Step-By-Step Guide on How To Intercede For People! | #prayer #intercession #worship #Jesus #biblestudy

Hi readers!

Here’s my step by step guide on how to intercede for people. This post starts out with some background info and then at the bottom I take you through the steps!

Introduction – The Court of Heaven

Intercession involves activity in the Courts of Heaven with God as the judge to set in place some kind of protective order that will not allow the devil a right to interfere, hurt, destroy or touch what belongs to God. (Myles 2019, pp.13-14)

The Court of Heaven is real, we see it in Daniel 7:9-10 [NLT]:

“[9] I watched as thrones were put in place and the Ancient One sat down to judge. His clothing was as white as snow, his hair like purest wool. He sat on a fiery throne with wheels of blazing fire, [10] and a river of fire was pouring out, flowing from his presence. Millions of angels ministered to him; many millions stood to attend him. Then the court began its session, and the books were opened.”

We know from Revelation 4:4 that there are 24 elders who sit on 24 thrones there:

(Revelation 4:4 NLT) “[4] Twenty-four thrones surrounded him, and twenty-four elders sat on them. They were all clothed in white and had gold crowns on their heads.”

In the Heavenly Court is the throne of God where literal righteouness and justice flows out:

(Psalm 89:14 NLT) “[14] Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne. Unfailing love and truth walk before you as attendants.”

The Heavenly Court operates a similar way to human court in that there is an accuser – in heaven this is Satan – and a defendant – in heaven this is always the humans.

Divine Restraint

Before you can operate in your spiritual authority as an intercessor in the Courts of Heaven you need to make sure that you are adhering to whatever Divine Restraint God has set in your life.

What is Divine Restraint? The key to spiritual authority. It is impossible to have authority or retain it without a Restraining Principle. Look at the Garden of Eden.The bible says in Genesis 2:15-17

(Genesis 2:15 NLT) “[15] The LORD God placed the man in the Garden of Eden to tend and watch over it.”

Which establishes God as the source of Adam’s authority and the reason for the authority. Adam needed authority in order to manage the Garden of Eden. God however gave him a Restraining Principle:

(Genesis 2:16-17 NLT) “[16] But the LORD God warned him, “You may freely eat the fruit of every tree in the garden– [17] except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If you eat its fruit, you are sure to die.””

It is the same thing as if you have a maid and you say to the maid “don’t let anybody in the house while I’m at the office”. Think about what you have done to your maid. You have given her authority over anybody who wants access to your house and at the same time restrained her activities at the same time.

Adams authority, like the maid in the story above was rooted in his ability to adhere to the Restraining Principle God put him under. The consequences of violating the Restraining Principle were made clear to Adam in Genesis:

(Genesis 2:17 NLT) “[17] except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If you eat its fruit, you are sure to die.””

In other words, true spiritual authority dies when the Restraining Principle is broken. Before we can enter the Courts of Heaven as an intercessor and start to intercede for people you need to ensure that you are adhering to whatever Restraining Principle God has put you under (Myles 2019, pp.28-30).

We all have one even the Lord King Jesus Christ, the most powerful and revered one to ever walk this earth as a human being had a Restraining Principle on His life it’s in John 5:19 which says:

(John 5:19 NLT) “[19] So Jesus explained, “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself. He does only what he sees the Father doing. Whatever the Father does, the Son also does.”

The Restraining Principle was that Jesus was only allowed to do what He saw God the Father doing. Unlike Adam, who chose his own will over the will of God and violated his Restraining Principle by eating the forbidden fruit in Genesis, Jesus Christ said in Luke 22:42:

(Luke 22:42 NLT) “[42] “Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.””

Adhering to the Restraining Principle of His life and ministry

They say history has a habit of repeating itself – look at how the first Adam wrestled with a serpent in a Garden and the second Adam wrestled with the same serpent in a Garden, over the same issue, thousands of years later…(Myles 2019, pp.36-38)

The Throne of Grace

The same way there are different kinds of courts in human courts there are different courtrooms in the Heavenly Court. One of the most well known of these is the Throne of Grace. This is where we appear when we are overcome with personal sin and weakness but we are advised in Hebrews to approach this court with boldness

(Hebrews 4:16 NLT) “[16] So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.”

knowing that we will obtain mercy and find grace in our time of need (Myles 2019, p.43).

The 6 Lifestyle Requirements For An Intercessor

1. Put on the mind of Christ

Zechariah 3:5 shows us an example of activities in God’s courts and the requirements God has for people operating within His heavenly courts. In this story Jeshua, a high priest was in the court of heaven on trial:

(Zechariah 3:5 NLT) “[5] Then I said, “They should also place a clean turban on his head.” So they put a clean priestly turban on his head and dressed him in new clothes while the angel of the LORD stood by.”

The putting on the turban is a prophetic picture of putting on the mind of Christ and God sanctifying your mind. God requires your mind to be in a place where it is usable and attractive to God.

2. Be clothed in righteousness

We also see in this verse that God required Jeshua to have clean clothes.

(Zechariah 3:5 NLT) “[5] Then I said, “They should also place a clean turban on his head.” So they put a clean priestly turban on his head and dressed him in new clothes while the angel of the LORD stood by.”

This is a metaphor for clean living. Your lifestyle must match the standards of God.

3. Walk in the ways of the Holy Spirit

Zecharia 3:6-7 goes on to say:

(Zechariah 3:6-7 NLT) “[6] Then the angel of the LORD spoke very solemnly to Jeshua and said, [7] “This is what the LORD of Heaven’s Armies says: If you follow my ways and carefully serve me, then you will be given authority over my Temple and its courtyards. I will let you walk among these others standing here.”

This shows that Jeshua was also required to be led by the Holy Spirit in everything he did. (Myles 2019)

4. Observe the covenant of total obedience

We see in v.7:

(Zechariah 3:7 NLT) [7] “This is what the LORD of Heaven’s Armies says: If you follow my ways and carefully serve me, then you will be given authority over my Temple and its courtyards. I will let you walk among these others standing here.”

We can interpret this as a direct reference to the importance of obedience in order to operate in the Courts of Heaven.

There is protocol in the Courts of Heaven. We cannot present legal cases before the Courts of Heaven in disobedience, as this puts us under the dominion of Satan. When we live in disobedience we compromise our legal standing and jurisdiction in the Courts of Heaven. Satan then uses our own disobedience, which he would have encouraged us to do, as a legal threshold to resist our petition before God. Basically, you should repent of anything you think you have done and for things you don’t even realise you have done before even attempting to intercede for someone else.

5. Lay down your own life as a living sacrifice

Die to self and make sure you follow God above everything and everyone.

(Revelation 12:11 NLT) “[11] And they have defeated him by the blood of the Lamb and by their testimony. And they did not love their lives so much that they were afraid to die.”

and

(Jhn 12:25-26 NLT) [25] Those who love their life in this world will lose it. Those who care nothing for their life in this world will keep it for eternity. [26] Anyone who wants to be my disciple must follow me, because my servants must be where I am. And the Father will honor anyone who serves me.

Clearly God must come first.

6. Walk in humility

Humility robs Satan of any legal footing to resist our legal authority and standing before the Courts of Heaven. Also the Bible states that God resists the proud in James 4:6. Pride is the quickest way to get the Holy Spirit to resist you. (Myles 2019, pp.54-61).

Case Study Zechariah 3

Background

(Zec 3:1 NLT) [1] Then the angel showed me Jeshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD. The Accuser, Satan, was there at the angel’s right hand, making accusations against Jeshua.

Jeshua who was a high priest (modern day equivalent would be the Archbishop of Canterbury) was on trial. Jesus (the Angel of the Lord) was his defence attorney, as Jesus is our advocade due to Him dying and raising again. Satan was the prosecution. This is what happens in the heavenly court for real. Satan has actual legal standing for his accusations against us and acuses us day and night before God with irrefutable evidence.

Legal Standing

Even the Supreme Court of the United States of America will not hear a case without standing. If Satan is before the highest court, that is God’s court, he will have already proved standing. In the case of Jeshua, as Jesus and Satan were both in the courtroom they both agreed that there was enough evidence to put Jeshua on trial.

Redeeming Principles From Jesus

The trial starts with Jesus rebuking Satan and lays out 2 redeeming principles as grounds for a verdict favouring Jeshua.

  • Jesus appeals to God the Father to consider His predetermined purposes for Isreal and Jeshua as a high priest when He says:

The Lord chose Jerusalem

  • Jesus used His status as our kinsman redeemer (an ancient tradition where a family member who was more well off was able to redeem something for another family member who was less fortunate). This was an appeal to the mercy of God the Father through Jesus.

Satans Evidence

(Zec 3:3-4 NLT) [3] Jeshua’s clothing was filthy as he stood there before the angel. [4] So the angel said to the others standing there, “Take off his filthy clothes.” And turning to Jeshua he said, “See, I have taken away your sins, and now I am giving you these fine new clothes.”

  1. Satan presented evidence of Jeshua’s dirty clothes, which represented unclean living or self-righteous living, however Jesus said take away the dirty clothes. This is made possible today by the death and resurrection of Jesus. At the Crucifixtion took our sin upon Himself and the punishment for that sin as well. In exchange, we get to identify to God the Father through the sacrifice of Jesus as someone whose debt is already paid and the sin and judgement, Jesus had already taken away.
  2. Things family have done was also evidence presented against Jeshua that was what “iniquity” means but Jesus not only replaces the old clothes (sin/lifestyle) with clean clothes (a good lifestyle) but removes the charge against Jeshua’s bloodline.
  3. A dirty mind and other unhelpful mindsets was another piece of evidence Satan brought against Jeshua in Zecharia 3:5:

    (Zec 3:5 NLT) [5] Then I said, “They should also place a clean turban on his head.” So they put a clean priestly turban on his head and dressed him in new clothes while the angel of the LORD stood by.

    However, Jesus removed this, with the instruction of the placing of the clean turban. This is possible through salvation.

  4. Not walking in the ways of God was evidence Zec 3:6-7:

    (Zec 3:6-7 NLT) [6] Then the angel of the LORD spoke very solemnly to Jeshua and said, [7] “This is what the LORD of Heaven’s Armies says: If you follow my ways and carefully serve me, then you will be given authority over my Temple and its courtyards. I will let you walk among these others standing here.

