A Christians guide to the internet

A Christians Guide to the Internet – Introduction

A couple of years ago I wrote a short series about the internet specifically for Christians for a library website I was working on. It’s based on my experience of working for printed publications via the internet, courses I have taken through the OU about the internet and of course blogging on here since 2008. It’s very basic and I don’t claim to be an expert at all but it was something I felt burdened to write. The site that published this series has been taken down now and I was sent it to share here, I hope it blesses you!

romans-122

When used correctly the internet can be a great tool for Christians. It can be used to share your walk with Christ, as a research tool to aide you in your Bible studies and a way to connect with brothers and sisters in Christ worldwide. We can reach and help those in need now more than we have ever been able to thanks to the World Wide Web. You can also, should you wish, learn many skills here that can be dedicated to the Lord’s work.

Being on the internet as a Christian is no different to being in the world as a Christian. There are things that are not right in God’s eyes, lies are spread (very easily), there are many false preachers, people bully, argue and say cruel things to one another and crimes are committed. Sins are committed on here like they are in the world as it is used by real people with real lives. Does this mean we should avoid the internet? I don’t believe so and I don’t believe the Lord would have all of us avoid it for those reasons either. *

The internet is used by millions of people who do not know Jesus. Many people live their whole lives on here and many also have full careers on here. It is now an integral part of many peoples lives and they use it everyday for lots of different reasons. Being on the internet however doesn’t mean we should partake in anything that is ungodly or encourage others to do so. As we are to be in the world not of the world – the internet is no different – we must take responsibility, with the help of the Holy Spirit, of our time spent on the internet. This series however is not to tell anyone what to do while on the internet. How you choose to use the internet is between you and the Lord and He will protect your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus here as well as as anywhere you go.

It is my aim with this series to help anyone who wishes to spend time on the internet and is unsure of it to learn how it works. To share tips and tricks on on how to be safe, how to avoid seeing anything you don’t wish to see and how to find the sites that you wish to find and practice discernment in what you read. Plus I will share a few different ways to share your walk with the Lord from my experience of blogging and being on social networking sites for several years. A few years ago I did a short course on the how to use the internet plus a few on how to blog and I will be sharing the things I feel that are relevant now to help anyone learn about the internet.

This series is specifically for Christians (though if you aren’t and it helps you that is great) who wish to use the internet but don’t know how or have little confidence with technology and are weary of what they might find on it. I do not claim to be an expert but I am willing to share what little knowledge I have if it will help anyone in this area.

As always I would encourage anyone to go to the Lord for guidance, test everything with scripture and to do your own research. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide your time on here and help you use it wisely and to protect your hearts and minds. And if there is anything I, or anyone else, shares that pricks your conscience – don’t do it. Trust the Lord to guide you and you can’t go far wrong.

I pray that this series blesses you and helps you feel a little more confident on using the internet for Gods glory. If you have any questions or would like me to do a post on anything then please use the contact form on this site.

*If the Lord has for whatever reason told you to not go on the internet, then this course is not for you, His word is final in your life and nothing I say here should be used to go against His wishes for the individual.

Christian growth · My Faith

Cleaning up

3852739081_92298afd58_o

Like all toddlers Little S is messy. He likes to stick his hands in his food and smear it everywhere, he likes to pour his water all over the carpet and down himself, I have to keep crayons and such out of reach because I know he will use anything he can find as a canvas. He loves to play in mud and soil and has attempted to eat various creatures such as snails and slugs. I know this is very normal and He is just exploring and learning about the world around him. I actually enjoy watching it and I love to see him learning and exploring. It does mean more work for me however and I have discovered that if I don’t clean up straightaway I am in for a lot more work later on.

Food goes hard and crusty, clothes covered in water if left in the basket go moldy and well if your little boy has slug guts on his hands and face you just need to get that wiped up I don’t need to explain that one.

As I was trying to scrub up some weetabix off the table from little S’s breakfast I thought to myself how if we don’t deal with sin as soon as it crops up then that too gets harder to deal with later.

In 1 John 1:9 it says: If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Isn’t that amazing? with the verses before and after it reads this: If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make Him out to be a liar, and His word is not in us.

To know God and His word is to know that we are sinners so there’s no point in trying to hide it or deny it, just confess it all to God and He will forgive us. God will not be shocked by anything you say.

