A Prayer For Musicians & Video Of Me Singing! | #musician #singer #acousticguitarist #worshipleader |

Hey everybody,

This morning I was praying to Jesus and playing my guitar and the thought crossed my mind:

I have never stopped to appreciate that I have been given musical talents because they have always been there.

I also started playing a song I wrote when I was a girl and noticed that I was able to play it a lot better and another thought crossed my mind:

I have gotten better at the guitar, I have never stopped to thank Jesus for improving my gifts, they haven’t just stayed the same I have actually improved.

Let us who are musicians be thankful to Jesus for actually giving us the gifts in the first place and also let’s take time to actually appreciate Jesus for helping us to improve. When I first started playing the guitar as a little girl of about 8 my little hands were too weak and my fingers were too short to hold down Barre Chords (here’s a handy link to what that is for the uninitiated). I used to avoid playing F major like the plague and I would have avoided B minor but my voice was so high pitched anything I was going to sing was always in D so I just had to be in pain hah hah hah hah. I can laugh about it now but at the time I really struggled lol.

Below is a prayer I have written for those musicians who want to thank Jesus for their gifts:

Dear Jesus,

Thank you for the gift of music. I pray that one day you will perfect Your work in me so that through my music ministry every love song will be about You. Thank You for giving me the gift to perform and for helping me to improve. Thank You for blessing me with experiencing joy when encountering all of the different timbres, rhythms and tonalities. Thank You for harmony as well as the beautiful contrast of switching between minor and major tonalities. Thank You for all of the different instruments and for providing me with access to instruments and tuition and mentors.

In the name of King Jesus Christ. Amen

 

Couldn’t let you go without showing me performing a worship song I wrote (back before I cut my hair lol):

 

xxx

p.s. the Instagram vid below is a snippet of me having late night worship in my room, this week. I’m dyspraxic so I struggle to get the coordination needed for picking the strings but Jesus has really helped me. The picture is black because it was after midnight and I couldn’t be bothered to put on the light but you can hear me 😉

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

Hey!

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

A History of Christian Worship

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Non-musical instruments

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

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

 

Historical Liturgical Synagogue Worship

The following are institutionalised liturgical practices from the synagogue system:

The Cantor

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

 

Cantillation

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

 

Jewish Liturgical Modes

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

 

Synagogue Prayers

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

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

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

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

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

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

That’s all folks!

Bibliography

Books

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

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

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

 

Websites

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

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

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

 

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

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

(Genesis 2:21-23 NLT) “[21] So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep. While the man slept, the LORD God took out one of the man’s ribs and closed up the opening. [22] Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib, and he brought her to the man. [23] “At last!” the man exclaimed. “This one is bone from my bone, and flesh from my flesh! She will be called ‘woman,’ because she was taken from ‘man.'”

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

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

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

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

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

Also, again in 1 Corinthians 12:

(1 Corinthians 12:12-14, 27 NLT) “[12] The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ. [13] Some of us are Jews, some are Gentiles, some are slaves, and some are free. But we have all been baptized into one body by one Spirit, and we all share the same Spirit. [14] Yes, the body has many different parts, not just one part. … [27] All of you together are Christ’s body, and each of you is a part of it.”

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

(1 Corinthians 12:15-27 NLT) “[15] If the foot says, “I am not a part of the body because I am not a hand,” that does not make it any less a part of the body. [16] And if the ear says, “I am not part of the body because I am not an eye,” would that make it any less a part of the body? [17] If the whole body were an eye, how would you hear? Or if your whole body were an ear, how would you smell anything? [18] But our bodies have many parts, and God has put each part just where he wants it. [19] How strange a body would be if it had only one part! [20] Yes, there are many parts, but only one body. [21] The eye can never say to the hand, “I don’t need you.” The head can’t say to the feet, “I don’t need you.” [22] In fact, some parts of the body that seem weakest and least important are actually the most necessary. [23] And the parts we regard as less honorable are those we clothe with the greatest care. So we carefully protect those parts that should not be seen, [24] while the more honorable parts do not require this special care. So God has put the body together such that extra honor and care are given to those parts that have less dignity. [25] This makes for harmony among the members, so that all the members care for each other. [26] If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honored, all the parts are glad. [27] All of you together are Christ’s body, and each of you is a part of it.”

