google-site-verification: google3e8cc4742c5fd8a2.html Thursday Ponderings
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Pauline_Ponderings

2nd February 2012

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G’day and welcome to Pauline's Thursday Ponderings!

When we are going through a difficult time it is sometimes hard to believe that you are the apple of Gods eye. God gave me a picture once. I asked God what I was worth. God tied a tag round my neck with a piece of string, the kind of price tag that they have in old fashioned shops. The tag read £10, then he removed the tag and replaced it with one that read £100, then he removed that one and replaced it with one that had £1000 on it. He replaced the £1000 price tag with one that read £100,000 and then replaced that one with a million pound price tag. The final price tag simply had ‘ONE LIFE’ written on it. I find it mind blowing that God chose to let His Son die a hideously painful death so that I can enjoy a personal relationship with him that I am so valuable that even if I was the only human being that existed, God would have allowed Jesus to die on a cross for me.

Remind yourself of this fact frequently and you will get a glimpse of your father’s heart. He loves you to bits and is proud of you no matter what you have done in the past - if you have said sorry and meant it - it is forgotten. The slate is completely clean. 2 Corinthians 5 verse 17 says’ Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come’

God’s love for you is unconditional. God created us with a thirst to be secure, to have self worth and to have a sense of our own significance. That thirst is intended to be quenched by God himself, by His unconditional love for us and unconditional acceptance of our work. I John 3 verse 1 says’ How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called the children of God.! And that is what we are!’ Ephesians 2 verse 10 says’ We are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepares for us in advance to do.’

Unfortunately many of us try and get our security and sense of self worth from our spouses or parents. Whilst that can be okay if we have a particularly adoring spouse or an encouraging mum and dad, it goes badly wrong if we have a critical spouse or a parent that withholds praise. Our self esteem really suffers in the case of a verbally critical spouse or parent and is affected just as badly by someone who is slow to give praise.

Galatians 4: 7 says Because you are sons,” God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out “Abba, Father.” So you are no longer a slave but a son and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir.’

Our aim should be to please God and fulfil his purposes for our lives. If it is we will discover a sense of security, value and significance in God and then it will not matter if our boss does not appreciate us or if our spouse criticises us.

We should be aiming to enjoy God, to have a life of worship and to get to know God better each day. God adores us and considers us adorable, He is proud of our achievements but is so much more thrilled with our efforts to get to know Him better.

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Pauline_Ponderings

2nd February 2012

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G’day and welcome to Pauline's Thursday Ponderings!

There are many things we should do if we love God. One of those things is to spend time getting to know Him, and one of the ways we can achieve this is to read His Word, the Bible.

James 1:22-25 - Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror  and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.  But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it-not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it-they will be blessed in what they do.

That's a pretty good promise to be blessed in all you do, but you can't do what the word says if you don't know what it says or understand it.

Philippians 2:14-16 - Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, "children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation." Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life.

Again you can't hold firmly to the word of life which is God's word written in the Bible unless you know it.

Ephesians 6 talks about putting on the armour of God to protect ourselves in  the spiritual battle, which we all find ourselves involved. Part of the armour of God and a very important part is mentioned in v17.

Ephesians 6:17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

Again if you don 't know the word of God it is very difficult to quote it at when you need to.  I find quoting scripture out loud when I am anxious or fearful very helpful, no matter what the situation.

Hebrews 4:12 "For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart."

The other day I was chatting to a Jehovah's Witness who was door knocking. She mentioned that often she talks to Christians who go to church regularly but don't know their bibles.  That made me so sad and I want to encourage you to read your bible more and not only read it but understand it. There are many study aids out there at many different levels to help you, if you can't afford to buy one I'm sure your vicar or pastor would be happy to lend you one of theirs.

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  • Danny Haszard

    Well done post. Jehovah’s Witnesses proselytizing is a scam.

    I was a Jehovah’s Witness born 3rd generation and I knocked on doors with the Watchtower gospel for 33 years,was in the cult and now I’m out. Their core dogma is that Jesus ‘returned’ aka had his second coming October 1914. –Danny Haszard

    Feb 9, 2012 at 1:17 pm

Thursday Ponderings

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Pauline_Ponderings

16th February 2012

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G’day and welcome to Pauline's Thursday Ponderings!

If you're a Christian - forgiving others is not an option.   Matthew 6:14-15 "If you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly father will forgive you but if you do not forgive men their sins, your heavenly father will not forgive you ."

God takes the necessity of forgiving of others very seriously. Notice it does NOT say forgive others if they are sorry for hurting you, or forgive others if you can understand why they behaved in that way. We are to forgive everyone who has wronged us full stop.

Peter, who may have been having a problem with one of the other disciples, asked Jesus ' Lord how many times do I have to forgive my brother if he keeps on wronging me?, in Matthew 18:21. "Jesus answered 'Seventy times seven!'" This means that we have to go on forgiving someone who hurts us again and again; no matter how many times they hurt us.

Please note that Jesus did not say that if we are in an abusive relationship we have to stay in it and keep on being abused.  In Mark 12:31 Jesus said we should love our neighbour as we love ourselves - that means we have a responsibility to love ourselves, which means removing ourselves from relationships in which others are abusive towards us.

Forgiving someone means not telling others what they did to us so we can get sympathy. It means doing good things for them, praying for them blessing them. Matt 5:44 says love your enemies and pray for your persecutors. Luke 6:35 "Love your enemies, do good to them" and Romans 12:20 commands "If your enemy is hungry feed him."

If someone has hurt you so badly that you find you self replaying what they did in your mind. Try thinking of something kind that the person has done for you, every time their misdemeanour pops into your thinking. If that is not possible then just actively think about something completely different. It will get to the point that you can think of the person without thinking of what they did, though this can take years.

Actually, like every other thing that God asks us to do, forgiving others is in our best interests. Being angry with someone else just hurts us - it doesn't affect them. Not forgiving leads to bitterness and resentment which eats away at us from within and can lead to physical symptoms as well.

So forgiving others should be a priority   if you're a Christian.

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Pauline_Ponderings

23rd February 2012

Fear of the Lord

It is not popular or common in Christian circles to talk about the fear of the Lord. People much prefer to emphasis a loving, fluffy God who forgives everything. They tend to ignore the discipline side of God. In Acts 5, we have a chilling account of how God deals with two Christians who lie. Basically they drop dead. That is how seriously God takes sin and we would do well to remember that on a daily basis.

We are all in the land of the enemy and are subject to his attacks in spirit soul and body, but God says, "Give no place to the Devil" Eph 4:27 That means that the devil cannot take a place in us if we do not let him. We open the way for him to come in if we sin the smallest sin in word, thought or deed and gives place for the devil to do us harm. I'm going to repeat that because it is very important.

We open a way for the devil to come into our lives and attack us when we commit the smallest sin in word, in thought or in deed.



Another way we can let the devil in to attack us is to become apathetic, to become lazy in the amount of time we spend with God seeking his will. If you fit your quiet time in whilst you're eating your breakfast, or making your packed lunch do you expect anyone to believe that God is the most important thing in your life.

Or if you get into bed last thing at night and read your bible for 20 minutes before putting out the light. That's not loving God.

If you love someone you spend lots of time with them, you hang around them as soon as they come in the door you stop watching your favourite TV prog in order to spend time with them. You get up an hour earlier in the morning to be in their prescence. You spend lunch with them. You spend time listening to them, asking them what their desires are? Your weekends are planned around them, so you can be together as much as possible. Does that sound like the time you spend with God?



1 Peter 5:8
-  be vigilant (watch all the time) because your adversary the devil walks about liking a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.'


Job 28:28
- And he said to the human race, "The fear of the Lord-that is wisdom, and to shun evil is understanding."


Psalm 33:8
- Let all the earth fear the LORD; let all the people of the world revere him.

It's a choice! We choose to fear the Lord or to not fear the Lord


Proverbs 1:29
- since they hated knowledge and did not choose to fear the LORD.

How do fear the Lord in practice


Deuteronomy 6:2
- so that you, your children and their children after them may fear the LORD your God as long as you live by keeping all his decrees and commands that I give you, and so that you may enjoy long life.


Psalm 112:1
- Praise the LORD. Blessed are those who fear the LORD, who find great delight in his commands.


Psalm 128:1
- Blessed are all who fear the LORD, who walk in obedience to him


Psalm 34:11-14

Come, my children, listen to me;

I will teach you the fear of the LORD.

Whoever of you loves life

and desires to see many good days,

keep your tongue from evil

and your lips from telling lies.

Turn from evil and do good;

seek peace and pursue it.



Benefits of fearing the Lord



Psalm 112:1 -
Praise the LORD. Blessed are those who fear the LORD, who find great delight in his commands.


Psalm 128:1 -
Blessed are all who fear the LORD, who walk in obedience to him


Psalm 25:14
- The LORD confides in those who fear him; he makes his covenant known to them.

Psalm 34:7 - The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them.


Psalm 34:9
- Fear the LORD, you his holy people, for those who fear him lack nothing


Psalm 103:13
- As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him;
Psalm 147:11 - the LORD delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love.

It's hard work

Proverbs 2 v 1-6

My son, if you accept my words

and store up my commands within you,

turning your ear to wisdom

and applying your heart to understanding-

indeed, if you call out for insight

and cry aloud for understanding,

and if you look for it as for silver

and search for it as for hidden treasure,

then you will understand the fear of the LORD

and find the knowledge of God.

