bible

All posts tagged bible

Camp Dream 28th Feb

Published February 28, 2016 by Laura Crean Author

BALI

I know it seems I’m only posting dreams at the moment but I have always had such vivid dreams and they have always  been an important part of my subconscious and spiritual life.  Therefore in the absence of time and inspiration for creative writing, sharing my dreams and my spiritual life seems to be the obvious thing to do.

Last night or rather this morning I had a dream that started out like any other dream but ended with a spiritual dimension which made me wonder about the meaning of the whole dream.

I was going on a trip and at first I didn’t know where I was going and actually there was some strange goings on at the beginning with the transport but I can’t remember that part of the dream.

Then eventually after some travelling and some kind of adventure on the way that I can’t remember, I arrived at a camp site.  It was a family camp site and I had children with me – I think they were my children but I’m not entirely sure.  I know there was some trouble putting up the tent, there was some rain which also made it difficult but I think we had a camper van as well to use as a main area.  Also during the setting up period there were 2 tigers roaming the camp site and we had to stay in the camper van at that point.

Then I remember the children waking up really early, actually in the middle of the night – about 1am and they invaded the swimming pool. All the children took over the pool and turned on all these sprays of hot water.  And the water in the pool went weird, like jelly.  But the children were all having a great time together in this pool.

Then the parents tried to get the children out of the pool but they had no control over them so they set up a large tent outside the pool that the children had to go through to get out and then they all sat around in there and organised bible studies while the children were in the pool.  The adults were having a great old time, sitting around drinking tea and chatting and really enjoying studying the bible together.

The parents also took down all their own tents and set up one large tent outside so that when the children went to go back to their own tents they only had this one large tent to go to.

The bible studies the parents were having were all based on books from the bible that don’t exist.  There were quite a few that I don’t remember but the ones I do remember seeing in the contents page and while people were flicking through their bibles were called ‘America’ ‘Judgement and Retribution’ and ‘Titius’.  I remember saying to the people in the meeting that those weren’t real books from the bible.  And a lady said they were and they were all in the back after Revelation.  I said I had never heard of them but I flicked through my bible and there they were.  then just before I woke up I heard one more book being spoken and it was Habakkuk, the only real book out of them.  As I stepped out of the bible studies tent there was an earthquake which I remember thinking was very strange because we don’t get them in the UK.

After I woke up the first thing I did was write down the strange names and one jumped out at me – Titius – because it made me think of Timaeus and Critias (I think that’s how you spell it but I could be wrong).  It seemed  like a Roman name to me and it turned out that there was a Roman politician called Titius.  Anyway I need to go away and think about this dream some more but if anyone wants to comment, offer interpretation or any observations I would be really interested.

 

Advertisements

Get up!

Published September 21, 2015 by Laura Crean Author

I believe the Lord has been guiding me to study the book of Acts this last week and I came across a YouTube video that enables you to watch a stunning dramatization of this most inspiring book, whilst following along with your NIV bible.  I encourage anyone who learns in a more visual way and may struggle with reading the bible to watch it.  The other books of the New Testament are also available but it is acts I wanted to focus on at the moment.  I will put the video at the end of this post.

It was quite late already by the time I started watching but I had my Women’s Devotional Bible in front of me to read along, and so I started my journey into Acts.  Unfortunately half way through the film (and the book) I fell asleep!

Skipping a couple of days I opened my bible on the study on page 1293 entitled “A Mother’s Prayer” (Read Acts 1:1-14).  The study sets the scene by talking about a woman called Monica and her constant prayer for her son Augustine, who didn’t follow his mother’s faith and led a sinful life.  He did however eventually wake up to Christ and became, of course, a very famous fourth century Bishop.  All his life his mother prayed for him, confident that God would step in and wake her son from his sinful slumber.

In the bible reading we see how Mary must have struggled when her younger sons didn’t have faith in their older brother Jesus and they must have been constantly foremost in her prayers.  And we see how after Jesus ascends into heaven, his mother is among those in the upper room praying along with Jesus’ brothers.  In fact his brother James is one of the first people Jesus appears to.

