Christmas Shopping

image“So then, since Christ suffered physical pain, you must arm yourselves with the same attitude he had, and be ready to suffer, too. For if you have suffered physically for Christ, you have finished with sin.”
‭‭1 Peter‬ ‭4:1‬ ‭NLT‬‬

We remember Jesus birth at this time.  A time of joy, to thank God the Father for making himself know through his son Jesus, who was conceived in Mary’s womb and born in an animals’ home.
God our Father’s plan was to redeem mankind from the power of sin, death and the devil, who kept mankind separated from God and prevented them from going to heaven.  The devil stole the authority over all the earth and all living creatures, from Adam.  Jesus is the new Adam.

Jesus grew up in his family and lived humbly helping his parents.  He would have helped with the other children, just as my older children did when they were growing up.  His father was a carpenter.  He did not have a high school or university education.  When he was thirty years old he entered his public ministry.  For three years he went about doing good, healing and delivering all who were oppressed of the devil. He was bringing down the power of the devil, who was keeping people in darkness, believing lies, living in oppression and sickness.  Jesus is the truth.

He was the son of God.  He could have set up a kingdom here on earth and ruled and ordered people what to do.  Instead he allowed himself to be arrested and accused of curing people on the day of rest, working miracles and claiming to be the son of God.  His accusers were jealous of him.  They had to get rid of him before everyone started following him and upsetting the kingdoms that were ruling at that time, including Romans and Jews.

His own people the Jews wanted him crucified.  “Away with him” they said.  Jesus never opened his mouth when he was whipped by soldiers, a crown of thorns hammered into his head, nails pierced into his hands and feet to nail him to a cross and when a sword opened up his side.  He hung on a cross till he breathed his last.  He suffered and died.  He became the perfect sacrifice for the forgiveness of sins.  There is no forgiveness of sins without the shedding of blood.

A leader from India told us recently how people sacrifice their children in the fire or in the river, or cut themselves in order to get their sins forgiven.  Even after such pain they find no relief from their guilt.  This man told some of these people, “Jesus has forgiven my sins.”  I’m not guilty any more.  They were surprised.  “What sacrifice did you make.”  “How much money did you pay.”
He said, “I believe in Jesus.  He was the sacrifice for my sins.  He died in my place.  He shed his blood for me.  This is good news.  You too can know your sins forgiven by believing in Jesus.”
One woman said “Why did you not come sooner, before I gave my child to the God of the river.”  She was heartbroken.  She was prayed for and Jesus healed her.

“ But if you do sin, there is someone to plead for you before the Father. He is Jesus Christ, the one who please God completely.. He is the sacrifice for our sins—and not only our sins but the sins of all the world.”

‭‭1 John‬ ‭2:1-2‬ ‭NLT‬‬

What a wonderful privilege we in the west have to hear the name of Jesus.  We have good health care and good education.  Freedom to work, get married, have children, and live in peace in our homes and neighbourhoods.  But sadly many of us no longer know the power of the name of Jesus or the power of his shed blood or acknowledge, thank or honor him in our lives.   We have forgotten what Christmas really means.

We were travelling home from Dublin airport leaving at five pm yesterday evening.  The road out of Dublin was packed with cars.  On coming near Belfast the roads were packed with cars.  Why is this?   I have travelled at the same time earlier in the year and there were no holdups or roads full of cars.  Ah, people are out Christmas shopping!

Are they shopping for their children who are expecting Santa Clause to leave them some gifts?  Are they shopping for food and drink for fear the shops might run out of provisions nearer Christmas?  How can parents exhaust themselves and get into debt to buy presents for their children who think some mythical being drops them gifts down the chimney?  Are the father’s involved with the shopping, or is it just the mothers?  The children never thank them or appreciate the stress involved.  Why do they continue the lie of Santa Clause?

Do the refugees get presents?   Do the poor people of Africa or India get presents.  Does Santa just come to America and Europe and bless those who already have plenty.  I have asked myself this even when I was young.

Where does Jesus come in our celebration of Christmas?  “Joy to the World” the Christmas cards proclaim.   Brendan and I deleted Santa Clause out of our family when we had four children.  We told them the truth.  If we tell our children about Santa and years later realize there is no Santa, what will they think of mum and dad.  “They told us lies.”  We tell our children the good news that is at the heart of Christmas.  God sent the gift of his Son to us.  Jesus came to take away the sins of the whole world and the give the gift of eternal life.  We can be with him forever in heaven.  We tell them about the other gifts God has for us, the gifts of the Holy Spirit, the gift of children, the gift of life itself.

Many people did not agree with us, including family, friends and teachers.  The headmistress asked us to stop our children telling the other children there was no Santa.  Our children did not miss out on gifts.  We saved up and brought our children on summer holidays instead.  I refuse to get caught up in the hype of Christmas.  It does not satisfy!!!

