Tag Archives: Christianity

Never ending story

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

Story of My Life (album)

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

 

Ecclesiastes 1

Everything is meaningless

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

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

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

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

Shirley Anne

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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

Being a Christian

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Ephesians 1:4

Paul says that God “chose us in him” to emphasize that salvation depends totally on God. We are not saved because we deserve it, but because God is gracious and freely gives salvation. We did not influence God’s decision to save us; he saved us according to his plan. Thus there is no way to take credit for our salvation or to allow room for pride. The mystery of salvation originated in the timeless mind of God long before we existed. It is hard to understand how God could accept us. But because of Christ, we are holy and blameless in his sight. God chose us, and when we belong to him through Jesus Christ, God looks at us as if we had never sinned. All we can do is express our thanks for his wonderful love.

Taken from NIV Life Application Study Bible

English: Neges Gristnogol Ffair Cricieth - Cri...

Neges Gristnogol Ffair Cricieth – Criccieth Fair Christian Message Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved. A message on the Christian bookshop at 813796 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Who else can say that they are loved by God for His Spirit is in them? Our relationship with God is a two-way street, any and every relationship is. God does love you dear reader even if you do not love Him. Having a relationship with your Creator is a truly wonderful thing, better than any other relationship you may have in you life. You may not think you are worthy to have such a relationship or even think it possible but you would be wrong in thinking that. God’s arms are open wide to receive all who would call upon Him and He has made it possible, not you or by anything you do. To have a relationship with God is only possible because of what Jesus has done for you. He took upon Himself the sins of the world, even your sins, so that if you believe in Him and the One who sent Him you will be saved for all eternity and the relationship with God will have begun. Like any relationship it gets better the deeper it gets.

Shirley Anne

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

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

The way it crumbles…..

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

Liverpool Anglican Cathedral

Liverpool Anglican Cathedral (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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

Shirley Anne

Brothers

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Expulsion of Ishmael and His Mother, from Gust...

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

Genesis 16

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

11 The angel of the Lord also said to her:

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

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

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

Genesis 17

The covenant of circumcision

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Shirley Anne

My love

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Frans Floris - The Sacrifice of Jesus Christ, ...

Frans Floris – The Sacrifice of Jesus Christ, Son of God, Gathering and Protecting Mankind – WGA7949 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Is my love like a red, red rose? The person of my dreams? My lifelong companion? Can it be compared to all these things or is it something better? Is there anything better than these things? I fell in love with another human being more than 44 years ago and nothing has changed that love. Love is forever else it isn’t real love at all. Love is much more than that

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails. (1 Corinthians 13)

Then I found a love more precious…………..

Real love is found in Jesus Christ the Saviour of the world. What do I mean by that? Because of Jesus’ sacrifice all who believe in him can be saved. All of mankind is separated from God because of sin and no-one through their own effort can change that. If we commit a crime we end up in jail, we have to pay the penalty so justice  is served. Jesus has paid the penalty for all our sins because we were helpless to do so. All we have to do is repent (turn away from) of our sins and let Jesus be our Saviour. In doing so we can restore our relationship with our Creator God and enjoy everlasting life in heaven.

The choice is ours

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. (Isaiah 55)

Shirley Anne

Sober as a judge

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Clean and Sober

Clean and Sober (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am as sober as a judge as the saying goes for I don’t drink alcohol anymore and haven’t done for three years. Neither am I feeling bloated and stuffed silly with rich food from over-indulgence for I have resisted that temptation for a number of years too. As I mentioned in a recent post I no longer partake of such things. Each to their own I have to say for there is no persuading people from giving up what they enjoy, even if sometimes it is self-destructive too (see tomorrow’s post). Yesterday was different for me, in fact no different from today or any other day in my life for that matter. Each day is the same for me. I can work if I want to or rest if I want to, it makes no difference. I am happy being the way I am. Maybe my readers feel the same about themselves. Maybe my readers don’t give a toss and simply wish to enjoy themselves in whichever way they feel is right for them. Today I woke up without a hangover, a mouth so dry it felt like unused blotting paper or bruises I knew not how I received. Today is like any other day in my life. My health and well-being have improved since the days I gave up on those things which were slowly destroying me. I discovered God, I found Jesus, my life changed for I saw the truth that is in him. My heart goes out to those who are now in the same position I was before The Lord changed me. Life took on a new meaning and I discovered it wasn’t all about self-indulgence and high living, these things destroy. Today I am as sober as a judge in both my flesh and my spirit. I wanted to get out in the garden yesterday and do some work, pruning trees and such but it rained down so hard it was impossible and today’s forecast isn’t promising either. I guess I will just have to find something to do indoors instead.

Shirley Anne

The madness to come

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Christmas gifts.

