Doubting generation

Many a time I have been told by people not believing in God that The Bible is a fairy story, a book filled with nonsensical thoughts and ideals, a man-made text. God they say was made up, invented by men to keep people under control, someone they could be fearful of if they didn’t tow the line. Well naturally they would say that from their standpoint of unbelief and their uneducated minds. Who can possibly make comment on something they know little about or refuse to look into? The evidence for God is all around us, there isn’t a real excuse for not believing. Many approach the subject with closed minds or preconceived ideas and simply stubbornly refuse that the idea they are wrong is possible. Maybe they have experienced troubles in their lives, hardships and poor health. There are many reasons for them not to put their faith in God, in their minds that is. What they don’t know or are willing to accept is that God, apart from Him being real, loves them dearly. ‘If God loves me so then why do I suffer? Why is there such hatred in the world? Why doesn’t He step in and change things? Why does He withhold nice things for me?’ is often asked. Well the truth is this, if  God didn’t love you He would give in to your requests. Sounds a stupid answer at first glance but if God didn’t allow suffering how would we benefit in understanding what suffering was? When we understand that God doesn’t always answer in the way we expect then we understand just how much He loves us. We learn from suffering, we learn from being refused, we learn from discipline. What father doesn’t teach us in the same way? He loves us this way so that we know that when we receive from Him it will only be for our good. Why did He allow Jesus Christ to suffer for our sins? He did it to show just how much He really loves us. In this life we are here to learn and to love our Creator. He died that we may be set free. He left us not alone but gave us His Spirit to guide and teach us, to help and support us and He gave us His Story in the written word, The Bible. Everything we need to know about life and how to live it is in there. Everything we need to know about our Creator is in there, Father, Son and Holy Spirit…..

Shirley Anne

A bible from 1859.
A bible from 1859. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

How Do We Know the Bible Is True? (Hebrews 4:12)

According to the Bible, all Scripture is God-breathed (2 Tim 3:16). Peter confirmed this when he said that those who wrote the Bible were not speaking on their own but spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit (2 Pet 1:21). Many parts of Scripture are directly attributed to God through use of phrases like This is what the Lord says (e.g., Ex 4:22). Finally, Jesus often quoted from the Old Testament and affirmed it as being God’s Word.
Prophecies that were later fulfilled are corroboration of the accuracy of the Bible’s claim to be God’s Word. For example, the vision recorded in Daniel 7 correctly predicted the rise of the Medo¬Persian Empire, the Greek Empire under Alexander the Great, and the Roman Empire.
Archaeological discoveries are also important evidence of the Bible’s accuracy. For example, for many years King David was believed by some to be a fictional character. But recently a composition from a king of Syria referring to the “house of David” was discovered at Tel Dan. This writing provides tangible evidence that ancient rulers indeed recognized the dynasty of David in Judah.
Another reason for confidence in the Bible’s authenticity is its internal consistency. The Bible is actually a compilation of 66 books written over a period of 2,000 years by more than 40 different authors, and yet there is a unified message and a striking theological coherence—something that clearly speaks of God’s guidance throughout the process of writing, transmit¬ting and assembling the Biblical texts.
It is important to remember that the original Biblical documents no longer exist. We are dependent on copies, and copyists can make mistakes. However, scholars have carefully tracked the accuracy of ancient manuscripts from different centuries, and their consistency gives us good reason to be confident in the Bibles we read today. Furthermore, rigorous standards were applied to determine the canon—both by the Jews, who determined the collection of books that make up the Old Testament Scriptures, and by the early church, which decided the books to be included in the New Testament.
Taken from NIV Quest Study Bible

Shirley Anne

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No VAT

The Birth of Our Lord Jesus Christ
The Birth of Our Lord Jesus Christ (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Value added tax,.,…in case you are not from the UK. VAT is a tax levied on any transaction involving the exchange of money here in the UK. As far as the purchasing of goods was concerned it used to be referred as purchase tax. As with any tax funds received are used to finance the various needs of the nation but though many people may grumble about such things they do understand the necessity for it. Nobody likes paying taxes I suppose. People like getting things for free, nobody refuses a free gift do they? Oh yes they do! Somehow a free gift means a hidden price to pay, an ulterior motive or agenda. Surprisingly there are such things as free gifts, we have all received them at some point in our lives. How many of you receive birthday presents? The catch here is that we in turn return the compliment to the giver at the appropriate time making it not really free at all yet if there were not any catches, no price to pay, no VAT or anything else some people still remain suspicious! There are those who expect everything for nothing thinking the world owes them a living they beg, borrow or steal rather than work for it. They don’t pay VAT, they don’t pay for anything if they can avoid it. Little do they realise there is a price to pay eventually. I have offered many people a free gift though not I but The Lord, I am simply a messenger. That free gift is rejected more often than it is received. It is the free gift of everlasting life through Jesus Christ and it is free, nothing to pay for it has all been paid for by Jesus’ death on the cross. People think they have to earn it to receive it so they reject it. Jesus asks they come as they are and simply believe. People think their access to Heaven is automatic…..it isn’t. It is only possible through Jesus Christ. He paid the price for each of us. All we have to do is repent and ask Jesus to be our personal Saviour, all free, nothing to pay, no VAT or anything else! What a wonderful gift is that! This Christmas why not receive the free gift of life, the only gift that will last forever…….