  5. Jeshua was clearly making up things as he went along and Satan knows that God does not anoint our agenda. Only His perfect will. This verse also shows that not living according to the commandments of God (the Word of God or the Bible) was used as evidence against Jeshua. However, through Salvation and inviting the Holy Spirit into ones life and living in Covenant with God, according to the Word of God, through the leading of the Holy Spirit, this was addressed.

By the end of the trial not only did Jesus got Jeshua through salvation (modern day equivalent of this is the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus), clean living, obedience to the Word of God and a holy mind. Jesus also made Joshua a judge in the courts of heaven Zechariah 3:7. Judges were people like Samuel see the book of Judges.

Please note that Jesus had words with Jeshua about his lifestyle. This is important because without the lifestyle you do not get the standing with God in the Heavenly Courts. Jeshua’s standing, as someone able to operate in the Courts of Heaven was dependent upon his ability to fulfil the requirements of his position (Myles 2019, pp.69-78).

Ok got all that? Now here’s my step by step guide for an intercession session in the Holy of Holies, the Heavenly Courts!

aaand now for the step-by-step guide!

Step-By-Step Guide On How To Intercede For People

  1. Make time and find somewhere quiet and private, you can have another person(s) praying with you as well!
  2. REPENT
  3. Worship
  4. Ask the Holy Spirit to take you into the Holy of Holies
  5. Be still and reverent for a moment
  6. Ask the court to be seated – Daniel 7:10
  7. Boldly but respectfully present your precedent for approaching God, I have written out this part for you: (use I or We as appropriate).

Father God please remember what Jesus did on the cross:

(John 10:10-11 NLT) “[10] The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life. [11] “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd sacrifices his life for the sheep.”

Jesus came to earth and died and You rose Him again so that I/we could be sanctified and atoned to You Father God, so the veil between us and You was torn and I/we could come to You direct through what Jesus did:

(John 3:16-18 NLT) “[16] “For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. [17] God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him. [18] “There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son.”

I believe in Jesus and that through his death and resurrection my sins are forgiven and I am atoned to you Father God as it says in…

(Hebrews 4:14-16 NLT) “[14] So then, since we have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we believe. [15] This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. [16] So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.”

It also says in…

(Ephesians 2:17-18 NLT) “[17] He brought this Good News of peace to you Gentiles who were far away from him, and peace to the Jews who were near. [18] Now all of us can come to the Father through the same Holy Spirit because of what Christ has done for us.”

Therefore according to the Word of God in (Romans 11:17 NLT), as a Gentile (someone who is not a Jew) I have been

… grafted in. So now you also receive the blessing God has promised Abraham and his children, sharing in the rich nourishment from the root of God’s special olive tree.”

(for the women) – This makes my identity in Christ according to (Song of Songs 7:1 NLT)

…A queenly maiden.

(for everyone) This makes my identity in Christ part of a…

(1 Peter 2:9 NLT) …a chosen people…royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession….

Therefore, in the name of Jesus Christ, Father God I come boldly before Your throne, justified by Faith in Jesus Christ and the sacrifice that Jesus made to atone me to Yourself, (women only) a Queenly maiden (everyone) of Your Royal priesthood by Jesus’ sacrifice, a Gentile grafted in to Abraham’s family and therefore heir to the promises given to Abraham and Your very own possession, asking You to hear my case as You said in…

Isaiah 43:26 NLT Let us review the situation together, and you can present your case to prove your innocence”

and furthermore in…

Isaiah 1:18 NLT “Come now, let’s settle this,” says the LORD. “Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them as white as snow. Though they are red like crimson, I will make them as white as wool.

I/We can come before you and present our case for you to hear and rule on.”

  1. Beg for mercy for the individual and present the issue concerning the other person which usually revolves around the following:
    1. Need to protect territory
    2. Restrain ungodly and damaging behaviour
    3. Stop enemies of the Gospel
    4. Stop the work of Satan in that persons life
    5. Stop premature death
    6. Stop a devastating act of nature
    7. Stop good people from sinning
    8. Preserve God’s destiny on a persons life
    9. Stop sexual preditation (Myles 2019, pp.124-136)
  2. Don’t stop till the Holy Spirit tells you, wait for the Holy Spirit to give you a feeling that you are done then stop.
  3. Thank God for listening I have written this out for you:Thank you Father God for listening and hearing my prayer, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen
  4. Continue to pray about the situation when you feel you should
  5. Live a holy life so you satisfy the requirements to enter into the Courts of Heaven. These requirements includes the following:

Offer sacrifices at the alter the sacrifice must be a “…broken Spirit…”

(Psalm 51:16-17 NLT) “[16] You do not desire a sacrifice, or I would offer one. You do not want a burnt offering. [17] The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God.”

A holy atmosphere must come into your house/life/workplace through you that will counteract the evil taking place around you, when you do that God will accept you and His Spirit will inhabit your life. This is only achieved through obedience to God’s Word:

(Ezekiel 43:22-27 NLT) “[22] “On the second day, sacrifice as a sin offering a young male goat that has no physical defects. Then cleanse and make atonement for the altar again, just as you did with the young bull. [23] When you have finished the cleansing ceremony, offer another young bull that has no defects and a perfect ram from the flock. [24] You are to present them to the LORD, and the priests are to sprinkle salt on them and offer them as a burnt offering to the LORD. [25] “Every day for seven days a male goat, a young bull, and a ram from the flock will be sacrificed as a sin offering. None of these animals may have physical defects of any kind. [26] Do this each day for seven days to cleanse and make atonement for the altar, thus setting it apart for holy use. [27] On the eighth day, and on each day afterward, the priests will sacrifice on the altar the burnt offerings and peace offerings of the people. Then I will accept you. I, the Sovereign LORD, have spoken!””

This is also achieved by accepting, proclaiming and teaching the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross:

(John 17:15-20 NLT) “[15] I’m not asking you to take them out of the world, but to keep them safe from the evil one. [16] They do not belong to this world any more than I do. [17] Make them holy by your truth; teach them your word, which is truth. [18] Just as you sent me into the world, I am sending them into the world. [19] And I give myself as a holy sacrifice for them so they can be made holy by your truth. [20] “I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message.”

Loving one another:

(1 Thessalonians 3:12-13 NLT) “[12] And may the Lord make your love for one another and for all people grow and overflow, just as our love for you overflows. [13] May he, as a result, make your hearts strong, blameless, and holy as you stand before God our Father when our Lord Jesus comes again with all his holy people. Amen.”

Respecting those in leadership over you and encourage one another:

(1 Thessalonians 5:12-26 NLT) “[12] Dear brothers and sisters, honor those who are your leaders in the Lord’s work. They work hard among you and give you spiritual guidance. [13] Show them great respect and wholehearted love because of their work. And live peacefully with each other. [14] Brothers and sisters, we urge you to warn those who are lazy. Encourage those who are timid. Take tender care of those who are weak. Be patient with everyone. [15] See that no one pays back evil for evil, but always try to do good to each other and to all people. [16] Always be joyful. [17] Never stop praying. [18] Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. [19] Do not stifle the Holy Spirit. [20] Do not scoff at prophecies, [21] but test everything that is said. Hold on to what is good. [22] Stay away from every kind of evil. [23] Now may the God of peace make you holy in every way, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ comes again. [24] God will make this happen, for he who calls you is faithful. [25] Dear brothers and sisters, pray for us. [26] Greet all the brothers and sisters with Christian love.”

Obedience to God, doing good to others, proclaiming, teaching and accepting the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross and obedience and respect of spiritual leaders (officers of the church, e.g. pastor, deacon etc):

(Hebrews 13:11-17 NLT) “[11] Under the old system, the high priest brought the blood of animals into the Holy Place as a sacrifice for sin, and the bodies of the animals were burned outside the camp. [12] So also Jesus suffered and died outside the city gates to make his people holy by means of his own blood. [13] So let us go out to him, outside the camp, and bear the disgrace he bore. [14] For this world is not our permanent home; we are looking forward to a home yet to come. [15] Therefore, let us offer through Jesus a continual sacrifice of praise to God, proclaiming our allegiance to his name. [16] And don’t forget to do good and to share with those in need. These are the sacrifices that please God. [17] Obey your spiritual leaders, and do what they say. Their work is to watch over your souls, and they are accountable to God. Give them reason to do this with joy and not with sorrow. That would certainly not be for your benefit.”

Ooook happy interceding!

xxx

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Bibliography

Myles, F. 2019. Issuing Divine Restraining Orders from the Courts of Heaven. Courts of Heaven Series. Destiny Image Publishers Inc USA

HALT! – What Happened When I Was Hungry, Angry, Lonely & Tired! – #sex #music #Christian #Biblestudy

Dear all,

Have you heard of the acronym “HALT” stands for Hungry Angry Lonely Tired? It has consequences on your mind if you are in a place where you are all those things, leaving you vulnerable to relapse into a negative state and initiate a craving reaction… Being in a HALT state also shows that you are not taking care of yourself like you should. Here’s how it affected me the past two weeks.

What happened

Sometimes we can be called to do things but we allow the calling to become bigger than the One who called us. As I said, I’ve been overwhelmed with doing stuff, which made me Angry. This stuff was stuff which I should be doing and is important and vital to the continuation of the ministry at my church. However, I’ve been trying so hard that I even wasn’t reading my Bible as much as I should which made me spiritually Hungry and I felt Jesus was becoming jealous of the calling in that I was giving it more time that I was giving Him. So I finally finished what I had to do which was important and time sensitive and then I crashed in an emotionally/physically exhausted way (one night I even stayed up till after 8am doing stuff) because I was very Tired, on day I took off. That is when Jesus revealed the following to me whilst I was talking to Him please continue to read the following which happened last week:

I was sitting having a lovely day off and laying down having a conversation with Jesus on my bed and I noticed a few things different about that day. Firstly, the visions that Jesus shows me regularly came back. Jesus shows me visions and lots of other things regularly but since I was so busy I noticed they stopped, which made me a bit Lonely I thought maybe Jesus wasn’t showing me them because I was moving onto something else, no, I just was soo busy that what I was doing was competing for mental space with Jesus and Jesus was just not willing to compete but when I took a day off and Jesus was no longer in competition I noticed they came back.

