FOOTAGE FROM MY #GIG #freelance #musician #singer #songwriter #composer #instrumentalpop

Hello everybody!

Remember I had a gig last Friday? (follow this link for more info) well I filmed it and I thought that I would share the footage with you guys!

I really went for it!

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Enjoy! (follow this link to my YouTube channel or play it in the embedded player below)

You can also listen to the audio on SoundCloud (follow this link or use the embedded player below)

Catherine x

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I Have A Gig Friday 28th Jul, 6.30pm @ The Gospel Centre

Hey guys!

I have a gig! Sorry for the lateness I was doing my hair lol.

When: Tomorrow! Friday 28th July 2017

Time: 6.30 pm

Where: The Gospel Centre, Wightman Roadd, Harringay Ladder, London N8 0LT http://gospelcentre.co.uk/how_to_find_us.html

Description: A variety evening featuring poets, soloists and contemporary gospel groups. This follows a week of daily community outreach by the Nserve team from 24th – 30th July. Our aim is to reach the unsaved in our community with a particular focus on encouraging the involvement of young people in reaching out and serving.

Okedokey, I expect to see all of you there!

Catherine x

Why I am enjoying #church #feasts #fellowship

Good evening!

Just a quick one today I’ve been really busy!
I would just like to say that I have really been enjoying church lately because we have been having a lot of fellowship after church. Lately, we’ve started making sandwiches out of the leftover display communion bread that and juice/drinks after church. I even made some gluten free bread once for that.

I know it’s simple but these simple things help to foster good feelings and community cohesiveness. As a group, we need to experience oneness before we can go out into the world and evangelize because as it said in the Bible:

John 17:21-23 NLT

[21] I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one-as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me. [22] “I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one. [23] I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me.

Love Catherine x

SPECIAL EDITION: #HAPPY #PENTECOST #Sunday #Jesus #HolySpirit #Church #NewTestament

Happy Pentecost everybody!

This is the time when Christians celebrate the Holy Spirit coming to the earth to live with us after Jesus’ ascension to heaven.

Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to look after us because after He died and rose again at Easter (click here to learn more information about that from my previous posts about Easter). He was no longer a human living with us and we needed someone to care for us!

John 14:15-18 NLT

[15] “If you love me, obey my commandments. [16] And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you. [17] He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him, because it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him. But you know him, because he lives with you now and later will be in you. [18] No, I will not abandon you as orphans-I will come to you.

Now, that we live in post-resurrection times Jesus, intereedes for us directly:

Hebrews 7:23-26 NLT

[23] There were many priests under the old system, for death prevented them from remaining in office. [24] But because Jesus lives forever, his priesthood lasts forever. [25] Therefore he is able, once and forever, to save those who come to God through him. He lives forever to intercede with God on their behalf. [26] He is the kind of high priest we need because he is holy and blameless, unstained by sin. He has been set apart from sinners and has been given the highest place of honor in heaven.

God, Jesus and The Holy Spirit can live within us instead of in the Holy of Holies, which was a part of the original “church buildings” if you like, which were made out of tents, thats also where The Ark of the Covenant was originally stored, in Old Testament times. (See Exodus 25:8-27:21 for more details on the Holy of Holies (called the Most Holy Place in this translation) and its construction).

This is the story of what happened at Pentecost in the Bibles own words! Enjoy!