Shirley Anne

Never ending story

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

For all have sinned

Romans 3:9-18

No one is righteous

9 What shall we conclude then? Do we have any advantage? Not at all! For we have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under the power of sin.
10 As it is written:
There is no one righteous, not even one;
11 there is no one who understands;
there is no one who seeks God.
12 All have turned away,
they have together become worthless;
there is no one who does good,
not even one.’
13 ‘Their throats are open graves;
their tongues practise deceit.’
‘The poison of vipers is on their lips.’
14 ‘Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.’
15 ‘Their feet are swift to shed blood;
16 ruin and misery mark their ways,
17 and the way of peace they do not know.’
18 ‘There is no fear of God before their eyes.

Psalm 14

(For the director of music. Of David.)

1 The fool says in his heart,
‘There is no God.’
They are corrupt, their deeds are vile;
there is no one who does good.
2 The Lord looks down from heaven
on all mankind
to see if there are any who understand,
any who seek God.
3 All have turned away, all have become corrupt;
there is no one who does good,
not even one.

Ecclesiastes 7:20

20 Indeed, there is no one on earth who is righteous,
no one who does what is right and never sins.

Some realise these things and endeavour to do something about it but the truth is they cannot. By ourselves we are helpless but for those who trust in the Lord God and in Jesus Christ there is hope. There is no other name under heaven by which we must be saved. Jesus is the Name.

I was watching the appalling events which took place on Monday evening last week when a suicide bomber took his own life and the lives of many around him, injuring many more too. It was considered an act of terrorism by the perpetrator as with many other acts of a similar nature which have taken place in these past few years. ‘All done in the name of religion’ is a frequent expression used by those who pass comment. Probably true but based on a false religion and totally against the will of God, the Only True God, not a god of wickedness and evil but a God who is loving, kind, merciful, faithful, righteous, holy and who gave His Son to save all those who repent and turn to Him. I pray for those who have suffered because of evilness in this and other ways but I pray more for the lost souls who follow a false god in the hope they will be rewarded for their evil deeds. They will face their Creator and have a lot of explaining to do.

Through Jesus we are saved and we turn away from and resist the evilness that is sin………

Shirley Anne

A work in progress

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

He got the message

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

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

Shirley Anne

Regrets

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

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

Shirley Anne

Justice

Divine Justice (Psalm 7:6)

The idea that those who reject God will experience torment for eternity is offensive to many people. It seems like awfully vicious behaviour from one who is known as a loving God.

Dr. D. A. Carson, prominent professor and scholar, says, “In the first place, the Bible says that there are different degrees of punishment, so I’m not sure that it’s the same level of intensity for all people.

“In the second place, if God took his hands off this fallen world so that there were no restraint on human wickedness, we would make hell. Thus if you allow a whole lot of sinners to live somewhere in a confined place where they’re not doing damage to anyone but themselves, what do you get but hell? There’s a sense in which they’re doing it to themselves, and it’s what they want because they still don’t repent. One of the things the Bible does insist is that in the end not only will justice be done, but justice will be seen to be done, so that every mouth will be stopped.”

In other words, at the time of judgment there is nobody in the world who will walk away from that experience saying that God had treated them unfairly. Everyone will recognize the fundamental justice in the way God judges them and the world.

