Still Busy #PhD #PhDlife

Hey,

I’m busy again. I’m doing some work on Ethnographic methodologies (something I have been avoiding since 2013 when I had an ethnography seminar during my Masters…), it’s a tricky thing to navigate for me because it’s not my area of expertise, also, I have Qualitative methodologies in my PhD and there is overlap in the two areas of academy. I am trying hard not to double up on certain things and end up writing the same thing twice from a different angle because I don’t want to give myself more work than I need to.

Believe it or not, avoiding writing stuff to stop giving yourself too much work is just as hard as writing stuff in the first place.

Sigh…

x

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I’m busy again but I put the video of me singing about sex from last week up for you x

I’m going to be perfectly honest with you. I have never been more busy in my life come back next week lol…

In the mean time follow this link read my post from last week about my new thoughts about sex and how  the Bible uses that word to describe the kind of intimate way we are supposed to be in relationship with Jesus but the relationship is not “sexual”, obviously, it’s metaphorical.

A revised #theology on #sex through #song (I WROTE A NEW SONG)

Here’s the song I wrote informed by the Bibles use of “yada” (to know, euphamistically used for sex) it’s about the intimate relationship we are supposed to have with Jesus:

xxx

A revised #theology on #sex through #song (I WROTE A NEW SONG)

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

(I wrote a new song it’s at the bottom)

Sorry it’s late I was still doing work. I need to learn when to stop lol.

Anyway, remember the song I wrote based on Song of Songs called “I hope The Neighbors Don’t See? It was about marital sex in the garden. Follow this link to read my previous post on that song.

Anyway I wrote a Part Deux to that song, it’s a medley of another song I wrote called Right Here and a new part to I Hope The Neighbors Don’t See I affectionately call I Hope The Neighbors ALL See… heh heh 😏.

It’s still based on Song of Songs and mirrors follows the tripartite-metaphor in that the love poem represents love between:

1.) Women and Men

2.) King Solomon and a dark skinned woman and

3.) Jesus and the church.

However, this time I remembered the verse of scripture in the Bible that says:

Luke 8:16 NLT
“No one lights a lamp and then covers it with a bowl or hides it under a bed. A lamp is placed on a stand, where its light can be seen by all who enter the house.

So I thought yeah, hoping the neighbors don’t see you in the garden doing it with your spouse fits our Western sense of propriety, however, the lovers in Song of Songs are very public about their connection and hiding your love away doesn’t seem to be biblical, especially when it comes to your relationship with Jesus. (No I am not advocating public indecency, do have sex behind closed doors but do aspire to show your love for your fellow man, spouse and God publicly).

It also says in the Bible that we are not supposed to be ashamed of Jesus, if we are ashamed of Jesus and the message of the Gospel Jesus himself said He would be ashamed of us:

Luke 9:26 NLT
If anyone is ashamed of me and my message, the Son of Man* will be ashamed of that person when he returns in his glory and in the glory of the Father and the holy angels.

*a title Jesus gave to Himself.

But what does this talk about, marriage, sex and public displays of affection have to do with Jesus? There’s something you need to know about Jesus and our relationship with Him. Psalm 1:6 says:

Psalm 1:6 KJV
For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.

The Hebrew word used for “knoweth” is “yada” it’s also the Hebrew word for sex. In the Torah sex is not just something necessary for procreation but it’s about intimate knowledge of another individual it’s about knowing, recognizing and understanding each other (Gold 2020).

The word is used both in reference to a man and wife having sexual
intercourse and—get this—in reference to a person being in deep
fellowship with God (Gresh 2020).

Indeed Paul says that:

Ephesians 5:31-33 NLT
As the Scriptures say, “A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.” [32] This is a great mystery, but it is an illustration of the way Christ and the church are one. [33] So again I say, each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

The mystery of sexual and romantic relationships explains to us the depth of relationship we are supposed to have with Jesus.

Additionally, the church is described as the bride of Christ in Revelation. What do husbands and wives do? Yada yada… heh.

Properly understanding and appropriately practicing sex within the covenant of marriage is actually vitally important in understanding the Gospel and our relationship with Jesus. That’s why I’m so open about the topic.

