Hey hey hey!

Hello everybody,

I’ve been so chill, enjoying myself this week that I forgot to blog!

So here’s some videos for you! Please come again next week Thursday at 8pm when I’ll have something to say/play/vlog lol.

Play in the embedded player below or follow this link

Play in the embedded player below or follow the link

Listen on SoundCloud, play in the embedded player below or Follow this link

Catherine x

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I Think All #WOMEN should wear #SEXY #UNDERWEAR / #LINGERIE And This Is Why…

Dear All,

So last month was my birthday and I was assessing the last 28 years and I was thinking when I have this, I’m going to do this and that. When I eventually get here, I’m going to stay here and do this. When I finally stop being single, I’m going to do this, that and the other, with my man and I’m going to buy a whole load of sexy clothes that I think a man might enjoy seeing me in bahahahahaha!

Then it hit me! – hold on – why am I waiting to get married before I wear sexy underwear?!!??!?! I was like:

“Oh no no no no no! Catherine you don’t dress your body for men, you dress your body in what makes you feel good and sexy because you’re worth it! You should feel good and sexy without the validation of a man. You shouldn’t need a man to say “ooo yeah!” at you before you feel sexy. The sexiness needs to come from the inside!”

So I marched over to Ann Summers and I bought the sexiest things I could find on the shelves (I was actually surprised at how tame the garments in there were) because it doesn’t matter if a man is going to see you or not. You see you and you should dress up for you, you’re worth it! If it makes you feel good and sexy, DO IT! (Within reason people… E.g. don’t walk around naked in public because it makes you feel sexy that’s just ridiculous, leave that kind of thing for indoors when the curtains are closed lol)

There’s nothing wrong with being sexy and embracing your sexiness! You are a human being, therefore, you are a sexual, sensual being. Embrace it! Even the Bible discusses human sensuality. Read Song of Solomon sometimes known as Song of Song for more info: https://www.blueletterbible.org/nlt/sng/1/1/s_672001

I feel like sometimes as women we just give up sometimes. We think oh nobody is looking at me any more because:

  • I’m waaaay over 50 or
  • I have children or
  • I’ve put on a bit of weight or
  • I’ve been single for a long time or
  • I have glasses or freckles or or or or and so on!

Here’s my rebuttal:

  • FOR THE OVER 50 I SAY! see the picture below:

  • FOR THE OVERWEIGHT I SAY! Some people are overweight because of health reasons and consequently are unable to loose the excess, BUT let me tell you, men are simple creatures. They’ll look regardless…. Some guys like a woman with a big bum! lol. I’m pretty sure my bum gets looked at far more than my face! For those who are physically able to loose the weight, love yourself by having a healthy diet, this will make you loose weight through a process of self love and not self hatred. Exercise and have a healthy lifestyle for health reasons, not aesthetic reasons, it’ll improve your sex drive anyway.Say it with me: “I am loosing weight and having a healthy lifestyle because that will help me to be the best me that I can possibly be”. Don’t try to be a weight that is unhealthy for your frame, if you’re a tall woman you should be heavier than the average woman because there is more of you, if you’re a small woman, when you’ve lost the weight you would naturally be lighter than the average woman etc. To find out the healthy weight for you see the NHS BMI Calculator below for more info:
  • FOR THOSE WITH CHILDREN, your man is thinking some boobs are better than no boobs at all lol! If you cover up because YOU THINK you’re spent and no longer an object of sexual desire following the baby(ies) he’ll just stop initiating, for two reasons:
    • Firstly: because it hurts his feelings MORE THAN YOU KNOW to get knocked back constantly.
    • Secondly: not because he’s not interested in you but because you aren’t interested in you. Your intangible emotional disinterest in yourself is expressed through you tangibly, physically covering up your body in drabness. Listen very carefully, no man is going to intentionally make his life difficult by trying to penetrate the impenetrable. He loves you enough to marry you and put one baby in you and watch the baby come out of you and is still sticking around? Then he probably wants to put another baby in you as well, giving birth isn’t pretty, yet he stayed lol. You’re not giving him the chance to prove how much he loves you and how decent he is (or is not depending on the case). He wants the you he fell in love with, who was confident and loved herself and was emotionally self sufficient. He found your self confidence super sexy! You are sexy! Game face! You’re a Yummy Mummy now! Get rid of those gross old things that your grandmother wouldn’t be seen dead in and make or buy some new hot ones or alter the ones you have (they don’t have to be new), or don’t wear any at all! (in the house not outside, lets be decent…). Go have sex with your husband, initiate, he won’t mind lol. You don’t like the excess baby weight? Exercise! Stretch marks? Coconut oil! You can do this! If you’re a mother you’re a hero anyway! Go Supermum! Go!

  • FOR THE SINGLE I SAY! Get your sexy glad rags on FOR YOU not anybody else, you’re never going to attract anyone sulking in your sackcloth and ashes. Be confident, you know you’re sexy, work out FOR YOU. Then, naturally, with your hot body and confident personality that comes from self love and the knowledge that Jesus thinks you’re wonderful, you’re going to find someone, in the process of loving yourself. Then when that person finally arrives YOU WONT NEED their validation like oxygen, which means you won’t be an emotional parasite on them.

e3ceda63d0d44ad07e46199b5383a9d9--be-confident-confidence-quotes.jpg

I’m actually a lot healthier physically and emotionally since I’ve changed my mentality on the matter of sexy underwear, ok I would just like to say my previous pieces did not look like Granny underwear but I just avoided the super slinky hoochie mama stuff which I am now embracing and it totally shows on the outside. I hope by now you guys realise this post isn’t about sexy underwear at all it is in fact about the self confidence that precedes the life choice to decide to wear a particular garment and it’s about wearing nice things because you are worth it, nice things aren’t just for skinny people or young people or people in relationships, they are for everyone! They are for you!

So, I bought a lovely new strappy swimming costume. I want to fit it nicely, so I’ve been working out and eating the right things, this in turn has been giving me the shape I want, in a healthy way because I want to do that for me. This in turn is making me more physically fit which has improved my overall health. Now, since I’ve been working out for me, I’ve actually been more determined in my workout sessions and getting much better results and I actually get more male attention! huzzah! lol! I went to the mall the other day and the dudes were like “whoa!” and “oh yes!” like really loud hehehe. But I don’t care, their attention, which I think was directed at my lady lumps, doesn’t interest me and that is as it should be!!!! It was a welcome surprise and I was flattered but I do not live for the affirmation of others. This has come about because I walk around with my head up high, knowing Jesus loves me and has made me beautiful and I’m slowly but surely loving myself a lot more, not looking around for affirmation, my affirmation comes from the inside. I’m dressing my body in fun things to love me ๐Ÿ™‚ and its an exciting experience! Who doesn’t like shopping? Or altering clothes? My mother was happily taking in some clothes yesterday, happily because she had lost weight lol. I’m not saying that I’ve got all this stuff down. I’m still a work in progress myself but bit by bit Jesus is helping me to love myself, not in an arrogant way but in a self confident way.

