Saturday, 1 March 2014

Why I am a christian

So whoever is reading this, yes I am aware that you may not like this. I have some questions, who doesn’t? I still believe in Jesus and do my best to trust him and live for him daily however after being challenged the other day I felt it was necessary to write this. Whoever you are reading this I hope you will gain an understanding as to why I believe and what it is that I am currently questioning. I have not written this to start a debate as my bible knowledge is virtually non-existent but to simply express my views. I have realised recently that I am the most honest with myself when I write and so this is my way of being honest with both you, and myself.

I was brought up believing-This is probably first and foremost the reason as to why I believe in Christianity. As a child I never knew any different and it wasn’t really until about a year ago or so that I started to question it. Well, not so much question it but more so some of the things in the bible. I struggled with what was relevant to ME. Depending on what version you read, some of it just makes you think that it only applies to those whom are a lot older than yourself. I never really had questions growing up, I was one of the children in school where whenever the word ‘evolution’ came up I switched off and just left it as that. It was almost like a chore to go to church every Sunday, I was one of those children that was sat there in the service colouring in because I didn’t understand what was being said, even as I got older that was the case. I wasn’t really going for me until I got into my teens. I got attracted to it more by the lively worship and this in turn meant that I started listening despite the fact that my attention span can be quite thin at times! I guess you could say that I became a Christian gradually but then there was a point when it did hit me and I truly gave my life to Christ.

He saved me-That’s it. I believe that he died to save me from every single sin that I do. It says in the bible that the wages of sin is death and so I am eternally grateful that he paid that price so that I don’t have too.

Fear-This is perhaps the main one that I have been struggling with the past few weeks. I haven’t really mentioned this to more than a couple of people, one of whom has assured me that as a Christian I do not need to fear death, if anything I should be excited for it! But then bears the issue of why me? Why should I go to heaven? Am I even going to get there? How do you know? Those are the sorts of questions that run through my head sometimes and that can drive me crazy if I don’t ask a Christian friend for help! The stuff that is meant to happen in the ‘end times’, I don’t want to live through that! It’s going to happen! The technology stuff, it’s starting to happen! I have yet to study revelation; it’s the book I’ve been putting off because it scares me if I am completely honest about it. There is not much more to say to that. The unknown scares me generally, just not knowing what is going to happen and knowing that I can’t do anything about it. God determines my future and although right now for example I know I am going to university in September he may decide to put something in the way that means I don’t go to uni. Who’s to say that won’t happen? Not being in control of my future scares me. Trusting him is difficult but yet I know in the back of my mind it is worth it.

His love and his peace-He loves me. He loves me more than anyone could ever love me and more than I could ever love someone else. Trying to grasp that in itself is a challenge sometimes but it is so nice. I always see God as my Dad, it’s what he is to me! He’s always got my back even when times are tough and whether its through the bible or whether it’s him talking through someone else to me, he always is able to reassure me and bring me that peace that only he can bring. A few weeks back I was on the phone to someone and before-hand I had felt God just leading me to worship him a bit and read my bible, he talked to me through that then whilst on the phone to someone they mentioned that I sounded really chilled. I didn’t realise. That was God’s peace in me at that time because the way I was feeling before-hand, it certainly wasn’t me!

Where I am now-Right now I am at a place where I do believe and I do trust him as difficult as that it is at times and I am learning to be more patient generally. God has brought me through a lot, some of which would mean that I would not be here right now if it was not for him. How can I not love someone who has brought me through so much? I am also at a place where I have a lot of questions, some of which I do forget to write down but I am learning, I am growing. What’s the point in having questions if you’re not going to get answers? Even if they are answers you do not want to hear? I have grown up not questioning Christianity much and so this is where I am at right now. However I am surrounded by individuals whom I can talk to when I have questions (or when I remember them!) which is definitely helping. I am also in a place where I can try and answer other people’s questions and so learning more for myself as well which is helping me although it does mean that sometimes I end up asking the same questions which to me is not a bad thing!
And to those who think that Christians are perfect. We’re really not! We struggle with the same things you do but we have God’s strength on our side as well as our own! Also to those whom are surprised that I have questions, didn’t you when you were younger or when you came to know Christ? I’ve grown up not asking questions, this is my time.

So there you have it. That is me. 

Saturday, 18 January 2014

My thoughts: Music and the media

So I feel like this needed to be said. Please note that this is my opinion on the subject and so I don’t apologise for the language I have used or the lyrics that I have quoted. I have done so to make a point and those who know me, know that I don’t beat people round the bush so to speak.

