Tag Archives: Christian

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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Making sure part two

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Yesterday I wrote about health issues, today I write about spiritual health and well-being. We often forget that we are spiritual beings inside our bodies of flesh and some of us don’t even believe that. We will some day live outside of the bodies we are born into. Those bodies will see decay but our spirits live on. Many has been the time when I wrote about Jesus Christ here on my site and many has been the time when I urged those who don’t know him as their Saviour to earnestly seek him. I will continue doing this as I am led to do so but it will continue to be an occasional post for fear of driving people away. I don’t wish to turn people away from God and Jesus Christ by attempting to ram the information down their throats, that would be wrong and in any case final decisions are made by those who wish to respond or not. I was watching a televised lecture or teaching if you will by a prominent Christian Pastor who was talking about the true nature of God as our Father in Heaven.

When God chose a group of people out of the many there are in this world to be an example for the rest He chose the Israelites or the Jews as we know them today. He laid down Laws for them to follow, laws meant for their well-being if they chose to follow them for God wanted His people to live in accordance with His will. If they failed to adhere to the laws (sin) they were expected to offer a sacrifice by way of atonement and this they did by offering the blood of an animal, an ox, a lamb, a goat or even a pigeon. God required the shedding of blood as a sacrifice. It meant that the Israelites had to own thousands of cattle, sheep and other animals in order to pay the price for their wrongdoing or sinful ways. Had they been obedient there would have been no need for the vast quantities of livestock but sin was in them just as it is today in each of us. God, our Father loves each of us with a love that is incomparable to any other. The Pastor related this observation in his teaching…..When his three-year old daughter cries out to him in the night because she is frightened of the dark or that she believes there is a monster beneath her bed she doesn’t cry out ‘Oh Father who is married to Mommy and who supplies us with food and shelter and who looks after me’ but she shouts ‘Daddy, I am frightened’ (paraphrased throughout). This is who our father in Heaven really is, a loving daddy whom we can rely upon and who genuinely loves and cares for us as any daddy would do (should do). We approach our Father as little children knowing He won’t reject us but is always there for us at all times. Our cries of help do not go unnoticed. He is Abba, Father our loving God. If we do wrong, and we all do wrong at times, He is there to comfort us and to chastise us but He does it for our own benefit. What loving father doesn’t chastise his children? That is how they learn good from evil. Following God isn’t a punishment, something we have to endure else be damned but rather it is the most natural thing in the world to want to please our Daddy, Abba Father. It is because of His great love for us that He came in the flesh as a human being, Jesus Christ, who took upon Himself the sins of the world, even our sins, mine and yours. We don’t need herds of cattle to offer as sacrifices for our wrongdoing for Jesus has already paid that price on our behalf. Jesus shed his own blood, he became our sacrificial Lamb. All we have to do is repent and accept that free gift of life in His name. This is how much our Daddy loves us…….Make sure you don’t miss out on His love…..

Shirley Anne

How deep the Father’s love for us
How vast beyond all measure
That He should give His only Son
And make a wretch His treasure
How great the pain of searing loss
The Father turns His face away
As wounds which mar the Chosen One
Bring many sons to glory

Behold the man upon the cross
My sin upon His shoulder
Ashamed I hear my mocking voice
Call out among the scoffers
It was my sin that held Him there
Until it was accomplished
His dying breath has brought me life
I know that it is finished

I will not boast in anything
No gifts, no power, no wisdom
But I will boast in Jesus Christ
His death and resurrection
Why should I gain from His reward
I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom
Why should I gain from His reward
I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom

Copyright Stuart Townend

Shirley Anne

This is what God wants of us

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WHAT DOES GOD REQUIRE OF US? (Micah 6:8)

These beautiful, famous words of the prophet Micah outline God’s simple expectations of his people: “To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God” (Mic 6:8). These qualities of the heart that lead to a God-pleasing life have stood the test of time because they reflect the heart of God himself. Throughout the history of his interaction with his people, God has longed for them to remember his goodness and generosity to his people and to live in response to all they know about the Lord.

Dispute of Jesus and the Pharisees over tribut...