Acts 2:1-41 NLT
[1] On the day of Pentecost all the believers were meeting together in one place. [2] Suddenly, there was a sound from heaven like the roaring of a mighty windstorm, and it filled the house where they were sitting. [3] Then, what looked like flames or tongues of fire appeared and settled on each of them. [4] And everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in other languages, as the Holy Spirit gave them this ability. [5] At that time there were devout Jews from every nation living in Jerusalem. [6] When they heard the loud noise, everyone came running, and they were bewildered to hear their own languages being spoken by the believers. [7] They were completely amazed. “How can this be?” they exclaimed. “These people are all from Galilee, [8] and yet we hear them speaking in our own native languages! [9] Here we are-Parthians, Medes, Elamites, people from Mesopotamia, Judea, Cappadocia, Pontus, the province of Asia, [10] Phrygia, Pamphylia, Egypt, and the areas of Libya around Cyrene, visitors from Rome [11] (both Jews and converts to Judaism), Cretans, and Arabs. And we all hear these people speaking in our own languages about the wonderful things God has done!” [12] They stood there amazed and perplexed. “What can this mean?” they asked each other. [13] But others in the crowd ridiculed them, saying, “They’re just drunk, that’s all!” [14] Then Peter stepped forward with the eleven other apostles and shouted to the crowd, “Listen carefully, all of you, fellow Jews and residents of Jerusalem! Make no mistake about this. [15] These people are not drunk, as some of you are assuming. Nine o’clock in the morning is much too early for that. [16] No, what you see was predicted long ago by the prophet Joel: [17] ‘In the last days,’ God says, ‘I will pour out my Spirit upon all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy. Your young men will see visions, and your old men will dream dreams. [18] In those days I will pour out my Spirit even on my servants-men and women alike- and they will prophesy. [19] And I will cause wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below- blood and fire and clouds of smoke. [20] The sun will become dark, and the moon will turn blood red before that great and glorious day of the LORD arrives. [21] But everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved.’ [22] “People of Israel, listen! God publicly endorsed Jesus the Nazarene by doing powerful miracles, wonders, and signs through him, as you well know. [23] But God knew what would happen, and his prearranged plan was carried out when Jesus was betrayed. With the help of lawless Gentiles, you nailed him to a cross and killed him. [24] But God released him from the horrors of death and raised him back to life, for death could not keep him in its grip. [25] King David said this about him: ‘I see that the LORD is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me. [26] No wonder my heart is glad, and my tongue shouts his praises! My body rests in hope. [27] For you will not leave my soul among the dead or allow your Holy One to rot in the grave. [28] You have shown me the way of life, and you will fill me with the joy of your presence.’ [29] “Dear brothers, think about this! You can be sure that the patriarch David wasn’t referring to himself, for he died and was buried, and his tomb is still here among us. [30] But he was a prophet, and he knew God had promised with an oath that one of David’s own descendants would sit on his throne. [31] David was looking into the future and speaking of the Messiah’s resurrection. He was saying that God would not leave him among the dead or allow his body to rot in the grave. [32] “God raised Jesus from the dead, and we are all witnesses of this. [33] Now he is exalted to the place of highest honor in heaven, at God’s right hand. And the Father, as he had promised, gave him the Holy Spirit to pour out upon us, just as you see and hear today. [34] For David himself never ascended into heaven, yet he said, ‘The LORD said to my Lord, “Sit in the place of honor at my right hand [35] until I humble your enemies, making them a footstool under your feet.”‘ [36] “So let everyone in Israel know for certain that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, to be both Lord and Messiah!” [37] Peter’s words pierced their hearts, and they said to him and to the other apostles, “Brothers, what should we do?” [38] Peter replied, “Each of you must repent of your sins and turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. [39] This promise is to you, to your children, and to those far away-all who have been called by the Lord our God.” [40] Then Peter continued preaching for a long time, strongly urging all his listeners, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation!” [41] Those who believed what Peter said were baptized and added to the church that day-about 3,000 in all.

Much love Catherine xxx

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Why I don’t Agree With “The #BillyGraham Rule” #Jesus #Christianity #morality #relationships #sex #women

Hey!,

So yesterday whilst I was doing some research for my PhD see this post for more info on my research and I came across this recording of a segment of Woman To Woman on Premier Christian Radio. They were discussing “The Billy Graham Rule”. Here’s the link. Just like the Gender Justice Specialist Natalie Collins who was being interviewed on the radio, I don’t agree with it either and here’s why.

So what is “The Billy Graham Rule”?

This is a code of conduct adopted by the evangelist Billy Graham (I know a serious researcher doesn’t quote Wikipedia but for time constraints lets just do it anyway (bloggers note: at the time of writing this I was rushing because I had to go teach)):

The Billy Graham rule is a practice among male Protestant Christian leaders, in which they avoid spending time alone with women to whom they are not married. It is named after Billy Graham, the most notable proponent of the practice. It is adopted as a display of integrity and a means of avoiding sexual temptation, but has been criticized as being sexist.

Origins

In 1948, Graham held a series of evangelistic meetings in Modesto, California. Together with Cliff Barrows, Grady Wilson, and George Beverly Shea, he resolved then to “avoid any situation that would have even the appearance of compromise or suspicion.” Since that time, Graham has not traveled, met, or eaten alone with a woman other than his wife Ruth.[1]

 

Arguments For “The Billy Graham Rule”

Ok that’s the rule in a nutshell. I totally understand why he would do that. Women are attracted to power, success and someone who appears to be “nice” and a good provider and father. So it’s totally understandable that Billy Graham would probably have had a lot of women young and old trying to get his attention because he would have presented to them as being someone that they wanted in their lives.

His charisma alone would have been attractive, moreover, women would have made assumptions about his personality because he was a preacher/evangelist. They would have assumed that he was “nice” and had decent values, conducive to a good provider.

Also, those of us who are under 50 are used to seeing Billy Graham looking like this:

Whereas back in his day Billy Graham looked like this!

He was a handsome man (side note, I like the look of that old fashioned microphone).

 

We need to accept that we are sexual beings

God created Adam and saw that it was not good that he was alone so then God made animals but they still weren’t compatible Genesis 2:18-20, then He created Eve who was the perfect companion for the man Adam (which actually means man lol)

[Genesis 2:18-24 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. [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. [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.

Women were made for men, God made women beautiful and attractive to men. It is what it is and it’s a good thing, we are designed as the ultimate companion for a man. Actually, in verse 18, the Hebrew word for “helper” is Ezer and that is the same word used to describe the kind of help that God gives to humanity as seen here:

[Psalm 33:20 NLT] [20] We put our hope in the LORD. He is our help and our shield.

Ezer is used to describe the kind of help where if the person who needed the help did not receive it they would perish. Humanity would perish without women, we are the ones who give birth to the men and then when they grow up we are the ones who love them. It doesn’t actually imply any kind of subordinate role at all[9]. But that is for another blog post for another time… See this article for more information on ‘Ezer.

