Wednesday, March 31 2021
In Australia and overseas there is much talk about women in all types of industries and government.
When we look into our own history (over the past 50 years for example) we see numerous cases where women have tried to break the glass ceiling and enter into the fray with their counterparts, men.
As time progresses we see that there are far too many instances of female murders, abuse, violence and particularly domestic violence. Today I heard an article about women who earn more than their "partner" being in danger of domestic abuse up by 30% which is astonishing.
Thinking about why this is so is a revelation and learning curve in itself. Being in Christian circles for almost 40 years has been an eye opener. Mostly Christian churches conform to the status of women in the early Christian Church, particularly informed by the women in the Letters of Paul the Apostle, especially 1 Corinthians 11, which gives very precise instruction as to how women should "act" in church. It is a shocker for a new Christian to read and to see it applied in awkward format by our contemporaries. I remember attending a "Brethren" Church in a town in Qld and being informed by some chap at the door that I needed a scarf on my head!
If that happened today I would see red! This is the instruction that he obviously had learned from his contemporaries in the matter of "male" and "female". As a result the latest styled hats were often displayed by the budding female followers of Jesus, so it became a fashion competition.
If that man was here today we would all have a different opinion for him to absorb. If I wear a hat too long I end up with a headache as it is a hot place to live here (Qld). My health is in danger and I could have a stroke from being too hot.
Now, I wonder how many Christian leaders seek the Old Testament on this subject? I believe they do as many are studious to a tee. And I applaud learning, especially Christian learning through the help of the Holy Spirit and the Scriptures Old and New.
Now, take a look at this Scripture: So the Lord turned them over to King Jabin of Hazir, who ruthlessly oppressed them for 20 years. Then the people of Israel cried out to the Lord for help. (Read Judges 5, 6)
What did the Lord do?
He raised up Deborah, the wife of Lappidoth, who was judging Israel at the time. She would sit under the palm called Deborah, between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim, and the Israelites would go to her for judgement.
One day she sent for Barak, son of Abinoam. "This is what the Lord God says," ...call out 10,000 warriors from the tribes of Naphtali... The Lord promised to "call out" he enemy, Sisera and his chariots and send him into battle at the Kishon River. There I will give you victory. Barak was too afraid to go alone, so Deborah agreed to go along with him. She gave a warning: "But you will receive no honour... the Lord's victory will be in the hands of a woman."
It makes the reader feel that Deborah will be top brass here today, but there is a twist in the story.
Not only does Deborah lead Israel to victory, the Lord chose another female to aid Deborah in this victory.
Sisera ran away and met with this woman. He asked her for a drink. She was extremely brave and invited him into her tent. She gave him milk to drink.
He fell asleep and while he was sleeping, she killed him with a canny device, a tent peg and a hammer. She nailed him to the ground.
Barak came by looking for Sisera and was shown the man in the tent, dead. So, the Israelites had a victory on that day.
They even wrote a psalm/song for her (Judges 5). Deborah led Israel and ruled in peace for 40 years.
Not only was their leader a woman chosen by God, but a second woman bravely faced an evil leader of the opposite peoples and with her amazing plan killed him, giving the people peace for their lifetime.
What can we learn from this story, which I believe is true? If God choses a woman to lead his people, we should accept it and back her up.
This happened over 3,000 years ago. Women like Deborah and Jael were trailblazers for women of all times.
I respect them and the Lord who gave them the victory and placed women in a rightful place at a difficult time.
Let's give our women a go.
Wednesday, March 17 2021
Daniel 4: Belteshazzar (Daniel) interprets King Nebuchadnezzar's dream.
In this dream the King saw a tree and its demise. He was terrified. Daniel was also terrified for a time but eventually told the king its interpretation. (Daniel was a prophet)
The dream came true, not quite unexpectedly as in the song, but terrifyingly, as in the Scripture. The king was very proud and on a direction from God, delivered by a Holy One, he was driven from human society and lived like an animal, eating grass. In other words, the Lord allowed his mind to be driven mad. When the prophecy was fulfilled and a voice called down from Heaven, it happened within the hour. Nebuchadnezzar, the great king over all the known world, was made into a madman. 7 years later, he regained his mind and kingdom. (Daniel 4:37)
I cannot think that any human being would want to have this happen to them. But, he did have a warning, twice, once 12 months before and once an hour before.
This happened 2500 years ago. Can something like this happen today? Where is God's voice? Where is God? Why don't we hear Him speaking from Heaven? Why don't we have prophetic dreams that come true?