Secondly, Jesus opened my eyes to the fact that I had been having nosebleeds for 2 weeks straight, culminating in a rather large one on the day I rested. I noticed it but I didn’t put two and two together to see the correlation between how much stress I was taking on and the nosebleeds. I had been internalizing so much stress and it was coming out as nosebleeds, I didn’t notice till I took a day off that I was not allowing Jesus to take my burdens and it was beginning to damage my health. How much stress does a person have to be under to have nosebleeds every day? Answer, a lot and to be so stressed that you don’t even realise it’s making you ill is dangerous. So again, by letting the calling become bigger than Jesus and taking on things all by myself I was damaging my health.

Anyway, revelations aside I felt like had quite a nice conversation with Jesus. I was feeling really quite tired by the end of the conversation as I had done stupid things like stayed up all night till past 8am in the morning working, so pulling proper all nighters and I was knackered by my day off.

So… I decided I would actually get into bed and lay down. I went to sleep, had a very strange dream and then woke up.

When I woke up, being in a HALT state had initiated a craving reaction and for the life of me I could not stop thinking about sex… I had very naughty thoughts (which I will not expand upon) solidly for a good hour or two about having sex in the control room of a music studio… I’m not even kidding, there was absolutely nothing else in my mind and it was as lucid as if I was there… (I’m definitely going to hide this blog post from my mother) I’m a musician. We are more prone to finding things like that sexy… Don’t judge meeeeeeeee!

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I couldn’t believe that I had actually thought such dirtiness just after having quite a nice, jovial conversation with Jesus before my nap.

And then I thought to myself:

“You know what? I’m not as good of a person as I thought I was”

and I shook my head at myself as I admitted my 29 year old humanity…

Normally, I avoid highly sexualised thoughts because firstly it’s a distraction and secondly it’s not good to focus on something that isn’t real. Lastly, there are Biblical reasons that revolve around how we are to conduct our thoughts and the Biblical mandate to not have sex before marriage (see my previous blog post about this)

  • I am not married so I need to rein it in for holiness reasons (and also for my own sanity…)
  • Jesus said that even if you think about doing a sin it’s just as bad as doing the sin. Sins can be committed both in our minds and by our actions. God tells us that we can sin in our minds just by lusting after someone. A person can sin by giving in to an inner emotion or passion and then dwelling on that emotion or passion like it says in Matthew 5:27-28:

(Matthew 5:27-28 NLT) “[27] “You have heard the commandment that says, ‘You must not commit adultery.’ [28] But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”

  • Temptations are not from God but from Satan to drag us down and get us to do the bad things we are tempted to do and we should not meditate on our temptations. Sin does not occur when the emotion, thought, or passion first comes. However, if those thoughts are not resisted, then sin occurs when we give in to the emotion, thought or passion by dwelling on it (Never Thirsty 2019) like it says in James 1:12-15:

(James 1:12-15 NLT) “[12] God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. [13] And remember, when you are being tempted, do not say, “God is tempting me.” God is never tempted to do wrong, and he never tempts anyone else. [14] Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. [15] These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death.”

  • Additionally, what we think can make us dirty from the inside out as vocalised in Matthew 15:18-20

(Matthew 15:18-20 NLT) “[18] But the words you speak come from the heart–that’s what defiles you. [19] For from the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, all sexual immorality, theft, lying, and slander. [20] These are what defile you. Eating with unwashed hands will never defile you.””

  • A person sins by dwelling on something that God has told us to avoid. When we sin on the outside we demonstrate to God, to others, and to ourselves that we have already sinned on the inside. God has asked us to resist the temptation to sin by fleeing from it. We are not supposed to see how close we can come without sinning. Fleeing starts with avoiding thoughts about the sin as it says in Romans 16:19:

(Romans 16:19 NLT) “[19] But everyone knows that you are obedient to the Lord. This makes me very happy. I want you to be wise in doing right and to stay innocent of any wrong.”

We read in 2 Timothy 2:22 to also run away from anything that would stimulates “youthful lusts”.

(2 Timothy 2:22 NLT) “[22] Run from anything that stimulates youthful lusts. Instead, pursue righteous living, faithfulness, love, and peace. Enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts.”

So we really shouldn’t be dwelling on nonsense that will stimulate us in a way that is not holy. Instead we should be focussing on living descent holy lives.

So it got me thinking, how did this happen? It happened because I was spiritually and probably physically hungry. I was angry, lonely in a spiritual and physical sense and I was spiritually and physically tired… This then kick-started an instinctive craving mode to try fill the gap normally occupied by Jesus who nourishes me, keeps me calm, gives me company and renews my strength because I was previously too busy to engage with Jesus.

So how do we deal with cravings/bad thoughts that come with being in a HALT state?

Read your Bible Daily – to avoid being spiritually Hungry

I admit it, I was not reading my Bible as much as I should, I can’t believe 2 weeks of not paying at much attention to Jesus as I should as well as skipping a few days of Bible reading and my mind went south, literally… lol. My mind was stressed and did not have it’s daily meal of the Word all the time and the word calms me down. So what did my mind then gravitate towards, something that would naturally calm a person down and give some sort of… umm… release? lol. Sex 🙂 you need to read your Bible every day. I read it morning and night. Read it more than you have to the Bible says we are supposed to meditate on the Word all the time. The Word is also food for our souls. My soul was half starved and hungry, no wonder I was thinking crazy things.

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Change your focus – to avoid being Angry

Stop making your primary focus on things to do with Jesus or your ministry or everything and start making your focus actually Jesus Christ. Stop focussing primarily on your problems and the people making your problems worse as this made me Angry and look for constructive solutions and make sure you always give Christ supremacy in your thoughts.

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Commit our thoughts to prayer – to avoid being Lonely

We commit them to prayer, my problem was that I was not talking to or thinking about Jesus as much as I should because I was so busy doing the things Jesus asked me to do. This made me Lonely. I then crashed (emotionally) it was only then that I noticed the vacuum in my brain where thoughts about and for Jesus would normally have inhabited. The vacuum was filled with sex, thoughts of sex anyway lol… I needed to pray more to inject my humanity with holiness.

(1 Thessalonians 5:17 NLT) “[17] Never stop praying.”

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Don’t overwork – to avoid being Tired

(Psalm 127:2 NLT) “[2] It is useless for you to work so hard from early morning until late at night, anxiously working for food to eat; for God gives rest to his loved ones.”

Does what it says on the tin really.

Conclusion

I was Hungry (spiritually starved), Angry (due to the people around me making my task more difficult), Lonely (from lack of interaction with Jesus) and Tired (from over working, I actually ended up in A&E for fatigue related accident, related to how tired I was from doing what I was doing). Apparently, when you are these things as a man you shouldn’t go on the internet…. Seems as though that works for women to! I didn’t go on the internet btw but my mind just went south lol.

On a separate note, I wrote a blog post about issues men have here: 3 Ways The Devil Tempts Men

  • Hungry – Eat your spiritual food which is reading the Bible
  • Angry – Change your focus to things for and of Jesus
  • Lonely – pray and talk to Jesus
  • Tired – Don’t overwork and give Jesus and your family the time they deserve

If it took two weeks of distraction, overwork, then me crashing, for my mind to be in the gutter goodness knows what other people who don’t read their Bible regularly or talk to Jesus regularly all year must be struggling with.

Here’s some resources:

https://healthypsych.com/h-a-l-t-hungry-angry-lonely-and-tired-a-self-care-tool/

https://bustedhalo.com/features/what-works-10-halt-hungry-angry-lonely-tired

https://bradfordhealth.com/halt-hunger-anger-loneliness-tiredness/

Catherine xxx

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Bibliography

Never Thirsty, ‘When does thinking about a sin become a sin’ Never Thirsty Web site, at: <https://www.neverthirsty.org/bible-qa/qa-archives/question/when-does-thinking-about-a-sin-become-a-sin/&gt; 9 September 2019

10 Things You Probably Didn’t Think About When #Reading #Genesis #Chapter 2 – #Bible #Christianity #Jesus

Hello everybody this is Part 2 of the thing I’m doing on Genesis 1 & 2, If you missed Part 1 it’s worth a read 10 Things You Probably Didn’t Think About When #Reading#Genesis #Chapter 1 – #Bible #Christianity #Jesus #PhD (follow this link to read it here).

Secondly, I’ve been writing some more music not my usual stuff (follow this link to listen) or play in the embedded player below:

Now to the article!

1.) Recapitulation – The beginning of Genesis 2 summarises what happened in Genesis 1 adding how the 7th day is holy because God rested.

Genesis 2:1-3 [NLT] – “[1] So the creation of the heavens and the earth and everything in them was completed. [2] On the seventh day God had finished his work of creation, so he rested from all his work. [3] And God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy, because it was the day when he rested from all his work of creation.”

2.) Genesis 2 has a different account of creation, the order is different and some new pieces of information are added like the springs that aren’t mentioned in Genesis 1, when were they created?

Genesis 2:4-6 [NLT] – “[4] This is the account of the creation of the heavens and the earth. When the LORD God made the earth and the heavens, [5] neither wild plants nor grains were growing on the earth. For the LORD God had not yet sent rain to water the earth, and there were no people to cultivate the soil. [6] Instead, springs came up from the ground and watered all the land.”

3.) Genesis 1 & 2 have differing/conflicting accounts of the creation order:
Gen 2 order: Heavens & Earth > Land & Sea (Separation of Dry Ground & Water) > Man > Garden > Vegetation > Animals that primarily live on land > Birds > Woman and no mention of Fish etc
Gen 1 order: Heavens & Earth > Light > Atmosphere > Land & Sea (Separation of Dry Ground & Water) > Vegetation > Stars > Sun & Moon (potentially) > Life in the sea then Birds > Animals that primarily live on land > Man & Woman

Genesis 2:7-9 NLT – “[7] Then the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground. He breathed the breath of life into the man’s nostrils, and the man became a living person. [8] Then the LORD God planted a garden in Eden in the east, and there he placed the man he had made. [9] The LORD God made all sorts of trees grow up from the ground–trees that were beautiful and that produced delicious fruit. In the middle of the garden he placed the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.”