However, there is a problem with human sexuality and sensuality, in that it has only been explored after the fall of man and in a sinful world. Regrettably sex, sadness and sin can be connected, especially in men, that’s their weakness. Feeling hungry, angry, lonely, tired and under appreciated can make men (and women as well) susceptible to sexual impropriety as sex makes you feel good. Adam and Eve would have been utterly demoralised after being cursed then evicted from their home, needing to feel good about themselves again. Here’s the fall of man starting from where God cursed the relationship of the sexes:

[Genesis 3:16-24 NLT] [16] Then he said to the woman, “I will sharpen the pain of your pregnancy, and in pain you will give birth. And you will desire to control your husband, but he will rule over you.” [17] And to the man he said, “Since you listened to your wife and ate from the tree whose fruit I commanded you not to eat, the ground is cursed because of you. All your life you will struggle to scratch a living from it. [18] It will grow thorns and thistles for you, though you will eat of its grains. [19] By the sweat of your brow will you have food to eat until you return to the ground from which you were made. For you were made from dust, and to dust you will return.” [20] Then the man–Adam–named his wife Eve, because she would be the mother of all who live. [21] And the LORD God made clothing from animal skins for Adam and his wife. [22] Then the LORD God said, “Look, the human beings have become like us, knowing both good and evil. What if they reach out, take fruit from the tree of life, and eat it? Then they will live forever!” [23] So the LORD God banished them from the Garden of Eden, and he sent Adam out to cultivate the ground from which he had been made. [24] After sending them out, the LORD God stationed mighty cherubim to the east of the Garden of Eden. And he placed a flaming sword that flashed back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life. [Genesis 4:1 NLT] [1] Now Adam had sexual relations with his wife, Eve, and she became pregnant. When she gave birth to Cain, she said, “With the LORD’s help, I have produced a man!”

We can see from this that indeed, as I said, when you’re feeling down sex can help to de-stress and literally, immediately after they were banished and cursed, Adam turned to Eve and said, “I’m gonna put a baby in u” (verse 20), then by the beginning of the next chapter he did!

From what we can see Adam only slept with Eve and had children her once they were kicked out of the Garden of Eden. We have no evidence that they slept with each other before and we have no evidence that they didn’t sleep with each other before. Any assumptions we make regarding Adam’s pre-fall interaction with Eve is based on our present knowledge of post-fall men. We must assume Adam’s interaction with Eve before the fall was different because they were closer to Jesus. Jesus literally walked through the garden, they had not eaten the forbidden fruit and the curse of the rivalry between the sexes that we experience today was not there yet. Evidence for this different relationship between Adam and Eve can be found in Genesis 2:25:

[Genesis 2:25 KJV] [25] And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.

I love my guy friends and we are close but I would be really ashamed to have dinner with them if we were both naked! Bun that! lol. Why? Because we are sexual beings in a fallen world and I can’t take the sight of their bits unless I have to for some emergency that I hope never happens lol. Do men think the same way about their female friends? I think I can say with a fair degree of certainty that they do not 🙂

 

Arguments Against “The Billy Graham Rule”

Objectification of women

I agree with most of what Gender Justice Specialist Natalie Collins said on Premier Christian Radio, that if men can’t be alone with women they should not be holding positions of authority. Moreover, “The Billy Graham Rule” reduces women to sexual objects and sexual integrity risks that if you’re alone with them, they will tempt you[2].

 

Personal responsibility and strength of character

Collins also went on to remind us that Jesus didn’t say if your eye causes you to sin go tell that thing to stop looking so attractive[3]. Jesus instead said:

[Matthew 18:9 NLT] [9] And if your eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It’s better to enter eternal life with only one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell.

She is right, Jesus said you need to deal with yourself, your actions and your own heart and the sinful emotions that cause you to have an inappropriate emotional response to any given external stimuli. It’s true, if you can’t interact appropriately with the opposite sex then there is something wrong with you and if a man can’t have dinner with a woman without having sex with her, he shouldn’t be having dinner with people at all![4]

 

Impracticalities no.1

Another good point that was raised by Collins was the impractical nature of “The Billy Graham Rule” in modern times. In the West, which is patriarchal but is still more of an egalitarian society than others, it’s impractical to try to always stay away from being alone with a women[5]. If you are a man and your manager is a women and you have to go into her office for an appraisal, which should be confidential, you have to go in there alone. If you are a man and you find yourself having to collaborate on a project with a female colleague, you may want to have a working lunch? It doesn’t have to be sexual and you insult your colleague at the mere thought of such a thing, I mean honestly, you’re assuming that she even wants to have sex with you? Really? You think you’re so good looking that you’re irresistible to all of womankind? There’s a moral to the story of Narcissus, familiarise yourself the term Narcissism.

 

Impracticalities no.2

Just one common sense thing, also raised by Collins. Some people are gay, so if one is going to truly observe “The Billy Graham Rule”, as a dude you need to avoid other dudes because they might be gay which presents a sexual integrity risk because they might fancy you and you can’t be seen being alone with another dude because people might think you’re gay with each other[6]. Whoops that leaves men having dinner with no one! That also means that women should avoid being alone with other women because they might be lesbians and that poses a sexual integrity risk. Leaving women hanging out with no one! Some people are also bi-sexual so everyone needs to watch out for them!