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

Anyway, back to Adam’s rib…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

…but Jesus’ wound was left open:

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

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

 

Closing Thoughts

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

To Summarise

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

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

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

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

 

Catherine x

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

Hey everybody,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  1. Survival
  2. Power
  3. Recklessness

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

1.) Temptation of Survival

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2.) Temptation of Power

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

3.) Temptation of Recklessness

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Commonalities with the three scenarios

Notice that the three scenarios have something in common.

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

How did Jesus deal with temptation?

Jesus used The Word!

(Luke 4:4,8,12 NLT)

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

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

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

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

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

Which was reiterated to Joshua later on:

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

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

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

Final Warning

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

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

Where’s your Bible dude?…

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

Catherine x

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I got a #new jumper dress! 🙂 #fashion

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

I had an encounter with Jesus!

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

” Jesus, please make your presence known to me”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

IN SILENCE…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Catherine x

I Wrote A Song About #Sex for my #PhD | #phdlife #freelance #musician #soundcloud #music #feminism |

Hello Everyone!

So as we know I’m doing a PhD in Music, in the area of Theomusicology & Feminist Musicology and some other things, with a practical element to it. So one of the things I’m looking at is how women and sex is represented in music as my project is interested in sexual politics (in a metaphorical sense) but in a literal sense sexual politics is also about sex. In response to my findings I’m going to produce some songs on the topic. The practical portfolio will have songs on various topics relating to women and music and theology. It will make sense when you read my thesis. Here’s a paraphrased summary of what I’ve learned, the full academic essay will come later.

I chose the topic of marital sex as a context for my section on women, music and sex. My intended outcomes for this song are to present women/wives as strong, mutual/equal with men/husbands, sensual/emotional beings that enjoy sex and have their own opinions and sex drives and sexual desires that are just as important as the man’s within the context of marital sex. Furthermore, as I am a woman of colour, I am writing from the perspective of a woman of colour and I hope that my piece along with the values therein, will address the negative stereotypes about women of colour that perpetuate within Western contemporary songs about sex. In Western popular songs about sex, women of colour are usually represented in the most abased and course way. Furthermore, songwriters have an irritating habit if sexualizing the ways in which women of colour are often discriminated against, race, gender and class, by presenting them as the hot abused poor baby mamas *rolls eyes*, or one night stands, never anything good etc. Instead I, have written and performed a song, from the perspective of a woman of colour about being in a sexual relationship within the socio-economic status and security of being a wife, the lyrics talk about saying “I do” and rings etc. (you don’t have to be some guys baby mama, why are we always shown as the baby mama and not the wife?) and not a victim in sexual activity but a willing, consensual, active and committed participant. (N.B. I am not and have never been married this is just in the fictional narrative of the song).

As mentioned earlier, this song is about the joys of marital sex, as experienced by two fictional newly-weds. It follows the metaphor, imagery and form of ‘Song of Songs’ which is also called Song of Solomon, my favourite book of the Bible, (talking about gardens, fragrant spices, greenery, little foxes, having sex outside, it’s all in Song of Songs lol). Song of Songs is actually about the love between a dark skinned woman and King Solomon.

Song of Solomon 1:5 [NLT]
I am dark but beautiful, O women of Jerusalem- dark as the tents of Kedar, dark as the curtains of Solomon’s tents.

It also represents a counter-cultural approach to romantic relationships between men and women, as it is in fact the woman who pursues the man. I tried to reflect this in arranging it for a female singer and making the tone of the lyrics, that of someone who is a pursuer and initiator of physical intimacy. I also show the woman as initiator as well as mutual consenting participant, instead of a passive participant or victim. The lead vocal (the woman/bride) vocalises decisions about her own sexual desires and needs. You can find the woman in Song of Songs doing the same thing. The theomusicology comes in the narrative of the lyrics which implies that now they’re married they can have sex when and wherever they want to lol (within reason), which is a Christian theological standpoint (I’m a Christian btw). So it implies restraint and commitment before coitus, not after.

I also decided to make it walking pace because I found that most songs about sex and women, especially sex with or about or by women of colour, have quite a strong beat and lyrically emphasise the fun of sex with chauvinistic, misogynoir lyrics that often contextualise the woman and the act within the erotic, encouraging male brains to switch to autopilot, focussing entirely on the physicality and pleasure of sex, not the love. My piece is a response to these negative things I found. It is slow(ish) to be meditative, slow down the heart rate and give the listener space to clear their minds and think. The listener should not get carried away by eroticism but instead wrapped up in the sweetness, sensuality, thoughtfulness and intentional nature of the act of marital sex. Looking forward to adding this to the the final portfolio! So this is a sonic, feminist, womanist critique of pop music about women and sex, using the lived experience of a woman of colour as an analytical tool for reflection. I am trying to promote the knowledge of women by uncovering the lost narratives of our experience, like a Foucauldian genealogy.

