Please see the video below:
Play in the embedded player or follow this link to watch
Here’s a link to the blog post with the resource I was talking about: (follow this link)
Please see the video below:
Play in the embedded player or follow this link to watch
Here’s a link to the blog post with the resource I was talking about: (follow this link)
I am in a teaching mode at the moment, so I made a small group resource revolving around critical reflection, this would make a good leadership training resource and also something to help you think when people who aren’t Christians ask you hard questions. There is one with answers on and one blank that you can download and just discuss and write down your thoughts.
This graphic is designed to make you think about your faith and the world around you. What happens and what is the impact on people when we mix certain things in society. It is designed to make you critically reflect upon yourself, the world around you and your faith and faith practices.
P.S. This is best for adults not young children!!!
HERE’S THE THEORY BEHIND CRITICAL REFLECTION, THIS IS IN THE RESOURCE BUT I’M PUTTING IT HERE FOR YOU TO EASILY ACCESS.
What is critical reflection?
Critical Reflection has been given many different definitions throughout the years. Some of these definitions include one from John Dewey (1933) which says that critical reflection is an:
“…active, persistent, and careful consideration of any belief or supposed form of knowledge in the light of the grounds that support it and the further conclusions to which it includes a conscious and voluntary effort to establish belief upon a firm basis of evidence and rationality”.
Another definition has been given by Jack Mezirow (1990) in which he says that critical reflection is:
“…a process of testing the justification or validity of taken-for-granted premises”.
Although there are many definitions they seem to have some things in common. They seem to all say something about a process of questioning our beliefs, values, and behaviours in order to justify why we do these things the way we do, and what other views or behaviours contrary to our own might be (Colorado Mountain College 2019).
Critical reflection on our Christian practice is more than just ‘thinking about’ or ‘thoughtful’ practice. It is a way of ‘critiquing’ our Christian practice in a systematic and rigorous way – helping us to carefully consider what is good and what could be improved.
Why is critical reflection important?
If we are to create cultures that are more caring, this might require changes in individuals and teams.
A number of models and frameworks are available that can help you to reflect on your experiences. This can be things that have gone well, helping you to understand how you can make this happen more often; or things that haven’t gone so well, helping you to think about how things could be different in the future.
Critical reflection on our Christian practice is a key activity in creating caring cultures because it can enable individuals to develop greater self-awareness by helping them to:
There is also:
There are 12 pages.
Page 2 –
* The Graphic
*Q.1) “Critically reflect upon what happens when we mix these things? THINK
THEN WRITE THE POSITIVE AND NEGATIVE THINGS!”
To critically reflect you must see both the positive and the negative things
*Q.2) “Extension Question Can you give any Biblical & non-biblical references to
justify your answers?”
The second question is harder. The idea behind Q.2 is to make you think about wider society, understand that as Christians you live in the world and things have you observed in the world also inform how you think. As a Christian you have to be able to reason and navigate worldly things as well as spiritual matters.
*Q.3.)Why are these things happening?
Q.4.) Discuss: What can we do to change the negatives and grow the positives?
Page 3 – This has the key to help you understand what the different sections mean
Page 4 – 7 – Explanation of Critical Reflection
Page 8 – 11 – Blank worksheets for you to write on. One for what generally happens
Pg. 3 – “What do you think generally happens when we mix these things?”
Pg. 4 – “What is the specific impact on WOMEN/GIRLS when we mix these things?”
Pg. 5. – “What is the specific impact on MEN/BOYS when we mix these things?”
Page 11 – Some suggestions (not exhaustive in the slightest)
Page 12 – Bibliography
Anyway below is the resource you can Follow this link to download) Money Sex Power Christianity Critical Reflection Small Group Resource enjoy 😉
Let me know your thoughts in the comments section on what YOU THINK happens when we mix certain things, what do YOU THINK happens when Christianity intersects with Money, Sex and or Power?
Catherine Waithe-Arnold BA (Hons), MMus, PhD Candidate
Colorado Mountain College, ‘Critical reflection’ Colorado Mountain College Web site, at: <http://faculty.coloradomtn.edu/orl/critical_reflection.htm> 7th February 2019
Dewey, J. (1933). How We Think: A Restatement of the Relation of Reflective Thinking to the Educative Process. Lexington, MA: Heath.