So, we s supposed to be in an intimately deep relationship(sex metaphor) with Jesus (husband metaphor), in covenant(marriage metaphor) which would be the covenant of Salvation through the death and resurrection of Jesus and acceptance of that and Jesus does not like it when we are ashamed of Him .

So the same way you would show your love publicly to your spouse, have intimacy with your spouse and not be ashamed of the person you’re with its the same with Jesus.

Therefore, in light of the above I have come to the conclusion that, metaphorically, you would want the neighbors to see your relationship with Jesus publicly.

Therefore, I have written a new version as an add on to the original I Hope The Neighbors Don’t See to reflect this. In keeping with the husband and wife metaphor from Song of Songs, it’s actually about relationship with Jesus. It sounds raunchy but with a revised theology on sex it makes sense:

Ok here’s the Original:

HERE’S THE NEW SONG:

Xxxx

Bibliography

Gold, M. D. 2020. The Purpose and Meaning of Sex in Judaism
<https://www.myjewishlearning.com/article/the-purpose-and-meaning-of-sex-in-judaism/&gt; 02 January 2020

Gresh, D. 2020. Yada yada. <https://liesyoungwomenbelieve.com/yada-yada-yada/&gt; 02 January 2020

[Video Essay] The Seven Kinds Of LOVE

Hello lovely subscribers and guests,

Welcome! For those of you in the know I said that I have decided to start reading my longer blog posts to you, as it’s more accessible for some people. To test this out I’ve decided to reblog this post about the different kinds of love. You can either watch me read this to you or you can read it below or you can listen and follow the text it’s up to you enjoy! Follow this link to see my other YouTube videos! Don’t forget to subscribe!

Essay

The ancient Greeks had various words to describe “love” and the various forms it comes in. Let’s have a look at the first one in no particular order:

1), Agápe (ἀγάπη)

Agápe (ἀγάπη) – love: esp. charity; the love of God for man and of man for a good God (Liddell and Scott 2010, p.4). Agape is used in ancient texts to denote feelings for one’s children and the feelings for a spouse. Also, used by Christians to express the unconditional love of God for his children (Romans 5:5; 5:8) (Wikipedia 2019, Greek words for love). In his book The Four Loves (1960), C. S. Lewis describes this as the love that exists regardless of changing circumstances and recognizes this selfless love as the greatest of the four loves and a specifically Christian virtue to achieve (Wikipedia 2019, The Four Loves).

Canadian psychologist John Alan Lee wrote a set of typologies about love (types of things) in his book Colours of Love: An Exploration of the Ways of Loving (1973) and these are Lee’s recognizable traits of a person exhibiting this kind of love:

  • Attracted to several types of people
  • Meets people easily so most likely will begin with a stranger
  • Feels concern and care for each partner they have
  • Is neither jealous nor obsessive
  • Enjoys sex and is willing to improve it (Sternberg 1988, p.48) (Wikipedia 2019, Color wheel theory of love).

2.) Éros (ἔρως)

Éros (ἔρως) – love, mostly of the sexual passion (Liddell and Scott 2019, ἔρως) The Modern Greek word “erotas” means “intimate love”. In the Symposium (360 B.C.), the most famous ancient work on the subject, Plato has Socrates argue that eros helps the soul recall knowledge of beauty, and understanding of spiritual truth, the ideal “Form” of youthful beauty that leads us humans to feel erotic desire, that is, finding its truth, just like finding any truth, leads to transcendence (Plato 1973) (360 B.C.) (Wikipedia 2019, Greek words for love). Lewis saw this love in the sense of “being in love” or “loving” someone, as opposed to raw sexuality (Lewis 1960, pp.108-109). Additionally, Lewis also warned against the modern tendency for Eros to become a god to people, a justification for selfishness and even a phallic religion (Lewis 1960 pp.127-132, 113). After exploring sexual activity he also notes how Eros (or being in love) is in itself an indifferent, neutral force (Lewis 1960, p.124) (Wikipedia 2019, The Four Loves).

Lee’s recognizable traits of a person exhibiting this kind of love:

  • Feels strong physical and emotional connection through the relationship
  • Begins with a partner who is a stranger and evokes immediate excitement
  • May be exclusive but not possessive
  • Seeks early sexual adventure, variety and technique
  • Is ready for love and its risks (Sternberg 1988, p.51) (Wikipedia 2019, Color wheel theory of love).

