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Hearing His Voice: Meeting Jesus in the Garden of Promise


Hearing His Voice: Meeting Jesus in the Garden of Promise

by Meredith Swift  

DESCRIPTION

Do you feel lost and isolated, as though you don’t matter?

Do you feel tired and stressed, in need of replenishment and refreshment?
Do you want to find out more about the One who loves you more deeply, and knows you more thoroughly, than you could ever imagine?
HEARING HIS VOICEDo you want to find out practical ways to grow your faith and walk more closely with Jesus?
Then this book is for you!

Written during recovery

Meredith wrote this book during recovery from an extremely challenging time in her life – having gone through a divorce, resignation from her long term teaching job and relocation to a different city to access better services for her autistic daughter. Her daughter was also very unwell at this time, becoming bedridden by a mystery illness. All of this had left Meredith feeling exhausted, fearful, alone and very isolated.

Guidance of Scripture

Meredith knew she needed to strengthen her fragile spirit and overcome the fear of this time. She sought the guidance of Scripture and the assistance of the Lord Jesus Christ, knowing that only He could bring comfort and healing at the deep levels required. Meredith knew that her relationship with her Creator meant He was available 24/7 and so she started to schedule regular time where she communicated with Him.

The Garden of Promise

Covered with prayer and Scripture, Meredith visualised meeting Jesus in a beautiful garden that she came to know as the Garden of Promise – so named for the promises of goodness and grace found liberally throughout the Scriptures.
This book is the result of these communications – an unforgettable and inspiring journey of encouragement and healing, where Jesus spoke new life into Meredith’s being. Her feelings of isolation lifted and she felt herself soothed, replenished and deeply loved by spending this time with the Lord Jesus Christ.
You, too, are invited to go on this journey through the pages of this book as you hear His voice and meet Jesus in the Garden of Promise.

REVIEWS

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I will treasure this book forever!

I will treasure this book forever! The Scripture verses filled with promises warm my heart and lighten my days. Meredith’s travels through dark times have been transformed into this wonderful gift, uplifting many. Thank you Meredith from the bottom of my heart!

More reviews here.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Meredith Swift was born and raised in rural Victoria, Australia, the fourth of five children. She has travelled and lived in many different places and now resides in sunny Townsville, North Queensland, Australia.

Meredith accepted Jesus Christ as her Lord and Saviour in 2010 and began establishing a close personal relationship with Him. In 2016, she wrote “Hearing His Voice – Meeting Jesus in the Garden of Promise” during a difficult and challenging season of her life, which included a divorce, resignation from her teaching job, relocation to a larger city and the mystery illness of her daughter who was bedridden for three months. Meredith leaned in especially closely to Jesus and communicated regularly with Him during this time. This book is the result of these communications.

Meredith has two daughters, three stepdaughters, a golden retriever and two cats. She enjoys participating in the life of her church, walking, travelling, reading and cooking.

It is her deepest desire that all should come to know the transforming love of the Lord Jesus Christ and invites you to hear His voice in the Garden of Promise.

GET YOUR OWN COPY

Hearing His Voice: Meeting Jesus in the Garden of Promise is FREE during launch on September 11 and 12, 2017 from Amazon.

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ABOUT THE CONTENT – All content on this website is copyrighted and you can read more about this here. Please also read the disclaimer about my authority and qualifications. Occasionally I partner with people because I like their products and you can read about that here.

ABOUT SCRIPTURE CARDS – If you want to send free Scripture Cards to your friends click here and you want to buy hard copies of Scripture Cards you can click here.

MY BOOKS AND A FREE VIDEO COURSE – To download a copy of MY STORY OF SURVIVAL click here. For a copy of MIMI’S BOOK LAUNCH PLAN, click here. For a copy of GOD HEALED ME click here. For a copy of THE HOLY GRAIL OF BOOK LAUNCHING click here.  For a copy of MIMI’S EULOGY TO-BE & LEGACY click here.  For a free video course on how to write a bestseller, click here. To join my launch party click here.

NEW BOOKS RELEASES, INTERVIEWS, AND REVIEWS – As a member of the Australian Christian Readers Blog Alliance and as a member of the Christian Indie Authors Reading Group and as the current Administrator of  Christian Authors WorldwideThis is FUN! Mimi’s Launch Party and co-administrator of OMEGA nonfiction writers I share new book releases, interviews and reviews with my readers. Stay tuned!

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God made me laugh Genesis 21:16


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24 Scripture Verses just for Parents(2)


Previous 12 Scripture Verses in the series can be viewed here at 24 Scripture Verses just for parents

24 Scripture Verses just for Parents (2)

1 John 4 tells us that perfect love has no fear. Think about how that frees us up. No need to fear, simply love wholeheartedly with boldness and confidence. God is love, if you experience fear, you’re not expressing God’s love. How wonderful to be laying aside fear, these False Expectations Appearing Real, (FEAR).