Foundation of Nursing Studies, 2015. ‘Learning Through Critical Reflection’ Fons Web site, at: <https://www.fons.org/resources/documents/Creating-Caring-Cultures/Critical-Reflection.pdf> 7th February 2019
Nottingham University, 2019. ‘Student Self Assessment’ Nottingham University Web site, at: <https://www.nottingham.ac.uk/nmp/sonet/rlos/placs/critical_reflection/pdf/ladybird_selfassess.pdf> 7th February 2019
MEZIROW J (1990) Fostering Critical Reflection in Adulthood San Francisco: Jossey-Bass
(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!
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.
I’ve decided to make this weeks post short because last weeks post was rather long, it was as long as my literature review for my PhD lol. So this week, lets just chill, as the bible says in Psalm 127:2 [NLT]:
“ It is useless for you to work so hard from early morning until late at night, anxiously working for food to eat; for God gives rest to his loved ones.”
So I’m going to chill on the advice of The Teacher from Ecclesiastes 2:21-26 [NLT]
“ Some people work wisely with knowledge and skill, then must leave the fruit of their efforts to someone who hasn’t worked for it. This, too, is meaningless, a great tragedy.  So what do people get in this life for all their hard work and anxiety?  Their days of labor are filled with pain and grief; even at night their minds cannot rest. It is all meaningless.  So I decided there is nothing better than to enjoy food and drink and to find satisfaction in work. Then I realized that these pleasures are from the hand of God.  For who can eat or enjoy anything apart from him?  God gives wisdom, knowledge, and joy to those who please him. But if a sinner becomes wealthy, God takes the wealth away and gives it to those who please him. This, too, is meaningless–like chasing the wind.”
Here’s some relaxing music I composed! I was blessed enough to get the opportunity to get the 1st & 8th tracks performed by a real orchestra! The harp ones are me actually playing my harp. Enjoy! (follow this link or play it in the embedded player below). Don’t forget to check out my other website: www.ridethefaderproductions.com
Catherine x (the picture below was me at 19 years old and on degree no 1. lol)
Good evening ladies and gentlemen,
I’ve been thinking about gender issues again, that’s what my PhD is about I’m looking at attitudes towards women worship leaders and that involves looking at intersectionality, that is basically describing looking at overlapping (intersecting) systems of oppression. For example, a person, man or woman, might dislike a women leader because of her ethnicity, class, education status, financial status or even her accent? So there are many reasons why a person might dislike a woman leader and none of them might have anything to do with her sex, the woman thing is just a more socially acceptable reason for them to dislike her and they jump on that bandwagon with their own hidden agenda…
Anyway, that’s not what this post is about lol… I’ve been thinking about sex again. I’m not married and I don’t have a boyfriend (not that that would matter either because as a Christian I wouldn’t be sleeping with my boyfriend anyway) so all I can do is philosophize on the matter, it is relevant to my PhD with the whole gender issues thing. I was thinking about this scripture:
[1Cor 12:12-26 NLT]
 The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ.  Some of us are Jews, some are Gentiles, some are slaves, and some are free. But we have all been baptized into one body by one Spirit, and we all share the same Spirit.  Yes, the body has many different parts, not just one part.  If the foot says, “I am not a part of the body because I am not a hand,” that does not make it any less a part of the body.  And if the ear says, “I am not part of the body because I am not an eye,” would that make it any less a part of the body?  If the whole body were an eye, how would you hear? Or if your whole body were an ear, how would you smell anything?  But our bodies have many parts, and God has put each part just where he wants it.  How strange a body would be if it had only one part!  Yes, there are many parts, but only one body.  The eye can never say to the hand, “I don’t need you.” The head can’t say to the feet, “I don’t need you.”
 In fact, some parts of the body that seem weakest and least important are actually the most necessary.  And the parts we regard as less honorable are those we clothe with the greatest care. So we carefully protect those parts that should not be seen,  while the more honorable parts do not require this special care. So God has put the body together such that extra honor and care are given to those parts that have less dignity.
 This makes for harmony among the members, so that all the members care for each other.  If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honored, all the parts are glad.
I isolated v 22-24 because those are the ones that I’m going to talk about.