In the meantime, I believe that Christians, those who trust in Christ and have received the Holy Spirit, can have the spirit of prophecy. Some interpret this gift as preaching, but clearly in the Old Testament it was a foretelling process, such as this one. Dream, discovery, action, and event.
I have been hearing things that seem to be prophetic happening today to ordinary Christians like you and me. Today, we might call it a "Revelation" about something that will shortly "come to pass" (happen) for those who don't use old terminology.
In other words, if you are a Christian, you are very likely to receive a special visit from the Holy One (Holy Spirit of Jesus), about a dream, or event, that shall happen.
There are so many things happening in our world today that I believe these things should happen within days, or we tend to forget all about them.
His rule is everlasting
and his kingdom eternal.
All the peple of the earth
are nothing compared to him.
He does as he pleases
among the angels of heaven
and among the people of the earth.
No one can stop him or say to him,
"What do you mean by doing thses things?" (Daniel 4:34-35)
This passage was written and the things in it happened a long time ago. In the meantime, Jesus Christ our Saviour has opened up the door of heaven and we have been invited to "Come boldly before the throne of Grace, to find help in time of need." (Hebrews 10:19)
So, when you read something that appears like a prophecy, or have a dream that seems clear and unusual at the same time, you may well have a prophecy in your hands.
I assure you that this happens to me at regular intervals. It does not make me uppity but alert to the immediate future. Remember, we live in a now and future time all at once. Even as I type it is the future as time marches on. Remember, if you have these inclings, it is Jesus Christ speaking to you, reminding you that you are a vital part of his Kingdom here on earth and drifting into Heaven. There is only a thin "unseen" wall between these two elements. (Acts 8:56 story of Stephen)
Friday, February 26 2021
From the very beginning of time, humans have had the essential need to communicate.
If we look in the first book of the Bible, Genesis, we see that Adam was created in the image of God. Interestingly, God says, "Let US make man in our image"
which gives the indication that God is One, yet triune (we learn from history here). Also, God had already created the angels (myriads of them) to keep him company. They were not enough for the Lord God. He wanted a human family.
We see that Adam was given the task of naming every animal on his first day. Did he say, "Ga, ga, ba ba, da da?" We think not, as we know that animals types were known from the beginning. I can just see God watching and smiling as Adam met each animal and gave it a pat and a name. (Editor) (Gen 2:19)
Then he was lonely because there was no human to talk to. We do know that some people talk to their pets, cats, dogs, birds, horses, etc. I expect that those who work in zoos or animal shelters talk naturally to the animals they care for. If I was a fish, I would hide immediately someone talked to me! But, at the end of the day, we come home to our dog and our best human friend too, so that we can convey our worries, joys and plans effectively.
Once the wiley Eve was created (from Adam's rib), God placed her with Adam and finally they could have a good yarn. Now we know that languages were not like they are today, different in so many countries, but always with the same purpose in mind - communication. "Let's do this together" Synergy arrived!
Interestingly, in the beginning, we see that the Lord came to visit Adam and Eve in the evenings! (In the cool of the day). They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden... (Genesis 3:8) What did they hear? Birds singing for joy, or even the Lord's voice (like running water), or his soft footsteps? What did the Lord say? Hello? Good Evening? We do not know, but we know that he did make a sound because they heard Him. They also knew it was Him! "It's God again! Shucks, always on time!"
From this very short piece of writing preserved for our good, we know that not only did Adam and Eve communicate, but the Serpent communicated with the woman as well. (Did some animals speak a language that was understandable?"
Adam may have heard the conversation as well, but kept his cool. He waited to see what might happen to his new, beautiful wife, whom he is supposed to love and protect. Just like so many of us today, we are waiting to see the outcome of the Covid 19 vaccine! What is going to happen next? Of course we hear about the turmoil going on in nursing homes, but we hear little of all the good things that are happening. There was a feast for their eyes and belly in the Garden of Eden, but they wanted the one piece of fruit that was not allowed (forbidden). They had to have it!
We need to communicate with each other, face to face, like Adam and Eve and the Lord Almighty (Jesus) in the Garden of God. This is a basic human need and we should make every effort to speak to another soul today. During 2020 communication all over the globe changed from personal, face to face, to digital communication by voice or face time. People became very canny in using their mobile phones (cells) to reach out and keep in touch with a grieving world.
God made us to communicate with each other and with God himself. God knew what had happened when Adam and Eve hid behind vine leaves in the garden, because they rebelled against their creator, causing an eternal rift that hurt mankind and God himself badly. In fact Eve instigated the first rebellion and Adam jumped in, boots and all. He saw that Eve did not die as predicted "You shall surely die" the Lord had said. Well, she was still alive, but their eyes or conscience was enlightened and they knew "They were naked" and hid. Eventually, after almost a thousand years, they died anyway. God was most gracious giving them so many years to think things over!