4.) More new information: we learn there were rivers and mineral deposits around the area that the Garden of Eden was, this has led to speculation that the Garden of Eden was in fact in Africa, potentially around Ethiopia. Read my previous blog for more on this (follow this link for more info).

Genesis 2:10-14 [NLT] – “[10] A river flowed from the land of Eden, watering the garden and then dividing into four branches. [11] The first branch, called the Pishon, flowed around the entire land of Havilah, where gold is found. [12] The gold of that land is exceptionally pure; aromatic resin and onyx stone are also found there. [13] The second branch, called the Gihon, flowed around the entire land of Cush. [14] The third branch, called the Tigris, flowed east of the land of Asshur. The fourth branch is called the Euphrates.”

5.) Humans were created to work! The first humans were Gardeners/Farmers. We also learn about a new special Tree that was in the Garden that humans were never supposed to eat from.

Genesis 2:15-17 [NLT] – “[15] The LORD God placed the man in the Garden of Eden to tend and watch over it. [16] But the LORD God warned him, “You may freely eat the fruit of every tree in the garden– [17] except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If you eat its fruit, you are sure to die.””

6.) HERE’S WHERE IT GETS INTERESTING!!!! Humans were created single (in terms of relationship status) but not designed to be totally alone. I’m not saying we should all get married but I am suggesting that according to Genesis 2 Humans are inherently social and it’s not good for us to be all alone. HOWEVER, let it be noted that God created friends & assistance for Adam in the form of animals first before He brought a woman into Adam’s life. How interesting. Friends first, then relationship next. That’s Gods formula.

I can only imagine that this animal interaction pre woman had to do with socialising Adam so that he was in the right state of mind and maturity in order to appreciate the woman that was to come.

There you go men, if you’re lonely, before going off and put a ring on the first thing that flutters it’s skanky little eyelids at you because you were thinking with your willy and not listening to God… get a dog. Then you will understand how to be friends with, appreciate and care for another sentient being other than your self. Also, a woman will be well impressed with how “responsible” you seem lol.

Women, if you want company or a baby so bad, don’t just sleep with the first mutant that is kind to you, shut you legs… and get a dog. You will see how much hard work it is to care for something that does not care about the fact that you want to sleep in, (I have two dogs), then after you have cleaned up it’s poo and wee for the umpteenth time, you will realise how stupid you were to try and run ahead and get pregnant with any old person, who might not be as dedicated to the idea as you are and you’ll wait a bit longer, (I literally had to stop writing this part way to deal with an, “accident”, *rolls eyes*). Eventually when you have waited for the right one who will marry you before he puts a baby in you, you will have some idea of the responsibility ahead 🙂 . N.B. A dog will also love you unconditionally, humans won’t always do that.

Genesis 2:18-20 [NLT] – “[18] Then the LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him.” [19] So the LORD God formed from the ground all the wild animals and all the birds of the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would call them, and the man chose a name for each one. [20] He gave names to all the livestock, all the birds of the sky, and all the wild animals. But still there was no helper just right for him.”

Another thing to note, Adam interacted with whatever God asked him to before the woman, seeing different things, getting a wider perspective on life. This helped him to get to know himself and to understand his personality, to the point where he fully understood not only what he wanted but what he needed see v 20. That’s how he knew that the animals were just not the right kind of company. I think that’s really important to stress. Adam was a whole person, knowing himself and the world around him before he committed to a woman who God brought to him. How many people have not gone through that process of seeing life and getting to knew themselves and what kind of person is appropriate for them and ended up rushing ahead and getting married to someone they later realised wasn’t quite right for them?

Also we learn from v 15 ADAM HAD A JOB!!! BEFORE GOD GAVE HIM THE WOMAN! I just felt it necessary to make that point. He was cultivating the Garden etc as God told him to so the woman was able to come to a “nest” not a wreck and a “responsible human being” not a boy. No woman wants to marry a boy it’s totally against our survival instinct. In fact, I would go so far as to say that from Genesis 2, we can understand that women are in fact not created to be in a romantic relationship with an immature man child. God brought Eve to Adam when he was mature. Later, Adam’s subsequent immaturity actually led to the fall of man see Genesis 3 and Romans 5:12-21.

7.) God brought the woman to the man when the man was least expecting it! Hehe. He literally fell asleep. Perhaps don’t freak out about wondering who, where and when you are going to meet the “one”?

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.”

8.) We don’t know how long Adam was asleep for or what Jesus said to Eve whilst Adam was asleep. This shows us that the “single time” for a man and a woman is important, it’s a time for learning, getting to know Jesus as well as yourself. I wrote about this in a previous blog post here (follow this link to find out more)

9.) The first marriage was monogamous. Adam and Eve, the relationship between the Song of Songs woman and her Lover, the relationship between Christ and the Church they all have one thing in common. THEY ARE MONOGAMOUS AND HETEROSEXUAL. Marriage as God instituted it and subsequently mirrored metaphorically later in the bible has and always was is between ONE MAN AND ONE WOMAN. God created Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve. God did not encourage or institute Bigamy, Polygamy, Concubines, prostitution, sexual slavery, homosexuality or inequality between the sexes MAN DID THAT NOT GOD. You read later on in Genesis that this person and the other person had concubines but God didn’t institute that, humans (more than likely men…) did that allllllll by themselves.

Genesis 2:23-24 [NLT] – “[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.”

In fact, God said that the Israelite Kings were to only have one wife and Paul said that about leaders in the new testament:

Deuteronomy 17:17 NLT – “[17] The king must not take many wives for himself, because they will turn his heart away from the LORD. And he must not accumulate large amounts of wealth in silver and gold for himself.”

1 Timothy 3:2 NLT – “[2] So an elder must be a man whose life is above reproach. He must be faithful to his wife [Bloggers note: other translations say the husband of one wife]. He must exercise self-control, live wisely, and have a good reputation. He must enjoy having guests in his home, and he must be able to teach.”

1 Corinthians 7:2 NLT – “[2] But because there is so much sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman should have her own husband.”

10.) The first humans were NAKED!

Genesis 2:25 [NLT] – “[25] Now the man and his wife were both naked, but they felt no shame.”

Well I hoped you learned something from those 10 things and if you missed the previous 10 things about Genesis 1 (follow this link to read them here!)

Have a great evening Gals & Guys!

Catherine x

10 Things You Probably Didn’t Think About When #Reading #Genesis Chapter 1 – #Bible #Christianity #Jesus #PhD

Hello everybody!

A little note before the article. I wrote some more music! about the time I ended up in hospital, it’s the conversation I had with Jesus put to song, it’s called “Like Old Times”. What do you think? (follow this link to listen) or play in the embedded player below:

Now to the article!

I’ve been reading the Bible again! As I do everyday, as so should you! Lately, as I’ve been doing research for my PhD I’ve been reading the Bible in a pragmatic way, thinking about how it applies to everyday physical life, looking at how Science and Theology can go hand in hand, provided that both sides behave sensibly and listen to one another. I finished reading the whole thing for the maybe 4th time and so I’m back to Genesis again and I noticed a few very interesting things…

1.) [DAY 1]

Genesis 1:1-2 [NLT] – “[1] In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. [2] The earth was formless and empty, and darkness covered the deep waters. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters.”

This shows us that when God first made Earth it was covered in WATER! Also, God made space and the planets at the same time He made the earth. This probably explains what scientists call The Big Bang?

2.) [DAY 1]

Genesis 1:3-5 [NLT] – “[3] Then God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. [4] And God saw that the light was good. Then he separated the light from the darkness. [5] God called the light “day” and the darkness “night.” And evening passed and morning came, marking the first day.”

These verses show us that it seems as though God made space and whatever it consists of e.g. Dark Matter first remember:

The earth was formless and empty, and darkness covered the deep waters.

and the Visible spectra, which is a small part of the Electromagnetic Radiation Spectrum (follow this link for more info) second v3. Light can only be seen by human eyes only within the Visible Spectrum, I wonder why that was done second? At least this would have created light for Photosynthesis, this was sensible because it takes 8 mins for light to get to earth so God needed to create the light BEFORE God created plants that need light for Photosynthesis (follow this link for more info) and Humans who need it to create Vitamin D (follow this link for more info). Why didn’t God make the light first and the Earth second? Something to do with radiation I think.

Also, we see from these verses that the earth did not initially rotate on it’s axis, which is what makes night and day in the first place till verse 3. This could have meant that the core wasn’t liquid till then either which is something that also contributes to the earth’s rotation. Newton’s First Law Of Motion (follow this link for more info) means that some force had to start the earth’s rotation and it’s not going to stop till something stops it.

3.) [DAY 2]

Genesis 1:6-8 [NLT] – “[6] Then God said, “Let there be a space between the waters, to separate the waters of the heavens from the waters of the earth.” [7] And that is what happened. God made this space to separate the waters of the earth from the waters of the heavens. [8] God called the space “sky.” And evening passed and morning came, marking the second day.”

These verses show us that the earth had no atmosphere there was just the earth and where we have sky was water. Think about the gas giants like Jupiter and replace that gas with water and that was the earth lol. Also, initially there seemed to be water in the form of vapour and liquid in the sky at the same time, whereas now we have mainly water in it’s liquid form on earth and it’s vapour form in the sky. This means there must have either been very little gravity at this point or none at all, I’m going for the second one lol.

4.) [DAY 3]

Genesis 1:9-10 [NLT] – “[9] Then God said, “Let the waters beneath the sky flow together into one place, so dry ground may appear.” And that is what happened. [10] God called the dry ground “land” and the waters “seas.” And God saw that it was good.”

God made created the plates on the earth’s crust to shift to create underwater mountain ranges in order to get the water to flow into one place, the birth of Plate Tectonics (follow this link for more info).

5.) [DAY 3]

Genesis 1:11-12 [NLT] – “[11] Then God said, “Let the land sprout with vegetation–every sort of seed-bearing plant, and trees that grow seed-bearing fruit. These seeds will then produce the kinds of plants and trees from which they came.” And that is what happened. [12] The land produced vegetation–all sorts of seed-bearing plants, and trees with seed-bearing fruit. Their seeds produced plants and trees of the same kind. And God saw that it was good.”

After God separated the land and the water, He then took that land that would have been nice and fertile after being wet and made plants come from it.