I was thinking about men and women’s anatomy, which parts we “…clothe with the greatest care” (1Cor 12:23). For men, it is socially acceptable across most cultures for them to walk around with no tops on or trousers but they must have their penis and testicles covered at all times! For women it is socially acceptable in Anglo-American society for them to walk around with not much on but we must have our breasts covered and have pants on! Even in cultures where they live in the forests, in fact, I’ve actually noticed watching documentaries on the BBC that in many of those cultures that still live in forests the women are at least wearing some kind of covering over their lower half like a grass skirt. In Anglo-American culture any other forms of undress for men and women are considered to be inappropriate and quite right too.
Now… it’s it interesting that the afore mentioned parts that we always keep hidden are really soft, squishy and delicate but oh so necessary for life? Like Paul said in 1Cor 12:22:
 In fact, some parts of the body that seem weakest and least important are actually the most necessary.
Our genitals are amongst our weakest points of our bodies but regardless of whether you get a baby by IVF/adoption etc you still at one point need a man’s genitals and a woman’s genitals to create a baby. They are also used for sex to bond a couple together, I guess creating “life” within a marriage.
A man might be attracted to a woman’s face and kiss it but yet the most intimate way he can physically express his love to her is through a very humble part of his body that has “…less dignity...” (1Cor 12:24) than his face. Think about it, our genitals have a nasty job, they handle urine, sweat, semen, menstrual blood (if you’re a woman), discharge, a baby (if you’re a woman), there is also certain bacteria which is down there which is fine if it’s down there but causes problems if its anywhere else. They also handle the pressure of being sat on all day as well (if you’re a woman). Furthermore, lets just be realistic and adult about this, there is going to be some excrement on them as well, due to their proximity to our anus. Moreover, between you and me if I could choose whether or not to look at a man’s face or his penis all day I’d choose his face… A penis looks like a big worm that lives in the guys pants all day, next to his sweaty hairy balls. A vagina looks like something from outer space.
Our faces on the other hand look sooooo beautiful in comparison and they have all the nice jobs like singing, speaking, eating, laughing, smiling and kissing! Our faces don’t do the nasty jobs, in fact, some of the things our faces do we don’t even need them to do to survive, it’s just extra things like smiling that make life much more fun! Our genitals on the other hand, everything they do is 100% necessary for us to survive, they seem the “…weakest and least important…” (1Cor 12:22) but “…are actually the most necessary” (1Cor 12:22). They’re super useful but much more delicate than our faces. You can take a punch in the face but not in the groin! Also, we hide them because of what they look like and what they do.
Now, why does God use the parts with “…less dignity…” (1Cor 12:24) to be vessels he uses to facilitate life and love? God does things like that so no one can ever boast.
[1Co 1:26-31 NLT]  Remember, dear brothers and sisters, that few of you were wise in the world’s eyes or powerful or wealthy when God called you.
 Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful.  God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important.
 As a result, no one can ever boast in the presence of God.  God has united you with Christ Jesus. For our benefit God made him to be wisdom itself. Christ made us right with God; he made us pure and holy, and he freed us from sin.  Therefore, as the Scriptures say, “If you want to boast, boast only about the LORD.”
Yeah the world does consider genitals to be shameful, “…foolish...”, “…powerless…“, “…counted as nothing at all…” (1Cor 1:27-28), they aren’t really talked about because of the private and humble functions they perform and are always hidden (which isn’t a bad thing, I don’t personally believe that Naturism is compatible with Christianity unless you are unclothed in front of your spouse/doctor/close family member/parent/guardian (basically a person you have a reason to be naked in front of or a person who isn’t going to hurt you and you’re just close and have that kind of relationship with them but outside of that those examples it’s not a good idea).
It seems as though God is for raising up the disenfranchised and for humility. Jesus Christ King of Kings and Lord of Lords was born in a stable and He had humility and servant heartedness and God elevated Him higher than anything or anyone in forever as it says in Philippians:
[Phl 2:5-11 NLT]  You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.  Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to.  Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form,  he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross.  Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names,  that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,  and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
We can see other examples of what Paul was talking about in 1Cor 12:22-24 and 1Cor 1:27-28 in the Genesis story. Humans, the most exciting part of God’s creation were made from what Genesis describes as “…dust...” (Gen 2:7).
[Gen 2:7 NLT]  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.