Communication remains the most important necessity of human beings! It was the first obstacle overcome in Creation. (2:18) Now we can communicate face to face and digitally as we please (once our gadgets are plugged in and/or charged).
Communicating with our creator was never the same again, but it has been restored magnificently by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. (Everything was made for Jesus: John 1:1) Today, we can freely communicate with God through His Holy Spirit at any time, day or night. "Ask me anything and I will do it," (John 14:13) and "...for the Father himself loves you dearly because you love me." (John 16:27)
We call it prayer. Intercessory prayer. Praying for needs of self and others.
Jesus ever lives and reigns to make intercession for us from Heaven. (Hebrews 9:24)
P.S. Pic from Pixabay thanks Gary.
Thursday, February 18 2021
A woman from my past challenging me by intimidation, "Did you want to include the 1c you contributed?"; little pieces of white paper that tasted fizzy on my tongue, but were gone (turned to cardboard) when I offered one to someone, and a crocodile...?
Now, I am adult enough to know that dreams are a re-enactment of our lives in the real world (when we are awake), and I can usually figure the dream out by relating it in a convoluted way to something that actually happened recently. My figures for working out bills, someone returning recently, a tray of salty crackers and the story of a beautiful white haired man eaten by a crocodile in Northern Territory (A tragic story. My heart went out to his plight and family. I shed a tear for them all and wished the croc had been killed earlier)
I had this dream in three pictures and one revelation as I woke up. It happened in a moment of time, of realization and infinite knowledge that I could never obtain if I searched in outer space or underneath the sea, or on the land for a thousand years.
The realization or inspirational sight for me was the impossibility of evolution and of the fittest beating the weakest and only the surviver survives. (Might work in tennis for a while)
If this theory was actually fact, "Evolution" would mean that man had to be the biggest, fastest, most monstrous and most dangerous in order to survive attacks from monsters and dangerous animals, one on one!
This is the revelation that I had as I woke from my dream: It was simply "understood" in a moment.
If the theory of evolution was based on actuality or fact, (which it is not) there would be a world crawling with dinosaurs (the biggest ones) sitting on top of a great big hill, surrounded by the largest crocodiles (who have by now eaten their fill of every little human fleshy creature). Of course they would have devoured every other animal as well! There would be no bunnies, cats, dogs, birds, little fishes, flies, spiders, lady bugs, daddy longlegs, moths, butterflies, bees, ants! In fact our world that began like a dream, with huge creatures smiling at little people, would have soon ended in a nightmare of only the fittest, the fastest and the biggest alive today. It would not take more than one lifetime (70 years to end everything human at the most!)
It is a irrefutable fact that without a law of order and sanity, there would be no human beings here at all. We know that lawlessness ends in disaster and the animal laws are truly survival of the fittest when there is food shortage. But, even animals have their own territories and laws that others dare not oppose. (Another blow for Evolution)
I have just looked at a chart depicting the evolutionary theory, with a little blob becoming a great big lion over the years, alongside the runty little human being growing into the sort of athletic man we know today (Oh my poor birth canal). It is so engaging that it has become the "norm" for people. The problem with this type of information is that people think it is safe now, we are superior, yet we know deep down that in a battle between a croc and a man, the croc will win (unless there are lots of men, which could not be the case if we were evolving for a million years without all our facultys. If we did not have everything we needed to defend ourselves we would be literally dead meat before we got into the second globy state.)
Jesus says, "Wake up, sleeper and Christ will give you light," which gives a warning: "Don't live like fools, but like those who are wise." (Ephesians 5:14,15)
Let everyone who reads this wake up and see the light of life, Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit is the one who enlightens us, as Christ Jesus is seated on high in Heaven and the Holy Spirit (Christ's Spirit) will show you things you never dreamed about (as you wake you will get the inspiration that nobody else can give you).
God is aware of every moment of our lives, even if we have forgotten some of it. God knows everything and we should first of all go to God Almighty (revealed in the Bible) to find out truth before the evil day takes us away. Can 2020 be a good example of this? I think so.
If you want more help with dreams, you can contact me and I will try to help you if possible. Marie
Saturday, January 30 2021
Today is the first year anniversary of the pandemic, when it struck UK (Newcastle Hospital). What a changed world we live in 365 days later! It is like some horror story from Medieval times. There were 2 people with the virus. Today there were over 25,300 new cases in UK today, less than 11 Jan (when there were 46,000 new cases). Horrible news.
