Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Day 4: Baby Names

OK I have to admit reading a long list if names is only riveting if you are pregnant otherwise oh please spare me. Considering some of the names people give their babies today maybe it should be compulsory reading. Take the bible read the names at least they have a meaning. Not like Jack Daniels which just meant you had too much to drink at time or Fish and Chips because you were feeling hungry when you went to name your twins!

But other than that I just have logistical questions. So there are no more people than the one family with three married children and they populate the whole earth HOW? The mind boggles trying to figure that out.

So at the tower of babel there truly was everyone talking one language? One day they woke up and didn't understand anyone else. Oh my days that is just strange. So God didn't finish creating just because we had sinned. He created all these languages too :-0 I have to say the mind boggles.

What did I learn about God today? That he is creative and I would love to see Him working first hand it must be awesome.

Day 4: From the Flood to the Patriarchs

Noah's descendants
Genesis 9:18-19
 18 The sons of Noah who came out of the boat with their father were Shem, Ham, and Japheth. (Ham is the father of Canaan.) 19 From these three sons of Noah came all the people who now populate the earth.

1 This is the account of the families of Shem, Ham, and Japheth, the three sons of Noah. Many children were born to them after the great flood.
Descendants of Japheth
 2 The descendants of Japheth were Gomer, Magog, Madai, Javan, Tubal, Meshech, and Tiras.
 3 The descendants of Gomer were Ashkenaz, Riphath, and Togarmah.
 4 The descendants of Javan were Elishah, Tarshish, Kittim, and Rodanim.[a] 5 Their descendants became the seafaring peoples that spread out to various lands, each identified by its own language, clan, and national identity.
Descendants of Ham
 6 The descendants of Ham were Cush, Mizraim, Put, and Canaan.
 7 The descendants of Cush were Seba, Havilah, Sabtah, Raamah, and Sabteca. The descendants of Raamah were Sheba and Dedan.
 8 Cush was also the ancestor of Nimrod, who was the first heroic warrior on earth. 9 Since he was the greatest hunter in the world,[b] his name became proverbial. People would say, “This man is like Nimrod, the greatest hunter in the world.” 10 He built his kingdom in the land of Babylonia,[c] with the cities of Babylon, Erech, Akkad, and Calneh. 11 From there he expanded his territory to Assyria,[d] building the cities of Nineveh, Rehoboth-ir, Calah, 12 and Resen (the great city located between Nineveh and Calah).
 13 Mizraim was the ancestor of the Ludites, Anamites, Lehabites, Naphtuhites, 14 Pathrusites, Casluhites, and the Caphtorites, from whom the Philistines came.[e]
 15 Canaan’s oldest son was Sidon, the ancestor of the Sidonians. Canaan was also the ancestor of the Hittites, 16 Jebusites, Amorites, Girgashites, 17 Hivites, Arkites, Sinites, 18 Arvadites, Zemarites, and Hamathites. The Canaanite clans eventually spread out, 19 and the territory of Canaan extended from Sidon in the north to Gerar and Gaza in the south, and east as far as Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboiim, near Lasha.
 20 These were the descendants of Ham, identified by clan, language, territory, and national identity.
Descendants of Shem
 21 Sons were also born to Shem, the older brother of Japheth.[f] Shem was the ancestor of all the descendants of Eber.
 22 The descendants of Shem were Elam, Asshur, Arphaxad, Lud, and Aram.
 23 The descendants of Aram were Uz, Hul, Gether, and Mash.
 24 Arphaxad was the father of Shelah,[g] and Shelah was the father of Eber.
 25 Eber had two sons. The first was named Peleg (which means “division”), for during his lifetime the people of the world were divided into different language groups. His brother’s name was Joktan.
 26 Joktan was the ancestor of Almodad, Sheleph, Hazarmaveth, Jerah, 27 Hadoram, Uzal, Diklah, 28 Obal, Abimael, Sheba, 29 Ophir, Havilah, and Jobab. All these were descendants of Joktan. 30 The territory they occupied extended from Mesha all the way to Sephar in the eastern mountains.
 31 These were the descendants of Shem, identified by clan, language, territory, and national identity.
 32 These are the clans that descended from Noah’s sons, arranged by nation according to their lines of descent. All the nations of the earth descended from these clans after the great flood.

1 Chronicles 1:5-27
Descendants of Japheth
 5 The descendants of Japheth were Gomer, Magog, Madai, Javan, Tubal, Meshech, and Tiras.
 6 The descendants of Gomer were Ashkenaz, Riphath,[a] and Togarmah.
 7 The descendants of Javan were Elishah, Tarshish, Kittim, and Rodanim.
Descendants of Ham
 8 The descendants of Ham were Cush, Mizraim,[b] Put, and Canaan.
 9 The descendants of Cush were Seba, Havilah, Sabtah, Raamah, and Sabteca. The descendants of Raamah were Sheba and Dedan. 10 Cush was also the ancestor of Nimrod, who was the first heroic warrior on earth.
 11 Mizraim was the ancestor of the Ludites, Anamites, Lehabites, Naphtuhites, 12 Pathrusites, Casluhites, and the Caphtorites, from whom the Philistines came.[c]
 13 Canaan’s oldest son was Sidon, the ancestor of the Sidonians. Canaan was also the ancestor of the Hittites, 14 Jebusites, Amorites, Girgashites, 15 Hivites, Arkites, Sinites, 16 Arvadites, Zemarites, and Hamathites.
Descendants of Shem
 17 The descendants of Shem were Elam, Asshur, Arphaxad, Lud, and Aram.
   The descendants of Aram were[d] Uz, Hul, Gether, and Mash.[e]
 18 Arphaxad was the father of Shelah.
   Shelah was the father of Eber.
 19 Eber had two sons. The first was named Peleg (which means “division”), for during his lifetime the people of the world were divided into different language groups. His brother’s name was Joktan.
 20 Joktan was the ancestor of Almodad, Sheleph, Hazarmaveth, Jerah, 21 Hadoram, Uzal, Diklah, 22 Obal,[f] Abimael, Sheba, 23 Ophir, Havilah, and Jobab. All these were descendants of Joktan.
 24 So this is the family line descended from Shem: Arphaxad, Shelah,[g] 25 Eber, Peleg, Reu, 26 Serug, Nahor, Terah, 27 and Abram, later known as Abraham.

Noah's vineyard and drunkenness
Genesis 9:20-21
 20 After the flood, Noah began to cultivate the ground, and he planted a vineyard. 21 One day he drank some wine he had made, and he became drunk and lay naked inside his tent.

Curse of Ham
Genesis 9:22-27
22 Ham, the father of Canaan, saw that his father was naked and went outside and told his brothers. 23 Then Shem and Japheth took a robe, held it over their shoulders, and backed into the tent to cover their father. As they did this, they looked the other way so they would not see him naked.
 24 When Noah woke up from his stupor, he learned what Ham, his youngest son, had done. 25 Then he cursed Canaan, the son of Ham:
   “May Canaan be cursed!
      May he be the lowest of servants to his relatives.”
 26 Then Noah said,
   “May the Lord, the God of Shem, be blessed,
      and may Canaan be his servant!
 27 May God expand the territory of Japheth!
   May Japheth share the prosperity of Shem,[a]
      and may Canaan be his servant.”

Death of Noah 
Genesis 9:28-29
 28 Noah lived another 350 years after the great flood. 29 He lived 950 years, and then he died.

The Tower of Babel
Genesis 11:1-9
 1 At one time all the people of the world spoke the same language and used the same words. 2 As the people migrated to the east, they found a plain in the land of Babylonia[a] and settled there.
 3 They began saying to each other, “Let’s make bricks and harden them with fire.” (In this region bricks were used instead of stone, and tar was used for mortar.) 4 Then they said, “Come, let’s build a great city for ourselves with a tower that reaches into the sky. This will make us famous and keep us from being scattered all over the world.”
 5 But the Lord came down to look at the city and the tower the people were building. 6 “Look!” he said. “The people are united, and they all speak the same language. After this, nothing they set out to do will be impossible for them! 7 Come, let’s go down and confuse the people with different languages. Then they won’t be able to understand each other.”
 8 In that way, the Lord scattered them all over the world, and they stopped building the city. 9 That is why the city was called Babel,[b] because that is where the Lord confused the people with different languages. In this way he scattered them all over the world.

