RELIGION & MY LIFE SERIES_MOVIES

When I choose a movie I choose it for the purpose of getting something out of it. It may be affirmation, education, a challenge or light hearted humor. This movie was very affirming for me.( I went to see it at Village_ Sunshine)

Image result for god's not dead 3

This morning I went to see this movie and I have to say it really hit the mark.            I enjoyed it at many levels.

First because it’s art imitating life, I know of a real nearby church in Maribyrnong, Moonee Ponds, Melbourne, Australia that was burned by a disgruntled youth. There are also churches been burned or bombed in other parts of the world today.

I condemn this violence as it’s not helpful and it just causes more pain and it should never be a form of expression no matter what faith it may be.

Second, that we all have doubts and fear in life. We have all been victims of injustices at some time or another. But God is always there waiting to hear from each and everyone of us to answer our doubts and fears. The movie shows this beautifully through Pastor Dave.

Third, that forgiveness is the biggest healer of all. We should never doubt God’s acceptance of us,  His unconditional love and forgiveness.

Fourth, I know families struggling with children and their faith, like Pastor Dave and his lawyer brother. Teenagers doubting the existence of God. I believe that parents need to have real discussions with their children and together be part of a church that is going to deepen their faith.

Next, is the question of whether we have the right to practice our faith. Some say faith can be divisive and it can cause violence. No!!! Religion doesn’t cause violence but the hearts and choices of people does. We should not blame religion for the atrocities of others. We all have a right to practice our religion as stated in Universal Declaration of Human Rights. (see article 18 below) http://www.un.org/en/universal-declaration-human-rights/                                        I  hate the argument that religion causes wars. These wars were all chosen by men not God. Let’s look at the now!

God is good all the time, it’s people that doubt, question and change. God never changes. Church is very relevant today, more than ever before because the world as it stands today, is in turmoil. I love when Pastor Dave was asked what is truth?  He answered that truth is a person -JESUS CHRIST -who is the true justice warrior.

Jesus’ teachings are very relevant today, they were given to us to help and protect us, not to harm us. Just look at the choices people are making today. Their choices are been driven by what the media is pushing, minority groups, what is fashionable, by stats or by desires, not by what is good, praiseworthy and pleasing to God.

We should all focus on the big picture and have a heaven perspective. This movie helps me focus of the Almighty, All powerful God and Jesus who is like God.

Image result for god's not dead a light in darkness, quotes

Dear Lord Jesus,

Everyday helps us to be more like you and fight for what is right and just, according to the gospels you gave us. Give us the answers to all our doubts and fears and forgive all our digressions, through Your Holy Spirit, AMEN.

Advertisements

DENZEL WASHINGTON & MARK WAHLBERG both say that we need God in our lives

Image result for faith without works is dead

As the new year begins, are there things in your life you need to prioritise?        Below are some reasons that might inspire you to start.

HERE ARE TWO ACTORS I HOLD IN HIGH ESTEEM

Image result for denzel washington about his faith

“You have to use your gifts – faith without works is nothing,” said Washington.Image result for denzel washington about his faith

click here  for  more https://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/entertainment/2017/october/superstar-denzel-washington-professes-faith-while-surprising-blessed-86-year-old-fan

Denzel Washington AP 2

Image result for faith without works is dead

Image result for Did Mark Wahlberg Really Ask Forgiveness for His Movies?

Life is short and you can leave your mark here on this earth by your actions, no matter how little and insignificant they may seem, there are gifts that God has bestowed upon you that no one else on earth can fulfill. You can do the little things in a great way to start.

Then allow God to guide you and take you forward with prayer, repentance and forgiveness, without them your faith journey will struggle.

Say this prayer out loud 

“Dear God, I want to be a part of your family. You said in Your Word that if I acknowledge that You raised Jesus from the dead, and that I accept Him as my Lord and Savior, I would be saved. So God, I now say that I believe You raised Jesus from the dead and that He is alive and well. I accept Him now as my personal Lord and Savior. I accept my salvation from sin right now.

