[VIDEO] Review of last weeks topic: #HALT (#Hungry #Angry #Lonely #Tired)

Hey everybody!

In the spirit of taking it easy I have a video for you today just chatting about my feelings on last weeks topic found here : Hungry Angry Lonely Tired

(Video might be a bit quiet you might need to turn up the volume)

Enjoy!

Catherine x

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😁😁😁😁😁😁😁 #fullenglish

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A Whistle-stop Tour Of #Ancient #Jewish #Worship #Music & Techniques

Hey!

Here’s a whistle stop tour of why Christians sing in church:

A History of Christian Worship

The early church was comprised of Jews who had accepted Jesus as the promised Messiah. Therefore, to understand what contemporary Christian worship is and why it is there, one must look at historical Jewish worship, as this is the foundation that modern Christian worship is based on.

The beginnings of Jewish music are not known, what is not shrouded in mystery is known by what the Bible tells us (Barton 2014, p.7). The book of Psalms is full of many musical directions of how to worship God, however, as there are no sound recordings or musical notation related to the musical directions in the psalms, we can only speculate as to how they would have sounded. The first mention in the Bible of music, a musical instrument and a musician is when a woman called Adah gives birth to her son whom she named Jubal, in Genesis 4:20-22:

“[20] Adah gave birth to Jabal, who was the first of those who raise livestock and live in tents. [21] His brother’s name was Jubal, the first of all who play the harp and flute. [22] Lamech’s other wife, Zillah, gave birth to a son named Tubal-cain. He became an expert in forging tools of bronze and iron. Tubal-cain had a sister named Naamah.” (Genesis 4:20-22 NLT)

Here, we are introduced to three primary professions on earth, apart from tending the Garden of Eden, like Adam. Those who work with livestock (v.20), the musician (v.21) and the craftsman in bronze and iron (v.22) (Barton 2014, p.9).

The Hebrews, (as they were known before they arrived in Israel), were given instructions to worship God in the books of the Law, which, at the time, also involved animal sacrifice. They were told what to sacrifice and when but no specifics was given regarding worship (Williams 2018, Origins of Christian Worship).

There are a few examples describing how worship was lead in the Bible but again we do not know how it sounded. We read early on in the Bible that after leaving Egypt, Miriam, the sister of Moses, took a timbrel and led the other women, who also had timbrels and to praise God in Exodus 15; 20 and 21. In Leviticus, we are introduced to the Shofar, this is a Rams horn which was blown by a priest on feast days. The Shofar is still played today and sounds like a trumpet or horn. In Numbers 10:1-10, we are introduced to another kind of horn, the silver trumpet, like the Shofar, this is not strictly a musical instrument but is also only used by the priests who blew it to signal to the Hewbrew’s that they were moving the camp.

Fast-forward many generations to the book of Samuel we discover that there were prophets who were also musicians. Saul met them following an encounter with Samuel:

“When you arrive at Gibeah of God, where the garrison of the Philistines is located, you will meet a band of prophets coming down from the place of worship. They will be playing a harp, a tambourine, a flute, and a lyre, and they will be prophesying. (1 Samuel 10:5 NLT)

Music was also used for therapeutic reasons, David played the harp for King Saul, conducted under what has become known as the Psalmist anointing, which is “…the power coming from God in the music to drive evil spirits away” (Barton 2014, p.9):

And whenever the tormenting spirit from God troubled Saul, David would play the harp. Then Saul would feel better, and the tormenting spirit would go away. (1 Samuel 16:23 NLT).

Later, once David became king and he brought the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem there was dancing; singing; they were playing lyres; harps; tambourines and other percussive instruments (2 Samuel 6:5) and Rams horn’s were played in 2 Samuel 6.15. David also assigned men from the Levite clans to sing and play music in worship to God in the tabernacle, (which at the time was a tent), 24 hours a day and they did so until his heir and son Solomon built a temple made of brick (1 Chronicles 6:31-32). In fact, the whole of 1 Chronicles 25 also shows us that David appointed entire families from the Levite clans to play music, this would have amounted to several thousand singers and musicians (Barton 2014, p.9). David also appointed a choir leader, who functioned, I imagine, much in the same way as a modern choir leader (1 Chronicles 15:16) (Nehemiah 12:46). When David established the Ark of the Covenant in the Tabernacle, he personally paid for musicians out of his treasury:

“[4] David appointed the following Levites to lead the people in worship before the Ark of the LORD–to invoke his blessings, to give thanks, and to praise the LORD, the God of Israel. [5] Asaph, the leader of this group, sounded the cymbals. Second to him was Zechariah, followed by Jeiel, Shemiramoth, Jehiel, Mattithiah, Eliab, Benaiah, Obed-edom, and Jeiel. They played the harps and lyres. [6] The priests, Benaiah and Jahaziel, played the trumpets regularly before the Ark of God’s Covenant.” (1 Chronicles 16:4-6 NLT)

Before David’s Tabernacle (tent) was erected worship was quite solemn, as directed by Moses and involved animal sacrifice. In David’s Tabernacle worship livened up. This could have been because David was quite a creative and passionate person. The Bible tells us that he was a poet, harpist and singer, as well as a shepherd, King and warrior. The Bible also tells us that David also appeared to enjoy dancing as well, see 2 Samuel 16:14 (Barton 2014, p.15).