Dispute of Jesus and the Pharisees over tribute money (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Jesus confronted the religious leaders of his day, the teachers of the law and Pharisees, for turning worship into drudgery and for outwardly doing all the right things but inwardly neglecting to show justice and mercy. He harshly criticized them, calling them “hypocrites” and “blind guides” (Mt 23:23–24). God desires that his people walk humbly with him, for as they walk with him, they become more like him. Jesus is the way (Jn 14:6). He is the One who came to serve, not to be served (Mk 10:45). When a crowd asked him what kind of works God requires, he simply answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent” (Jn 6:28–29). When Jesus’ people follow him with their whole hearts, they develop hearts like his—hearts that are compassionate and swift to do justice.

Prayer……
Jesus, thank you for making some things simple. Please help me to act justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with you. I want a heart like yours. Amen.
Taken from NIV The Jesus Bible

So I ask those who don’t believe in God, just what do you believe? Self? Another god? Humanism? None of these will draw you close to God, you have to come to Him through Jesus. He is the only way. I am often accused of being narrow-minded in thinking that all other religions are false or that there are many ways to know God. God says in His word that there is only one way. By rejecting His word you are rejecting Him and guess what? Jesus is The Word. Before the Creation of all things Jesus was with God, He was with God from the beginning. Nothing that has been made was brought into being other than through Jesus. He is part of the Godhead and came to dwell among us. God came to live with us and was rejected. He was nailed to a cross to pay the penalty for all of our sins and all He wants is for each of us to know Him personally. Nothing we can do can wipe away our sins and we have all sinned. Let Jesus be your Salvation for He is the only Saviour. If you want a heart like Jesus then ask Him into your life.

Shirley Anne

A work in progress

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No matter what we do in life we have to learn or have learned how to do it. We don’t come into this world full of the knowledge and capability to do anything, we learn it. We get wiser, or should do, as we go along. One of my favourite responses I give (in jest) when asked how I know the things I know about doing electrical work is that I make it up as I go along. Well obviously I don’t else the work would be shoddy, unregulated and unsafe and my reputation for being a good worker would be lost. We have to learn everything or get nowhere. For many years my life had been empty without the knowledge of my Saviour. I had been very resistant to the belief that there was a God, I just didn’t want to know about such things. When asked if I believed I would respond by saying no and I don’t want to. Because I had no knowledge I couldn’t believe and yet God Himself points out in Scripture that we are without excuse as the evidence is all around us in Creation. Many simply do not ask of themselves where it all came from and some have endeavoured to search for rational and natural explanations. The truth of the matter is that before Creation there wasn’t any nature or reason, they came about, as with all things, through Creation. The next big question they fail to ask of themselves is who created it all if it was indeed created? God points out in Scripture that all things that were made and have their existence came about from nothing! God is saying that He made matter from something that wasn’t previously there. God isn’t believed because they want to know who made Him. The truth is that God has always been. When I became a Christian believer all those years ago I will be honest and say that although I was searching for answers to these questions and others I had also been searching for God. If we search wholeheartedly for God He will be found.  ‘You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart’ (Jeremiah 29:13). However, that wasn’t the end of the matter. I had found the truth that is God, I found the truth that is Jesus Christ and He my Saviour and invited Him into my heart. I was saved! Saved from eternal damnation and I didn’t need to do anything myself except to simply believe in Jesus’ saving power. Now I could have rested on my laurels  and did nothing more but once you discover the truth about God I tell you, you want to know more and more is revealed to those who seek it. I am a work in progress, saved but in need of refinement….and that will continue till the day I die when all will finally be revealed…….

Isaiah 40:5 And the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all people will see it together. For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.’

Revelation 15:4 Who will not fear you, Lord, and bring glory to your name? For you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship before you, for your righteous acts have been revealed.’

The message is simple….God through His Word, that is Jesus Christ, created all things. He loves you so much He came in the flesh to die for all your sins (wrongdoing, rebellion, yes, even unbelief), paying the penalty for them and setting you free..forever. Are you ready to accept this free gift of love?

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

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

Friday and the long weekend

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‘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