I bought my sexy strappy things, I’ve been working out so I fit them nicely and I am going to wear them, I don’t care who can or cannot see! Let the sexy underwear revolution begin! [see the video below].

Catherine x

YOU REALLY NEED TO READ THIS…

God wants you to read these again.

If you’re on my site now it means God wants you to read the following:

  1. Have a positive body image, you’re not ugly, you’re wonderful! – (follow this link to find out more)
  2. No, you cannot fall in love with people you only know online – (follow this link to find out why)
  3. This is what the Bible actually says about sex before marriage. You have a choice. – (follow this link to understand your choices)

Yes, masturbation is sex…

Getting the stuff above wrong is stripping you of your peace. This song is for you:

No picture today just focus and read.

Catherine

I Wrote A Song About #Sex for my #PhD | #phdlife #freelance #musician #soundcloud #music #feminism |

Hello Everyone!

So as we know I’m doing a PhD in Music, in the area of Theomusicology & Feminist Musicology and some other things, with a practical element to it. So one of the things I’m looking at is how women and sex is represented in music as my project is interested in sexual politics (in a metaphorical sense) but in a literal sense sexual politics is also about sex. In response to my findings I’m going to produce some songs on the topic. The practical portfolio will have songs on various topics relating to women and music and theology. It will make sense when you read my thesis. Here’s a paraphrased summary of what I’ve learned, the full academic essay will come later.

I chose the topic of marital sex as a context for my section on women, music and sex. My intended outcomes for this song are to present women/wives as strong, mutual/equal with men/husbands, sensual/emotional beings that enjoy sex and have their own opinions and sex drives and sexual desires that are just as important as the man’s within the context of marital sex. Furthermore, as I am a woman of colour, I am writing from the perspective of a woman of colour and I hope that my piece along with the values therein, will address the negative stereotypes about women of colour that perpetuate within Western contemporary songs about sex. In Western popular songs about sex, women of colour are usually represented in the most abased and course way. Furthermore, songwriters have an irritating habit if sexualizing the ways in which women of colour are often discriminated against, race, gender and class, by presenting them as the hot abused poor baby mamas *rolls eyes*, or one night stands, never anything good etc. Instead I, have written and performed a song, from the perspective of a woman of colour about being in a sexual relationship within the socio-economic status and security of being a wife, the lyrics talk about saying “I do” and rings etc. (you don’t have to be some guys baby mama, why are we always shown as the baby mama and not the wife?) and not a victim in sexual activity but a willing, consensual, active and committed participant. (N.B. I am not and have never been married this is just in the fictional narrative of the song).

As mentioned earlier, this song is about the joys of marital sex, as experienced by two fictional newly-weds. It follows the metaphor, imagery and form of ‘Song of Songs’ which is also called Song of Solomon, my favourite book of the Bible, (talking about gardens, fragrant spices, greenery, little foxes, having sex outside, it’s all in Song of Songs lol). Song of Songs is actually about the love between a dark skinned woman and King Solomon.

Song of Solomon 1:5 [NLT]
I am dark but beautiful, O women of Jerusalem- dark as the tents of Kedar, dark as the curtains of Solomon’s tents.

It also represents a counter-cultural approach to romantic relationships between men and women, as it is in fact the woman who pursues the man. I tried to reflect this in arranging it for a female singer and making the tone of the lyrics, that of someone who is a pursuer and initiator of physical intimacy. I also show the woman as initiator as well as mutual consenting participant, instead of a passive participant or victim. The lead vocal (the woman/bride) vocalises decisions about her own sexual desires and needs. You can find the woman in Song of Songs doing the same thing. The theomusicology comes in the narrative of the lyrics which implies that now they’re married they can have sex when and wherever they want to lol (within reason), which is a Christian theological standpoint (I’m a Christian btw). So it implies restraint and commitment before coitus, not after.

I also decided to make it walking pace because I found that most songs about sex and women, especially sex with or about or by women of colour, have quite a strong beat and lyrically emphasise the fun of sex with chauvinistic, misogynoir lyrics that often contextualise the woman and the act within the erotic, encouraging male brains to switch to autopilot, focussing entirely on the physicality and pleasure of sex, not the love. My piece is a response to these negative things I found. It is slow(ish) to be meditative, slow down the heart rate and give the listener space to clear their minds and think. The listener should not get carried away by eroticism but instead wrapped up in the sweetness, sensuality, thoughtfulness and intentional nature of the act of marital sex. Looking forward to adding this to the the final portfolio! So this is a sonic, feminist, womanist critique of pop music about women and sex, using the lived experience of a woman of colour as an analytical tool for reflection. I am trying to promote the knowledge of women by uncovering the lost narratives of our experience, like a Foucauldian genealogy.

Well done for reading, here’s the track! It’s called “I Hope The Neighbours Don’t See”

This YouTube playlist contains the Original, the Orchestral version, PLUS YOU CAN WATCH ME PLAY THE ACOUSTIC VERSION! Play in the embedded player below or Follow this link to play:

You can also listen on SoundCloud. Follow this link to play or use the embedded player below:

The Middle 8/Bridge is inspired by a conversation I had with a middle aged man who told me that when he first got married as a young man, he gave his wife a Hickey on her neck and someone from his church saw it and told him, “now you’re married you can do that where it don’t show” hah! lol

Lots of love

Catherine x

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#wedding #makeup

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Look what Cat is up too! [Video] – #freelance #musician #phdlife #musicology #theology

Hey everybody,

(Yes a privileged few get to call me Cat. Everybody else calls me Catherine.) I’ve decided to do a video as I’m ridiculously busy lol. Sorry it’s really quiet you’ll have to turn up your volume I didn’t want the whole station to hear me lol. Enjoy!

Catherine x

10 Things You Probably Didn’t Think About When #Reading #Genesis #Chapter 2 – #Bible #Christianity #Jesus

Hello everybody this is Part 2 of the thing I’m doing on Genesis 1 & 2, If you missed Part 1 it’s worth a read 10 Things You Probably Didn’t Think About When #Reading #Genesis #Chapter 1 – #Bible #Christianity #Jesus #PhD (follow this link to read it here).

