Real Spiritual Food For The Undernourished Soul

Spiritual food was important to Jesus. He believed that God sustained his life.

We  humans, as explained in the bible, are a three fold being possessing a mind (soul), body and spirit. A Tripartite being needs look after the health of all three elements to be at their peak state of existence.  While the mind and body are commonly known to be interconnected,  everything we do, eat and drink affects the mind along with our attitudes.  The spiritual food we digest affects our whole being.

Throughout history people have felt the need to connect to a higher level of existence through spirituality in one way or another.  This desire is the common denominator between a lot of religions, cults and creeds that have sprung up all over the world in an attempt to explain and justify their existence.   In India alone there are over 1000 religions.

What was different about Jesus?

  1. Jesus took demons seriously.  He cast out demons with authority and they obeyed him.
  2. He raised several people from the dead.

Jesus pretty much taught that His spiritual needs were superior to his need to eat food .

Meanwhile his disciples urged him, “Rabbi, eat something.” But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you know nothing about.”Then his disciples said to each other, “Could someone have brought him food?” “My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.” (John 4:31-34)

DIGNITY

Jesus wasn’t treated with dignity when he was tried, tortured and hung on a cross to die. Instead he was treated as a blasphemer (telling lies against their knowledge of God) with contempt.

The word ‘dignity’has such a profound meaning.

The Online Oxford Dictionary defines Dignity as ‘The state or quality of being worthy of honour or respect.’

Lets take a look at a thesaurus.

Synonyms – Decency, Decorum, Grace,Honour, Greatness, Morality, Self-respect, Stature, Virtue, Value, Significance,Worth & Worthiness, Prestige, Glory, Distinction, Perfection, Importance, Decency & Splendor.

Antonyms – Dishonour, Immorality, Insignificance, Bad manners, Lowliness, Evil, Indecency, Unimportance, Worthlessness, Unethical, Indifference and Powerless

God is love and the dignity we have as humans (see synonyms) comes from God.

pexels-photo-192556

Join a bible study at a local church to dig into God’s hidden treasures and learn to digest real spiritual food.

 

JUST AS DIRTY AS I AM – Nobody gets in a bath unless they’re dirty!

God welcomes everyone. As we learn from him and about him, we can’t help but fall in love.

It was 1996, I’d recently gone through a divorce with a violent, drug addicted and schizophrenic man who had me living in fear for almost 17 years. Wanting to get closer to God in the cold Canberra winter of 1998, my sister took me to her little Pentecostal church held at a local school hall, as they didn’t yet have their own building. Looking around at people with seemingly perfect lives noticing they were nicely groomed wearing dressy but casual clothing, their kids were happy and all I saw was one big happy family. Panicked within (anxiety), in my mind there was no way I’d ever fit into this scene.  Within me there was a storm.  At the time I was angry, sad, unhappy, lonely and just sick of life.

Feeling uneasy about being there I confided about those feelings to my my younger sister who is a strong Christian.   She said to me, “Sandra, don’t think that these people here have got it all made, they’re just as dirty and dysfunctional as you are.  The only difference is that they admit it and want to change.  They acknowledge that God is the source of all life and that it’s God who cleanses them. You don’t get into a bath unless you’re dirty!”

Then she said something else, “God accepts you as you are so let him in and he does the changing from within.”   I thought, “what? Wait a minute he accepts me then he changes me?  Isn’t that a contradiction?”   Reading my bible, I couldn’t help but fall in love with Jesus and his words.

I read somewhere that Jesus died for us while we were still sinners. It’s not the sin God loves, its us. He wants our hearts and Jesus also came so that we may be reconciled to God, have life and have it abundantly.  So the change in me was that I was going to befriend God and learn the true meaning of life and love it?  That was exactly what happened. The changes were gradual but sure.

It’s June 2017, I’m still in the bath, I’m not perfect and I’m slowly transforming into what God wants for me and I have inner peace in my life.  We hurt and deal with our hurts in our own dysfunctional way that can make us really bitter, or we can be free from fears and hurts while keeping our peace.  Its Jesus who wants to heal our hearts with his perfect love that casts out all fear.  