Shem to Abram
Genesis 11:10-26
 10 This is the account of Shem’s family.
   Two years after the great flood, when Shem was 100 years old, he became the father of[a] Arphaxad. 11 After the birth of[b] Arphaxad, Shem lived another 500 years and had other sons and daughters.
 12 When Arphaxad was 35 years old, he became the father of Shelah. 13 After the birth of Shelah, Arphaxad lived another 403 years and had other sons and daughters.[c]
 14 When Shelah was 30 years old, he became the father of Eber. 15 After the birth of Eber, Shelah lived another 403 years and had other sons and daughters.
 16 When Eber was 34 years old, he became the father of Peleg. 17 After the birth of Peleg, Eber lived another 430 years and had other sons and daughters.
 18 When Peleg was 30 years old, he became the father of Reu. 19 After the birth of Reu, Peleg lived another 209 years and had other sons and daughters.
 20 When Reu was 32 years old, he became the father of Serug. 21 After the birth of Serug, Reu lived another 207 years and had other sons and daughters.
 22 When Serug was 30 years old, he became the father of Nahor. 23 After the birth of Nahor, Serug lived another 200 years and had other sons and daughters.
 24 When Nahor was 29 years old, he became the father of Terah. 25 After the birth of Terah, Nahor lived another 119 years and had other sons and daughters.
 26 When Terah was 70 years old, he had become the father of Abram, Nahor, and Haran.

Bith of Abram [Abraham] approximate 1967 BC

Abram's family
Genesis 11:27-30
 27 This is the account of Terah’s family. Terah was the father of Abram, Nahor, and Haran; and Haran was the father of Lot. 28 But Haran died in Ur of the Chaldeans, the land of his birth, while his father, Terah, was still living. 29 Meanwhile, Abram and Nahor both married. The name of Abram’s wife was Sarai, and the name of Nahor’s wife was Milcah. (Milcah and her sister Iscah were daughters of Nahor’s brother Haran.) 30 But Sarai was unable to become pregnant and had no children. New Living Translation

Bible Thought for Today: Acts 10

Prejudice pure and simple, there is no other way to describe it. It may be dressed up in religious clothes but it was the misinterpretation that lead to prejudice, fear and rude behaviour. How do you break something so ingrained in the person, especially since they believe (falsely) that it is a God given way of behaving. Well apparently in Peter's case Jesus good example was not enough it took an act of God to break that habit.

When we look at our flaws or poor judgements or incorrect mindset it's just not enough sometimes to see the truth. Sometimes it takes an act of God to break a habit of a lifetime. Peter had spent 3 years with Jesus travelling everywhere, seeing the people he spoke to, healed and lives he touched. Peter didn't just see Jesus with nice good law abiding Jewish people. It was quite the opposite Peter saw Jesus with all the people that were considered outcasts but the lesson didn't seem to sink in. So God had to bring the lesson to him in a real way,

Now many people jump on the band wagon talking about well that does away with the food laws then. Or that does away with the Old Testament structured legal system let's just be free and do what we like. The context of that story doesn't seem to indicate that at all. In fact the outcome of the story is that Peter goes into the house of Cornelius no hesitation or problem. This move would have been quite a huge step for Peter and I can only imagine it would be like going to the house of the person you feel has wronged you the most in the world walking in and sitting down for a cup of tea. Something I am not sure I could do. In fact in a week I might have to do something similar and let me be real there is no guarantee that I can be like Peter and just do the will of God no fussing. In fact there might be kicking and screaming.

So what do I take from today's reading well God did not intend for prejudice. He does not condone prejudice and he will be with us to overcome what is a negative action against others. Also don't think so highly of yourself that you are soaring above other people. Truth is we are all sons and daughters of the King therefore we should all have confidence in our position in Him. Do not berate someone else's position it's not yours to do that with. How different would the church be if they followed that and treated everyone equally? It was a big lesson for Peter and he struggled with it over and over but for us today are we struggling with it but mooching forward or are we happy to treat others badly because of our own prejudices? Today I will take a small step forward join me?

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Problems, Solutions and God's Pain

You know when they say that the third day is the worst day on a new diet or a fast. Well apparently in The bible reading programme day 3 is a killer. Here is the major problem.

I have an iPad which I love love love as it was a gift to do this Internet Pastor work. So I love it as you can imagine. It also works really well and saves my back some serious pain too. However here is the problem copy and paste! Now I am pretty technology savvy I think but where I am trying to copy portions of the bible to make it easier for you to follow and save you the work it has been a 3 day nightmare! I finally found a downloadable bible that I could copy out if. Then I realise that I can only copy 1 verse at a time. Let me just repeat, only 1 verse at a time. I cannot begin to say how frustrating this is when there are like 50 verses all over the joint. So as you can imagine today I was set to give up. 

But there is always a solution. I am not sure how I did it but I went onto and guess what I can copied a whole portion! Now I have no idea how I did it but I did it and that is the main thing. I will figure out the rest tomorrow. 

Good news: I will now be using and the New Living Translation. Joy joy joy

So what did I learn about God today well I learnt that God feels pain. He feels our pain and that causes Him pain. His pain is so deep that He would do anything to stop us from experiencing that deep pain. But God is bound by His word. He can't take away our free will so we had the flood. God knew the flood was only a solution for all those people who were living for centuries to stop their pain but He couldn't let another generation experience that. So the real solution shorten the lifespan.  You still have free will. You can decide to live how you want, affect people and God how you want, you just can't do it forever. To be honest that is a bit of a relief to me.

I am a shopaholic and I battle with the addiction every day. It might sound trivial to you but it actually causes a lot of pain and suffering not only to me but to those around me. So each day I battle with it. Some days I am great and I can go for months being good and other times I hit a downward spiral and it all falls apart. I have to live with it every day of my life and as long as I am alive I will be dealing with it. For me living in the UK my life expectancy is increasing everyday so I could live well into my 80s with this problem (ok that's depressing). But I cannot imagine living for 100s of years with this problem and people will say that's just a mild problem. Imagine living for centuries with the hurt caused by others no wonder they were violent that type of lifespan would wear you out. 

God knows what that pain is like and lives with all of our pain everyday and in order to spare us he gave us shorter lifespans. I am glad that I know my compassionate God.  

Day 3: The Story of The Flood

Corrupt civilisation 
Genesis 6:1-7, 11-12
When man began to multiply on the face of the land and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of man were attractive. And they took as their wives any they chose. Then the LORD said, "My Spirit shall not abide in man forever, for he is flesh: his days shall be 120 years." The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of man and they bore children to them. These were the mighty men who were of old, the men of renown.
The LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the LORD was sorry that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart. So the LORD said, "I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens, for I am sorry that I have made them."

Now the earth was corrupt in God's sight, and the earth was filled with violence. And God saw the earth, and behold, it was corrupt, for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth.

Instructions for building the ark
Genesis 6:8, 13-21
But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD.

And God said to Noah, "I have determined to make an end of all flesh, for the earth is filled with violence through them. Behold, I will destroy them with the earth. Make yourself an ark of gopher wood. Make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and out with pitch. This is how you are to make it: the length of the ark 300 cubits, its breadth 50 cubits, and its height 30 cubits. Make a roof for the ark, and finish it to a cubit above, and set the door of the ark in its side. Make it with lower, second, and third decks. For behold, I will bring a flood of waters upon the earth to destroy all flesh in which is the breath of life under heaven. Everything that is on the earth shall die. But I will establish my covenant with you, and you shall come into the ark, you, your sons, your wife, and your sons' wives with you. And of every living thing of all flesh, you shall bring two of every sort into the ark to keep them alive with you. They shall be male and female. Of the birds according to their kinds, and of the animals according to their kinds, of every creeping thing of the ground, according to its kind, two of every sort shall come in to you to keep them alive. Also take with you every sort of food that is eaten, and store it up. It shall serve as food for you and for them."

Birth of Noah's sons
Genesis 5:32
After Noah was 500 years old, Noah fathered Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
These are the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation. Noah walked with God. And Noah had three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
1 Chronicles 1:4
Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth.

Death of Lamech
Genesis 5:30-31
Lamech lived after he fathered Noah 595 years and had other sons and daughters. Thus all the days of Lamech were 777 years, and he died.

Death of Methuselah
Genesis 5:26-27
Methuselah lived after he fathered Lamech 782 years and had other sons and daughters. Thus all the days of Methuselah were 969 years, and he died.

Entering the ark
Genesis 6:22
Noah did this; he did all that God commanded him.
Then the LORD said to Noah, "Go into the ark, you and all your household, for I have seen that you are righteous before me in this generation. Take with you seven pairs of all clean animals, the male and his mate, and a pair of the animals that are not clean, the male and his mate, and seven pairs of the birds of the heavens also, male and female, to keep their offspring alive on the face of all the earth. For in seven days I will send rain on the earth forty days and forty nights, and every living thing that I have made I will blot out from the face of the ground." And Noah did all that the LORD had commanded him. 
Noah was six hundred years old when the flood of waters came upon the earth. And Noah and his sons and his wife and his sons' wives with him went into the ark to escape the waters of the flood. Of clean animals, and of animals that are not clean, and of birds, and of everything that creeps on the ground, two and two, male and female, went into the ark with Noah, as God had commanded Noah.