Perfect Peace

Perfect Peace Isaiah 26:2-3

This Scripture Verse helps us live in perfect peace. There is only one requirement for those who want to live in perfect peace.
How do we live in perfect peace? By trusting in The Lord. When we trust in The Lord we’ll be in constant communication with him. When we trust in The Lord, we run to Him when we find ourselves or our children in trouble. God’s Word, His love and presence give us constant peace.

There have been many times in my life where my husband was not available because of work obligations, distance and all sorts of reasons.

Whenever I am not sure how to respond to my children’s needs I call to The Lord and He answers, too easy!

Darkness and Light

Darkness and Light are alike to you Psalm 139:2

There have been periods in my life where I travelled through endless dark valleys with seemingly no light on the horizon.
You know, when one day, all of a sudden your children know everything better than you? They have more wisdom, more knowledge, more street smart, or so they think… than their parent.

One moment I am their bestie and they will love me  f o r e v e r . And the next moment I am seen to be the evil witch from hell who  n e v e r  had their best interests at heart.

What happened? It’s called ‘the teenage years.’ We all live through it, parents as well as children, and come out the other end. Don’t despair like I did in my ignorance.
These were dark periods for me because I was unprepared for the sudden change of affection. This Scripture Verse tells me that God is light and there is no darkness in Him at all.

As His child I can live up to that and not be deceived by apparent momentary darkness.

I am the light of the world:
he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness,
but shall have the light of life.

When all appears dark, look to The Lord, He is light and in Him there is no darkness at all.

In God’s Hand… the breath of all mankind

In God's hand ... the breath of mankind job 12:10

Have you ever been woken up by a reverse charge phone call like this at 11 pm at night? “Mum, I lost my purse and mobile phone and cannot find my way back to my unit.”
I have.

How about, “Mum, I don’t want to live anymore.”
I have.

Or, ‘Today is the last day you’ll hear my voice. You’ll never see my smile again.”

OK that’s enough sharing. I’ve had many hair raising calls where I literally feel my heart throbbing in my throat. People tell me that it gets easier when your children get older. Does it? When my children were toddlers I always managed to kiss their pains away and hug them tight and keep them safe.
Now they’re older and can get themselves into real trouble out in the big wide world, now what?

This is when I remember that everyone’s life is in God’s hand, not mine. Phew, that’s a load of my mind.
Amen, thank you Lord. It is not my job to keep other adults safe and alive:

In God’s hand is the soul of every living thing and the breath of all mankind.

Thank you Father!

Always Pray

Always pray, not to faint Luke 18:1-8

“But they promised Mum, they said they would give me the promotion.”
“He promised to repay the money.”
“My horse trailer was stolen right under my eyes.”
“I worked so very hard to get and keep this job, how can they cancel the contract?”

So much unfairness and what can we do to shield our children from this? Other than raise them well and make sure that they’ll do the right thing by others… not much usually.

Hold on. How about we use the tried and trusted, most effective method of all? Prayer! Always pray, not to faint. When this unjust judge wouldn’t give this lady what she was entitled to, she continued hassling and bothering this judge till he gave in.

If an unjust judge eventually delivers justice… how much more will our Heavenly Father hear us and deliver justice to His people? 

The tree is known by its fruit

The tree is known by its fruit Matthew 12:33

Either make the tree good, and his fruit good;
or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt:
for the tree is known by his fruit.

Set the right example for your children. It is as simple as that.

Submit to God

Submit to God resist the devil James 4:7

“I cannot help it Mum.”

” I keep doing the wrong thing by people and I don’t want to.”

“I don’t know what made me do this.”

Yes, you do.Your behaviour is caused by an attitude of laziness and ‘I cannot be bothered’ and ‘finding an easy way out’ and ‘this works for me.”

Don’t try to confuse me with conflicting messages. If you genuinely want to do the right thing by people and struggle to do so, I suggest that you pray over it and ask for help.

If you genuinely think that you cannot stop yourself ftom doing the wrong thing by people, you pray for a change of attitude. Go, see a therapist, read some books, follow a course, take supplements, improve your attitude with the help of The Lord, family, friends, therapists and health professionals.

All actions that involve lying, cheating, stealing, damaging other people’s property, hurting their soul, heart and spirit can easily be avoided.
How?

Submit to God and resist the devil and he will flee from you.

Thank you Father for chasing all spirits of laziness, hatred and liars out of my family. Thank you for chasing these foul spirits out of my children as well as me.

The Lord bless thee

The Lord bless you Numbers 6:23-27

Do you ask God to bless your children daily? It is a good idea.

And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,  Speak unto Aaron and unto his sons, saying, On this wise ye shall bless the children of Israel, saying unto them,

The Lord bless thee, and keep thee: The Lord make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace. And they shall put my name upon the children of Israel, and I will bless them.

God made me laugh

God made me laugh Genesis 21:16

The Lord blessed Sarah and Abraham with a child after she had turned 90 years old!

What is there not to laugh about? If we ever wondered if our Heavenly Father is able to grant us our request… wonder no more. Sarah received a child from the Lord when she was already a very old woman. She said that God made her laugh. Amen to that.