But, news is good and bad all over the globe as the vaccines are "rolled out" causing havoc for some countries as the virus does a chameleon change that has to be reckoned with. The medics and hospitals' must be congratulated for their responses, whether they were somewhat successful or very successful in seeking, finding and destroying the virus.
What about the Bible? Does it contain any information about viruses, diseases of kinds and what were the remedies?
If we all turn our eyes to the Old Testament (compiled and kept for over 3,000 years, we can learn something about how the Israelites were told to address diseases.
The book of Leviticus is filled with instruction about what to eat, do and who was in charge of "outbreaks" of kinds.
These laws were written in the most strange of places, in the wilderness, when the Israelites were following Yahweh by cloud and fire, camping in various places.
I have been watching "I am a Celebrity, Get me out of here" and it has been a most interesting time for "celebrities" who have bonded in most extraordinary ways. In their last test, Abbie was amazing, when a snake bit her several times whilst her hands were in the "Den" trying to figure out just how many were in there in the darkness.
I felt this went a bit too far as she was genuinely traumatised by a snake rolled around her wrist, biting furtively. Even if there was no venom, the event was not at all funny but tragic. If I get even the smallest bite from a mosquito, I can get a very dangerous reaction and need medical help immediately. So, my heart goes out to Abbie, whom I hope might be crowned Queen of the Jungle. She has such a sparkling spirit.
In Leviticus, there are instructions as to what animals the Lord's people could not touch, or they would be unclean. Instructions about land animals, marine animals, birds, are all listed for us to take notice of. (Leviticus 11) Interestingly, verse 41 says, "All small animals that scurry along the ground are detestable, and you must never eat them."
It goes on to give more details but the people were not even allowed to touch them, or they would become ceremonially unclean (could not go into the Lord's presence).
Regarding skin diseases, (Lev 13) they needed to be checked by the priest for signs of spreading, hair, colour of hair etc. They had to quarantine for seven days and then get a check up again. Interestingly, they had to quarantine for yet another seven days (14 altogether) to see if the disease was worse or better, to determine further action.
It is quite extraordinary that these rules were given by the Lord Himself to Moses, in a remote place, and to think our medics drew up similar rules for Covid 19 is interesting. It seems to be quite a significant time frame, 2 weeks or 14 days to know where the disease is heading.
Next, if the disease is healed, the person is examined "outside the camp" the priest was then ordered by the Lord to offer a sacrifice of two live birds, a stick of cedar, scarlet yarn and a hyssop branch. And so the ceremony goes on (Read Leviticus 14). There are even provisions for poorer people to bring two turtle doves or pigeons as offerings to the Lord. (14:22) There is also a lot of washing, cleaning of clothes and people, in order to be rid of the disease.
What does all this mean for us today? We would do well to take heed that every disease brings with it a price that must be paid. In these cases, the price was the life of a living animal, grain, oil and of course the drama for the family to be rid of the problem.
When we look at the New Testament, we see Jesus. Jesus is God in the flesh, born poor, raised to life. His life was given for ours, just like the little lambs, doves and bullocks in the Old Testament. We are told that these are a shadow of things to come, "Jesus" being the final sacrifice not only for our mistakes, but for our emotional and spiritual good. To bring us peace, joy, love, harmony.
Sadly, today we see the world could be said to almost "hate" Christianity, Christians, or followers of this wonderful Lord Jesus, who gave his life blood for each of us, every one, yet how many can say, "I know the Lord Jesus?" He is called, "Healer" "Master" "Wonderful Counsellor" "Prince of Peace", "Everlasting God" "Holy One" "Lord of All", "King of Kings" "Preacher" "Teacher" "Priest" "Alpha" "Omega". He came to heal the broken hearted, the wounded, to set the prisoner free.
We can address the reason why Christians are hated so much in another post. It will be revelatory.
So, what can he do today? He is not officially on earth but in the highest place in heaven, seated, waiting for the next call. He has sent His Spirit, the Holy Spirit, the comforter to us since Pentecost (50 after the Passover and crucifixion of Jesus) 7 Weeks. This was exactly the time of the Festival of Harvest (Le 23:9) On that day there was a harvest of souls for the New Kingdom of Heaven, that fired up on earth! (Read Acts 2)
It is more than 2,000 years since that Pentecost happened, and the world has changed a lot on the outside and we have made progress in every field, except emotional or spiritual. Of course we have Google (AU might not have this soon). We can get answers quickly, but not every answer.