6.) [DAY 4]

Genesis 1:14-19 [NLT] – “[14] Then God said, “Let lights appear in the sky to separate the day from the night. Let them be signs to mark the seasons, days, and years. [15] Let these lights in the sky shine down on the earth.” And that is what happened. [16] God made two great lights–the larger one to govern the day, and the smaller one to govern the night. He also made the stars. [17] God set these lights in the sky to light the earth, [18] to govern the day and night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. [19] And evening passed and morning came, marking the fourth day.”

After making Space, Earth, Water, Visible Light, Earth’s Rotation, The Earth’s Plates, Vegetation God made the Stars, I don’t know if our Sun was made at this point or initially in v 3. Why things were done in this order I don’t know. At this point I’m guessing the moon was created as well being the “lesser light” in v 16 perhaps? Adding stars would have created a bit more order in the universe as the other planets would have begun to orbit them.

7.) [DAY 5]

Genesis 1:20-23 NLT – “[20] Then God said, “Let the waters swarm with fish and other life. Let the skies be filled with birds of every kind.” [21] So God created great sea creatures and every living thing that scurries and swarms in the water, and every sort of bird–each producing offspring of the same kind. And God saw that it was good. [22] Then God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply. Let the fish fill the seas, and let the birds multiply on the earth.” [23] And evening passed and morning came, marking the fifth day.”

Once God made a stable environment not only on the earth but in the cosmos He then filled the sea with life and the air with birds but nothing that lived primarily on the land. Even though the land had vegetation? Why? The only thing I can think is that it was a very simple food chain designed to continue to cultivate the vegetation. The sea must have contained Prokaryotic cells (follow this link for more info) which photosynthesise so they didn’t need any food but they would have been a food source for the fish. I don’t know how fish help the world lol I’ll meditate on this later. The birds must have eaten the vegetation pooping out the seeds, continuing to cultivate the land. That’s all I can think of off the top of my head.

8.) [DAY 6]

Genesis 1:24-28 [NLT] – “[24] Then God said, “Let the earth produce every sort of animal, each producing offspring of the same kind–livestock, small animals that scurry along the ground, and wild animals.” And that is what happened. [25] God made all sorts of wild animals, livestock, and small animals, each able to produce offspring of the same kind. And God saw that it was good. [26] Then God said, “Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us. They will reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the livestock, all the wild animals on the earth, and the small animals that scurry along the ground.” [27] So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. [28] Then God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth and govern it. Reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, and all the animals that scurry along the ground.””

After God had made the universe and the fish and the birds then he made the animals that live primarily on land aaaaaand then He made humans. So we see God made, as I said before, a stable environment for humans to inhabit first then He made humans.

9.) [DAY 6] Note that when God made humans in His own image, both Male and Female, this must mean that God has attributes that are both Male and Female (physiologically as well as emotionally e.g Gods creative power women similar to creative capacity given to women we are able to give birth creating more humans, God strong is strong in a similar way men are physically strong) and the unity of men and women, being “one” is representative of God being “one” look at what the bible says:

Genesis 2:24 [NLT] – “[24] This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.”

Mark 10:6-9 [NLT] – “[6] But ‘God made them male and female’ from the beginning of creation. [7] ‘This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, [8] and the two are united into one.’ Since they are no longer two but one, [9] let no one split apart what God has joined together.””

Ephesians 4:3-5 [NLT] – “[3] Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace. [4] For there is one body and one Spirit, just as you have been called to one glorious hope for the future. [5] There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism,”

[Bloggers Note: This prayer is by Jesus when He was talking to God (The Father)] John 17:20-23 [NLT] – “[20] “I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. [21] I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one–as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me. [22] “I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one. [23] I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me.”

10.) [DAY 6] In the beginning everything was vegetarian! LOL I only noticed this yesterday. The humans ate all the seed bearing plants so fruit/vegetables etc and the animals ate everything that was green like grass/leaves/grains? etc. Wow fascinating!

Genesis 1:29-31 NLT – “[29] Then God said, “Look! I have given you every seed-bearing plant throughout the earth and all the fruit trees for your food. [30] And I have given every green plant as food for all the wild animals, the birds in the sky, and the small animals that scurry along the ground–everything that has life.” And that is what happened. [31] Then God looked over all he had made, and he saw that it was very good! And evening passed and morning came, marking the sixth day.”

Well I hope that’s enlightened you! I’ll talk about interesting thing’s I’ve learned about Genesis 2 next week!

Catherine x

The #Church And The Mystery Of The #BlackWoman’s Body #racism #Christianity #women #Jesus

Hello everybody,

Today I would like to discuss something close to my heart. The Black woman’s body. I’ve been thinking about this topic quite a bit as I am a woman of colour.

With the rise of the Alt Right in the States and the racist Evangelical “Christians” who voted in President Trump, them and their “white Jesus”, its got me thinking about how little Western society and the church values the body of the woman of colour.
The West’s Historical Relationship With The Black Woman’s Body

Historically, in slavery times, the Black woman was not treated like a woman at all, she was put in chains and forced to do men’s work, like lay tar on roads because the Black woman was not seen to be as delicate as the White woman. What slavery did was masculinized the Black woman and emasculated the Black man. Moreover, the Black woman instead of being a beautiful, sexual being, was seen as dirty, eroticized and often forced into sexual relationships, whether it be for the White slave owners own nasty sexual fantasies, for pimping out their African enslaved women to other White men, forcing them to have babies with other slaves or forcing them to have babies with slave owners to produce more slaves. As their babies were seen as the property of the slave owners the children were promptly sold off when they were weaned. PBS did an article which provides a starting overview to this (follow this link for more info). So what the slave trade did was to create and reinforce the idea that the Black woman’s body is there merely for the White man’s “use” and the Black man was unable to do or say anything about it. Black marriages weren’t even legal during slave times, they did get married but they weren’t recognized or respected and the husbands were sold without a second thought of their wives and children. It also wasn’t legal for the enslaved women to tell their children who their father was, partly because sometimes their father was the slave owner through coerced means, trying to make more slaves or just because he wanted the slave woman. Sometimes their father was another slave that was used as a stud to produce more slaves.

These things on top of the sexual abuse and misuse of the Black woman’s body by the White man, created the idea of the Black woman’s body as always someone’s “baby mama” and never someone’s wife, as she wasn’t allowed that status and as the Black man was so emasculated and their marriages weren’t recognized and it was illegal for the Black woman to tell her children who their father was, this meant that the Black people as a whole were kept in a perpetually barstardised state. You can then understand why the uptake of Christianity was so high among both Male and Female enslaved people’s because of the promise of God the Father being the only all loving, all caring, all knowing, omnibenevolent father figure they had, who happily sacrificed part of Himself (Jesus) for them John 3:16, instead of them always having to fight for themselves. You can also understand where the mentality of the Black woman always having some baby from some man and who knows who the father is type of thing comes from because that literally is the circumstance that was forced upon the Black woman’s body. It happened.

The “church”, which was supposed to be the bastion of White morality, the moral compass and the literal heart of WASP (White Anglo Saxon Protestant) culture went along with it see this article here, it provides an overview (follow this link for more into). Can you imagine that?

Let me tell you what happened in my family history, my great great great great great maybe another great grandfather was actually a slave owner. He had a child with my great great great great great maybe another great grandmother. The child was fair and as a consequence allowed to live in the house and be free. In those times, the fairer you were the better. When she grew up, as she was fair, she married a Scottish man (a White man), their children were obviously free, they must have been fair and eventually a few centuries and more mixed marriages later, I was born. People often ask me which one of my parents is White lol. I often can’t be bothered to go into why and just say I have European ancestors.
Jesus would have been dark skinned

Now for all you racist “Christians” I would just like to say to all of those who are confused, Jesus was not White, He was a Jew! He WOULD NOT have been blonde, He would have had brown hair, brown eyes and brown skin, you know why? Jews from the Bible were mixed with the following groups of people:

  • North Africans partly from their time in Egypt, some Egyptians went with them Exodus 12:38;
  • Peoples we would have understood today as Arabs;
  • and Ethiopians and the Cushites who were also part Ethiopian, part Eastern African (follow this link for more info) (so the Kenyans etc.) and part Southern Egyptian, they were the descedents of Cush, son of Ham, Noah’s youngest son.
  • I’m probably fairer than they were lol.

Modern Jews today look more European due to increased social mobility and the various World Wars and persecution which forced them into Eastern Europe (Ashkenazi (follow this link for more info) Jews) and the Mediterranean (Sephardic (follow this link for more info) Jews). That’s why now you get some Jewish people who are blonde etc.
What does the Bible say about Black Women?

Moses married a Cushite woman and his sister Miriam was racist and didn’t like it. So God decided that if she liked white skin so much He would make her white by giving her Leprosy, to teach her not to be so judgemental again.

Numbers 12:1-15 [NLT]

“[1] While they were at Hazeroth, Miriam and Aaron criticized Moses because he had married a Cushite woman (authors own note: Cushite = a black woman). [2] They said, “Has the LORD spoken only through Moses? Hasn’t he spoken through us, too?” But the LORD heard them. [3] (Now Moses was very humble-more humble than any other person on earth.) [4] So immediately the LORD called to Moses, Aaron, and Miriam and said, “Go out to the Tabernacle, all three of you!” So the three of them went to the Tabernacle. [5] Then the LORD descended in the pillar of cloud and stood at the entrance of the Tabernacle. “Aaron and Miriam!” he called, and they stepped forward. [6] And the LORD said to them, “Now listen to what I say: “If there were prophets among you, I, the LORD, would reveal myself in visions. I would speak to them in dreams. [7] But not with my servant Moses. Of all my house, he is the one I trust. [8] I speak to him face to face, clearly, and not in riddles! He sees the LORD as he is. So why were you not afraid to criticize my servant Moses?” [9] The LORD was very angry with them, and he departed. [10] As the cloud moved from above the Tabernacle, there stood Miriam, her skin as white as snow from leprosy. When Aaron saw what had happened to her, [11] he cried out to Moses, “Oh, my master! Please don’t punish us for this sin we have so foolishly committed. [12] Don’t let her be like a stillborn baby, already decayed at birth.” [13] So Moses cried out to the LORD, “O God, I beg you, please heal her!” [14] But the LORD said to Moses, “If her father had done nothing more than spit in her face, wouldn’t she be defiled for seven days? So keep her outside the camp for seven days, and after that she may be accepted back.” [15] So Miriam was kept outside the camp for seven days, and the people waited until she was brought back before they traveled again.”

