Thursday, 24 April 2014

The 10 "really good suggestions"

Exodus 20:3-17 "The 10 commandments" 

"Don't wear your muddy shoes around the house"
"Don't run with scissors
"Go and clean your room"

How many time have we heard these phrases from our parents? Parents how many times have we said these to our kids? 
And as much as people nag and yell and kick and scream how often does it get done?

People every day are telling people; things they should do, things they better do, thing they should never do in their lives. Why is this such a common thing?
Lets look at it from, the other side of things I'm willing to bet a lot of you remember the story of Pinocchio. "If not I would highly recommend looking at it"

Pinocchio is spending his time trying to become a real boy and eventually ends up on an island where there are no rules, and in case you haven't seen the film the picture on the left gives a good idea of what happened without giving any spoilers.

The reason rules are there are for protection, when people tell you to do something 99% of the time its because they are trying to look out for you. I feel that's not just something that we have made up on earth but something the God has know about for a long long time. This is why whenever you read the scriptures you will find very quickly find God or one of the prophets giving commands to the people.

The same thing applies today, God is still giving commands for the same reasons but for a lot of people they have taken an attitude more like this:

This will not give us all that God wants us to give and we will very easily fall into the traps that God has waned us about.

How do you and I fair up. Are we people that try to keep all the commands of God or do we pick and chose or edit God commands to suit us better?

Thursday, 17 April 2014

"lovest thou me? Feed my lambs"

John 14:15
"If ye love me keep my commandments"

How much did this man love the Savior; who he called good master?
Enough to keep the 10 commandment? 
Enough to follow Christ as a disciple?
Enough to give up all that he has for God?

 This man loved Christ enough to keep his basic commands and follow him, but he loved the wealth and riches more. 

How about us? Do we "sell all that thou hast, and come and follow me"?
 or do we let things that we have or like stop us from giving our all to Christ? 

Thursday, 10 April 2014

The man behind the script (how to use scripture)

Romans 15:4

Now first and foremost I will apologise for not blogging the past 2 weeks. Unfortunately even as the lord servant we are not immune to illnesses (which is a shame, I would really love that)

But!!! This week I'm up and running so here is the new blog.

The idea behind today's blog is films in theatres. Just think about all the films that you have seen in the past; the good ones, the bad ones, and the just plain awful ones. What made the difference between them? Was it that actors didn't do a very good job? was it that the camera was shaky at times? Or was it maybe that it took forever to get the story going?

Each of these different films started out as the same thing. There would be a single person or a group of people coming together to write a script. It usually takes a long time and a lot of writing and re-writing for the authors to make the script give exactly what they want it to give to the audience. Then after they have perfected the script they give it to someone to direct the film. 

Can you imagine how a scriptwriter would feel to have put his work in the hands of someone, only to have them only half heartedly start filming it. That poor writer would be destroyed, all his work and effort, all that he had tried to achieve would have been lost, because the person reading his script too it lightly. 

Here comes the comparison. How much work did Jesus Christ put in to give us the scriptures we have? Do we give it the respect and credit that's it's due, or are we like the half-hearted film director, liking what we see and giving it an attempt but not putting our heart into it. Christ gave more than just his time and his words while he was on the earth, He gave is life and told us how to use that to help us in our own personal lives. This is what the scriptures are all about. The least that we can do for him is put our heart into studying what he has given us.

one day I hope my scriptures look something like this

Thursday, 20 March 2014

a missionaries virtual lifestyle

I've been meaning to put this post up for a long time but Now I'm finally getting round to doing it.

I've had this question ask to me a few times "What do you do as a digital missionary that makes you different from other missionaries?"

I stole this from elder foster but I love this picture
So first the tools, the standard array of tools missionaries use to find are usually:
1) working with specific member's to help there friends 
2) organising events in the chapel to bring as many people to the church building as possible.
3) Knocking on doors and talking to everyone on the street 

BUT... As digital missionaries we have so many more possibilities. I know personally that people on Facebook are so much more open to what we teach and... lets face it... most people in England have a Facebook account, there are far more people we can talk to in much less time.

So another Question I always get is "So do you just sit in front of a computer all day?"
The honest answer to that is we try not to but its very hard some days. We have a local area to try and find and teach people which we need to take care of so we spend more time out in the sun than online. However there have been occasionally known to be teaching up to 4 people at once. (1 on chat, 1 by email and 2 more on facebook) it doesn't happen often but when It does we need to take as much time as it takes on the computers

The 3rd and biggest question I get asked is "which is better digital or area work?"