If you’re worried about sin, God forgives us, no matter what we have done.  What the bible calls sin, is sin, everyone in the world falls short because God is holy.  Nobody is perfect and we can’t point the finger in judgement of anyone else.  “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only son for who-so-ever believes in him shall have eternal life” John 3:16  OK it states who-so-ever.  It doesn’t matter who you are or what you’ve done? That’s powerful.

If you believe that then pray this short prayer asking Jesus into your heart.

Jesus, I know you died for me and take me as I am.  I’m not perfect and will never be that in this world.  Thank you that you took my sins upon your body and they were crucified with you on the cross. I ask your forgiveness and for you to come into my heart and grant me your peace. Let me grow in your wisdom and in truth. Fill me with the Holy Spirit that I may have your helper so I can follow you. Amen

What can you do now?

If you prayed that prayer, find a local Christian church, be baptised, read your bible and pray regularly. Walk close to God and remember that nothing can separate you from His love. If you have done all that and are filled with Holy Spirit you have been born again as the bible requires you to do so you can enter heaven. Live in relationship with Jesus offering constant prayers for those you love and for your enemies.

Christian bloggers are invited to share your posts on my Facebook group at Christian Blog Space

Once and For All: Einstein Believed in God- He Believed In Jesus Too.

Currently watching Genius series on National Geographic Channel on Foxtel. Beaut timing!

Short Little Rebel

I just thought I would clear something up once and for all.   Albert Einstein was absolutely not an atheist. He was offended that anyone should say that. When he was younger, he was quoted as saying that he didn’t believe in a ‘personal’ God.  Desperate so-called atheists have latched onto that one statement and have taken it to the bank.  They conveniently forget the fact that he is still stating a belief in God, just not a personal one.  They also forget all his other quotes that affirm his strong belief in God.  There are also many blatantly false quotes that have Einstein mocking the bible- beware of these- he did not say those as he respected the bible- especially the New Testament.  He accepted the bible as historically accurate.

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How Is Vulnerability Essential for Personal Growth?

By avoiding vulnerability we remain stunted and emotionally immature in areas where we refuse to feel.

Vulnerability is a difficult thing to master. Yet, it is in vulnerability that we cultivate courage within ourselves.  I personally don’t like being vulnerable. There’s a creepy sense of transparency that makes me really uncomfortable. The shame of not being good enough or the dread of being judged by others is why I have avoided public speaking for years!  Regrettably, It’s a real fear I’ve held onto instead of working through it.

Recently I’ve learned that the more that I allow myself to become vulnerable, the more growth I experience. Those people who practice vulnerability are generally seen amongst the most courageous, happy and intelligent people in society. How many public speakers do you know that don’t get nervous before making a speech? Not too many, right? Yet to onlookers they may look typically calm and collected.

It’s natural for us to protect ourselves from pain as we’re mostly inclined to shield ourselves from feeling anything negative.  By avoiding situations that require a certain level of vulnerability we remain stunted and emotionally immature in those areas where we refuse to feel.

Vulnerability is essential for our personal, emotional and spiritual growth. By stepping out of our comfort zones we’re allowing ourselves to experience and grow.  Speaking from experience, some of us tend to avoid it like the plague!

Brené Brown, Vulnerability Researcher summed it up perfectly when she said, “We numb vulnerability.”

MY EXPERIENCE

Allowing myself to become vulnerable I got on a plane after 40 years of avoiding flying due to a bad landing experience during a storm in Tahiti when travelling as a young child. So, not long ago I booked a week long holiday catching a plane to Queensland with my husband and daughter.  Since then I’ve been flying with my family and with work. It’s been fantastic and liberating.  But, I still cringe at the landing!

So my motto now is, “Do it afraid!”

2 Timothy 1:7 “For God has not given us a spirit of fear or timidity, but one of power, love and self-control.”

Watch and listen to Brené Brown’s TED Talk, ‘The Power Of Vulnerability.’

