Doug! Oh, please just breathe!”  Her voice broken with desperation.

I was gasping as I found myself back down on the floor beneath my mother’s tears.  She was still crying, exclaiming that she thought she had lost me. I told her I was safe with the nice man from the ceiling. She did not hear me, instead, she just grabbed me and pulled me close to her.

In a few minutes, the emergency medical staff came and lifted me up to the stretcher. They took me to the ambulance, parked right outside the door.

Something was different that day. I had peace unlike any other, and I knew that one day, I could go back to that special place where I was known. Not only was peace, but a love that I still cannot convey in word or action. I don’t think my parents ever understood what I told them about that experience, so I soon put it in the back of my mind and got on with my young life.

Only when I read a book about out-of-body experiences, and read one such account, did a light bulb of understanding go off in my mind. The experience described was very similar to what I experienced that day. I did not know the man was Jesus at the time, but that is the reality of what I believe now. One day I will return to experience what that man told me so long ago, but this time I will not have to leave.

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Shirley Anne

It’s not for me they say

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A picture of Pisgah Baptist Church in Four Oak...

A picture of Pisgah Baptist Church in Four Oaks, North Carolina, USA.

There are many things in this life that hold no interest for me and this is the same for everyone on the planet. We can’t all like the same things or have the same interests right across the board. I hear people talking about their hobbies and interests and sometimes those things coincide with mine but not always. For so long in my life I couldn’t understand why people went to church on a Sunday and I felt it was more to do with their traditional habits than their belief in God. Of course at that time I had no interest in God so going to church meant nothing to me. When I actually started going to church on a regular basis it was a ritual for me, it meant nothing spiritually and it was more to do with my children. For reasons not known to me at that time I felt pushed to take them along but wasn’t quite sure why. The children enjoyed going, which helped and I felt happy that they were learning the traditions of men, not realising they were learning about God and Jesus Christ too! As I sat in the pews my experience was one of listening but not understanding. It was simply what I did on a Sunday morning. Before too long we moved away to where we live now and I found another church to attend on a Sunday. Both of these two churches were Methodist. It was during my first year at the second church that I began to take an interest in God and I read the Bible from the beginning to the end for the first time. This ultimately lead to me conversion and I had a ‘born again’ experience. I also began to attend a Pentecostal church about this time. These events are listed in my pages above for those who wish to know more so I won’t elaborate here. My life was changed completely for the better once I became a Christian believer and my sole wish was to tell others about this pearl of information I had discovered so they too might benefit by coming to God as I had done. This desire to ‘preach the Gospel‘ has stuck with me ever since and really it should be the desire of every born again believer! So I witness to people given every opportunity. You might ask why we Christians want others, complete strangers to know about God and salvation but there is a new driving force within us called the Holy Spirit empowering us and there is a new love in our hearts for those who don’t know. Writing about God in a Blog is a very easy thing to do, far easier than speaking with people face to face but I enjoy doing both. I expect a lot of rejection for my efforts for many say in their own way, ‘It’s not for me’, as if it were a hobby or a pastime for me, something I just do as a hobby or because I have an interest in Christianity. Christianity isn’t anything like Islam or Buddhism, Hinduism or any other ‘religions’ for it is the only one with the promise of eternal life.  Believing in a deity, is difficult to accept for many people so they dismiss it out of hand. It is only by openly pursuing God that He will be found though. We have to make the effort and earnestly seek Him. Saying that God doesn’t exist doesn’t mean He doesn’t but people will say the opposite,’believing in God doesn’t mean He exists either’. Well I didn’t know avocados existed before I saw one! The difference is that I can take avocados or not as I please without any consequences but this isn’t the same for God. If I don’t take hold of His free gift of life everlasting in Jesus Christ I will pay the consequences and these consequences will last an eternity! There will not be a second chance so why take that chance? Why gamble with your destiny? No, Christianity isn’t just a hobby or an interest, it isn’t all about going to a church or following the traditions of men as many do. It is about salvation, ETERNAL SALVATION. Pooh-pooh the idea if you think that isn’t true and I know many of you will do exactly that. It won’t stop me trying to get through to you though because I know the gift is very much worth accepting.

Click here for some eye-openers

http://www.finalfrontier.org.uk/

Shirley Anne