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

Stubborn hearts

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No a halloween

No a halloween (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Israelites were noted for it. God had promised them so many things and all they had to do was follow His instruction but time after time they failed. From the beginning mankind has been rebellious because of a stubborn heart. So often we choose the easy way out or we choose to do things our way when in our hearts we know it is wrong. When I took my children to church they learned the right way in life but sadly now they have grown they seem not to continue with Christian instruction in some areas of their lives. They are still believers in Christ, it’s just they make compromises where perhaps they shouldn’t. Hey, listen, I am in no way perfect either though I strive to do the proper thing in my Christian walk. It is fortunate therefore that Jesus has done it all for me because at my best I fail to reach the standard. On Wednesday late in the afternoon I received a visit from my eldest son, his wife and their young daughter who had called to collect something of theirs we have in storage at our house. They didn’t stay long, they never do, there is always some other pressing engagement they have to attend upon. In conversation the subject of Halloween crept up with my little granddaughter getting excited at the prospect of her Halloween celebrations. Children do not understand and neither do many or even most adults! When at the church I used to attend the teaching was that Halloween is centred around pagan rituals and nothing about it was good. The parents were encouraged to bring their children to alternative Halloween celebrations at the church and were discouraged from promoting the secular version. Does God frown upon the secular version? Of course He does. The Israelites were not averse to consulting mediums and spiritualists, the very people He instructed them not to consult. God makes the rules for our benefit but we often ignore Him. My eldest son’s wife, a Christian herself has chosen not to follow instruction and openly encourages their daughter to enjoy Halloween whilst my son rather than making a stand against what he knows about the truth behind the celebration has chosen the easy way out just to keep the peace. I can say nothing of course, why argue with stubborn hearts? I understand that not everyone will agree with my beliefs because they are not believers in God or if they are they do not think it wrong to ignore Him. In the end it is a personal choice we all have to make.

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

You’re ‘avin a larf!

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Only When I Larf

Only When I Larf (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

According to the weather forecast hereabouts Thursday was supposed to be wet, at least in the afternoon but I saw no rain until five o’clock. I had shelved working at home on the Plot for the day and thought I might get some electrical work to do instead. As it happened I was hoping I would get work in order to reline my purse after having to pay for unexpected repairs to my van at an unexpected cost! I had one small job to do which would only go toward reclaiming a small part of my outlay. As I am a Christian I often speak with God during my day and as often as I might I mention that I could do with some extra work. He never lets me down. I had just returned home after the first job and was about to have a coffee when I noticed the indicator on the house phone was flashing. That meant someone had left a message. It was from an elderly gentleman and his wife asking if I could do some small jobs for them. Evidently a previous customer had recommended me to them as being efficient and reliable. It meant  driving into the countryside some distance away. The work entailed the installation of a couple of power outlets in a greenhouse and a large shed, replacing two large fluorescent light fittings with smaller versions and wire and install another fluorescent fitting with a switch in another shed. The house and gardens occupied a very large plot of land and the couple have their garden open to the public to view during the summer months. The proceeds go to charity and this year they managed to collect £4000 from visitors. Their garden is a veritable maze filled with flowers, trees and shrubs of all kinds. It is one of those places you never tire of exploring. The work took me three hours then I was off home. By the time I reached my home town it was three-thirty and I had missed lunch. I got another call whilst driving along and it was from a guy I had worked for many times who wanted me to do a small job too. As I was about to drive past the road in which he lives I took the job. Finally I arrived back home. It was now after four-thirty and I’d had enough. Sometimes I think The Lord is having a laugh but He certainly is generous and always makes provision for me. He never lets me down. The saying ‘be careful what you ask’ is something of which to be aware, God will take you at your word if He’s a mind to. Thankfully He also knows when I need a rest too. Anyway I earned enough in the day to almost completely offset the van repair.
Managers (1 Chronicles 29:11)
Everything we have comes from God. We’re managers or stewards, not owners, of what God places in our trust. The days we live, the positions we fill, the children we nurture, the money in our accounts all belong to God. Of all of these, money is perhaps the hardest for many of us to think of as a trust. We work hard to earn it. We naturally want to keep it. But God assures us he will provide what we need. And the Bible says over and over that we are to give some of our money back to him. Difficult yes, but the money itself isn’t the issue. God doesn’t need our money. He wants what our money represents. He wants our hearts. Don’t build a barricade around your possessions or your heart. Give God your heart and watch how he orders and provides all that you need.
Taken from NIV Busy Dad’s Bible

Shirley Anne

Better in some ways

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English: An example of 2,000 cheque given to p...