Sandra Ciminelli
PEN WITH A VIEW

Resurrection of Jesus Christ & Birth of Christianity

Jesus life, death and resurrection birthed the Christian faith. Here’s how and why!

Jesus of Nazareth preached in Israel about God, eternal life and establishing the Kingdom of God on earth during the time of Augustus.  Jesus walked with his disciples for three years as a teacher, a mentor and a friend instructing them on spiritual life.

He claimed and believed to be the ‘Son of God’ regarded as such by his disciples who witnessed many of his miracles, some of which were; restoring sight to a blind man, healing the lame and raising Lazarus from the dead.

His key teachings were about;  God, salvation, redemption, love, compassion, faith, eternal life, baptism, temptation, forgiveness, holiness, repentance, sincerity and the kingdom of God.

Christianity was birthed in a very hostile environment where Jesus was seen as an antagonistic leader of a cult threatening the very existence of the Jewish priesthood.  His disciples viewed Jesus as being divine as well as human which made the Jews even more hostile against him.

Jesus said things like, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6

Jesus was tried and crucified by the Romans for blasphemy.  His body was prepared for burial and placed in a rich man’s tomb.   A Roman seal was placed on the tomb giving nobody a chance of stealing the body against the might of the roman army.

Jesus’ Death Was Foretold

Psalm 22:16-18: “Dogs have surrounded me; a band of evil men has encircled me, they have pierced my hands and my feet. I can count all my bones; people stare and gloat over me. They divide my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing.”

Jesus Rose from the Dead

Three days later the stone covering the grave with the Roman seal was found rolled away.

stone grave

The women go back to the find the stone rolled away & Angels announce the Resurrection – Luke 24

On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb.  They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.  While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them.

In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead?  He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee:  “The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ” Then they remembered his words.

The resurrected Jesus appears to his Mary Magdalene – John 20:11-18

risen jesus

Jesus appeared to Mary, however she didn’t recognise him.  She was crying over Jesus death.

Jesus spoke to her saying, “Woman, why are you crying? Who are you looking for?” Mary thought He must be the gardener and said, “Sir, if you have taken Him away, tell me where, and I will take Him!” Jesus said, “Mary!” Then she recognised Him and exclaimed, “Master!”

Jesus Appears to the Apostles – John 20:19-23That same Sunday evening most of the apostles were together and Jesus appeared among them.

He Appeared to Thomas who is known to this day as ‘Doubting Thomas’-  John 20: 24-31,

Now Thomas (also known as Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!”

But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”

A week later his disciples were in the house again and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”

doubting

Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”

Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

The Ascension of Jesus – Acts 1:6-11  

Others witnessed Jesus being taken up to heaven in physical form.

As Promised, the Holy Spirit Comes – Acts 2

day of pentacost

The day of Pentecost when the Holy spirit falls on all men who start speaking in tongues.

The Great Commission – Matthew 28:16-20

Then the eleven disciples left for Galilee, going to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go.  When they saw him, they worshiped him—but some of them doubted!

Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.  Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

Christians believe that we too will rise with him.   We are made in Gods likeness  – A three fold being of mind, body and spirit! To get to heaven, we have to be born again of the Spirit and follow the teachings of Jesus Christ.

“Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God'” – John 3:3.

“That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” – Romans 10:9.

Get connected with a Christian Church, join a bible study group and grow in the faith.   He died for all mankind – so come as you are!

By Sandra Ciminelli

Veins of Light – Poem

Warm air brings thunder rolling,
a symphony starts in the trees,
as grey clouds shield the sun,
air cools with a blowing breeze.

 

Motor sounds of cars and bikes
are deafened by the rain,
Colliding forces fight for control,
and tyres splash through the wet.

 

Veins of light shooting down to earth
as water pours out from the sky,
saturating the thirsty ground,
leaving nothing out there dry.

 

By Sandra Ciminelli.

Break Free from Wrong Money Attitudes

People with bad attitudes towards spending go broke or end up in debt.