“Justice is not always done in this world; we see that every day,” Carson says. “But on the last day it will be done for all to see. And no one will be able to complain by saying, ‘This isn’t fair.’ ”

—Adapted from interview with Dr. D. A. Carson

Taken from The Case for Christ Study Bible

Wenceslas Hollar - Jesus in Michelangelo's 'La...
Wenceslas Hollar – Jesus in Michelangelo’s ‘Last judgement’ (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

He Is Judge (2 Chronicles 1:6)

A god who does not judge is a god of the imagination. God judges. Attempts are made to water down God’s judgment, explain it away or apologize for it, but God’s judgment is a manifestation of the reaction of his holiness to evil (Isa 42:8). Judgment is an integral part of redemptive history as seen in the fall (Ge 3:14–19), the flood (6:5–7), the plagues (Ex 3:19–20; 7:5; 11:4–5), the conquest (Jos 3:10), the destruction of Israel (2Ki 17:5–23), the destitution of Judah (25:1–21), the great tribulation (Mt 24:21–22) and the great white throne judgment (Rev 20:11–15). There are many references in Scripture to both his judgment and his love.

Judgment is necessary. Society recognizes that a judge who will not judge is a mockery. The Bible salutes God’s judgments as “firm” and “righteous” (Ps 19:9), impartial (Ro 2:11), perfect (Ps 19:7) and complete (Rev 15:1).

All sin starts when we determine that we want to be like God (Ge 3:5–6). This attitude of the will is judged (Isa 14:14–15). The cross did not do away with judgment; it served as the lightning rod (Col 2:14). At the cross judgment and mercy met, and both were victorious. Judgment is a necessity; the cross has no meaning without it (Ro 3:24–26). In judgment, our innermost attitudes will be revealed, and justice will be administered. We would do well to prepare our hearts (2Co 5:9–11).

Taken from The Woman’s Study Bible

Know therefore that God will judge you and search your heart………..get to know Him through Jesus Christ now whilst you are able. How can you change things once you are dead? God wants nobody to perish for He loves all His creation. He loves you and He wants you to reach out to Him.

Shirley Anne

Are you being called?


Embed from Getty Images
Isaiah the prophet reaching up to heaven

John 12
37 Even after Jesus had performed so many signs in their presence, they still would not believe in him. 38 This was to fulfil the word of Isaiah the prophet:

‘Lord, who has believed our message
and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?’ (Isaiah 53:1)

39 For this reason they could not believe, because, as Isaiah says elsewhere:

40
‘He has blinded their eyes
and hardened their hearts,
so they can neither see with their eyes,
nor understand with their hearts,
nor turn – and I would heal them.’

41 Isaiah said this because he saw Jesus’ glory and spoke about him.

Remember, Isaiah lived hundreds of years before Christ’s birth and foretold of these things and of Christ’s birth and the manner of his death. So who told him? Don’t you yet see that prophetic messages come from God? Yet you still refuse to believe? If you feel that God is calling out to you, if you feel in your hearts that there is something more than this life and that there is a heaven to be gained and a hell to be shunned then believe your heart. Reach out to God and He will reach out to you. Seek Him whilst he may be found, before it is too late. Remember it is never too late whilst you have the breath of life in you but once you die it will be. Come to Jesus and be saved for all eternity.

Shirley Anne

Sober as a judge

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

Perfect Peace

Cover for a NIV Bible
Cover for a NIV Bible (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Presented By Bible Gateway

Perfect Peace (Matthew 6:31–33)

Imagine a perfectly peaceful life—your life minus all conflict and stress. No arguments with your friends or family. No regrets about the past or worries about the future. Just a peaceful life without trouble.
Read

God is the ultimate Peacemaker. He even sent his Son as the Prince of Peace. And he wants you to be able to rest in him completely, knowing that he has everything in your life fully taken care of (see Matthew 6:31–33). He doesn’t want you to experience anxiety (see John 14:27) or the stress of thinking you’re on your own. God has got you.

You don’t have to create a life of peace; God will give this peace as you trust him: “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you” (Isaiah 26:3).
Think

God not only wants you to have personal peace, but he also wants you to have peace with others. Imagine having peace in your relationships. Imagine everyone getting along—being honest and respectful with each other.

Now imagine that perfection extending to the whole world. Everyone is treated fairly. There’s no fighting, no discrimination, no war. It’s a world ruled by justice.

That’s what God ultimately envisions for the world in the last days. “Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore. Everyone will sit under their own vine and under their own fig tree, and no one will make them afraid, for the Lord Almighty has spoken” (Micah 4:3–4).
Live

Even now, this is how God wants your life, your relationships and your world to be. You’ve had longings for this, and God wants you to experience it. So when God gives you guidelines in his Word on how to live at peace with others, this is the kind of peaceful life that he is steering you toward. He’s not giving you rules just so he can tell you what to do, he’s shepherding you toward a life of richness. Listen to what he says, follow him and let him lead you to a life of peace.