I really took hold of this lesson as a mother myself, praying for my children daily that they will be woken up to God’s glory.  But as a mother who has faith in Jesus Christ as my Lord and saviour, I am very conscious of the need to be gently encouraging – because children don’t always listen to their parents with an open heart, let’s face it – and I don’t want the opposite to happen and push them further from God.

Now every Sunday I get up and go to church and I wake my children up and tell them I am going to church and if they want to come they have an hour or half an hour (depending on when I wake them) to get up, dressed and with it and come with me.  I am a single mother and the girl’s father has them every other weekend (he doesn’t go to church) so as my children keep telling me: “This is your thing Mum not ours!”  I try not to nag but give them the option of coming with me.  Usually I get a few groans of “No Thanks!”  and they turn over and go back to sleep!  However Last Sunday I suddenly had the urge to change tactics (just the once.  I wasn’t planning on doing it every week, but I felt the Holy Spirit stirring in the house making me bold and spurring me on.)  So I shouted up the stairs: “GET UP!  We’re ALL going out to church this morning!”  The usual moans and groans of teenage angst drifted back down the stairs at me: “Muuuum I’m tired. I really don’t want to go – it’s your thing not mine!”  Then I shouted back up the stairs: “It’s not a thing – it’s an opportunity – now GET UP!  You don’t have to come every week but today we’re ALL going.  As it turned out the morning was really amazing and I was so happy that my children (well 2 of them anyway) had come with me and had actually enjoyed the morning too.

Saturday I opened my devotional bible again to Acts and was quite surprised to find the next study on pg 1304 was entitled “Get up!” (Read Acts 9:1-43)  Obviously this immediately made me think of my struggles to get my children up out of bed on a Sunday morning, so I read on with interest.  The study actually started speaking about parents trying to get teenagers out of bed!  I had to have a little giggle at (what I thought) was God’s sense of humour as a father relating to me as a mother.  Then I read on and the bible study asks you to look at the different ways people were told to “Get up!” in Acts 9.

First in (Acts 9:5-6) Saul is knocked to the ground by the light of Jesus’ presence and blinded on the road to Damascus:

          “Who are you , Lord?” Saul asked.

          “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.” He replied.

          “Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”

Later on in (Acts 9:34-35) Peter comes across a paralyzed man:

          “Aeneas,”  Peter said to him,

          “Jesus Christ heals you.  Get up and roll up your mat.”

Immediately Aeneas got up.  All those who lived in Lydda and Sharon saw him and turned to the Lord.”

Then lastly, in (Acts 9:40) Peter is led to the body of Tabitha (a faithful disciple who always helped the poor and had died):

          Peter sent them all out of the room; then he got down on his knees and prayed.

          Turning towards the dead woman, he said, “Tabitha get up.”

          She opened her eyes, and seeing Peter she sat up.”

Well as you can imagine the story spread and many people became believers.

I have really been inspired and encouraged this week by all these examples in the book of Acts and it spoke to me of just how different all our journeys are.  As it points out in the bible study, we are all on different journeys, you may need God to knock you off your horse, heal you or resurrect you depending on where you are spiritually.   Which brings me to the end of the week.  Friday I had a lovely catch up with a very dear friend of mine, who has been with me on my journey and who I know has been constantly praying for me.  Somehow she had double booked her morning and another friend of hers also turned up, and the 3 of us had a wonderful morning chatting, eating a lovely lunch prepared by my friend and sharing our testimonies.  It was then that I told my new friend about the day I met our mutual friend and how amazing my encounter with God was that day.  In a way it reminded me of Saul’s encounter (although obviously not as dramatic!) But i was literally stopped in my tracks as I hurried to pass the church and the rather exuberant pastor sitting outside happily inviting people in to join in with a family event taking place.  I was offended by his intrusion into my day and I politely declined with some excuse and hurried across the road.  My eldest daughter, just 4 years old at the time, cried and carried on and on about how she wanted her face painted.  I tried to take her into the local corner shop, thinking to bribe her with sweets to stop her winging.  Well – it was at that point, standing in the middle of a very quiet coastal village, with nobody around me, that “someone” whispered quite calmly, gently but in a demanding way in my ear:

“Turn around!” – which I did.  I turned around in the street to see who it was whispering in my ear and there was nobody there!  My little heart started pounding, I can tell you, at the sudden realization that it had been God!  God had just caught me trying to bribe my 4 year old with sweets NOT to go to church.  I was so stunned and ashamed that I immediately went back to the church, where I met, amongst others, the dear friend I was visiting on Friday.

I would love to tell you that after that amazing encounter with God in the very quiet coastal village of Pevensey Bay, I was a loyal and faithful Christian – I’d be lying!  That was just one small step on my journey to being woken up by God and thankfully he never gave up on me, throughout all my backsliding, and neither did those who continued to pray for me through darker times.  Now I know Jesus was always with me, gently shaking me until I woke up, opened my heart and heard him again.  It’s funny how children have ‘selective hearing’ isn’t it?  Sometimes it isn’t until the circumstances and context of the situation are just right that they suddenly hear what you are trying to say, don’t you think?  It is the same when God is trying to talk to us.

I am happy to report that one of my daughters was given a little shake last Sunday and yesterday (This Sunday) I had no problem getting her up – it seems she wants to be more involved with the church and was very excited to talk to the young visiting preacher who spoke about being a “lighthouse”.

Devotion to God’s Word – Buried Treasure

Published August 31, 2015 by Laura Crean Author

Saturday night I went to bed as usual and picked up my bible to read, but I just didn’t know where to start.  I had been picking books at random and reading them in depth – for example I have just finished reading Isaiah, and sometimes something will jump out at me and sometimes I’m a little confused.  So, like I said,  I had just finished reading Isaiah and had felt like it had been a hard slog.  I had enjoyed my reading and had had some Ah Ha moments but at this time I thought to myself: where now?  And I prayed saying: Lord can you help me to know where to start with your word.  I started reading Jeremiah, because it is the next book and I enjoyed it because it was related to the video testimony in the last post, but I soon fell asleep still hungry for God’s Word.

Then on Sunday evening after the house of prayer, my Pastor gave me a brand new, very shiny copy of the NIV Women’s Devotional Bible, which is pink and purple by the way – it’s really pretty.  I was so excited to get home and explore it, thinking this was perfect for someone who doesn’t know where to start.  But when I opened it up, I was just as lost as to where to start as before!  Should I read it from cover to cover, doing the one year through the bible showed in a tick list on pg 1516?  Or maybe I should start with the 60 day overview of the bible on pg 1520.  Or maybe one of the 30 day studies.  Or should I just go down the subject index on pg 1543 and dip in and out?  Oh dear!

I closed my eyes and prayed again, saying: Thank you Lord for answering my prayer and sending me this new, very pretty bible and please bless Pastor Freddie for thinking of offering one to me, but where do you want me to start?  I opened my eyes and they went straight to the subject titled Bible Study on pg 1149.  It was titled: BURIED TREASURE (Read Mathew 13:1-58).  And this is what I learned:

Jesus spoke to the people in parables and gave interpretation to his disciples.  Jesus wants us to understand his message about the Kingdom of Heaven but he also wants us to seek with an open heart.  Like digging for buried treasure, he wants us to hear his word, find him there and delight in him.  Reading the bible should lead you to the treasure – and the more you seek, the more you will find, and the more you find, the more you will want to seek.

“Whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance.  Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them.  This is why I speak to them in parables:

“Though seeing, they do not see;

though hearing they do not hear or understand.”

 (Mathew 13:12,13)

“But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear.”

 (Mathew 13:16)

❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

Lord, please give me ears to hear and eyes to see…

❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

“My people, hear my teaching; listen to the words of my mouth.  I will open my mouth with a parable; I will utter hidden things, things from of old – things we have heard and known, things our ancestors have told us.  We will not hide them from our descendants; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, his power, and the wonders he has done.”