Many people are working hard jobs to put food on the table and never seem to have any left over. While others who throw money away can end up unhappy or depressed.  We need goals and plans so that we aren’t blown around like a tumbleweed landing wherever life takes us.

Bad Attitudes Towards Money

Being overcautious and never spending money can lead to a boring life. However, overspending can become a bad habit leading to debt. Here are some of those attitudes that if corrected can turn around a person’s financial situation.

Partying Too Hard/Much

There’s that person who parties hard, is a binge drinker or recreational drug user who borrows in circles to pay back those within their own circles. This is probably a charming good talker who could be the best used car salesman ever that keeps friends who supply the cash around.  Sad really because these types don’t value anyone or anything as their own ego comes first.   I call this the ‘Peter Pan’ type. He likes to fly (be high) and take others along the journey with him and never thinks twice about tomorrow.

Negligent Spending

This type makes you cringe when hearing the excuses they come up with to borrow money, which initially I don’t mind until I hear the excuse,” I don’t have any money because I bought the latest gadget and it left me without any rent money for the next two weeks.” This selfish attitude takes other people’s finances for granted.

Then there are those who know that they are negligent spenders because they want the best quality of everything right now.  This calls for patience and understanding that sacrificing the unnecessary things today eventually makes the bare necessities and essential needs affordable tomorrow for most.  It will take a dilligent person who has determination and stickability who remains focussed on the big picture to succeed.

Gambling & other Addictions

Spending all their money on the sure bet, horses, poker machine, footy tab or greyhounds. The addiction is sure to make people broke.  The addict might be compelled to put a big win’s money back where it came from.  I’m not sure where I heard this phrase about gambling, “Its a tax on those who are bad at maths.”  But it’s pretty much on the money!

Addictions of any kind are really costly.  Seek professional help to kick a habit or talk to your GP who can recommend someone.  NO addiction will mean more money to yourself without the burden of an addiction to maintain.

A Thankful Heart Is A Contented Heart

  • We need to focus on our priorities, take charge of our own lives and be thankful for what we have.  We all live on borrowed time and can take nothing with us when we leave this world.
  • A heart of gratitude is the right attitude. Deuteronomy 10:14b “Heaven is the LORD’s… the earth also, with all that is in it.”
  • We aren’t to love money more than God. “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.”Matthew 6:24  (mammon in Aramaic  is translated to ‘riches’.

MONEY MANAGEMENT

Being an independent and mature  adult means that a person can stand on their own two feet without having to rely on handouts.  When we begin to take charge of our lives it will become easier to take charge of our finances.

Saving money is putting money away for a rainy day or accumulating money for a purpose or goal.  Wikipedia describes, ‘Saving Money’ as,”income not spent, or deferred consumption. Methods of saving include putting money aside in, for example, a deposit account, a pension account, an investment fund, or as cash. Saving also involves reducing expenditures, such as recurring costs. … Saving differs from savings.”

Budget – Take the stress off your financial situation by knowing exactly how much you have and how much you can afford to spend.  Then manage the finances to pay off bills on time, separate your savings if possible and adjust your lifestyle accordingly etc.

Paying Off Debts

  • Take charge & make an effort pay off debts to individuals and companies that are owed money.  Arrangements can often be made to pay these off in installments.
  • Take one day at a time until all debts are paid.
  • Refrain from borrowing more money.
  • Seek a loan consolidation expert to combine loans together into one loan in order minimise repayment time and save money on interest.

Set Goals & Plan Ahead

  • Having goals is a discipline in having something to aim for.
  • We can begin by saving for something small and then progress to saving for bigger and more expensive projects.

Further Help

  • If you find it difficult to break free from wrong money attitudes contact a counsellor and seek advice from trained professionals.
  • Talk to your bank and loan consolidators.

Gamblers Anonymous Australia

Men’s Line Australia

Australian Government’s Money Smart – Consolidating & Refinancing Debts

Search for a counsellor near you at – Australian Counselling Association website.

or talk to your GP who can point you in the right direction.