I knew…………

A few weeks ago my doctor called me in to see her. I have to attend surgery every six months for routine blood pressure checks because of the medication (hormones) I have to take each day. On my last visit I was told to make an appointment with the nurse who take blood samples and send them off for analysis. That was done and I then had to see the doctor again for the results. That happened on Friday (10). My readers will know that I am a Christian believer and place my trust in God knowing that He loves me. I don’t like visits to the doctor to be truthful and though I appear at ease by my demeanour I am usually tensed inside. I arrived at the surgery and parked my van but before going in I prayed to The Lord that all would be well with my results and there would be no necessity for any further action. I went into the surgery and waited to be called. I was with the doctor for less than a minute……..there was nothing wrong with my blood pressure nor the resultant blood tests. I praised The Lord. I knew in my heart the results would be normal, He had given me that assurance.

Take Jesus’ hand
I have learnt over the years to have more faith in God and to trust in His love. I know He loves me and will take care of me. He proved His love on the cross. Jesus Christ died for me and that act demonstrated pure love. He paid my debt and set me free from the bondage of sin. All I had to do was believe in Him and accept His gift of life. No ,matter what God's plans are for me I know I can trust Him. I just know...

Shirley Anne

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One last chance?

Recently I had the opportunity to view again a movie I chanced upon and watched a few years ago. I enjoyed it then as I did the second time around. The movie had a message in it which made me think it was produced by a Christian or Christians aiming to use it as a witness to the unbeliever who may be watching it. The movie was called ‘Left behind‘ and the leading actor was Nicolas Cage. Perhaps you have seen it too dear reader? I wondered whilst watching it just how many unbelieving hearts were touched by its message enough for them to reconsider their view. The basic theme of the movie centred around these Bible verses:-

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.’

In the movie many people and all of the children suddenly disappeared. Clothes were just left where they had stood. Those who were left couldn’t understand what had happened though some began to realise it was a fulfillment of Scripture….the beginning of the end. Nicolas Cage was the pilot of a plane whose co-pilot, some of the crew and passengers suddenly disappeared whilst in flight. Even a pastor of a church had been left behind and we learned why, although he could quote Scripture he admitted to not believing in what he was preaching. I know a few people just like him. One evening while at a ‘Four square gospel‘ businessmen’s dinner one such pastor of a church gave us his testimony explaining how he became a Christian years after he became ordained. For so many years he too had preached The Gospel but had no real belief until one day it dawned upon him. At that point he invited Jesus into his heart and became ‘saved’. The movie didn’t explain what happened to all those who had been left behind but someone realised that the preceding ‘rapture’ marked the beginning of  the tribulation and the suffering of all who were left.

So now will you believe? Now will you take notice? Now will you come to Christ and be saved? The choice is yours. The rapture may indeed come tonight, only God knows.

Shirley Anne

Matthew 13:24–30
In this short story, Jesus tells why God allows evil to continue in the world. According to Jesus, if God uprooted all the evil people (the weeds) now, others (the wheat) might be uprooted along with them.
For now, God’s allowing evil doesn’t mean he condones it. Rather, God is waiting for people to turn to him and accept his leadership in their lives. After all, if tonight at midnight God wiped out all the people who hadn’t yet trusted in him, where would you be in the morning?
Verse 30 gives us an image of the final separation that God will initiate at the end of time. On that day, God wants to gather you, as one of his people, into his heaven. Won’t you accept that gracious offer?
Taken from NIV The NIV Journey Bible

Shirley Anne

The future……………your future!

 

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

Who are you?

Enjoy the song (sorry about the odd expletives in the lyrics) then read the message below…..

 

Who am I? (John 1:12)

The beautiful thing about God’s kingdom is that all those who welcome Jesus as their Lord are given the opportunity to accept a new identity through him. This is illustrated poignantly through the story of a crooked tax collector named Zacchaeus. Tax collectors were among the most despised people in Israel because they chose to work for Rome and were making themselves rich by gouging their fellow Jews. But Zaccheaus shows that even the lost can be adopted and made new.

Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. He wanted to see who Jesus was, but because he was short he could not see over the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way.

When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly.

All the people saw this and began to mutter, “He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.”

But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.”

Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham.” (Luke 19:1-9)
KEY VERSE

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

I believe I am significant because of my position as a child of God.
KEY APPLICATION: What difference does this make in the way I live?

Because of our new identity in Christ, we are free from condemnation. (Romans 8:1)
Because of our new identity in Christ, our worth comes from our position in Christ, not our performance. (Matthew 11:28)
Because of our new identity in Christ, we live to express who we are in Christ, not to prove who we are.
Because of our new identity in Christ, we can focus on building others up, not tearing them down.

Taken from NIV Believe

Shirley Anne

Hang on a minute

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

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

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

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

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

Shirley Anne

Borrowed time

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

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

Friday and the long weekend

‘So this is Christmas‘ as John Lennon sang in the well-known song. When I was young it wasn’t so much the day itself but always the approaching days which held the excitement, in fact the day itself wasn’t as exciting as I remember and sometimes it turned out a little disappointing. I find that happens a lot in life, we expect something to be exciting and we find we are somewhat disillusioned when the time comes. Sometimes we expect too much and when we do we get let down. Not always though, no, there are things which satisfy in life but I think you’ll agree, they don’t last and soon we are looking for another thrill, another exciting event. This pretty much sums up Christmas for many people but it doesn’t have to be that way, there is more to Christmas or rather the message it contains that will never disillusion if taken to the heart. Who cares? Many simply want to enjoy the time without the ‘religious’ theme but without the religious message the whole event becomes meaningless, just another event in the calendar we look forward to for enjoyment. Well Christmas is a time to rejoice and be happy, a time for people to get together in love and friendship though for some that isn’t their lot. Tell people that God sent His only begotten Son, conceived of the Holy Spirit by a virgin to be an atoning sacrifice for those who have turned away from Him and they will laugh, they will scoff, they will not believe, but that is the message that Christmas brings. It is the gift of God, a free gift and it doesn’t arrive on a sleigh pulled by reindeer and driven by a guy in a red outfit! The truth of the matter is we ALL need salvation for we ALL fall short of the glory of God. God is waiting for those who will turn to Him in repentance, who will accept His free gift of life that only comes through Jesus Christ, the babe in the manger lost in the secular version of what should be a Christmas centred around him and the reason he came.