The flood: rain falls
Genesis 7:10-24
And after seven days the waters of the flood came upon the earth.
In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on that day all the fountains of the great deep burst forth, and the windows of the heavens were opened. And rain fell upon the earth forty days and forty nights. On the very same day Noah and his sons, Shem and Ham and Japheth, and Noah's wife and the three wives of his sons with them entered the ark, they and every beast, according to its kind, and all the livestock according to their kinds, and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth, according to its kind, and every bird, according to its kind, every winged creature. They went into the ark with Noah, two and two of all flesh in which there was the breath of life. And those that entered, male and female of all flesh, went in as God had commanded him. And the LORD shut him in.
The flood continued forty days on the earth. The waters increased and bore up the ark, and it rose high above the earth. The waters prevailed and increased greatly on the earth, and the ark floated on the face of the waters. And the waters prevailed so mightily on the earth that all the high mountains under the whole heaven were covered. The waters prevailed above the mountains, covering them fifteen cubits deep. And all flesh died that moved on the earth, birds, livestock, beasts, all swarming creatures that swarm on the earth, and all mankind. Everything on the dry land in whose nostrils was the breath of life died. He blotted out every living thing that was on the face of the ground, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens. They were blotted out from the earth. Only Noah was left, and those who were with him in the ark. And the waters prevailed on the earth 150 days.

The Flood approximate 2319BC

The flood: rain stops
Genesis 8:1-19
But God remembered Noah and all the beasts and all the livestock that were with him in the ark. And God made a wind blow over the earth, and the waters subsided. The fountains of the deep and the windows of the heavens were closed, the rain from the heavens was restrained, and the waters receded from the earth continually. At the end of 150 days the waters had abated, and in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat. And the waters continued to abate until the tenth month; in the tenth month, on the first day of the month, the tops of the mountains were seen.
At the end of forty days Noah opened the window of the ark that he had made and sent forth a raven. It went to and fro until the waters were dried up from the earth. Then he sent forth a dove from him, to see if the waters had subsided from the face of the ground. But the dove found no place to set her foot, and she returned to him to the ark, for the waters were still on the face of the whole earth. So he put out his hand and took her and brought her into the ark with him.  He waited another seven days, and again he sent forth the dove out of the ark. And the dove came back to him in the evening, and behold, in her mouth was a freshly plucked olive leaf. So Noah knew that the waters had subsided from the earth. Then he waited another seven days and sent forth the dove, and she did not return to him anymore.
In the six hundred and first year, in the first month, the first day of the month, the waters were dried from off the earth. And Noah removed the covering of the ark and looked, and behold, the face of the ground was dry. In the second month, on the twenty-seventh day of the month, the earth had dried out. Then God said to Noah, "Go out from the ark, you and your wife, and your sons and your sons' wives with you. Bring out with you every living thing that is with you of all flesh-birds and animals and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth-that they may swarm on the earth, and be fruitful and multiply on the earth." So Noah went out, and his sons and his wife and his sons' wives with him. Every beast, every creeping thing, and every bird, everything that moves on the earth, went out by families from the ark.

God's rainbow covenant
Genesis 8:20-22
Then Noah built an altar to the LORD and took some of every clean animal and some of every clean bird and offered burnt offerings on the altar. And when the LORD smelled the pleasing aroma, the LORD said in his heart, "I will never again curse the ground because of man, for the intention of man's heart is evil from his youth. Neither will I ever again strike down every living creature as I have done. While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease."
 1 Then God blessed Noah and his sons, saying to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the earth. 2 The fear and dread of you will fall upon all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air, upon every creature that moves along the ground, and upon all the fish of the sea; they are given into your hands. 3 Everything that lives and moves will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything.
 4 "But you must not eat meat that has its lifeblood still in it. 5 And for your lifeblood I will surely demand an accounting. I will demand an accounting from every animal. And from each man, too, I will demand an accounting for the life of his fellow man.

 6 "Whoever sheds the blood of man, 
       by man shall his blood be shed; 
       for in the image of God 
       has God made man.

 7 As for you, be fruitful and increase in number; multiply on the earth and increase upon it."

 8 Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him: 9 "I now establish my covenant with you and with your descendants after you 10 and with every living creature that was with you—the birds, the livestock and all the wild animals, all those that came out of the ark with you—every living creature on earth. 11 I establish my covenant with you: Never again will all life be cut off by the waters of a flood; never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth."

 12 And God said, "This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: 13 I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. 14 Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, 15 I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. 16 Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth."

 17 So God said to Noah, "This is the sign of the covenant I have established between me and all life on the earth."

The Sons of Noah

 18 The sons of Noah who came out of the ark were Shem, Ham and Japheth. (Ham was the father of Canaan.) 19 These were the three sons of Noah, and from them came the people who were scattered over the earth.

Bible Thought for Today: Acts 10:1-2

"At Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion of what was known as the Italian Cohort, a devout man who feared God with all his household, gave alms generously to the people, and prayed continually to God." Acts 10:1-2 (ESV)

You know there is a lit that can be said about Cornelius but I want to concentrate on a small detail. The bible says that all of Cornelius household worshipped God. Now there can be two explanations for this 

1. Cornelius only hired God-fearing people 
2. Everyone who was in Cornelius presence became a believer because of his relationships with them and with God. 

Now I am going to tell you why I think it's option number two. Here is the deal, the bible then immediately follows that statement with the fact Cornelius leaved out what he believed, giving to the poor and praying all the time. To see that as a real example especially fro. A man in his position at that time must have been a tremendous witness of God. 

I sit here in the comfort of the 21st century and actually think he is an amazing witness of Gods practical love supreme. This man didn't just believe he was a man of faith of action of God. So what about me? I believe in God, I believe in his message and messenger how does it shape me? Well after reading those two verses I need to think a little more before I act as those around me, closest to me are looking at my witness of God. Wow that's deep I am going to take that to God in prayer right now.   

Men are Parents Too!

This morning I heard a discussion about advertising for baby products being more gender inclusive. Now let me say that if it wasn't far to early I would have been shouting at the TV. However being civilised I managed to restrain myself. All I can say is the world needs to a get a grip men are parents too. I will explain using my own life as an example.

My husband and I are blessed with a little boy who to be quite frank I never thought would ever be as their were doubts over my fertility. But here we are parents to a very lively 6 month old. Now the discussion before the baby came along was if we have children by adoption or by nature then I would go back to work and my husband would stay at hone. When baby was born I began to waiver but now that I am out to work I see that this will be a good system for us. I say all this to give you a backdrop to the situations that transpire.

My husband changed the vast majority of nappies in the first few months and when he went to church women try to chase him out of the women's toilets as there were no facilities anywhere else. When we see doctors or midwives or health visitors everyone addresses me and he is an after thought if at all. When we had to make decisions about the baby it is the mothers wishes they take. When he goes shopping for babies bits and pieces everything is referred to in the feminine. Even emails from well meaning baby websites talk in the feminine.

The icing on the cake has been the mothers day and fathers day debacle. Mothers day for me was about the grandmothers and aunties and to be honest passed me right by. But since I know that fathers are parents too I made a huge song and dance about fathers day. What annoyed me was that for weeks leading into mothers day I had to put up with mention after mention, advertising after advertising, people after people shouting about mothers day but on fathers day nothing! I might be overstating this but no one seemed to be saying anything. Don't get me wrong there were adverts in windows but no hoo ha. To me we play down the importance of fathers so far that those that choose to look after their families and get involved with raising their children don't get a moments celebration that mothers get.

I acknowledge on both sides of the fence there are issues and problems. But if we want fathers and mothers to be on equal footing we need to have a change of mind from the simple down to the enormous. OK rant over for now ;0)

The Right to have Children

Today while having time with my son I was listening to This Morning (an ITV daytime show in the UK). The debate they were having was:

Do women have the right to have a child at any age?

The answer from their online poll was 77% no 23% yes.

I have to say that I don't think it is any ones right to have a child. Children are not property they are people as such we are gifted with them for a short time. During that time there are many rewards but there is also a lot of hard work in order that they may turn out to be happy, healthy and well rounded individuals. This is not a task we take on lightly and for selfish reasons. Parenting is about sacrifice not about self. So I guess I am saying no it is not a right.

Now you might say well it's alright for you cause you have your son you don't understand. Well true I do and I will never have the heartbreak of trying for a baby but there are people with whom I am walking that path and let me tell you I feel their pain everyday. But does that make it your rig to have a baby? No I don't think it does and there will come when I and them have to face up to the fact that a baby might not be on their horizon then what?