 

Secondly, I’ve been writing some more music not my usual stuff (follow this link to listen) or play in the embedded player below:

 

 

Now to the article!

1.) Recapitulation – The beginning of Genesis 2 summarises what happened in Genesis 1 adding how the 7th day is holy because God rested.

Genesis 2:1-3 [NLT] – “[1] So the creation of the heavens and the earth and everything in them was completed. [2] On the seventh day God had finished his work of creation, so he rested from all his work. [3] And God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy, because it was the day when he rested from all his work of creation.”

 

2.) Genesis 2 has a different account of creation, the order is different and some new pieces of information are added like the springs that aren’t mentioned in Genesis 1, when were they created?

Genesis 2:4-6 [NLT] – “[4] This is the account of the creation of the heavens and the earth. When the LORD God made the earth and the heavens, [5] neither wild plants nor grains were growing on the earth. For the LORD God had not yet sent rain to water the earth, and there were no people to cultivate the soil. [6] Instead, springs came up from the ground and watered all the land.”

 

3.) Genesis 1 & 2 have differing/conflicting accounts of the creation order:
Gen 2 order: Heavens & Earth > Land & Sea (Separation of Dry Ground & Water) > Man > Garden > Vegetation > Animals that primarily live on land > Birds > Woman and no mention of Fish etc
Gen 1 order: Heavens & Earth > Light > Atmosphere > Land & Sea (Separation of Dry Ground & Water) > Vegetation > Stars > Sun & Moon (potentially) > Life in the sea then Birds > Animals that primarily live on land > Man & Woman

Genesis 2:7-9 NLT – “[7] Then the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground. He breathed the breath of life into the man’s nostrils, and the man became a living person. [8] Then the LORD God planted a garden in Eden in the east, and there he placed the man he had made. [9] The LORD God made all sorts of trees grow up from the ground–trees that were beautiful and that produced delicious fruit. In the middle of the garden he placed the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.”

 

4.) More new information: we learn there were rivers and mineral deposits around the area that the Garden of Eden was, this has led to speculation that the Garden of Eden was in fact in Africa, potentially around Ethiopia. Read my previous blog for more on this (follow this link for more info).

Genesis 2:10-14 [NLT] – “[10] A river flowed from the land of Eden, watering the garden and then dividing into four branches. [11] The first branch, called the Pishon, flowed around the entire land of Havilah, where gold is found. [12] The gold of that land is exceptionally pure; aromatic resin and onyx stone are also found there. [13] The second branch, called the Gihon, flowed around the entire land of Cush. [14] The third branch, called the Tigris, flowed east of the land of Asshur. The fourth branch is called the Euphrates.”

 

5.) Humans were created to work! The first humans were Gardeners/Farmers. We also learn about a new special Tree that was in the Garden that humans were never supposed to eat from.

Genesis 2:15-17 [NLT] – “[15] The LORD God placed the man in the Garden of Eden to tend and watch over it. [16] But the LORD God warned him, “You may freely eat the fruit of every tree in the garden– [17] except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If you eat its fruit, you are sure to die.””

 

6.) HERE’S WHERE IT GETS INTERESTING!!!! Humans were created single (in terms of relationship status) but not designed to be totally alone. I’m not saying we should all get married but I am suggesting that according to Genesis 2 Humans are inherently social and it’s not good for us to be all alone. HOWEVER, let it be noted that God created friends & assistance for Adam in the form of animals first before He brought a woman into Adam’s life. How interesting. Friends first, then relationship next. That’s Gods formula.

I can only imagine that this animal interaction pre woman had to do with socialising Adam so that he was in the right state of mind and maturity in order to appreciate the woman that was to come.

There you go men, if you’re lonely, before going off and put a ring on the first thing that flutters it’s skanky little eyelids at you because you were thinking with your willy and not listening to God… get a dog. Then you will understand how to be friends with, appreciate and care for another sentient being other than your self. Also, a woman will be well impressed with how “responsible” you seem lol.

Women, if you want company or a baby so bad, don’t just sleep with the first mutant that is kind to you, shut you legs… and get a dog. You will see how much hard work it is to care for something that does not care about the fact that you want to sleep in, (I have two dogs), then after you have cleaned up it’s poo and wee for the umpteenth time, you will realise how stupid you were to try and run ahead and get pregnant with any old person, who might not be as dedicated to the idea as you are and you’ll wait a bit longer, (I literally had to stop writing this part way to deal with an, “accident”, *rolls eyes*). Eventually when you have waited for the right one who will marry you before he puts a baby in you, you will have some idea of the responsibility ahead ๐Ÿ™‚ . N.B. A dog will also love you unconditionally, humans won’t always do that.

Genesis 2:18-20 [NLT] – “[18] Then the LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him.” [19] So the LORD God formed from the ground all the wild animals and all the birds of the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would call them, and the man chose a name for each one. [20] He gave names to all the livestock, all the birds of the sky, and all the wild animals. But still there was no helper just right for him.”

Another thing to note, Adam interacted with whatever God asked him to before the woman, seeing different things, getting a wider perspective on life. This helped him to get to know himself and to understand his personality, to the point where he fully understood not only what he wanted but what he needed see v 20. That’s how he knew that the animals were just not the right kind of company. I think that’s really important to stress. Adam was a whole person, knowing himself and the world around him before he committed to a woman who God brought to him. How many people have not gone through that process of seeing life and getting to knew themselves and what kind of person is appropriate for them and ended up rushing ahead and getting married to someone they later realised wasn’t quite right for them?

Also we learn from v 15 ADAM HAD A JOB!!! BEFORE GOD GAVE HIM THE WOMAN! I just felt it necessary to make that point. He was cultivating the Garden etc as God told him to so the woman was able to come to a “nest” not a wreck and a “responsible human being” not a boy. No woman wants to marry a boy it’s totally against our survival instinct. In fact, I would go so far as to say that from Genesis 2, we can understand that women are in fact not created to be in a romantic relationship with an immature man child. God brought Eve to Adam when he was mature. Later, Adam’s subsequent immaturity actually led to the fall of man see Genesis 3 and Romans 5:12-21.

 

7.) God brought the woman to the man when the man was least expecting it! Hehe. He literally fell asleep. Perhaps don’t freak out about wondering who, where and when you are going to meet the “one”?

Genesis 2:21-22 [NLT] – “[21] So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep. While the man slept, the LORD God took out one of the man’s ribs and closed up the opening. [22] Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib, and he brought her to the man.”