 

How did Jesus treat women?

Collins went on to say that Jesus didn’t treat women as sexual integrity risks, in fact, for His day, Jesus was very forward thinking in his approach to women[7]. He allowed Mary to sit at his feet and be taught by Him, a position traditionally only open to men. In the Bible times that was the place where the students and disciples of a rabbi would sit to learn, literally at the feet of their rabbi teacher.

[Luke 10:38-42 NLT] [38] As Jesus and the disciples continued on their way to Jerusalem, they came to a certain village where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. [39] Her sister, Mary, sat at the Lord’s feet, listening to what he taught. [40] But Martha was distracted by the big dinner she was preparing. She came to Jesus and said, “Lord, doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me.” [41] But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! [42] There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.”

We know that Paul sat at the feet of Gamalliel a very senior Rabbi.

[Acts 22:3 ESV] [3] “I am a Jew, born in Tarsus in Cilicia, but brought up in this city, educated at the feet of Gamaliel according to the strict manner of the law of our fathers, being zealous for God as all of you are this day.

Jesus spent time alone with women

Jesus also spent time alone with women at least twice:
1.) Once with the woman at the well who he even asked for a drink, which I think classes as having some food with a woman!

[John 4:3-10, 26-28 NLT] [3] So he left Judea and returned to Galilee. [4] He had to go through Samaria on the way. [5] Eventually he came to the Samaritan village of Sychar, near the field that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. [6] Jacob’s well was there; and Jesus, tired from the long walk, sat wearily beside the well about noontime. [7] Soon a Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, “Please give me a drink.” [8] He was alone at the time because his disciples had gone into the village to buy some food. [9] The woman was surprised, for Jews refuse to have anything to do with Samaritans. She said to Jesus, “You are a Jew, and I am a Samaritan woman. Why are you asking me for a drink?” [10] Jesus replied, “If you only knew the gift God has for you and who you are speaking to, you would ask me, and I would give you living water.”… [BLOGGERS NOTE: BETWEEN V 10 & 27 THE TWO CONVERSED FOR A WHILE]….. [26] Then Jesus told her, “I AM the Messiah!” [27] Just then his disciples came back. They were shocked to find him talking to a woman, but none of them had the nerve to ask, “What do you want with her?” or “Why are you talking to her?” [28] The woman left her water jar beside the well and ran back to the village, telling everyone,

2.) Then with Mary in the garden when he resurrected:

[John 20:6-18 NLT] [6] Then Simon Peter arrived and went inside. He also noticed the linen wrappings lying there, [7] while the cloth that had covered Jesus’ head was folded up and lying apart from the other wrappings. [8] Then the disciple who had reached the tomb first also went in, and he saw and believed– [9] for until then they still hadn’t understood the Scriptures that said Jesus must rise from the dead. [10] Then they went home. [11] Mary was standing outside the tomb crying, and as she wept, she stooped and looked in. [12] She saw two white-robed angels, one sitting at the head and the other at the foot of the place where the body of Jesus had been lying. [13] “Dear woman, why are you crying?” the angels asked her. “Because they have taken away my Lord,” she replied, “and I don’t know where they have put him.” [14] She turned to leave and saw someone standing there. It was Jesus, but she didn’t recognize him. [15] “Dear woman, why are you crying?” Jesus asked her. “Who are you looking for?” She thought he was the gardener. “Sir,” she said, “if you have taken him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will go and get him.” [16] “Mary!” Jesus said. She turned to him and cried out, “Rabboni!” (which is Hebrew for “Teacher”). [17] “Don’t cling to me,” Jesus said, “for I haven’t yet ascended to the Father. But go find my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'” [18] Mary Magdalene found the disciples and told them, “I have seen the Lord!” Then she gave them his message.

 

Jesus had female disciples

So from that we can see that Jesus did not find it necessary to completely ostracise himself from women in one-on-one situations. In fact, Jesus actually had female disciples, they are just not talked about a lot because of the male domination over women in the church and the suppression of women’s contribution to Christianity by men over the ages. Have a look:

[Mark 15:40-41 NLT] [40] Some women were there, watching from a distance, including Mary Magdalene, Mary (the mother of James the younger and of Joseph), and Salome. [41] They had been followers of Jesus and had cared for him while he was in Galilee. Many other women who had come with him to Jerusalem were also there.

 

Personal reflections

We are works in progress

Jesus had the strength of character and nobility to be able to hang with anyone, murderers, thieves, prostitutes, promiscuous people, Pharisees (in the literal and metaphorical sense), the poor, the rich, the high cultured and the working class. However, the rest of us are still works in progress. I think our aim should be to be able to interact with everyone in an appropriate manner.

 

Deal with YOUR sin FIRST

Jesus said:

[Matthew 7:3-5 NLT] [3] “And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? [4] How can you think of saying to your friend, ‘Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? [5] Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye.

We need to deal with what’s inside of ourselves first. Stop worrying about what the woman or man will do to you and start concerning yourself with questioning the morality of what YOU want to do to that woman or man!

[Matthew 18:7 NLT] [7] “What sorrow awaits the world, because it tempts people to sin. Temptations are inevitable, but what sorrow awaits the person who does the tempting.