But if we don’t confess it and let it fester, it disrupts our relationship with him, just like Little S’s weetabix your heart gets harder to Him and to His word and the conviction of the Holy Spirit. We move away from Him and old habits and things we had been healed from such as bitterness and resentment start to set back in, in essence we go moldy like unwashed clothes. Instead of just going to him to be cleaned and cleaned straightaway we mess it right up and make it harder on ourselves than we need to.

As I clean little S’s messes up that he makes because I’m his Mum, God will cleanse me when I go to him as He is my Father, all I have to do is ask.  He wont get mad He will just help me to turn from it and teach me a better way. And He will not give up on me. He will forgive me and we can move on. I don’t remind Little S of his messes and God will not remind us of ours. Don’t let unrepentant sin come between you and your Father, you don’t have to confess to anyone else, just Him. He has promised to forgive and He does not lie.

Lessons from Motherhood · My Faith · Scripture

Burdens

Matthew 11:18-30The other day I was out walking with my Mum with little S in the pram. We walked through the woods and little S had a toddle, he became very tired though so I lifted him and put him in the pram, he was asleep within minutes. On the way back we came to some steps. I turned around and started to pull him up them. My Mum offered to help but I was weary as she isn’t used to the weight. I’m used to my little boys weight I carry Him everyday and He still can sometimes get too heavy for me. But it’s a shock to anyone who isn’t used to his weight to try and lift him so I don’t always say yes unless I really need to.

I wanted to share this because there is someone who carries my weight daily and the weight of all those who know Him, that is our Lord and Saviour Jesus. Unlike me with little S He will never grow tired, He will never need to put me down or grow weary of my weight and my burdens. No one else is used to my weight, no one else knows everything little thing that weighs me down, no one else can take it all, only Him.

We spend so much time and energy looking for people to help us, we place a lot of pressure on people, doctors, nurses, police officers, friends, family members and we grow frustrated and upset when they can’t help or live up to the expectations we have placed on them. I know, I’ve been there, I’ve burdened those I love heavily and I am now sorry for it. They aren’t used to my weight, they don’t carry me everyday like my Lord does, they are just human and its not fair to place so much on them.

I’m not saying we shouldn’t share our pain with others or ask for help from professionals, we should but we should also be aware that God is the only one who can truly help and those who have helped me the most have prayed with me when I can’t, helped me to turn to Him in difficult times and reminded me of what the Bible says about Him. He is the one I trust when I go to see a doctor or a professional, I take their advice because I pray about it first.

And that is how we should deal with our weight, take it to Jesus, give it to him, tell him everything and ask him to lift it from you. And He will.

My Faith · Uncategorized

Confidence

30053624974_5dfa4c43b7_o

I recently read a blog post by a fellow sister in Christ about self esteem, its a good post as she stands against the self esteem movement that seems to be sweeping the Christian community. http://biblelovenotes.blogspot.co.uk/2013/12/self-love-is-bad.html

This post caused me to meditate on this issue as I find it troubling. Before I repented and made the choice to follow Christ. I had no confidence in myself and well, I still don’t. I used to be terrified to go out anywhere, talk to people, go on buses, go to the shops, talk to a group of people, speak up. Its something that has got worse as I’ve got older but even as a child I was scared to speak up, of being laughed at, I would wear thick jumpers and coats in summer and hide in the library hoping no one would notice me. I used to say horrible things to myself and about myself to other people, I believed that everyone didn’t like me and that they were right to.

Like I said I still don’t have any confidence in myself…but I go out, I talk to people, I share my testimony to groups of people, I get the bus regularly, I no longer say horrible things about myself that aren’t true, but this has nothing to do with self esteem or confidence in myself.

Its to do with Jesus. My confidence is in Him.

God doesn’t love us because we are wonderful or beautiful, it’s true we are made in His image and everything good in us is because of Him but we chose a different way and rebelled against Him.

God loves us despite of who we are (sinners) and when we see this, repent and trust in Jesus as our saviour and commit to follow him daily then we are clothed in HIS righteousness.