You would have thought that God would have used something more exciting but no, just dust and God reminds us that we are made of dust when He cursed Adam:
[Gen 3:19 NLT]  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.”
and when we speak to God and try and reason with Him it seems as though a good way is to remind God that we are dust like Abraham, Job and David did:
[Gen 18:27-28 NLT]  Then Abraham spoke again. “Since I have begun, let me speak further to my Lord, even though I am but dust and ashes.  Suppose there are only forty-five righteous people rather than fifty? Will you destroy the whole city for lack of five?” And the LORD said, “I will not destroy it if I find forty-five righteous people there.”
[Job 10:9 NLT]  Remember that you made me from dust–will you turn me back to dust so soon?
David: Also see the whole of Psalm 90 & 103:
[Psa 30:9-10 NLT]  “What will you gain if I die, if I sink into the grave? Can my dust praise you? Can it tell of your faithfulness?  Hear me, LORD, and have mercy on me. Help me, O LORD.”
God consistently uses the seemingly weak things and promotes them, look at the story of Jacob and Esau, the older brother ended up serving the younger brother Gen 25, the Parable of the Landowner Mat 20:1-16 where Jesus famously said:
[Mat 20:16 NLT]  “So those who are last now will be first then, and those who are first will be last.”
and Jesus reiterated this sentiment again in Mark:
[Mar 9:35 NLT]  He sat down, called the twelve disciples over to him, and said, “Whoever wants to be first must take last place and be the servant of everyone else.”
So we have learned that God uses the parts that have “…less dignity…” (1Cor 12:24), the things that are “…weakest and least important…” (1Cor 12:22), “…foolish…“, “…powerless…“, “…counted as nothing at all…” (1Cor 1:27-28), “…dust…” (Gen 2:7) and the “…last…” (Matt 20:16) (which would make you a loser) for great things!. That means that we can assume that whatever it is in your life that is you consider “…least important…” (1Cor 12:22) or “…less honourable…” (1Cor 12:23) or maybe it’s something that you are embarrassed about physically/emotionally/something in your past or maybe you’re not the most popular person, you’re last all the time, a loser, you have an injury, a learning difficulty like me, Autism like me or a disease then you’re in prime place to be used by God. That very thing that you think disqualifies you for success is the thing that God is going to use to make you shine! Extra care will be given to those things, as it says in 1Cor 12:24, “…extra honor and care are given to those parts that have less dignity“. God knows the things that you are embarrassed about, He will take care of you.
For some, learning difficulties are a source of shame. For me my learning difficulties are the things that actually help me to make money because of the creativity and focus that coexists with them. The Autism makes me prefer my own company to crowds, which helps me with my career because making music/arrangements/planning lessons etc is a lonely process and if you need people around you all the time it’s not for you lol. My preference for my own company also means that I spend a lot of time alone with Jesus which is good and the intense focus that accompanies ASD means I meditate on the Bible and philosophize intensely, which helps my walk with Christ and has helped me to be currently working on my third degree lol.
If God can take something humble like our genitals, the parts of our bodies that are not even polite to have on show, the parts that literally handle: filth, bacteria, bodily fluids, sweat and smelliness and use them to produce actual life and be facilitators of sex, something so overwhelmingly beautiful and a deep physical expression of pleasure and love, He can use you and because He used you despite your disadvantages you will never be able to boast about doing it yourself. You will gain a deeper understanding of His power and magnificence, worship Him like you should and your faith will increase! I think Paul’s statement below sums up my hopes for you:
[Eph 3:14-21 NLT]  When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father,  the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth.  I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit.  Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong.  And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is.  May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.  Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.  Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen.
You can do it! God believes in you! Below is a picture with me with no make-up on, showing hyper-pigmentation on my body, something that happened to me a number of years ago and I’m very embarrassed/mortified about it but Jesus can use it somehow for His glory.