(Psalm 78: 1-4)

“let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance – for understanding proverbs and parables, the sayings and riddles of the wise.  The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”

(Proverbs 1:5-7)

“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.  For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.”

(Proverbs 2:1-6)

When he was alone, the Twelve and the others around him asked him about the parables.  He told them,

“The secret of the Kingdom of God has been given to you.  But to those on the outside everything is said in parables so that,

“they may be ever seeing but never perceiving,

and ever hearing but never understanding;

otherwise they might turn and be forgiven!”

(Mark 4:10-12)

“Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God!  How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!”

(Romans 11:33)

“I will give you the treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel, who summons you by name.”

(Isaiah 45:3) thank you to my friend Chris who pointed this one out to me after reading the blog post – what a gem

❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

Thank you Lord for showing me where to start and giving me a path to  follow…

“How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!  I gain understanding from your precepts; therefore I hate every wrong path.  Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.”

(Psalm 119:103-105)

❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

I wonder which path the Lord will light for me tomorrow.  I get shivers of anticipation just thinking about it.

Faith – a walk of individual understanding

Published May 5, 2015 by Laura Crean Author

I don’t think I or any person of FAITH should have to keep battling with those who do NOT share that (PERSONAL) faith.  THAT is how arguments start, that is how wars start, that is how conflict and separation start.  And I just want peace and love – that’s all.  It is nobody else’s business what I PERSONALLY believe, therefore it is not my job to explain, convince or convert another in or to ANY FAITH!  If you have taken a vow as a Priest of any faith then you may disagree, but I am just me – I’m just a woman, with my own daily struggles, just a Mum, I like to think I’m an artist and like to use paint and words to create pictures but I’m not a Priest – I don’t WANT to preach to anyone!  I hate being preached TO –  LOL.  I like to learn and I like to study things that are in my heart to learn about and that includes the Christian faith and the bible even though my terrible memory doesn’t always keep that knowledge in such a way that I can pass it on to others without re-googling!  But that’s me, that’s personal, that’s not you whoever you are.  YOU have faith in what you want to have faith in and I will have faith in what I believe in.  I can only help what I am doing.  I know what I know, I believe what I believe and I have to LIVE with that.  YOU live with YOUR OWN convictions – whoever YOU are.  Yes I like to write about these things, I like to write poems and paint pictures sometimes – that is me expressing my thoughts, feelings, dreams, loves, faith, sharing my journey –  I don’t actually care if you like what I have to say or paint or create – OK – That’s up to you.  I don’t care.  I might feel a little sad about it because it comes from my heart but that’s OK because that’s my business too.  But even though I have started calling myself a Christian because that is my walk, my decision, my faith, it doesn’t mean I hate anyone who doesn’t agree with me or follow me – of course not!  I love you all (especially my friends and family) and I am still interested in hearing about, learning and understanding all other points of view, scientific principles and faiths, because they are all ways of looking at the world and we are all human beings living in this world together.  I want to understand what others believe about their place in the universe and I want others to understand what I believe about my place in the universe – But – we can’t all understand everything – because we are all INDIVIDUAL.  We all have a different starting point, we all have a different perspective, we all see the world through our own eyes, with our own experiences, in our own language, from our own generation, from our own struggles and victories.  And because of this – faith should be just that – faith – a personal understanding – and what is understanding? – a thought – and what is a thought? An insubstantial thing that comes from an image in the mind that only that individual mind can make sense of.  So… I will continue my own walk of faith and I encourage you all to continue to make your own individual walks in life and I look forward to sharing ideas, thoughts, feelings, dreams etc. with you all – my dear friends and family who I have chosen to talk to through this media.  If you don’t like my decisions, well I can’t help that, I can only help my own decisions and I will leave your decisions up to you.  But I still love you all, I still want to talk to you and listen to you and spend time with you – Peace be with us all.