Once, Solomon, David’s son and heir had built the Temple of the Lord, he celebrated this with music, 120 priests playing trumpets and God responded to this by filling the Temple with His presence:

“[12] And the Levites who were musicians–Asaph, Heman, Jeduthun, and all their sons and brothers–were dressed in fine linen robes and stood at the east side of the altar playing cymbals, lyres, and harps. They were joined by 120 priests who were playing trumpets. [13] The trumpeters and singers performed together in unison to praise and give thanks to the LORD. Accompanied by trumpets, cymbals, and other instruments, they raised their voices and praised the LORD with these words: “He is good! His faithful love endures forever!” At that moment a thick cloud filled the Temple of the LORD. [14] The priests could not continue their service because of the cloud, for the glorious presence of the LORD filled the Temple of God.” (2 Chronicles 5:12-14 NLT) (Barton 2014, p.9).

The instruments used in the Temple worship in King Solomon’s times were:

Kinnor – A Harp or Lyre – a plucked string instrument probably with 12 strings. It is the national instrument of Israel still today.
Ugav – a flute or shawm – a wood instrument
Tof – a small tambourine-type instrument often played by women
Machalat – The nature of this instrument cannot be established

 

Non-musical instruments

Shofar – Ram’s horn
Pa’amon – Bells
Chatzotzerah – The Silver trumpet which God told Moses to make and used to signal the onward movement of the Hebrews in the wilderness and at other festival times – blown only by priests.
The tabret (or trimbrel) – was probably a small hand held percussion instrument (Rothmüller 1967) (Barton 2014, p. 16).

Following the destruction of this temple and the exile and return of the Israelites to Israel, worship changed slightly but the basic elements remained the same and there were still many musicians, Ezra records that 128 singers returned from exile with him (Ezra 2:41), later there were 200 women and men singers (Ezra 2:65). Nehemiah records in Nehemiah 7:67 that the singers were so numerous that they built villages around the capital to accommodate them and they were given a quota of food each day (Nehemiah 11:23) (Barton 2014, pp.17-18). What changed was the tone of worship during the exile of the Israelites from their own country to Babylon by the Babylonians. Singing in the synagogues was briefly banned, possibly due to the sorrow of exile as well as the rise of emphasis on the law by the Pharisee’s Some things were added, like the formalized order of public prayers, still used in Synagogues today, was established by the Great Assembly of Jewish leaders. This is known as the synagogue system (Barton 2014, p.19).

 

Historical Liturgical Synagogue Worship

The following are institutionalised liturgical practices from the synagogue system:

The Cantor

The Cantor was the leader of chanting prayers, psalms and scriptures in the synagogue, which became the dominant form of music in the synagogues for many centuries, following the lifting of the ban on singing in the synagogues. The chant was a liturgical practice that involved a number of syllables being sung to each note of a short melodic line that is repeated throughout the passage being read/sung. The cantor would take contemporaneous melodic patters or compose his own melodies. Chanting of Psalms was often done antiphonally with two choirs groups to lead the congregation. Rabbis did not allow women to sing, so all music was male led by men and boys and chanting was monophonic. The scales differed depending on the spatio-temporal location of the synagogue as the local folk music culture often influenced the Cantor’s musical creations (Barton 2014, p.21).

 

Cantillation

In the Cantillation the cantor or leader singer of a synagogue sings the declamatory form of the weekly text of the Torah, and the Prophets (Nevi’im) using pre-existing musical phrases. The musical phrases are chosen according to the text and book of the Bible being cantillated. There is no rhythm as different musical motives are combined together. Although there is reason to believe that cantillation goes back as far as Ezra in the Bible times – about 2,500 years ago – most melodies used today are no older that about the 15th or 16th century (Rubin and Baron 2006, pp.67-69) (Barton 2014, pp.21-22).

 

Jewish Liturgical Modes

A set of musical modes are called ‘Nusach’ which can refer either to a set of modes, melodies and also a set text or prayer. These modes or melodies link the prayer to a time of year or day and also indicate what prayer is to be sing or recited. These melodies became standardized, as did the prayers associated with the melodies. The Three main modes are: Ahavah Rabbah, Magein Avot and Adonai Malach. Today they are improvised from time to time) (Barton 2014, p.22).

 

Synagogue Prayers

The prayers of the Synagogues were chanted usually led by a Cantor and a male choir (if available). The Cantors usually sang in a florid and melodious style that was either of their own devising (before the modes became formalized) or influence by the local culture’s melodic lines. After the formalizing of the prayers the following forms emerged and remain until this day in the modern synagogues:

Piyyut: – a Jewish liturgical poem that is sung, chanted or spoken. A lot of Piyytim are poetic in character and often follow the order of an acrostic poem using the Hebrew Alphabet in order at the beginning of each line.

Zemiros: Jewish Hymns sung in Hebrew, Aramaic, Yiddish or Ladino, sung at holidays, the Shabbat meal on Fridays or any other day.

Nigun: religious songs sung by groups that involve voice and with no formal words; syllables such as bim-bim-bam or ai-ai-ai are sung.

Pizmonim: Traditional Jewish songs associated with Middle Eastern Sephardic Jews – but are also among the North African and Mizrahi Jews. Texts may come from the Old Testament or by poets. They are composed to praise God and contain traditional teaching. They are often sung at religious rituals or festivities such as circumcisions, weddings Bar Mitzvahs or other ceremonies.

Baqashot: a collection of songs and prayers sung by Sephardic Jewish communities during Shabbat, but also may be recited during the long weeks of winter) (Barton 2014, pp.22-23).

That’s all folks!

Bibliography

Books

Barton, B. 2014. The Music of the Jews: An Overview. Fellowship Diploma dissertation. National College of Music, London.

Rothmüller, A. M. 1967. The Music of the Jews; an Historical Appreciation. South Brunswick: T. Yoseloff.

Rubin, E. and J. H. Baron. 2006. Music in Jewish History and Culture. Sterling Heights. MI: Harmonie Park.