I will rejoice greatly in the LORD, My soul will exult in my God; For He has clothed me with garments of salvation, He has wrapped me with a robe of righteousness, As a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, And as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. – Isaiah 61:10

It means we can fully give everything to Him. We don’t have to rely on our own confidence, we don’t have to be wonderful or likeable or think highly of ourselves to be somebody, we are God’s children, He has made us somebody by the shedding of His blood. I find that so freeing, I don’t have to think about myself I don’t have to like myself, or even care what others think of me, I am loved by God, despite my failures. Isn’t that amazing?

Because of this I can talk to people, I can sing in front of people, because I do it for Him, for His pleasure, you don’t have to have self esteem if you esteem Jesus above yourself.

Because I have done this, the Holy Spirit lives in me, my body is a temple of Him, it doesn’t matter what I look like as He sees what is inside. Before I didn’t look after myself, I thought I was worthless, I didn’t see the point in even  dressing most days but now I am worth something because of Jesus, He has made me a daughter of God, and so I look after myself. I keep clean and look after my clothes. I am not attractive, I have hair growing out of my chin due to PCOS but I am more concerned about whether or not my heart is attractive. (This doesn’t mean I’m not tempted to be vain because I am and I’ve had to turn to Jesus for help more than once)

Before I felt I was useless, I couldn’t work so that meant that I couldn’t contribute but now I work for the Lord and He can use me no matter who I am or what is wrong with me, I can be housebound, in prison, I can be in hospital unable to move or talk and He can still use me, I am still precious to Him and I am still His and destined to be with Him.

This confidence is so much better that the shallow confidence the world offers and what is sweeping though our Church. It’s real, it’s deep and it’s rooted in Jesus.

Paul said it best when he said everything he had was loss compared to knowing Jesus, this man was esteemed highly in the Jewish community and he was highly educated. He said this:

Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ – Philippians 3:8

Knowing Christ to Him was higher than everything else, including all the things we strive for in order to have self confidence. It’s all loss compared to knowing Jesus, you can think as highly of yourselves as you want but knowing Jesus is the only thing worth anything.

If you are relying on your own self esteem or thinking of yourself more than Jesus or others, if you are doing things in His name but for your own glory or ambition then I urge you to turn to Him today and ask for forgiveness. He will forgive because He is the one who is great, not us and He wants to do great things though us all. For He loves us all the same.

 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. Philippians 2:3-4

 

 

 

My Faith

First Fruits

Today I gave my toddler S an apple for his snack, he loves apples, all I have to do is core it and give it him and he will munch his way through it.

Something he loves to do is put some to my mouth for me to have, he isn’t content with me pretending, he doesn’t give up until I have taken a big bite then he carries on himself, gives me a bit more and it goes on until it is all gone. He gets great joy from doing this, laughing and giggling as I take a bite.

It made me think about how I use the fruit that the Lord gives me, do I keep it to myself or do I share it, do I give it willingly back to the Lord knowing that he will give me more? My little one is confident that I will not take it completely away, that he will not be left hungry, that I will give him the food he needs to grow and be healthy. Do I have that trust with my heavenly Father? Do I keep giving the fruit He has blessed me with knowing that He will continue to bless me with more? That He wont leave me hungry, that He will always sustain me and feed me?

S didn’t buy that apple, his parents did, his dad worked so he could pay for it. But he still gave me some, he still gave back to me what I gave to him, what he loves and desires because he loves me. Not only that, he gets joy from doing it! Do I do that? Everything I have is given to me by my loving Father, it all belongs to Him, do I just say thank you very much and keep it or do I use it, and give it back to him to use for His kingdom? Do I do it begrudgingly or with a joyful heart seeing Him use it and enjoy it? Me and my son laugh together doing this, it brings us closer and we both love to share this way. God wants us to have that kind of relationship with Him, He wants us to enjoy Him as He enjoys us. He enjoys our company and gets great joy seeing us laugh, love being with and sharing with Him. How awesome is that??

 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23

The Lord has blessed me with both spiritual gifts and natural gifts and I am overwhelmed by everything He has done for me and I know that He is pleased when I desire to give my gifts and the fruit He has blessed me with back to Him, that I use it to further his kingdom and give Him  glory.