An example of 2,000 cheque given to people (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After the previous day’s debacle and time-wasting I wasn’t sure what to expect on Tuesday. I had arranged to drive to the same little township I had been to the day before but this time I had been asked to sort out a problem with someone else’s electrical supply to their shower. It turned out to be a faulty pull-cord switch which I duly replaced. I wasn’t there too long before I was off home again and a little financially better off. I was thinking about my finances in general and especially my expenditure and how I was to fund the roof repairs and the bedroom refurbishment without having to dig into my main savings account. The money in there has been set aside for specific purposes and I don’t want to use it for current needs. One of the things I pray for occasionally is for The Lord to provide for my needs and the needs of my family and He has never let me down. I remember a shortfall I had some years ago and wondered how I was going to meet it. God provided me with the exact amount I needed a few days later! When I arrived back home on Tuesday morning I collected the mail that had been pushed through the letter box. One item was an outreach leaflet from the Jehovah’s Witnesses regarding salvation. I gave it a quick read as I always do but discarded it as I am a Christian believer. Their doctrine differs from mainstream Christianity as do many other groups and churches so we believe in different things. Anyhow amongst the other mail items was one marked ‘important’ and it was addressed to me. Inside was some literature regarding some shares I hold with an accompanying cheque for £2162. Now that was a lovely and unexpected surprise and will more than cover the cost of the  roof repairs with something left over. E drove me to the bank so that I could deposit the cheque in my account and then we drove to a nearby town for lunch. We had not been out for lunch for quite some time as we wanted to save the cash for the roof repairs and the bedroom refurbishment. The venue was somewhere we had only visited a couple of times before. The meal was excellent and we thoroughly enjoyed our time there before returning home.

Shirley Anne

All in His love (and immersion heaters)

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fuel gas driven furnace (top) with domestic wa...

Fuel gas driven furnace (top) with domestic warm water tank (below) Boiler and cylinder (Make: Vaillant) For a detail see Image:Boiler Vaillant.jpg (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am a Christian, a person who believes in Jesus Christ and has accepted God‘s gift of eternal life through him. Here I could quote numerous verses regarding why I (anyone) needed salvation but I am not using today’s post as a witness to my readers, especially as that was the theme of my previous post. I promised my readers that I wouldn’t be filling this blog with the single theme of my faith. However, as a Christian I speak with my Heavenly Father and ask of Him all sorts of things. Occasionally I will ask that I get the opportunity to witness to someone on that particular day or the next day and as often as I ask I get my wish fulfilled. They are fulfilled because I am not asking for selfish reasons but to serve and besides I love to witness.
This past week has seen me with almost no electrical work at all, one job on Monday morning and one on Saturday morning so in between those days I have had to occupy myself with other things and for a few days I have worked out in the garden. It is the season of the year where many are not thinking about work they want doing at home, they are thinking about their vacations. Swings and roundabouts, some months of the year can be very hectic in my profession which is nice but it is also nice to be able to relax and do nothing at all some days. My job on Saturday morning was for a lady recently divorced from her husband because of his behaviour and she was trying her best to settle down to being single and living in a new apartment having given up her bungalow. She was trying to make ends meet basically. She wanted a timer unit checking out and a new power outlet installed near her front door which was downstairs. Her apartment was on the first floor. The apartment block is only two storeys high. The timer unit wasn’t faulty but one of the immersion heaters it was controlling was at fault. I ceased changing immersion heaters a few years ago though I still have the equipment. Sometimes they are difficult to remove from the copper storage tank and can damage it if care isn’t taken. I don’t take that chance anymore and leave it to a plumber. I will do such jobs at home of course and often do so. It will take some considerable time to drain her water tank and replace the heater so she didn’t like the idea of having it done just yet anyway because of the cost involved. The lower immersion heater was the faulty one and normally only switched on during the night when the cost of the electricity was far less. The upper heater was available during the day as a booster but at a higher running cost. She told me she hardly uses hot water except to was dishes as she has an electric shower and the washing machine will heat its own water. I suggested switching the supply from the bottom heater and connecting it to the upper one so that the upper third of the tank could be heated overnight at the cheaper rate. She was happy about the suggestion for it would keep the costs down until perhaps she was in a position to have the lower heater replaced. As for the power outlet, when I told her what would be involved she decided against the idea purely for financial reasons. She had thought it possible to wire the new outlet from another circuit not knowing that it couldn’t and shouldn’t be done that way. She was grateful that I had sorted out the water heating problem and at a much lower price than she had envisaged and I was paid my minimum charge. Afterward we drank coffee and chatted for a little while and it was then that I was given the opportunity to witness to her. Naturally I hope she will respond to the message. I will leave that in Gods hands. I was just grateful for answered prayer and the opportunity to do His will.

