THIS PEOPLE NEVER ANGRY

15619803537592179922344463155949.jpgBriggs recollected in her landmark 1971 book “Never in Anger,” about how calm and collected everyone was jarcontrast that created against her own unruly emotions. Even when some truly rage-worthy things happened like a teapot falling and smashing against floor the Inuit never betrayed a hint of anger. An “Emotional control is highly valued among Eskimos,” she wrote in the book. Indeed, maintenance of emotions under trying circumstances is essential sign of maturity, of adulthood.” Why so calm, she wondered? And more importantly, how can the rest of us get there? For the answer, Briggs looked to how children responded in difficult circumstances appeared to be something they learned from their parents. An simple parenting technique of Inuit is “Never scold child.” It became clear to Briggs when a young boy threw rock at her, related in a CBC interview, she didn’t berate him angrily, rather told him calmly it hurt. Instead of rage she told him real consequences of his actions caused her pain. Decades later, the writer Michaeleen Doucleff followed in Briggs’ footsteps in visiting Iqaluit, Canada, “in search of parenting wisdom. Said that teaching children to control their emotions is very important she writes in NPR. Doucleff found that a common strand among Inuit parents is: Across the board all mothers mentioned One Golden Rule: Don’t shout or yell at small children.”20190701_130919.jpgAmong Inuit Arctic community Doucleff found the people practiced the theory that screaming at a child only teaches the child to scream. It is a vicious circle, the University of Pittsburgh researcher Ming-Te Wang noted in a 2013 study. “It is tough call for parents because it goes both ways: the problem behaviours of children create the desire to give harsh verbal discipline. That harsh discipline may push adolescents toward the same problem behaviours.” The Inuit society seems to have learned lessons long ago, and managed to break the cycle. And so  “Traditional Inuit parenting incredibly is nurturing, gentle, tender,” as Doucleff writes. “If you took all parenting styles around the world and ranked them by their gentleness, Inuit approach would likely rank near the top.” What kind of children does that society produce? The kind who live harmoniously in world’s harshest climates often with threadbare resources. Survival hinges on making the most efficient use of natural world yet group still manages to be at peace with itself and with others. Maybe that’s because it’s also the kind of society that teaches kindness above all else. Jesus said do not let the sun radiate or set on your anger. Let it go for peace of mind.

Inuit simple way of teaching children to control anger

Christian Cotroneo

CHRISTIAN COTRONEO

Article from March 26, 2019, 2:08 p.m

FIRE DIDN’T TAKE OUR SOUL

1542541799044-834355254.jpgFire has not taken our souls and that is all that really counts,” Garcia said. “We have people left is more important than any things,” Jones said. But we have lost everything we had because the fire took everything but has not taken our souls and that’s all that really counts,” Garcia said. In the midst of fire adversity and a tragedy is poignant symbols reminding people to be strong in spite of problems. Most going back after the fire destroyed thousands of homes plus other facilities will rebuild the entire town of Paradise. The town was enveloped by “firestorm rained hell down,” said Butte the county sheriff, Kory Honea. There was no time to save whole town because fire spread at the rate greater than a football field in a minute. Focus turned into rescuing people from houses overtaken by flame and Jerry Garcia’s wife, Sharon, wasn’t interested in returning to the town they lived for decades but changed her mind planning on returning to rebuild new Paradise town. Isaiah 43:2 says you pass through the waters God is with you and when you pass through floods it will not overflow you and when you go into fire, it will not burn you. So survivors of fire have been rescued alive despite risks to their lives. Biblical unnatural wildfires are hard to contain due to combination of factors. Bible Signs of the end times of Biblical last days end time prophecy predict fires so complex beyond natural seasonal fires regularly contained. The property and life destroyed by fire and flood really damages communities. Yet in spite of all these natural disasters of earthquakes, floods, wildfires in Bible prophecy news people have hope. And news reports every week talks about a disaster of hurricanes, storms, tempests, fire and flood, disasters by sea and land, globally. Isaiah 43:2 predicts you to pass through the waters, through the floods and fire but God is with you. I can hear you screaming if God is with you why did HE not prevent you passing through the floods or driving, walking through a fire. Floods, fires, famines, droughts and pestilence are the four horsemen riding bringing these upon the earth predicted in the Book of Revelations in the Bible. 1542534847296-834355254.jpgThe coming storms of extreme weather and climate changes intensify terrifying with harzards in the future preceding Rapture and later the Second Coming of Jesus. Apocalypse doomsday tribulation is going since the time of Christ but now floods, tornadoes, locusts are part of the end time birth pangs. Apocalypse, final judgment of man and destruction of the world by fire in Bible imagery is a real event on earth. All people are affected whether religious or not floods, fires, storms, unusual seven thunders in Bible prophecy demands the attention of all the people on the earth. Bible signs are these startling events floods hurricanes, tornadoes, in earthquakes, casualties by sea and land. The Bible says one-third of trees, people will perish due to weather fuelling fires in the last days. Fires get worse due to complex building material and high tech lifestyle links community the houses and closeness of homes. The Word of God warns that the heavens and earth existing are stored up for fire, but kept until the day of judgment and destruction of Great / Tribulations. It is the warning to heed and take seriously because structures must be designed to limit damage to life and property. Fires from thunders, earthquake, hurricane, floods are unpredictable. This is why it is good to prepare for survival or those who lost lives their souls to go back into heaven. This is not the time to be angry at God to blame HIM because thousands of years of warning is given to prepare against such times. Whether religious or not God does what he forewarned and it affects unbelievers lives too. Camp fire named by road near origin is the most destructive fire in state history and the deadliest killing so many people and still so many more unaccounted for. More than 10,000 homes is destroyed by the fire largely in the Paradise town of 27,000. Also gone are 366 commercial buildings and a third of town’s schools. There is so much to rebuild, but before that can begin, authorities must finish sifting through the ashes to find what’s left of those who didn’t make it out in time. Some may never be recovered and returning evacuees may find remains if authorities missed some sheriff warned.1542537330994-1895827285.jpg Still, residents are eager to return home, or at least to the rubble that remains. So how does a town nearly wiped off maps rise from the ashes? It’s a question with no easy answers. Since disaster began, local government officials emphasized the commitment to rebuilding the town, though its location means fire is always a risk. But it will probably take at least five to 10 years to restore the town, and it takes longer for individual residents, said Robert B Olshansky, an expert in post-disaster recovery. Rescue workers search areas to discover the suspected human remains in homes destroyed by Camp Fire Friday in Paradise California. “I’m confident they’re going to rebuild but it’s going to be tough,” Olshansky said. “The people there five years from now may not be same ones now. There are going to be a lot of households for whom it may still be a disaster.”Like pure gold, the refiner’s fire remove dross for a more beautiful and better buildings than before. This refining is to strengthen the enduring human soul or spirit as overcomers in life. Zechariah 13:9 says a third will be through fires to refine them like pure silver to test them as gold is tested. The spirit of grace and of supplications will help those look up to God to deliver and sustain them. And Isaiah 48:10 also states I refined you not as silver and tested you in fire to refine you in the furnace of suffering. Tests by the fire of suffering as silver is refined in a furnace. Like a refiner’s fire people are tested like exams are for promotion to higher spiritual level by the believers desiring God. And the painful sufferings are temporary on the earth compared to the joyful experience of victory. As fire strengthens bricks or wood, silver, gold, God refines mankind as Daniel and friends joined by Jesus in Babylon Iraq survived. Physical fire becomes a symbol of redemption testing a faithful believer to prove love and confidence in God. As Jesus was in the fire with Daniel so by Holy Spirit’s POWER of God, some survived location, speed, help, support of others. Christians who died, the souls go straight to God in heaven for absence from body means presence with God. So Jesus told believers, I advise you to buy from Me gold refined by fire to become spiritually rich, wear white garments, and clothe yourself in righteousness and holiness. God accepts people as they are so call upon God in Jesus Name.1542536081369-834355254.jpgThe town cannot be rebuilt in the way it was federal officials warned the county, but some have hopeful vision for future. Newer schools, a sewer system instead of outdated septic tanks to be safer from fires. “If we are going to rebuild, we are going to rebuild community where this never happens,” said former fire chief’s town evacuation operation coordinator, Jim Broshears. The risk of fire is always present in forest area, high in the Sierra foothills and surrounded by canyons on two sides. The town experienced at least four evacuations due to fire in 10 years. Close to 200 homes lost in 2008 fires. But this was a worst-case scenario. Now, as community prepares to rebuild it must construct safer, more modern buildings, and perhaps look at how its forests are managed, Broshears said. “We have an opportunity to build forest in the model of pre-European settlement conditions,” Broshears said. That is going to be more resilient forest. Currently, the western sierras densely wooded not necessarily the best model for forests to get through fires, said Thomas Scott an expert on wildfire at the University of California, Berkeley. That’s because second-growth forests, woodland regrown after harvest carry fire further and faster than trees there before. Ideas of a pre-Columbian forest generally means not suppressing early summer fires, and removing some younger trees to create a more widely spaced forest. Forest management is not about harvesting trees, but thinning the forest to protect the community. “You get back a more pre-Columbian forest then that means it’s less likely to trap all those people in the town,” Scott said. Even with that approach there will still be fires, they would just be less likely to start at the crest of the sierras and stop at the Central Valley, he said. Fire is a process Californians live with, manage and stop thinking of as a foe, Scott said. The Paradise fire is special case because of sufficient fuels around the city which let the fire come in number of different ways,” Scott said. So homeowners can make properties less vulnerable to fire, ensuring roof not flammable with dried leaves, vegetation or creating defensible space. Fires driven by strong wind can’t be fought but with most fuel in the area burned up Paradise probably safe from fire for awhile but not forever and the rest of the state at risk most of the year. Not wanting to sound heartless, has to accept if you live in burnable landscape, climate changing may be “when” house burns not “if” a house burns,” Scott said. A rescue worker gives her cadaver dog water as they search the Paradise Gardens apartments for victims of the Camp fire in Paradise on Friday.The new Paradise rebuilding starts once the fire, currently burning 221 sq miles at 45% containment, is extinguished, and then hazardous ash and rubble cleaned up, it could take about a year. Butte county is advising residents on what to do when they return but they acknowledge could be weeks or months away. There is almost no gas, electricity, safe water and no emergency services, police station and fire station survived as did the town hall. Air is hazardous, with risk of falling tree limbs ongoing, and what’s left of homes, incinerated belongings and kitchen appliances are probably toxic. Residents are permitted to return but few will have anywhere to stay. The fire destroyed town so chances of successful rebuilding is much higher compared with other natural disasters, Olshansky said, thanks to insurance. As support from state, federal government loans, funding of a Federal Emergency Management Agency, will aid the town in recovery. Including constructing new public buildings Paradise unified school district lost three of nine schools, others sustained significant damage to rebuild. Before the fire residents approved $61m bond to fund buildings and equipments updates. Until students return to schools still standing, district looking at online programs Superintendent Michelle John said. Other school districts volunteered to take additional students. The rescue worker use cadaver dogs as they search Paradise Gardens apartments for more victims of the Camp fire in Paradise on Friday. Schools are key, Olshansky said; residents typically return to areas hit by disaster if schools continue to operate. Challenge in Santa Rosa communities hit by last year’s Tubbs fire, destroyed 3,000 homes. And so finding qualified contractors to rebuild the schools and homes damaged in Paradise estimated at least two to three times Santa Rosa experience, mayor, Jody Jones, said. “So having enough capable contractors to go round not slow things down building is challenge,” Olshansky said. Town is working on streamlining the process of building inspections and permits mayor said looking at support small businesses with high bankruptcy after disasters. It is thinking about the long-term’s tough, decisions the mayor added. The town’s council members, 17 police officers, and dozens of firefighters lost homes along with thousands of others so will rebuild. “We have people, more important than any things,” Jones said. Though lost the sentimental and highly valued material things but it has not taken our souls and that’s all that really counts,” Garcia said. “That’s why we’re going back.” What an amazing statement made because Jesus said real true life does not constitute the material possession accumulated. Years of hard work, sacrifices, generations of inheritance burnt down within last few days. Yet people still cling to love, hope assured knowing mourning may last for night season of painful loss or suffering but joy comes in the morning. May God strengthen the weak ones to help their unbelief and increase their faith in God in Christ. Above all, God does test run of to warn of worse unquenchable fires in hell and gnashing of teeth by groanings. These fires reveal preview of the worse fires of judgement of wrath of God. This is the time to decide to live for God to be in God’s Kingdom or to ignore God’s fire alarm warning hellfire not escaped. Do not let anyone deceive you a loving God will not punish by fire because Sodom and Gomorrah was burnt by fire. Live life to full but remember that you are created in God’s Image whether you are a believer or not, will one day in future face God’s future judgement. Take a full advantage as survivor, advise yourself you do not want to be anywhere near hell fire which is a million times hotter than the paradise fires. Faith in God and good fire insurance has buoyed Barbara Kramer, 79, whose two-bedroom home and car were destroyed. Apparently, lost everything but haven’t lost anything she said. “We’re Christians and everything we have belongs to the LORD so if it is gone, it’s just things.” Thanksgiving is a time of gratitude gratitude reflection for survival even if only in clothes on body. Thanksgiving gives hope of assurance to Trust GOD HIMSELF to provide again as HE did before. So is confident to rebuild but knew some don’t understand how one can lose everything they worked for their whole lives and not feel any loss of devastation sadness. Thank God for the ones with fire insurance taken care of so booked into a Hotels for weeks or as long as necessary. Others are in a make shift temporary accommodation at the moment trying to figure their future.