This one I can only give you my opinion, yes I think it really is much better. partly for the reasons above but for me it's mostly because I get meet and teach so many more people through the wide world of the internet. there are just so many possibilities available on-line that aren't in the area, I can see very clearly why a Prophet of God has started introducing this side into finding and bringing people unto God.

If there are any more questions or anything at all you want to ask just leave a comment and I will get back to you :)

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Baptism for the dead

(links are attached to each scripture)

Last time in My blog I was talking about some of the "whys" behind all the Genealogical records in the bible. This week I will explain the other "why", namely:

"Baptism on the behalf of the dead"

In the New testament Jesus declares that "Except a man be born of water and of the spirit he cannot enter in the kingdom of God" John 3:5 and even He himself is baptized "to fulfill all righteousness" Matthew 3:15 

So it's clear that a person must be baptized if he is to live in the kingdom of God, But what about people that die before the have the chance to be baptized? Baptism on behalf of those that are dead was and is a practice that was used to give those that have passed on the opportunity to enter into the kingdom of God.

The whole of the scriptures talk about people doing things for those unable to do it for themselves the greatest example of which would be Jesus Christs sacrifice on the cross for those unable to make it into heaven on there own (namely everyone that sins) but there are other examples too. In the apocrypha there is a record of Judas Maccabaeus in which he collect money from the survivors of a battle in order to buy sacrificial animals (according to the law of Moses) as it says in the account in 2 Maccabees 12:45
 "Thus he made an offering of reconciliation so that the dead would be forgiven of their sin"

It's clear from this that in the old Jewish culture preforming thing for the dead that they could not do for themselves, both with sin offering and baptism. As with the great example of the Savior taking the payment for our sins, doing these works for the dead  does not save them unless they accept what has been done.  

Thursday, 27 February 2014

Why is family history so important to the Jews?

Matthew 1:2-26 and 1 Chronicles 9:39-44

This is a questions I have always wondered (and I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one) why in several places in the scriptures there are so many verses and chapters about there ancestors. I understand a little bit about why its put in Matthew, So the Jews would know that Jesus Is the literal king of Israel descended from David, But I still had no idea why it was all over the old testament as well until recently when I learned a few things about Jewish culture.

Its only really in modern history that people have developed the mindset of life is what you make it, in many generations past who you where and what you were like was very influenced by who your family was. If you could prove you were from a certain family of people then that would immediately prestige in the community where you live. As a result many Jews would know a long way back into their family tree just from memory and any record of there family trees would be precious and very well kept. They would either be meticulously copied after several years or if you were rich enough then you would have it engraved in metal plates so that they would last a very long time. 

Partially because of this culture of being what you ancestors made you they had some great respect for their ancestors. This leads me onto a second reason why their family history was kept so carefully. Something called being baptised on behalf of the dead. I don't have the time or the space to finish this topic you guys know what to look forward to in my next blog but for those who are interested of have questions I'll give you a few scriptures to look at: 1 Peter 3:18-191 Corinthians 15:29 and John 11:25

Thursday, 20 February 2014

under the mask (dreams and desires)

1 Samuel 16:7

In the scriptures Christ often taught people not to take things at face value. With the widows might he taught his apostles that even the smallest act on the surface could be a great sign of love and obedience to God. On the other hand Christ continually talked with religious leaders (Pharisees and Sadducees) who on the surface were upright men before God but inwardly they were trying to catch his out and prove him to be a liar. "wolves in sheeps clothing"

What made me start thinking about this is a phrase I found which really made me stop and think.

"If you give a man a mask, he will show you his true face".

This really made me think; people are able to hide so much of what they think and who they are. They have dreams, desires and troubles that more often than no-one will ever see or know about for a whole host of reasons, most of which involve how they think the people around them will react. There is so much that we are unable to see that it's impossible for us to be able to judge one person from the next.

This is why I am so grateful that I have the lord looking out for me. I am in the same boat as anyone else in this, I have fears and things I hide from people, but I am very grateful that I know I have a Father in heaven who knows me perfectly and be there for me and all the dreams I'm too afraid to express.

Friday, 14 February 2014

And awayyyyyy we go (Commitment)

Matthew 8:18-22

Sometimes people just don't quite realise what they are getting themselves into.... I feel so sorry for this lady in pink. She looks absolutely petrified. I can only imagine what she is thinking right now.