On the inside people are basically the same, needy, frail, uncertain, grieving, horrified at the world's news, putting flowers on shrines, sinners, bad and good at times. We all need inner peace especially now that the next step in the pandemic story are unfolded and are unfolding every minute. This is not the end of the virus, or the end for everyone, but it is certainly a warning to get on our bikes, hide in our tents, try obedience for a change, try to love each other a little more, and certainly read the Bible, for the first or thousandth time. The next phase of our existence is the Coming of Jesus, the Parusia, or Revelation of the Christ, as King of the Jungle, and the whole world. But, don't wait until it is all happening, it will come like a flood, a storm, an earthquake, quickly. Be ready for Jesus' coming. Call His name wherever you are. He is waiting for you.
Thanks to Pixabay Images for superb pic.
Monday, January 18 2021
The Spirit and the Bride say, "Come" Rev 22:17
After a harrowing year of lockdowns, a new way of living appears to be the Covid "Norm" for 2021. Some people feel that 2020 dragged out, whilst others (my granddaughter) felt it went too quickly. Perception is a wonderous thing and the young give us hope!
As we see the events unfold all over the globe and the fight to master a suitable vaccine, we shudder and wonder if something has gone wrong in the world (again).
When we reach back in history we find moments in time when the world appears to be coming to an end! E.g: WW1 and WW11 coming in quick succession (1914-18) 1939-1945)
People who lived through this type of horror simply want to forget it, and they lose much needed peace in their lives that never returns. Some are only talking about the war days now (over 70 years ago). It is still painful for them at 80, 90+ years. And vivid.
The same will be said of 2020 and 2021 as the angst rises up and the virus does not abate like we expected it to go away. We are like the little person who sings, "Rain, rain go away...do not come again another day!" We want this virus gone. We want troubles to end. We want our money to roll in even if it was a trickle before, it was better than now. We have waited and waited all year for good news, but very little good news has come to anyone.
The picture above is a bride. We all love weddings, even those that do not turn out as expected! It still stirrs our hearts to think of this great union of two people happy to share their joy with as many as possible. 2020 has also been a sad year for brides and grooms, and who knows how they will be rated in 2021.
But, there is another great wedding on the horizon! In this chapter, the Spirit of God and the Bride (The Church of belivers) calls out to the many who are not here yet.
"Come, let anyone who is thirsty come and drink freely." (Also read Revlation 3:18)
God invites everyone who listens to come to his banquet. Yes, there will be the biggest wedding celebration in history (His Story) in heaven. The invitation is still going out to everyone who has a heart for God.
"For the time has come for the Wedding feast of the Lamb (Jesus) and his bride has prepared herself." (Rev 19:7,8)
She has been given the finest pure white linen to wear. The fine linen represents the good deeds of God's holy people.
Jesus told a parable about 10 bridesmaids who waited for the bridegroom. 5 missed out because their lamps went out before the event. (Matthew 25)
In other words, there is a time limit and God alone knows that time. But, we all know that even if church doors are closed even now, the bridegroom is getting ready to come and take his bride home to be with him forever in Heaven.
Jesus also shows the parable of the wedding feast where the proper garments must be worn. (wedding garment) These parables show that we must have the attire God gives us (his righteousness) and His invitation. His Word invites those who read it to come for the big bash in Heaven, when we will all join together with the King of Kings, Jesus Christ. (Matthew 22)
You have the invitation. Jesus gave up his own life for you, his Church body. "The two are united as one." "This is a great mystery" (Ephesians 5:32). Accept Jesus today. The Holy Spirit will cover you with a special garment that is pure. The Father will welcome you with His open arms (The prodigal son) and Jesus, the beautiful King, will smile for joy, joined by angels who will sing for joy. The feast is already set, the wine is being poured and the King and his adoring friends invite you today.
Do not ignore the warning signals: The first 6 seals are very quick and may already be broken:
1. Battles fought and victories by people with unscrupulous plans (world leaders under the pump)
2: Peace removed from the earth. (Who can argue with that)
3. Scales "Not enough money for daily needs"
4. Death and the Grave. (Not a pretty picture in 2020.)
5. There are enough martyrs under the altar (protected) who are told to wait. They ask for judgement upon those who have killed them. (I read about another young man murdered in India recently, because of his faith in Jesus - could he be the final linch pin for Jesus to move on with judgement?)
White garments are given to them as they wait for the finale.
6. A great earthquake... (a really big one). Who has noticed news about earthquakes lately?
7. The last seal... Silence in Heaven. (Is this happening right now?) God is thinking and considering His next move!
After this scenario there are 7 trumpets to be blown. We will see how time unfolds history in the coming days. But, seeing the first one gives me a clue and a shiver... Incense (prayers) mixed with fire sent on the earth! Not a pretty view. After that, it just gets worse. (Revelation 6, 7, 8)
"But, today, if you hear God's voice, do not harden your hearts, but turn to the living God" (Hebrews 3:15) (This actually relates to spiritual maturity in Christians who are struggling with ceremonies and not moving forward) It can also apply to those who are sitting on the fence and are struggling to step over into the Kingdom. Go on, do it.