God made me laugh too.

No greater joy…

No greater joy ... 3 John 1:4

What is the greatest joy in life? To have children? No, it is to have our children walk in God’s Word, in The Truth.The greatest joy is to know that our children do the right thing by others and serve the Lord wherever they go with a smile on their face.

And on that note, we are to teach our children.

Teach your children

Teach your children Deuternoomy 6:4-9

Teach our children what? Teach our children God’s Word.

On a regular basis, preferably daily, we sit down and read God’s Word and sing Scripture Songs to remind us of God’s goodness and keep us on the straight and narrow.

It shows our innocence if we carefully keep all these commandments as God requires from us.

My spirit that is upon you

My spirit that is upon you Isaiah 59:20-23

The Lord made an agreement with us that, if we agree to be part of his posse, His spirit will be on our mouth (words) as well as on the mouth (words) of our children.

Thank you Father for your Spirit being with us continuously.

My daughters who loves me

Thy daughter in law which loveth thee Ruth 4:15

The story of Ruth in the Bible tells us about a lady who lived a pretty tough life. Her daughter in law stuck with her, and proved to be a life saver to her.

I LOVE these examples in the Bible of what is possible. I love the promises that are available to us when we live according to God’s directions.  Naomi suffered much but her daughter in law took care of her and proved to be better to her than seven sons.

I have my own version of this, which makes me feel very blessed indeed:
“My daughters who love me, are better to me than seven sons each.”

Amen, praise The Lord!

You can find the other twelve Scripture Verses in this series for parents here.

You can browse more Scripture Verses and send them to your friends and family from www.freescripturecards.com or purchase them at www.mosaichouse.co

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ABOUT THE CONTENT – All content on this website is copyrighted and you can read more about this here. Please also read the disclaimer about my authority and qualifications. Occasionally I partner with people because I like their products and you can read about that here.

ABOUT SCRIPTURE CARDS – If you want to send free Scripture Cards to your friends click here and you want to buy hard copies of Scripture Cards you can click here.

MY BOOKS AND A FREE VIDEO COURSE – To download a copy of MY STORY OF SURVIVAL click here. For a copy of MIMI’S BOOK LAUNCH PLAN, click here. For a copy of GOD HEALED ME click here. For a copy of THE HOLY GRAIL OF BOOK LAUNCHING click here.  For a free video course on how to write a bestseller, click here. To join my launch partyclick here.

NEW BOOKS RELEASES, INTERVIEWS, AND REVIEWS – As a member of theAustralian Christian Readers Blog Alliance and as a member of the Christian Indie Authors Reading Group and as the current Administrator of  Christian Authors WorldwideThis is FUN! Mimi’s Launch Party and co-administrator of OMEGA nonfiction writers I share new book releases, interviews and reviews with my readers. Stay tuned!

A Prayer for PEACE ON EARTH from Mimi Emmanuel


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Silent night holy night


A Prayer for PEACE ON EARTH from Mimi EmmanuelA Prayer of PEACE ON EARTH from Mimi Emmanuel

A payer for Peace on earth for my readers and merry days filled with Love and Joy.

Jesus is born

Once upon a time around the year 0 there was a woman called Mary and her husband Joseph who lived in a place which was called Nazareth. Together they travelled to the place Bethlehem.

When they got to Bethlehem it was nighttime and all the motels and hotels were full and there was nowhere for them to sleep.Mary was also pregnant and that night gave birth to a baby who she wrapped up in a little bit of fabric and laid down in a box in a horse stable because that was the only place available for them to rest.

The Son of God is born

A little bit further away outside in a field there were shepherds looking after their sheep and an angel came to these shepherds and said to them, I have good news for you and everyone else in the world, it is reason to be very happy because today the Son of God was born. You will find Him in a horse stable.
And all of a sudden with the angel there were many more from heaven all saying how good God is and peace on earth and good things for all of us.

Son of God is born

Christ the Saviour of the world is born

The shepherds then ran to the stable to visit Mary and Joseph and the baby and afterwards they told everyone that Christ the Saviour of the world was born.
Because Jesus’ birth was such a big event in all the time that the world has existed, people started to number the years after Jesus was born. It is now the year 2014. That means that Jesus was born 2014 years ago and the dates of our calendar tell us everyday how long ago Jesus was born.

The Son of God came to earth

And when people talk about when something happened they say, This happened so many years before or after Jesus was born (BC or AD.) All over the world once a year people sing songs and celebrate that very special day that the Son of God came to earth.

Below are the lyrics of a popular song which people sing to celebrate Jesus’ birth.