Basically, God said there if He God, King of Kings and Lord of Lords accepts Moses with his BLACK WIFE to the extent that He God speaks to him face to face, in a way that God didn’t do with anyone else in that day, who are you to be discriminating and complaining? If there was something wrong with marrying a Black woman God wouldn’t have been so close with Moses, if it’s good enough for God it’s good enough for you!

The church is also presented as a Black woman, in Song of Songs (also known as Song of Solomon) the love interest bucks the social trend in the West of beauty being primarily White by presenting the love interest as a Black woman. I wrote a song about Song of Songs

As we know, the imagery of the young woman and her lover seen in Song of Songs represents a young woman and King Soloman, as well as Wives and Husbands, as well as The Church which is always represented as a woman and Jesus Christ.

Song of Solomon 1:5-6 [NLT]

“[5] I am dark but beautiful, O women of Jerusalem- dark as the tents of Kedar, dark as the curtains of Solomon’s tents. [6] Don’t stare at me because I am dark- the sun has darkened my skin. My brothers were angry with me; they forced me to care for their vineyards, so I couldn’t care for myself-my own vineyard.”

Poor thing was forced to work out in the sun the same way White slavers used to make Black women work in the sun. Looks like she was already dark and then got a tan which made her darker – yes Black people tan – see below

Me before I went to Barbados

Me when I came back!

In Song of Songs, the lover who is the man also representative of King Solomon and Jesus is also represented by a Black man or at least someone who is dark look:

Song of Solomon 5:10-11 [NLT]

“[10] My lover is dark and dazzling, better than ten thousand others! [11] His head is finest gold, his wavy hair is black as a raven.”

The Bible represents Black people as beautiful, it’s just been brushed over in some “Whitespiracy”. Yes, there are verses which talk about slaves must obey their masters. I admit that they are there and it will take another blog post to write an apologetic for that. However, those people who used the Bible to justify slavery and the way the Black woman’s body was treated never read:

Colossians 3:11-12 [NLT] “[11] In this new life, it doesn’t matter if you are a Jew or a Gentile, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbaric, uncivilized, slave, or free. Christ is all that matters, and he lives in all of us. [12] Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.”

Galatians 3:28 [NLT] “[28] There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

Matthew 23:8-12 [NLT] “[8] “Don’t let anyone call you ‘Rabbi,’ for you have only one teacher, and all of you are equal as brothers and sisters. [9] And don’t address anyone here on earth as ‘Father,’ for only God in heaven is your spiritual Father. [10] And don’t let anyone call you ‘Teacher,’ for you have only one teacher, the Messiah. [11] The greatest among you must be a servant. [12] But those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

Luke 6:40 [NLT] “[40] Students are not greater than their teacher. But the student who is fully trained will become like the teacher.”

1 Peter 3:7 [NLT] “[7] In the same way, you husbands must give honor to your wives. Treat your wife with understanding as you live together. She may be weaker than you are, but she is your equal partner in God’s gift of new life. Treat her as you should so your prayers will not be hindered.”

Clearly White supremacy, racism and chauvinism of any kind is not a Biblical world-view and must be exorcised from Anglo-American/European Christianity.
My personal experience: how the “church” has treated my Black female body

I personally have experienced discrimination at the hands of White “Christian” guys who were COWARDS, too scared to marry me because their mother didn’t appreciate that I wasn’t Caucasian and so our children would be half Black.

I’ve also had scenarios where White “Christian” guys were COWARDS again, they were too afraid of their White friends laughing at them, saying not nice things about me to the guy who was interested in me behind my back because he was interested in a black girl. Saying that I was ugly, just because I was black, in an attempt to try and put him off. Newsflash IDIOT they were jealous…. and racist and annoyed at themselves because they were jealous and couldn’t find any reasonable reason to try to get him to not date me.

I’ve met some really nice White guys. I’m constantly bumping into White guys who are a fan of women of colour. It’s not actually hard to find them, they tend to seek you out if they are that way inclined anyway, also I live in England, I think African/Caribbean people are only 5% of the population here. They aren’t all bad, I’m just giving examples that need shaming although I shan’t do any naming. It’s nothing as bad as America here. Many of my friends are in mixed ethnicity relationships, many of them are happily married with children, cute little children at that!

The fastest growing ethnicity in England and Wales is actually the Mixed Race ethnicity, the BBC did a whole thing on it (follow this link for more info). I myself am mixed, as I said at the beginning, also my grandfather on one side was half African-Caribbean, half Caucasian. On another side I have a great grandfather that was French. So I’m part African, Caribbean, French, Scottish and Anglo-Saxon of some description.
Who misses out when we don’t respect the Black woman’s body?

Now I’ve been thinking, who looses in this battle between the White Alpha-Male and the oppressed Black woman? To answer this question lets look at the facts, lets combine Science and Theology:

Science says:

Christian Theology/The Bible says:

  • Humans reproduce through sexual reproduction
    • Genesis 3:16,20 [NLT] “[16] Then he said to the woman, “I will sharpen the pain of your pregnancy, and in pain you will give birth. And you will desire to control your husband, but he will rule over you. “… “[20] Then the man-Adam-named his wife Eve, because she would be the mother of all who live.”;
    • Genesis 4:1 [NLT] “Now Adam had sexual relations with his wife, Eve, and she became pregnant. When she gave birth to Cain, she said, “With the LORD’s help, I have produced a man!”
  • It is impossible for humans to reproduce without a female –
    • 1 Corinthians 11:12 [NLT] “For although the first woman came from man, every other man was born from a woman, and everything comes from God.”
  • Humans were created –
    • Genesis 1:26-28 [NLT] “[26] Then God said, “Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us. They will reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the livestock, all the wild animals on the earth, and the small animals that scurry along the ground.” [27] So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. [28] Then God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth and govern it. Reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, and all the animals that scurry along the ground.”
  • The first humans were situated in a garden, Eden which was around what we consider in contemporary times to be around Africa-ish (don’t quote me on this at all lol), (yes I know the world used to be one land mass Pangea then plate tectonics etc now we have continents the point is that the Bible situates/associates Eden in/around an area known to have Black people).
    • We know this because Genesis 2:10-11,13 says that “[10] A river flowed from the land of Eden, watering the garden and then dividing into four branches. [11]… [13] The second branch, called the Gihon, flowed around the entire land of Cush.” As we know Cush is considered by Biblical scholars to be Ethiopia so this could have been an ancient Ethiopia perhaps?

The science does back up the Biblical account of humanity, apart from Evolution, however, look if the evidence is that humanity developed mainly in Africa then it’s only common sense to assume then that the ONLY place the Garden of Eden could have been was Africa if the first people, who we know were African’s, lived and developed in Africa then that’s where the Garden of Eden was. If they find a few more bones that are older, somewhere else, I’ll repent of my theories. Also, the Gold deposits and so on that are described as being there, you’ve got to look at where those could have been and Africa is one of the locations that could have been where the Garden of Eden was.

Ok, so the first people were Africans, the scientists and Theologians agree on that. Africans are black (brown). God is orderly,

1 Corinthians 14:33 [NLT] “For God is not a God of disorder but of peace, as in all the meetings of God’s holy people.”

Evolution is something that happens where sensible changes occur due to environment/food. An organism that is suited to the environment will flourish and pass on it’s genes and one that is not suitable, the theory assumes, will not flourish and maybe die out. The theory assumes that changes that aren’t useful aren’t sustained through natural selection because they aren’t useful. Again this is all GCSE Evolution stuff http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/science/aqa/evolutiontheories/theoriesofevolutionrev4.shtml.

This explains why Black people have more melanin in their skin, better protection from the sun (we still burn though, everybody needs to stay out of the sun see this article for more on melanin https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2671032/), they tend to have either the sickle cell trait (like me) or the full blown thing, that provides protection from malaria, these are physical adaptations that suit the hot environments that Black people tend to live in this article goes in to that and other ethnicities which may have an even better immunity https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3269803/. Whereas areas that tend not to be populated by Black people are not as sunny and you get lots of White people, this article explains about the amount of UV radiation an area gets and how that correlates to skin colour, basically, the sunnier the area, the darker the skin to protect from the sun, the less sunny a place is the lighter the skin to absorb as much sunlight as possible for making Vit D https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/evolution/library/07/3/text_pop/l_073_04.html, TBH the whole making Vitamin D thing is probably why humans were originally naked in the first place. Keeps you cool as well!

God is not disorderly, He is sensible, all knowing and just and things don’t happen in evolution that are not useful to the organism or are not suitable for the environment/longevity for the organism.

So in answer to my question, in the war between the White Alpha-Male and the oppressed Black Woman, the biggest looser is actually the White Alpha-Male. I think this because clearly thinking about God being sensible/orderly and Evolution being sensible and orderly we can assume that the Black woman would never have developed or been created if she was not the most useful, appropriate and evolutionarily/theologically sound, emotionally gratifying, intellectually satisfying and sexually compatible companion for the male Homo Sapien. It’s from the Black woman that all these other ethnicities came from, the genes that were able to adapt so well to the colder environments producing Caucasian people came from Black people! To this day the Black woman’s body STILL thrives, even after everything that the White man has thrown at her, she still continues, still unbroken. With that in mind, with the resilience of the Black woman’s body and mind, if she had been able to thrive culturally, what kind of place would the world have been today? What kind of contribution, genetically, emotionally, physically, spiritually could the Black woman have made if she was given a voice, respect, dignity?
RECAP: Let’s do a non-racist re-read of the Genesis account

Think, the first woman, Eve, had to be Black, even scientists corroborate that. It’s well known that the first people were Africans. With that in mind, lets do a non-racist look at Genesis again:

Genesis 1:26-27 [NLT]

“[26] Then God said, “Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us. They will reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the livestock, all the wild animals on the earth, and the small animals that scurry along the ground.” [27] So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.”