SEVEN CHURCHES IN BIBLE

1542022687617-1302569310.jpgI AM the Alpha and Omega the First and the Last. What you see, write in a book and send to the seven Churches in Asia. Write things you see now and things to happen afterwards in Revelations 1:11, 19. Today’s Churches compared to the 7 Churches show things are not perfect or everyone is perfect because Christians serve is a PERFECT God so expects all to be perfect in Church. Speak to a pastor, minister, elder, congregation members of any Church and there is not one who is not dealing with one thing or another. It was exactly the same in 7 Churches in Revelations with the various problems encountered in those Churches. Today’s Church on earth falls under categories of these 7 Churches so is not perfect. The seven churches in Bible described in Revelation 2-3 are literal Churches at the time apostle John was writing that Revelation. Today these literal Churches have spiritual significance for Churches and believers today. The first purpose of letters was to communicate with literal churches to meet the needs of the time. A second purpose reveals the different types of individual member’s characters in Church throughout history to instruct them better in God’s TRUTH. The third purpose is these seven churches WARN modern Churches. The problems of that time fits today’s views on each of these seven Churches describing all issues in Church history. These seven churches represent focus of message God gives a Church of God. The seven churches are:1542275081129-1953533357.jpg1542275824877-1302569310.jpg(1) Ephesus Church in Revelation 2:1-7  forsook first love Jesus Christ 2:4 to be involved in idolatry or other priorities. The worshipers indulged in their basest religious rites of sensuality and wildest bacchanalian excessive vicious orgies to worship of Cybele in Paul’s time. In two years Word of God from the school of Tyrannus spread out of experience Paul wrote, great and effectual door opened to me but there are many adversaries” in 1 Corinthians 16:9. John, the “apostle of love” and the “son of thunder,” came to Ephesus as a pastor exiled to Patmos, after ten years returned to Ephesus. The Basilica of Saint John, located on highest point built over traditional burial spot of Apostle John. In Ephesus church Paul mentions sexual immorality misconduct and inappropriate sex communications, pornography, physical sexual adultery. Impure, unholy, unclean life, Ephesians 4:19 of believers entangled in various sins in Ephesians 4:17–19. All Christians are to be free from “sexual immorality,” covetousness in Exodus 20:1 passionate desire for things belonging to other’s by lusting after their wife. Selfish greed to take overt subtle actions in thought and attitudes. Paul said such things should not exist among believers as Christians so confess sin to God and seek to get of it in 1 John 1:9. To be accountable for the health of entire church. Paul says a pure church has proper conduct among saints to avoid these kinds of problems in Corinth in 1 Corinthians 5. So sexual immorality tolerated in Church caused problems for entire congregation costs respect for Christ a bad press witness to the world. The ethics of Greek culture clashed with ethics of Jesus as sexual immorality was accepted fact of life. For common people in Greek culture it was so but not to be so among the followers of Jesus. A man took his father’s wife in sexual relationship either married or if living together with stepmother his father’s wife. This ‘Christian’ woman’s sexual immorality is not even named among Gentiles. Paul said, incestuous relationship taboo pagans culture didn’t do Corinthian Christians accepted incest not even named among GentilesIt is sin in Bible Leviticus 18:8, Deuteronomy 22:30; 27:20. Yet Corinthian Christians didn’t seem bothered by it at all. Their reaction to the sin was: you are puffed up and not mourned so this sin might be taken away from among you. The sin was bad but Paul is more concerned Corinthian Christians seem to take the sin lightly, unconcerned didn’t mourn sin behaviour. Paul dealt with problems of Corinthian Christian’s wrong ideas of God’s POWER at work and HIS servants. Paul deals with moral problem thinking to bring change through God’s Word. So “he who did this might be taken away from among you. Paul’s solution to the problem was remove unrepentant man from protection of fellowship of God’s people. Corinthian Christians did not do so as Corinth’s sexual immorality pagan religion didn’t value purity. Corinthian’s religious sexual pleasure  by concubines is fun as wives bear legitimate children. God’s law in Leviticus 18:8 forbids a sex with stepmother not see their nakedness as father’s wife. Rabbi Akibah on Gentile convert to Judaism says new person, old family relationship did not count. Open-minded tolerated sin puffed up did not mourn. Corinthians must grieve for the man and take him away from Church.1542276701749-1302569310.jpg2. SMYRNA Church suffers martyrdom for Christ in Revelations 2:8-11 suffers persecutions (2:10). Their city adorned by noble buildings, beautiful temples of Zeus, Cybele (Diana), Aphrodite, Apollo, Aesculapius. Smyrna theater, odeum, music center, stadium Polycarp bishop of Smyrna and student of apostle John, martyred was burnt alive A.D. 155. Lord Jesus’ letter to Churches said He knew their sufferings and poverty so did not condemn them. Church at Philadelphia had continuous existence as lampstand moved so few Christians live in Izmir. Undercover, make indirect contact, do not come out in open because Christians are persecuted today in modern Turkey. Smyrna church covers the period from A.D. 100 to approximately A.D. 314 from death of the apostle John to the Edict of Toleration by Constantine in A.D. 313 ended persecution of Christians all over the Roman Empire’s ten intense periods of persecution by ten Roman emperors: Nero: 64-68, Paul beheaded under reign Domitian: 95-96. John exiled period and Trajan: 104-117 (Ignatius burnt at stake) Marcus Aurelius: 161-180 (Polycarp was martyred) Severus: 200-211 Maximinius 235-237 Decius: 250-253 Valerian: 257 -260 Aurelian: 270-275 Diocletian: 303-313 the worst emperor of all. Christians stood up for God and King Jesus to obey God rather than men so paid price with their lives. Like Solemnity to Lord Jesus Christ King of Universe instituted 1925 by Pope Pius XI pushed against a rise of secular political allegiance of Christians. Their faculties was exempt from the empire so Christ reigned in their minds, reigned in their wills, reigned in their hearts. So Christ their King they believed will soon topple kingdoms and replace all human despots with Kingdom of God. Jesus is their ONLY TRUE KING so no one except Christ POWER received their allegiance. Doctrine of Christ their King understood loved not their lives unto death. Faith to them more important than a rule of law contended to defend their faith believed and received as Christians. God’s Rule in Jesus outweighs all kingdoms outweighs everything else so its No King but Jesus. For Christians, God monarchy kingship of Jesus totally invert power gold crown and wealth. His coronation on the Cross crowned with thorns, dug into his head. King Jesus looked to world as abdicated royal status born in manger of David’s City, Jesus, monarchy is defined by His ULTIMATE SACRIFICE to ransom many. Christ’s Kingship coronation on a Cross was not glamourous dress processions ermine and orbs glorious courtiers. It was for the dispossessed His Monarchy brought spirit closer to God through His Blood as Servant KING Priest into whose service many are saved and baptised.1542275166770-729587537.jpg(3) Pergamum Church in Revelations 2: 12-17 needs to repent (2:16). Pergamos temples and library of the pagan world. Parchment (pergamena) used by library Mark Antony to Cleopatra of Alexandria in Egypt. So evil was the city satan’s seat of religion in Pergamum’s headquarters of all kinds of cultish schism divisions. Jesus said satan’s throne in Pergamum because of heathen temples now ruins today. Dionysius Bacchus, god of wine, goat-god depicted with horns, but with his upper part as a man and lower part a goat with cloven feet the god of wine or alcohol, liquor takes more territory than anything else. Greek god Asklepios, a man but Anatolian Oriental Asklepios, is a serpent temple prostitution of sexy voices healing satanic in their day. Jesus commended His believers at Pergamum to hold fast My Name as faithful defend Christ. Arian heresy denied the deity of Christ but Athanasius from North Africa was great defender of the faith because of him the Council of Nicea in A.D. 325 condemned Arianism. Augustine rejects Pelagian heresy denied original sin by total corruption of human nature and irresistible grace. These are two giants this period stood unshakably for great doctrines of Christian faith.1542283658129-1302569310.jpg(4) Thyatira Church in Revelation 2:18-29 on false religion (2:20). Jesus said, I know your deeds, love, faith, service perseverance, doing more than you did at first in Revelation 2:19. Five qualities are: 1) love 2) faith 3) service 4)  patient endurance 5) greater works. Jesus notes they tolerated Jezebel’s idol prophetess, misleading God’s servants into sexual immorality and eating food sacrificed to idols in Revelation 2:20. False religions led believers to compromise in a Church engaging in sexual immorality, dabbling in idolatry. Jezebel’s idolatrous actions oppose God’s way, false teachers kept in Church believers in Thyatira allowed to continue deception. Jesus pronounced a judgment on “Jezebel” and calls Church of Thyatira to repent of sin: “I will cast her on bed of suffering, make those who commit adultery with her suffer, unless repents of evil way I will strike children dead in Revelation 2:22-23. And Jesus encourages the faithful: “I say to the rest of you in Thyatira who do not hold to her teaching by not learning satan’s ways I will not burden you. Hold on until I come in Revelation 2:24-25. So faithful believers didn’t fall into satan’s trap, need to remain faithful till Christ’s return. Jesus promised angels, believers in Thyatira: “All who overcome