Tag Archives: christianity

Uncovering You

Uncovering you

Covering ourselves is often wise and decent, but have we got things a little twisted? It seems modern culture encourages us to bare more of our skin but hide more of our hearts. Perhaps it’s time to flip the script.

Romans 8:35 says;

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
I was reading this verse the other day and the word nakedness struck me. I’ve read this verse many times but had never really noticed it. So I began to ponder what nakedness really means.

Yes, the most common definition is to be without clothing or covering, but it’s more than that, as another definition puts it, it seems to imply being ‘exposed to harm and vulnerability’. With this in mind it stands to reason that we are prone to covering ourselves, no one wants to expose themselves to harm deliberately.

But is nakednes always negative and does it always leave us exposed to harm? – No, it depends who we are exposing our vulnerabilities to.

We fear that our nakedness; the baring of who we are – the good, the bad and the ugly will make us unloveable. To society at large perhaps. But that’s only because for the most part, most of us are working with an inferior definition of love, suffice to say God is love and there can be nothing more liberating than to bare all before Him. Not even the uncovering of our sin and shame can seperate us from the love of God.

Many of us seem ashamed to bare our true selves, we feel the need to embellish ourselves, as if it’s not enough just to be who we were created to be.

It started in the Garden of Eden, Genesis 3:10 states;

So he said, “I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.
We walk around camouflaged – from the way we dress, to morphing into different people depending on who we’re around, the situation or circumstance. There’s a better way.

I’m a Christians for many reasons but one of the main reasons is that in Christ I don’t have to hide anymore, hiding is hard work! Now I walk free.

God covers us with His love, grace, peace and truth. He covers our imperfection with His perfection and transforms us from the inside out.

We aught not be ashamed to bring the things that aren’t right into the light, because the truth is, we can only be delivered from the dark things in our lives when they are exposed. We first  have to expose ourselves to the light, before we can be transformed by the light.

2 Corinthians 3:18 states;

So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.

So I encourage you to allow the real you to stand up and walk into the light, His name is Jesus!

 In Jesus we’ve been invited to go back to Genesis 2:25;

 Now the man and his wife were both naked, but they felt no shame.
(As I was contemplating this topic I remembered a book I read years ago by TD Jakes called It’s Time to Reveal What God Longs to Heal: Naked and Not Ashamed definitely worth a read.)

 

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The Case For Christ

The case for Christ

My story

I was an only child until I was 18 and as a result have always liked my own company and have always had lots of time to just think. I recall pondering deep questions like ‘why are we even here?’ from quite an early age, in fact my mum often says I seemed to live in my head as a child. I could never get my head around the fact that supposedly life was just about living, getting married, having kids and dying. I remember thinking as far back as I can remember that that just doesn’t make sense, surely that can’t be it?

In my early teens I just felt like I needed more – a better explanation, I felt a pull to be in church. My Gran had always brought us grankids to church, a lovely Church of England church, a church that I’m actually really fond of, the church that I got married in. But I knew this wasn’t the church for me – not every church is for everyone it’s not necessarily that one church is better than the other, it’s just that I believe God knows exactly what we need and plants us exactly where we’ll find it, for me that is now Word of Faith UK (yes I’m unashamedly plugging my church lol, come visit).

Anyway, to cut a long story short I found my way to New Testament Church of God in Willesden and gave my life to Christ at 16 and haven’t looked back since. For the first time in my life I felt that I found meaning in life, I found something that made sense to me, and at the centre of it all was ‘Jesus’ so I prayed a prayer that went a little something like this Prayer of Salvation.

So I came to Christ by faith, I didn’t rationalise it, I just felt the pull of God and it was something that I had to do.  I don’t come from a family of avid church goers where church is compulsory, my parents only ever imposed two rules on me ‘do good at school’ and ‘have manners and respect’. Neither have I ever been one to move with a crowd or be easily influenced by others, so this wasn’t about pressure of any kind, I recall I was actually at church by myself that night – this decision was all about me and God.

The Case for Christ

I believe by faith and I try hard to live my life by faith (although I admit I fail sometimes), but I’m also naturally academic so Christian Apologetics (a field of Christian theology which aims to present a rational basis for the Christian faith, defending the faith against objections) has always appealed to me. It always annoys me when people assume that Bible believing, Christ confessing evolution rejecting people like me are uneducated and lack intelligence. What I like about Christian apologists is that they are able to go head to head with the most avid atheists like Richard Hawkins and refute their arguments from a rational perspective.