As we can see the Bible says temptations are inevitable but you need to focus on being in a holy state of mind.

 

Segregating the sexes is damaging

When the sexes are separate we deny each other the benefits of each others experience and expertise. More often than not, women are the ones who actually suffer, academically, economically, emotionally and in every sense of the word, when there is segregation based on sex. It’s damaging, look at the number of top CEO’s that are women as opposed the the number of male top CEO’s. This practice is self defeating considering that research actually suggests that companies that have more women at the top do better financially than companies that don’t[8].

 

Recognise the rule of consent

I feel like, if men avoid being alone with women all the time they aren’t actually recognising a woman’s right to consent. You are making some really large assumptions about her personal preferences, as I said earlier. If you, a man, feel like you are attracted to a women who you, for whatever reason, cannot have a relationship with, then you cannot have a relationship with her, you need to move on and that’s it. If you feel like your desire for her is so bad that you cannot control your feelings towards her and the moment you are alone with her you fear that the slightest thing will set you off, YOU HAVE A PROBLEM because to do anything to her without her consent is rape. To assume she even wants to do anything with you is narcissistic.

 

God gave you a brain

I have often wondered what the verse of scripture in Psalm 32:8-9 meant when it says:

[Psalm 32:8-9 NLT] [8] The LORD says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you. [9] Do not be like a senseless horse or mule that needs a bit and bridle to keep it under control.”

I feel like I understand it now. God doesn’t want us to be such mindless dogs that we cannot control ourselves so we need to do things like separate ourselves from the opposite sex to avoid sexual impropriety. Don’t be mindless and don’t treat yourself like you are a mindless fool. Don’t reduce each other. Lift each other up, when we are mature we don’t have do these silly games and society can get on with moving forward. God did not create us to be idiots, look what it says in the Psalms:

[Proverbs 5:21-23 NLT] [21] For the LORD sees clearly what a man does, examining every path he takes. [22] An evil man is held captive by his own sins; they are ropes that catch and hold him. [23] He will die for lack of self-control; he will be lost because of his great foolishness.

RECOGNISE our brains and UTILISE yours. Compromising situations turn into compromise when it’s allowed to. It takes two to tango, it’s not like you can just say “well we were having dinner and then I slipped and fell and then the next thing I know we were having sex and my clothes… well they just fell of by themselves”. Just say no? Just decide not to and instead of seeing the woman as a vagina and tits see her as your intellectual equal, your colleague or your friend who is just there to do her job the same as you or who just wants to hang out. It’s not living life or respecting the intellect of your Christian brother or sister or your colleagues or just random people when you make certain assumptions. It also reduces people to their most abase feelings and sees them as nothing more than that. This is damaging, especially to women, as we don’t have the physical strength or the societal backing to shake off such a stigma.

 

Conclusion

The Bible says stay away from immoral women

Indeed it does!

[Proverbs 2:16-22 NLT] [16] Wisdom will save you from the immoral woman, from the seductive words of the promiscuous woman. [17] She has abandoned her husband and ignores the covenant she made before God. [18] Entering her house leads to death; it is the road to the grave. [19] The man who visits her is doomed. He will never reach the paths of life. [20] Follow the steps of good men instead, and stay on the paths of the righteous. [21] For only the godly will live in the land, and those with integrity will remain in it. [22] But the wicked will be removed from the land, and the treacherous will be uprooted.

The Bible says in many places that you should avoid immoral women and women who will compromise you sexually, mainly in Proverbs but no where will it say that you should avoid being alone with all women other than your wife all the time. NOWHERE does it say that.

 

However

Despite everything that I have said above, I think that the way forward is a balance between liberal/egalitarian/feminist tenets and “The Billy Graham Rule”. Let me explain. If you know a woman who is known for being a bit loose and randy, it’s best, if you are a man and you have to deal with her, try and avoid it as it says in Proverbs above. Speaking for the UK, sexual harassment, especially in the workplace, can be done against men as well as women, so there are legal grounds for a man to complain. Meet in public places or not at all, or over Skype etc or if you have to message her, just do it with your work email, (which as we all know can be read and is not personal) and or CC someone else into your messages. If this woman won’t take no for an answer you need to seriously distance yourself as as a man, lest in her shame she accuses you of doing something she wanted you to do but you didn’t like Potiphars wife Genesis 39:6-20. The law does not look kindly on men harassing women at all. I am an advocate of “The Billy Graham Rule” but ONLY FOR ACTUAL THREATS AGAINST YOU. I don’t agree with it as a means to make provision for your hard heartedness or sinful desires and I don’t agree with it as a permanent thing against all women or men because where does it stop? As I said earlier, some people are gay, some people are lesbian and some people are bisexual. You might as well just avoid everyone.

Personally, I don’t go around thinking that all men are attracted to me. I’ll have lunch or coffee with guys just me and them. I do this because I recognise the beauty and value of friendship. Friendship is really important, you won’t even get to boyfriend status with me if I can’t see that you can handle normal sensible mature adult relationships with women.

If I feel like a guy is attracted to me and I am not into him, I’ll modify my behaviour to let him know, subtly, in a way that does not brutalise his personality, that I’m not interested. If I feel like the guy has a problem accepting this I will avoid being alone with him for my own physical safety; because, as I said earlier, a healthy understanding and confrontation of the tensions between the sexes and human sensuality will help people to make good life choices.