and do My will to the end I’ll give authority over the nations to rule them with an iron scepter to dash them into pieces like the pottery with authority from My Father God. Daniel prophesied all other kingdoms will fall, shattered by a stone not cut by hand. The living stone is Jesus Cornestone of the Church. I will give you the morning star in Revelation 2:26-28). Blessings include 1) authority over nations, 2) victory over enemies 3) Morning star Jesus in Revelation 22:16 given to His Church to fellowship rules together forever.1542277538911-1302569310.jpg(5) Sardis Church in Revelation 3:1-6 is fallen asleep. (3:2). To the angel of the Church in Sardis writes John’s message from the Lord, Words of him who holds the seven spirits of God and seven stars. Jesus has seven Spirits meaning perfect Spirit of God only Jesus holds the seven stars or the seven angels or pastors of the seven churches in Revelation 1:20. Jesus condemns lifeless state of Sardian church: “I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive but dead says Revelation 3:2. This church had a good reputation, but spiritually lifeless, filled with unsaved people going through the motions of religion. The tares among wheat in Matthew 13:24-30 Jesus calls them to repent of sin to “Wake up and strengthen what remains, about to die. Change bad deeds to become complete in the sight of God. Remember what you receive, hear, obey, repent in Revelation 3:2-3. Pay attention to needs of salvation and care about Jesus in the heart before God. Jesus judgment takes place if they do not repent: “If you do not wake up, I will come like a thief and not know time I will come in Revelation 3:3. A Church unrepentant is dead so disciplined by Jesus Himself. Jesus encourages Sardis Church to be faithful as a few people in Sardis did not soil clothes with idolatry. So will walk with Jesus dressed in white for they are worthy says Revelation 3:4. Faithful remnant garments are so pure and “worthy found in Paul’s teaching in Ephesians 4:1; Colossians 1:10; and 1 Thessalonians 2:12. “Worthy” of faith in the heart faithful ones are promised to walk with Jesus in white says Matthew 22:11-12; Revelation 19:8. Jesus promise to believers in Sardis as overcomes will, be dressed in white and will never blot out names from the book of life. And so acknowledge names before My Father and his angels says Revelation 3:5)l. The overcomers are born again in 1 John 5:4 receive white garment of righteousness eternal security so confessed by Jesus in heaven in Luke 12:8.1542278829955-1302569310.jpg(6) Philadelphia Church in Revelations 3:7-13 endured patiently (3:10) says the Lord, who identifies Himself, Him who is Holy and True, who holds the key of David. What He opens no one can shut, and what He shuts no one can open is a description Jesus used to emphasize His Holiness, Sovereignty and Authority by reference to key of David’s Messianic prophecy of Isaiah 22:22. Jesus Opens and Shuts doors no one reverses. Jesus affirms Church’s good actions: “I know your deeds. See, I place before you an open door no one can shut. I know you have little strength but kept My word so not denied My Name in Revelation 3:8. Church of Philadelphia weak, remained faithful in face of trial so Lord promised them “open door” blessing. Jesus’ letter condemns enemies of the Philadelphian believers I will make those of synagogue of satan, who claim to be Jews but come and fall at your feet and acknowledge I love you says Revelation 3:9. Those who persecute believers religious hypocrites realize Christ Loves His loyal Children. Church of Philadelphia victorious over enemies. Jesus encourages believers of His future Coming: “Since you kept My command to endure patiently, I will keep you from the hour of trial to come on the whole world to test those who live on the earth. I am Coming Soon. Hold on to what you have so no one takes your crown in Revelation 3:10-11. Church’s faithful endurance is a blessing. Jesus will take them to be with Him before Great tribulation in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18. He says to remain faithful because of rewards in the afterlife. Rapture event is distinct from Second Coming of Jesus Christ. So Philadelphians are promised to be saved, preserved from time of Great tribulation happening after Rapture. Jesus told Philadelphia believers and all believers, ‘All who overcome I will make a pillar in Temple of My God. I will write NAME of My God and Name of City of My God the New Jerusalem coming down from heaven from My God and write on you My New Name in Revelations 3:12. God Honours the overcomer’s pillar names in heaven like custom in Philadelphia. He makes pillar for each in Spiritual Temple of God New Jerusalem from heaven in Galatians 2:9; 1 Corinthians 3:16-17; 2 Corinthians 6:16 Ephesians 2:19-22; 1 Peter 2:4-10. Jesus makes everlasting pillars in the House of God and strengthens weak believers Philippians 4:13. Jesus comforts, blesses Philadelphians who faithfully stood for Christ in pagan culture. His words serve as encouragement to faithful believers.1542275559897-1302569310.jpg(7) Laodicea Church in Revelation 3:14-22 lukewarm faith not hot / cold (3:16). The Laodicean Church, not commended by Jesus’ message condemning them of deeds neither cold nor hot will spit you out of my mouth. You say, ‘I am rich; I acquired wealth so don’t need anything. You are wretched, pitiful, poor so blind and naked in Revelation 3:15-17. Jesus said, lukewarm three times due to their spiritual lackadaisical attitude, Jesus has nothing to do with them “spit” them out.” Their apathy is spiritual blindness to be rich blessed self-sufficient rich in material things. Spiritually, Laodiceans a wretched, pitiful condition ignorant of their need in church of the self-deceived hypocrites. Jesus tells Laodicean church to repent of sin: I tell you buy My gold refined in fire, to be rich and buy white clothes to wear to cover nakedness. Put salve on eyes, to see as Revelation 3:18 says their material wealth of no eternal benefit. Jesus says come to Him for true, Spiritual riches in Isaiah 55:1-2. Christ’s eternal inheritance clothe righteousness and heal spiritual blindness. Jesus loves rebuke to discipline in earnest to repent saying, Here I am! I stand at your door and knock. If you hear My voice, open door I will come and eat with you and you with Me in Revelation 3:19-20. God disciplines those HE LOVES in Hebrews 12:6 so change, repent to let Jesus come in and take His rightful place in Church to dine with His Children like last Super close relationship. Jesus tells believers in Laodicea who overcome, I will give the right to sit with Me on My Throne as I overcame and sit with My Father God by HIS Right Hand on HIS THRONE says Revelation 3:21 so share Christ’s future Kingdom. Love for Christ must not be destroyed by the deceitfulness of wealth and desires for other things to choke the Word in Mark 4:19. Christ says repent to choose to live to serve God, Joshua 24:15 says Jesus calls all to follow Him today. Jesus warns in Matthew 24:11 in the last days, there will be many false Christ’s claiming to be Jesus. Trust and believe ONLY Jesus in Bible LIVING in heaven on the RIGHT Hand of God and so is not physically on earth. Jesus warns people, beware of false prophets in the last days so those who claim to be Christian must understand scripture on false prophets not to follow Russian Jesus, Australian Jesus, Jim Jones wacko of waco. They are followed since they grew in Church schooled in the Bible. Know verses used to convince people they are ‘born again’ Christians. People draw closer to them but can’t see things at first. Pin imageIf things don’t add up like a real Church of Jesus should be, some make mistake of challenging them so do adapt to fool people. Other people discover what the original groups knew secretly but trust them because sermons are perfect as a saints but actions don’t synchronise. So people leave the Church but they attack them as spiritual prostitutes not faithful to the pastor. Those psychologically left behind are hooked sink and barrel pour in money loose home, property. Lack of accurate knowledge means stays behind out of fear and Church has them. Pastor in a pulpit or pew members always has false pastor or churches existing etc. NO PERFECT Church exists yet on earth. An idiot pastor can be seen through actions but others never give their game away. Ignorance or lack of confidence in God, makes some people rely on Charlatans. So charming use genuine pastors, members as frontline workers to create trust despite evil ways, successful. Their elect remnant faithful few God uses so Churches thrive against all odds. Their exploited insiders taken advantage of hurt by trusted tainted vessel delivering GOSPEL. But IT DOES NOT MEAN GOD, JESUS, HOLY SPIRIT GOSPEL tainted. In Jesus Name they heal the sick, deliver people do miracles and wonders and people go to heaven. But Jesus said they depart from Him as evil doers He does not know. They showed off miracles to pull crowds to impress people, play God and take God’s GLORY instead of giving credit and Honour to God. Lucifer wants to be God not a servant of God so not man of God in the true sense of the word. Paul said he did not want to lead others to God and perish so he ran the race to win the price. Paul in Gospel told people since his repentance he lived by good example, worked hard, sold tents earned income so did not rely on their Church donations to make money. And he received free gifts cheerfully given by people to him. Taught them he was a preacher servant of God but was saved like everyone else. He had to work out HIS salvation with fear of God too and by trembling in humility. Yes that Paul became different from Saul an official. These leaders take the mick by saying they are Jesus, God will deal with heresy and blasphemous mocking. But people choose to follow them knowing deep down they’re at peace within. Yet seek them because there in no dispute they have a hint of good bringing people the word. But if different people claim to be Jesus and open churches it takes two to tango so a false prophet or false pastor needs gullible, vulnerable people props. Stockholm syndrome attachment forms so deceived Jesus said in Matthew 24:24 be discerning or even an elect deceived. 