Well done for reading, here’s the track! It’s called “I Hope The Neighbours Don’t See”

You can also listen on SoundCloud. Follow this link to play or play the embedded player below:

I have a playlist on YouTube. Follow this link to play or play in the embedded player below:

The Middle 8/Bridge is inspired by a conversation I had with a middle aged man who told me that when he first got married as a young man, he gave his wife a Hickey on her neck and someone from his church saw it and told him, “now you’re married you can do that where it don’t show” hah! lol

Lots of love

Catherine x

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#wedding #makeup

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R.I.P. Billy Graham

Just like to say R.I.P Billy Graham an evangelist who would pray with Presidents died yesterday aged 99. For more info see his website https://billygraham.org/about/biographies/billy-graham/

Sorry its late I was in a seminar!

Love Catherine

An Excerpt From My #Thesis | #PhD #musicology #theology #freelance #musician |

Hello everybody!

Here is a redacted excerpt of what I’m doing for my PhD. Enjoy!

“Ethics

My research will involve human participants and I have every intention of making sure that my research is conducted in a manner that abides by the principles of research ethics and accords with the law of the land. I have made it a priority to be vetted by the Disclosure and Barring Service, a legal requirement for working with children and vulnerable adults, as I work with children and people in the local community as part of my career. I do not intend to involve participants who are particularly vulnerable or unable to give informed consent like children, the elderly or people with learning disabilities. […] I will always make sure that any participants I choose to talk to understand why I am talking to them and I will make sure that I obtain their consent before including their opinions in my study. Furthermore, I will give all participants the opportunity to remain anonymous if they so wish.

My study will not involve discussion of sensitive topics such as sexual activity and drug use, however, this may come up in the course of my study as I will be talking to adults but such topics are not the intentional foci of my research. This study will not involve recruitment of participants, (including staff), through a Local Authority Department of Social Services or through the NHS, as there will be no invasive or intrusive procedures such as blood taking from participants or the administration of drugs, placebos or other substances, e.g. food substances or vitamins. Consequently, it is also highly unlikely that there will be any physiological stress, pain or more than mild discomfort likely to result from my study. However, due to the topics I wish to discuss with participants […] my study could induce psychological stress or anxiety in participants who are particularly sensitive to the subject matter and could have negative consequences beyond the risks encountered in normal life.

There will be no issues regarding the status of my clearance with the Disclosure and Barring Service, as I am subscribed with the DBS Update service, which automatically checks and updates my eligibility to work with children every year. This study will not be carried out in an NHS or Social Care environment […] ”

Love Catherine x

Where does it say in the #Bible not to have #sex before #marriage? – #Jesus #Christian

Hello everybody,

First of all, this blog post is not intended to shame anyone but rather to inform. I’m human just like you and that makes me a sexual being, I find my faith in Jesus gives me the strength to wait 🙂 . I said something to that effect in this song I wrote Follow this link to listen or use the embedded player below:

Now to the blog!

So I’m a Christian and I read the Bible everyday and I was meditating on the biggie in Christianity about no sex before marriage. It got me thinking about the time I was dating this guy who wasn’t a Christian. He’s the reason why I stopped dating guys who weren’t Christians actually lol and the last guy I dated who was a Christian is why I’m now open to dating whoever LOL, (unmitigated disaster!) Hah hah moving on.

Anyway back to the ex before the ex before the ex. So he used to pressure me for sex and the one after that did as well (who wasn’t a Christian either) I never gave in of course. I made some colleagues laugh once when I said:

“I want to date a guy who is a Christian because every time I date guys who aren’t Christians they keep on trying to have sex with me” lol

Anyway back to the ex before the ex before the ex. Now this guy grew up in a Christian household, his brother was a Christian and his parents knew the Bible and I remember having a conversation with him once when I was having dinner at his parents house he was saying

“why can’t we have sex where does it say in the Bible you can’t have sex before marriage?”

At that point I remember realising that I actually didn’t know where it said it in the Bible, his mother told me it’s somewhere in Deuteronomy, I just accepted what she said but I never looked it up. THAT WAS BAD I WAS BEING A BAD CHRISTIAN AND AN IDIOT YOU DON’T JUST DECIDE TO LIVE YOUR LIFE ONE WAY JUST BECAUSE SOMEONE TOLD YOU TO THAT’S NOT FAITH IT’S RELIGIOUS FUNDAMENTALISM YOU SHOULD LOOK UP THINGS IN THE BIBLE YOURSELF *slaps own wrist*.

