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

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I’ve decided to try new things

Hello

I’m thinking about pushing the boundaries and to stop being so “safe” and to try new things. That is all. I’m busy trying new things lol.

Here’s the playlist with my new song about marital sex in the garden from last week. There’s 3 versions in the playlist, the original, acoustic and orchestral, let me know which one you like best.

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:

Catherine x

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

SPECIAL EDITION: #HappyNewYear! #2018 – Praise #Jesus! #worship #directorofmusic #worshipleader #freelance #musician #musicteacher

Hellloooooooo!

Happy New Year 2018! This is Catherine reporting from church! I’ve been doing the following since yesterday evening:

Led worship on the acoustic guitar, used the pedal with my heels!

Played sax the during a second worship

…and as Director of Music at my church, with the help of Jesus, I’ve organized a whooollleee load of other things, including some of the food, there’s always food at these things! ๐Ÿ˜›

Believe it out not this is my plate after eating some food lol #happynewyear !

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Hope you guys had amazing celebrations/church services/mass. All the best and remember to check out my blog www.catherinewaithe-arnold.com every Thursday between 8pm-9pm UTC/GMT for new blog posts about: Life (like this post), Love (or this post), My Music (definitely click here), Theology (I like to breakdown topics into digestible chunks), Womanist Theology (my most read blog post, it’s strong coffee), Theomusicology (to come), Photography (click here to see my pics) and my PhD (follow this link to read all about it)!

Also, if you wish to hire me for my composing/performing/worship leading/music teaching head to my other website www.ridethefaderproductions.com !  ๐Ÿ™‚

Here’s some music enjoy ๐Ÿ™‚ follow this link to play or use the embedded player below:

Praise Jesus!

Catherine Waithe-Arnold

Have a great night out everybody! #newyearseve ! www.catherinewaithe-arnold.com

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Where does it say in the #Bible not to have #sex before #marriage? – #Jesus #Christian

Hello everybody,

First of all, this blog post is not intended to shame anyone but rather to inform. I’m human just like you and that makes me a sexual being, I find my faith in Jesus gives me the strength to wait ๐Ÿ™‚ . I said something to that effect in this song I wrote Follow this link to listen or use the embedded player below:

Now to the blog!

So I’m a Christian and I read the Bible everyday and I was meditating on the biggie in Christianity about no sex before marriage. It got me thinking about the time I was dating this guy who wasn’t a Christian. He’s the reason why I stopped dating guys who weren’t Christians actually lol and the last guy I dated who was a Christian is why I’m now open to dating whoever LOL, (unmitigated disaster!) Hah hah moving on.

Anyway back to the ex before the ex before the ex. So he used to pressure me for sex and the one after that did as well (who wasn’t a Christian either) I never gave in of course. I made some colleagues laugh once when I said:

“I want to date a guy who is a Christian because every time I date guys who aren’t Christians they keep on trying to have sex with me” lol

Anyway back to the ex before the ex before the ex. Now this guy grew up in a Christian household, his brother was a Christian and his parents knew the Bible and I remember having a conversation with him once when I was having dinner at his parents house he was saying

“why can’t we have sex where does it say in the Bible you can’t have sex before marriage?”

At that point I remember realising that I actually didn’t know where it said it in the Bible, his mother told me it’s somewhere in Deuteronomy, I just accepted what she said but I never looked it up. THAT WAS BAD I WAS BEING A BAD CHRISTIAN AND AN IDIOT YOU DON’T JUST DECIDE TO LIVE YOUR LIFE ONE WAY JUST BECAUSE SOMEONE TOLD YOU TO THAT’S NOT FAITH IT’S RELIGIOUS FUNDAMENTALISM YOU SHOULD LOOK UP THINGS IN THE BIBLE YOURSELF *slaps own wrist*.

I’m muuuuuch older now and I’ve read the Bible cover to cover more than once and I really think people could benefit from some clarity on this one so here are the verses in the Old Testament that teach sexual purity as in not having sex before marriage, do look these up to see them in context:

You Sleep With It You Bought It! –ย 

Exodus 22:16-17 [NLT] “If a man seduces a virgin who is not engaged to anyone and has sex with her, he must pay the customary bride price and marry her. [17] But if her father refuses to let him marry her, the man must still pay him an amount equal to the bride price of a virgin.”

Explanation: If a man has sex with a virgin he should marry her, if her father refuses to allow the marriage the man should still give compensate her father somehow.