15422880117261978514216.jpgThey are cunning manipulative smooth operators who debilitate victims. They gradually suck victims dry and it’s hard to notice it’s taking place. Use reliable front men as trustworthy foot soldiers. So it’s hard to believe things going on in secret chambers. Some members there years unaware of evils going on but the few inner circles who expose them are blacklisted, blackmailed or even killed in extreme cases. Jesus says that test the spirits to see if they are from God and by their own personal private life fruits you will know them. Since there is no perfect pastor or nobody is perfect still assemble together anyway. Check if the contents of pastor’s character is biblical or members faithful if yardsticks to go by in Church. Bible says House of God has vessels of dis/honour as wheat and tares so God had Lucifer Jesus had Judas Iscariot so Churches faces challenges too. DEPEND ON GOD and FOCUS ON JESUS and the HOLY SPIRIT. God says soon nobody will need anyone to teach them to KNOW God. GOD WILL TEACH PEOPLE DIRECTLY THROUGH WORDS, READ, STUDY BIBLE, PRAY SEEK GOD’S FACE. Thank God for HIS Grace and Mercy in Jesus Name. The false prophet does not mean they don’t have anything good to offer. They are God’s Creation in image of God but sincerely so ignorantly wrong. Some are mentally deranged or others fulfill prophecy Jesus said about endtime false prophets. Jesus said at times go to learn from mistake of others to avoid it and learn from wise to grow Timothy in faith. Timothy in Bible says, check a pastor’s domestic track record if loyal husband of one wife; takes care of their family as good role model, honest, genuine approved by God. Faithful to a wife, handles money well, trustworthy, reliable, dependable, honest, caring, compassionate, sincere. Our first duty to ourselves is please God not a watchman policing false pastors or fake Christian Church members. It is your decision to ask God to deliver you in Jesus Name from oppressive Church. Today people attend Church with preconceived ideas of what Church is in their head. They go there based on what they want see, feel or experience, elated or disappointed by Church. Many look for a perfect Church but its illusion because it does not exist. 1542283999442-1302569310.jpgDo not assume all Church members are born again believers, following, obeying God in a heavenly atmosphere enjoyed on earth. Don’t enter a Church premise with attitude of great expectations that satisfy your assessment checklist. Good members can meet a standard checklist analysis during the honey moon period. Loyal ones remain consistently reliable and dependable so trustworthy serving for years. Others come and go, or thorns in the flesh of Church but do not leave. Toxic members and leader’s factions in Church is like Judas Iscariot with Jesus and His Apostles to sabotage or kill their leader. Also action of lucifer challenged by God in heaven led to satan and one – third angels thrown down from heaven. Confronted by God ganged up to falsely accuse God to cause division. Complex Church problem of the autocrat leaders manipulating their vulnerable members taken advantage of. Have no choice but become their pawns used to divide and conquer members for their selfish ends. Requesting money after praying or with coloured candles, baths in river streams unlike leprosy cured by Elijah. So prays curses on people, repetitive prayers or chants not in Bible. Favouritism of petty jealousy resurfaces again and again so emotions and feelings hurt in process. It shocks all, ruins Church so some to fall away from God or standard too strict to conform some rebel so leave. Whatever situation congregation pew members or leaders face problems daily unresolved is left to fester is scandalous so damages reputation of the Church. Stated in Bible some people fall away denouncing their Church. A series of events accumulates until breakdown in communication and cannot be resolved. People lose faith in God based on human actions they have observed or are forced into partaking in repulsive some never recover suffering in silence. Others under a thumb of the leader not relying on God, chewed and spewed out, other victims replace them. Multiple victims are played like game of chess so none particularly gains upper hand to rock perpetrator’s boat. On the surface at a glance, things seem normal until dust settles later as reality sets in. Fight, flight, swim or sink mode is the decision faced with nowhere to go. Fear of maintains hold of leader’s secret and privileged information is need to know basis style of leadership. 1542284906118-1302569310.jpgHidden secret meetings takes place and people aware helpless cannot intervene or take action due to their fear of being targeted excluded or killed. So Girls and boys are groomed in a Church twisting their mind to make them feel it’s their fault. Follow instinct and gut feelings which tends to be right if it’s too good to be true. So stay away from such people promising the moon but discards you by ghosting you when they finish with you. Suffering, pain and damage cost you so stuff gone through is not worth the pain stop things and leave immediately. You have power to stop don’t play the victim relying on the perpetrator to stop. They never stop as long as you allow it you’re manipulated so means you agreed. The perfect Church longed for does not exist because no Church can cater for all the member’s needs as all human beings are imperfect. No such Church exists so dreams of ever finding perfect church is fantasy. Scripture says perfect Church is possible according to Word of God. But in reality various definitions of perfect Church is the cause of the problem. Stop wasting time looking for perfect Church because no church is perfect. Church on earth is made up of imperfect and sinful people seeking help from God in Christ to become whole. 1 Corinthians 1:1-9 in Bible describes the perfect church. Don’t bother looking for perfect Church you’ll be disappointed. It is impossible to find it right on earth until Lord Jesus returns to set up His NEW Church of God. So put hope in God in Church that loves God in this life if even not perfect. Ideal Church of God will happen when PERFECT Jesus Christ Reigns. No human being at this moment is perfect enough as a leader or perfect Church members. People’s ideas of perfect Church is the pastor preaches appealing sermons or a worship music stirs people. Presentation is flawless so programs address life needs in trendy facility. Definition concentrates on the program of the perfect church as people expect to make Church perfect. Eyes on others in body of Christ to hold them accountable as responsible for making a Church perfect. Focus on faults causes imperfection of Church yet the accusers are not perfect either.1542288141401-1953533357.jpgA perfect Church is determined by those who measure things important to life in Church programs, plans, property and possessions. Distracts Church people to follow for material or health needs. Do not teach love Jesus as 1 John 4:2-3 says is their personal saviour and friend to be in love with and adored. So recognise the Spirit of God to acknowledge Jesus Christ came in flesh from God in heaven and will return in the flesh to Reign on earth. Colossians 3:12-14 says God’s CHOSEN people to be holy dearly loved clothed in compassion kindness, humility, gentleness, patience. Bear with each other forgive grievances against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgives you. 14 Above all these virtues put on love to bind them all together in perfect unity. Forgive those who offend you live altogether in perfect harmony. A Church in perfect harmony where all live happily ever after. A perfect church where everyone is loved so loving each other as one united community. Love of God in Christ binds Christians together in fellowship. Love helps us to grow in Spirit and in Truth maturing in things of God. Perfect harmony expresses love in Christian community and Galatians 5:22-25 describes fruits of Holy Spirit to aspire to achieve. The deepest genuine relationship with Jesus Christ flows by their love from God as Jesus prayed His followers be one. In many the Churches connection craved through Godly love is lacking or misinterpreted by lust. Can a perfect church in a community grounds for abomination? Actions speaks louder than words so a perfect sermon must be practicalized for all to see by agape love of believers as God’s Children by their love for each other. Remember an obea, juju, vudu priest, witchdoctor’s oracle’s predict future too as Saul saw Samuel appear to a witch at Endor in disguise. Ability to forecast or predict things in the NAME of God is not a yardstick for measuring true prophet of God. Their fruits in God’s Word, sermons performs miracles, healing, signs, wonders but a vessel needs deliverance, salvation and mercy of God. Paul said he did not want to lead others to Christ but perish so runs the race like the congregation to win a prize too. Jesus warned people performing miracles in His Name, save, heal people with signs and wonders but do it to show off to take God’s GLORY so does not PLEASE and HONOUR God. For wrong reason of pride, ego God rejects them despite their personal attempts to impress God. Salvation is in the Name of Jesus not in their display of miracles to pull crowds. They may be used to save others but are sincerely wrong by not humbly submitting to God’s Authority. 