 

8.) We don’t know how long Adam was asleep for or what Jesus said to Eve whilst Adam was asleep. This shows us that the “single time” for a man and a woman is important, it’s a time for learning, getting to know Jesus as well as yourself. I wrote about this in a previous blog post here (follow this link to find out more)

 

9.) The first marriage was monogamous. Adam and Eve, the relationship between the Song of Songs woman and her Lover, the relationship between Christ and the Church they all have one thing in common. THEY ARE MONOGAMOUS AND HETEROSEXUAL. Marriage as God instituted it and subsequently mirrored metaphorically later in the bible has and always was is between ONE MAN AND ONE WOMAN. God created Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve. God did not encourage or institute Bigamy, Polygamy, Concubines, prostitution, sexual slavery, homosexuality or inequality between the sexes MAN DID THAT NOT GOD. You read later on in Genesis that this person and the other person had concubines but God didn’t institute that, humans (more than likely men…) did that allllllll by themselves.

Genesis 2:23-24 [NLT] – “[23] “At last!” the man exclaimed. “This one is bone from my bone, and flesh from my flesh! She will be called ‘woman,’ because she was taken from ‘man.'” [24] This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.”

 

In fact, God said that the Israelite Kings were to only have one wife and Paul said that about leaders in the new testament:

Deuteronomy 17:17 NLT – “[17] The king must not take many wives for himself, because they will turn his heart away from the LORD. And he must not accumulate large amounts of wealth in silver and gold for himself.”

1 Timothy 3:2 NLT – “[2] So an elder must be a man whose life is above reproach. He must be faithful to his wife [Bloggers note: other translations say the husband of one wife]. He must exercise self-control, live wisely, and have a good reputation. He must enjoy having guests in his home, and he must be able to teach.”

1 Corinthians 7:2 NLT – “[2] But because there is so much sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman should have her own husband.”

 

10.) The first humans were NAKED!

Genesis 2:25 [NLT] – “[25] Now the man and his wife were both naked, but they felt no shame.”

Well I hoped you learned something from those 10 things and if you missed the previous 10 things about Genesis 1 (follow this link to read them here!)

 

Have a great evening Gals & Guys!

Catherine x

#New Ways To #Pray #Christian #Jesus

Hello everybody,

A short one today I’m v. busy. Two days ago I was very tired after doing a lot and praying a lot. So when it came to bedtime prayers I was very tired. (Every morning I pray and read the Bible before getting out of bed and every night I pray and read the Bible before I go to sleep).

So I decided that that night I would try something different as I was exhausted physically and emotionally. I invited Jesus to come and sit on the bed with me and listen to Christian music with me. Music that I wrote actually and just meditated on the lyrics, what they mean, what I can do better, how can I use these, the themes, reflecting on my relationship with Jesus, where we have been and asking Jesus questions.

I found it refreshing just to meditate in Jesus’ presence. The stress just washed off me and I don’t remember when I fell asleep! 

Try it. Put on some Christian music, if you write Christian music and it’s recorded put it on! Invite God, Jesus and The Holy Spirit to come and sit with you, meditate on God, ask Jesus questions and bask in the Holy Spirit.

Much love,

Catherine

What The Bible Says About Taxes! #freelance #musician #tax #money

Hey everybody lets talk about money!

So I was reading 2 Corinthians 8, the part where Paul was talking about giving and how he said give in proportion to what you have: 2 Corinthians 8:10-15 NLT

ย “[10] Here is my advice: It would be good for you to finish what you started a year ago. Last year you were the first who wanted to give, and you were the first to begin doing it. [11] Now you should finish what you started. Let the eagerness you showed in the beginning be matched now by your giving. Give in proportion to what you have. [12] Whatever you give is acceptable if you give it eagerly. And give according to what you have, not what you don’t have. [13] Of course, I don’t mean your giving should make life easy for others and hard for yourselves. I only mean that there should be some equality. [14] Right now you have plenty and can help those who are in need. Later, they will have plenty and can share with you when you need it. In this way, things will be equal. [15] As the Scriptures say, “Those who gathered a lot had nothing left over, and those who gathered only a little had enough.””

Paul was talking about giving to the Christians in Jerusalem who were poor and being persecuted. He was being so reasonable, by saying in v 13-14 that they have a lot right now and others have very little, so they can afford to give more. However, they shouldn’t give more than they can afford. Makes sense right? So this got me thinking about taxes. I feel like this verse justifies people with more money having to pay more tax and people with less money having to pay less tax, that is what you call a progressive tax system, which is essentially what the government wants you to think that we have.

In actual fact, in the UK, the more you earn the more tax “loopholes” you are able to take advantage of. I think I speak for everyone when I say that the system is quite disgusting.

What does the Bible say about taxes?

In early times there was at one point a minimum age to qualify for tax and also only men paid the tax
(I’m not saying I want to return to only men paying taxes because that would mean that only men are working, even if women were working it wouldn’t be fair to make only men pay tax) Exodus 30:11-16 [NLT]:

“[11] Then the LORD said to Moses, [12] “Whenever you take a census of the people of Israel, each man who is counted must pay a ransom for himself to the LORD. Then no plague will strike the people as you count them. [13] Each person who is counted must give a small piece of silver as a sacred offering to the LORD. (This payment is half a shekel, based on the sanctuary shekel, which equals twenty gerahs.) [14] All who have reached their twentieth birthday must give this sacred offering to the LORD. [15] When this offering is given to the LORD to purify your lives, making you right with him, the rich must not give more than the specified amount, and the poor must not give less. [16] Receive this ransom money from the Israelites, and use it for the care of the Tabernacle. It will bring the Israelites to the LORD’s attention, and it will purify your lives.””

You paid taxes in proportion to your wealth 2 Kings 23:35 [[NLT]

“[35] In order to get the silver and gold demanded as tribute by Pharaoh Neco, Jehoiakim collected a tax from the people of Judah, requiring them to pay in proportion to their wealth.”