3.) Philia (φιλία philía)

Philia (φιλία philía) – affectionate regard, friendship, usually between equals (Liddell and Scott 2019, φιλία). It is a dispassionate virtuous love, a concept developed by Aristotle (Internet Encyclopaedia of Philosophy 2014). In his work on ethics, Nicomachean Ethics (350 B.C.), Philia is expressed variously as loyalty to friends, family and community and requires virtue, equality, and familiarity (Wikipedia 2019, Greek words for love). In the same fashion Lewis saw Philia as the friendship love also and a strong bond existing between people who share common values, interests or activities (Hooper 1996, p.654). Lewis differentiates friendship love from the other loves describing it as “…the least biological, organic, instinctive, gregarious and necessary…the least natural of loves” (Lewis 1960, p.70). He expresses a strong distaste for the way modern society ignores friendship and felt that few people in modern society could value at its worth, as so few actually experienced true friendship (Lewis 1960, pp.77, 84–85, 70) (Wikipedia 2019, The Four Loves).

Storge is also used to describe this kind of love and Lee uses it instead of Philia so does not provide recognizable traits of a person exhibiting this kind of love (Wikipedia 2019, Color wheel theory of love). See below for Lee’s recognizable traits for a person exhibiting Storge.

4.) Storge (στοργή)

Storge (στοργή storgē) – love, affection and especially of parents and children (Liddell and Scott 2019, στοργή). It is the common or natural empathy, like that felt by parents for offspring (Strong et al 2008, p.228). Rarely used in ancient works and even then almost exclusively as a descriptor of relationships within the family. It is also known to express putting up with situations, as in “loving” the tyrant. This is also used when referencing the love for one’s country or sports team (Wikipedia 2019, Greek words for love). Lewis has an interesting take on this kind of love, describing it as liking someone through the fondness of familiarity, for example, the natural love and affection of a parent for their child. Lewis describes this as the most natural, emotive and widely diffused of loves. Natural because it is present without coercion, emotive because it is the result of fondness due to familiarity and most widely diffused because it pays the least attention to those characteristics deemed worthy of love and as a result, able to transcend most discriminating factors (Wikipedia 2019, The Four Loves).

Lee’s recognizable traits of a person exhibiting this kind of love:

  • Is not looking for love but is ready if encountered
  • Quietly possessive but not overly jealous
  • Believes love comes from friendship but not a goal of life
  • Only has sexual desires after commitment is declared (Wikipedia 2019, Color wheel theory of love).

5.) Ludus

Ludus – “game” in Latin (hence the name of the game Ludo, remember that? Old Schooool! Totally showing my age!!! lol). Lee uses the term to describe those who see love as a desiring to want to have fun with each other, to do activities, tease, indulge and play harmless pranks on each other (like me lol). The acquisition of love and attention itself may be part of the game (Lee 1973, p.16) (Wikipedia 2019, Color wheel theory of love).

Lee’s recognizable traits of a person exhibiting this kind of love:

  • Ludic lovers want to have as much fun as possible.
  • When they are not seeking a stable relationship, they rarely or never become overly involved with one partner and often can have more than one partner at a time.
  • They don’t reveal their true thoughts and feelings to their partner, especially if they think they can gain some kind of advantage over their partner. The expectation may also be that the partner is also similarly minded.
  • If a relationship materializes it would be about having fun and indulging in activities together.
  • This love style carries the likelihood of infidelity.
  • In its most extreme form, Ludic love can become sexual addiction (Wikipedia 2019, Color wheel theory of love).

6.) Mania

Mania – from the Latin for “mental disorder”, from which we get the term “manic” or mainiac! Lee defines manic love as flowing out of a desire to hold one’s partner in high esteem and wanting to love and be loved in this way. This type of love leads a partner into a type of madness and obsession. It is a mix between Ludus and Eros.

Manic lovers speak of their partners in possessives and feel they “need” their partners. Love is a means of rescue or a reinforcement of value. Manic lovers value finding a partner through chance without prior knowledge of financial, educational, or personality dispositions.

Insufficient expression of the love of mania by one’s partner can cause one to perceive the partner as aloof, materialistic and detached. Lewis doesn’t go into this in the book, probably because Mania isn’t love at all.