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
 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;  he calls people, but not according to their good or bad works.) She was told, “Your older son will serve your younger son.”  In the words of the Scriptures, “I loved Jacob, but I rejected Esau.”  Are we saying, then, that God was unfair? Of course not!  For God said to Moses, “I will show mercy to anyone I choose, and I will show compassion to anyone I choose.”  So it is God who decides to show mercy. We can neither choose it nor work for it.  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.”  So you see, God chooses to show mercy to some, and he chooses to harden the hearts of others so they refuse to listen.  Well then, you might say, “Why does God blame people for not responding? Haven’t they simply done what he makes them do?”  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?”  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?  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.  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
 But Joseph replied, “Don’t be afraid of me. Am I God, that I can punish you?  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
 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.  Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away.  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.  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
 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.  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.  But if I know that what I am doing is wrong, this shows that I agree that the law is good.  So I am not the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.  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.  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.  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.  I have discovered this principle of life-that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong.  I love God’s law with all my heart.  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.  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
 So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.  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.  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.  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.  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.  So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace.  For the sinful nature is always hostile to God. It never did obey God’s laws, and it never will.  That’s why those who are still under the control of their sinful nature can never please God.  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.)  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.  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.  Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do.  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.  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
 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.  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.  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
 Here is another story Jesus told: “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a farmer who planted good seed in his field.  But that night as the workers slept, his enemy came and planted weeds among the wheat, then slipped away.  When the crop began to grow and produce grain, the weeds also grew.  “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?’  “‘An enemy has done this!’ the farmer exclaimed. “‘Should we pull out the weeds?’ they asked.  “‘No,’ he replied, ‘you’ll uproot the wheat if you do.  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
 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.”  Jesus replied, “The Son of Man is the farmer who plants the good seed.  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.  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.  “Just as the weeds are sorted out and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the world.  The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will remove from his Kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil.  And the angels will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.  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
 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.  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.  And I charge you before God, who gives life to all, and before Christ Jesus, who gave a good testimony before Pontius Pilate,  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’ 🙂
Lots of love Catherine x
Did you know that I provide UK based music production, composition, peripatetic music tuition (alto sax, flute, clarinet, lever harp), performing, songwriting and worship leader services on a freelance basis?
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Catherine Waithe-Arnold BA (Hons), MMus
CEO @ Ride The Fader Productions
Let me share with you the cautionary tale of how I learned to not go to town looking like I just got out of bed.
Now back to the story!
The year was 2009, I was in my second year of my degree BA (Hons) Popular Music and Record Production, at Southampton Solent University (I graduated First Class btw then went on to do my Masters in Music Composition at The University Of Southampton, there’s two universities in Southampton). To encourage/motivate myself to get my work done, I created my own reward system for the means of positive reinforcement. So I did things I needed to do, then I would reward myself for it 😛 . Often, it would include buying a DVD, cake, going out somewhere with friends and going to town to buy purfume/chocolate/cupcakes/milkshakes lol. I didn’t usually dress to go to town I just went as is, unless I was going with friends.
Now, one day I had an essay due. I spent all night finishing the essay because it was due the next day and like a typical student, I had left it till waaay too late to start. Eventually, I finished the essay very early in the morning on the submission day. As I had been up all night I was knackered, I was soo knackered that I didn’t even want to shower, which is a big thing for me because I ALWAYS SHOWER EVERYDAY AND SOMETIMES I EVEN SHOWER TWICE A DAY, living in England I am in the minority when it comes to showering habits lol… (to be fair that extra layer of dirt is what’s keeping you warm).
Anyway, I decided for my own self respect to shower even though I was soo tired. (Sometimes, my peers would go to university on submission days in their pyjamas because they had been up all night working on essays and couldn’t be bothered to wear clothes because you didn’t go to lectures on that day you just went in and handed in your work). Anywaaaaay! So I looked in the mirror and thought,
“I’m just going to hand in my work not a lecture, no need for makeup no one’s going to see me and no one in the queue cares lol”.
So I decided not to wear makeup. I then looked at my hair and said
“I’m too tired I can’t be bothered people need to just be happy that I’m wearing clothes, showered and am handing in my essay forget that!”
So I slicked my hair back into a ponytail, no parting or anything just back lol. I found some clothes, bell bottom jeans and a plaid pink/red/blue t-shirt and some trainers. So basically I looked like I had just come off a farm mucking out stables 😀 . I walked the short walk to university carrying my essay and a handbag, got to the hatch and handed in my essay. After that I felt very relieved and decided, lets go to town! I wanted to buy the latest perfume of the day, I can’t remember what it was Estee Lauder or something like that!
So I started walking to town, massive weight off my shoulder knowing that I had finished said essay and my time was now my own. I walked down the high street, which led to the massive mall, fun fact the architect who designed the atrium of that mall was the father of one of my ex bf’s. Moving on. I was walking down the high street nearly at the mall and there were charity people there as usual, trying to get shoppers to give to charity. These people always catch me and always speak to me, I always get them! I don’t know why? Maybe I have a friendly face?