Taxes were used to restore and maintain the temple, In modern days we would call this reinvesting public money into public services 2 Chronicles 24:6-14 [NLT]:

“[6] So the king called for Jehoiada the high priest and asked him, “Why haven’t you demanded that the Levites go out and collect the Temple taxes from the towns of Judah and from Jerusalem? Moses, the servant of the LORD, levied this tax on the community of Israel in order to maintain the Tabernacle of the Covenant.” [7] Over the years the followers of wicked Athaliah had broken into the Temple of God, and they had used all the dedicated things from the Temple of the LORD to worship the images of Baal. [8] So now the king ordered a chest to be made and set outside the gate leading to the Temple of the LORD. [9] Then a proclamation was sent throughout Judah and Jerusalem, telling the people to bring to the LORD the tax that Moses, the servant of God, had required of the Israelites in the wilderness. [10] This pleased all the leaders and the people, and they gladly brought their money and filled the chest with it. [11] Whenever the chest became full, the Levites would carry it to the king’s officials. Then the court secretary and an officer of the high priest would come and empty the chest and take it back to the Temple again. This went on day after day, and a large amount of money was collected. [12] The king and Jehoiada gave the money to the construction supervisors, who hired masons and carpenters to restore the Temple of the LORD. They also hired metalworkers, who made articles of iron and bronze for the LORD’s Temple. [13] The men in charge of the renovation worked hard and made steady progress. They restored the Temple of God according to its original design and strengthened it. [14] When all the repairs were finished, they brought the remaining money to the king and Jehoiada. It was used to make various articles for the Temple of the LORD–articles for worship services and for burnt offerings, including ladles and other articles made of gold and silver. And the burnt offerings were sacrificed continually in the Temple of the LORD during the lifetime of Jehoiada the priest.”

The taxes provided for the things needed for public service, public celebrations and “…everything necessary for the work of the Temple of our God” Nehemiah 10:32-33 [NLT]

“[32] “In addition, we promise to obey the command to pay the annual Temple tax of one-eighth of an ounce of silver for the care of the Temple of our God. [33] This will provide for the Bread of the Presence; for the regular grain offerings and burnt offerings; for the offerings on the Sabbaths, the new moon celebrations, and the annual festivals; for the holy offerings; and for the sin offerings to make atonement for Israel. It will provide for everything necessary for the work of the Temple of our God.”

Later, taxes were given according to a standardised measure, to a designated person, who was then obliged to do acts of public service Ezekiel 45:10-17 [NLT]

N.B. the princes were corrupt, they were given land/tribute to stop them stealing from & murdering the people

“[10] Use only honest weights and scales and honest measures, both dry and liquid. [11] The homer will be your standard unit for measuring volume. The ephah and the bath will each measure one-tenth of a homer. [12] The standard unit for weight will be the silver shekel. One shekel will consist of twenty gerahs, and sixty shekels will be equal to one mina. [13] “You must give this tax to the prince: one bushel of wheat or barley for every 60 you harvest, [14] one percent of your olive oil, [15] and one sheep or goat for every 200 in your flocks in Israel. These will be the grain offerings, burnt offerings, and peace offerings that will make atonement for the people who bring them, says the Sovereign LORD. [16] All the people of Israel must join in bringing these offerings to the prince. [17] The prince will be required to provide offerings that are given at the religious festivals, the new moon celebrations, the Sabbath days, and all other similar occasions. He will provide the sin offerings, burnt offerings, grain offerings, liquid offerings, and peace offerings to purify the people of Israel, making them right with the LORD.”

Taxes were sometimes a consequence of rejecting God 1 Samuel 8:5-22 [NLT]:

“[5] “Look,” they told him, “you are now old, and your sons are not like you. Give us a king to judge us like all the other nations have.” [6] Samuel was displeased with their request and went to the LORD for guidance. [7] “Do everything they say to you,” the LORD replied, “for it is me they are rejecting, not you. They don’t want me to be their king any longer. [8] Ever since I brought them from Egypt they have continually abandoned me and followed other gods. And now they are giving you the same treatment. [9] Do as they ask, but solemnly warn them about the way a king will reign over them.” [10] So Samuel passed on the LORD’s warning to the people who were asking him for a king. [11] “This is how a king will reign over you,” Samuel said. “The king will draft your sons and assign them to his chariots and his charioteers, making them run before his chariots. [12] Some will be generals and captains in his army, some will be forced to plow in his fields and harvest his crops, and some will make his weapons and chariot equipment. [13] The king will take your daughters from you and force them to cook and bake and make perfumes for him. [14] He will take away the best of your fields and vineyards and olive groves and give them to his own officials. [15] He will take a tenth of your grain and your grape harvest and distribute it among his officers and attendants. [16] He will take your male and female slaves and demand the finest of your cattle and donkeys for his own use. [17] He will demand a tenth of your flocks, and you will be his slaves. [18] When that day comes, you will beg for relief from this king you are demanding, but then the LORD will not help you.” [19] But the people refused to listen to Samuel’s warning. “Even so, we still want a king,” they said. [20] “We want to be like the nations around us. Our king will judge us and lead us into battle.” [21] So Samuel repeated to the LORD what the people had said, [22] and the LORD replied, “Do as they say, and give them a king.” Then Samuel agreed and sent the people home.”

Officials used taxes to line their own pockets (nothing has changed) Daniel 11:20 [NLT]

“[20] “His successor will send out a tax collector to maintain the royal splendor. But after a very brief reign, he will die, though not from anger or in battle.””

Jesus hanged out with tax collectors! Matthew 9:9-13 [NLT]

“[9] As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at his tax collector’s booth. “Follow me and be my disciple,” Jesus said to him. So Matthew got up and followed him. [10] Later, Matthew invited Jesus and his disciples to his home as dinner guests, along with many tax collectors and other disreputable sinners. [11] But when the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with such scum?” [12] When Jesus heard this, he said, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor–sick people do.” [13] Then he added, “Now go and learn the meaning of this Scripture: ‘I want you to show mercy, not offer sacrifices.’ For I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.””

We don’t have a “Temple Tax” now as churches are funded by donations and peoples tithes, which is a tenth of your income. Matthew 17:24-27 [NLT]

“[24] On their arrival in Capernaum, the collectors of the Temple tax came to Peter and asked him, “Doesn’t your teacher pay the Temple tax?” [25] “Yes, he does,” Peter replied. Then he went into the house. But before he had a chance to speak, Jesus asked him, “What do you think, Peter? Do kings tax their own people or the people they have conquered?” [26] “They tax the people they have conquered,” Peter replied. “Well, then,” Jesus said, “the citizens are free! [27] However, we don’t want to offend them, so go down to the lake and throw in a line. Open the mouth of the first fish you catch, and you will find a large silver coin. Take it and pay the tax for both of us.””

Jesus said we have to pay our taxes Matthew 22:15-22 [NLT]

“[15] Then the Pharisees met together to plot how to trap Jesus into saying something for which he could be arrested. [16] They sent some of their disciples, along with the supporters of Herod, to meet with him. “Teacher,” they said, “we know how honest you are. You teach the way of God truthfully. You are impartial and don’t play favorites. [17] Now tell us what you think about this: Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not?” [18] But Jesus knew their evil motives. “You hypocrites!” he said. “Why are you trying to trap me? [19] Here, show me the coin used for the tax.” When they handed him a Roman coin, [20] he asked, “Whose picture and title are stamped on it?” [21] “Caesar’s,” they replied. “Well, then,” he said, “give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and give to God what belongs to God.” [22] His reply amazed them, and they went away.”