I am now saved. Jesus is my Lord. Jesus is my Savior. Thank you, Father God, for forgiving me, saving me, and giving me eternal life with You. Amen!”                                 ( courtesy Dr. Larry Hutton)

ELVIS PRESLEY- A KING OR NOT?

King of rock, gospel, rhythm and blues, pop, soul,  YES HE WAS!!! 

Was-Elvis-a-Christian?

click here to find out  https://www.premiergospel.org.uk/Blog/Was-Elvis-a-Christian

Below you will find two versions of one of my favorite song from Elvis, “If I could dream” The first is a remix  with Celine Dion and the other, in his leather. Not only was Elvis gifted musically but what a body?????

When fans spread a massive banner that announced his status irrefutably as ‘Elvis is King’ – he paused a song he was singing, looked deep into the room, and with that charming smirk on his face, said ‘there’s only king honey, and he is Jesus Christ’.

Source  

The lyrics below show that he metaphorically expressed how he was looking for a better land and dreamed a warmer sun. Here he was looking for answers that we all aspire to. Knowing the kind of life he had, I’m sure he was used and abused by the people around him. He must have felt trapped, the mountain he faced became too high too climb. I wish he had fought harder and sought more help.

Why am I writing this now you might ask? Because what Elvis went through, we all go through in one form or another, being used and betrayed by people, losing money, greedy friends who take advantage of you, exploitation by employers/work partners, loss of a partner or a marriage, problems with children etc……….               Elvis sings….. “We are lost in a cloud with too much rain.” Beautifully mastered lyrics and sung by such a heavenly voice that God gave him. If Elvis made more of a quest for Jesus, he could have had it all. Happiness, health, harmony, humbleness, hope, honor, and heroism.

So where is the answer to all this?????????????????????  JESUS CHRIST of course!

The answers to all of life’s problems are answered in the New Testament gospels.

song lyrics below                                                                                                                          There must be lights burning brighter somewhere
Got to be birds flying higher in a sky more blue
If I can dream of a better land
Where all my brothers walk hand in hand
Tell me why, oh why, oh why can’t my dream come true
oh why
There must be peace and understanding sometime
Strong winds of promise that will blow away the doubt and fear
If I can dream of a warmer sun
Where hope keeps shining on everyone
Tell me why, oh why, oh why won’t that sun appear

We’re lost in a cloud
With too much rain
We’re trapped in a world
That’s troubled with pain
But as long as a man
Has the strength to dream
He can redeem his soul and fly
Deep in my heart there’s a trembling question
Still I am sure that the answer gonna come somehow
Out there in the dark, there’s a beckoning candle

And while I can think, while I can talk
While I can stand, while I can walk
While I can dream, please let my dream
Come true, right now
Let it come true right now
Oh yeah

Elvis loved Jesus and even though he died tragically and in a disturbed frame of mind, God, who is all loving, forgiving and merciful would have known his heart and redeemed him.

I wish you all the hope, a peaceful heart and happiness that only Jesus brings.

PRAYER 

Father, 

Please help me to rest in your happiness,
To allow a smile to linger on my lips,
To dwell within a wonderful memory,
To walk back through sunlit places.

Please help me to awake with hope,
To engage with life in all its variety,
To take in the beauty of others joys,
To touch the souls of those I meet with thankfulness.

Please help me to sing with faith,
To carry the truth close in my heart always,
To rejoice at new life and 
To have peace as I age.

Please help me to indulge in love
To breathe in the sweetness of intimacy,
To taste the kindness of friendship,
To feel the warmth of embrace.

Please help me not to miss 
A single drop of heaven,
To catch each moment 
And drink in the great joy of life.

Through Your Son Jesus Christ, Amen.

 

THE DIFFERENCE A FEW ADJUSTMENTS CAN MAKE

 

Image result for 21 regrets on your deathbedDuring these last couple of weeks, I have had friends lose loved ones, friends die and I have attended some funerals. With the advent of Christmas and the need to focus on how we can grow spiritually, the research findings below really caught my eye.

We all have regrets, it’s part of our humanness, but wouldn’t it be helpful if we had hindsight?