Begrudgingly I walked up to him and then when I got close.
“Oh. My. Goodness.”
He was the fittest thing I had ever seen with a clip board and there I was, looking like a farm-hand. The horror! Thank goodness I at least showered! This is why you must always shower lol. He was named after one of the disciples, tall, intelligent, loved the environment, was politically and socially aware, personable, buff ting, a tiny bit older than me, basically everything I would ever want in a guy. He had a degree in something like Environmental Science and I could actually have an intelligent conversation with him. I kept on trying to run away because I felt like I didn’t really look that great and I was embarrassed BUT he didn’t seem to notice. He kept on prolonging the conversation way beyond trying to get me to sign up for charity. I was thinking to myself “why is this guy still talking to me I look awful?”. He was so nice and intelligent and I really enjoyed talking to him. I was thinking “yeah we can get married and have an eco friendly house, grow our own vegetables and our car will run on solar power and our love 😛 “. I wish I had been more confident and gotten his number, he might have given it to me, we did talk for an awfully long time, I was beginning to get a bit embarrassed and I’m pretty sure people were watching lol.
Eventually we finished our conversation and I went into the mall feeling demoralised because I just couldn’t be bothered to make an effort with my appearance. In general around that time I literally used to dress like a dude:
Now I dress like this:
Still loving the red and much more feminine! There’s nothing wrong with jeans but there is something wrong with wearing them when it’s not always really the appropriate occasion to do so, like I used to. There’s also something wrong with wearing jeans to hide your body, like I used to do as well. I just had a lot of self esteem and self image issues at the time that I have been working on and still am working on with Jesus.
Learn from my experience! Do not go to town looking like you belong on a farm. I can’t stress this enough, you might meet a fit guy/lady. It’s not worth it. The memory of that experience still upsets me to this day lol. I couldn’t have dated him anyway because I promised God that I was going to university to get a degree not a boyfriend. I promised God before I went to university that I wouldn’t have any boyfriends whilst I was doing my degree, consequently, I was deliberately boyfriend-less for 3 years. I regret nothing, as I said earlier I graduated First Class. I’m still boyfriend-less, not deliberately this time but even so I’m still having quite a good time exploring who I am, who Jesus is and what Jesus wants out of my life and where we are going together.
The next day I decided that that experience was never ever going to happen to me ever again, I put on my slap foundation, blusher, eye shadow, eye liner, mascara the works, so full war paint lol, I also put on a dress and a necklace and went to town looking for the cute charity guy again 😉 and he wasn’t there… and he never was ever again… and I felt so stupid, even more stupid than I felt the previous day.
For those of you who have read to the bottom of this blog post, well done to you, your reward is the following nuggets of knowledge:
I felt like the experience was God showing me that I am beautiful and I don’t need makeup or nice clothes to get nice, attractive, intelligent guys to talk to me, it was really my personality that kept him talking to me because I had already agreed to give to charity and we were literally just having a conversation after that about the news.
However, what I also learnt from that experience is the importance of being ready, for anything. The problem was not that I wasn’t dressed and didn’t have makeup on, the problem was that I WASN’T READY FOR LIFE BECAUSE I COULDN’T BE BOTHERED and therein lies the crux of what I am trying to teach you. I didn’t appropriately deal with something in my past (the essay, I started it to late). I then allowed this thing in my past to effect my future (I allowed my tiredness and lethargy from writing the essay to dictate my actions instead of my brain and heart). This in turn left me unprepared for my future (I was embarrassed in front of the attractive charity guy). Always be ready to face life’s challenges always and never assume that your destiny is going to happen tomorrow it might just creep up on you today! This story isn’t about the guy or makeup it’s just about doing whatever you personally need to do to be prepared even if it’s tiring. The guy just represented anything that I wanted but wasn’t physically, spiritually and emotionally ready for because I just couldn’t be bothered because of something that happened in my past. Don’t let that happen to you. I say this metaphorically:
DON’T GO TO TOWN LOOKING LIKE RUBBISH, ALWAYS BE PREPARED!
Apply that principle to whatever situation is going on in your life and just make sure that you don’t go to town looking like rubbish, please.
Lots of love