Detail - Glory of the New Born Christ in prese...
Detail – Glory of the New Born Christ in presence of God Father and the Holy Spirit (Annakirche, Vienna) Adam and Eva are represented bellow Jesus-Christ Ceiling painting made by Daniel Gran (1694-1757). Post-processing: perspective and fade correction. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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’

Remember what Christmas is really about.

Shirley Anne

How lost

Furniture
Furniture (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I cannot escape it. Whenever the television is switched on and tuned-in to an independent broadcasting station I am bombarded with advertisements. I expect this of course but at this time of year the advertisements are aggressive and are so repetitive as to be annoying. As my readers I’m sure will know by now I detest advertising of this nature, in fact any dynamic and thrusting advertising but I do realise their necessity in the great scheme of things. As we are approaching Christmas the pressure to buy or invest in something is relentlessly pushed into our faces via the television screens. I often wonder how positive or negative the reaction to them is. For a few months now furniture manufacturers have constantly advertised their goods and the fact that they can deliver them before Christmas day. They subtly suggest how would-be buyers would benefit from having new furniture both to take advantage of their ‘special offers’ and to be able to accommodate their guests on the big day. We are made to think that we cannot do without new furniture. Aside from the fact that most people do not need new furniture the offers are at a reduced price to persuade us otherwise. I wonder how much profit these companies make if they can offer goods at half-price and still be in pocket! It’s not just furniture it is perfume, alcohol, seasonal foods, clothing, watches, electronic equipment and one of the most annoying to me anyway, Internet and television media suppliers. If I’ve seen each one every day I have seen them twenty or more times. Where did ‘Black Friday‘ come from? They must be desperate for our custom. The mute button on my remote control unit gets pressed often!
It is all to do with life in a modern society but the sad thing is that most people are influenced and taken-in by all the hype and many end up with so much debt it is frightening. People need to realise they are not sheep, they do not have to jump on the band-wagon so eagerly because their friends or family have done. This is the secular world, driven and kept well-oiled by commercialism which can only end when it runs out of steam. That energy is sapped out of all those who allow it but the people are blind. The people are comfortable with it all but don’t realise they are being manipulated. I took a step back from the false security that is secularism. It has no future, it is heading nowhere. I fell in love with my Creator and placed all my hope in Him. I fell in love with Jesus and have a future not based upon the secular life and all the material blessings I might gain from it. In the end they perish and have to be left behind one day. Can you see why I look at the ways of the world the way I do? Can you see what an empty future you have if you put your trust in worthless things, the things the secular world offers? Don’t take the advertisements too seriously. Take the offer your Creator God offers, the FREE gift of life everlasting in Jesus Christ.

Shirley Anne

The list of love

A list of love

E, Derek, Marie, Carol, Allan, Jennifer, John, David, Tracy, Alan, Lyn, Lucy, John, Chrissie, Tina, Emily, Caroline, Sara, Claire, Jane, Amanda, Jillian, Lotte, Pam, Craig, Chris, Terry, Denise, Paul, George, Pam, Jill, Toby, Deborah, Pam, Liz, Sue, Jane

These people, as far as I am aware that is, and many others, either do not believe in God and Jesus Christ or have not called upon Jesus to be their Saviour. I pray for them all each and every day that God will open their hearts to His Word and that they may repent and turn to Him through His Son our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Others I know who have made that commitment I also pray for, my brothers and sisters in Christ, that they will be filled with wisdom and be given a deeper understanding to grow in their faith. Some are members of my own family, my sons and friends. These too are in my list of love.


Embed from Getty Images

Why do I say a list of love? What do I gain by praying for them? The answer is that I love them all and want those who need salvation to be saved and those who are saved to draw closer to God. I pray for people for it is incumbent upon me to do so but also because I want to. Once I didn’t pray for anyone but since God’s Holy Spirit came into my heart I cannot resist. The pleasure I get is in the knowledge that I am doing my Father’s will, not because I am under pressure but because I am persuaded out of love. For so many years I lived in spiritual darkness without the love of God in my heart and then one day Jesus came into my life and I was changed forever (read My Faith page above). When I found this treasure immediately I wanted to tell everyone what they were missing. It often fell on deaf ears and it still does for many resist the Good News with fervour, actually as I did before I believed. It is hard sometimes when trying to explain to people that there is a hell to shun and a heaven to gain. Hell is a real place reserved for those who reject salvation through Jesus Christ. It is our sins which separate us from a loving God but it is only through Jesus Christ, God’s only begotten Son, that we can be saved. If we ask Jesus to be our Saviour he will take the burden of our sins upon himself and they will be wiped away forever. When God looks upon us He will not see sin, He will see His Son in us. Why would anyone not take hold of such a love as this, one that ensures everlasting life in Heaven?

John 3:16

16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

So I pray for those I love

Shirley Anne