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Pauline_Ponderings

1st March 2012

Imitate me!

1 Thessalonians 1:6-7, and bear in mind Paul is talking of himself - “You became imitators of us and of the Lord;...And so you became a model to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia” The word “imitate” used here means a pattern, sketch, and an outline of what a Christian is . 1 Corinthians 4:16 says “I urge you then to imitate me “

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Paul is saying look at me and do what I do. 1 Thessalonians 3:7-10 gives us a practical example. Paul says “For you yourselves know how you ought to follow our example. We were not idle when we were with you, nor did we eat anyone’s food without paying for it. On the contrary, we worked night and day, laboring and toiling so that we would not be a burden to any of you. We did this, not because we do not have the right to such help, but in order to offer ourselves as a model for you to imitate.” Hebrews 13:7 advises us to “Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.” He’s not saying be an exact copy! We are all uniquely different. If you give a group of children an outline of an elephant they will all colour them in differently some will be red some will be yellow. We should all be recognisable as Christians but we are different shapes, have different fashion senses and have different personalities. People should notice we’re different! We should stand out from the crowd – not because we’re weird, or have no social skills. We should stand out because we’re reliable, we’re hospitable, we’re friendly, forgiving, we are loving, gentle and self controlled. We should stand out from the crowd because we don’t gossip, everything we say about and to other people is encouraging. We are patient, kind, ready to listen to others rather than just talking about ourselves.

People should want to be around us because the aroma of Jesus oozes from us. We can never be like that unless we stay close to God, He is the key. The more time we spend worshipping him alone, praying to Him on our own, studying his word the more we will become like Him. Then we can say to other Christians “Imitate me!” just as Paul said to the Thessalonians!

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Pauline_Ponderings

15th March 2012

Talk about Him! Show Him!

If you love someone it’s difficult not to talk about them – think about when you first fell in love with someone, their name would slip into conversation all the time. It’s not how much you know that makes it easy to tell others about God; it’s how well you know Him, because if you know Him you can’t fail to be in love with HIM.

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It’s our responsibility as Christians to tell others about God and what He has done for us, in sending His son to die as a sacrifice for our sins. Matt 28:19-20 says "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,  and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you." It is Jesus talking. He is not giving this command to evangelists only but to all His disciples, including us. Acts 1: 8 states "But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." Note the word witness, that’s all evangelism is, witnessing about God’s love. Again it is Jesus talking to his disciples, so it applies to us as well. 2 Timothy 4: 5 instructs "But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry." Please note the words do the work of an evangelist. It is very clear that we cannot opt out of this. I talk to people all the time about my faith because people ask me about it. They want to know what I believe about all sorts of things. If I don’t know where a particular: in the bible is, I have a very bad memory, I can tell you what the: is but not which book chapter and:, I simply tell them I’ll look it up and get back to them. Or if I’m unsure what I believe about something I am honest and tell them I haven’t thought about it or don’t know enough the subject to give them an answer.

I have to tell you that I ask God to send people that ask me about my faith and God is very good at that!

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Pauline_Ponderings

22nd March 2012

Overcoming Envy!

1 Corinthians 13:4 says” Love does not envy.” It is a hard to put into practice at all times. As a divorced woman, I find it hard sometimes not to envy those people who have someone with whom to share their lives. Someone to cuddle up next to on the sofa, someone to share how each day has been, and someone to care about me. Of course I have family and friends who love me dearly but they have busy lives and don’t have the time always to listen, when I need to talk.

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I don’t work at the moment so money isn’t in abundance, so occasionally I envy my sisters who are both very high earners and can buy what they want, when they want. Or I walk past a huge rambling house in the country and think, wouldn’t it be nice to live there.

Mark 7:21-23 mentions envy amongst a list of evils including murder! It states: "For it is from within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come—sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and defile a person.”

Romans 1:29 also has envy included in a list of types of depravity: This list too includes murder "They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice." So evidently envy isn’t too be regarded as a minor sin.

Proverbs 14:30 A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.

In Philippians 4:12, Paul says he has learnt the secret of being content at all times, whether in times of want or times of plenty. The secret I believe is in knowing God our father intimately, the more we know God the easier it is to trust Him that He knows what’s best for us. The next time you find yourself envying someone, try to think of something to thank God for, or just praise Him for who He is.

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  • Jim & Joy Monday think spot

    Hi Pauline pleased we have the chance to share a blessing with you. Your spot on Thursdays is much appreciated and in listening again I want to say how lovely your message was today and how relevant to so many. we are sure many will have blessed in hearing your honesty and concern and your devotion to Christ, He will never no never leave you and will bless you so much as you continue to trust Him for everything including a new man in your life to cuddle up to on a sofa. The sofa is waiting and I am sure as we pray God will soon fill that sofa with someone who can love and cherish you as He most certainly cherishes you. ~Dvid was a man after God’s heart so why shouldn’t you receive a man after God’s heart he has planned just for you. I am sure you are very much aware of Philippians 4:19; where our Lord says He will provide all your needs as you yield yourself to Him in full obedience. Would be nice to hear from you, Please pray for our Monday spot on Dave’s website as we will pray for you Jim& Joyx God bless you love in our Lord Jim and Joy

    Mar 25, 2012 at 12:09 pm

Thursday Ponderings

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Pauline_Ponderings

29th March 2012

Be Kind!

1 Corinthians 13:4 says ”Love is ... kind” How often have we read that verse but not stopped to think about it. Of course I’m kind, we would cry if questioned. But what does kind mean?

The oxford dictionary definition of kind is (adjective ) - having or showing a friendly, generous, and considerate nature:

Well that’s ok ... but is it? How friendly are you? Do you make an effort to speak to people you don’t know at church or do you always speak to people you’ve known for years? How many people that you don’t know very well have you invited back for a coffee in the last month? I’m afraid those of you who are shy do not have a let out clause. You may have to pray a bit harder before you go up and speak to someone you don’t know very well, than those of us who are more confident , but you cannot be a Christian, and remain in the clique you’ve been in for years.

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God doesn’t ask us to do anything that He doesn’t equip us fully to do but do we have faith in Him to be there for us to help us through any awkward silences.

Those of you who are retired – how fantastic is that – you have so many more free hours to serve God, So many free hours to invite people round for coffee. So many free hours to be friendly. So many free hours to be kind.

Just in case you doubt that that’s what God wants you to do. Romans 12:13 “..... practice hospitality.......” Hebrews 13:2 “Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers…” and 1 Peter 4:9 “Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.

Going back to the oxford dictionary definition of kind, just to remind ourselves – “having or showing a friendly, generous, and considerate nature.”

Hmm generous, that’s a tricky one isn’t it. Unfortunately, here in the west our attitude is all too often – well I tithe, that’s enough, or I support such and such a charity. Or a good one is, well I give my time instead. Jesus described what he means by generosity in Matthew 19:21 He said, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.

And in Luke 12:33, he says “Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys.

Obviously generosity applies to time as well but being generous with your time does not mean you don’t have to be generous with your money and possessions.

The last adjective in the dictionary definition of kind is considerate. I think the verse love others as you love yourself sums this up nicely. Basically it means treat others as you would like them to treat you .

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  • Jim and Joy

    Well done Pauline spot on!! Kindness from a Jesus filled heart is so special to us who receive and to those to whom we give. We will pray for you that you will know the loving kindness of the Lord in all that you are seeking Him for . He loves you so much He wil provide all that you need. Let us know which church you attend we would be interested. Love you in the Lord Jim @ Joy

    Mar 29, 2012 at 2:46 pm
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Pauline_Ponderings

7th June 2012

Be Loving!

Love does not boast, it is not proud. I have linked these two together because I think they are related but also because I do not know many Christians that have a problem with boasting or pride.

Culturally it is not acceptable to boast, if asked if I can cook and if I was born in Germany, I could say yes I'm an excellent cook! But being English, I could be the winner of Masterchef and I would have to reply "Well I'm not a bad cook", or something similar!

I pray constantly that if I ever get good at preaching that I will not become proud of that. I know I've got a long way to go but I believe God has called me into a teaching and preaching ministry so I'm kind of assuming that I will be good sometime in the future, but I want to give God the glory and not become arrogant. It's much more difficult to become arrogant when you serve behind the scenes as I have done for the first 40 years of my life. If God uses you to raise people from the dead or heal people miraculously, there is a much greater danger that you might forget that it is God doing the work . As people we do look up to the folk whom God uses, we put them on pedestals and we want them to pray for us rather than another member of the congregation. It is the same God who works through us all! If God is using us it is because He chooses to, it is His power that heals, it is His power that casts out evil spirits and it is His power that raises people from the dead.-

In my experience, God tends not to use people who are not listening to Him, so if He has told you to forgive someone or love someone that has hurt you and you are saying No - don't want to, won't do that- He is unlikely to choose you to raise people from the dead - until you are back walking in obedience.

If you have a powerful job, if you earn a high salary, if you are particularly beautiful, handsome or intelligent - BE CAREFUL. Make sure you don't consider those in humble jobs, those who are less attractive in the worlds' eyes, those who earn next to nothing as less valuable, make sure you treat them as an equal - make sure you invite them round to dinner and to your yacht in the Bahamas.