 

Websites

Williams, B. ‘Origins of Christian Worship’ Academia Web site, at: <https://www.academia.edu/26562401/Origins_of_Christian_Worship > 15 October 2018

Adam’s Spare Rib Story: More Significant Than You Think! #Jesus #Bible #Christianity #AdamandEve

Hey everyone I dug into the archives of my laptop to find some old notes I made about things. Here’s something I wrote in August 2011, just before I graduated First Class (heh!) from my degree! The conclusions are from 2019!

 

The story of Adams rib was more important than you think.

God put Adam to sleep and took out his rib and made Eve out of it:

(Genesis 2:21-23 NLT) “[21] So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep. While the man slept, the LORD God took out one of the man’s ribs and closed up the opening. [22] Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib, and he brought her to the man. [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.'”

This means Eve was actually a part of Adam before she and he were separated and became two.

Now Eve was Adam’s wife and Adam was Eve’s husband. In Ephesians 5:28 it says:

(Ephesians 5:28-29 NLT) “[28] In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as they love their own bodies. For a man who loves his wife actually shows love for himself. [29] No one hates his own body but feeds and cares for it, just as Christ cares for the church.”

So a wife is a part of a husband’s own body – that s why when you, a husband, love your wife you love yourself. You look after yourself so you look after your wife – Jesus looks after us because we are a part of Him as it says in 1 Corinthians 6:15:

(1 Corinthians 6:15 NLT) “[15] Don’t you realize that your bodies are actually parts of Christ? Should a man take his body, which is part of Christ, and join it to a prostitute? Never!”

Also, again in 1 Corinthians 12:

(1 Corinthians 12:12-14, 27 NLT) “[12] The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ. [13] 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. [14] Yes, the body has many different parts, not just one part. … [27] All of you together are Christ’s body, and each of you is a part of it.”

If your foot was broken you wouldn’t leave it alone? Paul shows, using the body metaphor how silly it is t neglect parts of the body of Christ AND THIS INCLUDES YOUR WIFE:

(1 Corinthians 12:15-27 NLT) “[15] 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. [16] 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? [17] If the whole body were an eye, how would you hear? Or if your whole body were an ear, how would you smell anything? [18] But our bodies have many parts, and God has put each part just where he wants it. [19] How strange a body would be if it had only one part! [20] Yes, there are many parts, but only one body. [21] 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.” [22] In fact, some parts of the body that seem weakest and least important are actually the most necessary. [23] 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, [24] 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. [25] This makes for harmony among the members, so that all the members care for each other. [26] If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honored, all the parts are glad. [27] All of you together are Christ’s body, and each of you is a part of it.”

The weakest, most humble parts are sometimes the most necessary it says here. Your wife is physically weaker than you and socially disenfranchised, meaning that she is in a more humbled position than you, especially in Anglo-American societies that are Patriarchal. However, your wife is super necessary. Bear that in mind.

Anyway, back to Adam’s rib…

As I said, Adam was a metaphor of Jesus. The Bible even goes further to actually call Jesus the second Adam:

(1 Corinthians 15:45 NLT) “[45] The Scriptures tell us, “The first man, Adam, became a living person.” But the last Adam–that is, Christ–is a life-giving Spirit.”

In fact! The Bible even goes further to actually call Adam the Son of God in the genealogy that Luke provides that goes from Jesus all the way back to Adam:

(Luke 3:38 NLT) “[38] Kenan was the son of Enosh. Enosh was the son of Seth. Seth was the son of Adam. Adam was the son of God.”

It’s true. Adam (earthly man) and Jesus (heavenly man) were the only humans males that were not born through coitus. Making Adam and Jesus the only males who truly only had God as their father. In the same fashion, Eve (earthly woman) is the only woman not born through coitus. Meaning that Eve was the only woman who truly had no other father than God as well. In the same fashion, The Bride of Christ (the church) (spiritual woman), which is “born of the Spirit”, is the only female entity not born of coitus either, meaning that the church truly has no other father than God.

Just a quick explanation of this and the meaning behind this earthly man then heavenly man, earthly woman then heavenly woman symbolism:

(1 Corinthians 15:46-54 NLT) “[46] What comes first is the natural body, then the spiritual body comes later. [47] Adam, the first man, was made from the dust of the earth, while Christ, the second man, came from heaven. [48] Earthly people are like the earthly man, and heavenly people are like the heavenly man. [49] Just as we are now like the earthly man, we will someday be like the heavenly man. [50] What I am saying, dear brothers and sisters, is that our physical bodies cannot inherit the Kingdom of God. These dying bodies cannot inherit what will last forever. [51] But let me reveal to you a wonderful secret. We will not all die, but we will all be transformed! [52] It will happen in a moment, in the blink of an eye, when the last trumpet is blown. For when the trumpet sounds, those who have died will be raised to live forever. And we who are living will also be transformed. [53] For our dying bodies must be transformed into bodies that will never die; our mortal bodies must be transformed into immortal bodies. [54] Then, when our dying bodies have been transformed into bodies that will never die, this Scripture will be fulfilled: “Death is swallowed up in victory.”

This further explains the metaphorical relationship behind Adam and Christ, Adam shows humanity before salvation and Christ shows humanity after it.

Back to the Rib again lol… Now, in order to have his bride Adam had his side opened in Genesis 2:21-22:

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

This was the epiphany Jesus gave me all these years ago….

…In order for Jesus to have His bride, The Bride of Christ, which is the church, Jesus had to have his side opened as well. In fact, the last place Jesus bled on earth was His side:

(John 19:34 NLT) “[34] One of the soldiers, however, pierced his side with a spear, and immediately blood and water flowed out.”

The only difference between the two injuries is that God closed Adam’s wound:

(Genesis 2:21-23 NLT) “[21] So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep. While the man slept, the LORD God took out one of the man’s ribs and closed up the opening.