Ravi Zacharias

One of my favourite Christian apologists is Ravi Zacharias, for forty years Ravi Zacharias has spoken all over the world and in numerous universities, notably Harvard, Princeton, and Oxford University.  He has addressed writers of the peace accord in South Africa, the president’s cabinet and parliament in Peru, and military officers at the Lenin Military Academy and the Center for Geopolitical Strategy in Moscow.  At the invitation of the President of Nigeria, he addressed delegates at the First Annual Prayer Breakfast for African Leaders held in Mozambique. RZIM

Lee Strobel

The title for this post actually comes from a book I read quite a few years ago called The Case for Christ: A Journalist’s Personal Investigation of the Evidence for Jesus by Lee Strobel. The book is about how Strobel a seasoned journalist and former legal editor of the Chicago Tribune, chases down the biggest story in history, asking the question is there credible evidence that Jesus of Nazareth really is the Son of God? Retracing his own spiritual journey from atheism to faith. Definitely worth a read.

CS Lewis

Probably one of the most famous Christian apologists to date is CS Lewis, author of the Chronicles of Narnia, if you didn’t already know, these stories are Christian allegories. I bought myself the The Complete C. S. Lewis Signature Classics: Boxed Set for Christmas and I’m actually looking forward to getting stuck into The Screwtape Letters this weekend. One of his many quotes:

I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else. – C. S. Lewis

Yep that last quote pretty much sums it up. So why have I written this post, well three reasons:

  • This is my blog and it occurred to me that I’d failed to tell you my story
  • To demonstrate that Christianity makes sense on every level
  • To tell you about Jesus, because when you have something good you share it

So I’ll leave you with this:

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. “For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.…(John 3:16-17)

Choose life, choose Jesus.

Love and blessings,
Katrina

 

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Slowing Down to Take a Minute with Jesus

To say I’ve been going hard since the beginning of the year, would be an understatement I have been utterly consumed with where I want to be this time next year and tonight I felt God say “stop!”

Tonight I realised that I’ve been like Martha and Jesus is calling me to sit at his feet like Mary… in case you’re unfamiliar with the story:

3As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. 40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”

41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one.[a] Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:38-42)

So even though I have so much to say to you about so many things, tonight my priority is to sit at the feet of Jesus, for He is indeed the love of my life and the source of my strength.

But before I go I want to leave you with one of my all time favourite Gospel songs – indeed I’d rather have Jesus than silver or gold.

Speak tomorrow x

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Literary Pearls of China


So I was reviewing my blog at the back end of last year, and I realised that despite reading nearly 30 books I only told you about 1, which is pretty shocking given that I read some goodens and the 1 I told you about was far from my fav.

Anyway, thought it was about time I told you about 3 that touched me.

I was going through my Goodreads 2012 reading list and I realised that 3 of the books that inspired me most had a common theme running through them ‘China’. This struck me because these are 3 very different books, I read them for different reasons and came across them in different ways.

The first was Pearl of China by Anchee Min:

Pear of ChinaA fictional representation of Pearl Buck a missionary’s daughter, the story is of a life-long friendship and her journey to becoming a bestselling author and Nobel laureate.

I found this whilst searching Audible for an easy read, with a light theme. I read books like people watch TV, I switch between books like most switch between channels and often settle on the one (of about five at any given time) that best suits my mood and frame of mind. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this on my drive to and from work, it was an easy read that eased my mind and helped me switch mental gears during my daily commute. It gave me a glimpse of Chinese culture in the late 20th century that both engaged and intrigued me.

Although perhaps not historically accurate it stirred in me a curiosity to find out more about China and its people. To be honest I didn’t and still don’t know that much about China other than the speel that is pushed out by mainstream media, but it at least painted a picture for me of the softness of missionary hearts and that of underground Christians set against the harshness of Communist rule and dire poverty, a picture that although fictional resembled truth during this period of time.

The next was The Heavenly Man: The Remarkable True Story of Chinese Christian Brother Yun

Heavenly ManThis book, a work of non-fiction moved me and cut me to my core, it’s a dramatic autobiography of one of China’s dedicated, courageous, and intensely persecuted house church leaders ‘Brother Yun’. I’ve known about this book for a long-time and have actually had the paperback on my book shelf for a few years but never read it. There are some books that you just know will challenge you and course you to face internal truths that you’d rather avoid, this was one of them.

Anyway, for me, last year was about ‘facing God’, re-igniting my relationship with Him and conforming to the simple word I heard burning in my spirit ‘stay close’.  So I purchased this and began listening, what moved me the most was how utterly dependent Brother Yun and the Chinese brethren were on God. When you are faced with the reality that you have nothing apart from God, ‘Christianity’ takes on a whole new meaning, which was apparent throughout this book. God is Brother Yun’s ONLY source and the miracles that ensued in Brother Yun’s life as a result of his unyielding trust, belief and dependence on God, is utterly mind blowing. In places this book reads more like fiction than fact and I was blown away by the fact that these things were taking place in China as recently as the 80’s and early 90’s, probably still today.