Taken from The Great Rescue Bible

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The above article has been copied from that email and partly edited to remove uneccessary information. All credit is given to its authors at Bible Gateway (.com)

Shirley Anne

Only five minutes

 

 

 

It is up to you but where is your explanation? Once you die you can’t change your mind, it is then too late. Two options, believe or not, end up in Heaven or end up in Hell. The choice is yours but did you ever consider why you are so against there being a God? Many will say they cannot believe in a God who allows so much evil to exist in the world but that unbelief is really illogical. Evil exists because God exists! In fact evil is merely opposition to God. Do you not think that an unbelief in God means a belief in evil? Now that would be logical but although you might consider yourself not evil there is where evil resides, in the heart of mankind! We are filled with rebellious hearts. Nothing we do is pure. God is pure and holy, we are the opposite. Christ Jesus takes the punishment we ourselves deserve if we turn to him with repentant hearts. Believe what you will but make certain what you believe is the truth. Trust in God, He is truth.

ShirleyAnne

 

 

 

 

 

Going to jail

Stained glass at St John the Baptist's Anglica...
Stained glass at St John the Baptist’s Anglican Church http://www.stjohnsashfield.org.au, Ashfield, New South Wales. Illustrates Jesus’ description of himself “I am the Good Shepherd” (from the Gospel of John, chapter 10, verse 11). This version of the image shows the detail of his face. The memorial window is also captioned: “To the Glory of God and in Loving Memory of William Wright. Died 6th November, 1932. Aged 70 Yrs.” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

No I myself am not going to jail, I have done nothing to deserve such a thing. There are rules and laws to abide by in any society and as such there are penalties to be paid by those who don’t heed those laws. If we live in a society, a group of people, we must do that with respect to our neighbour’s needs, one of which is expecting us to live in harmony with them. If we cannot live together in harmony then we will be cast out. Each country has its own laws and statutes but generally speaking they are all accepted by those living there. If the truth be known I deserve punishment for some of the things I have done in my life though as far as society is concerned they were not enough to warrant a punishment. That means there is a level of tolerance which once surpassed is dealt with. We are all by nature wrong-doers, it is part of who we are as humans. How great those wrongs are depends upon us as individuals but even the smallest thing doesn’t go unnoticed. By whom? You might ask but not understand or believe when told. Whether we believe or not depends upon ourselves but there is a judge. God is that Judge. You may think you have gotten away with all sorts of misdemeanours not punishable by the society in which you live but they are a mark on your character, a blemish that cannot be removed and it spoils what should be a clean and spotless being, perfect in every way. Originally we were made to be that way but we became spoiled and imperfect and because of that our perfect Creator wants nothing to do with us. The only problem is we are loved by our Creator God and because of that He doesn’t want us to perish in ‘jail’ forever. He made it possible for our wrong-doing to be paid for so that we could be clean again and set free. How great is that? Our misdemeanours have been dealt with but by whom? By Jesus Christ, God’s only begotten Son. It is a profound mystery but it is the truth, we can only be saved through what he has achieved on our behalf. We were helpless to do anything but by the love of God through Jesus Christ we, if we believe and repent have been forgiven. We have been washed clean again and have gained everlasting life, guiltless and free forever. Naturally we will still stumble and make mistakes but by the grace of God through Jesus Christ we will be forgiven if we confess those mistakes, we are no longer bound in chains, held captive by sin, we are set free!

Why not take a minute and ponder these things? Will you continue to believe there is nothing wrong? Would you like to know that you have been forgiven and set free from sin which leads to death? Would you like the assurance of God’s love and His gift of everlasting life? Then ask Jesus to be your saviour for he has already paid the price for your sins. Repent and be saved.

Shirley Anne

Just who is God?