For me there are so many children on this earth that need love, a home, a mother, a father and family but yet we are more determined about our own blood line than with this children. I am not convinced at all. Maybe someone will disagree with me and that is OK. After all this is just my opinion born out of my experience and the experience of those in my life. But I think the need to be a mother or father can be fulfilled in so may ways and having a baby is just one of those ways.

PS don't here me say that I am not sympathetic or empathetic to the person who cannot have a baby as I say my personal experience gives me a great deal of both for any family I. That situation and my heart bleeds for those closest to me who are going through this now.

Music Review: Purpose by Design by Fred Hammond

OK there are not enough words for me to express the joy I have listening to this album. Fred Hammond is a giant in gospel music. He produces some of the most amazing worship songs. This album is particularly amazing if you ask me. My favourite songs and this is very hard to choose are Jesus be a Fence and When you Praise. At least I think they are my favourites oh there are just too many.

I challenge you to take a listen (search for the tracks on you tube if you want to look at the DVD). After you listen tell me which is your favourite or what you think. My hubby will disagree but this at the top of the list of awesome gospel artistes. What do you think?

Monday, 28 June 2010

Day 2: The Struggle

Ok so I have already struggled to stick with it. I can give you a list of excuses a mile long or rather reasons but here is the thing I just need to get on with it. So day 2 a little later than day 2 lol.

Today I learnt a number of things about God the best of all is that God enjoys our company. I have to say that is pretty awesome. Pre-sin God came down in the cool of the day and had some tine with us. Post-sin he still came down and spent time with us look at the example of Enoch who walked right to heaven with God. That was some serious conversation. They were having. I guess it makes me feel not only happy but a little less insane as I talk to God about everything from fashion to nature on my journey wherever I am it's constant chatter with him because I love him and talking with humus great. But it turns out that while I might not be the deepest person in the world God likes talking to us and me too. I think that's pretty awesome.

Oh dear that was about me hmm back to what I learnt about God.
1. God enjoys our company
2. God gives us a chance to just tell him
3. God takes care of our needs
4. God saves us from ourselves. We don't live forever and as much as we are obsessed with ourselves and youth and living forever I am glad we don't. Who really wants to do that, imagine the best Mother Theresa living forever even she would get tired and would fall of the band wagon it's not that easy to be good 24/7. What about the worse imagine Hitler going forever cause he couldn't die. All I can say is oh dear!
5. God wants to praise us for what we do well. Now that has got to put a smile on your face. Be nice to someone and God is in heaven beaming like a proud father at his awesome child how cool is that.
6. God enjoys our company woo hoo

By the way reading the genealogies are not exciting not matter what you do with them but they are great for name spotting. I am guessing some deep theologian just had a heart attack by my statement but it's true reading a list of names isn't that interesting. But just think of all the people in your family when you do and imagine how complicated that first family must have been I mean I have loads of questions about them like where did all the wives come from. Please God I look forward to that answer. Since God is the originator of not marrying a sibling come on I know you are just as curious.

Well fingers crossed I will be back for tomorrow.

Day 2: The fall & the beginning of civilization

The temptation and fall
Genesis 3:1-7
Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, "Did God actually say, 'You shall not eat of any tree in the garden'?" And the woman said to the serpent, "We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, 'You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.'" But the serpent said to the woman, "You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths.

God's judgement and curse
Genesis 3:8-19
And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. But the LORD God called to the man and said to him, "Where are you?" And he said, "I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself." He said, "Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?" The man said, "The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate." Then the LORD God said to the woman, "What is this that you have done?" The woman said, "The serpent deceived me, and I ate."
The LORD God said to the serpent, "Because you have done this, cursed are you above all livestock and above all beasts of the field; on your belly you shall go, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life. I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel."
To the woman he said, "I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children. Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you."
And to Adam he said, "Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, 'You shall not eat of it,' cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return."

Expulsion from Eden
Genesis 3:21-24
And the LORD God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them. Then the LORD God said, "Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil. Now, lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever-"therefore the LORD God sent him out from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken. He drove out the man, and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life.

The story of Cain and Abel
Genesis 4:1-15
Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, saying, "I have gotten a man with the help of the LORD." And again, she bore his brother Abel. Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, and Cain a worker of the ground. In the course of time Cain brought to the LORD an offering of the fruit of the ground, and Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat portions. And the LORD had regard for Abel and his offering, but for Cain and his offering he had no regard. So Cain was very angry, and his face fell. The LORD said to Cain, "Why are you angry, and why has your face fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it."
Cain spoke to Abel his brother. And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel and killed him. Then the LORD said to Cain, "Where is Abel your brother?" He said, "I do not know; am I my brother's keeper?" And the LORD said, "What have you done? The voice of your brother's blood is crying to me from the ground. And now you are cursed from the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother's blood from your hand. When you work the ground, it shall no longer yield to you its strength. You shall be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth." Cain said to the LORD, "My punishment is greater than I can bear. Behold, you have driven me today away from the ground, and from your face I shall be hidden. I shall be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me." Then the LORD said to him, "Not so! If anyone kills Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold." And the LORD put a mark on Cain, lest any who found him should attack him.

Seth and his descendants
1 Chronicles 1:1
Adam, Seth, Enosh;
Genesis 4:25-26
And Adam knew his wife again, and she bore a son and called his name Seth, for she said, "God has appointed for me another offspring instead of Abel, for Cain killed him." To Seth also a son was born, and he called his name Enosh. At that time people began to call upon the name of the LORD.
When Adam had lived 130 years, he fathered a son in his own likeness, after his image, and named him Seth.
When Seth had lived 105 years, he fathered Enosh.
When Enosh had lived 90 years, he fathered Kenan.
1 Chronicles 1:2
Kenan, Mahalalel, Jared;
Genesis 5:12, 15 & 18
When Kenan had lived 70 years, he fathered Mahalalel.
When Mahalalel had lived 65 years, he fathered Jared.
When Jared had lived 162 years he fathered Enoch.

Cain and his descendants
Genesis 4:16-24
Then Cain went away from the presence of the LORD and settled in the land of Nod, east of Eden. Cain knew his wife, and she conceived and bore Enoch. When he built a city, he called the name of the city after the name of his son, Enoch. To Enoch was born Irad, and Irad fathered Mehujael, and Mehujael fathered Methushael, and Methushael fathered Lamech. And Lamech took two wives. The name of the one was Adah, and the name of the other Zillah. Adah bore Jabal; he was the father of those who dwell in tents and have livestock. His brother's name was Jubal; he was the father of all those who play the lyre and pipe. Zillah also bore Tubal-cain; he was the forger of all instruments of bronze and iron. The sister of Tubal-cain was Naamah.
Lamech said to his wives: "Adah and Zillah, hear my voice; you wives of Lamech, listen to what I say: I have killed a man for wounding me, a young man for striking me.
If Cain's revenge is sevenfold, then Lamech's is seventy-sevenfold."

Adam's descendants continued
1 Chronicles 1:3
Enoch, Methuselah, Lamech;
Genesis 5:21 & 25
When Enoch had lived 65 years, he fathered Methuselah.
When Methuselah had lived 187 years, he fathered Lamech.
The days of Adam after he fathered Seth were 800 years; and he had other sons and daughters. Thus all the days that Adam lived were 930 years, and he died.
Enoch walked with God after he fathered Methuselah 300 years and had other sons and daughters. Thus all the days of Enoch were 365 years. Enoch walked with God, and he was not, for God took him.
Seth lived after he fathered Enosh 807 years and had other sons and daughters. Thus all the days of Seth were 912 years, and he died.
When Lamech had lived 182 years, he fathered a son and called his name Noah, saying, "Out of the ground that the LORD has cursed this one shall bring us relief from our work and from the painful toil of our hands."
Enosh lived after he fathered Kenan 815 years and had other sons and daughters. Thus all the days of Enosh were 905 years, and he died.
Kenan lived after he fathered Mahalalel 840 years and had other sons and daughters. Thus all the days of Kenan were 910 years, and he died.
Mahalalel lived after he fathered Jared 830 years and had other sons and daughters. Thus all the days of Mahalalel were 895 years, and he died.
Jared lived after he fathered Enoch 800 years and had other sons and daughters. Thus all the days of Jared were 962 years, and he died.

Music Review: So Much to Say

My first review or introduction is a grow that I have seen in concert at least three times. Let me just say that if you ever get a chance to see them it is well worth it they are awesome. They are one of the few groups that sound better live than recorded and they sound amazing recorded so live it's breathtaking. OK enough of me gushing I introduce to you Take 6.

This group are a vocal harmony group they started as an acapella group and dabbled with real instruments. In my opinion there early acapella music is A-Maz-Ing! So I present the album So Much to Say. I am not sure if it's my favourite one of theirs but it's a difficult choice. On this album the harmonies are amazing. Giving some of the most difficult harmonies ever and falsetto that puts most men to shame.