I’m muuuuuch older now and I’ve read the Bible cover to cover more than once and I really think people could benefit from some clarity on this one so here are the verses in the Old Testament that teach sexual purity as in not having sex before marriage, do look these up to see them in context:
You Sleep With It You Bought It! –

Exodus 22:16-17 [NLT] “If a man seduces a virgin who is not engaged to anyone and has sex with her, he must pay the customary bride price and marry her. [17] But if her father refuses to let him marry her, the man must still pay him an amount equal to the bride price of a virgin.”

Explanation: If a man has sex with a virgin he should marry her, if her father refuses to allow the marriage the man should still give compensate her father somehow.

Don’t Sleep Around –

Deuteronomy 22:13-21 [NLT] “Suppose a man marries a woman, but after sleeping with her, he turns against her [14] and publicly accuses her of shameful conduct, saying, ‘When I married this woman, I discovered she was not a virgin.’ [15] Then the woman’s father and mother must bring the proof of her virginity to the elders as they hold court at the town gate. [16] Her father must say to them, ‘I gave my daughter to this man to be his wife, and now he has turned against her. [17] He has accused her of shameful conduct, saying, “I discovered that your daughter was not a virgin.” But here is the proof of my daughter’s virginity.’ Then they must spread her bed sheet before the elders. [18] The elders must then take the man and punish him. [19] They must also fine him 100 pieces of silver, which he must pay to the woman’s father because he publicly accused a virgin of Israel of shameful conduct. The woman will then remain the man’s wife, and he may never divorce her. [20] “But suppose the man’s accusations are true, and he can show that she was not a virgin. [21] The woman must be taken to the door of her father’s home, and there the men of the town must stone her to death, for she has committed a disgraceful crime in Israel by being promiscuous while living in her parents’ home. In this way, you will purge this evil from among you.”

Explanation: This verse implies that a woman should be a virgin before getting married and if a man accuses her of not being a “maid” before marriage and this is not true he should compensate his wife, if it is true according to the laws of that time the woman should be put to death. (N.B. when it talks about spreading the bed sheet what they probably meant was the parents had to show her bed sheet that was probably stained with period blood, In those days, that was the only way to tell if you were a virgin or not. You menstruate when you’re not pregnant, you don’t when you are. There was no pill to stop you from getting pregnant if you had sex, so when a healthy young woman was in a sexual relationship she would have gotten pregnant, so you couldn’t hide it. The period thing was a good test.)

However, since Jesus died for our sins currently we just have to ask forgiveness for our sins and not stone people! See the following verse for an example of this:

John 8:1-11 [NLT] – “[1] Jesus returned to the Mount of Olives, [2] but early the next morning he was back again at the Temple. A crowd soon gathered, and he sat down and taught them. [3] As he was speaking, the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery. They put her in front of the crowd. [4] “Teacher,” they said to Jesus, “this woman was caught in the act of adultery. [5] The law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?” [6] They were trying to trap him into saying something they could use against him, but Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dust with his finger. [7] They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” [8] Then he stooped down again and wrote in the dust. [9] When the accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest, until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the woman. [10] Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?” [11] “No, Lord,” she said. And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.””

If you sleep with her expect a shotgun wedding –

Deuteronomy 22:28-29 [NLT] “Suppose a man has intercourse with a young woman who is a virgin but is not engaged to be married. If they are discovered, [29] he must pay her father fifty pieces of silver. Then he must marry the young woman because he violated her, and he may never divorce her as long as he lives.”

Explanation: This is the same as the verse in Exodus but much stricter, the Exodus verse says if the Father does not allow the man to marry her he should still compensate the father but this one says you have to marry her and you can never divorce her. Also, I just noticed that the verse says apparently you violate a woman when you have sex with her before marriage! Other translations say he “humbled” her, the Septuagint, which is the Greek version of the Bible that our English translations are based on says he “ἐταπείνωσεν” her which according to the LSJ (an academic Greek dictionary) means: “lower, in point of height, reduce…of a plant, decrease in size…of a planet, suffer dejection…metaph., lessen, disparage, minimize, to be lowered or lessened, humble, abase, violate a woman…in moral sense, make lowly, humble, humble oneself…” (Tufts.edu, 2017) Middle Liddel (another academic Greek dictionary) says “…to lower…metaph. to lessen, to disparage, to humble, abasein moral sense, to make lowly, to humble, to humble oneself…” (Tufts.edu, 2017)

Capture those sexy thoughts and make sure you don’t act on them!