Am a tad fed up of people in the media thinking they can just go ahead and sing about how they treat girls and just coming straight out with it. The person who has wound me up a fair bit recently is Robin Thicke. I wish I could find the reference but hearing from the media that he thinks girls are just there to be treated like crap or words to that affect shocked me. Young girls who hear this, what are they going to think? How many of these girls are likely to have watched his and Miley Cyrus performance at the MTV awards? How many of these girls as a result of this are going to think that that is the right way to act? The right way to behave? By these celebrities portraying sex as some sort of toy, something that is fashionable, they are giving young teenage girls the view that this is ok, that this is how a girl should be treated. Heard of the whole thing about society sexualising young teens? That is exactly what is happening! What happened to celebrities who were role models but were role models not from dancing half naked on stage?!

It’s amazing also what is in some of the songs we sing! I listened to Notorious BIG ‘nasty girl’ feat. P.Diddy and some other artists and after having a look at the video thought I would read through the lyrics as I thought there was something more to do it, something more abnormal about the song. Just to clarify I wanted to listen to some songs that I used to hear on the tv a bit as a child/young teenage. Back to where I was, I was wrong, this is normal in the media. Some of the lines in the song ‘sex is all I expect’ and ‘fingers in your mouth, open up your blouse’. These are just a couple of the lines that disgusted me. The language in the song, no wonder they are rapping it! The artists probably don’t want you to know what they are saying! Some of the lines in that song are even more vulgar for example ‘when I’m done flip the mattress change the sheet’ and that’s not even the worst of it! Why would you want a young teenager to hear that? To hear that that behaviour is ok? To ask their friends about it to then find out the other stuff that they probably should not know till they are in her late teens at the earliest!

Robin Thicke as I have already mentioned is no better! Just reading through the lyrics to his ‘blurred lines’ song (I refuse to listen to it!), I should be shocked by the content of the song but after listening to the song ‘nasty girl’ as I have talked about above, I’m really not shocked! As I have mentioned before, this is the same guy who obviously does not realise that girls are actually HUMAN and not animals as he implies in the line ‘Ok now he was close, tried to domesticate you but you’re an animal, baby it’s in your nature.’ Someone tell me how that is meant to make a girl feel valued? According to google domesticate means ‘tame (an animal) and keep it as a pet or on a farm.’ I bet you didn’t know that! I ask you again, how is that meant to make a girl feel valued? To feel respected? What example is that giving to a young guy? Is this how he is meant to treat a girl? No but he has been taught no better by the media! In recent years I have noticed a rise in the adverts appealing directly to teenagers saying about abuse in relationships and what it is and that it should not be accepted. I’ve seen it, on tv, on posters in the community. They’re there. And I’m no expert but I bet you that part of the reason these campaigns are being run is as a result of the affect the media has on this and younger generations! And these artists are just two examples and there is a wide variety from which I could have chosen to use!

The media is a young person’s biggest influence. Look around you, it’s everywhere! People have to be connected, young people have it on their phones, it’s on TV’s, newsstands, you cannot get away from it! However it is up to YOU whether you choose to listen to the media or not. It’s like when you go to a bar, there are people around you drinking, yes you have to have A LOT of determination not to drink sometimes depending on who you are but there are alternatives. There’s a pub I go too where if my friends are having cocktails then I will often have a non-alcoholic cocktail. This helps me not to feel left out when they are drinking! You can do the same with music!

Anyway my point is basically there is music out there that is positive, however it is often not in the charts, sometimes it is but half the time the reason is because it doesn’t sell. Songs about drugs, sex, alcohol, and generally having a ‘good time’ sell and so as a result are more widespread amongst our generation. Basically as I said, there is positive music out there, it’s just up to YOU to find it. It doesn’t matter whether you are a Christian or not. Yes there is a lot of Christian rap, rock and so on that is positive however there is also a fair bit of secular music that has a positive vibe to it.

I leave you with this question. Do you really want to listen to music that portrays drugs, sex, alcohol in the lyrics? Lyrics that are often quite vulgar? Do you really want to be influenced by this?

If you didn’t get anything out of reading this then please at least think about what you are listening to, the message it is portraying and the influence it is having to you. If it is having a negative impact on you then it’s up to YOU to do something about it.

Monday, 24 January 2011

Noticing the small things....

I really feel like i should write a note right now and i've just prayed about it so here goes. As normal, i don't know how long or short this is going to be or what i'm eventually going to start writing about. I was just reading some things on a forum and someone mentioned to me how we need to thank God for the small things in our lives and quite often we don't tend to notice them. You know when you pray about something that might seem to be quite big to you? You want something big to happen usually don't you? Sometimes though God doesn't give us a big response, he gives us a few little ones which can all add up to make one big difference if that makes sense. God doesn't leave us hanging unless it's what he wants to do. It says in Romans 8v28 it says 'And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.' God  loves us no matter what. A lot of things come down to that. God may not want to do something that we ask because he knows that its not in our best interests for that particular thing to happen. Its like asking your parents for a car...when your 12 years old. They're not going to get you the car for 2 reasons. 1) It's illegal to drive at that age, 2) It's not in they're best interests to buy you a car. And its not in your best interests either. God works in the same way. He loves us so very much that he only wants whats best for us. I bet your going to ask now, then why does he put us through hard times? Ok, these hard times test our faith. It is through these times that he carries us.
 If there is anyone i haven't tagged and you feel like they need to be tagged, then go for it :)
 I just wanna say that when you pray for things and in general, keep an out for the small things God does as well as the big things. Also don't give up praying for things, even when you feel like you're not getting a response from God. God will work in his own perfect timing. Sometimes we may not see the answers to prayer when they are in fact there. It's up to us to look closely for them.

 Also, lately i have had a couple of dreams and i'm not sure what they meant, if anything. The second one happened after i prayed that God would reveal what the first one meant. I just want to encourage you that if you ever have something like that where you don't know what it means, then really pray about it and just ask God to reveal himself to you and to show you what it meant. In due time, i'm sure he will.

Also one more thing i think, I know i've said this before but i'm going to say it again. When you feel like you can't do something and you want to give up, just remember you CAN do it! 'I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me'. I think that's what it says anyway, feel free to correct me!

Ok im done for now, feel free to correct me if i haven't got something right :)


Ok, so i've just been reading about hope and also listening to a really good song and so now basically i feel like i want to write a note so here goes :P you guys know what i'm like by now...i dont have a clue how long or short its going to be and i may go off topic a bit but yeah you get what i mean :)

You know when your going through something and it feels like it's the end of the world? You know when you get to a point where you just feel like you can't go on anymore and you just want to give up? Yeah we've all felt like that at some stage or another in our lives. I just want to say that it's not the end of the world. There is a God who cares for you so, so much. He loves you dearly. I may have got this wrong so please correct me if i have, but i heard a while ago that like if you like put your problems in the shape of a mountain? From extremely high up even the mountains look small. What may seem like a really big problem at the moment is quite small when you look down on it. I'm not sure if that makes sense but still i think you kinda get what i mean. You can get through it! Being a christian isn't easy, there are hurdles and obstacles along the way but God is with us through each and every one of those obstacles. They may be tests of don't know. But if you hold on to your faith you will get through it. God will help you. There are times when you feel like your about to give up and start to question God as to why he's putting you through things. It's best not to question God as he knows exactly what he's doing and he's never, ever going to give up on you. He knows everything about you and he knows everything that you're going through. He loves you so much. It says in 1 Peter 1:6, 'there is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure trials for a little while'. This is on about what we are going to get in heaven if jesus is your saviour. There is going to be so much joy and happiness in heaven. We all have hope and that is thanks to Jesus, without him we would be stuffed. We wouldn't have hope if it wasn't for Jesus. Learning to really trust Jesus especially when things go bad is something we all have to do and learn how to do. It's not easy at all.

 Last weekend at the momentum conference, lara martin came and sang a song amongst others called 'voice of hope'. Its such a good song and the lyrics basically some it all up. Anyway, my mind has pretty much gone blank at the moment, so if ive mis-interperated anything please do correct me :)

Let your light shine part 2

Here's number 2 :)

Ok guys, if you read the other note then you know that there's loads more that i could say about this topic although, again, i dont know what im going to end up saying or what im going to end up talking about. This whole let your light shine thing has been on my mind for the past week and somehow im not sure its going to go away any time soon so anyway here goes... :)

Towards the end of the other note i started saying about like we dont want our friends and/or family getting to judgement day and them thinking 'oh why didnt (name) tell me about this?' or something similiar. The bottom line is whether we like it or not there is a heaven and a hell. Pastor Helena said last night that we dont want to get to heaven and other god nothing. We are alive on this earth for GOD. We have to live for him whilst we are on this earth. We do not want to get to heaven and not other him nothing do we? If that makes sense. Trying to bring friends and family to christ is not always easy but its what we are called to do. There was this guy i think, i cant remember exactly but like he was saying that a man can change the world. A man can change his family, the family change the community, the community changes other towns etc. If everyone kept to that then all of the sudden you would have a great bunch of people who would have heard about christ. And maybe even saved. The thing on the back of my newday top says 'a generation is emerging'. That is so true and also that generation which is us can then change our friends and family etc. We have the power to do that thanks to god. He is the light of our lives and alongs as we let him continue to be our light we can then be a light to our friends and other people, just as i said in the other note i think. Someone said to me a while ago, that once you go into the darkness its harder to get back into the light. We have to be a light amongst all the darkness. I know i keep saying that but it is so true and im not apoligising for it. I just want to say briefly about the whole heaven and hell thing. That is another thing that has been on my mind lately and it kinda links in with the 'let your light shine' thing as well. At newday i re-commited myself as i wasnt sure if i was going to heaven or hell but now i am certain that i am going to heaven as it is jesus blood and him dying on the cross that saved me. And to be honest, for that i will be forever grateful to him. The bottom line is, if your a christian you go to heaven, if your not a christian you go to hell. Im not trying to scare anyone im just saying the facts. You need to be saved to go live with the father when we die. It says in John 14:6 'Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.' That is the only way to him. Thats the good news that jesus saved us and that we spend the rest of our lives with him if we're christians. Here's the not-so-good news. In Revelation 20:11-15 it says: '11Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. Earth and sky fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. 12And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. 13The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done. 14Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. 15If anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.' That is the reality of it. Thats basically what the bible says about judgement day. In the passage it says about the 'dead'. The dead being those people who have died and are now waiting to be judged. We all get judged at judgement day. Even christians get judged at judgement day as we are all accountable to god at the end of our earthly lives. Its very hard sometimes to understand the book of revelation as different people have different interpretations of it. I've said this phrase before and im going to say it again. The lake of fire is refering in my understanding to something in hell that people get thrown in to. In case you don't know, hell is a very horrible place and those people who at the moment say they want to go there? I'm quite sure they will change their mind when they get to judgement. God records everything that we do. It says in Psalm 139:1-4: '1 O LORD, you have searched me and you know me.2 You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.3 You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. 4 Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O LORD.' He knows everything that we are going to do, everything that we are going to say and to be honest, completely everything! He records everything. No-one on earth knows exactly whats going to happen when we die although the bible gives us clear guidance and tells us what its going to be like. 1 John:5-7 says 'This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. 6If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. 7But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.' We really need to live for God and live by what he teaches us in the bible. It really is so important. As we keep hearing what seems all like all the time, the end times are coming if they're not allready here. We never know when jesus is going to come back or when we're going to called home.I know this is really long so I think i'm done for now :)

Let your light shine

I'm new to this, so i figured i would start off by writing down the notes that i have done on facebook, that way they're all in the same place :)

Here is note number 1 :)
September 5th 2010

Ok, here's the deal, ive had this song called this little light by LZ7 on like all week and today i just felt like i should write a note on it and just the general aspect of it if that makes sense. i dont know how long this note is going to be or what i'm going to end up talking about but anyway, here goes. :)When I think of the word evangilism, i used to think it meant something for others to do or something thats bigger than i could ever do. Over the past few years i've learnt that thats not what it means. It basically just talking to non-christians about christ. All of us are capable of that. At newday a group of us went into norfolk to do evangilism. We went into the city centre and gave out leaflets to do with the church who were in a way 'hosting' us if that makes sense. Giving out leaflets to people in the town centre i thought was quite scary and i was a bit reluctant to do it at first but then it got a bit easier. It's still hard though, especially if you dont have the right attitude. Trust me, i know and im sure if you ask a lot of christians about this then they'll also tell you that it can be hard. Even if your talking to your non-christian friends about Jesus, that can be hard as well. You have too in a way think that God is on your side and everything will happen in his own perfect timing. No-one can ever rush that. He knows what's best for us. There's a bit in the song that says 'Do you wanna be sent to the nation, are you gonna change your generation, is it gonna be your motivation, all you gotta do is start a conversation...' That pretty much sums it up in my opinion. If you start talking to someone about Jesus then yes they could completely ignore you but at the same time their maybe something that clicks in them that makes them want to know more and ultimatly maybe even lead them to christ. How are people supposed to be led to christ if we dont talk to them about him? When they get to judgement day you dont want them saying 'oh well why didnt (name) ever tell me about god?'. It will be too late by then. I personally do not want that happening to anyone i know and im sure other people agree with me.
We need to shine amongst all the darkness thats in the world. As ebony said the other week, its no use trying to squeeze yourself into a pair of jeans that you know are not going to fit. Theres no use trying to fit into the world when we are not off the world. We are not accountable to man, we are accountable to god. We need to shine so that people can see there is something different about us and then start asking questions. We need to show god's love to people. As far as i'm concernend, its the only way. We need to be an example of christ to others by the way we act and the way we treat others. I could write so much more about this but i think that's long enough for now :)