Tax collectors were always seen as corrupt in the bible, apparently they routinely overcharged people to line their own pockets… where have I heard that before? Luke 3:12-13 [NLT]

“[12] Even corrupt tax collectors came to be baptized and asked, “Teacher, what should we do?” [13] He replied, “Collect no more taxes than the government requires.””

Hear that? no more taxes than the government requires!! Stop burdening the people with extra or too much taxes to line your own pockets!!!

Luke 7:29 [NLT]

“[29] When they heard this, all the people–even the tax collectors–agreed that God’s way was right, for they had been baptized by John.”

Luke 15:1 [NLT]

“[1] Tax collectors and other notorious sinners often came to listen to Jesus teach.”

However, some of them repented Luke 19:1-10 [NLT]

“[1] Jesus entered Jericho and made his way through the town. [2] There was a man there named Zacchaeus. He was the chief tax collector in the region, and he had become very rich. [3] He tried to get a look at Jesus, but he was too short to see over the crowd. [4] So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree beside the road, for Jesus was going to pass that way. [5] When Jesus came by, he looked up at Zacchaeus and called him by name. “Zacchaeus!” he said. “Quick, come down! I must be a guest in your home today.” [6] Zacchaeus quickly climbed down and took Jesus to his house in great excitement and joy. [7] But the people were displeased. “He has gone to be the guest of a notorious sinner,” they grumbled. [8] Meanwhile, Zacchaeus stood before the Lord and said, “I will give half my wealth to the poor, Lord, and if I have cheated people on their taxes, I will give them back four times as much!” [9] Jesus responded, “Salvation has come to this home today, for this man has shown himself to be a true son of Abraham. [10] For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.””

Let’s not feel too self righteous Luke 18:9-14 [NLT]

“[9] Then Jesus told this story to some who had great confidence in their own righteousness and scorned everyone else: [10] “Two men went to the Temple to pray. One was a Pharisee, and the other was a despised tax collector. [11] The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed this prayer: ‘I thank you, God, that I am not a sinner like everyone else. For I don’t cheat, I don’t sin, and I don’t commit adultery. I’m certainly not like that tax collector! [12] I fast twice a week, and I give you a tenth of my income.’ [13] “But the tax collector stood at a distance and dared not even lift his eyes to heaven as he prayed. Instead, he beat his chest in sorrow, saying, ‘O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner.’ [14] I tell you, this sinner, not the Pharisee, returned home justified before God. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.””

Wow well that was a whistle stop tour of what the bible says about taxes, this is in no way an exhaustive list, there are more verses but the above examples cover the general consensus in the bible. I’m going to leave you with a few wise sayings from Ecclesiastes, the Teacherย  who is assumed to be King Solomon, says basically just don’t worry about things, enjoy your work, eat, drink and be merry! (N.B. For those freelancers like me, Self Assessment Tax is due January 2018, make sure your books are up to date!) Ecclesiastes 5:7-20 [NLT]

“[7] Talk is cheap, like daydreams and other useless activities. Fear God instead. [8] Don’t be surprised if you see a poor person being oppressed by the powerful and if justice is being miscarried throughout the land. For every official is under orders from higher up, and matters of justice get lost in red tape and bureaucracy. [9] Even the king milks the land for his own profit! [10] Those who love money will never have enough. How meaningless to think that wealth brings true happiness! [11] The more you have, the more people come to help you spend it. So what good is wealth–except perhaps to watch it slip through your fingers! [12] People who work hard sleep well, whether they eat little or much. But the rich seldom get a good night’s sleep. [13] There is another serious problem I have seen under the sun. Hoarding riches harms the saver. [14] Money is put into risky investments that turn sour, and everything is lost. In the end, there is nothing left to pass on to one’s children. [15] We all come to the end of our lives as naked and empty-handed as on the day we were born. We can’t take our riches with us. [16] And this, too, is a very serious problem. People leave this world no better off than when they came. All their hard work is for nothing–like working for the wind. [17] Throughout their lives, they live under a cloud–frustrated, discouraged, and angry. [18] Even so, I have noticed one thing, at least, that is good. It is good for people to eat, drink, and enjoy their work under the sun during the short life God has given them, and to accept their lot in life. [19] And it is a good thing to receive wealth from God and the good health to enjoy it. To enjoy your work and accept your lot in life–this is indeed a gift from God. [20] God keeps such people so busy enjoying life that they take no time to brood over the past.”

Love,

Catherine Waithe-Arnold
BA (Hons), MMus, PhD Candidate
CEO Ride The Fader Productions
www.ridethefaderproductions.com

View Catherine Waithe-Arnold's profile on LinkedIn

Catherine Waithe-Arnold

Suffering

Hello everyone,

I watched the film King Arthur: Legend Of The Sword and God used the story as a spring board to speak to me about suffering in general, as well as my own personal suffering. Arthur went through suffering which enabled him to defeat his enemy and save his people. I enjoyed the film. The soundtrack is really interesting! I’ve been through a lot in my 27 years, not as much as others but enough. 

I struggle daily with my blood sugar, exhaustion caused by mental anguish due to my health, dyslexia, dyspraxia. Because of them I have to focus so hard when reading that reading a couple pages sends me to sleep and I’m doing a PhD lol.

There’s also the Aspergers which also makes me exhausted, being around people makes me feel exhausted. I pretend like it doesn’t but it does lol. Like many autistic people I struggle to sleep because my mind won’t slow down at night so I have a habit of waking up exhausted.

On the plus side, peoplee with the above issues tend to be very creative and Jesus had made me creative. I play the: Penny Whistle in D, Piccolo, Flute, Clarinet in Bb, Alto Saxophone, Lever Harp, Piano, Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar and I sing. I also own but do not play very often the: Soprano Recorder (the common one but that’s just it’s proper name), Ocarina and a Pan Flute! I also enjoy Sketching and Painting and composing music and photography! I’ve got many hobbies.

Now what I feel God is saying is that our characters and formed through suffering, low level suffering like a child wants a PS4 and the mother says wait to high level like you maybe develop a disease or something like that. 

Reading Romans 9 it seems as though God actually chooses some people to cause trouble just to show His power and then He does away with them later?