Song of Solomon 2:15 [NLT] Catch all the foxes, those little foxes, before they ruin the vineyard of love, for the grapevines are blossoming!

Song of Solomon 2:7 [NLT] Promise me, O women of Jerusalem, by the gazelles and wild deer, not to awaken love until the time is right.”

Explanation: It’s natural to want to sleep with the person that you are with but you need to understand that you are human and therefore fallible. This sentiment is also echoed in Song of Solomon 3:5 & 8:4. Make sure if you are in a relationship with someone that you keep your passions for each other strictly to sex within marriage because this verse clearly states that you can ruin a good thing by sleeping with each other before the right time, which is after marriage.

As I said in the beginning, I wrote a song about being human and a sexual being but waiting even though it’s sexually frustrating, no one ever likes to talk about that part of abstaining from sex before marriage lol… It’s worth it though and even if you are sleeping with you gf or bf you can stop, ask forgiveness and move on:

John 8:1-11 [NLT] – “[1] Jesus returned to the Mount of Olives, [2] but early the next morning he was back again at the Temple. A crowd soon gathered, and he sat down and taught them. [3] As he was speaking, the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery. They put her in front of the crowd. [4] “Teacher,” they said to Jesus, “this woman was caught in the act of adultery. [5] The law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?” [6] They were trying to trap him into saying something they could use against him, but Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dust with his finger. [7] They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” [8] Then he stooped down again and wrote in the dust. [9] When the accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest, until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the woman. [10] Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?” [11] “No, Lord,” she said. And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.””

Here it is again! Follow this link to listen or use the embedded player below:

Paul does say, in the New Testament that if you’re really struggling to control yourself, you should get married! lol

1 Corinthians 7:8-9 [NLT] – “[8] So I say to those who aren’t married and to widows–it’s better to stay unmarried, just as I am. [9] But if they can’t control themselves, they should go ahead and marry. It’s better to marry than to burn with lust.”

Some young Christians tend to wear something called a Purity Ring, to represent that they are staying “Pure” till marriage, meaning that they are not going to sleep with their bf/gf before marriage, which is cool if you want to do that, I have one:

P_20171228_115037_1_1.jpg

I tend not to wear it nowadays because it actually looks like an engagement ring which was fine when I was younger but now it’s counter productive as I’m single lol. You can get lots of different kinds. I quite like the ones that say “True Love Waits” I think that’s rather special! 🙂 There’s also this thing called a purity pledge, it’s more of an American thing, it’s not something that the Bible dictates it’s just a quirky American thing. The idea behind it is that youngster’s mainly teenagers go through some mentoring thing about no sex before marriage, they then sign this pledge/contract in front of the whole church promising that they will abstain from sex before marriage. We British would find that kind of thing far too awkward to bear… lol. Instead, we tend to encourage a silent commitment between you and God and if you need mentoring it is available.

Anyway, however you manage to abstain from sex before marriage make sure you don’t self medicate with porn, we all know that it doesn’t work. There’s enough info on it now to know that it’s not just spiritually bad for you but it’s medically not good for you either. See the playlist below where Pastor Mark Gungor discusses this, he’s REALLY funny lol, I don’t agree with everything he says e.g. the Condom thing, some women can’t take the pill because of high blood pressure etc. but he’s really funny! Follow this link or play using the embedded player below for more info:

If you want a secular view on this Russell Brand on his Trews show did a rather insightful piece on it, worth a watch, he really is a thinker, NOT FOR CHILDREN (doesn’t show anything bad but he swears 2 or 3 times. Obviously I don’t agree with the end bit where he says at the end do what you gotta do, obviously…) Follow this link to watch or watch using the embedded player below:

P.S. here’s two versus about what the Bible says about Homosexuality and Bestiality there are more but I think 2 will do…

Leviticus 18:22-23 [NLT] – “[22] “Do not practice homosexuality, having sex with another man as with a woman. It is a detestable sin. [23] “A man must not defile himself by having sex with an animal. And a woman must not offer herself to a male animal to have intercourse with it. This is a perverse act.”

Love Catherine x

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Bibliography

http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/morph?l=e%29tapei%2Fnwsen&la=greek#lexicon (28 December 2017)

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