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Pauline_Ponderings

14th June 2012

Love is not rude!

Love is not rude. I really struggle to think of times when I’m rude to people or am even tempted to be so. Then it dawned on me , even if I am rude inside my head it is unloving. And I recalled a time sitting outside a cafe in Trowbridge last summer, sitting there people watching. I noticed a couple dressed not in the same way I would dress, and to my shame after watching them for a bit, I wrote them off as losers. They were sat outside a cafe opposite. Then a severely disabled person walked by and stopped to speak to them, the person stopped and chatted for ages and I felt ashamed, I knew that I had judged these people on their outside appearance and not on what was in their hearts. They were clearly very compassionate and kind and Jesus would have loved how they were spending their time.

So check out your thought life – how many times do you judge people in an unloving way and think things which might be considered rude. Our thought lives are so important, it is easy to dismiss them because no one else can see what we are thinking and a thought can come and go in a flash. But thoughts reveal what our heart is like. Jesus said “Do not worry.” Worry is something that happens in our thought life and robs us of our peace, it shows a lack of trust in a good God to work everything for the good of those of us who love HIM. Unforgiveness, bitterness and resentment tend to occur in our thoughts and certainly it is in our thoughts where they take hold and take root. I don’t need to tell you what damage it does to replay a hurt or offence over and over in our minds.

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Pauline_Ponderings

28th June 2012

Love is not self-seeking!

1 Corinthians 13 :5 “Love is not self-seeking.” So often when we get angry with others, it’s because we are looking after number one. If someone cuts in on us in their car and there has been no accident, what are we so upset about? That they have overtaken us, that they are in front of us. The same thing happens when someone gets served before us that shouldn’t have been in a shop, all our indignation rises up. But if we are not self seeking, if we seek the interests of others as much as we seek our own, we would not get angry.

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I remember an illustration from a long time ago, so I will use it today. If a bowl of fruit is passed round and some of the fruit is perfect and some of it is bruised. The first Christian that is passed the bowl of fruit should take a damaged piece so that others may have the perfect fruit.

The opposite of being self seeking is being generous. So be generous with your time, if someone asks you for a lift when you would rather be reading a book, say yes to them. Invite people round for meals. You don’t have to do a fancy meal, most people are coming round for the company anyway. The bible says that God puts single people in families, but He requires you families to ask the single people round. So go on be generous with your food and your time. Invite someone to join you and your family next time you go to the cinema or out for a walk. It is hard being single, spending every weekend on your own. With a little thought and minimum effort you can make a huge difference. If you tythe, God allows you to keep 90% of your money so make sure you remember that it really all belongs to Him, so be generous with it.

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Pauline_Ponderings

5th July 2012

Love is not easily angered!

1 Corinthians 13:5 “Love is not easily angered.” That means we should not be offended easily, we should give people a bit of slack. Perhaps they are under a lot of stress, perhaps they or one of their loved ones is seriously ill. Perhaps they have just lost their job.

Nobodys perfect. I think as Christians we tend to expect other Christians to be kind, loving generous etc at all times. That simply isn’t realistic, we are all at different stages in our Christian walk and will react differently to different situations. Moreover we have all had different experiences growing up and that too shapes how we react to certain situations.

So next time someone offends you, ignore it, don’t repeat the offence to someone else or replay it in your mind, you’ll only make it worse. Move on, do not dwell on it. Forgive them.

Verse 5 also says Love keeps no record of wrongs, it is kind of an extension to not being easily angered. If you forgive someone when they wrong you, that means you keep no record of wrong doing. You do not tell anyone about the wrongdoing and you don’t keep thinking about it.

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Pauline_Ponderings

12th July 2012

Love does not delight in evil...

“Love does not delight in evil” says 1 Corinthians 13:6. Love is not happy when others are guilty of crime, or when then, in any way, sin. We should not find enjoyment in hearing others accused of wrongdoing, and in having it proved that they did it. We do not take delight in the tale that they have done wrong; or in discovering that it has been proven. Bad people often find pleasure in this (see Romans 1:32), and rejoice when others have fallen into sin, and have disgraced and ruined themselves.

We sometimes rejoice when an enemy, a persecutor, or a slanderer has committed some crime, and when he has shown an improper spirit, uttered a rash expression, or taken some step which shall involve him in ignominy. But love does none of these things. So we should not do any of these things either. We should not desire that an enemy, a persecutor, or a slanderer should do evil, or should disgrace and ruin himself. We should not be happy, but sad - when a personal friend or foe has done anything wrong. We should neither love the wrong, nor the fact that it has been done..

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Thursday Ponderings

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Pauline_Ponderings

19th July 2012

He will carry you...

My mum was extremely poor when she was older and could not afford to eat properly. Because of that for a long time I had a fear that I would be poor when I was old and not be able to afford to eat.

Then one day I came across Isaiah 46:4 - “Even to your old age and grey hairs I am He, I am He who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and rescue you.” The verse went straight to my heart and gave me comfort and every time I start to get worried, I simply quote the verse and my peace comes back.

What a wonderful promise, from whatever age you are now until you are old and grey God the Father, the most powerful being in the universe will look out for you. He will sustain you! He will nourish you, keep you going, support you, help and aid you. What more could we possibly need!

When we’re too tired to continue, He will carry us! When we run out of our own strength He will give us His strength! Isaiah 40:31 - “but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

This is just another way of saying He will carry us.

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Pauline_Ponderings

26th July 2012

He will provide...

Matthew 6:25-27; 31-34 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?  Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?  Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? ... So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."

It is a particularly helpful in the light of todays economic climate. If you lose your job, do not worry. Your father in heaven will take care of your needs. Please note , it is not our wants but our needs He promises to provide. So don’t think you can buy what you want and of course if possible you need to save when you are in work. Be wise, don’t use credit card and overdrafts as a normal way of living. And if you are, see if you can budget to pay them off as quickly as possible. We have to honour God in how we spend our money then He will honour us in Matthew 6.

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  • Mary

    Do you really understand Forgiveness??? Break it down, For-Give, there is something in it, For you the minute you Give it away, When you give a person that which you feel has been stolen from you, the very thing they stole,is no longer yours but theirs,it is impossible for them to steal what is theirs, You have just given yourself freedom from the torment of holding on to a grudge, un for give ness, is a form of fear, (fear of not getting recompence for something taken from you) whether it be your time, money , food, clothes, housing, etc. fear is torment, when you hold un for give ness you are forcing yourself to live in torment, torment is from the devil, it keeps you bound in self pity, thus totally immobilizing you You are unable to do anything, you are in a state of paralysis, You have just given your freedom to the very one that you are holding this ought against, Now they either do not care or are not aware that they have wronged you, they are living their life, But your un-forgiveness has paralyzed you, Ask Yourself this question( Do I really want another person, place or thing to control me and my life that way?) If the answer is no, then give it up and give it to God, and walk in the freedom of Forgiveness He died to give you!!! Have a blessed day in His Love.

    Jul 29, 2012 at 4:08 pm
  • Mary

    Do you not know that when you are born again That God has just created a new Spirit being that has never been in exsitence before, You are a Brand New Creature !!!! Ready to begin a brand new life in Jesus,!!!!! Do not let negative people keep you in the past, Stand Up And Go Forward with the Grace(POWER) of God!!!

    Jul 31, 2012 at 6:29 pm
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Pauline_Ponderings

2nd August 2012

When Life Gets Difficult, He Is Always there...

Sometimes life gets very difficult and you can’t see how God could possibly love you and you don’t want to read your bible let alone pray. You would be surprised at the range of things that can produce this feeling. Your helpful Christian friends might tell you, that you shouldn’t feel like that and point you to passages of scripture that show this. But nothing changes the way you feel.

My advice is to wait for it to pass, it will do – although it may well be horrible whilst it’s happening. You feel like you’ve had your right hand cut off, you feel Abandoned and desolate. But God is still there and He does love you, despite any evidence to the contrary.

At times like these, I phone up a trusted friend and try and quote psalm 139 over and over.

7 Where can I go from your Spirit?

Where can I flee from your presence?

8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;

if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.

9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,

if I settle on the far side of the sea,

10 even there your hand will guide me,

your right hand will hold me fast.

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Pauline_Ponderings

9th August 2012

Hearing a gentle whispering voice...

Isaiah 30: 21 “Whether you turn to the right or the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you saying, this is the way, walk in it.”

God promises to guide us thro’ each decision we have to make. He says in james 1 verse 5 if any of you lack wisdom you should ask God. All we need to do is try to live a Godly life, and truly desire to do what God wants us to do and He will guide us. Often we have to use common sense, as well in the decision making process or get advice from experts or friends but ultimately we will make the decision God wants us to make. He knows what decision we are going to make, He isn’t taken by surprise.

Sometimes He will talk to us in a dream or in the silence when we are listening to Him but often decisions are made just be weighing up the pros and cons of each option. God has given us all a certain amount of intelligence and He expects us to use it. Obviously if there is a scripture which we can use to guide us, that is helpful. It is never right to make a decision to steal or lie for example.

Unfortunately scripture doesn’t cover all situations and this is where it is best to get advice or talk to people who are close to God, or just people that you trust,particularly if the decision to be made is life changing such as marriage, divorce or changing a job. Often it is God s peace which guides us and if you make a decision and God s peace is lacking, you probably have made the wrong decision.

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Pauline_Ponderings

16th August 2012

Life beside still waters...

Psalm 23:2 “He leads me beside quiet waters.

For those of you with a hectic life this is of course a blessing and very much appreciated. Any quietness amongst the busy-ness, the rushing around of every day life is gratefully received. But sometimes the quiet waters, if they last for a long period, can cease to feel like a blessing. Most of us get our self worth from what we do, what we achieve in a day; So if something, such as an illness or a change in circumstances, causes us not to have anything to do for months on end, our confidence can plummet. We feel lost and of no value.

Probably God is trying to teach us something. It may be that He wants us to spend more time listening to Him, sitting at his feet. It may be that He wants us to get our self worth from Him just being a child of the King, precious to Him, restored, forgiven, giving us a healthy self esteem. I find when listening to God it helps to have a pen and a notebook handy so I can write down anything He wants to say to me. So if you’ve been laid up for any reason, lost your job, been ill, go praise God and ask Him what He’s trying to teach you. It isn’t easy, I know from personal experience and if you’re not in a place to praise God then tell Him how angry and frustrated you are. God longs for you to be honest with Him, He knows how you’re feeling and He wants to reassure you of His love for you.

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Thursday Ponderings

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Pauline_Ponderings

23rd August 2012

Luke 10:38-42 tell the story of two sisters. Jesus drops in for a visit and Mary sits at His feet listening to Him whilst her sister makes preparations for the meal. Martha complains to Jesus that Mary has left her to do all the work but Jesus says that Mary has chosen the best thing.

How often do we fill our lives with church meetings, church activities and leave out the most important thing - spending time with God? Of course there is a place for church meetings and house groups and prayer meetings but sometimes we miss out doing the things that God would have us do like visiting those in prison or hospital, feeding the hungry, befriending the lonely because we simply don’t have any time to do those things after we’ve been to all our church meetings.

So take time out to ask God which meetings He wants you to attend, you may be surprised at the result. And then if He frees up some time for you ask Him what He wants you to do instead, it may be joining the local golf club so you can tell people there about Jesus or it may be spending time with your family. But you won’t know until you ask.

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Thursday Ponderings

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Pauline_Ponderings

30th August 2012

Jeremiah 29:11 “I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

~

What a glorious promise to hang on to, the most powerful person in the universe has plans for you and me. These plans are for our good. I think this is what prosper means in the context above it doesn’t mean God plans to make us all billionaires. He does however promise to supply all our needs and in a climate like Great Britain – that means a roof over our head and food and water and clothes.

~

He has our future in His hands, it is a future to look forward to in wonder and awe at what God is going to do with our lives. He says they are plans to give us hope, so if your life isn’t the way you want it at the moment , hang on in there, God’s going to change it, all you have to do is be obedient.

~

God loves us so much, this promise proves it for me and if God has declared it, it must be true and it will come to pass. So you can tell Satan to go away, the next time He makes you despair of your future and quote this verse out loud, then believe it.

~

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Thursday Ponderings

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Pauline_Ponderings

28th February 2013

He will carry you...

My mum was extremely poor when she was older and could not afford to eat properly. Because of that for a long time I had a fear that I would be poor when I was old and not be able to afford to eat.

Then one day I came across Isaiah 46:4 - “Even to your old age and grey hairs I am He, I am He who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and rescue you.” The verse went straight to my heart and gave me comfort. Every time I start to get worried, I simply speak the verse to myself and my peace comes back.

What a wonderful promise, from whatever age you are now until you are old and grey God the Father, the most powerful being in the universe will look out for you. He will sustain you! He will nourish you, keep you going, support you, help and aid you. What more could we possibly need!

When we’re too tired to continue, He will carry us! When we run out of our own strength He will give us His strength! Isaiah 40:31 - “but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

This is just another way of saying He will carry us!

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Thursday Ponderings

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Pauline_Ponderings

11th April 2013

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G’day and welcome to Pauline's Thursday Ponderings!

When we are going through a difficult time it is sometimes hard to believe that you are the apple of Gods eye. God gave me a picture once. I asked God what I was worth. God tied a tag round my neck with a piece of string, the kind of price tag that they have in old fashioned shops. The tag read £10, then he removed the tag and replaced it with one that read £100, then he removed that one and replaced it with one that had £1000 on it. He replaced the £1000 price tag with one that read £100,000 and then replaced that one with a million pound price tag. The final price tag simply had ‘ONE LIFE’ written on it. I find it mind blowing that God chose to let His Son die a hideously painful death so that I can enjoy a personal relationship with him that I am so valuable that even if I was the only human being that existed, God would have allowed Jesus to die on a cross for me.

Remind yourself of this fact frequently and you will get a glimpse of your father’s heart. He loves you to bits and is proud of you no matter what you have done in the past - if you have said sorry and meant it - it is forgotten. The slate is completely clean. 2 Corinthians 5 verse 17 says’ Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come’

God’s love for you is unconditional. God created us with a thirst to be secure, to have self worth and to have a sense of our own significance. That thirst is intended to be quenched by God himself, by His unconditional love for us and unconditional acceptance of our work. I John 3 verse 1 says’ How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called the children of God.! And that is what we are!’ Ephesians 2 verse 10 says’ We are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepares for us in advance to do.’

Unfortunately many of us try and get our security and sense of self worth from our spouses or parents. Whilst that can be okay if we have a particularly adoring spouse or an encouraging mum and dad, it goes badly wrong if we have a critical spouse or a parent that withholds praise. Our self esteem really suffers in the case of a verbally critical spouse or parent and is affected just as badly by someone who is slow to give praise.

Galatians 4: 7 says Because you are sons,” God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out “Abba, Father.” So you are no longer a slave but a son and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir.’

Our aim should be to please God and fulfil his purposes for our lives. If it is we will discover a sense of security, value and significance in God and then it will not matter if our boss does not appreciate us or if our spouse criticises us.

We should be aiming to enjoy God, to have a life of worship and to get to know God better each day. God adores us and considers us adorable, He is proud of our achievements but is so much more thrilled with our efforts to get to know Him better.

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Thursday Ponderings

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Pauline_Ponderings

18th April 2013

Be Kind!

1 Corinthians 13:4 says ”Love is ... kind” How often have we read that verse but not stopped to think about it. Of course I’m kind, we would cry if questioned. But what does kind mean? The oxford dictionary definition of kind is (adjective ) - having or showing a friendly, generous, and considerate nature...

~

Well that’s ok ... but is it? How friendly are you? Do you make an effort to speak to people you don’t know at church or do you always speak to people you’ve known for years? How many people that you don’t know very well have you invited back for a coffee in the last month? I’m afraid those of you who are shy do not have a let out clause. You may have to pray a bit harder before you go up and speak to someone you don’t know very well, than those of us who are more confident , but you cannot be a Christian, and remain in the clique you’ve been in for years.

~

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God doesn’t ask us to do anything that He doesn’t equip us fully to do but do we have faith in Him to be there for us to help us through any awkward silences. Those of you who are retired – how fantastic is that – you have so many more free hours to serve God, So many free hours to invite people round for coffee. So many free hours to be friendly. So many free hours to be kind.#

~

Just in case you doubt that that’s what God wants you to do. Romans 12:13 “..... practice hospitality.......” Hebrews 13:2 “Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers…” and 1 Peter 4:9 “Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.

~

Going back to the oxford dictionary definition of kind, just to remind ourselves – “having or showing a friendly, generous, and considerate nature.” Hmm generous, that’s a tricky one isn’t it. Unfortunately, here in the west our attitude is all too often – well I tithe, that’s enough, or I support such and such a charity. Or a good one is, well I give my time instead.

~

Jesus described what he means by generosity in Matthew 19:21 He said, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” And in Luke 12:33, he says “Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys.

~

Obviously generosity applies to time as well but being generous with your time does not mean you don’t have to be generous with your money and possessions. The last adjective in the dictionary definition of kind is considerate. I think the verse love others as you love yourself sums this up nicely. Basically it means treat others as you would like them to treat you .

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~

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Thursday Ponderings

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Pauline_Ponderings

25th April 2013

About Healing!

~

Healing doesn’t always happen first time. It is ok to ask again. Even when Jesus prayed for healing it didn’t always happen completely first time and he had to pray again. In Mark 8 verses 22-26, Jesus spits on a blinds mans eyes and puts his hands on him, then asks him if he can see. The blind man replies he can see people that look like trees walking around. Jesus puts his hands on the blind mans’ eyes once more and only then is his eyesight restored to normal.

~

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Healing does not require the person being healed to have faith. Jesus healed people who had no faith for healing. Luke 7:11 -15 tells of Jesus raising a man from the dead without being asked to do so, by anyone. Again in Luke 13:10-13 Jesus heals a woman who had been crippled for 18 years, she doesn’t ask him to and demonstrates no faith that she believes he can heal her, he just chooses to do so.

~

Ill health can be a sign that there is sin in the person’s life but not always. Many times when Jesus heals someone there is no mention of sin. In John 9:2 the disciples ask Jesus about a blind man.’ Rabbi’, they said ‘who sinned, this man or his parents?’ Jesus replies’ Neither this man nor his parents sinned, this happened that the works of God may be displayed in him.’ At other times as in Matthew 9: 2 the person is told your sins are forgiven. Interestingly the mans health is not restored. It is only when the teachers of the law accuse him of blasphemy that He decides to heal the man. Obviously faith can play a part in healing. In Mark 10 Jesus heals Bartimaeus, with the words ‘ your faith has healed you’.

~

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~

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Pauline_Ponderings

2nd May  2013

About Judging Others!

There are warnings against judging people. Matthew 7:1- 2 ’Do not judge or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you.’ So it is not safe.

~

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Matthew 7:3-4 and John 8:7 say we are not qualified to judge. ‘Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? Jesus said, ‘let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her’ (woman caught in adultery, which by law was punishable by stoning to death).

~

Romans 14:4 tell us that it is not our business to judge. ‘Who are you to judge someone else’s servant?’ 1 Corinthians 4:5 tells us not to judge because it is not relevant ‘Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait until the Lord comes.’

How are you doing when it comes to judging and not judging?

~

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Pauline_Ponderings

9th May 2013

Concerning Discernment!

If you listened to last weeks Thursday Ponderings about judging, you will have heard some strong warnings against judging others. However we are encouraged to judge in the sense of using discernment.

~

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Luke 12:57 “Why don’t you judge for yourselves what is right?” John 7:24 “Stop judging by mere appearances, instead judge correctly!” and 1 Corinthians 2: 15-16 “The person with the spirit makes judgements about all things, but such a person is not subject to merely human judgements, for who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.

~

Jesus tells Simon that he has judged correctly in Luke 7:43. Hebrews 5:14 says that solid food is for the mature Christian who by constant use have trained themselves to discern what is good and what is evil. Discernment is listed as a gift of the spirit in 1 Corinthians 12:10, so it is clear that judging in a discerning way is supposed to be part of a Christian’s life.

So what is the key? It is the help of the Holy Spirit. Jesus had the delicate balance. He knew what was in people and was realistic about sin but He did not come to condemn. John 3:17 is clear about that. Jesus said God did not send his Son to condemn the world, but to save the world. His motive in discerning sin in people was always one of love. So next time you go to judge, ask for guidance from the Holy Spirit and wisdom as to whether you should open your mouth. If you have a judgmental though which is condemning ask for forgiveness.

~

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Thursday Ponderings

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Pauline_Ponderings

16th May 2013

No Separation from God!

Sometimes, when I’m going through a very hard time, I get concerned that if it came to the point in England where we were persecuted for our faith that I might not be strong enough and might deny my faith. I am not afraid of dying but I definitely am afraid of being tortured. At other times I have been close to not believing in a God of love. However I should not worry Gods word is clear on both subjects. John 10:28 says “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand.” How reassuring is that?

Romans 8:38-39 “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

That means that nothing I do or say can separate me from the love of God. I find that so comforting and so should you. God loves you and He has no intention of letting you go.

~

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~

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Thursday Ponderings

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Pauline_Ponderings

23rd May 2013

G’day and welcome to Pauline's Thursday Ponderings!

Ephesians 6: 10 – 17 - Finally, receive your power from the Lord and from his mighty strength. Put on all the armor that God supplies. In this way you can take a stand against the devil’s strategies. This is not a wrestling match against a human opponent. We are wrestling with rulers, authorities, the powers who govern this world of darkness, and spiritual forces that control evil in the heavenly world. For this reason, take up all the armor that God supplies. Then you will be able to take a stand during these evil days. Once you have overcome all obstacles, you will be able to stand your ground. So then, take your stand! Fasten truth around your waist like a belt. Put on God’s approval as your breastplate. Put on your shoes so that you are ready to spread the Good News that gives peace. In addition to all these, take the Christian faith as your shield. With it you can put out all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Also take salvation as your helmet and the word of God as the sword that the Spirit supplies.

Christians are to put on the armour of God for we are in a spiritual battle at all times. Let's look briefly at each piece!

  • It talks about the belt or girdle of truth or sincerity. If we are not sincere in our faith we may fall.
  • The breast plate of righteousness is talking about the righteousness we claim from Christ dying for our sins. It is important to keep short accounts with God, when we sin we need to say sorry fast and turn from our sin otherwise we cannot rely on Christ’s righteousness as our breast plate. Any sin drives a wedge between us and God and leaves Satan a space to get a foothold in our lives.
  • On our feet should be the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. Are you renowned as a peace maker? Does peace follow you? Do you forgive easily and let go of wrongs?
  • The shield of faith is essential, satan continually attacks our faith and our thought life. We need to stand strong in our faith,resist the devil and he will flee.
  • The helmet of salvation covers our mind and protects it. Rest in Gods salvation, we did not earn it He gave it to us freely because He loves us.
  • The sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, is a brilliant way of standing up to the devil. Quote scripture at Him, He will run so fast. That is what Christ did when He was led to the dessert for 40 days and nights to be tempted. Of course to quote scripture you have to know it so if you don’t know lots make sure its a goal to learn some handy ones such as: He who is in you, is greater than he who is in the world! Nothing can separate us from the love of God and there is no condemnation in Christ Jesus! Isn’t that the best news for the Christian?

Come back tomorrow for more on Partakers! Why not leave me a comment below to let me know your thoughts! Thank you!

(You can find a more about the Spiritual Armour on this site by clicking here: http://davegroberts.podbean.com/2010/09/07/add-spiritual-armour/

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Thursday Ponderings

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Pauline_Ponderings

Pauline's Thursday Ponderings!

30th May 2013

G’day and welcome to Pauline's Thursday Ponderings!

~~~~~

James 5:1-6 Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming on you. Your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes. Your gold and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire. You have hoarded wealth in the last days. Look! The wages you failed to pay the workers who mowed your fields are crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty. You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence. You have fattened yourselves in the day of slaughter. You have condemned and murdered the innocent one, who was not opposing you.

~~~~~

These words from the book of James contain strong warnings. But what has this to do with me I hear you ask, I am not wealthy. If you wear shoes and have access to clean water, that makes you rich comparatively. And I believe with that comes responsibility as a Christian. I believe we have a responsibility to buy fair trade food when it is on offer. We need to buy our clothes from companies that have well respected ethical policies. Get informed through Tearfunds Lift The Label campaign. We should not want to buy clothes that have been produced in a sweatshop.

~~~~~

Another practical thing you could do is join the Micah challenge to lobby governments about the promises they made to alleviate global poverty and to attain the Millenium development goals.

~~~~~

Review your charity donations and work out exactly what proportion of your income you are giving away. Pray to see if God wants you to give away more or less.

~~~~~

I hope these suggestions will help you deal with your wealth responsibly and in a Christ like way.

~~~~~

Let me finish with some words from the prophet Micah . Micah 6:8 “He has shown you O man what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God."

~~~~~

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Pauline_Ponderings

Pauline's Thursday Ponderings!

6th June 2013

G’day and welcome to Pauline's Thursday Ponderings!

~~~~~

Self discipline is a valuable skill to have as a Christian. Proverbs 13:18 states “He who ignores discipline comes to poverty and shame.” If we ignore discipline we are foolish because it will only end with our lives in tatters. The trouble is discipline has negative connotations of rules, of school, of being yelled at or punished or of a list of deprivations, a list of don’t do this or that. However if you talk to any successful sportsman or woman they will tell you that they train for hours every day in order to win their events at com[petitions. Training develops speed, muscle and endurance If we want to achieve our highest potential in any field or walk of life, whether it is as a spouse, a parent or a business person, if we dream of honouring God in every part of our life, we need discipline.

~~~~~

Proverbs 6:6-8 “Go to the ant you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! It has no commander or overseer or ruler yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest.”

~~~~~

The point that is being made is that although no one is telling it to work hard and store up food, the ant because it is disciplined and hard working does so. Even though it is small it manages to store up food to see it through the winter. Verse 10 and 11 of the same chapter say that if you are lazy and are lacking self-discipline, then you will end up poor. A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands in rest and poverty will come upon you like a bandit. Of course this is not saying we should not rest, as our bodies need times of relaxation and rest. It is merely warning of the dangers of an undisciplined life. The commands and corrections of verse 23 are Gods commands, they keep us on the straight and narrow.

~~~~~

Proverbs 6:23 tells us that these commands are a lamp, this teaching a light, and the corrections of discipline are the way to life. So think about the different areas of your life do any of them require more self discipline, if so make it your goal to introduce that today and the coming months.

~~~~~

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Thursday Ponderings

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Pauline_Ponderings

Pauline's Thursday Ponderings!

13th June 2013

G’day and welcome to Pauline's Thursday Ponderings!

~~~~~

Maturity as a person is about growing up, becoming responsible for looking after oneself, making our own decisions. As a child someone else makes our decisions for us, and someone else pays the bills and buys our food and clothes. Some people as adults find it hard to make decisions, this is often because they were not allowed to make decisions as they grew up and therefore have no trust in their own judgement.

~~~~~

As a Christian God longs that we become mature in spiritual matters. That we learn to trust him when things appear to be not working out. That we lay before Him, important decisions and surrender to His will. I have found that if I am spending time with Him on a daily basis and am leading my life according to His commands, then the decisions I make are the ones that He wants me to make. Even on little things like buying a birthday present, I pray that God will inspire me and I normally find out that the present I bought was just what the person wanted.

~~~~~

From Ephesians 4:14-15 we learn that we are not to remain as infants tossed back and forth by the waves and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning And craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is Christ.

~~~~~

Clearly this is saying we need in order to be mature to know what our bible says and what it means, so we won’t be led astray by false teaching. Also we need to speak the truth, which is an important part of being a Christian. So, I know I’ve said this before but you need to spend time with God, reading his word. You need to be careful that you don’t lie and you need to listen to God.

~~~~~

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Thursday Ponderings

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Pauline_Ponderings

Pauline's Thursday Ponderings!

20th June 2013

G’day and welcome to Pauline's Thursday Ponderings!

~~~~~

Social action is a funny phrase and somehow implies you need lots of time to get involved. But it really means helping others in a practical way and can be as easy as making a couple of extra portions of shepherd’s pie and giving them to someone who is in need of a meal. It could be someone whose lost their job, someone who has been in hospital whether for an operation, illness or having a baby. There are also lots of lonely old people out there who would appreciate half an hour of your time once a week, and hospices and hospitals are crying out for volunteers in all sorts of capacities. It may mean offering to babysit for a friends children to give them a night off. These are just a few ideas, I’m sure if you think about it and if you have any spare time you can come up with something suitable for you.

~~~~~

James 1:27 “Religion that God our father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after widows and orphans in their distress... “.

~~~~~

James 2 15-17 “Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by some action is dead.”

~~~~~

But just a warning for those of you who do so much that you are continually exhausted and find it difficult to fit in time alone with God. You have the opposite problem and must cut out some of your activities. You are of no use if you burn out and much more likely to sin if you are exhausted all the time. Neglecting time alone with God is a fatal move and to be avoided at all cost.

~~~~~

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Thursday Ponderings

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Pauline_Ponderings

27th June 2013

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G’day and welcome to Pauline's Thursday Ponderings!

Where do your security, self worth and significance come from? If they come from God it means you will be able to deal with whatever tragedies life throws at you with an inner peace and a trust that an omnipotent Father is working behind the scenes in your best interests. It does not mean that you won’t get upset or confused or angry. When you break a bone, it hurts, no matter how good your relationship with God. In the same way we feel emotional pain but we won’t go under and our emotions won’t be totally ruled by our circumstances.




Some of us use shopping, or our husbands or possessions to give us a sense of value. Others use their career to give them a sense of significance. Others turn to food or alcohol for comfort or courage. Take some time to reflect where you try to get your deepest needs met. Esther is a good example of a Jewish woman in the bible whose security is in God. She is faced with an edict from her husband the King that all Jews should be put to death. Esther 4:15-16 describes how she reacts to the news: Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai: “Go; gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my attendants will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish.




Esther listens to God and follows his plan. As a result she and all the Jews are saved from death. What an example of emotional stability and dependence on God. If you don’t get your security, self worth and significance from God ask for his forgiveness and ask him to show you how to do so. I will be sharing more about this over the coming weeks.

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Thursday Ponderings

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Pauline_Ponderings

11th July 2013

G’day and welcome to Pauline's Thursday Ponderings!

Some Christians have a clear calling on their lives. They know exactly where they fit in to God’s plan. Esther became Queen ‘for such a time as this’( Esther 4:14) – it was her destiny ordained by God. Others of us get glimpses of how we have helped fulfilled Gods purposes in hindsight. Still others get a sense of what God wants them to do for a period of time, or a season.




The closer and deeper our relationship with God, ie the more time we spend with Him enjoying His presence, chatting to Him, listening to Him, reading His word, worshipping Him, the better our needs for love , value and purpose will be met. Christ offers us fulfilment and a deep satisfaction that cannot be met by anybody or anything else. No matter how good or bad our parents were at meeting our deep spiritual and emotional needs, God in Christ can make us secure.”




At the beginning of Esther 6, Haman goes to find the King to ask His permission to impale Mordecai on the pole that He had confidently set up the night before. However the night before, unbeknown to Haman, God had intervened. God disturbs the Kings sleep so the King gets up and asks for the record of his reign to be read to him. It had been recorded that Mordecai had uncovered a plot to assassinate the king, therefore saving his life. What honour and recognition has been given to Mordecai for this asks the king. Nothing has been done for him reply his attendants.


When Haman enters the court the king asks him, ‘What should be done for the man the king delights to honour, meaning Mordecai. Haman however thinks the king must be referring to himself so he answers ( Esther 6:7-9) “For the man the king delights to honour, have them bring a royal robe the king has worn and a horse the king has ridden, one with a royal crest placed on its head. Then let the robe and horse be entrusted to one of the king’s most noble princes. Let them robe the man the king delights to honour, and lead him on the horse through the city streets, proclaiming before him, ‘This is what is done for the man the king delights to honour!’”


Do you need God’s intervention in a problem? Pray and ask others to pray too and consider fasting. We serve an amazing God who solves problems in unique and unusual ways.

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Thursday Ponderings

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Pauline_Ponderings

11th July 2013

G’day and welcome to Pauline's Thursday Ponderings!

Some Christians have a clear calling on their lives. They know exactly where they fit in to God’s plan. Esther became Queen ‘for such a time as this’( Esther 4:14) – it was her destiny ordained by God. Others of us get glimpses of how we have helped fulfilled Gods purposes in hindsight. Still others get a sense of what God wants them to do for a period of time, or a season.




The closer and deeper our relationship with God, ie the more time we spend with Him enjoying His presence, chatting to Him, listening to Him, reading His word, worshipping Him, the better our needs for love , value and purpose will be met. Christ offers us fulfilment and a deep satisfaction that cannot be met by anybody or anything else. No matter how good or bad our parents were at meeting our deep spiritual and emotional needs, God in Christ can make us secure.”




At the beginning of Esther 6, Haman goes to find the King to ask His permission to impale Mordecai on the pole that He had confidently set up the night before. However the night before, unbeknown to Haman, God had intervened. God disturbs the Kings sleep so the King gets up and asks for the record of his reign to be read to him. It had been recorded that Mordecai had uncovered a plot to assassinate the king, therefore saving his life. What honour and recognition has been given to Mordecai for this asks the king. Nothing has been done for him reply his attendants.


When Haman enters the court the king asks him, ‘What should be done for the man the king delights to honour, meaning Mordecai. Haman however thinks the king must be referring to himself so he answers ( Esther 6:7-9) “For the man the king delights to honour, have them bring a royal robe the king has worn and a horse the king has ridden, one with a royal crest placed on its head. Then let the robe and horse be entrusted to one of the king’s most noble princes. Let them robe the man the king delights to honour, and lead him on the horse through the city streets, proclaiming before him, ‘This is what is done for the man the king delights to honour!’”


Do you need God’s intervention in a problem? Pray and ask others to pray too and consider fasting. We serve an amazing God who solves problems in unique and unusual ways.

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Thursday Ponderings

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Pauline_Ponderings

11th July 2013

G’day and welcome to Pauline's Thursday Ponderings!

Some Christians have a clear calling on their lives. They know exactly where they fit in to God’s plan. Esther became Queen ‘for such a time as this’( Esther 4:14) – it was her destiny ordained by God. Others of us get glimpses of how we have helped fulfilled Gods purposes in hindsight. Still others get a sense of what God wants them to do for a period of time, or a season.




The closer and deeper our relationship with God, ie the more time we spend with Him enjoying His presence, chatting to Him, listening to Him, reading His word, worshipping Him, the better our needs for love , value and purpose will be met. Christ offers us fulfilment and a deep satisfaction that cannot be met by anybody or anything else. No matter how good or bad our parents were at meeting our deep spiritual and emotional needs, God in Christ can make us secure.”




At the beginning of Esther 6, Haman goes to find the King to ask His permission to impale Mordecai on the pole that He had confidently set up the night before. However the night before, unbeknown to Haman, God had intervened. God disturbs the Kings sleep so the King gets up and asks for the record of his reign to be read to him. It had been recorded that Mordecai had uncovered a plot to assassinate the king, therefore saving his life. What honour and recognition has been given to Mordecai for this asks the king. Nothing has been done for him reply his attendants.


When Haman enters the court the king asks him, ‘What should be done for the man the king delights to honour, meaning Mordecai. Haman however thinks the king must be referring to himself so he answers ( Esther 6:7-9) “For the man the king delights to honour, have them bring a royal robe the king has worn and a horse the king has ridden, one with a royal crest placed on its head. Then let the robe and horse be entrusted to one of the king’s most noble princes. Let them robe the man the king delights to honour, and lead him on the horse through the city streets, proclaiming before him, ‘This is what is done for the man the king delights to honour!’”


Do you need God’s intervention in a problem? Pray and ask others to pray too and consider fasting. We serve an amazing God who solves problems in unique and unusual ways.

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Pauline_Ponderings

1st August 2013

G’day and welcome to Pauline's Thursday Ponderings!

The other day when I was chatting to God and He gave me a picture. It was of me with an orange glow around me (as in the “Ready Brek” advert on the TV, for those of you you live in the UK) and there were darts being fired at me but bouncing off. The darts were the horrible words that an acquaintance had been saying to me recently, and reminded me of a situation that I had been through in the past. The darts were not breaking through the protection that surrounded my entire body, i.e. God was saying the words would not hurt me as they had done in the past.




I suddenly knew I had to put on Gods armour every morning without fail and , and I would be fine. We can’t change other people, even if they are a Christian, we can only change how we react to people. Keeping close to God means living a life worthy of Him. Every day your every action, thought and word must be self-monitored. If any one of them is not holy, not what Jesus would do, turn away from that sin. Do Not Do It Again. Repent by asking God for forgiveness and because we serve a merciful and loving God, we are forgiven by Him... Remember, if you are a Christian, you are His child and as a seal of this, the Holy Spirit lives within you!




So if you are being hurt by someone verbally, ask God to protect you emotionally from the hurt of these words. If you have been hurt in the past, or currently being hurt by somebody, then seek the counsel of others such as your church leader or even professional counselling.




If you are hurting somebody with your words, ask forgiveness - from God first of all. But also from the other person if you are able to - ask the Holy Spirit to help you to do this, and He will help - remember He lives inside you and you are His child, and He wants to help you...

With Christian Love, Pauline.

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Pauline_Ponderings

8th August 2013

How does God speak to you? Where do you find it easiest to hear God talking to you? Does God speak to you. Because we are all different and God knows each one of us intimately, He chooses to speak to us in different ways and we find it easier to hear Him in different locations. Some of us prefer to spend time walking in the countryside or in a park, being close to nature, God’s creation is an ideal place to become aware of God’s voice.

There are many different ways that God talks to us. He might whisper in your ear or speak through dreams. He might give you a picture or a word. Sometimes He gives someone else a word or a song for you. I recently had that privilege. A friend gave me a CD with just one song on it, saying God told me to give this to you. It was spot on. She also warned me that I would cry and I did!!!!

I remember reading a book by Peter Lawrence a long time ago, called ‘Hotline To God’. It’s brilliant by the way, but at the time I thought “That’s not fair God, He wasn’t even trying to hear you speak, He didn’t even know that you talk to us and yet you gave him words for people, you healed people through Him!! That’s just not fair!”

But the brilliant thing about God is just that – He does treat us all as individuals, there’s not one way of speaking to us that is better than the rest or more holy!!!

God also may change the way He speaks to us, for years I didn’t ever get a picture from God. Then suddenly I got one. Just the one. Then recently I’ve had quite a few. Just 3 times in the 53 years I’ve been on this planet, I’ve heard an almost audible voice. Words from scripture, in my head but so strongly that it stopped me in my tracks. Why don’t you ask God to speak to you today?

With Christian Love, Pauline.

(Editor note: When God speaks to you, if appropriate, remember to check if it is in agreement with the Bible. God will not tell you do something that is contrary to what is in the Bible.)

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Thursday Ponderings

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Pauline_Ponderings

15th August 2013

There are many things we should do if we love God. One of those things is to spend time getting to know Him, and one of the ways we can achieve this is to read His Word, the Bible.



James 1:22-25 - Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it-not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it-they will be blessed in what they do.

That's a pretty good promise to be blessed in all you do, but you can't do what the word says if you don't know what it says or understand it.

Philippians 2:14-16 - Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, "children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation." Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life.

Again you can't hold firmly to the word of life which is God's word written in the Bible unless you know it.



Ephesians 6 talks about putting on the armour of God to protect ourselves in the spiritual battle, which we all find ourselves involved. Part of the armour of God and a very important part is mentioned in v17.



Ephesians 6:17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.



Again if you don 't know the word of God it is very difficult to quote it at when you need to. I find quoting scripture out loud when I am anxious or fearful very helpful, no matter what the situation.



Hebrews 4:12 "For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart."



The other day I was chatting to a Jehovah's Witness who was door knocking. She mentioned that often she talks to Christians who go to church regularly but don't know their bibles. That made me so sad and I want to encourage you to read your bible more and not only read it but understand it. There are many study aids out there at many different levels to help you, such as the free ones on this website. If you can't afford to buy one I'm sure your vicar or pastor would be happy to help you out..

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Thursday Ponderings

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Pauline_Ponderings

22nd August 2013

Fear of the Lord

It is not popular or common in Christian circles to talk about the fear of the Lord. People much prefer to emphasis a loving, fluffy God who forgives everything. They tend to ignore the discipline side of God. In Acts 5, we have a chilling account of how God deals with two Christians who lie. Basically they drop dead. That is how seriously God takes sin and we would do well to remember that on a daily basis.

We are all in the land of the enemy and are subject to his attacks in spirit soul and body, but God says, "Give no place to the Devil" Eph 4:27 That means that the devil cannot take a place in us if we do not let him. We open the way for him to come in if we sin the smallest sin in word, thought or deed and gives place for the devil to do us harm. I'm going to repeat that because it is very important.

We open a way for the devil to come into our lives and attack us when we commit the smallest sin in word, in thought or in deed.



Another way we can let the devil in to attack us is to become apathetic, to become lazy in the amount of time we spend with God seeking his will. If you fit your quiet time in whilst you're eating your breakfast, or making your packed lunch do you expect anyone to believe that God is the most important thing in your life.

Or if you get into bed last thing at night and read your bible for 20 minutes before putting out the light. That's not loving God.

If you love someone you spend lots of time with them, you hang around them as soon as they come in the door you stop watching your favourite TV prog in order to spend time with them. You get up an hour earlier in the morning to be in their prescence. You spend lunch with them. You spend time listening to them, asking them what their desires are? Your weekends are planned around them, so you can be together as much as possible. Does that sound like the time you spend with God?


  • 1 Peter 5:8 -  be vigilant (watch all the time) because your adversary the devil walks about liking a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.'

  • Job 28:28 - And he said to the human race, "The fear of the Lord-that is wisdom, and to shun evil is understanding."

  • Psalm 33:8 - Let all the earth fear the LORD; let all the people of the world revere him.

    It's a choice! We choose to fear the Lord or to not fear the Lord

  • Proverbs 1:29 - since they hated knowledge and did not choose to fear the LORD.


How do fear the Lord in practice

  • Deuteronomy 6:2 - so that you, your children and their children after them may fear the LORD your God as long as you live by keeping all his decrees and commands that I give you, and so that you may enjoy long life.

  • Psalm 112:1 - Praise the LORD. Blessed are those who fear the LORD, who find great delight in his commands.

  • Psalm 128:1 - Blessed are all who fear the LORD, who walk in obedience to him

  • Psalm 34:11-14

    Come, my children, listen to me;

    I will teach you the fear of the LORD.

    Whoever of you loves life

    and desires to see many good days,

    keep your tongue from evil

    and your lips from telling lies.

    Turn from evil and do good;

    seek peace and pursue it.


Benefits of fearing the Lord

  • Psalm 112:1 - Praise the LORD. Blessed are those who fear the LORD, who find great delight in his commands.

  • Psalm 128:1 - Blessed are all who fear the LORD, who walk in obedience to him

  • Psalm 25:14 -The LORD confides in those who fear him; he makes his covenant known to them.
  • Psalm 34:7 - The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them.

  • Psalm 34:9 - Fear the LORD, you his holy people, for those who fear him lack nothing

  • Psalm 103:13 - As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him;
  • Psalm 147:11 - the LORD delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love.

It's hard work

Proverbs 2:1-6

"My son, if you accept my words

and store up my commands within you,

turning your ear to wisdom

and applying your heart to understanding-

indeed, if you call out for insight

and cry aloud for understanding,

and if you look for it as for silver

and search for it as for hidden treasure,

then you will understand the fear of the LORD

and find the knowledge of God."

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Thursday Ponderings

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Pauline_Ponderings

29th August 2013

Pauline's Ponderings!


I love the honesty of children. I remember knocking on a next door neighbours house, after moving to Dorset. The front door opened to reveal a young boy, “ Why are you so small?” he inquired. I was slightly taken aback, to say the least, as this was the first thing he had uttered.

As adults, we learn to say the right thing. We wear masks sometimes with God, we are not honest with him about how we are feeling about the person at homegroup who is driving us mad, or about our disappointment that we did not get that job we just applied for. God wants us to be honest with Him. Psalm 34:5 says Never hide your feelings from Him... Psalm 62:8 says Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge. (NIV)

This verse brings me on to the next quality I admire in children. That is the absolute trust, young children have in their parents to look after them, to do the right thing for them at all times. It’s that sort of trust our heavenly father wants us to have in Him :-And Jesus said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 18:3 NIV)

No matter what the circumstances seem to be suggesting, we should believe that He is working behind the scenes and that from a heavenly point of view, it will work out in our best interests. And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28 NIV)



When I say a heavenly point of view, I mean, that we might end up with, a bit more compassion for people with health problems, more understanding of how hard it is to face redundancy,once we’ve suffered ill health or lost a job ourselves. We sometimes mistakenly assume that if God is working in our best interests that means we will get our dream job or be healed immediately! That is not always the case!

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Pauline_Ponderings

5th September 2013

Pauline's Ponderings!


We as Christians are all on a journey - our final destination is the same – to live for ever in close relationship with our God! To be in His presence for eternity without sinning ever again!

1 Peter 3:12-14 “as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells. So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him.