I will be honest thought, I'm very impressed at the same time. I could not do something like this. My fear of being up high wouldn't even let me think about doing something like this. In short, well done for sticking too it lady in pink.
For those of you that have read the title or the scripture you will know where this blog post is headed. 
If you start something, finish it!

From the beginning of the scriptures, God has been giving rules for his children to live by. Theses commandments weren't always easy to live by, in fact in some cases they were incredibly difficult to live. In the law of Moses part of keeping the Sabbath holy was not working on each 7th day and also every 7th year as-well. Can you imagine how hard they would have been to work  the rest of the time to be able to get enough food to live for a whole year? Why did they live that way? Because they knew that they could trust God and they were committed to following him.

I can be just as difficult following God commandment for us today, sometimes we just don't want to "love our neighbours as ourselves" (Matthew 22:39) but that is the command God has given us for our benefit. As we are committed to following God as best we can we will receive the blessings he wants to give us but only if we are committed.

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Testing 123 testing (using talents)

Mattew 25:12-29

jsdssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssThere are thousands of tests in the world that are all tryign to tell us somthign differnet. There are tests in school to tell you how well you are learning the subjects being taught. IQ tests that tell you how logical you are and how well you use that logic. Personality tests that tell you how you should react in certain situations and how you could change for the better. Are all these tests really needed in the world?

When Jesus christ was also on the earth he talked about tests and the outcome of tests as well. Its usually know as the parable of the talents. In this parable, a man needs travels into a far off country; so while he is gone he tests some of his servants to see how useful they are to him. He gives them each a different sum of money and expects them to have put in time and effort to gaining more (you can see this in verses 24-25 when the servant is apologising for only having the one talent he was given) 

In this parable the man is testing each of them to see what they are capable of and as a result he rewards each of them according to what he has done. He gives the same reward to both the servant that made him an extra 5 talents and to the servant that only made him 2 talents. He doesn't mind that one made more money than the other only that they both worked hard for him. That was the purpose of this test. However with the 3rd servant he is unhappy because he says in verse 26 (I will modernise it a little) "You knew I would come back and ask for more"

The kingdom of heaven is the same. God has given each of us talents, abilities and influence and he expects us to develop them and improve on them. otherwise "The number one rule to an amazing gift is: use it or lose it"

Are we developing what gifts we have or are we simply putting our heads in the sand and waiting for our master to come home?

Thursday, 30 January 2014

Sock Monster (Truth vs Rumours)

John 9

I'm sure 99% of the people that will read this blog will have heard of the little sock monsters that live inside peoples washing machines. They come out only when they feel completely safe, usually when everyone in the home is asleep or away from the house. And once they are out they steal every left sock they can find (only the left ones for some reason). They have never been seen by human eyes, never been captured on camera, the only evidence that they exist is the disappearance of socks each and every morning.

Some say that these monsters steal socks to feed their children, and give them the balanced diet they need to grow. Others say that they are hatching an evil scheme, believing that once they collect enough socks they will be have enough power to rule the world. All that we know for sure is that we lose socks every night when we go to sleep.

Stories are pretty incredible things, I love them so much. The problem comes when people try to use these stories without looking at why or how the story as created in the first place. A very good example is the one found in the whole of John chapter 9                                                      

In John 9 there is a person who has been blind from birth, nobody knows why he was born blind but when Jesus saw him he healed the person right there and then, Later on when he tells the Pharisees they ask him over and over again questions about how he was healed and why he was healed, they were trying to find some evidence or make some story so they could accuse Jesus Christ. But love how this man answers them “Whether he be a sinner or no I know not: one thing I know is that, weras I was blind now I see” He doesn't listen to the Pharisees he just bases he judgement of the man named Jesus on what he has seen that man do himself.

Thursday, 23 January 2014

The Road to Greatness (Learn from example)

Epistles of paul, your best friend, or your neighbour's dog 
(to list a few)

Interesting "scripture" I gave you this time but I will get around to the "why" behind it soon enough, First things first I want you to take a good look at the cake on the right.

Now I will be honest when I first saw this picture (and every time since to be honest) I have been drooling. This looks like it would taste so good, how do chef manage to make things like this? for that matter how does anyone become good at anything?