154228825875025945107.jpgPerform miracles to impress people and become ‘god’ to their followers. People quote what they say more than God’s Words in the Bible. Instead of being the channel leading people to God become conduit drawing people to themselves for praise and adulations. Forget there is no other Name among men by which people will be saved play God to a point their “fruits” of what they do and what they tell you to do are contrary to what the Bible teaches. Tell some members to practice greater love and lay their lives down for them but do not return same favour. Uses people to build themselves up rather than build God up in Christ. Constantly attack members, find faults belittles, humiliates to feel powerful but scrutinize their personal behaviour and character, how they talk, act in private. Instead building up to encourage to put up with one another, warts and all and accepting actions to correct attitudes of immature baby Christians, is very harsh unlike God’s mercy. So creates pain and bitterness to hurt people not Holy Spirit allowed to change them so are draining or emotionally tiring. Money conscious, materialistic minded, always preach the “all these things” health wealth doctrine but filled by spiritual pride. Live sinful lifestyle but separate the flesh body lust from their spiritual body in Christ. Dual personality concept excused used to fool and abuse members justify sin, reassure victims God is aware so its acceptable. A tendency to misinterpret Bible, secretly lust after attractive ladies in Church. Do not be deceived or encouraged to ignore devil defeated so doesn’t count. Positive response is to use a practical wisdom in Romans 12:9-13:10 to build up body the of Christ not focus on people’s faults but FOCUS on Sovereign God in Christ as it’s all about God FIRST. A Church is God’s assemble together to WORSHIP God and passing Godly values from generation to by taking children to a Church to learn the things of God. Some don’t realise its for that so meet to find or make friends, mates, spouse, sell or others do not why know they attend Church. The priests or pastors, ministers, leaders, elders must abide by God’s instructions. Bible says Aaron’s sons died after an uncalled for sacrifice to God in Temple but a senior priest’s exclusive job. 2 Chronicles 27:1-2 says King Jotham good king as father Uzziah didn’t go to temple to worship God. King Uzziah went to temple every week so expected his son to continue practice. Many young people turn from parents’ training, church attendance to miss God’s blessings. Jotham refused to go to temple to receive God’s blessing by not letting go of the blame and shame of father’s leprosy he associated with God.1542288203393-729587537.jpg Felt it was God’s fault his father’s action in church ruined his life. A royal family like that will not turn up to hear people whisper of king’s leprosy. 2 Chronicles 27:1-2 passage on Jotham not in temple is to KNOW his place in Church. Wrong to abandon Church due to his anger by condemning God did not set very good example as a leader . Moses was leader punished by God so did not to enter the promised land despite serving God for years. Ananias and Sapphira members of Pentecost Church were dealt with by the Holy Spirit who revealed their deeds and God punished them. Exegesis shows interpretation of passage to understand context, histories of Uzziah and Jotham, 2 Chronicles 26-27; 2 Kings 15:1-6, 32-38. King Uzziah good king disobeyed LORD God in the temple offering of incense on altar only a priest had a right to do in 2 Chronicles 26:16-20. And Uzziah’s pride contaminated temple results in “leprosy until day he died” in 2 Chronicles 26:21. Lived in isolation as the Leviticus 13:46 required of leprosy. God’s punishment in passages of 2 Kings 5:27; 2 Chronicles 16:12; and 21:12-15 show leaders must be careful in handling HIS CHURCH. It is important to understand Temple is the LORD’s not to repeat a past leader’s mistakes. Uzziah proudly usurped the priest’s office but Jotham disobedient by refusing to attend the Temple too. God disciplines HIS Children but blesses the obedient who earns a special crown of God. Leaders or congregations need to learn from past mistakes not to repeat them. As unashamed workmen of God, to correctly interpret Scripture not to render them as literature to cut off Holy Spirit of God from texts. Koresh wanted to take over Moses’ leadership duties so ganged up with others to rebel against Moses. GOD punished them by opening ground to swallow them with families though a few survived. Saul performed sacrifice before Samuel arrived was told that to obey is better than sacrifice. For disobedience is like witchcraft rebellion against God’s instructions or commands in Bible is practising idolatry. 2 Timothy 2:15 commands all, “Present yourself to God approved workman who don’t need to be ashamed, correctly handling Word of TRUTH.” Some Church leaders stop the members from studying Bible telling them they are their Moses. Theological gymnastics to prove how highly learned they are confuses members. A desire to impress by preaching their fixed recipe formula ingredient Gospel causes chaos and disagreements. Turning the Church into factions of theology is unprofitable and unsuitable. Some pastor’s split their Church over traditions of men doctrines to suit ideology. Tyrant’s Church idolize men of God not God of men. High and an independent Church may challenge a leader in secret but also allows them to function because they appointed them leaders so as founder of a Church often above their correction.IMG-20181029-WA0002.jpg Beloved, I diligently write to you about our common salvation so it is necessary to write to you to contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints. Certain men crept in unnoticed long ago marked for condemnation ungodly men who turn the grace of God into a license immorality and deny Jesus Christ, our only sovereign and Lord in Jude 3-4. So Jude means defend ‘The Faith’ paying attention to the body of Christ’s doctrine Christian TRUTH. The Christian doctrine is delivered to saints to keep secure and as John in Revelation 22:19 is instructed readers not add or take from the Word. Christians are to take the basic doctrine of the faith and live by example through agape love. Keeping good principles for Christian living as Paul in 2 Timothy  4:7 stated he remained faithful to this truth, of doctrinal core all the believers should adhere. Sound doctrine translated into a contemporary Christian life experience. God is known by a keen understanding of God’s Word, defending it through the personal relationship with God in Christ and the Holy Spirit. Not Greek, Hebrew, historical or systematic theology studied devoid of the practical relationship with God. The Church of God is one although difference in theology exists. Ephesians 4:4-6, says the Church is one body, one Spirit, one hope, one Lord, one faith one baptism; one Father God of all above all, through you all.” Theological debates of differences exist but is one faith in Lord God Almighty in Christ. Studies reflect theory but in truth lack true doctrine of love and faith. Jude’s sound doctrine of faith in practice and ethics not distorted by false teachers who turn Grace of God into license for immorality. These false teachers who change faith affect ethical practical life of believers. Essential faith doctrine of Jesus’ creeds and confession is in Matthew 16:13-17 when Jesus came to Caesarea Philippi He asked disciples, Who do men say I, the Son of Man I am?Some said, John the Baptist, Elijah and others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.’ But who do you say I am?’ Simon Peter answered and said, ‘You are the Christ the Son of the Living God.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, flesh and blood didn’t reveal this to you but My God Father in heaven. So Peter confessed true identity of Christ as basis of faith and doctrine of Christianity. In 1 Corinthians 15:1-4, the Gospel preached to you as received stand by it, be saved hold fast the word preached to you and you believed. Delivered to you is Word received that Christ died for our sins in Scriptures was buried and rose on third day is coming to resurrect dead soon. _20180716_231734.JPGPaul delivered, “the faith” received as basic content of the Gospel. 1 Timothy 3:16 on message of mystery of God is confession of creed of God manifested in the flesh and justified in Spirit is seen by angels, as preached among Gentiles to believe heard in the world is received into glory in heaven.” These confessions are bedrocks of Christian belief for their faith like Jude. Modern Church doctrine constitutes the faith Jude talks about as discussed. Christians believing in Jesus express an interest in the importance of sound doctrine to protect faith. Doctrine is crucial to Gospel Truth of person working for Christ. Theologian, pastors, members must be trained to defend the faith not just professional theologians. Christians biblically educated earnestly contend for faith not allow false teacher to do what they want. Jesus and other New Testament authors, warned of the coming of false teachers in Acts 20:29-30; 2 Corinthians 11, in Colossians 2:4-5; or 1Timothy 4:1; 6:20; and 2 Timothy 4:3; 2 Peter 2:1; 3:4. These texts say false teachers are coming and are currently present in Churches. Jude sounds alarm, “Church beware!” Contend earnestly for the faith as satan’s counterfeit actions of two thousand year’s Christianity history blurs truth of God. True Christians, well-grounded in Scripture spot counterfeit doctrine. Earnestly fight for Gospel as enemy is already defeated by Jesus so by intense devotion to God contend for faith. Doctrine taken seriously refutes error in Church. Doctrine interpretation of eschatology premillennialism, some post-tribulation believe Christians go to heaven before Great tribulation. Church pretribulations, believer’s rapture occur before great tribulation. Amillennial do interpret eschatology as postmillennials debates exists as advocates of legitimate interpretations are not heretic apostate false teachers. Because only God knows exact time huge differences exist in the eschatology but the deity of Christ Jesus, blood atonement, Second-coming, virgin birth are in the Bible. Doctrines of faith, Christian not to confuse with any issues unable to resolve by their differences. It to contend for the faith by wisdom and to discern those false teachers. In these cases Christians contend firmly in love to restore the false teacher if possible to regain faith so truly be converted. These messages of Jude is vital for twenty-first century Church to proclaim and defend God’s Truth of faith alone for salvation:

  1. The Scripture is God’s True Words.
  2. Adam and Eve lived Eden Garden
  3. The sin nature of human is saved
  4. The deity of Christ is absolute
  5. The virgin birth of Christ is real
  6. The sinless Christ’s perfection
  7. Substitution atonement of sin
  8. Jesus’ bodily resurrection is true
  9. Jesus second coming literally here
  10. Eternal, literal heaven and hell
  11. Perfect Church reflects love of God
  12. Perfect Church genuinely forgives
  13. Perfect Church love boundaries
  14. Perfect Church transparent to all
  15. Perfect Church cares for members
  16. Perfect Church cares for all guests
  17. Perfect Church use Bible reference
  18. Perfect Church Leads by Example
  19. Perfect Church is done Scripturally
  20. Perfect Church prays /worship God
  21. Perfect Church does Bible study
  22. Perfect Church Fasts and prays
  23. Perfect Church teach sanctification
  24. Perfect Church live by God’s Word

 

FAITH IS RESTORED IN GOD

Jessica Wilbanks

Journalism academician Jessica Wilbanks is the recipient of a Pushcart Prize and creative nonfiction awards from Ninth LetterSycamore Review, Redivider, and the Ruminate magazine. In 2014, she was selected as a finalist for the PEN Center USA Literary Award in Journalism. Jessica received her MFA in creative nonfiction from University of Houston where she served as nonfiction editor for Gulf Coast. She lives in Houston Texas with husband and son. Jessica Wilbanks is a third-year M.F.A. student in creative nonfiction at the University of Houston, where she serves as Nonfiction Editor at Gulf Coast: A Journal of Literature and the Arts. Her essays and creative nonfiction have appeared in theBulletin of Atomic Scientists, The PuritanSojourners, The Normal School, and Relevant Magazine. She was recently awarded Pre-Doctoral Fellowship from West Africa Research Association to conduct research for her thesis, an essay collection focusing on the history and practice of Christianity in West Africa. Jessica is the winner of a Pushcart Prize for essay writing, debuts the captivating story of how she turned away from God. She eloquently explores her long journey from being Pentecostal Christian who spoke in tongues to being an atheist. Drawn away from a Church after writing a ‘talisman’ in her pocket to abandon faith. She kept a façade by attending church pretending to take notes of sermons. But led a worldly life to escape the cage that seemed more boring compared to exciting lifestyle of two free spirit wild girls she admired and later copied. Eventually it was time to experience that side of life first by escaping to an institution where she gained freedom to practice her freewill. After a few years manages to restore her faith by travelling to West Africa, Nigeria to explore Pentecostal Christianity. Whether writing of scars, her dad’s rusty pickup trucks, massive Pentecostal revivals in Lagos, Wilbanks captures scenes beautifully. Wilbanks’s slow deconstruction of her family-given religiosity is the evocative inversion of average spiritual journey in her book. What impressed me most about this is a personal journey of faith story crossed path with academics who keep the faith matters private in an academic setting. This is a testimony of courage, a family reunion, forgiveness in situations that lead others on the journey of no return. Thank God for HIS LOVE, Mercy, Grace and restoration of faith in Jesus to give hope to people lost in wilderness of atheism. WHEN I SPOKE IN TONGUES is a memoir of profound destabilization that comes from losing one’s faith, as a young woman’s journey to reconcile her lack of belief with her love for her deeply religious family. Growing up in poverty in the rural backwoods of southern Maryland, Pentecostal church was at the core of Jessica Wilbanks’ family life. At sixteen, driven by a desire to discover the world, Jessica walked away from the Church. Trading her faith for freedom and driving a wedge between her and her deeply religious family. Fundamentalist faiths haunt the adherents long after belief fades former believers often live in limbo straddling two world views and trying to reconcile their past and present. Ten years later, struggling with guilt and shame, Jessica began a quest to recover her faith. It led her to West Africa, where she explored Yorùbá roots of Pentecostal faith, and was once again swept up by promises and power of Church. After a terrifying car crash, she finally began the difficult work of forgiving herself for leaving the church and her family and finding her own path. When I Spoke in Tongues is a story of the painful and complicated process of losing one’s faith and moving across class divides. And in the end, it’s a story of how a family splintered by dogmatic faith can eventually be knit together again through love.