For me this album is a great pick me up. Great music, good lyrics, Harmony's that would make most groups today look like amateurs. My favourite track is Something Within Me. I love this singing along like you wouldn't believe although in the library its mouthing along. If you want to know about credentials do a quick search but if you love your music Brian McKnight's brother is a member and let me say singing is definitely in the family. I will try and find some clips for you as they are too cool.

I would like to digress just slightly and say sorry to my best friend at the time Esther for behaving so badly. I apologies. We share this music and it's good but I miss my friend. Ah well I have said it now, there it is out in the open.

Back to the subject at hand Take 6. Please if you have never listened to Gospel music and want something that will show you the best of what it can do this album should be a great introduction. It was my introduction to the world of Gospel music and I have never looked back. Give it a try.

Take 6 LIVE - So Much 2 Say (This is HOT!!!!)

Bible Thought for Today: Acts 9:32-43

I have changed the title from devotion to bible thought for today. I am not really sure that anyone outside of church really reads a devotional and knows what on earth we are talking about. Maybe I am just being silly but I am trying to make it as accessible as possible. So bible thought for the day it is.

Dorcas or Tabitha
This is a story that I in particular have been told over and over and over. To be honest I wasn't sure I really liked this story. To be quite frank Dorcas or Tabitha or whatever her name was got on my nerves. I felt like she should not define who I am stuff it I am my own person. For those that don't know me personally my real name is Tabitha. It might be a great name which I do love but stuff all the Christians is what I thought, stuff them for expecting me to be quiet and meek and being used by someone else. Forget them, I am a little loud, opinionated and colourful that's just me. But no matter where I went this quiet little woman went with me. Whenever I introduced myself it was 'oh like Dorcas'. Well I am not Dorcas ha.

Then one day a few years a go I was asked to preach on her and couldn't say no (you must understand that was my desired answer, no stuff it). I had to face the woman who had followed me around all those years and really take a good look. It was a painful process but the reward was there at the end. Actually to my surprise I quite liked Dorcas or Tabitha as I decided she should always be called. Turns out sharing my name wasn't so bad, in fact I was quite proud to share my name with her. Tabitha was a woman that it turns out I wanted to grow up to be just like. (Stop laughing I will grow up eventually ;0)

Tabitha in Acts 9 turns out she was a justice fighter in her own way. Tabitha looked after people in need. Most of all Tabitha saw those around her and took the time with them. It made me think about my own life I am a naturally shy person who has to fight hard not to retreat most days. I have a wonderful family who push me out into the big wide world but left to my own devises I would be the person sitting quietly in the library tapping on her iPad avoiding eye contact as I would not have a clue what to do. But today I try to lift my head and smile it makes the world of difference. But here the woman I had steered clear of for all those years was to set an example for me. You see when Tabitha was alive she met the need of those less well of. She ministered to the widow the poorest in the society and gave to them. Tabitha cps a creative woman she made coats and other garments they needed and she met there need. She didn't do what so many others did which was to ignore. Tabitha opened her eyes and saw this no one else wanted to see.

My lesson from this awesome woman and shining example look up and see someone, use your talents to help others. So each day I challenge myself to be nice to someone even if it is only a smile. Each day it gets a little easier than the day before. Practice makes perfect is what I say.

Will people weep for me like they did for Tabitha because of the good deeds she did for them. Doubtful. But can I make a difference to someones day and immediate problem. YES I can and I believe YES we can. Today I plan to make a difference to someones day for the better what about you?

My first day on the job

Last week my hubby and I took the decision that if I was going to be an Internet minister and do it well I would need to dedicate time to it. Therefore I would now start going to 'work' everyday. You might think so what but I have a little boy and so finding time at home to work is impossible. Today is my first day.

As I was walking to work i wondered how honest I should be. Should I tell the real story or the glossy highlights. I decided on a compromise between them. So I started by waking up this morning and realising today is the first day of the rest of my life, of my new ministry. So as per normal woke to my son rolling round in his cot and having fun waiting for mummy to get out of bed and feed him. So after doing everything for baby the afternoon was fast approaching and time to go out. I didn't expect that I would feel apprehensive but there it was me feeling a little nervous packing my bag.

Oh I probably need to digress for a moment and explain why I need to go out of the home to do something that should be able to be done from home. Well we currently live in a bedsit the size of most peoples bathrooms/kitchens therefore space is at a premium. With a 6 month old baby it makes the space smaller. On top of that I am not sure if I have mentioned this before but I lack a little self discipline sometimes. So i need to orchestrate all sorts in order to achieve what most people do naturally. So having routine works for me, being organised means there is less room for procrastination my worst enemy.

Back to the topic at hand. I gave kisses out and left the house to go for my first day at work. Well when I say first day at work my designated office is the library till we get our own place and I can have a corner. It's a beautiful day outside and in tribute to my football team I am wearing my Brazil shirt, many England fans don't seem to appreciate this as I am walking down the road but I don't mind. I am so used to being with the baby that I automatically head for the automatic door and it's not till I'm through I realise that I didn't need to do that and jump in the escalator.

I went in hoping to find wireless Internet access turns out there isn't any but I will check on the way out. I start looking for a space and to my delight there is a table I the perfect spot. There is a nice big window, with a table right beside so I can see the beautiful sunshine, it happens to be in the religion section with the children's section just behind with very loud children having a good time reading their books. I settle down like it's the first day of school taking out all my utensils and say a pray. I might be a little nervous and a bit apprehensive that I am doing such a big task but I have to believe that God called me to do this so He will give me the strength to continue. So now to work....

Saturday, 26 June 2010

Being a Female Minister

I decided to write this blog not because I have a position but because I am constantly confronted with my gender and all that relates to it.

Last week I received a call asking me to write a blog on jewellery. I will write that blog I just wanted to take time about it. But the person requesting the log was a female minister and had been engaged with a church member over this topic. Jewellery is a heavily gender specific topic and as a female minister it provides a number of challenges.

After this I received an Facebook message requesting I take part in a survey on modesty and dress. This topic is always constantly referred to in the feminine and any mention of it in the masculine is entertained briefly. This survey was no different question after question about women's apparel and modesty of "our" women. To be honest the questionnaire was so bad that I had to abandon it and just write to the author instead my comments. But I will probably deal with this in another blog.

Then as I went into church I was presented with a copy of the youth magazine and the topic for that edition, yes you guessed it, Women in the Church. On reading this I almost laughed out loud or lol but instead I went in sat down and attempted to take part in the programme. As I sat there I was looking through my iBooks and see if there were any that I could read when I happened upon The Woman's Bible by Elizabeth Cady Stanton (since it is a free download I recommend it lol). But as I began to read the feminist theology I realised that I faced a problem as a female minister and I had better address at some point.

You see during my studies although there were a number of female theologians the maleness of the course was so evident that it lead to the occasional, confrontation is to strong a word, passionate discussion. As a result I decided to put together a book called letters to a woman in ministry (it's a work in progress watch this space). This was my way of redressing the balance and lending support to those who were undertaking what is a very challenging path not least because your gender can often make it more difficult than it need be.

After working on the book for sometime I received a disturbing link. Pastor Doug Batchelor of the Seventh-day Adventist church had preached a sermon which set the church back a million years. The aim of his sermon was to give a biblical perspective on women in ministry or not as the case may be. Let's just say it fell short of it's aim to put it politely. This began a whole flurry of discussions among male and female ministers alike. Some of the discussion surprising and some supportive. A big question arose for me as a female minister what next?

So here I sit faced with a challenge there seems to be two routes for the female minister.
1. Be a minister and ignore the gender issues and get on with your ministry.
2. Be a minister and face the challenges of gender head on

As I was reading The Woman's Bible I realised how easy it was to get so embroiled in the issue of gender that perspective is lost and ministry takes a back burner. On the other hand I know how frustrating it is to see those in power seemingly do nothing about injustice. So what do I do? Well I have never been good at seeing injustice and letting it go on the other hand shouldn't I be doing what God has asked me to do and not getting distracted. The dilemma is too much and one not faced by my male colleagues in the same way. You see my gender is a part of what makes me me. As such there will never be a day I can get away from it and have a rest. Therefore I need to think and act carefully.

I am not sure after all that has happened I have a clear answer but I do know that I have to pray for perspective. So off I go to work in ministry knowing that at each point I am confronted with the injustice of sexism and gender bias I will find it impossible to keep my mouth closed and let it go. Therefore I pray that through all this I keep perspective after all I am here to serve God not man :0)

Devotion: Acts 9

I decided to stop short of reading the story of Dorcas and concentrated on the story of Saul's conversion to Christianity and the start of his journey as Paul. It's a story that every little child gets told going to church. I am not sure if hearing that story so many times takes the edge of it and we become immune to the power of what happens.