Romans 9:11-23 NLT

[11] But before they were born, before they had done anything good or bad, she received a message from God. (This message shows that God chooses people according to his own purposes; [12] he calls people, but not according to their good or bad works.) She was told, “Your older son will serve your younger son.” [13] In the words of the Scriptures, “I loved Jacob, but I rejected Esau.” [14] Are we saying, then, that God was unfair? Of course not! [15] For God said to Moses, “I will show mercy to anyone I choose, and I will show compassion to anyone I choose.” [16] So it is God who decides to show mercy. We can neither choose it nor work for it. [17] For the Scriptures say that God told Pharaoh, “I have appointed you for the very purpose of displaying my power in you and to spread my fame throughout the earth.” [18] So you see, God chooses to show mercy to some, and he chooses to harden the hearts of others so they refuse to listen. [19] Well then, you might say, “Why does God blame people for not responding? Haven’t they simply done what he makes them do?” [20] No, don’t say that. Who are you, a mere human being, to argue with God? Should the thing that was created say to the one who created it, “Why have you made me like this?” [21] When a potter makes jars out of clay, doesn’t he have a right to use the same lump of clay to make one jar for decoration and another to throw garbage into? [22] In the same way, even though God has the right to show his anger and his power, he is very patient with those on whom his anger falls, who are destined for destruction. [23] He does this to make the riches of his glory shine even brighter on those to whom he shows mercy, who were prepared in advance for glory.

How interesting! For scriptures relating to Pharaoh’s hard heartedness see Ex 9:12, 10:20, 10:27, 11,10, 14:8 read chapter 14 top the end to find out about what happened to Pharaoh. Also, looking at the story of Joseph, God also uses tragedy to help people as Joseph said:

Genesis 50:19-20 NLT

[19] But Joseph replied, “Don’t be afraid of me. Am I God, that I can punish you? [20] You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people.

And through Jesus he did! Read on till Exodus 1:7. 

God is given an opportunity to show off through adversity. He also teaches us humility in the face of his sovereignty. How can you have a Tesimony without the TEST? As Paul writes:

2 Corinthians 12:7-10 NLT

[7] even though I have received such wonderful revelations from God. So to keep me from becoming proud, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from becoming proud. [8] Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. [9] Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. [10] That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Also, I think our “sinful natures” are tamed through adversity. Anyone recognise the following scenario?

Romans 7:14-24 NLT

[14] So the trouble is not with the law, for it is spiritual and good. The trouble is with me, for I am all too human, a slave to sin. [15] I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate. [16] But if I know that what I am doing is wrong, this shows that I agree that the law is good. [17] So I am not the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it. [18] And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t. [19] I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. [20] But if I do what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it. [21] I have discovered this principle of life-that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. [22] I love God’s law with all my heart. [23] But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. [24] Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death?

But you see there is hope for us with dealing with our humanity as Paul writes further in Romans:

Romans 8:1-14 NLT

[1] So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. [2] And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death. [3] The law of Moses was unable to save us because of the weakness of our sinful nature. So God did what the law could not do. He sent his own Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have. And in that body God declared an end to sin’s control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins. [4] He did this so that the just requirement of the law would be fully satisfied for us, who no longer follow our sinful nature but instead follow the Spirit. [5] Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. [6] So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace. [7] For the sinful nature is always hostile to God. It never did obey God’s laws, and it never will. [8] That’s why those who are still under the control of their sinful nature can never please God. [9] But you are not controlled by your sinful nature. You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you. (And remember that those who do not have the Spirit of Christ living in them do not belong to him at all.) [10] And Christ lives within you, so even though your body will die because of sin, the Spirit gives you life because you have been made right with God. [11] The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you. [12] Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do. [13] For if you live by its dictates, you will die. But if through the power of the Spirit you put to death the deeds of your sinful nature, you will live. [14] For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.

Even though we try very hard to do good sometimes we just do the wrong thing. However, the difference between a child of God and someone from the world is that we will repent, recognise we are wrong accept God knows best and try our best to do what He wants us to do. Eventually we will become perfect! 

John was exiled on the island of Patmos but then in his exclusion that’s where he received the revelation from Jesus that we today call the book of Revelation:

Revelation 1:9-11 NLT

[9] I, John, am your brother and your partner in suffering and in God’s Kingdom and in the patient endurance to which Jesus calls us. I was exiled to the island of Patmos for preaching the word of God and for my testimony about Jesus. [10] It was the Lord’s Day, and I was worshiping in the Spirit. Suddenly, I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet blast. [11] It said, “Write in a book everything you see, and send it to the seven churches in the cities of Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea.”

So isolation is a tool of suffering that God used in order to speak to us and other people as well.

Another thing God broght to my attention is that He uses adversity to separate his people from the world. This is a special kind of suffering the bible teaches that will happen at the end time, this suffering is eternal. Jesus talks about it in the Parable Of The Wheat And Weeds:

Matthew 13:24-30 NLT

[24] Here is another story Jesus told: “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a farmer who planted good seed in his field. [25] But that night as the workers slept, his enemy came and planted weeds among the wheat, then slipped away. [26] When the crop began to grow and produce grain, the weeds also grew. [27] “The farmer’s workers went to him and said, ‘Sir, the field where you planted that good seed is full of weeds! Where did they come from?’ [28] “‘An enemy has done this!’ the farmer exclaimed. “‘Should we pull out the weeds?’ they asked. [29] “‘No,’ he replied, ‘you’ll uproot the wheat if you do. [30] Let both grow together until the harvest. Then I will tell the harvesters to sort out the weeds, tie them into bundles, and burn them, and to put the wheat in the barn.'”

[JESUS THEN EXPLAINS THE PARABLE LATER]

Matthew 13:36-43 NLT

[36] Then, leaving the crowds outside, Jesus went into the house. His disciples said, “Please explain to us the story of the weeds in the field.” [37] Jesus replied, “The Son of Man is the farmer who plants the good seed. [38] The field is the world, and the good seed represents the people of the Kingdom. The weeds are the people who belong to the evil one. [39] The enemy who planted the weeds among the wheat is the devil. The harvest is the end of the world, and the harvesters are the angels. [40] “Just as the weeds are sorted out and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the world. [41] The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will remove from his Kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. [42] And the angels will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. [43] Then the righteous will shine like the sun in their Father’s Kingdom. Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand!

I feel like all I can say is to “fight the good fight”:

1 Timothy 6:11-14 NLT

[11] But you, Timothy, are a man of God; so run from all these evil things. Pursue righteousness and a godly life, along with faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness. [12] Fight the good fight for the true faith. Hold tightly to the eternal life to which God has called you, which you have declared so well before many witnesses. [13] And I charge you before God, who gives life to all, and before Christ Jesus, who gave a good testimony before Pontius Pilate, [14] that you obey this command without wavering. Then no one can find fault with you from now until our Lord Jesus Christ comes again.