Dudes, if I invite you out for a meal, just us, I literally just want company whilst I eat. It’s not sexual and we don’t need to talk, with me food goes from hand to mouth very quickly anyway lol. If it’s a date, I’ll say it’s a date. If it’s a stealth date, the invitation would have proceeded from oodles of conversation from me about nothing and I’ll call you something like “Lovely” or some other sickening platitude… instead of your real name 🙂

 

Much Love,

Catherine don’t assume I’m into you Waithe-Arnold x

 

Foot Notes

[1] Wikipedia ‘Billy Graham Rule’, Wikipedia web site, at: <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Billy_Graham_rule&gt; Accessed 4th May 2017
[2] Premier Christian Radio ‘Why I Don’t Agree With The Billy Graham Rule’, Premier Christian Radio Web site, at: <https://www.premierchristianradio.com/Shows/Weekday/Inspirational-Breakfast/Interviews/Why-I-don-t-agree-with-the-Billy-Graham-rule&gt; Accessed 4th May 2017
[3] – ‘Why I Don’t Agree With The Billy Graham Rule’, Premier Christian Radio Web site, at: <https://www.premierchristianradio.com/Shows/Weekday/Inspirational-Breakfast/Interviews/Why-I-don-t-agree-with-the-Billy-Graham-rule&gt; Accessed 4th May 2017
[4] – ‘Why I Don’t Agree With The Billy Graham Rule’, Premier Christian Radio Web site, at: <https://www.premierchristianradio.com/Shows/Weekday/Inspirational-Breakfast/Interviews/Why-I-don-t-agree-with-the-Billy-Graham-rule&gt; Accessed 4th May 2017
[5] – ‘Why I Don’t Agree With The Billy Graham Rule’, Premier Christian Radio Web site, at: <https://www.premierchristianradio.com/Shows/Weekday/Inspirational-Breakfast/Interviews/Why-I-don-t-agree-with-the-Billy-Graham-rule&gt; Accessed 4th May 2017
[6] – ‘Why I Don’t Agree With The Billy Graham Rule’, Premier Christian Radio Web site, at: <https://www.premierchristianradio.com/Shows/Weekday/Inspirational-Breakfast/Interviews/Why-I-don-t-agree-with-the-Billy-Graham-rule&gt; Accessed 4th May 2017
[7] – ‘Why I Don’t Agree With The Billy Graham Rule’, Premier Christian Radio Web site, at: <https://www.premierchristianradio.com/Shows/Weekday/Inspirational-Breakfast/Interviews/Why-I-don-t-agree-with-the-Billy-Graham-rule&gt; Accessed 4th May 2017
[8] S. Farrel ‘Companies with women on the board perform better, report finds’ Guardian Web site, at: <https://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/sep/29/companies-with-women-on-the-board-perform-better-report-finds&gt; Accessed 4th May 2017
[9] Abarim Productions ‘Ezer’ Abari Productions web site, at: <http://www.abarim-publications.com/Meaning/Ezer.html#.WQtjjYXfsfo&gt;

 

 

Bibliography

“Acts 22:3 (ESV) – I am a Jew born.” Blue Letter Bible. Web. 4 May, 2017. <https://www.blueletterbible.org/esv/act/22/3/t_bibles_1040003&gt;.

Farrel, S., ‘Companies with women on the board perform better, report finds’ Guardian Web site, at: <https://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/sep/29/companies-with-women-on-the-board-perform-better-report-finds&gt; Accessed 4th May 2017

“Genesis 2 (KJV) – Thus the heavens and the.” Blue Letter Bible. Web. 4 May, 2017. <https://www.blueletterbible.org/kjv/gen/2/1/s_2001&gt;.

“Genesis 3 (NLT) – The serpent was the shrewdest.” Blue Letter Bible. Web. 4 May, 2017. <https://www.blueletterbible.org/nlt/gen/3/1/s_3001&gt;.

“Genesis 4 (NLT) – Now Adam had sexual relations.” Blue Letter Bible. Web. 4 May, 2017. <https://www.blueletterbible.org/nlt/gen/4/1/s_4001&gt;.

“John 4:28 (NLT) – The woman left her water.” Blue Letter Bible. Web. 4 May, 2017. <https://www.blueletterbible.org/nlt/jhn/4/28/s_1001028&gt;.

“John 20:16 (NLT) – Mary Jesus said She turned.” Blue Letter Bible. Web. 4 May, 2017. <https://www.blueletterbible.org/nlt/jhn/20/16/s_1017016&gt;.

“Luke 10:40 (NLT) – But Martha was distracted by.” Blue Letter Bible. Web. 4 May, 2017. <https://www.blueletterbible.org/nlt/luk/10/40/s_983040&gt;

“Mark 15:41 (NLT) – They had been followers of.” Blue Letter Bible. Web. 4 May, 2017. <https://www.blueletterbible.org/nlt/mar/15/41/s_972041&gt;.

“Matthew 7:4 (NLT) – How can you think of.” Blue Letter Bible. Web. 4 May, 2017. <https://www.blueletterbible.org/nlt/mat/7/4/s_936004&gt;.