Christmas gifts. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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

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

Ecclesiastes 12: 13-14

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

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

Shirley Anne

 

No hope

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c. 1437-1446

c. 1437-1446 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There is no hope for those who refuse to believe that there is. I will try to make that a little easier to understand. Quite often in my working day I find myself discussing my Christian faith with those I am working for and I get all sorts of responses. Some will agree with what I say and some will not and I expect that. As a believer in a creator God I believe that after my physical death there is something else, an afterlife that I will experience in a spiritual way. This for the believer has been made possible by Jesus Christ. The unbeliever will not have that hope, for the unbeliever there is no hope in that respect. The unbeliever will believe that after death there is nothing else and they will simply no longer exist, they will also believe that we are all simply a by-product of the creation of the universe. A key word here would be ‘creation’. For something to be created it needs a creator, that is logical but to an unbeliever it doesn’t mean God. Ask people where the universe came from and they draw a blank but tell them it was made from nothing and they will have difficulty in believing that. In Scripture we are told that out of nothing God created everything. According to Scripture it didn’t just pop into existence. Scientists today are attempting to find how it all happened and are spending huge amounts doing it. If, and I mean a BIG IF that they discover how the universe was made they will still argue that it didn’t happen because of divine intervention. For them and for all who choose not to believe there is no hope. Paul writes about the resurrection of Jesus Christ and how he was seen by many people after he had died and rose again on the third day after which he ascended to heaven.  He writes……

1 Corinthians 15

The Resurrection of Christ

Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.

For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.

For I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them—yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me. 11 Whether, then, it is I or they, this is what we preach, and this is what you believed.

The Resurrection of the Dead

English: Holy Thorn Reliquary; Resurrection of...

Holy Thorn Reliquary; Resurrection of the Dead on the Last Day (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

12 But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. 15 More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. 19 If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.

20 But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. 22 For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. 23 But each in turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him. 24 Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. 25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death. 27 For he “has put everything under his feet.” Now when it says that “everything” has been put under him, it is clear that this does not include God himself, who put everything under Christ. 28 When he has done this, then the Son himself will be made subject to him who put everything under him, so that God may be all in all.

29 Now if there is no resurrection, what will those do who are baptized for the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, why are people baptized for them? 30 And as for us, why do we endanger ourselves every hour? 31 I face death every day—yes, just as surely as I boast about you in Christ Jesus our Lord. 32 If I fought wild beasts in Ephesus with no more than human hopes, what have I gained? If the dead are not raised,

“Let us eat and drink,
    for tomorrow we die.”

33 Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.” 34 Come back to your senses as you ought, and stop sinning; for there are some who are ignorant of God—I say this to your shame.

Following on he writes this about the resurrection body…………

The Resurrection Body

35 But someone will ask, “How are the dead raised? With what kind of body will they come?” 36 How foolish! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. 37 When you sow, you do not plant the body that will be, but just a seed, perhaps of wheat or of something else. 38 But God gives it a body as he has determined, and to each kind of seed he gives its own body. 39 Not all flesh is the same: People have one kind of flesh, animals have another, birds another and fish another. 40 There are also heavenly bodies and there are earthly bodies; but the splendor of the heavenly bodies is one kind, and the splendor of the earthly bodies is another. 41 The sun has one kind of splendor, the moon another and the stars another; and star differs from star in splendor.

42 So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; 43 it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; 44 it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.

If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. 45 So it is written: “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit. 46 The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual. 47 The first man was of the dust of the earth; the second man is of heaven. 48 As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; and as is the heavenly man, so also are those who are of heaven. 49 And just as we have borne the image of the earthly man, so shall we bear the image of the heavenly man.

50 I declare to you, brothers and sisters, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51 Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— 52 in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53 For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. 54 When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”

55 “Where, O death, is your victory?
    Where, O death, is your sting?”

56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

58 Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

 

You see or should see that you are a spirit being living in a body made of flesh and that when your physical body wastes away the spiritual body will still exist. If you live outside of the hope of an afterlife you have no hope but your spirit will rest somewhere! My advice is to think on these things and turn to your creator God through the only means possible, through Jesus Christ and then you will have hope.

Shirley Anne

They do it differently

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Differently

Differently (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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

Matthew 6:3-5

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

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

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

Shirley Anne

I’ll be glad when it’s over

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the sexy santa assistants were there to take a...