You will not regret this move.
Picture of "Lady" from Pixabay Images.
Friday, January 01 2021
I caught this lovely lady waving as we came to Gympie on the rattler. I hope she will forgive me for posting this, but it is a bit blurred. However, it serves to say, Goodbye to 2020 and "Hello" 2021.
We all get a buzz in saying goodbye to something that has given us pain and grief, yet in the same moment we are saddened that we had to do this, or even that this is not yet done and dusted. We are complex in every way and our thinking patterns are sometimes confusing. For all of the world's population, we are happy to see a year go by and to have survived, even knowing that the year ahead may be just as difficult, or close to the previous year. However, we now know what we did in 2020, how we reacted to changes and shopping distancing, family distancing. In fact the whole year the buzz word was "distancing". Even last night at Redcliffe, where shops were buzzing with their wares (market), there was the formidable sign, Distancing 1.5 metres. This constantly reminded patrons to remember the problem lurking still.
Vaccines are on their way, governments are struggling to cope with demands and distraught citizens are fractured and broken.
How should we view this new year and can we cope with prolonged struggles with finances, family, lack of love and nurture and the constant reminders of how terrible the Covid has become?
I have found that when too many struggles emerge at once, it can break our hearts and our emotions become raw.
We can be like the Emu, bury our heads in the sand and forget the problems ahead. Or, we can be like the horse, who must rise again and jump that strange looking obstacle!
The Lord says, guard your heart, it is the wellspring of life. (proverbs) That is a serious matter.
We must guard our innermost thoughts (and sometimes they are overwhelming).
Having someone to talk to is sometimes helpful. I say "helpful" but know that nobody knows your exact solution only you and God. So, if nobody is present, speak to the Lord.
Or even to the cat or someone who is not present (human). It will help with the stress build up inside your soul (heart). We all need a sounding board and we can find our special one in a special place where we go.
Jesus went off into the night to pray, alone where he could be private and talk freely to God. We can do just that as I believe we all need to do that from time to time.
Look at the night sky. I noticed that the stars were shining brightly last night at Redcliffe. Nothing can diminish them.
Extra lights do take away some of their form, but we can still see them looking down from above, like a beautifully carved ceiling. Too far away to fall and hurt us and just far enough away to let us know we are actually not alone.
This world is the place designated by God, the creator for us to live and thrive. Sadly the world has problems, lots of problems, but nothing that cannot be solved with a little thought, a prayer, a talk or a scream!
Or, just look and smell the beautiful flowers popping out at the moment. (Here anyway)
This year, I will make a informal resolution to be Kinder, helpful, obedient (to the difficult rules), and do do something new.
Make a cake, create a collage, or even write a book. That is what I will be doing.
I am also doing a study on a very heavy subject, history, and connecting the dots with Daniel Chapters 10, 11. It is mind-blowing and I may get it together well enough to publish my findings.
Last night, we had no fireworks in Redcliffe. We missed the early round (barely heard it) and waited until 10:15 PM when we went home.
But, today I had a most wonderful surprise, a face time with my beautiful sister, Jo, in Cyprus, and her family there (some of them).
It was just after midnight and they were eating... another fine thing to do this year. Eat something that you have never eaten. It gives you new memories to cover the old bad ones a bit.
Another thing to do: find humour in everyday things and words.
Thursday, December 17 2020
The first thing I think about when I go to blog is the pandemic! It has ruled our lives in 2020 all over the world, not especially Australia, but we are still being affected by a few cases popping up. Elsewhere the cities are decimated and people are in hiding (behind masks), still grappling with the issue as a vaccine looms on the horizon.
From a more safe platform in Australia, our view is different than those struggling under mountains of plastic and syringes, coffins and grief unimaginable without a world war happening.
Yesterday, for the first time, I found out where my great grand uncles died and are remembered since WW1. It was a surprise as until 2019 nobody in our family was aware of their gallantry, bravery and sadly, deaths. In Ireland they were "Pardoned" recently. "Thank you for dying, young men." That is our view from 100 years afterwards. I can tell you that I shed tears of grief for these two heroes yesterday, though I never met them or even knew what happened to them until I was 70 years of age. In Ireland there is a secrecy that is permeated about keeping silent. It is a crippling idea that does not work for those who have to bear the brunt of the story long afterwards when nothing can be changed. That is wrong. Something can always be done about historic incidents and horrors. We can remember those with a passion that never passes, tears that never stop flowing and learn from their generosity. Honouring them now does not help the poor mother and father who wept themselves into their own graves, along with their brothers and sisters who must have been devastated. Yet they had to be silent.