Lee’s recognizable traits of a person exhibiting this kind of love:

  • Anxious about falling in love and has expectations of pain
  • Quickly becomes overwhelmed by thoughts of their partner
  • Forces partner into showing affection and emotion
  • Is easily frustrated and does not enjoy sexual intimacy
  • Is very possessive and jealous (Wikipedia 2019, Color wheel theory of love).

7.) Pragma

Pragma – from a Greek term meaning “businesslike”. Lee defines Pragma as the most practical type of love and not necessarily derived out of true romantic love, rather, Pragma is a convenient type of love.

Pragmatic lovers have a notion of being of service, which they perceive to be rational and realistic. This also translates to having expectations of a partner and of the relationship. They tend to select and reject partners based on what they perceive as desirable, compatible traits. Pragmatic lovers want to find value in their partners, and ultimately want to work with their partner to reach a common goal. The practicality and realism of pragmatic love often aides longevity of the relationship, as long as common goals and values remain shared for the duration.

In a culture where arranged marriage is practiced, pragmatic love is very common at the time of mate selection. Values are likely to be shared by a couple in developing countries, where survival and wealth building are often prioritized over other life pursuits.

Lee’s recognizable traits:

  • Certain of their preferable “types”
  • Begins a relationship with an already familiar person
  • Believes a loving relationship is desirable for a happy life
  • Expects reciprocation of feelings
  • Believes sexual compatibility can be worked out (Sternberg 1988, p.51).

Further Theories On Love By C. S. Lewis

C. S. Lewis distinguishes between three main kinds of love Need/Gift Love, Pleasure and Appreciation Love.

Need- Love and Gift- Love
Need-Love – as the love of a child for its mother. However, a child’s need for parental comfort is a necessity, not a selfish indulgence. Gift-Love – epitomized by God’s love for humanity to the disparagement of the former (Lewis 1960, pp.9-12).

Pleasure and Appreciation Love
Lewis distinguishes Need-Pleasures e.g. such as water for the thirsty from Pleasures of Appreciation, such as the love of nature (Lewis 1960, pp.20; 27) from the latter. He developed what he called “a third element in love … Appreciative love” (Lewis 1960, p.26) to go along with Need-love and Gift-love (Wikipedia 2019, The Four Loves).

In my mind I rationalise it like this – Need/Gift Love is “I need you”. Need-Pleasure Love is “I want you” and Pleasure/Appreciation Love is “I want you because I need you”.

My Thoughts On The Matter

I think I personally am a mixture of a couple of those loves, they show what I have said for ages. Love is an emotion that comes from being physically around someone. Real loves is bourne out of real life situations. Sometimes what you are feeling is not love at all it’s Maaaanniiiiaaa! Simple Ludus or Pure unadulterated Eros!

So back to my point that I keep on going on and on and on about…

You cannot fall in love with someone purely based on your interaction with them online. If you have not met them in person and do not have a real life physical rapport with them, it’s not love. You are in love with the idea of them, as without meeting them in real life, you cannot possibly know who or what they actually are. Your relationship is with your computer or smartphone via WhatsApp, Twitter, Facebook or even WordPress!

Do you find that when you see those little notifications from that person you have been stalking online ahem *cough* I mean that person you chat to online… that you begin to get a bit turned on? It’s not because you are truly in love with that person. You just enjoy the rush of interacting with them or stalking them online and you have conditioned your brain to receive pleasure from that kind of interaction, instead of interaction with a human face to face.

It’s not my place to judge why people do these things, I am just pointing out the flaws in such interaction. I’m just saying, God made humans as two naked people. Naked to show the intimacy and transparency that comes from real friendships.

Genesis 2:21-25 [NLT]
“So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep. While the man slept, the LORD God took out one of the man’s ribs and closed up the opening. [22] Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib, and he brought her to the man. [23] “At last!” the man exclaimed. “This one is bone from my bone, and flesh from my flesh! She will be called ‘woman,’ because she was taken from ‘man.'” [24] This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one. [25] Now the man and his wife were both naked, but they felt no shame.”

God didn’t make Adam and a computer screen with Eve sitting in some other part of the Garden of Eden. Humans are supposed to be relational and together, face to face, more often than not. Online interaction is not a substitute for real life relationships.