Wondering about as belief fades former believers live in limbo of the two world views. Jesssica, trying to reconcile her past with the present, ten years later, struggling with guilt and shame, Jessica began a quest to recover her faith. It led her to West Africa, where she explored Yorùbá roots of Pentecostal faith, and was once again swept up by promises and power of Church. After a terrifying car crash, she finally began the difficult work of forgiving herself for leaving the church and her family and finding her own path. When I Spoke in Tongues is the story of the painful and complicated process of losing one’s faith and moving across class divides. And in the end, it’s a story of Jessica’s family reconciliation, after splintered by dogmatic faith is knit together through love restored in God. 

 CHIBUNDU ONUZO

Welcome to Lagos_cvr_300dpi print res (1)nterview:Chibundu Onuzo interview in new book Welcome to Lagos published, Houston Chronicle. Jessica Wilbank’s Teaching Philosophy: As writers, we are dependent on two streams to nourish our writing. First, is the stream of inspiration or mysterious and spiritual force that wakes us in the middle of the night with words singing in our heads. Then there is the realm of craft and technique, the editor and the workhorse. As creative writing teacher, I do my best to both equip my students with craft advice, structural templates that have best served my own writing, while also honoring and feeding my students’ original sources of inspiration. PAST WRITEFEST May 5, 2017

Writespace

Participating in the first workshop took place in May 2017. This was first year participating in Writefest–an amazing new writer’s conference in Houston sponsored by Houston Writers’ Guild and Writespace. Participation in panel called “How to Get Published in Literary Journals”and moderated panel with Andrew Sullivan, CP Heiser, Michael J. DeLuca, Holly Walrath, and Karen Bovenmyer. I was especially excited to meet CP Heiser, since Unnamed Press published Jessie Chaffee’s terrific new book Florence in Ecstasy. I never worked with Tony Hoagland in my graduate program but my weekend course with him several years ago was aimed at helping high school teachers better understand or appreciate poetry. That course was beginning of a massive shift in the way I approached imagery and detail in my work. I remember coming home from class at 5 pm on a Saturday night and writing for hours at kitchen table. His love for poetry was just so infectious, and he was so passionate about helping people see how alive and energetic poetry could be. I’ll never forget him telling us “I do a lot of things in my life…write poems, teach grad students, give lectures…but teaching community workshops is the thing I love doing more than anything else.” This beautiful excerpt is from “A Color of the Sky” in What Narcissism Means to Me.

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Jessica Wilbanks

The Honors College Faculty Jessica Wilbanks

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“There is no agony like bearing an untold story inside of you.” —Maya Angelou

Please bring your favorite writing tools, such as a laptop or a notebook and pen.

 

 

DO TOYS DISTRACT FOCUS?

Children become distracted when they are surrounded by toys Too many toys are bad for children as a study suggests that the children become distracted when they are surrounded by too many toys. This is what the parents have suspected all along. Children who have too many toys are more also easily distracted so do not enjoy that quality playtime with other children as the new study suggest. Researchers at University of Toledo in Ohio, US, recruited some 36 toddlers and invited them to play in a room for half an hour, with either four toys, or 16 toys. They found youngsters were far more creative when they had fewer toys to play with. And they played with each for twice as long, thinking up more uses for each toy and lengthening and expanding their games. The authors conclude parents, schools and nurseries should pack away most of their toys and just rotate a small number regularly, to help encourage the children to become more creative to improve the attention spans of the children. This study sought to determine if the number of toys in a toddlers’ environments influences their quality of play,” said the lead author Dr Carly Dauch in journalInfant Behaviour and Development.“The higher number of incidences of play in 16 toy condition did interfere with duration and depth of play. Other toys present created their external distractions. “During toddler years, children develop but not master, higher levels of control over attention. And their attention plus their play was disrupted by factors in an environment present with distractions. The results of the present study suggest an abundance of toys create distractions. But provided with fewer toys in their environments the toddlers engaged in longer periods of play with single toy allowing better focus to explore, play more creatively.”Getting rid of toys encourages children to read more or paint, say researchers Getting rid of toys encourages children to read more or paint, says researchers. Britons spend more than £3 billion each year on toys and surveys shows that a typical child owns 238 toys in total but parents think they play with just the 12 ‘favourites’ on a daily basis making up just five per cent of their toys. It is not the first time research suggested that too many toys distract children. In the 1990s the German researchers, Elke Schubert and Rainer Strick conducted experiment where the toys were taken away from Munich nursery for three months. After a few weeks, the children re-adjusted and their play became far more creative and social. The published research of their findings in their book, called, The Toy-free Nursery. In another book, ClutterFree with Kids the author, Joshua Becker also argued fewer toys are better for children because a sparse playroom encourages creativity to help children develop attention span and to teach youngsters about taking care of their possessions. “A child will rarely learn to fully appreciate the toy in front of them when there countless options are still remaining on the shelf behind them,” he said. “When children have too many toys, they will naturally take less care of them. And they will not learn to value them if there is their replacement ready at hand. “Fewer toys causes these children to become more resourceful by solving problems with only materials at hand. And resourcefulness is a gift with unlimited practical uses in their futures.

The research is published in the journal Infant Behaviour and Development. The conflict of interest of the toy companies advertising children playing with many latest toys makes parents feel obliged to buy them for the children not to feel left out. Children display their toys online on social media to compare with each other including the addictive games that stop children learning, doing homework assignments later in college, university or focus at work. Lack attention span or focus from childhood affects the adults today unable concentrate for few hours to complete tasks at hand. Christmas is around and parents must not let a child manipulate them emotionally to buy a toy without teaching them first value of essential basic reading at level. Children can get a few educational toy to reward them to do exceptionally well in a field of academic achievement at school. The development steared towards a specific direction of any future career requires relevant toys to influence natural gifts, talents and abilities. Otherwise parents unintentionally make children victim of success by their ability to buy too many toys they can afford. Just because it is possible to buy things seen on the TV in adverts does not mean it enhances their specific development. Parent knows the children best, whether they are trained experts or not must help child learn not to depend only on school to learn. Early learning through practical play is now rapidly eroded by virtual reality keep children cocooned online. So important to carefully reflect before Christmas on piling up toys to “prove” your “love” of your children to the world overloading them with too many toys. Experience shows most children are just so happy playing with the box, not expensive toys boosting their parents ego. Millennium children are suffering from the lack of a social understanding or interaction due to isolated attachment to toys valued as more precious than engaging with each other. Time consumed worrying about their toy possessions makes them miss out on appreciating fellow human being as adults due to learned behaviour. The competition among children, teenagers over toys leads further to threats of the perceived anger of friends loving them only for their material possessions. The toys must not take over to babysit their children without adult supervision and input. One of the best ways to bond with children is play with them sometimes to help them value the adults in their lives.