SILENT NIGHT, HOLY NIGHT

All is calm, all is bright
Round yon Virgin Mother and Child
Holy Infant so tender and mild
Sleep in heavenly peace
Sleep in heavenly peace

Silent night, holy night!
Shepherds quake at the sight
Glories stream from heaven afar
Heavenly hosts sing Alleluia!
Christ, the Saviour is born
Christ, the Saviour is born

Silent night, holy night
Son of God, love’s pure light
Radiant beams from Thy holy face
With the dawn of redeeming grace
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth

21 BLESSINGS TO YOU

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ABOUT THE CONTENT – All content on this website is copyrighted and you can read more about this here. Please also read the disclaimer about my authority and qualifications. Occasionally I partner with people because I like their products and you can read about that here.

ABOUT SCRIPTURE CARDS – If you want to send free Scripture Cards to your friends click here and you want to buy hard copies of Scripture Cards you can click here.

MY BOOKS AND A FREE VIDEO COURSE – To download a copy of MY STORY OF SURVIVAL click here. For a copy of MIMI’S BOOK LAUNCH PLAN, click here. For a copy of GOD HEALED ME click here. For a copy of THE HOLY GRAIL OF BOOK LAUNCHING click here.  For a free video course on how to write a bestseller, click here. To join my launch party click here.

NEW BOOKS RELEASES, INTERVIEWS, AND REVIEWS – As a member of the Australian Christian Readers Blog Alliance and as a member of the Christian Indie Authors Reading Group and as the current Administrator of  Christian Authors WorldwideThis is FUN! Mimi’s Launch Party and co-administrator of OMEGA nonfiction writers I share new book releases, interviews and reviews with my readers. Stay tuned!

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Bedtime stories – Jesus is born – Australian translation from Luke 1 and 2 ~ reprinted with permission from babesandlittlechildren.com original 05.12.2014

To Heaven and Back by Mary C Neal


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To Heaven and back


BOOKS REVIEWS

To Heaven and Back

A Doctor’s Extraordinary Account of Her Death, Heaven, Angels, and Life Again: A True Story

by Mary C Neal

BOOK DESCRIPTION

A kayak accident during a South American adventure takes one woman to heaven — where she experienced God’s peace, joy, and angels — and back to life again.

In 1999 in the Los Rios region of southern Chile, orthopedic surgeon, devoted wife, and loving mother Dr. Mary Neal drowned in a kayak accident. While cascading down a waterfall, her kayak became pinned at the bottom and she was immediately and completely submerged. Despite the rescue efforts of her companions, Mary was To Heaven and Back by Mary C Nealunderwater for too long, and as a result, died.

To Heaven and Back is Mary’s remarkable story of her life’s spiritual journey and what happened as she moved from life to death to eternal life, and back again. Detailing her feelings and surroundings in heaven, her communication with angels, and her deep sense of sadness when she realized it wasn’t her time, Mary shares the captivating experience of her modern-day miracle.

Mary’s life has been forever changed by her newfound understanding of her purpose on earth, her awareness of God, her closer relationship with Jesus, and her personal spiritual journey suddenly enhanced by a first-hand experience in heaven.  To Heaven and Back will reacquaint you with the hope, wonder, and promise of heaven, while enriching you own faith and walk with God.

The other day, I came across this book on Amazon and placed it on my to-read list. Below is an Amazon interview (from the product page) with the author.

Amazon Q&A with Mary C. Neal, M.D

Q. How did you feel when you died? Did you know what was happening?

A. I was acutely aware of everything that was happening. I knew that my efforts to exit the boat were not working, that I was out of air, and that I was too far from the riverbank for anyone to reach me. I knew that I would probably die. Having grown up with a fear of drowning, I was surprised to find my transition from life to death was seamless, peaceful, and beautiful. I felt quite wonderful.

Q. What was your faith life like before your death?

A. Before my near-death-experience, I believed in God and took my kids to Sunday school but was not particularly religious. Like many accomplished young adults, I felt like I was in control of my life and my future. Although I tried to be a “good” and “moral” person, my faith was not integrated into my daily life and the demands of work and family left little time to think about spirituality.

With my near-death-experience, the truth of God’s promises and the reality of eternal life became a part of my every breath. I am in constant prayer and regardless of what I am doing, I try to reflect God’s love and live for His glory. I try not to miss opportunities to uplift or encourage the spiritual life of others, and I live with gratitude and joy, knowing that I never face challenges alone.

Q. Why do you think you came back to life?

A. I certainly didn’t want to return to Earth, but was given information about some of the work I had yet to complete and wasn’t really given a choice. I was expected to share my experiences and my story with others, helping transform their faith into compete trust that God keeps His promises.

Q. Do you have any regrets about this experience?

A. I have not a hint of regret. In fact, my death and return to life is the greatest gift I have ever received, and I am continually grateful for having had this experience.

Q. How do you explain why this happened to you?

A. I have always been a private person, am not known to be a writer, and do not relish the attention of speaking. I have been asked this question many times. I do not know the answer, but I am a scientist by training, a skeptic by nature, and a very concrete, rational thinker. Perhaps, I was given this job because I have a developed a lifetime of credibility.