Follow this link to read my previous blog post on this issue, it’s important > Can you fall in #love with someone #online? #onlinedating #communication #internet #relationships

X x x (do not misinterpret that as a kiss…)

Bibliography

Books

Hooper, W. 1996. C. S. Lewis: A Companion & Guide. United Kingdom: Harper Collins Pub Ltd

Lee, J. A. 1973. Colours of Love: An Exploration of the Ways of Loving. Toronto: New Press.

Lewis, C. S. 1960. The Four Loves. London: Geoffrey Bles

Liddell, H. G. and R. Scott. 2010. An Intermediate Greek-English Lexicon: Founded Upon The Seventh Edition Of Liddell And Scott’s Greek-English Lexicon. United Kingdom: Benediction Classics.

Plato. 1973. The Symposium. W. Hamilton Trans. 1973. Repr. Harmondsworth: Penguin.

Sternberg, R. J. 1988. Triangulating Love. In The Psychology Of Love, R. J. Sternberg & M. Barnes eds, pp.119–138. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

Strong B, W., L. Yarber, B. W. Sayad and C. Devault. 2008. Human sexuality: diversity in contemporary America. 6th edn. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Websites

Aristotle. 350 B.C. ‘Nicomachean Ethics. Trans W. D. Ross’ The Internet Classics Archive Web site, at: <http://classics.mit.edu/Aristotle/nicomachaen.8.viii.html&gt; 02 May 2019

Internet Encyclopaedia Of Philosophy. 2014. ‘b. Philia’ Internet Encyclopaedia of Philosophy Web site, at: <https://www.iep.utm.edu/love/#SH1b&gt; 24 August 2014.

Liddell, H. G. and R. Scott. 2019. ‘ἔρως’ Perseus Web site, at: <http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.04.0057%3Aentry%3De)%2Frws> 02 May 2019

Liddell H. G. and R. Scott. 2019. ‘στοργή’ Perseus Web site, at: <http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.04.0057%3Aentry%3Dfili%2Fa&gt; 02 May 2019

Liddell H. G. and R. Scott. 2019. ‘φιλία’ Perseus Web site, at: <http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.04.0057%3Aentry%3Dfili%2Fa&gt; 02 May 2019

Plato. 360 B.C. ‘Symposium. Trans. B. Jowett.’, The Internet Classics Archive Web site, at: <http://classics.mit.edu/Plato/symposium.html&gt; 02 May 2019

Wikipedia. 2019. ‘Color wheel theory of love’, Wikipedia Web site, at: <https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Color_wheel_theory_of_love&gt; 01 May 2019

Wikipedia. 2019. ‘Greek word for love’, Wikipedia Web site, at: <https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greek_words_for_love&gt; 1 May 2019

Wikipedia. 2019. ‘The Four Loves’ Wikipedia Web site, at: <https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Four_Loves&gt; 01 May 2019

Hello World! #new

Hey,

As promised here is what’s new:

Xxx

P.S. Give me a week or so to transfer the vids from the old YouTube account to the new one.

Whoops forgot to put the new Facebook page here: follow this link to my new Facebook page

Totally Neat #YouTube Video I Found About #Solomon’s #Temple #biblestudy #Christian

Hey!

I’ve been having really nice personal Bible study time lately. I’ve been getting up around 3am-5am and just taking my time with Jesus.

You know Bible study can involve not just reading the Bible but other things to supplement understanding as well.

I’ve read the whole Bible several times now and I am at 1 Kings at the moment. This time around I wanted to fully immerse myself in the text and I tried to find pictures of what the things I was reading about might have looked like.

In my search Jesus led me to this really neat video on YouTube that really explains what King Solomon’s temple would have looked like and gives some other background information that is totally helpful.

Enjoy, P.S. that description of the Temple is in 1 Kings chapter 6 to 7. Happy reading! ✝☺ 📖 ⛪😇

Xxx

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SPECIAL EDITION: I Had A Vision Of #Heaven!!!!!!!!!! | #Jesus #Christian

I HAD A VISION YESTERDAY!

I was taken up to heaven and then taken into courtroom in heaven. God the Father was the judge. It was ornate like the Crown Court where the highest seat was reserved for the judge, which was God and there were places for Clerks and there were seats for the Defendant and Prosecution.