❤ xXx Laura xXx ❤

The Fruit of the Spirit – A hard lesson (I was whacked round the head with a rotten banana – LOL)

Published May 4, 2015 by Laura Crean Author

Some Christians need to get down off their high horses and look at their attitude – feeling sad about how people have talked to me recently.  And because of that I had a bit of a rant on Facebook.  Shouldn’t have done that – BUT – it taught me a lesson…

I had had a bad time with the way some Christians had been interacting with me and so I had a rant.  A new Christian friend had posted a video on my wall – with good intentions; she thought it was funny and wanted to share it with me.  But I was nursing some resentment about my interactions with a few people and the video made me even madder LOL – this is the video first off…

The video upset me and I told her I didn’t like it and actually I found it quite offensive and then said:

I can see what he’s saying – an yeah the world’s crazy but you know what – there’s a fine line between saying the Devil’s in the world and saying all of mankind is stupid! Not all science or ‘New age beliefs’ (whatever that is) are at odds with Christianity you know! I don’t know, I do wonder if we are living in an age of too many polarities – you’re either this or that – no! That’s not right. Maybe I’m just feeling cynical this evening. I’ve had a great day at bible by the beach – but I keep being treated very dismissively by some “Christians” and quite frankly it’s starting to really …me off – I thought patience was a virtue! There’s nothing worse than people cutting you off when you are trying to talk to them! Like you are beneath them or something. Well, I’m starting to see this a LOT and usually by well known Christians too! So what does that say? I feel God is speaking to me through the bible and my everyday interactions with people and the world – but today I feel certain Christians need to get down off their high horse and look at their attitude because they get people’s backs up. We are all living in this world together aren’t we? Jesus went where the people are – you’re not going to win people over being snobby, know it all preachy, 2 faced… OK Rant over – sorry about that – having a vent!

But what happened is – she took my venting in the wrong light and started saying this is why she doesn’t want to be labelled as a Christian and how it’s just another belief and with each line of her response I could feel her moving further away – distancing herself – running away.  And then I felt as if God was slapping me round the face with the fruit of the spirit – saying see!  This is why you have to be what you want to see in others!

And I was like – Oh my goodness – what? I AM a Christian, don’t get me wrong! I love Jesus and I believe he died on the cross for me (for MY sins) it’s more than just a belief and I HAVE had the Holy Spirit working in my life – and you know I’ve had those miracles because I told you about them. Don’t get me wrong I’m not saying I’m not a Christian, and things in this world, people in this world who are distracted from God’s purpose that upsets me and infuriates me but what I’m angry with is Christians who think they are above every one else. There are always people who think they are better than the average person – that’s got nothing to do with being a Christian or someone of another faith or no faith – that’s just human nature! LOL I think I’m more upset with them because they ARE Christians and because as I’m getting closer to Jesus in my own walk through reading the bible daily etc. I feel close to him and then some Christians come along and pollute that. By not expressing the fruit of the spirit in their own interactions. .

I tried to find a little video just listing the Fruit of the Spirit to demonstrate them and found this fun one:

Then after thinking about it – this is how I felt:

So when I’m ignored, put down, not welcomed, dismissed by “Christians” I don’t say – oh no Christianity must be wrong, God isn’t here in this walk and the world is better!! NO! I say – these people who call themselves Christians are not demonstrating the Fruit of the Spirit and therefore they are not being a good example of what Christ wants to see in their Spirit – all of the above! When I come away feeling like that – I’m angry – but at the same time I am not angry at God – I’m angry at those people for not staying true to Jesus’ teachings of the Fruit of the Spirit and I have to pray that God give me MORE of those = LOVE, JOY, PEACE, PATIENCE, KINDNESS, GOODNESS, FAITHFULNESS, GENTLENESS, SELF-CONTROL so that I can stand in truth myself.

Now I feel bad that I have not demonstrated it by getting angry, venting and putting doubt in my friend’s mind that Jesus IS the way, the, truth, the life.  God REALLY wanted to teach me a lesson today.