When bad things come your way, the devil thinks he is doing it to break you but God is using bad things to show His power, to save other people, to humble us and help us recognise God’s sovereignty, to help us to recognise and deal with our “sinful natures”, to give us revelation/speak to us and to separate us as His own in end times.
I wrote a song about holding on in times of adversity and performed it at church, it’s called ‘We’re Holding On’ ๐Ÿ™‚

Lots of love Catherine x

#songofsongs #Solomon #love #happiness #sex #Bible #new #song #love #marriage #Christian #music

Hey guys,

Sorry this one is a bit late I was out doing stuff lol.

I wrote a new song! (it’s at the bottom of this post). I thought I would provide some context to it.

Anyway, my favorite book of the bible is Song of Songs, which is also known as Song of Solomon or Songs of Solomon. Apparently, it was written by King Solomon from the Bible. He was a great lover of women who were not believers of God, which was his downfall because they eventually encouraged his to worship their idols.

Now, Song of Songs is written with parts for a Woman, a Man and a Chorus part for women, which Bible editors often put a sub-head as Young Women of Jerusalem.

There are 3 levels of symbolism in Song of Songs both horizontally and vertically:

1st) A man/husband = 2nd) Solomon = 3rd) Jesus

1st) A woman/wife = 2nd) The Bride of Christ = 3rd) The church

Let’s deal with 2nd male level of symbolism first. The book is written by Solomon so it’s understandable that he would write it using himself. Indeed his name is mentioned several times. That’s just kinda doing what it says on the tin. Any songwriter will use the words “I” and “me” in their songs but be really referring to someone or something else.

For the 3rd male level, verses that show parallels between Solomon and Jesus include: Psalm 2:6-7 [NLT] (This was potentially written by David about Solomon but later refers to Jesus in Matthew 3:17.

[6] For the Lord declares, “I have placed my chosen king on the throne in Jerusalem, on my holy mountain.” [7] The king (bloggers note: this was referring to King David) proclaims the LORD’s decree: “The LORD said to me, ‘You are my son (bloggers note: King David was referring to Solomon, potentially, I’ll come back to this at another time and give you more verses or you can comment and give me some!). Today I have become your Father. [8] Only ask, and I will give you the nations as your inheritance, the whole earth as your possession. [9] You will break them with an iron rod and smash them like clay pots.'”

There are many more but that’s what I came up with off the top of my head.

Some theorists, theologians and me, feel that the Woman in Song of Songs not only represents a woman but the Bride of Christ (2nd female level of symbolism), which represents the Church (3rd female level of symbolism), which is basically all Christians. The Bride of Christ is referred to in 2 Corinthians 11:2 [NLT] by Paul:

[11] For I am jealous for you with the jealousy of God himself. I promised you as a pure bride to one husband-Christ.

The most comprehensive references are in Revelation, such as in Revelation 19:6-10 [NLT]:

[10] Then I heard again what sounded like the shout of a vast crowd or the roar of mighty ocean waves or the crash of loud thunder: “Praise the LORD! For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns. [7] Let us be glad and rejoice, and let us give honor to him. For the time has come for the wedding feast of the Lamb (bloggers note: the Lamb represents Jesus because He was sacrificed in the same way a lamb would have been to atone for sins), and his bride has prepared herself. [8] She has been given the finest of pure white linen to wear.” For the fine linen represents the good deeds of God’s holy people. [9] And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding feast of the Lamb.” And he added, “These are true words that come from God.” [10] Then I fell down at his feet to worship him, but he said, “No, don’t worship me. I am a servant of God, just like you and your brothers and sisters who testify about their faith in Jesus. Worship only God. For the essence of prophecy is to give a clear witness for Jesus.”

Another reference to the Bride of Christ in Revelation 21:1-5 [NLT]:

[5] Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the old heaven and the old earth had disappeared. And the sea was also gone. [2] And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven like a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. [3] I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them. [4] He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.” [5] And the one sitting on the throne said, “Look, I am making everything new!” And then he said to me, “Write this down, for what I tell you is trustworthy and true.”

This is the most translucent reference to the Bride of Christ,showing that she represents a group of people.

At the 1st level of symbolism, Song of Songs also shows us the ideal dynamics of a relationship between a husband and a wife before and after they are courting. It does this to use a metaphor and situation that we humans can understand. There is a lot of joy between the Man and the Woman. They are thrilled by everything about each other! They also have sex with each other. They enjoy it and even enjoy being aroused by each other and encourage it WITHIN MARRIAGE! (I’ll give you the verses later lol). I feel personally that Song of Songs gives licence for married people to enjoy having sex within marriage and to also enjoy being turned on by your spouse. Which is a good thing. I’ll come back to the parallels for marriage at another time.

I’ve shown the parallels between the 3 levels of make and female symbolism, I’m now going to explain what this means for us as Christians today. The relationship between the man and woman is unusual, as it is actually the woman who pursues the man! This shows us how we, the church, need to pursue Jesus, as much as we want to pursue someone we really love and want to marry! 

Moreover, the same intensity of desire the woman has for sexual union with her husband, referred to as “Lover”, is the same level of intensity of desire that we as Christians need to have for Jesus!

On the other side, we see how deeply the man yearns for the woman, for sexual intimacy as well as emotional support. This gives us humans an understandable parallel/metaphor, showing how deeply Jesus desires to be in a relationship with us. 

Men’s appetites for sexual union with their wives and to be understood and appreciated by their wives is voracious! So if we think about it this way, relating it to Jesus, we can understand that Jesus has a deep and voracious desire to have the height of intimacy with us all the time, (non-sexual of course but the same desired effect that sex achieves within marriage). As sex is the height of intimacy that can be enjoyed by a man and a woman (who aren’t related to reach other, although it is legal in the UK to marry your cousin) within marriage.

So, we need to chase and desire Jesus and Jesus really wants us to chase Him and wants a deep, intimate and personal relationship with us, where we understand and appreciate Him because He thinks we are totally beautiful and he wants to know us!

It is out of this context that I got sentences from Song of Songs from the New Living Translation (because it’s an easily understandable translation) and made it into a song.

It satisfies the 3 levels of symbolism by paralleling a relationship between 1st)me, 2nd) a wife and 1st) my fictional husband (I don’t have a husband or a boyfriend. One day I’m sure I will ๐Ÿ˜‰ ), 2nd) a fictional husband, as well as representing 3rd) the church and Jesus Christ!

Click here to listen to the song or use the embedded player below:

Love Catherine x

Me on my teaching day with my new earrings hehe!