In this courtroom I had this sense that I was free but I saw where the Defendant would sit and I saw a young adult male, around my age (I’m 29 so around his early 30’s), sitting with his lawyer. He was in trouble and the court case that was happening in heaven was regarding him and he was talking with his lawyer.

The Defendant, so the person who was being accused, was wearing a dark grey almost black suit, he looked quite nice in it actually, I think he had a black skinny tie on and he was kind of tall. God also showed me that this guy told people he was a Christian. His lawyer was in a similar colour suit but was a bit shorter than the defendant and middle aged and was dressed smarter.

The lawyer was preparing all of the documents to make sure that the Defendant had every chance of a good defence, the lawyers body language suggested that this was crunch time and if this case didn’t win it was going to be hell for the young man.

I was in the audience part on the side of the Defendant, I was free to go where I wanted to but the Defendant had to stay put. Court had not started yet and everyone was not there but for some reason the Defendant had to turn up early with his lawyer. The movements of the Defendant because he was the Defendant were dictated to him because he was accused, so unlike me, he had to go where other people told him to go when they told him to go there.

As I said the court hadn’t started yet, people were moving around, the Defendant was there and only me in the audience, then for some reason the Defendant turned around looked me in the eyes and smiled. I got the feeling like he knew I was going to turn up, he knew I had his back and he knew I cared, which is why he turned around because he was expecting me.

Then something strange happened. I suddenly saw a vision within a vision. In this vision I saw the courtroom floor. Someone had dropped a USED CONDOM on the courtroom floor.

Now this signified several things:

  1. Contempt for God’s law
  2. Contempt for the institution of marriage because the person who did this NEEDED to used a condom because the person they were sleeping with they were not married to
  3. Contempt for the woman who had been slept with
  4. Contempt for sexual intimacy, this signified that sex didn’t mean much to the person who did this
  5. The person who used the condom had had sex in an inappropriate place that’s why the condom ended up somewhere it shouldn’t have.

When I was at university when you would walk to university there would be used condoms on the ground because people, who had no regard for themselves and didn’t fear God used to have sex in the alleyways then dump the used condoms. God was showing me that that’s what that situation meant.

The used condom was also evidence. IT WAS EVIDENCE AGAINST THE DEFENDANT!!!!! That was the reason why he was there. He had been sleeping with his girlfriend and God had finally had enough and the Devil was able to come before God and accuse the young man and the young man was now really in trouble. I am guessing the lawyer was either an angel or the Angel of the Lord as in Jesus.

The scary thing about this whole thing was that God revealed to me that this heavenly court case has not happened yet. I WAS ACTUALLY SEEING THE FUTURE!!!

There is somebody out there, around my age, male (obviously) sleeping with your girlfriend and God is about to run out of patience with you.

Please stop, God can see what you are doing. The Devil is laughing every time you sleep with your girlfriend because IT knows that you are digging yourself into a hole. And the Devil cannot wait to meet you in the afterlife. God sends people like me to intercede for you but I cannot pray you out of hell if you’re already there.

Stop it, stop it right now, ask forgiveness of your sins, find some bible believing guys who you can be accountable with, get prayer, discipleship, deliverance whatever you need to do to get right with God but please just stop sleeping with your girlfriend. Sex is for marriage only.

Your actions are irritating God and one day you will not be free.

Catherine

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Feeling better! 🙂

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I Saw #Jesus!

Hey everyone,

So yesterday I had some spare time and I was just (wasting it lol) spending it laying on my bed, on top of the covers, pretty much doing nothing but daydreaming, thinking about nothing important really. In fact, what I was thinking about was something rather silly, I was imagining being on one of those chat shows and thinking about what I would say and wear and so on lol.

Then I looked over to the right and I saw Jesus just casually sitting on the other side of the bed. I thought to myself wait a minute…. Jesus just stealthily came into my room, sat next to me on my bed without my knowledge and was listening to me think stupidness lol, nothing particularly holy or inspiring but Jesus just seemed to be happy to chill. At first I noticed and carried on thinking, then the Holy Spirit said to me I should thank Jesus for being there. So I did.

I thought to myself – how long has Jesus been there? Lol. Also, how often does Jesus do that? Lol. Also, I realised that Jesus must be there the whole time. We think we are alone but we’re not.