So in the beginning, God made the first humans, as we know from the Bible and science that the first humans lived in Africa. So when God said “let’s make humans in our image”, HE MADE TWO BLACK PEOPLE haha! You racist Evangelical “Christians” can stick that in your pipe and smoke it!!! The first humans, as the scientists said came from Africa! Which means that when God thought about making a people in His own image a Black person was the first thing that came to mind and when God looked over it He Himself said it was good! HAH!

Genesis 1:31 [NLT] “[31] Then God looked over all he had made, and he saw that it was very good! And evening passed and morning came, marking the sixth day.”

God said the people He had just made, the Black people, were good, how dare you say otherwise? Who are you? Have you actually read your Bible? If’ you’re racist or you allow other people to influence your choices based on racist ideology and you call yourself a Christian you have not read your Bible at all, it’s an un-scriptural thought process and scientifically/evolutionarily unsound thought process. Remember, if Moses’ Black wife was good enough for God, then Black people today should be good enough for you.

What else does Genesis say?

Genesis 2:18,21-25 [NLT]

“[18] Then the LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him.”… “[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.'” [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.”

Oh look at that, when God saw that it wasn’t good for the man to be alone, He made the perfect companion for the man, woman who Adam called “Woman” and then called her “Eve” after the fall, as we know the first humans were Africans so EVE WAS BLACK, God thought that the perfect companion for the man was A BLACK WOMAN this just keeps on getting better!

You know the thing that warms the cockles of my heart the most? ADAM GAZED UPON EVE’S NAKED BODY, OBSERVED THE WAY THE LIGHT FLICKERED OF HER BEAUTIFUL BROWN CURVES AND ADAM LIKED IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! hahaha! =P

Genesis 2:22-24 [NLT]

“[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.”

Yes, Adam would have been Black himself and yes a case could be made that he was more likely to want a woman his colour, however, what I will say to that is what this story illustrates is that when man first saw woman he liked her and she was Black. I’m just pointing out yet again another lost narrative promoting and affirming the beauty and desirability of the Black woman.
Other reasons racism makes you miss out

When you just date within your race as a rule of thumb you basically become inbred and miss out on what is called Hybrid-Rigidity (it goes by other names as well), in a nutshell, that means that illnesses common to one family are cancelled out by the new genes from another family. There was an interesting study done on this, apparently people who have a mixed ethnicity are perceived to be more attractive because of this hybrid-rigidity thing, you can read a about it here (succinct summary) (wider summary) (the actual study). I’m not saying that one ethnicity is more attractive than an other, I can’t and I outright refuse to. How can one possibly quantify attractiveness? Really? I’m just pointing out that research has been done in the area.
Racism vs Sexual preference

I really think I need to put this in here. There is a MASSIVE difference between racist ideology and sexual preference. Sexual preference always supersedes racist ideology psychologically but racist ideology will always influence the sexual preferences a person will ultimately express. Let me explain, you can’t help who you are attracted to, if you’re attracted to a Black woman, no matter how hard you try you will always be attracted to that woman but because you are racist or a coward, you won’t ever follow through on your feelings and will forever internalise your affection for that woman.

However, if a man is attracted to blonde hair and blue eyes, he’s attracted to blonde hair and blue eyes, these are normally found on White women, so he’s going to end up with a White woman because that is his sexual preference, not necessarily because he thinks Black women are ugly, he just likes the look of biological attributes that are primarily attributed to White women. There’s nothing wrong with that.

What would be considered racism is the idea that ONLY White women or women of a certain ethnicity CAN be attractive and no other ethnicity is capable of producing attractive women. With a thought process like that a man then departs from the justification of sexual preference and enters the realms of racist ideology.
The best bit

At this point you must be thinking, so where is Catherine going with this? Well I’m saving the best bit till last! As we all came from Africans it means everyone is actually Black anyway, some are just a lighter shade of brown, Black people and White people are compatible because we are both humans, we are related. There is one human race and many ethnicities just like there are lots of different shaped and coloured flowers!

The Black woman’s body needs to be respected and loved and our minds need to be respected as well. The Black woman’s body needs to be seen as beautiful and associated with beauty not eroticism. The black woman’s body needs to be seen as the source of diversity if all people came from Africa. I’m not saying that Black women are the most attractive women in the world. I am saying that everything that you look at a woman and think is attractive came from the genes of a Black woman. I’m not saying that they are better companions for men than any other race but I just think that we need to recognise that Eve was Black and do away with any kind of notions of supremacy until they find some more bones somewhere else.

The church and society needs to view the body of the Black woman the same way God does, beautiful, resourceful and an asset to the man who loves and cares for her. The church/theologians have a lot to answer for and I’m angry because it only take a simple Google search to find many of the answers to the things that I’ve been discussing yet the mainstream Theologians will not dedicate enough time to this dialogue. The church needs to re-read the Bible without the Racist-Eurocentric-White-Alpha-Male-phillic goggles and reassess the status of the Black woman’s body within the Bible and honestly someone should apologize to the Black community for the church’s involvement in slavery and keeping the Black woman down. (It might have already been done, I didn’t look it up, I assume it hasn’t because it would come up every Black History Month if it did but I could be wrong).

I am a Christian, I believe in Jesus and I also believe in proper research, thinking things through. Other people will try and gloss over things to not bring embarrassment to the church but I hope people reading this will believe me, someone who has your best interests at heart will point out things that are wrong even if they will hurt the institution that they belong to. Even though I am a Christian, I believe what has gone on in the church is wrong, yes the African’s did sell each other into slavery and the slavers as well as the African’s should apologise to the African-American and Caribbean diaspora descendents of those slaves BUT the church and theologians are responsible for what happened later to the Black woman’s body, whilst the White man was in loci parentis after they left Africa, not just to us but the church has treated the Jews badly too. If the main popular leaders and theologians dedicated more time and publicity to the topic things would be different but they are too scared. What White Male Pastor of a mega-church in America is ever going to say “When God decided to make humans in His own image He made two Black people” ? -_- Jesus didn’t create organized religion, Humans did. Christianity has been politicized heavily. We need to live a Holy God centred life not a religious one, we need to follow Jesus not tradition and we need to read the Bible and say what it says not what we think or want it to say and do so with integrity. How can we expect people to believe in Jesus if we CONSTANTLY MISREPRESENT HIM? Jesus is for every colour. There were racial tensions in Jesus’ day too an when non-Jews talked to him He talked with them – John4:4-30 ; healed them -Matthew 8:5-11; and even defended them as we see in the story of Moses’ wife Numbers 12:1-15 and also the story of the Good Samaritan Luke 10:25-37 (the Samaritans and the Jews did not like each other).

The Black woman needs to be seen as beautiful because we are and the Bible corroborates that, God doesn’t mind the mixed relationships because God knows that we are all the same. Quit the dismissal of the Black woman just quit it right now, anyone who tries to get you not to date a Black woman based solely on her race is a nit-wit, don’t date her because she doesn’t share your values or she’s too young for you or she lives too far away or you can’t stand her cooking lol but not because she isn’t your colour! Remember, you are just as African as she is, you just forgot.

Written by a Black woman, who is also a woman of faith, a musician and an academic

Catherine

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

Hey everybody lets talk about money!

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

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

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

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

What does the Bible say about taxes?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Luke 7:29 [NLT]

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

Luke 15:1 [NLT]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Love,

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

Foolish Things?

Good evening ladies and gentlemen,

I’ve been thinking about gender issues again, that’s what my PhD is about I’m looking at attitudes towards women worship leaders and that involves looking at intersectionality, that is basically describing looking at overlapping (intersecting) systems of oppression. For example, a person, man or woman, might dislike a women leader because of her ethnicity, class, education status, financial status or even her accent? So there are many reasons why a person might dislike a woman leader and none of them might have anything to do with her sex, the woman thing is just a more socially acceptable reason for them to dislike her and they jump on that bandwagon with their own hidden agenda…

Anyway, that’s not what this post is about lol… I’ve been thinking about sex again. I’m not married and I don’t have a boyfriend (not that that would matter either because as a Christian I wouldn’t be sleeping with my boyfriend anyway) so all I can do is philosophize on the matter, it is relevant to my PhD with the whole gender issues thing. I was thinking about this scripture:

[1Cor 12:12-26 NLT]

[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. [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.

I isolated v 22-24 because those are the ones that I’m going to talk about.

I was thinking about men and women’s anatomy, which parts we “…clothe with the greatest care” (1Cor 12:23). For men, it is socially acceptable across most cultures for them to walk around with no tops on or trousers but they must have their penis and testicles covered at all times! For women it is socially acceptable in Anglo-American society for them to walk around with not much on but we must have our breasts covered and have pants on! Even in cultures where they live in the forests, in fact, I’ve actually noticed watching documentaries on the BBC that in many of those cultures that still live in forests the women are at least wearing some kind of covering over their lower half like a grass skirt. In Anglo-American culture any other forms of undress for men and women are considered to be inappropriate and quite right too.

Now… it’s it interesting that the afore mentioned parts that we always keep hidden are really soft, squishy and delicate but oh so necessary for life? Like Paul said in 1Cor 12:22:

[22] In fact, some parts of the body that seem weakest and least important are actually the most necessary.

Our genitals are amongst our weakest points of our bodies but regardless of whether you get a baby by IVF/adoption etc you still at one point need a man’s genitals and a woman’s genitals to create a baby. They are also used for sex to bond a couple together, I guess creating “life” within a marriage.

A man might be attracted to a woman’s face and kiss it but yet the most intimate way he can physically express his love to her is through a very humble part of his body that has “…less dignity...” (1Cor 12:24) than his face. Think about it, our genitals have a nasty job, they handle urine, sweat, semen, menstrual blood (if you’re a woman), discharge, a baby (if you’re a woman), there is also certain bacteria which is down there which is fine if it’s down there but causes problems if its anywhere else. They also handle the pressure of being sat on all day as well (if you’re a woman). Furthermore, lets just be realistic and adult about this, there is going to be some excrement on them as well, due to their proximity to our anus. Moreover, between you and me if I could choose whether or not to look at a man’s face or his penis all day I’d choose his face… A penis looks like a big worm that lives in the guys pants all day, next to his sweaty hairy balls. A vagina looks like something from outer space.