"And I will show him how much he must suffer for my name's sake." (verse 16)

For the past 3 years I have been studying theology. At each point of the journey it felt like I should give up as the suffering was great. From trying to work out how to pay the school fees to getting the assignments in and finishing each point felt like a struggle. One day when I got the call to say that I would be graduating I screamed but I didn't tell anyone for ages because it didn't feel real. After all the struggling it was finally over. But then came the real work so the struggle just changed shape. 

There in the middle of Saul's story which has suffering in it we see a hint or in fact a direct word that there will be more. Interestingly God tells someone else about Saul's suffering but it is Saul that has to endure it.  I wonder if being called to ministry whatever ministry it is goes hand in hand with suffering of some kind. 

As i am struggling with my devotion today my husband just pointed out that although there maybe suffering you will have a new perspective. In Saul's story he was blind but after the call to ministry his sight was restored. With this restoration of sight came a new perspective on life and off he went to the synagogue to preach. Maybe that's what we should pray for as Christians is perspective. Maybe that is what I need perspective. 

So Lord today I ask for perspective.   

Friday, 25 June 2010

Sabbath Activities 2

This week I had been planning on taking advantage of the good weather and encourage everyone into the great outdoors but then something happened. We got a phone call to say that a family member has gone into hospital. It got me to thinking about those that aren't able to get out. So this weeks activities are for everyone and require very little other than a generous heart. 

Visit someone in hospital or who is housebound. 

The task is simple look down your road or in your block at your neighbours see who is housebound or not able to get out frequently and knock on their door and say you would like to visit with them. Alternatively find out who at church is housebound or in hospital and visit them. Instead of going to church go and visit them and spend tine with them.  

What do you do on a visit well you can take a picnic with you so they can enjoy the sunshine. You could take a game with you depending on the age group. Mainly you will need to take good listening ear and great conversation skills. If your shy there is safety in numbers take someone with you. If your a family this would be a great way to set a good example for your children of a sense of community spirit.

I hope this weekend you take the time to be with someone else and encourage them. Show someone the love of Christ you might just encourage them.   

Day 1: Who God is

In reading the texts it was so easy to keep saying what about me how does this affect me. But I thought and I changed my mind, I want to ask the question what does this tell me about God? I spend so much time thinking about myself let me just for a few seconds try to focus on what the text says. Oh my this will be hard, let me be quick so I don't loose focus. 

God is the creator of everything
God is God and the Word and the Spirit. The Word is Christ.
God created Lucifer but Lucifer choose to walk away because he got created
God created man in his image and called both male and female man no distinguishing from God just man
There is a way to honour God worship on Sabbath
God is not a dictator or a tyrant. God gives choice.

I managed it just about. I have learnt that God is an awesome creator a gift he has given each of us in our own way. A gift that I plan to use this Sabbath to honour him. 

The Beginning of Creation: Day 1

The pre-existence of Christ
John 1:1-2
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.

The creation declaration
Psalm 90:2
Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.

The origin of creation
Genesis 1:1
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.

Satan cast out of heaven
Isaiah 14:12-17
"How you are fallen from heaven, O Day Star, son of Dawn! How you are cut down to the ground, you who laid the nations low! You said in your heart, 'I will ascend to heaven; above the stars of God I will set my throne on high; I will sit on the mount of assembly in the far reaches of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.' But you are brought down to Sheol, to the far reaches of the pit. Those who see you will stare at you and ponder over you: 'Is this the man who made the earth tremble, who shook kingdoms, who made the world like a desert and overthrew its cities, who did not let his prisoners go home?'

Ezekiel 28:13-19
You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone was your covering, sardius, topaz, and diamond, beryl, onyx, and jasper, sapphire, emerald, and carbuncle; and crafted in gold were your settings and your engravings. On the day that you were created they were prepared. You were an anointed guardian cherub. I placed you; you were on the holy mountain of God; in the midst of the stones of fire you walked.
You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created, till unrighteousness was found in you.
In the abundance of your trade you were filled with violence in your midst, and you sinned; so I cast you as a profane thing from the mountain of God, and I destroyed you, O guardian cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire.
By the multitude of your iniquities, in the unrighteousness of your trade you profaned your sanctuaries; so I brought fire out from your midst; it consumed you, and I turned you to ashes on the earth in the sight of all who saw you.
All who know you among the peoples are appalled at you; you have come to a dreadful end and shall be no more forever."

Judgement of creation
Genesis 1:2a
The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.

Creation for habitation
Isaiah 45:18
For thus says the LORD, who created the heavens (he is God!), who formed the earth and made it (he established it; he did not create it empty, he formed it to be inhabited!): "I am the LORD, and there is no other.

The six days of creation
1st & 2nd days
Genesis 1:2-8
The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.
And God said, "Let there be light," and there was light.
And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness.
God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.
And God said, "Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters."
And God made the expanse and separated the waters that were under the expanse from the waters that were above the expanse. And it was so.
And God called the expanse Heaven. And there was evening and there was morning, the second day.

3rd day
Genesis 2:5-6,
When no bush of the field was yet in the land and no small plant of the field had yet sprung up-for the LORD God had not caused it to rain on the land, and there was no man to work the ground, and a mist was going up from the land and was watering the whole face of the ground-

And God said, "Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear." And it was so.
God called the dry land Earth, and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas. And God saw that it was good.
And God said, "Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, on the earth." And it was so.
The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed according to their own kinds, and trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.
And there was evening and there was morning, the third day.

4th, 5th & 6th days
Genesis 1:14-26
And God said, "Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years,
and let them be lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light upon the earth." And it was so.
And God made the two great lights-the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night-and the stars.
And God set them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth,
to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good.
And there was evening and there was morning, the fourth day.
And God said, "Let the waters swarm with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the heavens."
So God created the great sea creatures and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarm, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.
And God blessed them, saying, "Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth."
And there was evening and there was morning, the fifth day.
And God said, "Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds-livestock and creeping things and beasts of the earth according to their kinds." And it was so.
And God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds and the livestock according to their kinds, and everything that creeps on the ground according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.
Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth."

then the LORD God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.

Creation of Man in detail
Genesis 5:1
This is the book of the generations of Adam. When God created man, he made him in the likeness of God.

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

Creation of the Woman
Genesis 2:18-25
Then the LORD God said, "It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him."
Now out of the ground the LORD God had formed every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. And whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name.
The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper fit for him.
So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh.
And the rib that the LORD God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man.
Then the man said, "This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man."
Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.
And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.

Names given
Genesis 5:2
Male and female he created them, and he blessed them and named them Man when they were created.

The man called his wife's name Eve, because she was the mother of all living.

Mans dominion over creation
Genesis 1:28-30
And God blessed them. And God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth."
And God said, "Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food.
And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food." And it was so.

Creation completed
Genesis 1:31
And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.

Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.

John 1:3
All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.

Seventh-day established
Genesis 2:2-3
And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done.
So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation.

Exodus 20:11
For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

The Garden of Eden
Genesis 2:8-17
And the LORD God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and there he put the man whom he had formed.
And out of the ground the LORD God made to spring up every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
A river flowed out of Eden to water the garden, and there it divided and became four rivers.
The name of the first is the Pishon. It is the one that flowed around the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold.
And the gold of that land is good; bdellium and onyx stone are there.
The name of the second river is the Gihon. It is the one that flowed around the whole land of Cush.
And the name of the third river is the Tigris, which flows east of Assyria. And the fourth river is the Euphrates.
The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.
And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, "You may surely eat of every tree of the garden,
but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die."

New Project Read the Bible in a Year

When I was very young my then boyfriend said we should read the bible together fro. Start to finish. He made me this wonderful bookmark for my bible that I could tick the books off as we read them. So I tried my best and I think I just about succeed in the task. Ever since then I have had the urge to do it again. But I must confess I am not the most disciplined person and reading the bible requires a fair amount of discipline.

Four years ago I started my studies in theology and I took a course called biblical theology that completely opened my mind to who God is. Ever since that point I have wanted to read the bible in Chronological order especially the old testament. I have been fixed on having a view of God through history.

When God moved me into this work of online/Internet pastoring I am always thinking about the different things I could do. The idea of reading the whole bible has been my personal challenge and so I decided to make it public.