I was both encouraged by this book and saddened. Encouraged by the powerful and intense way God shows up when we simply trust and depend on Him. But also saddened because in the West few of us experience the reality of God in this way, I believe this is because we rarely reach the end of ourselves, the point of utter surrender and helplessness. For me Brother Yun exemplified what it means to truly ‘let go and let God’, in the midst of being tortured, battered and beaten almost to death he let go and experienced unfathomable peace in the midst of unspeakable hardship. This book was a stark reminder to me that to truly meet God we must first reach the end of ourselves, the benefits of doing so are amazing, there is no safer place than the arms of God.

So, at the beginning of this post I said I’d tell you about 3 books, However you might have realised I’ve only covered 2 – at 746 words and 11:34pm I figured it was time for me to sign off and tell you about the other book another time, but I will give you a hint Watchman Nee.

Blessings x

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Not just material things, meaningful things…

So I’ve not posted anything in quite a while for various reasons but over the last couple of days I’ve felt compelled to write a post or two.

You probably won’t now this but I turn 30 in less than a month and I feel quite excited about it, I actually feel more comfortable in my skin with each passing year and I quite like the feeling of being a little wiser than I was the year before. Anyway, because of this milestone I began this year thinking about the things that I really want to achieve in life, not just material things but meaningful things. I’ve always been a goal setter but to be honest up until this year most of my goals have been about me; what job I want, what house I want, what car I want and so on, I’m not saying that there’s anything wrong with such goals, I still have them but I’ve felt a stir in my heart of late towards more meaningful goals.

I recently suffered the loss of someone incredibly dear to me and anyone who has experienced the death of someone close will know that it changes you, it causes you to evaluate your own mortality and the things in life that matter most. Suffice to say much of my thinking this year has been about defining my life’s purpose sowing towards a lasting legacy and not just material goals. In this vein I’ve been seeking projects to get involved with and one crossed my path recently…

A couple of days ago I was listening to the Premier Gospel show ‘what’s in yours’ and the guest was Beth Redman whilst discussing her life and work she mentioned a project she’s involved with called the A21 campaign a campaign that is working towards eliminating human trafficking in the 21st century, I was stunned by some of the facts. Did you know:

  • Human trafficking is the second largest global organised crime today, generating approximately 31.6 billion USD each year. Specifically, trafficking for sexual exploitation generates 27.8 billion USD per year.
  • There are 1.39 million victims of commercial sexual servitude worldwide.
  • Over 25% of sex trafficked victims are trafficked from Southern and Eastern Europe.
  • 90% of victims trafficked into the European Union member states will end up in the sex industry.
  • Tragically, only 1-2% of victims are rescued, and only 1 in 100,000 Europeans involved in trafficking are convicted

Source

These facts are startling and I’ve come to the realisation that we can all live in our comfortable bubbles closing our eyes to such things as though they don’t exist (as I have done) or we can each seek to contribute towards meaningful causes that are bigger than ourselves. It’s true that none of us can achieve much on our own towards eradicating the many evils that exist in our world but neither are we helpless, there are things that we can do, in fact if you’re interested in helping with the A21 campaign here are 21 very simple ways you can help, I believe each of us are capable of doing are part it simply boils down to how much we care.

I’ve been challenged this year to focus more on meaningful goals than material goals, I’m not saying I don’t have material goals because I do, but I’m learning a few valuable life lessons in this change process, and I’m a firm believer that when you experience something good in life it’s good to share, so I’m sharing :).

Blessings,

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Don’t grow weary in doing good

Keep-Going-sign_thumb

This morning as I was getting ready for work this Bible verse came to mind:

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up - Galatians 6:9

I love my life for the most part, but in all honesty some days if I focused on the mammoth task list ahead of me, I seriously would not get out of bed in the morning. Sometimes doing good seems like the biggest chore in the world and you just want to say; “forget it!” and go back to bed.

So I do three things at times like these:

1.   Chunk-it:

I tackle my day in manageable chunks. I write down exactly what I have to do  - I then do my best to focus entirely on one task at a time – sometimes it’s the very act of trying to hold so much info in your head at once that is most stressful. Our brains can only actually hold a few thoughts at a time before dropping balls.

2.    Visualise the big picture:

I remind myself that the little choices I make today, will lead to a great future for me and my family tomorrow. In fact I actually have a dream book with pictures and written descriptions of the life I aspire to have and I remind myself of the achievements that have already been made.

3.    I let go and let God:

We can only do what we can do and often the pressure we put on ourselves far out ways what others put on us. So I remind myself that if I do my best, God will do the rest.

I believe it’s so important to have clear goals and a strong sense of direction, in essence ‘A purpose driven life’ – purpose will propel you.

If you have more top tips for these moments of weariness, feel free to share in the comments box :)

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