Our faces on the other hand look sooooo beautiful in comparison and they have all the nice jobs like singing, speaking, eating, laughing, smiling and kissing! Our faces don’t do the nasty jobs, in fact, some of the things our faces do we don’t even need them to do to survive, it’s just extra things like smiling that make life much more fun! Our genitals on the other hand, everything they do is 100% necessary for us to survive, they seem the “…weakest and least important…” (1Cor 12:22) but “…are actually the most necessary” (1Cor 12:22). They’re super useful but much more delicate than our faces. You can take a punch in the face but not in the groin! Also, we hide them because of what they look like and what they do.

Now, why does God use the parts with “…less dignity…” (1Cor 12:24) to be vessels he uses to facilitate life and love? God does things like that so no one can ever boast.

[1Co 1:26-31 NLT] [26] Remember, dear brothers and sisters, that few of you were wise in the world’s eyes or powerful or wealthy when God called you.
[27] Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful. [28] God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important.

[29] As a result, no one can ever boast in the presence of God. [30] God has united you with Christ Jesus. For our benefit God made him to be wisdom itself. Christ made us right with God; he made us pure and holy, and he freed us from sin. [31] Therefore, as the Scriptures say, “If you want to boast, boast only about the LORD.”

Yeah the world does consider genitals to be shameful, “…foolish...”, “…powerless…“, “…counted as nothing at all…” (1Cor 1:27-28), they aren’t really talked about because of the private and humble functions they perform and are always hidden (which isn’t a bad thing, I don’t personally believe that Naturism is compatible with Christianity unless you are unclothed in front of your spouse/doctor/close family member/parent/guardian (basically a person you have a reason to be naked in front of or a person who isn’t going to hurt you and you’re just close and have that kind of relationship with them but outside of that those examples it’s not a good idea).

It seems as though God is for raising up the disenfranchised and for humility. Jesus Christ King of Kings and Lord of Lords was born in a stable and He had humility and servant heartedness and God elevated Him higher than anything or anyone in forever as it says in Philippians:

[Phl 2:5-11 NLT] [5] You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. [6] Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. [7] Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, [8] he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross. [9] Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names, [10] that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, [11] and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

We can see other examples of what Paul was talking about in 1Cor 12:22-24 and 1Cor 1:27-28 in the Genesis story. Humans, the most exciting part of God’s creation were made from what Genesis describes as “…dust...” (Gen 2:7).

[Gen 2:7 NLT] [7] Then the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground. He breathed the breath of life into the man’s nostrils, and the man became a living person.

You would have thought that God would have used something more exciting but no, just dust and God reminds us that we are made of dust when He cursed Adam:

[Gen 3:19 NLT] [19] By the sweat of your brow will you have food to eat until you return to the ground from which you were made. For you were made from dust, and to dust you will return.”

and when we speak to God and try and reason with Him it seems as though a good way is to remind God that we are dust like Abraham, Job and David did:

[Gen 18:27-28 NLT] [27] Then Abraham spoke again. “Since I have begun, let me speak further to my Lord, even though I am but dust and ashes. [28] Suppose there are only forty-five righteous people rather than fifty? Will you destroy the whole city for lack of five?” And the LORD said, “I will not destroy it if I find forty-five righteous people there.”

Job:

[Job 10:9 NLT] [9] Remember that you made me from dust–will you turn me back to dust so soon?

David: Also see the whole of Psalm 90 & 103:

[Psa 30:9-10 NLT] [9] “What will you gain if I die, if I sink into the grave? Can my dust praise you? Can it tell of your faithfulness? [10] Hear me, LORD, and have mercy on me. Help me, O LORD.”

God consistently uses the seemingly weak things and promotes them, look at the story of Jacob and Esau, the older brother ended up serving the younger brother Gen 25, the Parable of the Landowner Mat 20:1-16 where Jesus famously said:

[Mat 20:16 NLT] [16] “So those who are last now will be first then, and those who are first will be last.”

and Jesus reiterated this sentiment again in Mark:

[Mar 9:35 NLT] [35] He sat down, called the twelve disciples over to him, and said, “Whoever wants to be first must take last place and be the servant of everyone else.”

Conclusion

So we have learned that God uses the parts that have “…less dignity…” (1Cor 12:24), the things that are “…weakest and least important…” (1Cor 12:22), “…foolish…“, “…powerless…“, “…counted as nothing at all…” (1Cor 1:27-28), “…dust…” (Gen 2:7) and the “…last…” (Matt 20:16) (which would make you a loser) for great things!. That means that we can assume that whatever it is in your life that is you consider “…least important…” (1Cor 12:22) or “…less honourable…” (1Cor 12:23) or maybe it’s something that you are embarrassed about physically/emotionally/something in your past or maybe you’re not the most popular person, you’re last all the time, a loser, you have an injury, a learning difficulty like me, Autism like me or a disease then you’re in prime place to be used by God. That very thing that you think disqualifies you for success is the thing that God is going to use to make you shine! Extra care will be given to those things, as it says in 1Cor 12:24, “…extra honor and care are given to those parts that have less dignity“. God knows the things that you are embarrassed about, He will take care of you.

For some, learning difficulties are a source of shame. For me my learning difficulties are the things that actually help me to make money because of the creativity and focus that coexists with them. The Autism makes me prefer my own company to crowds, which helps me with my career because making music/arrangements/planning lessons etc is a lonely process and if you need people around you all the time it’s not for you lol. My preference for my own company also means that I spend a lot of time alone with Jesus which is good and the intense focus that accompanies ASD means I meditate on the Bible and philosophize intensely, which helps my walk with Christ and has helped me to be currently working on my third degree lol.

If God can take something humble like our genitals, the parts of our bodies that are not even polite to have on show, the parts that literally handle: filth, bacteria, bodily fluids, sweat and smelliness and use them to produce actual life and be facilitators of sex, something so overwhelmingly beautiful and a deep physical expression of pleasure and love, He can use you and because He used you despite your disadvantages you will never be able to boast about doing it yourself. You will gain a deeper understanding of His power and magnificence, worship Him like you should and your faith will increase! I think Paul’s statement below sums up my hopes for you:

[Eph 3:14-21 NLT] [14] When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, [15] the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. [16] I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. [17] Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. [18] And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. [19] May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. [20] Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. [21] Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen.

You can do it! God believes in you! Below is a picture with me with no make-up on, showing hyper-pigmentation on my body, something that happened to me a number of years ago and I’m very embarrassed/mortified about it but Jesus can use it somehow for His glory.

Catherine x

#faith #prayer #womensrights #religiousfreedom #women #safety #cabs #london #abductions

Hey Guys & Gals!

I feel really strongly about what I’m about to tell you…

So the other day I got a mini cab to take me back home from the music school I work at part time, after I was done teaching the flute, clarinet and alto saxophone (which is super rewarding by the way.

Anyway so I got in the cab, same as usual and we started moving on my way back home, same as usual.

Then suddenly! The guy starts saying something in an overexcited and agitated way, I’m like “what?” and he pulls in and parks and starts talking. At this point I’m confused and worried, I don’t know what’s going on, I just want to go home and I wasn’t sure whether we had broken down or not. All I know is I am a single young women and my male taxi driver has decided to take it upon himself to deviate from the route he has been directed/contracted to go. I felt so incredibly vulnerable.

At first I genuinely couldn’t understand what he was saying because his accent was so heavy. Eventually he spoke a tiny bit slower and said “Just two minutes, I want two minutes to pray”. I said “I’ve got to go home”. At this point he’s still not even making any attempt to move the car an it was clear to me that I didn’t have any choice. I did not have any control of the vehicle because it was not mine, I wasn’t very agile as I had an instrument with me as well as shopping and I certainly do not have the upper body strength to even appear the least bit threatening.

I  felt so vulnerable and trapped and I thought if this guy was to just lock the door and drive off where ever with me he could, my position of client was usurped and my choice was taken away from me.

I said to the guy “are you going to take those two minutes off the bill?” and he said “yes” then I said”ok”. I would just like to point out at this point that all of this happened whilst he was parked. He didn’t ask me if we could stop he just stopped.

Now, once I had agreed to do what he wanted me to he got out of the car and got something out of the boot. I didn’t see it but I can only assume that it was a prayer mat which he proceeded to put on the side walk and pray on. He then did something with the boot again, closed it, then got back in the car and proceeded to take me home.

After I got over being scared I was soo livid. However, as a Christian, I remembered what Jesus said about forgiving people and I tried to just calm down and meet the guy where he was at and I tried to have a jovial conversation with him afterwards about diesel versus petrol.

Now, there are several things that were seriously wrong with that story. One: I have a faith too, I pray too, I do that in my own time, not when I am in the middle of a contract that is live. I talk to Jesus in my head on the go or I find a quiet time and place, when I am not needed, to go and talk to Jesus. I exercise my faith on and in my time not other peoples because I don’t think that it is always necessary or constructive to do so.

Two: Men need to be aware of how sometimes their actions can seem threatening to women. Think about it. I am a young woman, I was alone in the taxi, he just deviated from the route without asking if it was ok. He then corners me emotionally and starts half arguing with me when we had already stopped. I was physically outnumbered in terms of operating the machinery which I needed to get home, as well as being physically incapable of overpowering the man or appearing the least bit intimidating. If I was a man and not a young woman carrying shopping and a flute he would never have stopped.

Three: He broke contract by what he did, unless he broke down or there was some real issue as to why he needed to stop, he should never have stopped.

Four: I should have said no.

I’m really upset by what happened and I simply will not be ever taking that taxi company ever again. If it was a Christian taxi driver and the man drove the taxi to the side, parked and then started half arguing with his female passenger asking if he could pray for two minutes she would have called the police. Like I should have done.

In the end he took two pounds off the bill, I personally don’t think I should have had to pay for that trip at all because as far as I was concerned, he broke contract.

Moreover, honestly, when did it become ok to abduct women in cabs? Because the moment he went his own way and wouldn’t move in accordance with my wishes, that is what he had done. He had actually abducted me. What he did was so illegal.

If that ever happens again, I’m going to get out of the taxi and walk back to the nearest safe place and get another taxi or bus or ask someone to pick me up from there because I’m not having this. One hears too many tales of women getting abducted and raped by rogue taxi drivers to be putting up with this stupidness. He could have been getting anything out of his boot? He could have just been lying.

This will never happen again, be vigilant!

 

Your’s Catherine x