I thanked Jesus for being there because we know that Jesus “loves” us but sometimes it’s really comforting when Jesus does things to let us know that He “likes” us. You hang with people you can stand lol.

Interestingly – when I thought something that I knew was naughty, Jesus disappeared, I then asked forgiveness for that thought then Jesus reappeared!

My experience showed me that the following scriptures are true:

Psalm 34:7 NLT
For the angel of the LORD is a guard; he surrounds and defends all who fear him.

This is because I realised through my experience that Jesus must there all the time!

Also:

1 Thessalonians 5:2 NLT
For you know quite well that the day of the Lord’s return will come unexpectedly, like a thief in the night.

Jesus came into my room stealthily like a thief in the night, without my knowledge, it was just – boom – Jesus is here. My goodness when the rapture happens no one is even going to know what hit them, Jesus will just be not there and then be there!

N.B. I was at the sink this morning, my mind somewhere else again and I saw Jesus again! Standing in front of me, facing me, body angled slightly to the side, looking at me like he was walking past, saw something interesting and had just turned around to look to see what it was.

Fascinating!

Catherine x

SPECIAL EDITION: #GoodFriday – The Day God Died (not for good though!)

Hello everyone,

It’s Good Friday today and I thought I would give you a run down of what happened and what it tells us about true love. Most of the info here is adapted from The Virtual Preacher (see the bibliography for more information).

On Good Friday Jesus had already had the sham trial Matthew 27:11-26 then the Pharisees also encouraged the crowd to request that Barrabas be released instead of Jesus. The Soldiers had whipped Jesus to within an inch of His life sentenced to Crucifixion and was now carrying the cross on the way to the Crucifixion site. Here’s where we will begin:

True Love Is Doing As Well As Feeling

(Matthew 27:27-32 NLT) “[27] Some of the governor’s soldiers took Jesus into their headquarters and called out the entire regiment. [28] They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him. [29] They wove thorn branches into a crown and put it on his head, and they placed a reed stick in his right hand as a scepter. Then they knelt before him in mockery and taunted, “Hail! King of the Jews!” [30] And they spit on him and grabbed the stick and struck him on the head with it. [31] When they were finally tired of mocking him, they took off the robe and put his own clothes on him again. Then they led him away to be crucified. [32] Along the way, they came across a man named Simon, who was from Cyrene, and the soldiers forced him to carry Jesus’ cross.

The Bible doesn’t reveal much about the identity of Simon except he was from a city called Cyrene in North Africa, probably a an African convert who came on pilgrimage during Passover.

Why was Simon reluctant to take the cross and help Jesus?

  • It was considered an unclean task as the cross was drenched with Jesus’ blood and other body fluids.
  • It was also difficult because the beam weighed over 300 pounds.
  • It was also embarrassing because only criminals condemned to death carried a cross. It was a sign of mockery.
  • It was also inconvenient.

The short story of what Simon of Cyrene shows that cannot truly be Jesus’ disciples unless we are willing to step out of the comfort zone. Being a follower of Jesus is not about the sacraments and pilgrimages. They are nice but real love is kinaesthetic, it’s an action as much as a feeling. Jesus died for us, which is an action that is how Jesus demonstrated devotion to us. For our part in Luke Jesus said:

(Luke 9:23 NLT) “[23] Then he said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me.”

True Love Puts Others First

(Matthew 27:33-34 NLT) “[33] And they went out to a place called Golgotha (which means “Place of the Skull”). [34] The soldiers gave him wine mixed with bitter gall, but when he had tasted it, he refused to drink it.”

Gall was a pain killer in Jesus’ day. It was mixed with the wine to make it drinkable, women often offered it to the person being executed to dull the pain. Having lost a lot of blood from the sourging and having been nailed to the cross Jesus and was thirty but refused to drink the gall mixed with wine.

Why did Jesus refuse to drink?

  • Jesus was determined to complete His mission of fulfilling the law
  • Jesus did not want to compromise the mission in any way by doing things that would have made it easier than it should have been.
  • Jesus was committed to take the full extent of our pain, sorrow and shame because He considered that more important than His!

Jesus also showed us that real love is sacrificial and not self seeking, just like Paul said in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7:

(1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NLT) “[4] Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud [5] or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. [6] It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. [7] Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.”