…but Jesus’ wound was left open:

(John 20:19-20 NLT) “[19] That Sunday evening the disciples were meeting behind locked doors because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders. Suddenly, Jesus was standing there among them! “Peace be with you,” he said. [20] As he spoke, he showed them the wounds in his hands and his side. They were filled with joy when they saw the Lord!”

Fascinating! Do you see the relationship and similarities between Adam and Jesus now? And the Rib story? It’s there staring you in the face!

 

Closing Thoughts

The only thing I can say is do not expect that God is going to give you your perfect wife without dealing with you first. You want something nice. You must work for it and be prepared to sacrifice in order to have it. It may be that you have negative aspects of your personality that need to be purged? Or God just might just want to change you to make you the best version of you that you can be.

Jesus had to sacrifice for nice things and He is God, how do you expect to have nice things without sacrifice? Remember what Jesus said about what He went through and what could happen to us:

(John 15:18-20 NLT) “[18] “If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first. [19] The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it, but you are no longer part of the world. I chose you to come out of the world, so it hates you. [20] Do you remember what I told you? ‘A slave is not greater than the master.’ Since they persecuted me, naturally they will persecute you. And if they had listened to me, they would listen to you.”

We are the followers of Jesus, if Jesus had to sacrifice for His bride you will have to do the same thing:

(1 Peter 4:1-3 NLT) “[1] So then, since Christ suffered physical pain, you must arm yourselves with the same attitude he had, and be ready to suffer, too. For if you have suffered physically for Christ, you have finished with sin. [2] You won’t spend the rest of your lives chasing your own desires, but you will be anxious to do the will of God. [3] You have had enough in the past of the evil things that godless people enjoy–their immorality and lust, their feasting and drunkenness and wild parties, and their terrible worship of idols.”

I’m not saying that you should expect to be knifed up to get married. I’m just saying that you should just be prepared to change and sacrifice for your wife and your marriage. If you’re not prepared to change and or make any kind of intimate personal sacrifices in your life for the sake of other people you’re not ready to get married. Simple.

 

To Summarise

Adam and Eve were the first married couple. Eve was a part of her husband, Adam.

Adam had to sacrifice to get his wife Eve. In fact, Adam was actually injured in his side in the process of getting his wife. God decided that this was meant to be.

Jesus, like Adam, sacrificed and was actually mortally wounded in the process of getting His bride, the church. God made Jesus rise again so He is now living.

If even Jesus had to sacrifice something personal for His bride and Jesus is our example, that shows us that being a husband involves sacrifice as well– the likes of which many young men fail to fully realise until they are already married.

 

Catherine x

I Just Want To Say That #Jesus Is Good

Hello friends,

As you know I was ill which is why I have’nt been doing mahoosive posts or even videos! However, keep on reading each week and as I get stronger I’m going to surprise you with something wonderful! 😉

For now here’s a verse of scripture that has been keeping me going in these trying times:

(Habakkuk 3:17-18 NLT) “[17] Even though the fig trees have no blossoms, and there are no grapes on the vines; even though the olive crop fails, and the fields lie empty and barren; even though the flocks die in the fields, and the cattle barns are empty, [18] yet I will rejoice in the LORD! I will be joyful in the God of my salvation!”

Catherine x

[Video] I Wrote A New #Song! – #music #youtube #singersongwriter #freelance #acousticguitar –>

Hey everybody!

I thought it would be nice to take a little break from long blog posts and #PhD posts!

I wrote a new song! (Check out my other music by following this link) I came up with this song one day when I was really sick and laying in bed. Again, inspired by my favourite book of the bible, Song of Songs. I love the metaphor!

Like Song of Songs it has 3 levels of symbolism. It is a love song between a woman and a man, (where the woman is the one who pursues the man which is an aspect particular to this book of the bible), it is also representative of how women and men should behave in relationships but it also represents the relationship between the church (who is always represented as a bride in the bible) and Jesus (who is sometimes represented as a bridegroom in the bible). It’s a call to Jesus to just have His way in your life 🙂

If you like what you see please subscribe to my YouTube channel!

If you have questions about Jesus try the Alpha Course: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=98KX77XLoCg

Catherine x

Happy #NewYear! | #soundcloud #remix #music #orchestral #newmusic #nuggets|

Hey everyone,

I would just like to say that I have only just recovered from New Years! We had a lovely service at church! Loads of food of course, a bring and share feast! I made some bread with cinnamon, medjool dates and honey so it was a sweet kind of bread 😀

I got home after 5am and got to bed after 6am, so I was quite tired for 48hrs afterwards lol. I only got around to looking at my phone around 7pm on New Years day to see I had a whole load of messages and such on my phone and I was just soo tired, I only answered them to say “Happy New Years” back just before the day was nearly out!

Hope you all had a lovely evening too!

Anyway, I have some musical nuggets for you! Here’s another “Remix” I changed up the drum rhythm and I added some FX to this mix, it’s subtle but I think it works better, follow this link for the back story blog post about this song? let me know what you think? Is it an improvement? Play in the embedded player below or follow this link:

 

I call this one the “Soundtrack Mix”.

Here’s the other versions including the Orchestral version (my favourite) and the one I did live! 🙂

 

Byeee!

3 Ways The Devil Tempts #Men | #mensministry #Jesus #theology

Hey everybody,

Today I am going to talk about something that Jesus showed me when I was reading Luke the other day, how the devil tempts men in particular. Let’s look at the passage I was reading, Jesus’ words are highlighted in red, the devil in bold:

(Luke 4:1-13 NLT) “[1] Then Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan River. He was led by the Spirit in the wilderness, [2] where he was tempted by the devil for forty days. Jesus ate nothing all that time and became very hungry.