S giving me His apple

 Honor the Lord with your possessions, And with the firstfruits of all your increase; So your barns will be filled with plenty, And your vats will overflow with new wine  Proverbs 3:9-10

Uncategorized

Week 15

Dear S,

You are now 15 weeks old and have had a very busy couple of weeks! You are getting better at grabbing things and have started to put toys to your mouth to explore them. You have learned how to take your own dummy out and with lots of concentration you can sort of put it back in ( with a little help from mummy). You do this with your bottle too though that’s not quite so useful;)

We had our second jab day and you were very brave, mummy not so much. Daddy had to go away for the night which meant mama came to help which you loved as it meant lots of walks and cuddles. We discovered that you are too big for your carrycot so had to put you in the pram. You also had your first nighttime walk. You loved this as you love looking around you, taking it all in. You love being in your harness with daddy and walking around the shops, looking at the colours and shapes and smiling at people.

Mummy also took part in her first group Bible study, lots of people came for it and you charmed them all. Mummy felt so blessed that people came over for a study, it was an answer to prayer.

You have been a little bit poorly these past few days as your teeth are starting to come in, you still try to smile through the tears though despite being in pain.

This past week you have found your feet for the first time. Mummy didn’t see it but the lady who helps us from the children’s centre was holding you when you reached for your feet. Since you have been born the Lord has answered my prayers and sent us lots of help and support. Lots of new people have come into our lives which has been overwhelming but also so good as well. Having you has changed my life completely as I never used to see anyone, I was very isolated and you have come along and changed that. Each day we grow in confidence together and get closer. Mummy needs help right now because she is poorly but I pray everyday for help from the Lord and He sends it whether its strengthening me or sending someone to support us and help us.

I love being your mummy, you are a joy to be around.

You are so loved by so many people

Love you

Mummy

Written on the 8th of October 2015

image

As the Father hath loved me, so I have loved you: continued ye in my love .
John 15:9

Uncategorized

Letter to my baby

Dear S,

             You are now 3 months old and I can’t believe how much you have changed in that time. You have grown so much you are now in the 91st percentile for length, you are such a joy to look after you dropped your 2 o’clock feed at 8 weeks and you go to sleep on your own. You  love to smile at anyone you meet, yesterday you took your first proper interest in a book which excited me no end. You like lights and the colours red and purple. You’ve been holding your head up for a little while now and you are very eager to get going you are very fidgety but can keep your attention on things for a long time. You have started to hold objects, reach for things and try to put things to your mouth I love watching you learn and grow.

I wish I could bottle it up, every smile, every expression, every cuddle, noise, cry, kiss, every time you do, see or discover something new and save it all to revisit whenever I wanted. Sometimes I wonder if I hold you too much but, you see I can’t bring myself to put you down. I know one day this will be over so I am taking every chance to hold you in my arms.

I didn’t know it was like this that love could be so deep so instinctual, feelings are fleeting and fickle but the need to take care of you no matter how ill I feel is strong and the need to keep you safe, its what gets me up in the mornings and keeps me fighting each day.

You are my little miracle, my gift from God, who loves you even more than I can. He wants you here S, he has a great plan for your life and I hope one day you come to know him.

He helps me everyday he helped me give birth to you, he helped me carry you, he formed you in my womb and he is helping me now while I take care of you.

Each day he grants with you is a gift and though I can’t do much physically I can love you, I can meet your needs and comfort you with Gods strength and guidance. He will be there for you S whenever you need him. I will let you down and get things wrong as I am only human but he never will.

I love you my precious little boy and I thank God for the privilege of being your Mum

Xxxxx

image

For I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee; fear not, I will help thee

Isaiah 41:13

My Faith

I called out to my Lord

I just want to thank those who have shown me kindness for my last post, I was in two minds whether or not to share these feelings but I do believe in order to be honest about what God is doing we need to share those things that aren’t very nice, the things that He is working on.

I said I was going to pop over and keep sharing Gods goodness to me and something happened yesterday that definitely shows His love and care.

I woke up feeling unwell and very tired, I was shaky and struggling to get up, I had a couple of nasty vertigo attacks which frightened me. They are a little more scary now I am pregnant and I worry I will hurt my baby by falling or walking into something. I knew I needed to get up to eat so I prayed and I kept praying I asked God for help, I knew there was no one else I could call on and as I walked down the stairs I kept praying, just as I got to the bottom there was a knock on the door. My Mum stood there on the doorstep in the pouring rain and I wept. She came and sat with me and we prayed together then she did a little housework for me while I had quiet time and then shared with her. She said that she came that day as she was in town but as she walked up the road she said to the Lord, I have a feeling I am meant to be here today. She doesn’t normally come to my home when she is in town as it’s a bit of a walk.