I went into my favourite Christian bookstore this week and came across a book that I think is going to be a winner. I have seen this book maybe a hundred times and each time I pick it up and never really give it to much time. This time however I actually looked at the book and realised it was perfect. The book is:

Cover to Cover: Through the Bible as it Happened
Selwyn Hughes and Trevor J Partridge
Publisher: CWR
Year 1999

The book sets out to read the bible in a year in chronological order that the events happened. I am very excited but a little apprehensive. Here is the plan I have you are more than welcome to join or you can just read and laugh at me as I struggle to do it. Each day I am going to post the texts I am supposed to read and then I will post how i am getting on. Wish me luck or rather wish me blessings as I give this a go. If you are going to join me please let me know how you are getting on.

The bible version I will be using is English Standard Version from Crossways (an app for iPad), if I change I will write it at the end of the text that I post but unless otherwise stated this is the one I will use.

Devotion:Acts 8

Persecution. Chapter 8 opens with the persecution of the Christians after the death of Stephen. Religious persecution is not something that I can really identify with. I am sitting in the comfort of a western society that has laws that protect my religious freedom. Real persecution that endangers my life is not something I am familiar with in my real life.

If I think about countries where persecution really happens and peoples lives are in danger it makes me sad. I also wonder what can I do to help those who are not free as we are in our society. However I digress. I do not know about physical, real persecution however I realise that I do know about something that happens in western culture, the belittling of my beliefs in popular society.

In recent years it has become very trendy to say that you are 'spiritual' but if you say Christian there is look that comes over peoples faces as if you are a Loony Toon (and not the good kind.) I don't know about anyone else but I have noticed that there is a respect for everything but Christianity. It is almost as if we have become the worst of religions overnight and the focus of much hate.

The time it seems has come when saying your a Christian provides a number of challenges. I heard it once said that if you believe in Christ then you are not mentally capable, not intelligent and down right gullible. The person also said that if you pass this onto your children you are brainwashing them. To me it is unbelievable that in 21st century that is so enlightened people are so closed minded about a creator God. However I digress again. The point of what I am saying is that we have a lot to learn from those early believers:

"But the believers who were scattered preached the Good News about Jesus wherever they went." Acts 8:4

In my situation where it is frowned upon to be a Christian I need to let that go and be the example God wants me to be. I need not avoid saying anything about faith but say it boldly despite what others may think. Recently I was speaking to a new acquaintance and when they asked me what I had done that morning I hesitated before saying I went to church. After I berated myself but at the time my head weighed up the pros and cons of making that statement. While reading this chapter I felt not only silly but rather small that I worried more about someones opinion of me than Gods opinion of me. I guess it's time to change the way I think.

Monday, 21 June 2010

Devotion: Acts 6

Devotion: Acts 6 

The story of Stephen and his execution are well known by many Christians as people not only remember Stephens heroic behaviour but they also remember that Paul was there at the execution when he was Saul. But as I read the story again there are a number of points that jump out.

1. Stephen was prepared 
2. Stephen knew his bible
3. Stephen not only knew bible but he stood on the promises
4. Stephen could preach at a moments notice
5. Stephens memory under stressful conditions was superb
6. Constant reminders of God dwelt with Stephen
7. Stephen gave the Jewish leaders reminders of who hey were and not just the good stuff
8. Stephen gave his life for what he believed in.

When I look at Stephen I feel woefully inadequate the best I can do to remember a text are some of the short ones. I just about manage to remember the Lords prayer and Psalm 23. Not quite up to Stephens standard I know however Stephen teaches us that we can all do this. 

Stephen knew the story of the bible, he knew the story of who God is and that was the overriding point. We might not be able to remember every text in great detail but what we can do is know who God is. Biblical theology teaches us that the bible is one story made up of lots of parts that feeds into a greater single point about who God is. It is for us to read the bible with a view to learning who God is. I am sure that if we tried we could get to know who God is I am pretty sure he would like that. I know that I would like to get know God so maybe instead of trying to remember all the verses of the bible I am going to give a go remembering the story and learning about who God is.  

Short Fuse

Short Fuse

Have you ever had one of those days where your mood seems to drop all of a sudden? Or have you ever had one of those days when the smallest thing will get on your nerves? Well that is me most days. My mum always said that I had a short temper and one day i was going to get into big trouble so before that happened she would beat it out of me, the irony is not lost on me. But it worked sort off, I learned to control my temper, a little bit. However there are some days when the slightest thing gets on my nerve.

This morning I woke up to the usual sweet sound of my son discovering his voice and practising his words when he thinks no one is listening. This time instead of thinking it's too early and begging God for more sleep I jumped out and got on with the day. Took the little one with me fed and played with him, cleaned up the kitchen, sterilised all the babies goods for the day and waited to make breakfast. But then the hurricane arrived, OK that might be an exaggeration but it was a phone call the appointment was moved up and I had to run out the house immediately.

There I am running down the road hoping I know where I am going. I get to the bus stop jump on the bus only to be told by the bus driver that he has no idea what I am talking about. I get off and hope that the next bus driver will know where the main local school is and be more helpful. I grab for my iPod then realise the headphones I have bought don't fit, then I look at my phone only to notice that it hasn't charged enough even though it has been on for hours. By now the next bus is here I am watching the clock because my appointment must be waiting ask the bus driver if he passes the school and he replies he has no idea. By now I am irrupted beyond belief and want to go crazy. I get on anyway and hope for the best. I miss my bus stop run all the way to the appointment which then lasts 2 minutes and I flop onto the floor and think why did that happen. I can honestly say my irritation levels are through the roof and I have had enough.

I am not sure why but each little thing irritated me, some days it's just like that no matter how hard I try my irritation level is through the roof. Today though it got to me thinking what is that gets us so irritated? Why is it that for some us like me the slightest things will get us going some days and it's hard to snap out of. Well as I sat there on the floor outside a garage I can't say that God said this is why but I did come to the realisation that I could change my response. If all things are possible through Christ who strengthens me then through Christ my response can be different. So as I walked home and realised that my bag had broken I smiled and knew I didn't have to be in such a bad mood but instead I could walk home with a broken bag, a dead phone, no headphones and be very tired from my early start and still smile as the sun shone down on me and baked me to a crisp :0)

Friday, 18 June 2010

Fun Sabbath activities 1

Fun Sabbath activities 1

Now just because I happen to believe that sabbath should still be held don't let that stop you from reading the activities for Sunday. I am going to try and give you activities for a variety of situations so I hope there is something here for you. I will be producing one each week (fingers crossed).

My inspiration for this one is reading. I love reading and think we should all give it a go you might be surprised that you enjoy it.

Here is an obvious one but true, read a book, one of my favs is a novel called Joseph by Terri L. Fivash. Now if you love reading that could be the whole thin but why not spice it up and start a book club. If you were thinking a book club might be a bit much why don't you try doing it online there are plenty of places where you can leave reviews for books and interact with other readers. I had a books and chocolate club the combination is joyous

Couple (married or dating)
Find a book on relationships you know the ones that you try to avoid. Find a Christian one (sometimes the older the better, more to laugh about), get only one copy and read it together. Take turns in reading to each other the highlights of the book. Discuss the points as you read them and see if they actually apply or are funny anecdotes. I have done this with my other half and had a lot of fun thinking about our relationship and those of our close friends.

Families with young children
Allow one of the children to pick their favourite book. Allow the children to read it to the parents. Depending on the book the parents could put on a play of the book for the children. The children can be the directors and help pick out costumes for the parents to wear etc and then at the end they can give their parents scores for their performance.
If the children are very young and unable to do this task try making a book with the children. But a scrap book print out some pictures, have some crayons and paper at the ready for them to draw pictures. When all this is ready everyone gets an opportunity to stick everything in the book and create a family story scrapbook.

Families with teenagers
Invite another family with teenagers over allow the teenagers to share an interests by picking a book they would like to talk about with you. This can be about nature or astronomy or religion or a novel. It is important that the parents allow the teenagers space to talk and share freely this may take some restraint on the parents part but the rewards should be there in the long term. (tried and tested with my mum)

Ok if I have missed your category out some of the other ones could be adapted to suit your needs or let me know and I will try to include you next week or think of a way to adapt this weeks activities.

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Devotion: World cup and Acts 5

Devotion: Acts 5

World cup football and the Olympics are when i really come out and enjoy sport (I love basketball too but don't see many games anymore). But this world cup has been particularly interesting. Of course i am loving the football and it helps that Brazil have won their match but its not the football that has people complaining. Unfortunately it seems that more time is spent complaining and dissecting the vuvuzela.

The vuvuzela is a stadium horn which the South Africans use at all their football matches. So of course we are in South Africa for the world cup and they are using their vuvuzelas. But i have never heard so much complaining about a horn in my life and that's saying something as my mother complained mercilessly when I played clarinet (I realise not a horn but it is a wind instrument). Everyone has a real. Chip on their shoulder about a small instrument that is part of their cultural celebration.