[3] Then the devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become a loaf of bread.” [4] But Jesus told him, No! The Scriptures say, ‘People do not live by bread alone.‘”

[5] Then the devil took him up and revealed to him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. [6] “I will give you the glory of these kingdoms and authority over them,” the devil said, “because they are mine to give to anyone I please. [7] I will give it all to you if you will worship me.” [8] Jesus replied, “The Scriptures say, ‘You must worship the LORD your God and serve only him.'”

[9] Then the devil took him to Jerusalem, to the highest point of the Temple, and said, “If you are the Son of God, jump off! [10] For the Scriptures say, ‘He will order his angels to protect and guard you. [11] And they will hold you up with their hands so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.'” [12] Jesus responded, “The Scriptures also say, ‘You must not test the LORD your God.'”

[13] When the devil had finished tempting Jesus, he left him until the next opportunity came.”

What Jesus revealed to me is that the way the devil tempts males is threefold, always along the lines of:

  1. Survival
  2. Power
  3. Recklessness

Let’s examine the scripture above once again to see:

1.) Temptation of Survival

This temptation is aimed at destabilizing the bottom two levels of Maslow’s Hierarchy Of Needs- Physiological and Safety needs (follow the link to find out more).

(Luke 4:1-4 NLT) “[1] Then Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan River. He was led by the Spirit in the wilderness, [2] where he was tempted by the devil for forty days. Jesus ate nothing all that time and became very hungry.

[3] Then the devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become a loaf of bread.” [4] But Jesus told him, No! The Scriptures say, ‘People do not live by bread alone.‘”

Jesus was in the wilderness. Now wilderness in the Bible does not just represent a physical wilderness, forest desert etc, in this case yes it did represent a physical wilderness but it is also a metaphor for wilderness in ones life. Jesus is here showing us a metaphor of how we are to behave when faced with our own “wilderness”. Wilderness can be financial, as in lean times financially; it can also be social, maybe you don’t have any or many friends. It is basically a metaphor for any situation you find yourself in where you are vulnerable and in a place of spiritual dryness Amos 5:25 or solitude for a time of training in life Matthew 4:1.

Notice, Jesus was also hungry, He lacked basic things, in fact, He had nothing! AND THIS IS WHEN THE DEVIL MADE A MOVE, WHEN JESUS WAS VULNERABLE. The devil did not come before, when Jesus was with His friends and had just been baptised by John the Baptist and the Holy Spirit descended on Him like a dove in the previous chapter. No! The devil came when Jesus was alone and in desperate need for basic things, when His will would have been compromised due to desperation. The devil then tried to manipulate Jesus into doing something that God (the Father) did not want Jesus (God the Son) to do, with the promise of providing a quick fix, that would meet Jesus’ need sooner than God had intended. This would have been a quick fix but the long term ramifications would have been huge. Essentially, had Jesus done that then He would have disobeyed God (the Spirit) who told Jesus to fast and go into the wilderness the first place. Disobeying God would have violated the law, which would have made Jesus unrighteous, which would have meant that He was not a perfect sacrifice to fully atone for our sins, which would have meant that we would still be having to sacrifice animals and live by the Levitical laws, the Holy Spirit would not live in people but descend temporarily on people like old times and humanity would never ever ever be fully atoned to God ever, meaning there would be no salvation for anyone ever.

This is how the devil operates with men. He waits till they are vulnerable, in their wilderness, looking for a way out and a way to survive and tempts them with seemingly quick fixes that are wrong but encouraging them to self-justify their actions by giving them a lie that, they need to do this thing to survive and if they don’t do this thing they will perish. Men, how many times in your life have you been in a desperate situation and tempted to do the thing that you know is wrong just because you think, “if I don’t do this wrong thing I am going to fail”? It’s an attack. Be guarded, short term quick fixes are not always from God. It’s sometimes the devil trying to trap you and destroy everyone else around you. Adam was tempted in Genesis with a quick solution that would enhance his survival and through that everyone is now oppressed see Genesis 3. Likewise, if Jesus had given in, the whole of humanity would have been even more oppressed.

As men you need to understand the consequences of your actions and how they affect the people around you, you have to understand your privileged social status and how much power you have, not just physically but socially and economically as well. Because of your enhanced psycho-social realities, culturally men have greater social power which means that you act as gateways to not only your life but the lives of others and you aren’t taking this seriously enough. You’re just doing things to “survive” and not thinking about the long term consequences of your actions. It is the short term relief that the devil is using to hoodwink you, to draw your attention away from the long term consequences of your actions and eternity, we should be eternity minded when we make our decisions and that applies to men and women.

This kind of temptation can also be related to sex, maybe you feel like you really would like to sleep with whoever and just get short term relief so you can “survive” *rolls eyes* for a bit longer but there are long term consequences to that, especially before marriage or if the woman in question IS NOT YOURS!! Maybe you believe in “medicinal masturbation”… lol. Just to “ease the pressure on your balls” to help you “survive” *rolls eyes*, till you can get married to your fiancée/girlfriend. Don’t do that. It’s the devil setting you up to fail by trying to get you into habits that you can’t shake before you’re even married. Before you know it you’re hooked and you won’t actually be able to be stimulated by a real woman or a real vagina, you can actually condition your brain to only respond to porn. This video from this ministry is a good resource for this issue (follow the link to find out more). . It’s because of how the brain works and the reward centres in the brain see my previous article for more information about the brain (follow the link to find out more). The devil is trying to destroy your long term outlook. However, Jesus wants you to have life and life more abundantly but that requires patience. I’m still trying myself in the area of patience so I’m speaking to myself as well.

2.) Temptation of Power

This temptation is aimed at destabilizing the next two levels of Maslow’s Hierarchy Of Needs- Social belonging and Esteem needs (follow the link to find out more).

(Luke 4:5-8 NLT) “[5] Then the devil took him up and revealed to him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. [6] “I will give you the glory of these kingdoms and authority over them,” the devil said, “because they are mine to give to anyone I please. [7] I will give it all to you if you will worship me.” [8] Jesus replied, “The Scriptures say, ‘You must worship the LORD your God and serve only him.'”

Again, remember at this point Jesus is still in the wilderness and Jesus’ basic need of survival is appearing to not being met immediately. So Jesus is still in a position of vulnerability. In this position of vulnerability, the devil offers power, much more extreme and such a far cry away from what Jesus was going through. The only cost for this power is to worship the devil.

This is another way that the devil gets men in particular. The seductive lure of POWER! The devil flaunts all the joys that wealth can bring and all the amazing things one can do and have with it. The cost for this wealth is to worship the devil. That can come basically in the form of doing anything wrong, anything that can compromise your integrity but will gain you some kind of financial gain. Maybe, you’re encouraged to lie about something, maybe a relationship, your faith or even anything that will compromise your integrity, in order to gain quickly, financially. These get rich quick schemes are often traps from the devil designed to compromise you. Don’t envy people who are super rich, you have absolutely no idea how they got it.

Take the Western powers for example. The reason why Britain, America and Europe are so rich is because they had an enormous unpaid workforce, enslaved African peoples. The things they did to those people are unthinkable. One punishment the Caucasian male slave owners gave African slaves was when they tried to escape they would get one slave to poo into the mouth of the slave that tried to run away and he had to swallow it. The most attractive African women were pimped out to other male Caucasian slave owners in a part of the salve trade known as the Pretty Trade. The male Caucasian slave owners would also use any African slave that they found attractive as a concubine, just for sex, the African slaves were not allowed to refuse, so they raped them. The slaves made Britain, America and Europe so much money, that’s why the West is so rich today. It was not just African people who were enslaved, pick any country in the Common Wealth and those people were enslaved too. There were even indentured Irish slaves as well! The White people were more than happy to enslave their own people too…

Has anybody asked you to do something that you know isn’t right or you know will somehow compromise your integrity but offered to compensate you financially for it? Don’t do it, it’s a trap that men fall for all the time. That’s why we have dictators, wars and the global economic crisis due to bankers greed.

This is also related to sex. Dominating women sexually, being sexually aggressive towards women because you know they are not strong enough to push you away. It’s a power trip. Thinking rapey thought’s, it’s the devil trying to seduce you and tempt you along the lines of power. Even if she is your wife, if she doesn’t want to don’t force her, it’s still rape.

Whenever we try to upgrade our power or sphere of influence through means that are wrong we are worshipping the devil.

3.) Temptation of Recklessness

This temptation is aimed at destabilising the last two levels of Maslow’s Hierarchy Of Needs- Self Actualization and Self Transcendence (follow the link to find out more).

(Luke 4:9-12 NLT) “[9] Then the devil took him to Jerusalem, to the highest point of the Temple, and said, “If you are the Son of God, jump off! [10] For the Scriptures say, ‘He will order his angels to protect and guard you. [11] And they will hold you up with their hands so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.'” [12] Jesus responded, “The Scriptures also say, ‘You must not test the LORD your God.'”

Again, Jesus was still in a wilderness and hungry, the devil tempted Him first by appealing to his basic needs, then he appealed to men’s desire for power, especially when they are in a state where they are in a state of reduced power or powerlessness or vulnerability of any kind, finally, the devil tried to tempt Jesus along the lines of men’s recklessness.

When we “test” God we are putting ourselves in the position of employer of God. We are saying, to God that God is accountable to us and that we are going to give God an observation (those of you reading this who work will understand what an observation is, it’s when your manager decides that they want to check that you are actually doing the job that they are paying you to do and that you are actually doing it well, so they stand there breathing down your neck watching you do it. Then you have a meeting afterwards with them/or whoever observed you, where they tell you where you could improve or what you’re doing well. It’s annoying and stressful, that’s partly why I work for myself now).

God doesn’t work for us, we work for God. God doesn’t have to prove anything to us, it’s we who have to prove ourselves to God.

This is another place where the devil attacks men. When they have that attitude that I’m going to test God’s power, it’s an insult to God. Moreover, it leads men to do stupid things, disregarding the brains that God gave humans to reason and do stupid things, where they do not take due care because they assume God is going to save them. Yes if you want to do something like jump out of a plane, make sure you pack your parachute. God is not going to save you if you jump out expecting angels to save you because it’s an appalling act of stupidity that God is not going to reward by saving you. It’s not in God’s interest because then everyone on earth would do silly things that hurt each other. That’s why God won’t save you. He won’t save you so as to teach other people not to do it. God does not want humanity to be backward.

I used to date this idiot right, when he went on holiday he wouldn’t take his phone with him. He said that I should just have faith that God would protect him and that me worrying about him was a sign of a lack of faith and that I didn’t really believe that Jesus was with him. With that attitude and all the drinking that he did when he was away, yeah, he’s right I do not believe that Jesus was with him lol. I believe that he survived his holidays on his own and that God didn’t actually have anything to do with it. It was reckless, inconsiderate of the felling of both me and his poor long-suffering mother. Disgusting jerk. That kind of thing is testing God. I didn’t want him to take his phone because I wanted to call him all the time because he used to call me all the time and I was happy for a break! I wanted him to take his phone because he was going to a place he didn’t live and it’s a sensible precaution.

Men do stupid crap all the time. Idiots. Stop it, you’re going to hurt yourselves and God is not necessarily going to save you. It’s always justified and covered by phrases like “oh well boys will be boys” etc. The devil is appealing to your idiocy, trying to make you, again, do something quick, that is going to damage you in the long run and you are thinking, don’t worry it’ll be ok God is with me but not necessarily. Certain adrenaline seeking sports, if you want to do them, wear a helmet? Or don’t do it at all. If something seems like it’s an unreasonable risk, don’t do it. If there is a likelihood that you might die doing an activity and it’s not necessary because you’re not a fireman or a policeman, think twice. Short term stupidity can lead to long term consequences and God will not facilitate, encourage or enable human stupidity, ever, especially when you are trying to use him as “staff” that will catch you, especially because letting you break your leg will mean that you have lots of time alone when you can read your bible and that scenario does suit God.

This can also be related to sex. You might think, yeah well you know, just a quickie, it might make a baby or whatever but I’m sure that God will get me out of this, let’s just test it to see what happens 😉 No!

Commonalities with the three scenarios

Notice that the three scenarios have something in common.

  1. Temptation happens in the midst of vulnerability – the devil waits till a man is in a vulnerable position when his ability to rationalize is compromised.
  2. Quick decisions for quick fixes – the devil tries to make a person make decisions quickly without thinking it through. Which is why the devil waits till a man is vulnerable, desperation and fear make you do silly things
  3. All three ways of tempting encourage men to make poor life choices when it comes to sex.
  4. The devil temps men in order to ruin everybody – when men give in to temptation, it doesn’t just affect men it affects everybody, women, children, animals, the environment, everything because, culturally, men have more power than women.

How did Jesus deal with temptation?

Jesus used The Word!

(Luke 4:4,8,12 NLT)

“…[4] But Jesus told him, No! The Scriptures say, ‘People do not live by bread alone.‘”…

[8] Jesus replied, “The Scriptures say, ‘You must worship the LORD your God and serve only him.‘” …

[12] Jesus responded, “The Scriptures also say, ‘You must not test the LORD your God.

Every time the devil tried to tempt Jesus it was to destabilise Jesus’ motivation away from being satisfied by and through God and towards being satisfied by the devil, by encouraging Jesus to selfishly satisfy His needs through Himself, when and how the devil made it seem attractive. Jesus rebuffed these temptations by responding to the devil with The Word, that is the words of the Bible. Jesus was able to do this because He knew the scriptures. That comes from READING THE BIBLE EVERY DAY. Jesus came to fulfil the Law. This was outlined in Exodus, detailed in Leviticus, Further expounded and acted upon in Numbers and repeated in Deuteronomy. One of the laws was the following:

(Deuteronomy 6:6-9 NLT) “[6] And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. [7] Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. [8] Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders. [9] Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”

Which was reiterated to Joshua later on:

(Joshua 1:8 NLT) “[8] Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.”

We are supposed to read the Bible daily and read it to our children and remind ourselves of it, that way you get to know it off your head, so when temptation comes you can recollect what God says to do. So when the devil attack your mind you can respond with The Word and use The Word to inform your actions, especially when you are to emotionally compromised to think straight.

MEN, LIFE IS AN OPEN BOOK EXAM, YOU ARE NOT SUPPOSED TO DO IT ON YOUR OWN. YOU HAVE THE ANSWERS IN THE BIBLE. When you don’t read your Bible gentlemen, it’s the equivalent of doing a calculator Maths exam without ever picking up your calculator and just leaving it on the desk…

Final Warning

(Luke 4:13 NLT) “[13] When the devil had finished tempting Jesus, he left him until the next opportunity came.”

Temptation did not stop for Jesus, the temptation that we saw early on in the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) is just the only time that any kind of tempting of Jesus was written down. From what we can see from the above verse is that Jesus was tempted constantly like the rest of us. The only difference is that Jesus did not give in because Jesus knew and used The Word!

Where’s your Bible dude?…

I keep mine on me in the form of an app on my phone, it’s just a practical way to do things. Hope that made you think.

Catherine x

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Secret revealed: I have #French heritage so I wrote a #song in French lol ‘Pardon My #French’| #SoundCloud #freelance #musician #singer #songwriter #acoustic #guitar #Jesus

Hey everybody!

Did you know my great grandfather was French? No? Well now you do! 🙂 My grandmother was fluent, her husband (my grandfather) did not speak French so eventually she only spoke English (to be fair he could have made more effort to learn some….). Anyway, so her children (including my father) did not grow up bi-lingual. My grandmother tried with my brother and I but as children we didn’t absorb it so well lol. Anyway, in my adult years I have been trying to keep up with my French because now I see the value in knowing more than one language, regardless of what that language is.

So I decided to make a song about loving Jesus partly in French, I just felt like I should to connect with that part of me. Voila! Play using the embedded player below or follow this link:

Here’s the lyrics & translation:
Verse 1
(I would like to be friends)
“Je voudrais être amis because I love Ya
(I would like to be friends)
Je voudrais être amis because You’re beautiful
(I would like to be friends)
Je voudrais être amis because of who you are
(I would like to be friends)
Je voudrais être amis please pardon my French, please pardon me please
Chorus
(There’s no such thing as we’re not going to make time together)
Il n’y a pas ça comme nous sommes n’aller pas faire de temps ensemble
There is no other, no one compares and You know my heart is true
Verse 2
(I would like to be friends so we can fly like birds)
Je voudrais être amis so we can voler comme les oiseaux”

Voila!

Au revoir!

Catherine x

[Video] Here’s how my #PhD is going! | #phdupdate #phdlife #phdforum #musicology #theology #feminism #womanism |

Hey hey hey!

Below is an update on how things are going! Click the tags at the bottom to see more of what I’ve been doing in my PhD!

FYI my twitter handle is @CatherineW_A. Hands up if you love my subtle editing! 🙂

Ciao!

I had an encounter with #Jesus in my bathroom!! || #Christianity #JesusChrist #spiritual |

I had an encounter with Jesus!