Thinking about it probably the first thing than any aspiring chef (or anyone who just loves cooking) would do would be to buy a cookbook, just somthing to start with, then he would work from there. He would read about cooking, watch tv shows about cooking, ask people he knows about cooking, and in his spare time do some cooking himself. Anything and everything could and will be an inspiration to him. 

If someone loves something then they will do everything they can to learn more about it, and they will learn from everything possible. A simple sandwich could be the start of some great delicacy for this young chef.

So now the difficult questions, Do we love our saviour that much? And are we learning about him from everything around us?
When Christ was on the earth he often taught through everyday things, farmers sowing seeds and searching for there sheep. There are so many things to be learned just fro watching the thing around us. The scriptures and the epistles of Paul are a great starting point but the kindness of a friend and the love from a dog can and will teach us so much about our saviour as well.

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Yesterday, today, and tomorrow are 3 separate feelings (1 thing at a time)

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

6 Hats
6 Colours
6 Different meanings

These hats are something "Edward de Bono" first came up with in 1985. The idea behind everything to is to split your thinking process into different categories and focus on one thing at a time.

Breaking the what and the why apart

This is the reason I chose this scripture for today

These 8 scriptures by the Ecclesiastes mean a lot to me, They have taught me some very powerful things "God does not teach everything at once"
We are not expected to always be healthy, there is a time for that.
We are not expected to always be busy, there is a time for that.
We are not even expected to always be happy, there is a time for that as well.
But every time we do feel something we can know that God has given it too us for a reason

God has given us this time on earth to prepare ourselves. This whole world and every thing in it is a learning experience. Sometimes its worth just sitting down and realising where we are and what we feel; good, bad, happy or sad. Because God has given us this experience for our benefit and learning. It's far too easy to miss the lessons God intends for us to learn if we are too eager to move on to the next thing.

"A full person does not understand the needs of the hungry" old Irish saying

I know I need to spend more time in my life to just to slow down and just think, realise what God has given me and work out why. 

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Missionary life in a nut shell

Today I thought I would do something a little different than normal. Today I thought I would give you a little more information about this giant that lives behind a keyboard, making blog post's each week. :)

 I am a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
( a missionary is a full time volunteer for the church which usually lasts about 18 months to 2 years ) As a missionary my main role is to teach what we believe as a church and then to invite them to find out for themselves if what we teach is true. 

Our typical day starts at 6:30am where we prepare for the day; breakfast shower and general preparations. Then come 8am we spend 1 hour personally studying our scriptures (both the Bible and the book of mormon)... For those who think this is a long time I will agree with you but I honestly wish we had more time. there are so many questions we get asked and so many things to learn that I always get to the end thinking that it flew by.

After which we spend an hour working with a companion we have been assigned to work with, either studying the scriptures or checking our plans for the day; enough to make sure that we are ready to
 "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature" Mark 16:15

The rest of the day (10am-9pm) is taken up by as much teaching as possible, we will teach people in our chapels, their homes, on the streets as they walk their dog if we need to. We try to get this message out as far and wide as possible because of the strength of the believe that we have in what we teach I have my personal story about why I believe so strongly (click Here to find out more)

As a special privilege myself and a few others also have the chance to teach people who go to and click on the "chat with missionaries" button. we teach them online through the chat and eventually by email or facebook as well. When they feel they are ready, then we invite them to meet with local missionaries and we will teach alongside them. It really is incredibelt to be able to see the changes that happen in peoples live all over the world.

Thursday, 2 January 2014

a Wicked decision (Motives)

Matthew 15:7-8

Every day is made of decisions. From the moment you wake up each morning to the time finally fall asleep at night there nothing but choices flung into our path for us to think about solve and direct us through the day.
How do we decide what to do?
How do we decide what is right and wrong?
And turning this whole idea on its flip-side
How do we know if another persons decision is right or wrong? 

There is a line in the musical Wicked which I love so much, the main character is looking back on her life and all the bad things that have happened because of her actions and has to asks' herself
 "Was I really seeking good? Or just seeking attention?"
She knows that whatever has happened in the past can't be changed, but the motive behind all these actions makes all the difference to her and how she feels about herself. This one thing can make all the difference to whether what she has done (the decisions she has made) are right.

Motives behind decisions can make all the difference. Christ himself talks about this in the scripture above were its talking about having your words in one place and you heart in another. What about the decisions we have made today? Where they made for the right reasons? Did you think it would be the right thing to do? And when you look back in a hard time, Will you honestly be able to say
"I was really seeking good. Not just seeking attention"