Image result for prayer and commitment to god christian renaissance art

21 Regrets people confess on their deathbeds

We might even use this list as an examination of conscience, or to help us to pray for the grace to live in a way that might prevent our feeling these regrets later in our lives.

For the times when I set a bad example, and there were people who followed my lead

For my indifference in the face of someone’s suffering

For failing to say so many words of praise, recognition and encouragement to those who deserved them or needed them

For claiming credit for my triumphs but blaming my failures on circumstances

For having failed to respect someone’s innocence or having blocked someone’s dreams

That I wasted money on things that I didn’t need and never used

For the times I took too much time and not enough effort to forgive

For taking advantage of someone who loved me, in order to get something for myself

For not being careful to guide those I should have educated better, before it was too late

For not visiting or sharing time with people because I thought they weren’t interesting, educated or useful

For fleeing the cross so many times

For savoring adulation even while knowing it was false

For complaining much more often than I gave thanks

For the stubborn, vulgar or rude words that came out of my mouth

For participating in conversations making fun of God, the faith or the Church

For wasting so much time on empty things… time that can’t be gotten back

For the promises I didn’t keep

For the times that I could have and should have prayed more, and above all, with more love

For ignoring Jesus.

That I hurt or harmed someone in any way

For lacking love. I should have loved God and my neighbor much more. –

See more at: http://aleteia.org/2016/12/07/21-regrets-people-confess-on-their-deathbeds/#sthash.syQ7Krk0.dpuf

PRAYER

Dear Lord,

Please forgive me for ignoring others and failing to see the truth. Help me to see the error of my ways and to make adjustments to my life so that I can make a difference for myself and for the people around me. I ask this in the name of Jesus Christ. AMEN

 

 

LET GO AND REPLACE IT WITH GREATFULNESS

Image result for god's abundant blessing

For me it’s during those moments when I am feeling overtired, down and unwell that I need this the most. A time to focus not on what is wrong with me, what has not worked out, what people are saying or just feeling out of sorts.

Focusing on the negatives attracts more negatives, a bit like when you yawn- it’s contagious, you’ll soon find others around you yawning too. When someone starts the negative talk, it just seems to rise and grow into more negative talk. That’s just futile, because you’re left feeling worse. Words are powerful and they can have a positive or negative effect on you. So, if someone has spoken unkind or negative words about you or to you, just shake them off by asking Jesus to take away what ever that person has said or transferred onto you and to replace it with the opposite to what was said eg… ugly-opposite-you’re made in God’s image, beauty comes from within, fat – opposite- one size does not fit all, I am the right size and I should embrace the size that I am.

Image result for god's abundant blessing

Do not let the world define who you are!

Allow God to validate you!

My cure for feeling down and out is to nip it in the bud before it takes hold. That’s exactly what the enemy wants:- to put fear and doubt into you. The enemy wants to steal your joy and achievements, the enemy wants to steal your soul.             There are always many positives in our lives but when we are in that negative state of mind, we cannot see them. If you’re finding it hard, just write down all the great things that have happened to you in the last six months.   When we’re down we prefer to focus on the negatives. All this negative stuff doesn’t come from God. God wants what is best for you, He wants you to have faith in Him, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit, He wants you to ask Jesus to take away all doubt and fear and fill your cup with joy, peace love and patience. I also ask the Holy Spirit to give me a fresh infilling of His gifts………. and you know what?????? that fear, doubt, self pity, etc….. just seems to disappear.

Image result for god's abundant blessing

So here are my gratefuls which may also inspire you to write your own:_ Just thinking about them makes me feel alive!!!!

My reasonably good health, the fact that I can walk unaided, I am independent, I have a wonderful husband, my beautiful daughters with whom I am close, my loving mother, my supportive brothers, my job and all the great feedback I get from others, my house, my car, the money to pay the bills, the friends I have who care, the beauty of just having been on a holiday, the joy of giving to others, the fact that I have invited a friend who is having problems, over for dinner- it gives me joy to be able to help her, supporting my husband with his men’s spirituality group, my church prayer group. My quiet times with God, the fact that Jesus thought I was special enough to give up his life for me. The sunsets from my window, my pastime for collecting curios. My dog, walks in the park, listening to my favourite music, eating my favourite chocolate licorice roll, sunrise and waking up when its daytime(daylight savings is great). Reading a good book. My favourite chair and pillow, my flowers in the garden. Many of these cost nothing or they’re reasonably cheap.