“Matthew 18:7 (NLT) – What sorrow awaits the world.” Blue Letter Bible. Web. 4 May, 2017. <https://www.blueletterbible.org/nlt/mat/18/7/s_947007&gt;.

“Matthew 18:9 (NLT) – And if your eye causes.” Blue Letter Bible. Web. 4 May, 2017. <https://www.blueletterbible.org/nlt/mat/18/9/s_947009&gt;

Premier Christian Radio ‘Why I Don’t Agree With The Billy Graham Rule’, Premier Christian Radio Web site, at: <https://www.premierchristianradio.com/Shows/Weekday/Inspirational-Breakfast/Interviews/Why-I-don-t-agree-with-the-Billy-Graham-rule&gt; Accessed 4th May 2017

“Proverbs 5:20 (NLT) – Why be captivated my son.” Blue Letter Bible. Web. 4 May, 2017. <https://www.blueletterbible.org/nlt/pro/5/20/s_633020&gt;.

“Psalm 32:9 (NLT) – Do not be like a.” Blue Letter Bible. Web. 4 May, 2017. <https://www.blueletterbible.org/nlt/psa/32/9/s_510009&gt;.

“Psalm 33 (NLT) – Let the godly sing for.” Blue Letter Bible. Web. 4 May, 2017. <https://www.blueletterbible.org/nlt/psa/33/1/s_511001&gt;.

Wikipedia, ‘Billy Graham Rule’ Wikipedia Web site, at: <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Billy_Graham_rule&gt; Accessed 4th May 2017

Wikipedia, ‘Narcissism’ Wikipedia Web site, at: <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Narcissism&gt; Accessed May 4th 2017

#SPECIALEDITION: 2 of 2 #EASTER #SUNDAY #JesusChrist #Christian #Church #Fellowship #Spring

Hey Guys & Gals!

Here’s the second and last installment of the Easter Special blog posts! Here’s a link to the first one in case you missed it.

It’s Easter Sunday! This is the wonderful time when we Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ!

When God (the Father) raised Jesus (God the son) from death back to life, Jesus then had authority over death because it clearly had no power over Him as He was alive again.

Now what does this mean for us? When we choose to identify ourselves with Christ by believing that He existed, died for us, rose again and that He truly is the son of the ONLY  God, God counts our sins and having been dealt with in the same way by Jesus, on our behalf. Effectively this means that, God counts us as having died in our sin and paid the penalty with Christ. It’s like how you can get someone to vote on your behalf (in the UK it’s called Vote By Proxy) and even though someone else casts your ballot it still counts as if you had gone to the polling station and voted yourself.

Now that Jesus is resurrected, God considers those who believe in Him to also be resurrected and come to new life, (hence the term “born again”), eternal death is not applicable to us any more, as it is not applicable to Jesus, who we choose to identify with. We no longer have to face the consequences of Sin, eternal death. Instead, like Jesus has eternal life, we have eternal life to, which is heaven! Literally.

Now, this does not mean that we can carry on doing bad things and that we don’t need to apologise to God or the people that we hurt, or that when we do bad things we won’t feel consequences to our actions because we will. The death and resurrection of Jesus and our acceptance of it means that we get an opportunity to receive forgiveness from God each time we do bad things. This is called “Grace”. The Grace does not come in God deciding not kill you immediately you do something wrong. The Grace comes in God deciding to have the capacity to forgive you in the first place. Jesus’ death provided that opportunity because He agreed to take on everyone’s sins, even people who had not been born yet. You just have to believe in Jesus and choose to be identified by His death and resurrection, ask forgiveness and God will recognise that someone already died for that sin, that person being Jesus, He considers the consequence paid and forgives you.

Ok that was a whistle stop tour of the Gospel! For more information on Jesus and His life read the book of Mark! https://www.blueletterbible.org/nlt/mar/1/1/s_958001

 

Lots of love

Catherine x

#SPECIALEDITION: 1 of 2 #Easter #Spring #GoodFriday #JesusChrist #Christian

Hey guys!,

It’s Good Friday! This is the day when we Christians celebrate the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.

It’s called “Good” because through the death of Jesus Christ we were able to atoned to God. To be atoned to God means that you are reconciled with God, in a similar way to if a person does something wrong, then they apologise, have some kind of restorative conversation and the relationship is mended.

You see the consequence of sin is death, in the same fashion that the consequence of committing a crime is jail. The type of death I am talking about is eternal separation from God. Which is hell. Literally. God decided that He loved us so much that instead of us having to die for our sin’s He would have Jesus take our place and die on our behalf.

Everyone will eventually die in a physical way because our bodies are finite but our spirits are eternal, meaning that they live on after our bodies. There is life after death and where you go, whether that be heaven or hell depends on your relationship with Jesus Christ. It says in the Bible that the only way to God is through Jesus. Christians believe that God is in heaven and you cannot go there except by accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and saviour, accepting that He died for your sins and accepting that you cannot do life by yourself and that you need Him to help you.

I hope everyone has a good Good Friday and I’ll post something else on Easter Sunday!

 

Love Catherine x

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#Imback #hospital #diabetes #health #church #Jesus

Hey Hey Hey!

For those who have been wondering where I’ve been lately I was in hospital!

Basically, I’d been feeling a bit odd lately, so much so that I didn’t even have the strength to blog or do anything fun at all. Then last Friday I collapsed!

I was rushed to A&E, by the time I got to the hospital I couldn’t walk and I was confused and breathless. I had lost over half a stone and I was weeing a lot! I was also dehydrated.

When I got to A&E I was taken to Rhesus, (the place where they resuscitate you). They took an X-Ray and put me on Oxygen, apparently I had less than 60% oxygen in my blood. They tried to get a blood pressure from me but they couldn’t because my blood pressure was so low and my arms were so scrawny.

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#hospital #accidentandemergency

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My extremities were ice cold because they were actually dead, my heart and brain had taken all the blood out of my extremities to preserve themselves. Furthermore, after X-Rays  and blood tests were done it was found out that my kidneys were dry and one was more dry than the other so I was actually running on only one and a half kidneys.

I was so confused and tired. I had seven drips in because I was so dehydrated. The worst thing was the Catheter, man when that thing was inserted it was incredibly uncomfortable. To make it worse because I was so weak previously I hadn’t shaved for like a month… oh the shame! 😦

Then I was sent to Intensive Care. I couldn’t eat anything I kept on throwing up, feeling nauseous. The doctors were all really friendly, the nurses were cool too! I really liked hte people in Intensive Care they were nice 🙂 I even get a sponge bath from the nurses after I threw up. I pay my taxes which go to the NHS, so that entitles me to at least one free sponge bath!

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As I was Dairy, Wheat and Gluten free I had to bring my own food to the hospital because there was nothing in the kitchen that I could eat, apart from boring roast chicken, diced vegetables and potatoes… On the plus side, I saw a dietician and upon discussion she suggested that I might actually be Lactose intolerant instead of dairy intolerant and advised me to try lactose free products instead. (I’ve been trying milk and I’m super bloated at the moment so I’ll try the lactose free stuff at the next opportunity).

Eventually, I was discharged to a Diabetic ward where I was the youngest person by about 40 years. I was opposite a woman who was 92!!!

The consultant eventually diagnosed me with having had Diabetic ketoacidosis or DKA read about that here. This consequently led to a further diagnosis of Type 1 Diabetes (read about that here), I was told by the consultant that for whatever reason my immune system was attacking my Pancreas, this in turn slowly diminished it’s ability to produce Insulin and that it was not my fault that this happened. Type 1 Diabetes is a failure of the immune system, Type 2 is that one that you get if you eat too much sugar.

I was gutted when I heard the news, I cried and I cried and I cried and I cried and I cried and I cried and I cried some more, the tears wouldn’t stop, I wasn’t even making a sound, tears were just running down my face and it wasn’t voluntary. I’m actually surprised that not one of the nurses or doctors or the consultant or the trainee doctors asked me if I was ok.

I’m out of the hospital now and I’m recovering, I still feel quite weak, I’m a tiny bit shaky and my eyesight is still improving. I went to church last Sunday but didn’t lead worship because I’m still quite tired. Moreover, I can’t really play the guitar effectively right now because my fingers are still sore because when I was in the diabetic ward, they checked my blood sugar every hour, which meant they pricked the ends of my fingers once an hour to draw blood to put it in the machine. Consequently, the ends of my fingers went purple and swollen.

Ok, so I’m upset about what happened and the diagnosis but I could have died and even if I didn’t die I could have gotten brain damage. Every time I started to spiral down into depression a friend would call or text me so I believe that Jesus did that to keep me to up beat and focussed! I totally see how Jesus saved me, reflecting on the results of the tests and the advanced stage in which the DKA was, medical staff have been astounded that I’m still alive, I was in the second to last stage before a diabetic coma. Jesus wanted me to live and fight another day and I’m thankful that He saw me through. Clearly, He has something for me to do later on in life that he wants accomplished.

I’m going to fight the good fight. This year in two months I will be 27, the 7th year is always the Jubilee year so this is my Jubilee year, watch this space!

 

Lot’s of love

Catherine

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#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 😉 ), 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!

#HappyNewYear #Jesus #worship #church #freelance #musician #harp

Hey guys! 

Happy New Year!

What did you get up to on New Year’s Eve?

I decided to start the year as I intended to continue, right where I belong, in church! My church had a joint service on New Year’s Eve with the Brazilian church that rents from us. It started at 22.30 and ran into New Year’s Day, with a bring and share meal at the end. 

The service was bilingual, (English and Portuguese), it was great! 

As the Pastor of Music for our church, I led our worship set and also played my harp in the joint worship set on New Year’s Day. I really enjoyed myself!

Another thing I liked about New Year’s Eve was that I got to collaborate with people from different cultures and musical backgrounds! Experiences like that are incredibly precious and to be cherishe, you never know what you might learn!

Concluding thoughts on my evening? It’s good to be in Gods house! If you don’t know Jesus a your Lord and savior, perhaps make it your New Year’s resolution to find out? I suggest you talk to your Christian friends and make an effort to go to church to see what Jesus is all about! I can personally say that Jesus transforms my life everyday! Try Jesus this year!

Much Love

Catherine x