Shirley Anne

Just so you know

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3rd quarter of 16th century

Jesus is the Bread of life (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My duty as a Christian and the duty all Christians should be fulfilling is to spread the message of The Gospel, which means ‘Good News‘. It is a commandment that we tell others about this good news, the promise of salvation and everlasting life in Jesus Christ. For those who hear the message, believe and repent there is that promise. Once the message is received and understood of course it follows that there is then no excuse for rejecting it. The consequences of refusal rest with the individual. All sorts of excuses are put forward for not believing, no God, no Saviour, no sin but often no replacement argument that can stand is offered. Atheists have a hard time trying to prove their case as well as in trying to demolish what we as believers know to be the truth. If anyone is filled with The Spirit of God they will know that what I am saying and the message I have given is indeed truth. A few years ago I wrote a personal letter to a new friend, someone I met on-line and then later in person. She had some strange ideas regarding who God is and was a believer in Theosophy often quoting one of that ideology’s original proponents. Anyone can search about Theosophy over The Internet so I won’t go into detail here. In my letter I mention Theosophy but you can substitute any other belief system in regards to my argument. As Christians we have a compassionate concern for the unbeliever but we should never witness brandishing a stick as many of our misguided forebears did. We should witness in love, delivering the message in an attitude of love and pray that it is received and accepted. We have no control over what happens, The Lord is in control. Here is that Letter with amendments to protect the identity of its recipient, my friend…

Que sera, sera (name). Whatever will be will be. In this wicked world in which we live there are always going to be those who oppose you and what you believe. There will always be those who do that in love and those who do it out of hatred or even fear. A rant in a newspaper article is going to change nothing except maybe allow you to vent your anger, but to whom is that anger directed? If you confess that you love your fellow-man then you have to accept them for what they are and what they believe else you are showing the same bigotry and hatred as they do. Jesus did say that we should love our neighbours as ourselves, it is a, dare I use the word, fundamental law of God? (She had a thing about ‘fundamental’ Christians). I respect your views on religion but that doesn’t mean I agree with them and it is the same for anyone else. But my message is to you personally here is, and you may not think this is true, that I like you (name) and I consider you as a friend. Accept that fact or not, it remains the truth. In your article, to give it the respect it deserves, you say in your closing sentence that you know the answers to the questions you posed in the script. Then you must know that what I am saying about other people is true. It just seems that you are struggling a little coming to terms with it all and I can understand why. I know perhaps I shouldn’t say this as it is probably the last thing you want to hear but I think you need God in your life. You refer to God as ‘it’ in some lines and as God in others which shows me that you really have no idea who God really is. I know your thoughts on Theosophy and the doctrine of universal oneness, re-incarnation, karma and such but what do you really know about it? I mean, by what means did you come to the point that Theosophy is the way to go? Have a look at this link http://www.allaboutcults.org/theosophical-society.htm  (and the whole site which I think is amazing and revealing) and see if it compares to how you view things  for the whole site click here http://www.allaboutspirituality.org/. You are right in saying that God does not interfere with our lives and lifestyles, we forsook that privilege when we fell from grace but that does not mean that we are not loved by Him, on the contrary we are.
John 3:16-17
New International Version 1984 (NIV1984)
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. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

That is through Jesus, not through someone else or any philosophical or religious ideal. When I wrote to you about other Christians who you consider fundamentalists because they seem to be preaching hatred and bigotry, they do it because they see the wickedness that has a grip on men’s (mankind) hearts, sinful behaviour in the sight of God. They do that because they are concerned knowing that God punishes those who are disobedient. If God didn’t do that He would not be a fair and just God. He makes the rules for our benefit, though many, many people do not see that. He wants us to come to Him of our own free will, not because He is brandishing a whip but because His arms are wide open waiting for us to make the right decision. Those who make a stand against the evil in this world make a stand for Jesus, for God but some unfortunately do not do that in love. I apologise on their behalf. It is right and proper for a Christian to make such a stand against what is God’s Word and that can include anything like homosexuality, lesbianism, fornication, murder, theft, immorality in general and a host of other things. However I do not think as Christians we should hold political sway which forces our beliefs on an unbelieving nation. We must tell them about The Gospel, about the coming Kingdom of God, about Jesus and real salvation. It is by doing these things that we, as Christians fulfill God’s wishes. The decision to respond must rest with the recipient.
So I hope you will accept what I am saying and receive it in the spirit of its intentions, to show you love and friendship, as well as a real concern for your welfare.
Take care, love

Shirley Anne

The same message is for you too if you are not a Christian