Q. How is your experience compared to others who’ve gone to heaven and come back to physical life?

A. I have not read many accounts of other people’s experiences, but I have had many patients over the years tell me about their own near-death experiences. It seems that most stories, mine included, contain some consistent elements–that of an overwhelming sense of God’s love and forgiveness, intense peace and beauty and no desire to return to Earth. Everyone recalls the details with precision and each person is profoundly affected by the experience. In these ways, my experience is quite similar.

Q. What do you want people to know about heaven?

A. God’s unconditional love for each of us is intense, complete, and is reflected in all of Heaven. Before we return to Heaven, our real home, we have an incredible opportunity on Earth to face challenges that will help us learn, grow and to become more Christ-like in the fruits of our spirit. Our time is so short that we need to be about God’s business every day.

heaven-back

At the same time that Dr. Mary Neal was drowning in a river in Chile, her husband, Bill, appeared to me in a dream. Bill is an old friend of mine from high school. We had shared many adventures and confidences over the years, but neither he nor any other friend had ever stared at me in a dream and woke me up. I shook it off at the time, only to learn a few days or weeks later why I had seen him.

The story of her experiences from the drowning, through the repeated revivals and her ultimate survival are the events upon which this book is anchored. But the meat and meaning of it are in the unfolding of her life as guided and protected by her God. I’m obviously no disinterested party. Skeptics can be reassured by my report that if it came from Mary’s pen, it will be the truth and the whole truth. I doubt, however, that her or anyone’s personal account can penetrate fully into the modern psyche. That is, into those who think that they need proof of what we call God. As an account of a brush with the Hereafter, here have been many others similar to it, and they’re well enough known to be used as shorthand in bad films.

What Mary and those like her have experienced are gifts from somewhere, given not just to them. She gives it back to us disguised as a simple offering. She doesn’t baffle the reader with melodrama, hyperbole, fantasy, or excessive adjectives. She tells her story in a concise & detailed way, with a voice of eloquent and unadorned sincerity. In this way, it’s easy to read and difficult to put down, vividly descriptive and completely convincing, humbling and inspiring.

Fortunately for us, she kept waking up in the middle of the night until she couldn’t keep from writing it down for us. The reason to read this remarkable account is witness, which is one of the few ways that we have left to hack a little hole in our jungle of unbelief.

82 Comments 1,030 people found this helpful.

AUTHOR BIO

Mary C. Neal, M.D. is an orthopaedic surgeon. She studied at the University of California at Los Angeles School of Medicine, completed her orthopaedic residency at the University of Southern California and is fellowship trained as a spinal surgeon. She is the former Director of Spine Surgery at the University of Southern California and is a founding partner of Orthopedic Associates of Jackson Hole.

Her after-life experience has been featured on national media including WGN, Dr. Oz, and Fox andFriends. She has served as a church elder, on several non-profit organization boards, and created the Willie Neal Environmental Awareness Fund. Dr. Neal lives with her family in Jackson Hole, WY.

 

GET YOUR COPY

You can purchase To Heaven and Back from Amazon.

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ABOUT THE CONTENT – All content on this website is copyrighted and you can read more about this here. Please also read the disclaimer about my authority and qualifications. Occasionally I partner with people because I like their products and you can read about that here.

ABOUT SCRIPTURE CARDS – If you want to send free Scripture Cards to your friends click here and you want to buy hard copies of Scripture Cards you can click here.

MY BOOKS AND A FREE VIDEO COURSE – To download a copy of MY STORY OF SURVIVAL click here. For a copy of MIMI’S BOOK LAUNCH PLAN, click here. For a copy of GOD HEALED ME click here. For a free video course on how to write a bestseller, click here. To join my launch party click here.

NEW BOOKS RELEASES, INTERVIEWS, AND REVIEWS – As a member of the Australian Christian Readers Blog Alliance and as a member of the Christian Indie Authors Reading Group and as the current Administrator of  Christian Authors WorldwideThis is FUN! Mimi’s Launch Party and co-administrator of OMEGA nonfiction writers I share new book releases, interviews and reviews with my readers. Stay tuned!


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WHAT IS LOVE? Does the Bible tell us?


DISCLAIMER for my religious friends who believe differently- Mark 9-37-39, John 13-34-36 and 1 John 5-2. (2)

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He interrupted my writing as he was hitting away at my tap. I could see him accidently drop a washer down the gurgler. That’s when he exclaimed;

I HATE RELIGION!-“I HATE religion!”

“Why is that?” I asked, wondering if some of the Scripture verses on my walls could have triggered that comment.

“Because religion is the cause of most of the wars and hatred in the world,” my newfound friend Brad said.

I asked him if he really believed that and without even thinking about it, he shot back at me, “I do not believe it, I’m convinced of it!”

“All religions?” I asked him.

Without hesitation, he responded, “ALL of them.”

I said, “Funny that because my religion tells me that we are to love each other.”

“What religion would that be?” He quizzed.

“I love God’s Word,” I said.“Mmpphh, you’re one of those Christians,” He said.

“Mmpphh, you’re one of those Christians,” He said.