the sexy santa assistants were there to take a photo of you in front of the xmas tree or you could just ask them to take a photo with you and pretend that your girlfriend is a sexy santa assistant See where this picture was taken. [?] (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Since my birthday on 21st November we have been bombarded with advertisements mostly centred around the forthcoming ‘festive season‘. That term in itself embraces what Christmas has metamorphosed into, no longer a celebration of the birth of a Saviour for many who indulge in it do not believe anyway. The (man-made) holiday (holy day) has been hijacked by the unbeliever in fact. Christmas somehow became ‘magical’, a time to drink to excess, eat to excess, spend money on non-essential things, often falling into great debt for that privilege. Why? Because everyone else does it. We are encouraged to do all kinds of things but never are we encouraged to find out what the celebration is supposed to be about, not by the media at any rate. The media are geared to the ways of the world and everyone is encouraged to follow and keep the wheels of commercialism turning at all costs. I really hate this time of year for it is difficult trying to isolate myself from it all. What I find hard to understand is why people think it is vital that they should over-indulge. When I was younger I did the same thing but there came a time when it all changed and I stood back and saw the stupidity of it all. Now before I get comments saying that I am a ‘stick-in-the-mud’ I have to point out that is not true. I like having a good time just the same as others but refuse to treat this special time as I might do at other times in the year. Not that I over-indulge in anything these days. I no longer drink alcohol but will still socialise, I have no need for stocking my larder with food I don’t need because it is what people eat at Christmas. Christmas is a time to reflect upon my salvation, what my Saviour did for me and more importantly why. Then I think to myself, I do these things every day! Real celebrations should be about what Jesus did for us all but unfortunately this falls on many deaf ears. I pray for such people every day. Without God, without Jesus, life is meaningless, celebrations are meaningless and everything we do is futile and meaningless. The world couldn’t care less and shows it. Come out of the world and seek your Saviour. Your eyes will be opened and you will see.

Shirley Anne

Death? What’s that?

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Poster for It's a Wonderful Afterlife

Poster for It’s a Wonderful Afterlife (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Let me ask you a question. Do you believe in an afterlife or do you believe this life is all there is? No doubt if you believe in only this life you will not be afraid of death. Is that true of yourself? Are you frightened of dying? Many will be unsure about what happens after death and may be too frightened to even think about it. There are some who just don’t give it a thought. There are many religious beliefs in the world and probably all of them have a take on the subject of an afterlife and more especially how to get there, what you have to do yourself to get there. It may be that you believe in re-incarnation and that when you die you come back as a different person or even a different creature! Only the Christian faith tells us that we cannot earn a place in Heaven and that we don’t have to do much either to get into hell! Our afterlife as a Christian is determined by whether we accept the gift that our Creator God offers to us. Of course if one is a Christian that gift has already been accepted. The Bible tells us that we cannot earn the right no matter how ‘good’ we are in this life for if we could get to Heaven under our own steam I suppose there wouldn’t be a person living who would not make the effort. The truth is none of us have the ability for the gift is only by God’s grace and the sacrifice of Jesus who died that we may live, live in His presence for all eternity. Death has lost its sting for those who are in Christ Jesus, our debts have all been paid and we have been set free as prisoners who have served their time for their wrongdoing. Jesus took upon himself the punishment we ought to pay for our wrongdoing , if we believe and repent of them. What could be easier, what could be simpler? We may think we deserve a life hereafter in Heaven but unless our sins, our wrongdoings are paid for beforehand we will pay the price for them in hell. Jesus is the answer, He alone is our salvation, He alone can cleanse us from our wrongdoing and present us clean and holy before God. If you believe otherwise then ask yourself this question, ‘Can I really know that what I believe will be enough? When I die, what really happens to me and will it be too late once I am dead’? It would be a horrible thing not to have accepted Jesus then find out you were wrong. If believers are wrong they have lost nothing but if unbelievers are wrong they have lost an eternity in Paradise. Death, where is thy sting?

Shirley Anne

What does it take?

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My readers will know that I am a Christian believer, an exile from atheism, turned-around, born again person, all of those things but still me. It’s all about realising something is truth, experiencing a change of heart and a revelation from God Himself. You will often hear Christians saying that God revealed Himself to them in one way or another which opened their hearts to the fact that they were in need of salvation because they were heading for eternal damnation otherwise. God has a plan and knows in advance which way people will go in believing or not in His gift of life eternal in Jesus Christ. As human beings we all fall short of His glory, no-one but no-one is anywhere near perfect in His eyes and never will be by their own efforts. It is because we are all sinners that we remain separated from Him and that can be forever. Hell is indeed being separated from God. God knows our imperfect state and knows we are helpless to do anything about it ourselves but we are His creation and He loves us so much that He died for us in order that we may be redeemed. ‘For God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life’, John 3:16 . Jesus Christ paid the penalty for each and every one of us but we must believe that and accept him as our Saviour. When we invite him in he will come. We are given The Holy Spirit who then dwells in our hearts like a live-in helper. As we allow The Spirit to guide us and teach us we become more and more at one with our Maker.

It isn’t a religion as some think, it isn’t a religion but a relationship and one with a promise. We become heirs to a great kingdom, we have been washed clean of all our sins and made pure in the eyes of God because of what Jesus did for us. If anyone does not believe that it is their choice, it always was and always will be. I can only wonder why people so easily reject the message and maintain a belief in something else which will leave them condemned and without hope for all eternity.

NOW READ THIS IF YOU ARE STILL SKEPTICAL………http://y-jesus.com/wwrj/6-jesus-rise-dead/?gclid=COX-prfzyb8CFWnpwgod3ZAA8g

Shirley Anne