I now live in the hope of going to heaven when I die.  I want to tell others this good news and tell them what Jesus has done for them.   God rescued me from an early death when he healed me of Malignant cancer.  I choose to follow him.  He is returning to the earth soon.  I want to be prepared.  I want to be of use in the years I have left.  I find comfort from this scripture,

“So then, since Christ suffered physical pain, you must arm yourselves with the same attitude he had, and be ready to suffer, too. For if you have suffered physically for Christ, you have finished with sin.”

‭‭1 Peter‬ ‭4:1‬ ‭NLT‬‬

The Importance of the Word of God.

 

I was reading a testimony recently from a mother whose 17 month old baby son had cancer all through his body.  She and her husband were perplexed.  They believed in Jesus but could only look on as the doctors did what they could for their sick child.  After months of treatment, watching their young child weaken, and travelling the long distance to the hospital they were exhausted.

See  “The Mullins Family Story” on the internet.

Someone gave them CDs of Andrew Wommack, a Christian leader who believes in healing.  They listened to it in the car as they returned to the hospital one day.  Their ears heard words of hope that was water to their thirsty souls.  They were familiar with the scriptures but didn’t realise that healing is for today.  Their took hold of the promise in the bible that by the Stripes of Jesus one can be healed.

When the mother went to see her son she spoke to the cancer in her son’s bones and commanded it to go in Jesus name.  She took authority over the disease and commanded it to leave her son’s body.  A few weeks later the tests came back to report that the child’s bones were clear of cancer.  The parents were overjoyed and praised God.

But there was still cancer in his abdomen.  The mother was reading about Ehud who pierced a king through with his sword and killed him.  The word of God is sometimes referred to as a sword.

“Ehud then approached him while he was sitting alone in the upper room of his palace and said, “I have a message from God for you.” As the king rose from his seat, Ehud reached with his left hand, drew the sword from his right thigh and plunged it into the king’s belly.”
‭‭Judges‬ ‭3:20-21‬ ‭NIV‬‬

The mother was inspired to speak to the cancer again.  She used the name of Jesus like a sword going into the child’s stomach.  She spoke the word again of Jesus name and told the cancer to go and left the Word of God there as like Ehud did.  The child was completely healed.  The parents are delighted and tell others about the power of God to heal diseases.

One thing that I believe is important in this story is that the parents were familiar with the scriptures.  Jesus said he is the truth, the way and the life.  They had studied the Word of God.  If one reads the bible one will get to know about Jesus.  The Old Testament points to Jesus.  The New Testament tells us about what Jesus did when he was on earth and what his disciples did after Jesus died.

The power of God accompanies the Word of God when we speak it out to a situation.  It will not return void but will perform that which it was sent to do.  Alleluia.  I get excited when I realise the authority I have when I pray or speak The Word of God into a situation.  It is a sword to kill disease or speak truth where there are lies.  It helps change peoples’ minds, where people are believing lies.

I firmly believe that Jesus is the truth.  He claimed to be the truth.

“Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
‭‭John‬ ‭14:6‬ ‭NIV‬‬.

I was listening to a debate on the radio this morning about Identity. The speaker was Phiosopher Kwame Anthony Appiah.  He was not able to point me to what or where is truth.  This man is not speaking from faith in Jesus.  He is speaking from knowledge he has gained but he does not know the One who gives us Identity, the Creator of the heavens and the earth, in whose image we are created.

I know Jesus, yet I do not see him.  I believe in what he says.  I believe he is the truth.  I believe he has power and in the power of his name I am healed of cancer, as is the little boy I spoke about earlier.

One has access to much knowledge today.  Books, education and internet searches give many of us opportunity to know about the world around.  But the Bible is the only book that points us to Jesus who claims to be the truth.  If one is seeking with all your heart, the Word of God promises you will find.  If one is genuinely looking for truth one will eventually come to believe in Jesus.

When one is faced with trouble, and we are sure to have trouble in this world, it is good to know what the Word of God says.  Psalm 91 promises me that God will be with me in trouble and deliver me out of it.  If I am sick the Word of God promises me that By Jesus wounds I am healed.  I encourage anyone reading this blog today, to read a New Testament regularly.  Your live will be transformed.  You will know the truth and the truth will set you free.

“Jesus said to the people who believed in him, “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.””
‭‭John‬ ‭8:31-32‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Living the Faith like St Patrick

The sun shone warmly on Ireland this St Patrick’s Day.  The Parade, Festivities and the Christian Walk and Talk in The Cathedral in Downpatrick were a great success.  I opted for a  bus tour of Christian sites.  Other years when our children were young we would have watched the St Patrick Day parade.  Today was different.

image

Our tour guide told us stories about St Patrick, we visited ruined churchs and holy wells.  I live in the middle of all this history.  St Patrick’s Day is the second most celebrated day after Christmas in the world.  Cities throughout the world light up in green.  People drink green beer.  If you are Irish you are celebrated and welcomed.