It is the same with the pandemic. People are hurting. Loved ones are lost forever. Tragedy has happened unexpectedly and we grapple to contain our emotions, our thoughts, our actions.
Here is the hope for those of us who must face these issues every day, every moment of our lives, those who face the tragedy that happened 100 years ago, or yesterday. It does not matter, we face it, for face it we must. We cannot help our humanity, our frailty, and our emotions that burst upon us like a broken dam and the waters rush forth.
It is so easy to say, "Move on, forget it..." but it does not go away. It happened, it was real. We must face the foe daily and press on towards our goals.
How can we press on? How can we move a finger or a foot? We can. We will. We should.
Jesus said, "Lo, I am with you always even to the end of the age." (Matthew end chapter). We need not be afraid. Always when an angel appeared to certain people, the first words are, "Do not be afraid." "Fear Not"
Do not push the enemy aside, box it up or bury it. Walk boldly against it with your head in the air, walk on, walk on, with hope in your hearts. For Jesus Christ Himself, the ruler of the universe, is with you and with me. Jesus Christ comes to all who call on Him. He is the one that everyone will meet at the Judgement Seat of Christ. For there is no name under Heaven whereby we must be saved. Even a pandemic being dropped into our midst, our lives, causing havoc, cannot win against Jesus Christ. He comes to us from Heaven every day through the might and power of the Holy Spirit (Dunamis) meand power. God gives these gifts to us every day because God is still with us, caring, provoking and soothing our souls. Keep looking upwards and onwards towards heaven, where all the brave, courageous, merciful and humble people will be waiting like a chorus of angels to welcome us when we give up the ghost.
Yesterday, I discovered the place who and where my great uncles are laid to rest. They have a memorial in their names Thomas and Edward Dempsey: Farmers from Celbridge. Now heroes. Forever enshrined for all to see at (France: Ypres Menin Gate Memorial Panel 44 and 46 - Edward Died 25 April, 1915 - Aged 27 ) and Thomas at Duisans British Cemetery, Belgium, aged 20. Died on 24 April, 1917, following his brother to glory. My brother has a letter found in the attic from Thomas in Christmas 2016. He died four months later. R.I.P heroes. I love you to the moon and back.
God knows exactly where they are. I look forward to meeting them in Heaven where they are waiting for the finale. "To die for sinners is the greatest gift anyone can do."
"We honour those who have died trying to save others in this pandemic." Nothing is more human or extraordinary. Jesus led the way and keeps leading us forward.
I hope and trust the WHO will encourage all countries to erect memorials for those who perished in the Covid War. Finally the truth will surface and another generation will mourne and shudder. But God is still awesome and will bring them through their grief. Look up, for our redemption draws near.
Saturday, November 14 2020
Time of reckoning
I do not need to explain to anyone what The Pandemic is, do I? I know that some friends do not even wish to speak about it because it hurts.
We hear of vaccine coming like an angel from the sky in some distant place not yet here. In the meantime, we groan with our new way of life and its restrictions.
We have all changed now. We are different people since March-April-May-June-July... We understand a lot more about ourselves.
Protesting against the pandemic does nothing. Promising a vaccine to everyone does nothing to the ordinary person. Seeing the news globally every day brings pain upon pain. It is like watching a horror movie that will not stop. It reminds me of an old Dr Who episode when a horrible blob was tracking people, covering everything with its globby ugliness. I think it was a dark blue colour and looked like goo that moves. Nobody was safe. The Pandemic is the real version.
How can we cope? What can we do? One Christian neighbour says, "Be still and know that I am God" which is good advice to bring calm into our souls.
I read through Psalms 41 - 46 last night and I felt their relevance to this time on earth. David & descendants of Korah (musicians) are noted as the writers of these psalms.