This all happened in my bathroom! I was in my bathroom and I said to Jesus,

” Jesus, please make your presence known to me”

Then I just closed my eyes, put my hands outstretched in front of me like this and waited.

Then suddenly it was like something really brilliant was in front of me and I felt a strong wind, a wind that was strong enough to blow my arms backward. I started to shake a tiny bit and I felt a very powerful presence in front of me.

I knew this was Jesus, the being in front of me was so brilliant and so magnificent it could only be Jesus.

I had an overwhelming sense that Jesus was so holy, the most holy being I had or ever will meet. I was compelled to bow, in fact Jesus made me bow. My head felt heavy and I wasn’t in control of my body, it was like Jesus pushed my head down to bow because although Jesus is my friend, Jesus is so holy and magnificent and that He commands respect. I felt like I must bow because Jesus is God and I am not.

It was almost too much, as I was just processing how holy and magnificent Jesus is I started to get upset. I almost stupidly said it’s too much no more. I had such a strong sense that Jesus is so incredibly holy and compared to Jesus who I could feel was magnificent through and through and holy I felt dirty, like a scrap, like nothing.

I was suddenly aware that there seemed to be a thin layer of dust on me, I realised that that was sin. It was clear to me that Jesus is so much better than I am. I realised, sometimes we walk around and we think we are good people, then when we get into the presence of God we realise that God’s standards are so high that, without Jesus, we will never be clean. Once I asked Jesus forgiveness for my sins I didn’t feel dirty any more.

Jesus’ presence was so strong that I actually started to blow away and it was either Jesus Himself or an angel that actually grabbed me by the my arm (the bit between my shoulder and elbow) and pulled me back to standing in front of Jesus, Jesus’ presence was that strong, I was literally blown away. I was thinking to myself, wait a second, this is who I have been praying to and watching films with?!!???!!? (I like to invite Jesus to watch films and eat with me). It just shows how good Jesus is, I know now that we are just so beneath Him and that means that everything He does for us is just mercy on His part.

The thing that I also noticed was that Jesus made me wait. I wanted to do something and I said to Jesus

“ok when You’re ready please release my hands then I’ll know You’re ready for me to get on with the things that I want to do after this”

But Jesus made me wait! Not only did Jesus make me wait but Jesus made me wait

IN SILENCE…

I found that really interesting. I was just standing there, my head bowed and in silence, ready to get on with other things, then Jesus took my hands, which had stuff in them ready and poised to get on with other things, lowered them and made me stand there with my head bowed and wait, in silence….. I don’t know how long I was standing there but Jesus was determined that I get on with things in Jesus time not mine.

That got me thinking, you know sometimes at church, not just my church but church in general, we like to fill the space with noise. Sometimes maybe someone is just pinging on the guitar or you have string pads to fill the space or the preacher is just speaking and speaking and speaking and speaking…. etc. All of these things, although not inherently evil, are distractions. There is certainly something in taking time out to have a contemplative silence, remember, Elijah looked for God in the whirlwind, the earthquake and the fire but God was actually in the whisper!

1 Kings 19:11-13 [NLT] “[11] “Go out and stand before me on the mountain,” the LORD told him. And as Elijah stood there, the LORD passed by, and a mighty windstorm hit the mountain. It was such a terrible blast that the rocks were torn loose, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. [12] And after the earthquake there was a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper. [13] When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. And a voice said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?””

For a long time He did not let me get on with the things that I wanted to do, in fact, at one point, I even thought that Jesus wasn’t even going to let me do them. Even though it was Jesus who I felt was the one who told me to go do this activity, I still thought, as there was so much waiting, that He was going to send me packing, say no and direct me to do something else. However, when it seemed properly like Jesus is going to tell me to go do something else, Jesus lowered my hands and I felt released to be able to do something else.

I’ve realised from my experience that we Christians say “oh yeah Jesus is holy” we have no idea. We don’t know what holiness actually is. The holiness I felt within Jesus does not come from earth. We describe holiness from human standards of goodness but the earth is so polluted, so full of wrong, that we do not have any frame of reference or word on this earth to describe the actual holiness of God because we simply don’t actually encounter it on earth. Earthly standards of good are nothing compared to God. Not one single person is good, as defined by God’s standards.

Also, it became very clear to me that we Christians think we know Jesus, we do not. We think we have an idea of what Jesus might want, we don’t, not always. I think this because the being I encountered in my bathroom was magnificent, nothing was imperfect, Jesus was magnificent to His core. We are not. Therefore, we cannot assume anything about someone like that. I could also sense intelligence, intelligence much greater than mine and I got the sense of a plan that I was not necessarily privy to. I felt in that instance that Jesus thinks that many of the liturgical traditions we have are stupid and many of the church traditions Jesus is just above it. I’m talking about things like, the solemn way communion is done (more the high church circles), the silly outfits, the ridiculous church rules like Catholic priests can’t inform on paedophiles when they have confessed in confession to a priest. I just didn’t feel like they mattered. Jesus felt sensible and I felt like He was the source of all common sense. Someone so intelligent and magnificent would think that it’s ridiculous that Catholic priests aren’t encouraged to inform on paedo’s.

Jesus has shown Himself to me before but in this instance He came as Jesus the King of Kings, helping me to understand the different aspects of who He is. I did ask Jesus a while ago to give me a revelation of Himself as King and Jesus answered. Seeing the magnificence of Jesus and observing how holy Jesus is also made me realise that Jesus deserves much more respect than I and others have been giving Him. Jesus is holy, magnificent and brilliant, I have never met anyone like Jesus. Lets all make an effort to give Jesus respect. We think we have a choice to respect Him, I realised we don’t.

Catherine x