Which of the stories about St Patrick is true?  Tourists come to Ireland to visit these ancient ruins and read what the history books tell them.  I hope they are inspired to look to the God of St Patrick, Jesus, who is the way, the truth and the life for everyone today.

The people who lived all those years ago among these walls are now dead.  Looking at the broken down stone walls made me fell a little depressed.  I thought of the story in Scripture when the women went to the tomb in which Jesus was buried.  An angel said He is not here, for he is risen.

I consoled myself with the truth that the God St Patrick believed in, I believe in today in 2016.  I can pray to the same God.  He is the same God, yesterday, today and tomorrow.  He is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  He is the God who healed me from Cancer.  It is said St Patrick worked miracles.  God worked a miracle for me in 2010, fifteen hundred years later.  I celebrate six years Cancer free this Easter Monday.

It is said St Patrick cast snakes out of Ireland.  I believe the snakes are symbolic of demons.  Jesus said I give you authority to cast out devils.  Luke 9 v 1.  The believer in Jesus today is given the same authority.  Mark 16 v 17.  And these signs will follow those who believe, in my name they will drive out demons.

I no longer want to look at ruins.  I want to be a living stone, that the scripture speaks of in 1 Peter 2v5, You are living stones that God is building into his spiritual temple.  I want to use the authority Jesus gives me to drive out demons and heal the sick.  He delivered me from demons and healed me.  What God has done for me he can do for others today.

This Is My Son. Listen to Him.

And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations.  Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. (‭Luke‬ ‭21‬:‭25-26‬ KJV)

Jesus spoke these words to his disciples when he was telling them about the end of the world.  He told them to look for the signs.

There were signs and wonders in the sky as we drove out last evening.  We looked up.  In the space of an hour, we saw dark, rain laden clouds, a double rainbow, a full moon and the sun.  We saw dark, imagegrey and purple clouds to our left, then a small rainbow on the horizon, a bright mushroom like cloud, a full moon in front of us and the sun behind us, all in the sky at once.

I was encouraged when a minister was speaking yesterday.  He quoted from the scripture which says,

While he was still speaking, a bright cloud covered them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!” (‭Matthew‬ ‭17‬:‭5‬ NIV)

God spoke out of the cloud, his love and approval of his son Jesus.   He tells us to listen to Jesus.

Today God in heaven, the creator of the clouds, sun and moon is saying “Listen to my son, Jesus.” Read what is recorded about Jesus when he was on the earth in the scriptures.  He is the truth, the way and the life.  Those who are thirsty, come to Jesus, the fountain of life.  He promises to give you water that you will never thirst again, and eternal life. I Praise God that I am alive to see his wonders in the sky last evening.

When I had Children of my Own I searched for a Reason to Believe

 

My generation grew up through the sixties with the Beatles, Rolling Stones, Top of the Pops, and make Love not War.  
I found myself going to university at the end of the sixties.
There was war in Northern Ireland.  
So called Protestants and Catholics were at war with one another!
This was a long way from “Going to California with flowers in your hair,” and living at peace with one another.
I lived in a town where there was not bombs or bullets yet.
I was unaware of what the fighting was about.
I wanted to keep on the theme of Love and not War.
I got married in 1971 and had two children soon afterwards.
It was when I became a mother and wanted to do the best for my children that I began to search for a reason to believe.
That started me on a journey of seeking the truth, love and peace.
What was love?  John Lennon showed the world that Love was leaving his wife and lying in bed with Yoko.

It was too cold in Northern Ireland to go to the beach with flowers in your hair.  

I tried my best to love my family but other non love attitudes came up in my heart.
Woe is me. 
I had gone to parties and  hung out in the pub at weekends. 
I had no desire to continue to do this when I had two children.
I befriended another mother with two children.
She did not go to the pubs.  She had peace and love in her home.
I wanted what she had.
She was a believer in God. 
I began to read the bible where I read that Jesus said he was the way, the truth and life. John14 v 6
He was Love.  He loved me even before I knew anything about him.
I found love, truth and life.
Jesus promised to give me life abundantly.  John 10 v 10
I wanted to show my children this love and life.
This is my reason to believe.

 

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/reason-to-believe/

 

 

Don’t Get on The Train! Don’t Get On The Train!