True Love Stands In The Gap Between The Beloved And Trouble

(Matthew 27:35-54 NLT) “[35] After they had nailed him to the cross, the soldiers gambled for his clothes by throwing dice. [36] Then they sat around and kept guard as he hung there. [37] A sign was fastened above Jesus’ head, announcing the charge against him. It read: “This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.” [38] Two revolutionaries were crucified with him, one on his right and one on his left. [39] The people passing by shouted abuse, shaking their heads in mockery. [40] “Look at you now!” they yelled at him. “You said you were going to destroy the Temple and rebuild it in three days. Well then, if you are the Son of God, save yourself and come down from the cross!” [41] The leading priests, the teachers of religious law, and the elders also mocked Jesus. [42] “He saved others,” they scoffed, “but he can’t save himself! So he is the King of Israel, is he? Let him come down from the cross right now, and we will believe in him! [43] He trusted God, so let God rescue him now if he wants him! For he said, ‘I am the Son of God.'” [44] Even the revolutionaries who were crucified with him ridiculed him in the same way. [45] At noon, darkness fell across the whole land until three o’clock. [46] At about three o’clock, Jesus called out with a loud voice, [“Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?”] which means “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” [47] Some of the bystanders misunderstood and thought he was calling for the prophet Elijah. [48] One of them ran and filled a sponge with sour wine, holding it up to him on a reed stick so he could drink. [49] But the rest said, “Wait! Let’s see whether Elijah comes to save him.” [50] Then Jesus shouted out again, and he released his spirit. [51] At that moment the curtain in the sanctuary of the Temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. The earth shook, rocks split apart, [52] and tombs opened. The bodies of many godly men and women who had died were raised from the dead. [53] They left the cemetery after Jesus’ resurrection, went into the holy city of Jerusalem, and appeared to many people. [54] The Roman officer and the other soldiers at the crucifixion were terrified by the earthquake and all that had happened. They said, “This man truly was the Son of God!””

Crucifixion was invented by the Persians in 300-400 BC and was used by the Romans as a punishment for the most serious criminals. Death by crucifixion was slow and agonizing. The victims were crucified naked and in public which was humiliating, as you can see from the above people taunted Jesus.

Victims of crucifixion endured dehydration, blood loss due to flogging, shock from the pain and paroxysms (follow this link to find out what that word means), as they pulled up with their arms and pushed with their legs to keep their chest cavity open for breathing and then collapsed in exhaustion. The eventual cause of death from crucifixion was: suffocation, cardiac arrest, loss of blood or all of above.

What is the significance of crucifixion?

  • It was a symbol of God’s curse on sin.
  • The bodies of those crucified were left to the birds. They were not given a burial. This is also considered a curse from God.
  • These factors indicate that Jesus stood in the gap and took the curse of God which we rightfully deserved on himself.

Jesus Christ took our curse upon himself and paid the price for our sin. Jesus stood in the gap between us and what we had coming to us. Our atonement to and relationship with Jesus God the Son and God the Father and God the Holy Spirit is made possible through Jesus’ death and resurrection. Isaiah put it eloquently:

(Isaiah 53:5 NLT) “[5] But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed.”

Summary On True Love Displayed In The Good Friday Message

This Good Friday message gives us an example of the three distinct types of commitments of love displayed by Jesus:

True love is doing as well as feeling – This means a commitment for us to be willing to take a stand for Jesus not just say we are Christians, act like it.

True love puts others first – This means a commitment to be faithful: don’t compromise in times of crisis, always put Jesus first regardless.

True love stands in the gap: For me this just shows me how selfless Jesus was and what an example it is for us in our relationships with other humans, regardless of what kind of relationship it is. This shows also a commitment to be just as committed to Jesus as Jesus is to us and just to allow Jesus to love you and just enjoy being loved!

The type of commitment you need to make will vary depending on where you are in your life with Christ. Which one of these commitments do you think you need to make?

Have a happy Good Friday!

Bibliography

The Virtual Preacher. 2019. ‘Good Friday Sermon, Watching Jesus Die – Part 1’, The Virtual Preacher Website, at: <https://www.virtualpreacher.org/sermon-outlines/good-friday-sermon-2011-part-1/&gt; 19 April 2019