I Wrote A New #Song – ish lol | #freelance #musician #worshipleader #musicteacher |

Hey everybody!

I hope everybody had a really good Easter! I did a lot of things and I am pretty tired after doing so much, obviously, as a Christian, worship leader and Music Pastor I spent most of Easter in church! See my previous post for me performing at an event 2 weeks ago.

Below is footage of me performing one of my songs called “Song of Songs (Congregation Version)” on Easter Sunday. It’s an adaptation of a song I wrote called “Song of Songs” which is based on my favourite book of the Bible, Song of Songs, (follow this link to read that fascinating book!) on Easter Sunday. Watch it in the embedded player below or (follow this link to watch)

I changed the lyrics to make it a worship song and also to make it more comfortable for people to sing out loud, watch the performance of the original song below to understand what I mean lol. Watch in the embedded player below or (follow this link to watch)

You can also listen to more on my SoundCloud profile here’s some highlights enjoy! Play in the embedded player below (or follow this link):

Now I’m back to work on my Thesis!

P.S. I gave in and tried some of those online dating sites/apps, it was all fun and good till my postman found me on one of the apps, now I just feel soo awkward… lol

Anyway take it easy!

Catherine x

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Come Worship With Me! | #freelance #musician #worshipleader |

Hey everybody!

The other day I lead worship at an event! I thought I would put up the footage so people could come worship with me online! The following times are where I am leading worship:

1:28:26-1:33:30 – You’re My Healer

1:33:34-1:37:42 – Strength Will Rise (they eventually clapped in time… lol)

1:46:23-1:58:00 – Jamming Session (Instrumental of one of my original compositions
called ‘Hallelujah’, which I sing later on)

1:58:40-2:03:36 – You’re My Healer (Reprise)

2:09:01-2:12:00-ย  Hallelujah (original song by me)

Follow this link to listen or use the embedded player below:

The event was bi-lingual, people spoke the following languages: Brazilian, Portuguese, Spanish, English and Yoruba. Normally, at church I speak a bit between songs but I was soo nervous for some reason lol, I didn’t have anyone to translate anything I said anyway lol, they did for the message which was good, next time I’ll ask for a translator.

Big thanks to everybody who helped make Saturday evening happen, as well as those who stepped in last minute to accommodate!

P.S. Let’s crowd source some prayer for Catherine lol. My blood sugar has been up and down lately, let’s pray that it stabilises and I don’t absent mindedly give myself too much insulin again lol.

Lots of love

Catherine

I Am A #Freelance #MusicTeacher |

Hey hey hey!

Sooo I AM A MUSIC TEACHER! I teach the Alto Saxamaphone ๐Ÿ˜› and the flute! I teach the ABRSM syllabus (follow this link to find out more). ABRSM (Associated Board of The Royal Schools of Music is the exam board of The Royal Schools of Music (follow this link to find out more). It’s music exam season and I put a student in for an exam! It’s totally great going to the exam venues when you’re not doing the exams ! It was stressful as a child. As I was not accompanying my student I did not have to go but I wanted to be a supportive teacher so I went!

If you would like music lessons head to my other website www.ridethefaderproductions.com and drop me an email at catherine@ridethefaderproductions.com !

I’ve got to say the Enfield exam centre was the nicest exam centre I have ever been to!

They have a nice practice area!

There were really nice chairs! It was in a vicarage, I had a lovely conversation with the lady at the centre, she goes to the church that the vicarage is attached to and was delightful to talk to!

They had free syllabuses on the table and other free pamphlets that I helped myself to lol!

Again, if you would like music lessons head to my other website www.ridethefaderproductions.com and drop me an email at catherine@ridethefaderproductions.com !

Lots of love and keep calm in your exams!

Catherine x

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

Hey everybody,

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

Catherine x

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

Hellloooooooo!

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

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

Played sax the during a second worship

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

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

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

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

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

Praise Jesus!

Catherine Waithe-Arnold

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

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

Hello everybody!

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

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

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

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Merry Christmas!

Catherine x

#Christmas #party at #church โ›ช!

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I Wrote 2 New #Songs – #music #np #soundcloud #freelance #musician #songwriter #singer #peripatetic #musicteacher #Christian #Jesus

Hello everybody!

SONG 1 – ‘Like Old Times’ Do you guys remember when I was hospitalised in February this year? (follow this link to find out what happened) Bad times! Anyway, whilst I was on my hospital bed I wrote a song! I remembered the song! Then I recorded the song! Basically, the song is the conversation I had with Jesus on the hospital bed. I was like “Jesus what is wrong with me I feel like I could die?” I thought the “die” bit was a bit negative so I changed it to fly but I think most people get it lol. I almost did! So here’s the song, it’s an interesting insight into how I communicate with Jesus, like friends! You can do that you know, talk to Jesus like He is your friend because He actually is your friend, your BEST friend! Follow this link to play the song or play using the embedded player below:

 

SONG 2 – ‘Who Are You?’

So I wrote this song, again this was another conversation I had but this time with myself, it’s about finding the one I guess, wondering where they are, hoping they exist… lol Someone you’re actually compatible with. Also, in the chorus is a tiny nod to the fact that I know that there are guys out there that like me but are too scared/shy to talk to me, that’s their problem lol *shrugs shoulders*. I don’t want a man that’s scared of me hah hah! You can actually feel when you’re being watched. Follow this link to play it or play it in the embedded player below:

 

KINDA STUFF I”M DOING RIGHT NOW Here’s a playlist of stuff I’m doing atm enjoy follow this link to play or play in the embedded player below:

 

Hope you enjoyed that Love Catherine x

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

Hey everybody!

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

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

Love Catherine x

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

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

Hey everybody lets talk about money!

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

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

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

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

What does the Bible say about taxes?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Luke 7:29 [NLT]

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

Luke 15:1 [NLT]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Love,

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

View Catherine Waithe-Arnold's profile on LinkedIn

Catherine Waithe-Arnold

Suffering

Hello everyone,

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

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

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

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

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

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

Romans 9:11-23 NLT

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

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

Genesis 50:19-20 NLT

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

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

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

2 Corinthians 12:7-10 NLT

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

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

Romans 7:14-24 NLT

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

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

Romans 8:1-14 NLT

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

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

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

Revelation 1:9-11 NLT

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

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

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

Matthew 13:24-30 NLT

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

[JESUS THEN EXPLAINS THE PARABLE LATER]

Matthew 13:36-43 NLT

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

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

1 Timothy 6:11-14 NLT

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

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

Lots of love Catherine x