I AM

Published April 24, 2015 by Laura Crean Author

I’m so sorry you’re sad

She said sympathetically

Through an indifferent powder painted smile

Sad?

I whispered through a veil of misty emotion

Sad…is your goldfish dying unexpectedly overnight

Sad…is saying goodbye to a visiting friend

Who you won’t see for a while

Sad… is missing your favourite show on TV

Because you were late home

Sad…is not what I am…

What I am is almost impossible

To put into words…

I am…lost, starving and thirsty…

Stumbling around like a sheep lost in the wilderness…

Or in the desert

With no direction, no compass to guide me

And no cover from the unrelenting scorch of the burning sun

With no bread to satisfy my hunger

And no water to quench my thirst

I am…in despair

With no purpose – blind, invisible

Unloved and unlovable

Numb from the never-ending storms

That whips my already battered spirit

Into an unrecognizable rag

I am…torn

The leftover wrapping of that beautiful gift

That your mother gave you on your 16th birthday

All that’s left is a crumpled piece of gold and a blue bow

I am…lonely

A withered branch that can no longer produce sweet fruits

Brittle from lack of care

I am…misunderstood

Standing vulnerable in the line of fire on a battlefield

Exposed – a target for flaming arrows and hollow bullets

I am…tired

One who has been in the darkest of tunnels

Where hope has been an abandoned lover

Sitting on an empty, stationary train

Waiting for the lights to come back on

I am there now…on that train

Sitting in the dark

Too weary to get up and search for a way out

Silence roaring like a wind in my ears…

It’s so dark and so quiet that all I can hear is my own heart

Beating, fast, hard – fear creeps in and chains me to the seat…and then

A voice and a light, way off in the distance,

A pinprick at the end of the tunnel

And the voice grows louder

And the light grows brighter…

I…

AM…

I AM…

I AM that I am…

Forever, unchanging

I am the light of the world…

 I am the bright morning star – let me light your path

I am the way, the truth, the life – walk with me

I am the good shepherd – follow me

I am the door of the sheep – the way to freedom

I am the bread of life – eat and be satisfied

I am the living water – drink and quench your thirst

I am the root…

I am the true vine – with me you will become fruitful and multiply

I am your shield – I will protect and reward you

Take heart…

I am the resurrection and the life

I am the Lord your God – take my hand and do not be afraid

I am coming soon…

 

© Laura Crean 24th April 2015

Genesis 15:1,

Exodus 3:14,

Psalm 22 Psalm 23 Psalm 40, Psalm 69, Psalm 102 (he has heard and answered)

Isaiah 41:4 Isaiah 41:13

John 6:35, John 8:12,  John 8:24, John 8:58, John 10: 7-9, John 10: 11, 14, John 11:25,  26, John 15:1 -8

Revelations 1:8, Revelations 1:17, 18 Revelations 21:6, Revelations 22:13, Revelations 22:16

Inspired by – https://www.icr.org/article/500/

A quick commentary on “I AM”

It is a poem that builds on the theme of ‘I AM’ – I AM is what God calls himself “I AM that I am means he is forever and unchanging – eternally God. All of the I AM lines are taken directly from scripture and are in direct response to the needs and suffering of humanity (the I ams in the first half of the poem.) Also taken from scripture but then built on around my own depression and anxieties. The train represents the journey, the tunnel, the turning point. The moment God found me and told me who he is and how he can save me from my despair. The scriptures are scattered throughout the bible, in both the Old Testament and the New Testament. They could be stand alone poems – yes – but they are very much both dependent on each other. The first half can be read as very much set in the now, in contemporary times, and many may relate to any or all of the themes of human suffering highlighted, the second half of the poem comes directly from the bible and so it shows that even with the time span and language difference, God is still answering our calls, they are the same human conditions wherever in time you care to read about them. In this way it confirms that God is as he says – the I AM – forever, unchanging, the beginning and the end, always alive, always working in people’s lives. That is what the poem represents.

 

%d bloggers like this: