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Joy
Posted By Nan

Proverbs: 23:24

As with Proverbs 17:21, this verse is about parents rejoicing when their children grow up and become wise. Wisdom here is not earthly wisdom, but wisdom that comes from knowledge of God.

In reading this chapter and especially verse 24, the experience of parents whose children have troubled lives is brought to my mind. Not long ago a high profile couple lost one of their children to the aftereffects of much tragedy. She developed an eating disorder and eventually it killed her.

Friends of mine were deeply affected by this. Not because they knew this young person or their family. But because it brought to their minds the similar journey of their own child.

This brought to my mind another family who lost two children to suicide after being abused by a man in their local church. 

The evil done to children has a devastating effect. It can cause terrible impacts on that child’s future. For many children who have faced such horror, the future is one of pain and shame. The child believes it is their fault this happened to them. When the evil doers within church institutions seek to cover up this great crime against this child, then the child is even more shamed. Many of these abused children develop addictions as a way to cope with the pain of what was done to them. Many will die, either deliberately, or by accident.

We can bring our children up in the ways of God. But what do we do when that is thwarted by those who are more interested in evil than God?

We can be happy when our children have learned the ways of God and avoided trauma.

We can be happy when our child has been able to receive the help they need to recover from trauma.

We do not judge others if their children suffer from the impacts of trauma in their lives.

We stand by our children and feel joy at the way God works in their lives, whatever journey they go on to reach the point of faith in God.

 

 
Joy
Posted By Nan

Proverbs: 21:15

In today’s world this verse is one of the most telling and poignant.

When justice is done good people celebrate, but for those who follow evil, justice is a disaster.

Justice looks like indigenous groups being respected. It does not look like building a pipeline through the middle of a sacred area or destroying 46,000 year old caves so that evil men can make money out of the minerals in the earth.

Justice looks like a young man being able to walk down the street, or enter a shop, without being looked upon suspiciously or being questioned by the police, or worse.

Justice looks like homeless people being given access to water, food and shelter and not being treated as though they make the neighbourhood look bad.

Justice looks like innocent people being found not-guilty not like stacked juries who lack impartiality.

Justice looks like innocent people not being pursued by poorly managed government departments that cook up hair brained schemes to find people owe them money when they don’t.

Justice looks like people being treated according to God’s will, not the evil designs of church hierarchies who put their institution, congregation, loyal workers, ahead of the abused innocent.

Good people are appalled when injustice is done. Evil people celebrate.

Good people feel joy when justice is done, no matter how hard that justice may be for them. The evil look for ways to thwart justice.

 

 
Posted By Nan
I realise my blogs lately have not been very regular. Still working on that!
In the meantime, my little family and I are having a much needed break.
The blog will return on 24 October.
Blessings
Lotus Christian Ministries
 
Joy
Posted By Nan

Proverbs: 17:21 

This verse is about having a child who has no faith in God.

Church doctrine tells us we must pray for our children, constantly, for salvation. And I have done that all my children’s lives. When I wasn’t praying for them I was teaching them about God and His love for them. I taught them about Jesus and all He did for us. I have taught them that they need to make a personal decision to accept God in their lives.

When my husband and I realised to our horror that the church we were attending was turning them away from faith due to the hypocrisy of church leaders and the cliqueiness of the congregation, especially the young people who were my children’s peers, we obeyed God and walked away from church and instead taught our children at home.

We should have done it years before. We had church after church that we belonged to that behaved that way. The last was just the most extreme.

Then they reached adulthood and stepped out into the world.

And they are still wounded by the behaviour of the churches they grew up in.

And they don’t like other Christians.

And they accept God but are wary of having a strong relationship with Him because of what these churches have done.

And I have prayed and prayed. And God has answered me every time. “This is their journey.”

And I believe God. He has heard my prayers, just as He heard the prayers of my Grandfather for my salvation. He has my children in His hands and they will come to Him in His time.

So many people I know are terrified their children will not believe in God. So much so that they surround them with churchianity and its activities and try to marry them off young so that they don’t become soiled by the world. And so many children rebel and walk away.

Because they have to make the decision themselves.

And they have to become themselves before they can make that.

And they have to freely choose God.

So we as parents need to back off and allow our children to make that decision at the time that God knows they will be ready. 

Yes, it is sad when our children don’t believe. But remember, you do everything you can. You pray, you teach, you sew the seeds of love and knowledge of God. And you wait patiently for God’s timing.