I was watching a program recently about the Holocaust of the Jews.  It was about Jews from Prague who were put on a train that would take them to a village only forty miles away.  But it was at train that brought them to their death.
The village was specially chosen because it had high walls around it and easy to be controlled.   They thought they were going to a new life where they could live together with their families.  They were deceived into thinking this by their oppressors, Hitlers army.  When they arrived there they were stripped of their identity, families separated, photographs of their families ripped up before their eyes, and told you will never see your family again.

When Jesus was fasting and praying in the wilderness.  The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And he said to him, “I will give you all their authority and splendor; it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to.  If you worship me, it will all be yours.” Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.’ ” (Luke 4:5-8 NIV)
Satan is ruling over the kingdoms of this world.  When Jesus died on the cross he broke the power of Satan over the world.  Satan still rules over peoples’ minds and hearts if they do not know the truth.  If one believes in Jesus then Satan does not have control over his mind.  Jesus promises to deliver us from the kingdom of Satan and enter into Jesus kingdom.  We pray thy kingdom come on earth as it is in Heaven.  We enter into his kingdom on Earth where we let Jesus be in control of our life.   He promises to care for us and deliver us in our time of trouble.
In heaven there is peacejoy, love, harmony, and beauty.  We can have this on earth as well.  Everyone wants peace on earth.  A place where there is no more war.  We can have this by trusting in Jesus.
He said to his disciples
But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. (John 14:26, 27 NIV)
So do not let anyone deceive you and tell you anything that is not the truth.  Do not believe the lies of the devil that there is no God.  Do not let him steal your identity as a child of God.  Do not let him separate you from family and friends.  Do not get on the train that will bring you to death.  Jesus in John 10 v 10 says ” I came to give you life and abundant life.  The devil comes to rob, steal and destroy.”
Don’t get on the Train.

The Practicalities of Living in The Real World

 

What is life about.”  “Is my life worth living?”  “Who am I in the midst of millions of people on the earth?” I asked myself these questions.
 
When I had two children I began to think more seriously about how I would guide them in life.  Children are not just for Christmas.  They are for life.
 
The family unit is the environment a child is born into.  In that place, depending on the parents, the child can feel secure, loved and learn to trust.  If the home is not a secure place, if the parents are not loving, then the child will not have a good start in live.
 
If he does not receive love along the way in his formative years, in the extended family, at school, from the community, then the child will not have a good experience in life.  He will be disadvantaged in overcoming difficulties this world throws at him.
 
I decided I would have to make some sacrifices to think of my children before myself.  I wanted them to grow up in a loving home.  I knew I would have to make changes in my relationship with my husband.
Was there any help out there?  I searched, asked questions, I was looking for truth.  I looked at other people that were rearing their children.  Did I want the way they lived?  Were others successful?  How did their children turn out?
 
My husband and I travelled with our two children to Findhorn, a community in the north of Scotland.  Did they have the answer for community living?  We wanted to find a community of people that demonstrated love.  
 
At the time in Northern Ireland the Christian communities were at war.  There was hatred in the atmosphere and we were all under that cloud.
 
We returned home.  We knew Findhorn was not for us.  
 
I was given a bible and I began to read it.  Jesus claimed to be the way, the truth and the life.  Now I was getting somewhere.  I was looking for truth.
 
I read on.  Jesus said God gave Moses the commandment to love one another, and to love your neighbour as yourself.  Okay here I find someone talking about loving one another.  But there was war in Northern Ireland.  I was confused.  I decided to find out more what Jesus said and take my eyes off man.
 
Jesus prayed “Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.”  I thought I will have to look to God in Heaven.  Life on earth revolves around God not me.  
 
I began to follow Jesus’ guidance about prayer.  I went into my room and prayed to God in Heaven.  I learnt to forgive others anything they did against me.  I had joy when God answered my prayers.
 
I read, “Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter. “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Matthew 26:40, 41 NIV)
 
Image
 The Garden Of Gethsemene where the disciples were found sleeping.
 
I decided to spend fifteen minutes praying and fifteen minutes reading the bible.  Sometimes I  may have  prayed for an hour.  It was a start.  I decided to do what Jesus said “Abide in me.”  I wanted to be fruitful for God.
 
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit;

apart from me you can do nothing.  If my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.”(John 15:5, 7, 8 NIV)

 
What a statement Jesus made!   I can do nothing without him.  I believed!
 
He began to change me.  He brought new friends into my life.  He gave me patience.  My money went further.  I was getting on with my husband.  We did things together.  The Truth began to teach me.
 
I grew in wisdom.  God gave me wisdom. Wisdom has to do with becoming skilful in honouring others, loving, raising my children, handling money, morality, working, treating others kindly, not arguing, living in an attitude of peace and not war.
 
Heaven was coming on earth in my life.  I had love, peace and joy.  I was finding meaning to life on earth.  I wanted to continue on this journey.
 
Why not go into your room and pray to the Father in heaven.  He is listening and will answer.