live-by-faith-copyI meet many people who tell me they do not believe in God. I once numbered among them myself. Some simply say they are not religious and think God doesn’t exist. They have no explanation as to where everything originated but will ask who created God when it is suggested that He made everything. They ask that question out of ignorance and from a human perspective. If God did make everything then He must have created evil too, they will say. Maybe they will say, ‘Then why does God allow all these horrible things to happen?’ making reference to paedophillia, murder or natural disasters to name but a few things. That becomes their stumbling block, their reasons for not believing in God. If sin is mentioned many will deny they sin but don’t make the connection between sin and God. Sin exists because God exists but sin was not created by God. God did not create many things, love, peace, happiness and all things good would suggest He did but these good things are simply aspects of God’s being, they exist because He does. Without God there would be none of these things. Sin separates the unbeliever from God, in fact sin and evil of all kinds are merely the result of the absence of God. When Adam and Eve took what they were not supposed to take they sinned. Their actions, their sin, resulted from the fact that God wasn’t in their hearts for if He had been they would not have disobeyed. When subsequently they realised their error the way back into the ‘Garden of Eden‘ was blocked. There was no way back to God. They had lost the eternal life which God had bestowed upon them when they were created and decay set in. Had God not put an angel there to guard the way back they would have returned but still in their sin. They would then have lived forever in their sinful state, that is eternally separated from God. That is the description of Hell, eternal damnation and punishment and separation from God. God could not allow that to happen. However all mankind subsequently suffered as a result of that disobedience. Paradise lost indeed. Having been cast out of God’s presence there was no way back. They were helpless and could not change their circumstances. Today we also have no power in ourselves to make amends and be able to return to the everlasting life which God wanted us to share with Him. God however loves us all and knows we cannot help ourselves but He cannot allow us back into His presence whilst still in our sinful state just as He couldn’t allow Adam or Eve back. Our sins keep us separated from Him. God provided a solution, the only solution, an atoning sacrifice. Our sins needed to be dealt with and the punishment meted out for them in order that we might have a clean slate and start anew. That sacrifice was His Son Jesus Christ. He alone has paid the price for each and every one of us. The debt has been paid and we are set free. There is just one thing, we have to believe in Jesus and in God, we have to repent of our sins, which means turning away from them and from deliberately turning to them and then we must take hold of the free gift offered to us. Without Jesus we would remain in our sins and remain separated from God, not just for now but forever! To believe in anything else is futile for there is only one way to salvation and that is through Jesus Christ, no-one else has the power or the authority. Make that choice before it is too late, not tomorrow or the next day, not next week or some time in the future you don’t know how long you have left. If you really wish to make that commitment then say this prayer…

Dear Father in heaven my creator God, I realise that I am a sinner and am in need of salvation. I regret having been a sinner all my life and I repent of my sins. I thank you for the gift of forgiveness and atonement that you have provided through Jesus and I take hold of it as my own. Thank you Jesus for your sacrifice and for taking my sins away. I am now yours and I ask you to be my saviour. Help me to seek only your will in my life from this day forward. Amen.

Now go out into the world where you are and tell others of this wonderful gift of everlasting life, The Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Shirley Anne

No time for larking about

I went to bed early on Thursday evening, something I have been doing a lot lately. I was a little tired anyway, partly because of the gardening I had done in the morning, partly because I went out for a walk in the heat of the day and partly because after all I am getting on in years! I was feeling the effects of that work when I arose, my muscles still ached a bit. I had a purpose in retiring early as Friday is one of our waste collection days and I also wanted to water the garden before the day got too warm. I don’t like to leave the wheelie bin and small plastic bin out all night for a couple of reasons, one is that others have placed their unsorted waste in our bin during the night, another is if it is the plastic and cardboard waste bin it is so light in weight even when full it can be blown about in the wind. This Friday it was that bin to be emptied though there was little or no wind at all. The green waste is taken on Mondays. So after placing out the bins I began watering the garden and then I noticed that the light fitting on the patio wall facing the lawn was broken. The lens cover was lying on the floor and the fixing screw holes had separated from the lens. It couldn’t be repaired. We had trouble with this particular light unit a few months ago when we discovered water had leaked inside. At the time I made a temporary repair and I suppose I must have overtightened the lens fixing screws which subsequently fractured the lens because of the heat of the sun66. You can see the light just to the right of the bench in the picture. This was the bench I had been sitting on the day before when I decided to get up and trim the lawn edging. This picture was taken not long after we had the coloured flagstones laid a couple of years ago. After Thursday’s work it looks the same now. When I had finished watering the garden I went indoors and had my breakfast. It was still only six-fifteen! My electrical supplier opens up for business at seven-thirty and I went there just after that time and bought a replacement light and some other items for my van stock. On returning home at eight o’clock I immediately set about changing the light and had it done by nine. One thing I noticed was the new lens cover didn’t seat properly when I fitted it and I had to use some sealant to effect a watertight seal. I suppose I could have taken the unit back but it had been drilled and fitted to the wall and had been sealed with silicon. I suppose we can expect things like this occasionally with mass-produced equipment costing very little to buy. There are six of these lights in our garden and this one was the only one with a problem. I might go mad and change them all for a different type one day but for the time being they will remain.

Shirley Anne