 

Don’t Sleep Around –

Deuteronomy 22:13-21 [NLT] “Suppose a man marries a woman, but after sleeping with her, he turns against her [14] and publicly accuses her of shameful conduct, saying, ‘When I married this woman, I discovered she was not a virgin.’ [15] Then the woman’s father and mother must bring the proof of her virginity to the elders as they hold court at the town gate. [16] Her father must say to them, ‘I gave my daughter to this man to be his wife, and now he has turned against her. [17] He has accused her of shameful conduct, saying, “I discovered that your daughter was not a virgin.” But here is the proof of my daughter’s virginity.’ Then they must spread her bed sheet before the elders. [18] The elders must then take the man and punish him. [19] They must also fine him 100 pieces of silver, which he must pay to the woman’s father because he publicly accused a virgin of Israel of shameful conduct. The woman will then remain the man’s wife, and he may never divorce her. [20] “But suppose the man’s accusations are true, and he can show that she was not a virgin. [21] The woman must be taken to the door of her father’s home, and there the men of the town must stone her to death, for she has committed a disgraceful crime in Israel by being promiscuous while living in her parents’ home. In this way, you will purge this evil from among you.”

Explanation: This verse implies that a woman should be a virgin before getting married and if a man accuses her of not being a “maid” before marriage and this is not true he should compensate his wife, if it is true according to the laws of that time the woman should be put to death. (N.B. when it talks about spreading the bed sheet what they probably meant was the parents had to show her bed sheet that was probably stained with period blood, In those days, that was the only way to tell if you were a virgin or not. You menstruate when you’re not pregnant, you don’t when you are. There was no pill to stop you from getting pregnant if you had sex, so when a healthy young woman was in a sexual relationship she would have gotten pregnant, so you couldn’t hide it. The period thing was a good test.)

However, since Jesus died for our sins currently we just have to ask forgiveness for our sins and not stone people! See the following verse for an example of this:

John 8:1-11 [NLT] – “[1] Jesus returned to the Mount of Olives, [2] but early the next morning he was back again at the Temple. A crowd soon gathered, and he sat down and taught them. [3] As he was speaking, the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery. They put her in front of the crowd. [4] “Teacher,” they said to Jesus, “this woman was caught in the act of adultery. [5] The law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?” [6] They were trying to trap him into saying something they could use against him, but Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dust with his finger. [7] They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” [8] Then he stooped down again and wrote in the dust. [9] When the accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest, until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the woman. [10] Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?” [11] “No, Lord,” she said. And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.””

 

If you sleep with her expect a shotgun wedding –

Deuteronomy 22:28-29 [NLT] “Suppose a man has intercourse with a young woman who is a virgin but is not engaged to be married. If they are discovered, [29] he must pay her father fifty pieces of silver. Then he must marry the young woman because he violated her, and he may never divorce her as long as he lives.”

Explanation: This is the same as the verse in Exodus but much stricter, the Exodus verse says if the Father does not allow the man to marry her he should still compensate the father but this one says you have to marry her and you can never divorce her. Also, I just noticed that the verse says apparently you violate a woman when you have sex with her before marriage! Other translations say he “humbled” her, the Septuagint, which is the Greek version of the Bible that our English translations are based on says he “แผฯ„ฮฑฯ€ฮตแฝทฮฝฯ‰ฯƒฮตฮฝ” her which according to the LSJ (an academic Greek dictionary) means: “lower, in point of height, reduce…of a plant, decrease in size…of a planet, suffer dejection…metaph., lessen, disparage, minimize, to be lowered or lessened, humble, abase,ย violate a woman…in moral sense, make lowly, humble, humble oneself…” (Tufts.edu, 2017) Middle Liddel (another academic Greek dictionary) says “…to lower…metaph. to lessen, to disparage, to humble, abasein moral sense, to make lowly, to humble, to humble oneself…” (Tufts.edu, 2017)

 

Capture those sexy thoughts and make sure you don’t act on them!

Song of Solomon 2:15 [NLT] Catch all the foxes, those little foxes, before they ruin the vineyard of love, for the grapevines are blossoming!

Song of Solomon 2:7 [NLT] Promise me, O women of Jerusalem, by the gazelles and wild deer, not to awaken love until the time is right.”

Explanation: It’s natural to want to sleep with the person that you are with but you need to understand that you are human and therefore fallible. This sentiment is also echoed in Song of Solomon 3:5 & 8:4. Make sure if you are in a relationship with someone that you keep your passions for each other strictly to sex within marriage because this verse clearly states that you can ruin a good thing by sleeping with each other before the right time, which is after marriage.