Clearly, Brad was assuming things. What was I to say to that? I did not know what he meant when he said, ‘one of those,’ but I wanted him to like me and not hate me because of my religion. But more than that, I wanted to convey to him that my religion is one of love. And I was not quite sure how to go about that because Brad clearly had preconceived notions about Christianity and what it entails being a Christian or being someone that loves God’s Word.
I didn’t know what his preconceived ideas were, other than that they weren’t positive.

I LOVE GODS WORDSo I repeated what is true for me and said, “I love God’s Word.”

Brad came over and sat down next to me. “You mean the Bible don’t you?”

I nodded affirmatively.

Well, that really got him going. He stood up again and walked up and down my living room with the spanner in his left hand, waving his arms up and down in despair. “The Bible has caused more wars and deaths and calamity than all other religions combined! How anyone can believe in fairy tales like that is beyond me.”

Maybe it was premature when earlier I referred to Brad as my newfound friend. My daughter had brought him over to fix a couple of leaky taps and a gate that had come off its hinges. I treated him as a friend because I was grateful that he came to fix a few things for a reasonable fee but I do not like it when people refer to God’s Word as fairy tales. At the same time, I recognise that this reference is generally used by people who have never read God’s Word.

I did not want him to go on a rant of no return. For the sake of our now seemingly fragile friendship, I decided to find out what got him going like that.

“You seem pretty passionate about your anti-religion stance Brad. Where is all that coming from?”

He sat down next to me again. “Mimi, come on, you can see what’s going on in the world, -If it weren't for religion...-surely? If it weren’t for religion…”
His voice trailed off and as he was about to take in a breath of fresh air, I noted,

“Religion doesn’t do anything Brad. It’s people and their interpretation of religion that can be a problem.”

He got up again, down. Up once more. He sure was passionate about the subject.

“So Mimi, you’re saying that the Bible doesn’t tell people to kill each other if they don’t believe according to the teachings?” And before I could answer, he continued. “You do know about the Inquisition and all the ‘Holy Wars’ that have been raging throughout the ages?”

You do know about the Inquisition and all the Holy Wars-

“Yes, I do Brad,” I said. And then I asked him, “Do you know about God’s commandments?”

Brad shook his head as he walked back to the tap. “What do they have to do with anything,” he asked. “Does anyone even care about those anymore?”

“Good question Brad and pertinent too. You’re absolutely right. For all sorts of different reasons lots of ‘believers’ indeed don’t think that these commandments apply to them. Many are of the opinion that their faith sets them above the law.

To get back to your other questions Brad, yes, I know about the Inquisition and all the GODS COMMANDMENTS‘Holy Wars’ and as far as I’m concerned the commandments have everything to do with this. And you know why?”

He just stood there looking at me not quite sure where the conversation was going. So I continued,
“I tell you why the commandments matter. They matter because the commandments tell us not to kill, not to steal, not to lie, not to commit adultery, not to covet, to honour our elders and so on. This is what God’s Word teaches us right from the very beginning. The commandments set a moral standard for the whole of society.

We were taught to be nice to our neighbour and to treat foreigners with kindness and the Bible tells us that those simple ten rules constitute love. They are a benchmark, a measure to live by and live up to.”

Brad looked at me and said, “Sounds wonderful. Mimi. Here’s a reality check for you, NO one is paying any attention or listening to any of those rules, nor following them.”

“Exactly my point Brad. It isn’t for me to judge if anyone is following God’s rules; what I notice however is that many believers follow all kinds of rules but not necessarily The Ten.  Wouldn’t it be wonderful indeed if we were to follow those ten simple rules? There’s PEOPLE INTERPRETnothing wrong with those rules, is there? There’s nothing wrong with the Bible either.  What’s wrong is that all through the ages and still today, people interpret God’s Word any way they like to suit their own purposes.

The Bible tells us to love one another. We’re taught that Jesus’ disciples will be known for their love for each other, we’re encouraged to turn the other cheek, bless our enemies and we’re taught that God is love and if we do not love we do not have God in us.

Can you find fault with any of that Brad?”

He looked bewildered. “But Mimi, no one is DOING that ‘loving thing.’ All these so called religious people are killing each other!”

“I know that Brad,” I said.

“Does that make the commandments wrong or the people?

 

-If it weren't for religion...- (1)Brad scratched his head as he asked; “What are these again, the commandments?”

So Brad my friend, this is for you.

God’s Holy Word from the very beginning from Mount Sinai.

Does the Bible tell us what love is? Yes, the Bible tells us what love is.

God is love and He tells us that not lying, killing, stealing etc constitutes love.

https-%2F%2Fliveforeverhowto.wordpress.com%2Fwhat-is-love%2F (1)

This is love according to the prophets with a little help from 'Moments in Love.' Music courtesy of Art of Noise.

I write about this all the time because I am passionate about it. Here is another article that gives you biblical references  and here also for our ‘love’ theme.

And here is a repeat of the disclaimer for my fellow religious friends who believe differently from me; I love you.