4 TYPES OF FRIENDS IN LIFE

15412728607271293330498.jpgAdd value to your life by including good friends to increase and multiply your love to build you up for support and to encourage you in life. Be there for each other in good and challenging times and avoid fake friends who pretend to love you but killing you at the same time as enemies who divide your life. Swap bad influence friends to change your life by replacing frenemies with good friends who add value to your life. Stick with friends who do help you to mature in a good way. Increase and multiply your life with positive people so your life will thrive and flourish, subtract from your life those who divide your life affecting other areas of your career and business, family or friends. It is important to be aware of the kind of friends you allow into your life. Take initiative to know if person is truly what they say or portray themselves to be. Check their motives or know whatever the reason is why they befriend you so do not judging a book by its cover. As soon as you begin to do analysis and reflect on actions, words or behaviours, over time you will discover whatever reasons why you are chosen to be around. This will help you know those really befriending for your best interest at heart or those using you in disguise because you will not tolerate them in your life when you really know them well. Those who add to your life often do not want to openly brag or get credit for adding value to your life so at times are anonymous. Others you know add to your life but do not like to come out boldly to receive praise. They add to your life, bless you, want only the best for your life, are there for you in time of need without asking them for help. This type of friends are rare, few and far in between and loyal for life. You feel good around them and trust them with your life because they are codependable and reliable. Even before you ask about the next thing they already figured it out so come to you to surprise you. They take the time to actively listen, observe and do the best they can without drawing attention to themselves. We all know a few people who consistently behind the scenes are the hidden driving force but never stand out in the crowd. Some are so discreet people are shocked as they find out their benefactors. Some are not necessarily rich or wealthy but love and do good with a compassionate heart to help people. It is in their nature to give, give, even the last shirt on their back to help other people. Nobody forces them to help others but feel joy of fulfillment when they help. People discover some actually spent their entire life as unsung heroes adding value to so many people. It is not done for adulation but genuine caring heart considering people they interact with throughout in life. Often families are surprised when a group of friends or beneficiaries turn up for “this is your life” celebration event occasion commemorating them. Then people see or discover the saint they are all along but humbly never let show throughout knowing them. Pin imageA friend can multiply your life or other areas of your life. In Ecclesiastes 11: 2 give a portion to seven, or even to eight, for you know not when disaster happen on earth. Bible in Acts 20:35 says people in all things work hard to help the weak remember Lord Jesus, said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ Giving includes: kindness, smiles, support, call, check on others eat meal together. What you do to others is done to Jesus so take note and be merciful in Jesus Name. In Acts 17:11 Jews more noble than those in Thessalonica received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so true. Studying help understand God’s words better because God is in HIS Word HE puts above HIMSELF. Isaiah 40:8 says the grass withers, flowers fade but the Word of our God stands forever so live by the word of God. Psalm 119:11 says store God’s word in your heart not sin against God. Be a friend who adds value to other’s lives to build up. As you come in contact with others feel good positive vibe reaching out through connecting with you. Things you struggle with to do to improve for years will turn around suddenly for good by entering your life. Such people carry the favour of God so sent to be Divine helpers. People say if you want to go very fast in life go alone but if you want to go very far you need people. There is only so much to achieve alone by yourself through your limited efforts. Good network friends enhance your life bringing established structures to multiply your life but not take it over to annihilate you. You do not have to be reinventing the wheel for others spent years perfecting what you are doing. It is their experience and maturity after a few errors they know what works best to save time, money, resources wasted in the process. The concept that if you do it all exclusively by yourself then you are patent owner really not true. There is a whole team of people behind scenes helping but as the boss you take credit and some do not acknowledge all those who helped them along the way. Fear of being seen as not doing it drives people conceal their helpers who work hard to make it happen. Bless multipliers and reward them because without an input you will not be where you are by your own efforts alone. 15412860692961293330498.jpgOther types of friends subtracts from your life so toxic since you knew or met them you regret allowing them in your life. All things fall apart around them but they do not take any responsibility for affecting your life in any way. In fact blames everyone else so never expects to help as it is beneath their status. So think too highly of themselves, demand to be always the centre of attention and first served, eat the last morsel of food available. They may not bring shopping in or contribute to chore but think life is only all about them. So have high flaky ego that crumbles in the least moments expected, emotionally drain the people but ungrateful to those helping them. It is the love of God that sustains people to have compassion to help them. So don’t appreciate sacrifices or the compromise people make to accommodate to help them. No matter all the resources put to together to good uses on their behalf to help, they subtract emotionally to take the upper hand by controlling spirits to dominate others. No matter how long you know them seem to be permanently complaining about others letting them down. They seem to take comfort in misery rather than want peace of mind solution due to negative attention given them. Negative attention is better than no attention and so deliberately look for need to cause a moment to drain others to feel better. They derive happiness in pain caused by them to subtract joy of others to cause stress so people around them feel a high-strung energy, on edge, tiptoeing on egg shells. First of all pray to God to touch the heart of those that think it’s by subtracting others from the lives of others they can sneak into your life. They do not value those around as a blessing but see them as a threat due to petty jealousy and lack of confidence in God and in themselves. Churches deals various characters categorised by Seven Churches in Revelations. A Church is a bit like a hospital where various people turn up with ailments. It is not a perfect place so be aware people are seeking a relief to help them cope with life. This means members support new people who are not familiar with the Bible or what God expects from them. Like the new-born baby must be nurtured and fed the word of God to grow spiritually. Pin imageActs 20:29 warns the Church after Jesus’ departure to heaven, fierce wolves will not spare flock. So Bible warns brothers and sisters to watch out for those who cause divisions in Church. Jesus’ warns us because satan’s divisive spirit makes people angry as their tool to manipulate others perpetually angry at themselves and the world. One look or a word sets them off explosively, triggered by even innocent comment, suggestion question of normal daily interactions between all people as their fellow human beings. So those watching, see them destroy lives despite great potential to accomplish good things in life. If only they can calm down enough to listen and take it all in. They never have “any time” so making excuses yet you never know exactly the time of day or night used for. They have grand visions and dreams to achieve if only they get the right friends, experts, funds, projects and right location. When challenged become offended and quote psychological terminologies memorised to project their divisive personality onto others. They never do anything wrong or make mistakes yet their track record shows trampling on others and wrecked lives left behind to pick up the pieces as the move to fertile grounds to repeat the egotistical disaster again. They are like a runaway train nobody can stop until a damage is done. They have a gift of the garb, charming, convincing it’s almost impossible to convince victims despite evidence of their damage. It starts with a few people they dismiss not mentally sound to further years of carnage due to their charismatic personality. The more divisions they cause destroying lives it’s the more they are celebrated having a hold over their friends. Despite glaring facts provided people turn on innocent victims to attack them as perpetrators to promote the cause of divisive people. The truth is no human being can handle or tackle a divisive person because their nature comes from satan their master using them. Only Almighty God can deal with them so no use trying to logically reason or talk to them. Those who dare confront them labeled enemies used by them for their dirty works punished. It’s a situation with divisive person of their way or no way though gullible, naive or inexperienced. Impulsive or compulsive abuse position of authority of trust their friends put in them and loyalty. Life is only about them though just one among billions of people on earth. Do not think anybody knows anything think so smart but incompetent. Insist on controlling of all things they do not know, understand but bully people into submission. Those not agreeing to their whims or caprices threatened with complacency and their non – compliance and nonconformity is excuse to ostracize, blacklist, blackmail them. The force in divisive character is satan so God can control their heart. Its growth like wildfire but ceases because in living history tyrants do not last long so their kingdoms fall. The everlasting Kingdom of God Stands Forever so be delivered and saved in Jesus Name.15413178444481293330498.jpg

A POSTPARTUM PSYCHOSIS

Singer Adele and Laura DockrillAdele spotted her friend’s postpartum psychosis illness after the birth of her Godson. Postpartum is also a postnatal depression changing the behaviour of the mother after birth so needs help and support of friends and family to recover. This is a serious illness and mothers struggle to look after the baby and themselves. Adele’s best friend says the singer was the first one to spot her postpartum psychosis. Laura Dockrill gave birth to a baby boy, Adele’s Godson in February this year. Recognised it in me, while on the phone FaceTiming her and she was the first one to detect what she had, Laura told Radio 1 Newsbeat. This serious mental illness affects one in one thousand mums and can lead to hallucinations after giving birth. Laura said: “The last six months can only be described as hell, it was the worst time of my life.” She says her symptoms were “insomnia, delusions, suspiciousness and paranoia” and written a blog post to share her experiences with mums who going through same thing. Adele shared Laura’s story, describedas “intimate and heartbreaking.” The singer says she and Laura friends since they were teenagers and her song My Same, from the album 19, is about her. Laura is a poet, author, illustrator and short story writer, and she went to the same school as Adele – the Brit School of Performing Arts in Croydon. In a blog post she talks about a “horrific” labour her doctor believes might have triggered the illness. After coming home with son, Laura describes feeling like “pushed out my personality as well as a baby.”Laura DockrillLaura and Adele are friends since they were teenagers. She says had suicidal thoughts. “I was begging my sister to let me go, I was begging my mum to let me go. “I have never had those thoughts before in my life and no history of mental illness, this completely took me by surprise and threw me against the rocks.” Laura says her skin went pale, she couldn’t eat or drink and she started getting severe anxiety attacks. As things got worse, Laura needed her partner Hugo to send her photos of herself with friends and family to remind her who she was. “Though postnatal depression and psychosis are treatable, even when my doctor said I would 100% recover I remember thinking, ‘Maybe others do but not me, this is me forever.”A mother holds a baby's handSymptoms of postpartum psychosis also includes delusions and hallucinations so Laura was hospitalised and spent two weeks away from her son. She describes herself as recovering more and more each day and is “happy, confident and strong” after getting support from family and a psychiatrist, as well as using medication. But she also says talking about her psychosis has been a “huge” part of her recovery. “I was constantly searching for any stories that offered me hope or salvation in this dark and testing time so that’s why I’ve shared this,” she says. Vivien Waterfield from the charity Home Start praised Laura for speaking up.“It’s very difficult for mums to talk about their difficulties they’re having,” she said. “Anyone in the public eye brave enough to talk about this publicly helps the mums to realise they are not alone.” A few years back, Kathryn Grant’s postpartum psychosis was an inspiration for an EastEnders storyline so Lacey Turner’s character Stacey had condition. She told Newsbeat that she had a horrendous birth and ended up not sleeping for ten nights.James And Kathryn togetherKathryn gave birth to James five years ago. “I knew I needed to go to the A&E because I had a feeling something was about to go terribly wrong. “By the time James was taken from me and cared for by the staff there, I descended into full blown psychosis.” Kathryn says during her psychotic episode she was seeing things that weren’t there and believing things that weren’t true. “I believed was being tortured and punished because I caused an apocalypse and killed most people in the world and the remaining survivors were torturing and trying to cremate me alive,” she said. “The reality was I was in an ambulance being taken from psychiatric hospital to a regular hospital to be treated for sepsis. To get help and support with postpartum psychosis, take a look at the NHS page on the condition.

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  • 14 August 2018

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