We will be free from pain and suffering, we will have new bodies- it’s just going to be amazing. Revelation 21:4 “‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.

Can you imagine it? Have you got a glimpse of heaven in your heart. I personally can’t wait. Paul seems to have the right attitude towards this life and the next. He says in Philippians 3:9-14 “I consider them garbage,(his qualifications as a Jew and a Pharisee) that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

When the worries and cares of this world threaten to overwhelm us we should remember that we are just passing thro’ this is not our home. This always puts things in perspective for me. Why don’t you try it? Next time you feel overwhelmed by the stresses and strains of life on earth just pause and remember Jesus has a mansion in heaven with your name on it.

John 14 :2 gives us this assurance – “In my Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you.

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Thursday Ponderings

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Pauline_Ponderings

12th September 2013

Pauline's Ponderings!

Our words are very important if we wish to honour God. We can use words to hurt or to heal. “With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness.

Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing.” (James 3:9-10)



“Out of the mouth comes the overflow of the heart. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” (Luke 6:45)



This means if our heart is focused on the things of this world, on ourselves, on material things, that’s what our words will reflect. However, if we drench ourselves in Gods Holy Spirit, if our main focus is on God and what He desires, then what we say will reflect Him and bring Him glory.

Obviously we are not perfect, and we will slip up from time to time, particularly if we are stressed. Anybody who has suffered chronic pain will know that "Praise the Lord" isn’t always the first phrase that pops into one’s mind or out of one’s lips!

Of course being in chronic pain or under stress does not give us the licence to swear or be horrible to other people – at these times we need to spend even more time with God, cry out to Him for His help, and acknowledge that we will fail if He doesn’t fill us to overflowing with His Spirit. Do you struggle in this area? Remember to say sorry to God, the minute you slip up and then, put on your robe of righteousness immediately, with thankfulness, and tell Satan to get lost, because he loves to try and make us feel guilty.

Do you agree or disagree with Pauline? Let her know by making a comment below!


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Thursday Ponderings

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Pauline_Ponderings

19th September 2013

Pauline's Ponderings!

Christians are particularly bad at gossiping – they do it in the name of prayer, which makes it worse.

They share some information about someone and then mention that they need prayer. Do not do it. Unless someone has asked you to share information about them, keep it to yourself. Even if someone asks you about the person, don’t say anything – it’s not your info to pass on, it IS GOSSIP.



Although it might seem very unjust, if someone has wronged you in any way, even verbally told lies about you and put you in a bad light you are not allowed to say anything that will put them in a bad light. You are not allowed to slander them, even if they have slandered you! I am using the word slander in the way the bible intends it, not how the oxford English dictionary defines it!



In the Old Testament when the word slander is used, it has often been translated from the Hebrew word meaning ‘ to defame or to strip one of his positive reputation’ In the New Testament, the word for slander is made up from two words, one meaning ‘to speak’ and the other meaning ‘against’. So when you see the word slander in the bible it means the open and intentional sharing of damaging information about someone, whether the information is accurate or not!



Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. (Ephesian 4:29-32)



If you say anything derogatory about them, even if it’s true, it is not in line with God’s word. You can tell one or two of your closest friends, if you need prayer support, but examine your motives for telling them before you do so. It is the motive behind the telling which is crucial. If you are passing the negative information about behaviour because you need support of some kind yourself, that’s fine.

But if you are passing on the info because you want people to know that they are horrible, don’t do it! You need to forgive them and leave God to administer justice. It’s hard and we need to ask God for his help on an hourly basis to make sure our speech is pleasing to Him.

Do you agree or disagree with Pauline? Let her know by making a comment below!

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Thursday Ponderings

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Thought for Thursday

A rich young ruler encounters Jesus!

Mark 10:17 -  As Jesus started on his way; a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. "Good teacher," he asked, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?" "Why do you call me good?" Jesus answered. "No one is good—except God alone. You know the commandments: 'Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, do not defraud, honour your father and mother.'"

"Teacher," he declared, "all these I have kept since I was a boy."

Jesus looked at him and loved him. "One thing you lack," he said. "Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."

At this the man's face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth. Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, "How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!"


Matthew describes him as a young man (Matthew 19:16-26). Luke describes him as a wealthy ruler (Luke 18:18-27). In Mark’s account, he is simply a man (Mark 10:17-22). Put altogether that makes him a rich young ruler. He runs up to Jesus and falls on his knees before him. He wants eternal life, wants it now and so asks Jesus about it. When he calls Jesus a good teacher, Jesus responds “No one is good—except God alone.”


What do you think you are asking?

Now Jesus could have been correcting the young man, but more likely Jesus was asking: “Do you know what you are saying and how close to the truth about me you are?” This young man had fully kept the commandments listed by Jesus (Mark 10:19). However when Jesus said to the young ruler that in order to follow Him, he would have to give up all his wealth in order to have treasure in heaven and eternal life, the man left disconsolate.


That was a step too far for this man. He wanted his riches and also eternal life but Jesus said he couldn’t have both. He remains the only man to have left Jesus’ presence sorrowful, and that due to putting his trust in his riches and wealth alone. Now riches are not necessarily wrong but they do make trusting fully in God very difficult (Mark 10:23). So what does trusting in Jesus look like?


An Outcast Woman encounters Jesus!

Now we look at somebody who was despised by the world and an outcast in her community! Reading from

John 4:3-10, 23-26

So he left Judea and returned to Galilee. He had to go through Samaria on the way. Eventually he came to the Samaritan village of Sychar, near the field that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there; and Jesus, tired from the long walk, sat wearily beside the well about noontime. Soon a Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, “Please give me a drink.” He was alone at the time because his disciples had gone into the village to buy some food.

The woman was surprised, for Jews refuse to have anything to do with Samaritans She said to Jesus, “You are a Jew, and I am a Samaritan woman. Why are you asking me for a drink?”

Jesus replied, “If you only knew the gift God has for you and who you are speaking to, you would ask me, and I would give you living water.”

Then down to verse 23

But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way. For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.”

The woman said, “I know the Messiah is coming—the one who is called Christ. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.”

Then Jesus told her, “I Am the Messiah!”


Now we come to see somebody who accepted Jesus for who he was. Jesus went via Samaria as it was the shortest route back to Galilee. It was hot. Jesus was thirsty and wanted a drink. His disciples had gone into town to get food. So he asks a Samaritan woman to fetch him some water from the well. That he asked a Samaritan would have been bad enough, but to also talk to a woman!

The woman

We don’t know the name of this woman. But by looking at this conversation between Jesus and her, we discover several things about her! That she was a Samaritan. There was equal animosity between Jews and Samaritans, hence the end of John 4v9: “(For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.)” The Samaritans were a mixed race people of both Jewish and Assyrian descent from the time of the division of Israel into two parts and the annexation of the Northern kingdom by Assyria.

She was an outcast, which is why she was fetching water at the hottest part of the day! This was probably due to her sexual immorality having had 5 husbands and currently in a 6th relationship (John 4:18). We do know for sure that she was waiting for the Messiah (John 4:25) to come!


What does this encounter tell us about Jesus?

We see Jesus' genuine humanity. He was tired, drained, hot, thirsty and hungry – normal human feeling and reactions. We know Jesus contravened tradition in that he spoke to a woman who was a Samaritan and a sinner. Respectable Jewish men never did that sort of thing! Hence the disciples reaction in John 4:27! That in asking for water, he was capable of great humility by asking for a drink of water; for by so doing, he was putting himself in her debt.

Yet, he knew the woman’s life of sinfulness (John 4:17) and it tells us of his divinity, when he offered her the water of eternal life (John 4:14) would spiritually satisfy her (John 4:14)! He Loved the woman, and gave her the most revealing and explicit statement we have in the Gospels as to who he really was (John 4:26) when he said outright “I Am the Messiah!” Remember, he said that to an outcast and non-Jew! Amazing!

When the disciples returned, the woman left her water jar, (quite probably one of her only possessions) and went back to the town to tell other people about this Jesus (John 4:29-30). In the remainder of John 4, we read of the many people coming to faith because of the Samaritan woman’s testimony.

Jesus as the ‘I AM’, was ever-reaching out with an all-encompassing forgiveness and love to the poor or rich, learned or uneducated, male or female, wanted or unwanted, Jew, Gentile or Samaritan. Through his exclusive claims there is a great inclusiveness of all who are willing to submit only to Him, as both the rich young ruler and the Samaritan women found out – both with different outcomes – one left dejected and the other left celebrating! Thank you!

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Thursday Ponderings

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Thursday Thinking

23 January 2014


Hi, I’m James Prescott!
I want to share with you today about thankfulness.

When we are given Christmas or birthday presents, we are usually very thankful for them. We say thank you to the people who gave them to us, we take extra care of them, we don’t let everyone else use them. But once we’ve had this gift a while, we begin to take it for granted. It becomes a ‘normal’ part of our daily lives. We can forget how grateful we were, and how thankful we should be. Please do download & play the mp3 to hear more about what I have to share about Thankfulness!

James Prescott is a writer, author and blogger from near London. He blogs at JamesPrescott.co.uk on how we can become divinely human and find hope in the messiness of life. He is author of the books ‘5 Steps to Encouragement’ & it’s companion ‘Reflections on Encouragement’, which you can get free by clicking here.


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