DISCLAIMER for my religious friends who believe differently- Mark 9-37-39, John 13-34-36 and 1 John 5-2. (2)

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NEW BOOKS RELEASES, INTERVIEWS, AND REVIEWS – As a member of the Australian Christian Readers Blog Alliance and as a member of the Christian Indie Authors Reading Group and as the current Administrator of  Christian Authors WorldwideThis is FUN! Mimi’s Launch Party and co-administrator of OMEGA nonfiction writers I share new book releases, interviews and reviews with my readers. Stay tuned!

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GREAT SHALL BE THE PEACE OF YOUR CHILDREN


BIBLE PROMISE

GREAT SHALL BE THE PEACE OF YOUR CHILDREN

GREAT SHALL BE THE PEACE OF THY CHILDREN

Aren’t your children behaving today? Aren’t they acting according to what you taught them? Do they find themselves in undesirable situations?

This is a good time to take hold of GOD’s promise that, ‘Great shall be the peace of your children.’

Thank you Father, for keeping our children safe and out of harm’s way. I’m praying for both my children today that

 The LORD will bless them, and keep them:
The LORD make his face shine upon them, and be gracious unto them:
The LORD lift up his countenance upon them and give them peace.
And I pray that the LORD will put His name upon my children and bless them.

Just for fun I’ll share the song that I wrote for each of my children.

The first one is called, ‘Mother of an Angel.’

And the second one is called, ‘Brighter Than The Sun.’

You can find both these tracks also under my favourite people credits and links.

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ABOUT THE CONTENT – All content on this website is copyrighted and you can read more about this here. Please also read the disclaimer about my authority and qualifications. Occasionally I partner with people because I like their products and you can read about that here.

ABOUT SCRIPTURE CARDS – If you want to send free Scripture Cards to your friends click here and you want to buy hard copies of Scripture Cards you can click here. To download a copy of my Story of Survival click here. For a copy of Mimi’s Book Launch Plan, click here.

NEW BOOKS RELEASES, INTERVIEWS AND REVIEWS – As a member of the Australian Christian Readers Blog Alliance and as a member of the Christian Indie Authors Reading Group and as the current Administrator of Christian Authors Worldwide, I share new book releases, interviews and reviews with my readers. Stay tuned!


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Mary and the Alabaster Box


Mary and the alabaster box.

Her sins are forgiven for she loved much.

Some say that there are a couple of different eyewitness accounts of the event of “Mary and the alabaster box” in the Bible. We think that there may be four versions. The first account is by Matthew, the second by Mark and we believe the third and fourth accounts are given by Luke and John. Have a read and see what you think for yourself.

Dr James Tabor who is Professor of the Department of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina (Christian origins and ancient Judaism) has an interesting blog post on Mary for those who like to read a more in-depth study on the different versions.

What we know is, that when Jesus says that we’ll be remembering Mary, he isn’t talking about his mother. Jesus is talking about another woman called Mary and he says that “her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much.”

Mary and the alabaster box

We love the story about Mary and the alabaster box so much that we decided to do a song about it. Years ago when we started to read the Bible in earnest we were so excited to discover GOD’s rule book. As in, pfew … there are indeed standards in place that we are supposed to live up to as lovers of GOD’s Word. And we were no less excited to find that, hey, there is forgiveness if you do the best you can and yet occasionally muck up.

Mary and the alabaster box
lyrics from Matthew, Mark, Luke and John

She put the ointment of spikenard very costly.
She put it on his body for his burial.
Mary wrought a good work on Jesus.
Let her alone.
She done what she could.
Mary wrought a good work on him.
An alabaster box of very precious ointment.
She poured it on his head as he sat at meat.
She done what she could.
She wrought a good work on him.
Mary wrought a good work on Jesus.
Let her alone.
She done what she could.
Spikenard very costly.
With her hair she wiped his feet.
She did it for his burial.
It’ll be told for a memorial.

Matthew’s version

She hath wrought a good work upon me.

Now when Jesus was in Bethany, in the house of Simon the leper, there came unto him a woman having an alabaster box of very precious ointment, and poured it on his head, as he sat at meat. But when his disciples saw it, they had indignation, saying, To what purpose is this waste? For this ointment might have been sold for much, and given to the poor.

When Jesus understood it, he said unto them, Why trouble ye the woman? for she hath wrought a good work upon me. For ye have the poor always with you; but me ye have not always. For in that she hath poured this ointment on my body, she did it for my burial.

Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached in the whole world, there shall also this, that this woman hath done, be told for a memorial of her.

Mark’s version

Let her alone; why trouble ye her?

She hath done what she could.

And being in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at meat, there came a woman having an alabaster box of ointment of spikenard very precious; and she brake the box, and poured it on his head. And there were some that had indignation within themselves, and said, Why was this waste of the ointment made? For it might have been sold for more than three hundred pence, and have been given to the poor. And they murmured against her.