I will say this again (as I have another post with these words)……..happiness is not dependent on your circumstances.

I wish you God’s abundant blessings and a heart full of gratitude because that’s what will bring you happiness and a smile to your face.

Image result for god's abundant blessing

 

SCIENTISTS DO BELIEVE IN GOD

CAN SCIENCE AND RELIGION CO-EXIST? OF COURSE THEY CAN!!!!

GOD THE ALMIGHTY ASTROPHYSICIST, SCIENTIST, PHYSICIST,  BIOETHICIST, BIOLOGIST, PHARMACIST, BIBLICIST, HISTORICIST, GENETICIST, etc., etc., etc.,   THOUGHT UP THE IDEA OF CREATING NINE PLANETS AND GIVE ONE TO US, ONE TO PLACE HIS MOST PRIZED POSSESSIONS – HUMANS – THAT WERE MADE IN HIS LIKENESS.

The quote in Genesis that God created the universe in 6 days is a metaphor, God doesn’t work in our timing.  For God there is no present, past or future. He lives in the ever present time. (Read more below) 

There are many christian scientists that believe in God and one of them is Georges Lemaitre (17 July 1894 – 20 June 1966) who was a Belgian catholic priest, astronomer and professor of physics at the Catholic University of Leuven. What Georges Lemaitre explains scientifically is compatible with the big bang and how God created the universe!!!!! He also discussed this with Albert Einstein.

How can we say we believe in the almighty, omnipotent God when we don’t give Him credit for creation? “Science without religion is lame; religion without science is blind.” —Albert Einstein 

Science explains the how? where? when? But it cannot explain the Why?????

Yet scientists may be just as likely to believe in God as other people, according to surveys. Some of history’s greatest scientific minds, including Albert Einstein, were convinced there is intelligent life behind the universe. Today many scientists say there is no conflict between their faith and their work.One would be hard pressed to find a legitimate scientist today who does not believe in evolution. But what if evolution is God’s tool?

“Methodical research in all branches of knowledge, provided it is carried out in a truly scientific manner and does not override moral laws, can never conflict with the faith, because the things of the world and the things of the faith derive from the same God. The humble and persevering investigator of the secrets of nature is being led, as it were, by the hand of God in spite of himself, for it is God, the conserver of all things, who made them what they are” (CCC 159). The Catholic Church has no fear of science or scientific discovery. (CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH)

God is the intelligent designer behind it all

IRON SHARPENS IRON

                                                                               

Proverbs 27:17 ………’Iron sharpens iron’     What does it mean?                           Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.” When iron blades are rubbed together, each becomes sharper and thus more effective. Likewise, when believers are involved in one another’s lives, mutual edification occurs. Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 is a similar passage: “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!  Humans were created for fellowship (Genesis 2:18).You cannot reflect God to others if you don’t interact with people. You cannot grow in faith if you don’t think, talk, share, test, ask, clarify, address, simplify, quantify, explain or examine your faith with others. Faith grows when it’s shared, thus in proverbs we have this metaphor.“Iron sharpen iron.”                                          Two minds are better that one. Together we can achieve more. There is strength in unity. Of course, God doesn’t want us to miss out on having some fun, but He wants the type of fun that is good and praiseworthy. Fun that brings people , children, families and groups together. People that can pray and have fun together and share their troubles and tribulations.

kingdom of god

When I look back to my childhood, it makes me think of how I had my grandparents, uncles, aunties or older cousins that looked after me while my parents worked. This other analogy clearly shows me that raising a child was not just for two people.

   “It takes a whole village to raise a child.”    Igbo and Yoruba (Nigeria) Proverb.

      The basic meaning is that child upbringing is a communal effort.           Like growing in faith should bebecause nothing grows without love, friendship, faith, respect, honesty, hard work and communication.                     

Similarly, it takes fellowship with other people to grow in faith and to grow the Kingdom of God.