As I read my bible yesterday I got to the part where Jesus walked on the sea and got into the boat with the disciples. In that verse it states that they willing received Him and I saw that Jesus is always there nothing can storm Him from coming to our aid, we just need to ask for help and receive.

16And when even was now come, his disciples went down unto the sea, 17And entered into a ship, and went over the sea toward Capernaum. And it was now dark, and Jesus was not come to them. 18And the sea arose by reason of a great wind that blew. 19So when they had rowed about five and twenty or thirty furlongs, they see Jesus walking on the sea, and drawing nigh unto the ship: and they were afraid. 20But he saith unto them, It is I; be not afraid. 21Then they willingly received him into the ship: and immediately the ship was at the land whither they went.

John 6:16-17

IMG_0617

Gratitude journal

Gratitude journal: Forgiven

???????????????????????????????

Last night as I sat down to do this page I thought about the biggest thing I have to be grateful for. The Lords sacrifice. This is what brings the peace, the joy, this is what reminds us who we are in Him, this is the reason why we sing and praise Him. When we think about The Lord, who He is and what He has done you cannot help but thank Him.

He lowered Himself and stepped out of eternity to become a man, He felt pain, He felt tired and He felt hunger. He was completely sinless. He kept the Jewish law (Gods law) fully.  He knew what was going to happen yet He still went ahead and allowed them to take Him. Those judging Him found no fault in Him but due to a tradition they were compelled to do as asked and let go a convicted murderer and kill The Lord Jesus in his place. He was beaten, He was mocked, He had to carry His cross to Calvary. We all know this story, (well I think most of us do) But it’s when we understand one important thing that we then turn to Him and humble ourselves before Him and thank him.

???????????????????????????????

While on that cross Jesus took on the guilt of every single sin of the world, everything that man has ever done in the future and in the past. Everything. He who is perfect took on the guilt of the world. Why? He loves us.  So that is why we rejoice because we feel that love and we know we are undeserving of it as He knows everything in our hearts yet He loves us and died for us anyway. And we rejoice because He didn’t leave us, He was risen again as He promised and now He will be with anyone who turns to Him and when we accept this gift and turn to Him we are justified in the eyes of God The Father. There is nothing we can do to earn this gift of salvation, it is all pure grace.

So, yesterday I thought about this and reminded myself of the best reason I have to be grateful to God. There is nothing I can do to express that gratitude and it is a debt I will never be able to repay. And one I am very very grateful for.

Romans 3:24 (KJV):  Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus

 

Gratitude journal

Gratitude Journal

???????????????????????????????I thought I would pop by again with my thoughts on my first day of documenting my thankfulness to The Lord.

This was actually done yesterday and I was hoping to get the page finished today however I woke up today not feeling too great, I am very tired and I was very tempted to just not bother blogging but I realised it’s days like today that this is all the more important. I may feel ill and be struggling with anxiety but I still have a lot to be grateful for.

So yesterday while working on this page I was thinking about all the physical things I have in my life that I am grateful for. My family, my home, my bed, the fact that I have a husband who takes really good care of me, the fact we have food to eat. All these things I have and there are many people out there who would wish they had them. So why be grateful to God? Because it says in His word:

1 Chronicles 29:11 (King James Version (KJV)):
11 Thine, O Lord is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O Lord, and thou art exalted as head above all.

Everything I have has been given to me by Him, He owns it all, He created it all. Nothing I can do can earn anything from Him and it has nothing to do with who I am or what kind of a person I am. Its all down to His goodness and mercy. Why He chooses to give some things to some people and not to others I do not know. I cannot see into anyone elses heart or lives like He can so I don’t know what He has given others, none of us do. I try not to take things on face value (which isn’t easy) as we never actually know.

???????????????????????????????All I know is what He has done for me and given me and I find myself taking for granted these things. So I am thanking Him and giving Him the glory for my being alive, for having the people I do in my life and for my home, my bed, the food I have to eat, my cats, my clothes as I have not done anything to deserve any of it. Thank you Lord.

God Bless