And Jesus said, Let her alone; why trouble ye her? she hath wrought a good work on me. For ye have the poor with you always, and whensoever ye will ye may do them good: but me ye have not always. She hath done what she could: she is come aforehand to anoint my body to the burying. Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, this also that she hath done shall be spoken of for a memorial of her.

Luke’s version

Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much

Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.

And one of the Pharisees desired him that he would eat with him. And he went into the Pharisee’s house, and sat down to meat. And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster box of ointment, And stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment.

Now when the Pharisee which had bidden him saw it, he spake within himself, saying, This man, if he were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth him: for she is a sinner. And Jesus answering said unto him, Simon, I have somewhat to say unto thee. And he saith, Master, say on.

There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty. And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most? Simon answered and said, I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most. And he said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged.

And he turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head.

Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet. My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment.

Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little. And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven.

And they that sat at meat with him began to say within themselves, Who is this that forgiveth sins also?

And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.

John’s version

Mary anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped his feet with her hair.

The poor always ye have with you; but me ye have not always.

Now a certain man was sick, named Lazarus, of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha. (It was that Mary which anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.)

Then Jesus six days before the Passover came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, which had been dead, whom he raised from the dead. There they made him a supper; and Martha served: but Lazarus was one of them that sat at the table with him.

Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment.
Then saith one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, which should betray him, Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor? This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein.
Then said Jesus, Let her alone: against the day of my burying hath she kept this.
For the poor always ye have with you; but me ye have not always.

Jesus reiterated what the prophet Ezekiel told us centuries ago.

All of Scripture tells us about GOD’s grace and his forgiveness and long-suffering nature. On the Sabbath yesterday, we listened to another excellent Torah Pearl hosted by Jono from TRUTH2U Radio with guests Keith Johnson and Nehemia Gordon. And one of the references which was mentioned with regards to God’s forgiveness is in Ezekiel where we are told that what counts is the actions we take today. What matters is not where we were or what we did in the past. What matters to the Creator of Heaven and Earth is who we are today. And the actions we take this very day is what determines our destiny.

Jesus prophesied that Mary’s actions would be remembered.

Jesus said, “this, that this woman hath done, shall be spoken of for a memorial of her.” If we assume that the four different versions mentioned above all relate to the same event, then Jesus spoke about Mary the sister of Lazarus when he said these words. Jesus did not say that we’ll be remembering and honouring his mother, who was also called Mary.

I want to make this distinction because I was raised a Catholic. As a Catholic I was taught to pray to Mary the mother of Jesus. This meant for me that I kneeled down in Catholic churches in front of mother Mary statues. As a child, on my way to school,  I would often walk into the church, light some candles in front of a mother Mary statue and kneel down on a pew before I’d say my ‘Hail Marys’. This is all right and proper according to the Catholic faith.

During my childhood after we’d been to ‘Confession’ we were told by the priest to say a certain amount of ‘Hail Marys’ and ‘Holy Fathers,’ in order for our  sins to be forgiven. The amount of these prayers depended on the multitude and size of our sins. I was educated by nuns. My sins were many, as you can imagine for any primary school aged kid, and therefore my affinity with Mary with the alabaster box great.

What did Jesus say about Mary?

What I am interested in today is not what the Catholic church says about who to remember and how but what God’s Word and particularly Jesus himself says about remembering Mary (and the alabaster box). Jesus does not tell us to kneel in front of a statue of his mum and pray to her. Jesus tells us that we’ll remember Mary the sinner, a woman who made mistakes, just like I did as a child and most of us still do a lot of the time.

The good part.

The great part about this event described in scripture is that Jesus tells us that Mary did a good work, that she did what she could and for the people around her to leave her alone and not criticise her actions. Mary is called a sinner which shows us that she mucked up and probably more than once. Yup, I can relate. And this Mary anointed Jesus ahead of his burial and kissed and washed His feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head. Jesus says, don’t trouble this woman, she has done a good work on me.

We’re told by Jesus that we’ll remember a Mary who made mistakes but also loved much and had faith. She simply did what she could. And we’re told that because of her good work, love and faith,  her sins were forgiven her and Jesus tells her to go in peace.

That means there is hope for all of us. And I reckon that is Good Nnews, if ever I heard any.

Song of Mary and the Alabaster Box – lyrics by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John – Sung by babes and little children composed for people is grass – all rights reserved – copyright Elias label –
originally published 2 years ago and reprinted with permission.
 

ABOUT THE CONTENT – All content on this website is copyrighted and you can read more about this here. Please also read the disclaimer about my authority and qualifications. Occasionally I partner with people because I like their products and you can read about that here.

ABOUT SCRIPTURE CARDS – If you want to send free Scripture Cards to your friends click here and you want to buy hard copies of Scripture Cards you can click here. To download a copy of my Story of Survival click here.

NEW BOOKS RELEASES, INTERVIEWS AND REVIEWS – As a member of the Australian Christian Readers Blog Alliance and as a member of the Christian Indie Authors Reading Group and as the current Administrator of Christian Authors Worldwide, I share new book releases, interviews and reviews with my readers. Stay tuned!