Themes throughout these psalms are varied and all apply to our time. Kindness to the poor will help those in trouble. (41:1) If you are one of those, you have hope in God's eyes. If you have tears for food, you can now have hope (42:3) If you feel abandoned by God and cry out, you have hope (42:9,10) If you are sad and discouraged, you have hope (42:11). If you have a heart for God and trust in Him, you have hope (43:4). If you remember good things God has done for you, you have hope (44:1)
If you long for a victory over this pandemic, you have hope (44:7) If you feel covered with darkness and death, you have hope (45"6). If you think God is asleep, you have hope (44:23)
All of these psalms have a core that we can relate to, and thus relate to God as the Psalmist did 3,000 years ago. God never changes. God is here, right now, seeing everything that is happening and hearing our voices. In all these psalms there are heart wrenching words that stir God up. "Wake up O Lord...Get up! Rise up" (45:23 - 26)
God will rise up. We will rise up with God from this pandemic. How do I know? Because this psalmist and David had the same struggles in Biblical times, and God did answer when He was good and ready. In the meantime, read these psalms, talk to God and look to a brighter future. Psalm 45 shows what happened next! Poetry, writing (yeah) beauty, might, glory, majesty, truth, victory, humility, justice, inspiration, repentance, falling of nations beneath God's feet, (v 5 - in death/repentance) the throne of God (45:1 - 6)
This can be our story too.
Just as we feel isolated from our family, friends and daily routine and cannot bear it, so God has been isolated from our lives (in many ways), our friendship and our family lives. God has been lonely for a long time and now we have a taste of how God feels for eons. Since the Garden of Eden, men and women have ignored God, forgotten God, dropped God, and even forbidden God in their conversations. How does God feel about all this? Now we know because we are made in His Image.
Monday, November 02 2020
During the Covid19 lockdown we are restricted to areas of safety. This has been achieved rather well by the Premier of Queensland. Borders are good for situations. Because of our borders we now have a Donut Day in Australia. We just bought dounuts to share in celebratory mode. What a strange custom we now have. But, we like it.
I was reading Genesis 31 last night and I came across another shut down border, possibly the first in Biblical history. The map indicated the area of the event, Ramoth Gilead, where the Tribe of Manasseh/Gad eventually settled. This border closure and covenant happened when Jacob, the son of Isaac and Grandson of Abraham went to Haran to escape threats by his brother Esau. (Gen 27:41) Now Jacob seems to have made more trouble for himself and his family, with the ire of Laban his uncle getting roused.
Jacob had worked for him for 20 years and was sick of it, deciding to leave with his possessions, wives, children and animals. Laban followed him and negotiated his side of the story. It is always good to have the other side of the story. One sided stories are always biased because of human perception.
In this story, Laban and Jacob agree to make a Covenant together. The place was given two names. One by Laban ( Jegar sahadutha ) Witness Pile in Aramaic. And Galeed in Hebrew. (The name of the place is also called Mizpah (Watchtower) ) All very strange but that is how they sorted out borders in that time. A pile of rocks standing at a witness. That was not all. Jacob made a sacrificial offering on the mountain and invited everyone to a covenant feast. (People love to eat) After they had eaten, they spent the night on the mountain. Both men took an oath to observe this covenant by the God of their ancestors, Isaac's and Nahor. Both families worshipped the same God, The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, also Nahor and Haran. Although we must note here that Rachel had stolen her family gods and Laban mentions them (Gen 31:30).
Laban threatened Jacob to keep his word and he did. In fact, Jacob had been told by God to leave the district and return to Canaan (Gen 31:13) and angels came along to guide him (32:1).
What can we glean from this incident that changed Jacob's life for ever? God literally took him to another district to raise his family.
If we think of our own lives, where are we now? Being in Australia feels like a very special place for those of us here right now. So many of us could be in another place, like UK, USA, Europe, Ireland or Cyprus. But, we are here. Can you trace God's hand in your life when you changed places to begin a new life?
With the Covid19 everyone in the whole world is reeling with wonder and fear, perplexed and confused by what is going on. Looking for a safer place to live. Unfortunately the world is now well populated and its borders are known and there are fewer places to be at peace and rest and especially safety from a pandemic.
In this Covenant and truce, God is right there. Jacob was a nervous man but street smart and he survived by praying a lot as God seems close to him. He had a big responsibility at this stage of his life (around 60 years of age) and he is only just beginning a new life. He is also fearful of his tough brother the hunter, Esau, so fear is still lurking in his perimeters.
In our new world of Covid rules, God is right here. We may be in lockdown, allowed less freedom than ever before, worrying about money, health, family. These are all genuine worries. To still our hearts, pray more, more often, read the bible to find treasures eternal (like this little gem) and remember, the Lord is still the King. I notice the road Jacob travelled in this story is called "The King's Way" on some maps. God the King of Kings went before him.
Maybe that is why we are so blessed, we keep praying for answers. Keep praying. YOU ARE SPECIAL TO GOD.
Link to other Scriptures and battles in this region. https://www.bible-history.com/geography/ancient-israel/ot/ramoth_gilead.html
This map from Wikipedia. Link to image.
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