I never read so many rude FB/Twitter messages with openly racist overtones in mys life. The latest ones i read made me feel quite uneasy saying that they shouldn't be allowed to play in the world cup in the first place only Europeans allowed :-0 Not very nice at all (he almost got deleted but i decided grace instead). So it seems for all our talk about diversity and multi-culturalism, these terms only apply as long as your not different from us. In actual fact you must conform to our way of life and way of doing things or we have the right to insult you and your culture. My disappointment is evident but to be expected unfortunately. Then reading my devotion this morning to my surprise the same thing was happening in the very text I was reading.

Acts 5:1, But as the believers rapidly multiplied, there were rumblings of discontent. The Greek-speaking believers complained about the Hebrew-speaking believers, saying that their widows were being discriminated against in the daily distribution of food.

The apostles were faced with the very problem that we find ourselves judging and being critical of someone who is different from us. How did they resolve it they continued to preach the love of God and on a practical note they put systems in place. So here we are in the 21st century not so enlightened and in need of some help. We can preach the love that unites but that also needs action so the question is what can you do?

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Devotion: Acts 5:12-16

Devotion: Acts 5:12-16

 The Apostles Heal Many

 12The apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders among the people. And all the believers used to meet together in Solomon's Colonnade. 13No one else dared join them, even though they were highly regarded by the people. 14Nevertheless, more and more men and women believed in the Lord and were added to their number. 15As a result, people brought the sick into the streets and laid them on beds and mats so that at least Peter's shadow might fall on some of them as he passed by. 16Crowds gathered also from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing their sick and those tormented by evil[a] spirits, and all of them were healed.

I have been reading that passage for the last few hours. Not only because the baby kept interrupting and i had to keep taking a break but because the text had me confused. In verse 13 it says no one dared joined them and in verse 14 the very next verse it says more people believed and were added to the number. At first reading the text it felt like a contradiction and to be honest i am not sure i fully think its not but something bigger jumped out at me.

What were the apostles doing that meant that so many people were added to the church? The early text talks of them performing miraculous signs and wonders. The verse that follows say that they were healing the sick. If you look at the context around you see the disciples teaching and meeting the needs of the poor. So what were the apostles doing that added many many many people to the church? They were meeting the needs of the people they met and teaching them about a better way of life. 

You see the disciples weren't holding big tent meetings or running huge campaigns or investing loads of money in new programmes. The disciples were meeting the needs of everyday people they met as they walked to the synagogue or went to prayer meeting or to work. The disciples used their everyday life to touch the lives of those they met. What does that mean for us today? What should I do? 

For me personally it means i need to open my eyes a little more and see people and see how i can help in their situation. My life as a Christian is more than just the church i attend or the programmes i support or the tithe i return. My life as a Christian is my life not just a compartment of my life. It is the dominant part of who i am a core part of what makes me, me. So i need to follow through with who i have decided to be and reach out to those around me. What about you?   

Sunday, 13 June 2010

Devotion: Acts 5

There are already many words written about the story of Ananias and Sapphira to think i would be adding anything great to this would be silly. Instead let me tell you my favourite part of the text. In verse 11 we find these words:

"Great fear gripped the entire church and everyone else who heard what had happened."

You might say well Pastor Purple that is a little morbid and mean but hear me out. Ananias and Sapphira were not killed because they stole or because they killed they died because they chose to lie about something they did not have to do. How big a deceit is it to pretend to do something nice just so you can appear good to everyone else while really your just doing it for purely selfish reasons.

Are we guilty of doing what Ananias and Sapphira did? Doing something that everyone else is doing but not doing it properly because we have no conviction and only to get praise for our action. Are we looking for praise from every good deed we do and then when it does not materialise complaining or 'dropping dead'. The reason I like the last part of the text so much is that suddenly everyone had to behave themselves. Maybe there were others there who had selfish motivations and the death of Ananias and Sapphira served as a wake up call.

The more I ponder this story the more i realise that maybe just maybe I need to think about my motivation for doing something for someone else in need. Maybe its time I started doing nice things for others not because of how I will look to others but because it is the right thing to do. If i manage to do that then maybe my life won't be gripped by fear.

Friday, 11 June 2010

Devotion: Acts 4 part two

What does it truly mean to be "united in heart and mind"? In Acts 4:32-37 we see this statement being made. At this point in the story Jesus had ascended to heaven and the Holy Spirit had appeared at Pentecost. The word was being preached and there were many new converts everyday but the bible says that:

"All the believers were united in heart and mind" Acts 4:32

It seems unbelievable that believers from all over, the Jews, Samaritans, Gentiles that had been touched both by Jesus and the early preaching were united. It makes me wonder how they achieved this especially in the light of all the differences. Today we sit in our churches and there seems to be more division inside the church much less the fact there are so many denominations who cannot agree on anything. But there is something in the story that might give us a clue.

In this part of the story we see they were united and focused on a few points. First we have the preaching aspect (verse 33). They were united in one mission getting the word out that Jesus was the saviour for all people. The second was in meeting the needs of the people (verse 34-35).

How different would our church look if each member, each of us focused our efforts on preaching the gospel and helping those in need. Would we feel more united in heart and mind with those we sit next to in church if instead of gossiping and complaining we were working together on projects that helped the community or that helped to tell someone of the love of Christ.

In my humble opinion if we were truly more like the early church and focused on the love of God and helping someone else unity couldn't help but follow. My prayer today is that I learn this lesson and focus my mind more on these two important tasks.

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Devotion: Acts 4 part one

Devotion: Acts 4

I think today of all days i needed to read this. Have you ever had one of those days where hope seems to be running away? Well today is that day for me. The last straw, well there were actually two, the first was the house i had been looking at and praying for was sold. The big sold sticker was like a shot to my heart. There i was praying for a miracle and then the house got sold, big sticker to prove it. The second was coming out of my room to a haze of smoke. Any non smokers will understand the distress of this especially when you are trying to take the baby to his bedroom through the fog. 

So i went for a walk to get it out of my system. I came home and continued to read my devotion and found myself stuck at this text,

"There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved." Acts 4:12

There it was in black and white we must be saved and God will save us through Jesus. It sounds corny but at that moment my hope came flooding back so what if the house was gone there will be other houses. So what if they smoke that will pass. So what if things aren't how i want them to be the truth is God will save me and that is really all I need.

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Devotion: Acts 3

While pondering what to write about after reading chapter three i realised something that i don't do often enough. There is a small moment that leads to two great life changing moments. 

Chapter 3 has two stories contained within it. The first the healing of the lame man and the second the preaching of the eord after the lame man is healed. There are a lot of theological points in each of these stories and while i was contemplating which one to focus on i realised there was a still point in the story i was missing. 

In verse 4 "Peter and John looked at him intently". Peter and John were walking about their daily business the lame man was a beggar on the street. At that time beggars were not uncommon. They did not have to stop they rightly said they had nothing to offer this man no money in their pockets nothing that they could give but they stopped and stood silent and thought before they spoke. As a result of this action that man was healed and Peter and John had the opportunity to preach the word to many people. 

This reminds of a Big Issue seller in our local town centre. This man has a smile for everyone. If i was being my normal city born self i would walk past and not notice a thing. However i married a friendly man who has time for everyone and he always stops and talks whether we have money to give him or not. Now i don't know what the Big Issue seller thinks of this banter but i do know this whenever we pass he has a warm smile a nice conversation and someone always buys a Big Issue from him. And surprise surprise after I have seen him i am always smiling and cheered up. 

Taking the time out to see someone, whoever they may be can make the world of difference in their life and you just never know the opportunity it might present. Seeing someone can make the world of difference to them take the opportunity to make eye contact and smile you never knownthe difference you might make.   

In the beginning was the Word ...

In the beginning was the Word...

A friend posted on their Facebook stated for someone to unpack John 1:1. As i wanted to go back to the beginning of my beliefs anyway i thought this would be a good opportunity to start somewhere. So here goes John 1:1 

"In the beginning was the Word."
So if we go back to the begining e.g Genesis we see that at the beginning was God and he spoke the world into existence. Now we see something in common God speaks the word and John is saying there is a word as an entity.

"The Word was with God"
So if the Word was there from the beginning and the only thing in the beginning was God then it might be safe to assume that the Word was God. However in this part of the text we see that the Word was seperate from God. In fact the Word was with God. So does this mean that the Word was not God? Well the answer to that we find in the next portion of the text but here we have our introduction to the very complicated concept of the triliogy. One God three persons. If the only thing in the beginning is God then it is safe to assume that the Word was in fact God. 

"And the Word was God"
So here is the conclusiom just in case you doubted John spells it out for you the Word is God always has been always will be. So the story that John is about to tell of his personal friend and saviour is more than just a story he is telling us about the almighty God.