And while we wait for God’s timing, we allow ourselves to experience His Joy.

 

 
Posted By Nan

I have always loved German culture. I have been fascinated by the language. The history has been particularly absorbing, especially modern history of the formation of Germany and its involvement in two world wars.
I have always wondered why this is so. I know that I wondered about what it would have been like to live during the Nazi era. I have often wondered if I would have had the courage to stand up for God and resist the Nazis. Whether I would have sheltered those hiding from the Nazis. 
I wondered how the German people found the resilience and strength to rebuild after the devastation of world war two.
As for world war one, I felt the German people were misrepresented as being the cause of the war.
I have a strong sense of justice and always seek justice for all.
Then I lived in Europe for eight years and felt the spirit of the land mass and visited places where the wars had taken place.
I experienced the culture of the Germanic Europeans and felt an affinity with that.
When I studied my bachelor degree in counselling I learnt about Existentialism and immediately understand and connected with it.
I recognised the culture behind Existentialism and considered that I had experienced and felt an affinity with that culture.
But there was more to it than that.
I realised my grandfather taught me his Scottish Celtic culture and that down to earth spiritual connection with life was very existential. I understand my grandmother was raised in the Cornish Celtic culture with all its richness.
I understood more recently that the Folk Tales, such as those by the Brothers Grimm taught me that deep spirituality of Old Europe. Europe and Britain as it existed before Western culture became so divorced from spirituality. Before faith in God was replaced by secular interests.
That is true existentialism. The way people lived, knew God and their world. The way it was before self-seeking overtook simple faith.
We who live in western cultures hanker for that connection. We think we cannot find it in western cultures, so we pursue other cultures. We envy first nations people with their connection with the land. We seek Eastern religions. We fill our homes and our practices with pseudo Eastern ways and practices. And we miss the connection that exists in Western Culture. We who live in invaded lands, stolen from indigenous peoples. We long for the connection to the land in which we live, as if that would give us some legitimacy. But you don’t have to have millennia of ancestors to connect to the spirit of the land. You just have to open your spirit to connect. And you don’t have to steal other people’s cultures to feel that spiritual connection in your culture. You just have to honour historic Western Culture. You have to go back to that time when existence in Europe was precarious and far from safe. You don’t have to live that way. You just need to know the way people thought. The things they did to be safe. The way they related to the world they lived in.
Starting with old European Folk Tales, such as those by the Brothers Grimm, is a good way to learn that rich culture. Read the old translations, not modern sanitised versions. Study the tales of all of Europe including Britain and Ireland. Understand the culture that exists. Feel the richness of the millennia of history. Know that European history is not as old as that of other continents, but that does not mean there is not a richness there.
Learn the old rhythms of life. Learn how people related spiritually with their environment. Learn how they related within that environment with God. Remember that Christianity is not western. Jesus was not a westerner. He was from the middle east. His culture was not that of western culture.
If you are of European ancestry, or caught up in Western culture, step back and learn how to relate to God as Europeans did before money and power became more important. 
If your ancestry is from a different culture and you have disconnected from it, then go back and study the folk tales and legends of that culture. Learn the history. Understand how your ancestors related spiritually to the world around them. This is how they related to God. 
One of the writers I loved as a child, and still love as an adult, is C.S.Lewis. I loved the way he wrote about God. He wrote about a land where animals talked and trees danced. This was a land where people lived with a deep spiritual connection to creation.
Lewis put in that land God as the mighty lion Aslan. Aslan was impossible to truly understand. He was beyond the comprehension of the sons of Adam. The animals and trees, with their deep connection to creation understood that. It was the sons of Adam who struggled. They had forgotten how to stop and allow the spiritual connection vital to knowing God.
It is time to truly know God. It is time to forget the legalism of modern day Christianity and reconnect with God. It is time to connect to God on a spiritual level. I don’t mean the often choreographed “anointing of the spirit” style of worship in some churches. I mean sitting in silence and connecting to the rest of creation. Then allowing God to come to you. I mean not getting out your God to do list, but just sitting in God’s presence and allowing whatever will be to be. 
When we who profess to have faith in God and to follow Jesus have learned to truly connect with God, then others will find that what we have is as irresistible as they currently find other religions. 
It is our faith in God and our walk with Him that brings people to faith in God. 
So lets work on our faith walk.

 

 

 

 
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Nan
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