As I said in the beginning, I wrote a song about being human and a sexual being but waiting even though it’s sexually frustrating, no one ever likes to talk about that part of abstaining from sex before marriage lol… It’s worth it though and even if you are sleeping with you gf or bf you can stop, ask forgiveness and move on:

John 8:1-11 [NLT] – “[1] Jesus returned to the Mount of Olives, [2] but early the next morning he was back again at the Temple. A crowd soon gathered, and he sat down and taught them. [3] As he was speaking, the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery. They put her in front of the crowd. [4] “Teacher,” they said to Jesus, “this woman was caught in the act of adultery. [5] The law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?” [6] They were trying to trap him into saying something they could use against him, but Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dust with his finger. [7] They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” [8] Then he stooped down again and wrote in the dust. [9] When the accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest, until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the woman. [10] Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?” [11] “No, Lord,” she said. And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.””

Here it is again! Follow this link to listen or use the embedded player below:

Paul does say, in the New Testament that if you’re really struggling to control yourself, you should get married! lol

1 Corinthians 7:8-9 [NLT] – “[8] So I say to those who aren’t married and to widows–it’s better to stay unmarried, just as I am. [9] But if they can’t control themselves, they should go ahead and marry. It’s better to marry than to burn with lust.”

Some young Christians tend to wear something called a Purity Ring, to represent that they are staying “Pure” till marriage, meaning that they are not going to sleep with their bf/gf before marriage, which is cool if you want to do that, I have one:

P_20171228_115037_1_1.jpg

I tend not to wear it nowadays because it actually looks like an engagement ring which was fine when I was younger but now it’s counter productive as I’m single lol. You can get lots of different kinds. I quite like the ones that say “True Love Waits” I think that’s rather special! ๐Ÿ™‚ There’s also this thing called a purity pledge, it’s more of an American thing, it’s not something that the Bible dictates it’s just a quirky American thing. The idea behind it is that youngster’s mainly teenagers go through some mentoring thing about no sex before marriage, they then sign this pledge/contract in front of the whole church promising that they will abstain from sex before marriage. We British would find that kind of thing far too awkward to bear… lol. Instead, we tend to encourage a silent commitment between you and God and if you need mentoring it is available.

Anyway, however you manage to abstain from sex before marriage make sure you don’t self medicate with porn, we all know that it doesn’t work. There’s enough info on it now to know that it’s not just spiritually bad for you but it’s medically not good for you either. See the playlist below where Pastor Mark Gungor discusses this, he’s REALLY funny lol, I don’t agree with everything he says e.g. the Condom thing, some women can’t take the pill because of high blood pressure etc. but he’s really funny!ย  Follow this link or play using the embedded player below for more info:

 

If you want a secular view on this Russell Brand on his Trews show did a rather insightful piece on it, worth a watch, he really is a thinker, NOT FOR CHILDREN (doesn’t show anything bad but he swears 2 or 3 times. Obviously I don’t agree with the end bit where he says at the end do what you gotta do, obviously…) Follow this link to watch or watch using the embedded player below:

 

P.S. here’s two versus about what the Bible says about Homosexuality and Bestiality there are more but I think 2 will do…

Leviticus 18:22-23 [NLT] – “[22] “Do not practice homosexuality, having sex with another man as with a woman. It is a detestable sin. [23] “A man must not defile himself by having sex with an animal. And a woman must not offer herself to a male animal to have intercourse with it. This is a perverse act.”

Love Catherine x

#FULLHOUSE for #Christmas LOL

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Bibliography

http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/morph?l=e%29tapei%2Fnwsen&la=greek#lexicon (28 December 2017)

SPECIAL EDITION: #HappyBirthdayJesus! – #freelance #musician #harp #Christmas #Christian #Jesus #worshipleader

Hello everybody!

It’s Christmas, the time when we Christians celebrate the birth of our Lord King Jesus Christ!

I hope that everyone has a really great day! Remember I sing and play the harp? Play in the instagram box below or (follow this link):

#HappyBirthdayJesus #MerryChristmas #Jesus #Christian www.catherinewaithe-arnold.com

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Merry Christmas!

Catherine x

#Christmas #party at #church โ›ช!

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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

I’M WORKING ON #NEWMUSIC ! #np #soundcloud #hiphop #composer #freelancer #musician #music teacher #phdlife

Hey everybody!

So I’m working on a song for my PhD project. This song is basically about the conversation I had with Jesus whilst I was on my hospital bed when I had to take time out from my studies.
Here’s a snippet of what I’m up to enjoy!

Listen to Work in Progress – Hip-Hop (follow this link or play in the embedded player below)

Love Catherine x

Guess where I am! On a #date with #Jesus #cheekynandos

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#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

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