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What is the Internet?

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This is the first post in the series A Christians Guide to the Internet. If you want to know what this is all about then please visit the introductory post here.
This first post covers how the internet began and what it actually is.
So, what is the Internet?
Put simply the internet is a network of various devices, computers, laptops, servers, phones, tablets and anything else that we use to access the internet all communicating and passing and sharing information to each other via phone lines or radio waves (WiFi). This happens in what is called small data packages that travels across the Phones lines or Wifi.
The physical network of devices (computers, laptops etc) is called the World Wide Web, the information that is accessible on the network is called the internet.
⦁ A network is a system of ‘things’ or people that are all interconnected. In this case ‘things’ i.e whatever we use to go on the internet with.
How it began
In 1989 Tim Berners-Lee discovered that he could get a computer to share information with a server (a storage device) and the World Wide Web was born.
⦁ A server is different to a computer as it is used for storing information and now they are also used to host sites on for the people who own and create the website. You can even buy your own server yourself if you have the money and the inclination to do so.
The internet came after then as more clever people came together and started to grow the network and how the information is accessed and shared and they built on what Tim Berners-Lee pioneered. And as more people add their own information and technology it has grown into the very large system we have today.
So obviously the internet has grown significantly over the years as we have millions of devices all over the world connected to this network. It is worth remembering that no one owns the internet, Tim Berners-Lee was very adamant that would not happen.  But people do own the physical space that information is hosted on (servers).
Lots of different companies hire out and sell this space for people to host their websites etc on. And really big companies such as Google and public services such as banks and government bodies have their own servers. The internet is layered in that way and has a lot of information that the public cannot access such as personal bank details etc. It is so vast now though and owned by so many people that the internet has become an entity that is hard to police or control by any government (not that they don’t try).
I think this is why some people can become overwhelmed but as you would not try to look at the world as a whole and try to understand all the tribes and cultures and government systems, you don’t need to look at the internet as a whole either. Just what you wish to use it for.
So some points to remember:

  • The internet is millions of devices all on a network communicating and passing information to each other.
  • The physical network system of devices is called the World Wide Web.
  • The information being passed, shared and stored is the internet.
  • The World Wide Web began by a discovery of being able to get a computer and a server to talk to each other and pass information down phones lines in little data (information) packets.
  • Wireless devices uses radio waves which we call wifi.
  • Nobody owns the internet, but many different people own the different servers used to host information on. Some of which the public can access some we can’t.
  • A server is usually what the information is hosted on. Which is a device used to store and host information on for those who have created the website.
  • A website is the name for whatever you visit on the internet to look or read such as this site ‘Spans Studio’ and the screen you are looking at is called a webpage.
  • Information travels in small data packages via phone lines or radio waves. – this too has a space limit as information takes up space.
  • The internet has a limit but is always being added to.

The internet has information on there that’s been added by millions of people all over the world, some good information, some not so much. Yet even with all that information at our fingertips it still isn’t anything compared to the knowledge God has, for He knows all. So as we search and share on the internet, remember God knows everything on there as well, who has posted it and why who has searched for it and why. And He will help us if we wish to use our time on there to glorify Him and learn His word.

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In the next post we will discuss accessing the internet.

Reference:
Wikipedia page on Tim Berners-Lee: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tim_Berners-Lee

Newborn

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When I came home with Little S, I was so shocked by how deeply I had the need to hold him. In fact his Dad and I hardly put him down for the first few months of his life. I held him all day and it felt wonderful, some days were very hard as I struggled to calm him down, not knowing why he was crying. I was exhausted from it and had a relapse of my dizzyness, but he was so worth it. I just wanted to look at him all the time hold him close as I was amazed by this little precious life I’d been given to take care of. In my eyes he was perfect and I’ve never felt love like it. The need to take care of Him was so deep.

It reminded me of when I first turned to Jesus. I felt so elated but also overwhelmed as I was still very ill and at the beginning of a long journey. The Lord held me close the whole time, He never put me down and as Little S slept in my arms most of the time, I rested in the Lords arms, like Little S would cry when he needed something I cried often (daily in fact) turning to Jesus for comfort. He fed me (1 peter 2:2) and He held me, He did everything for me and really made His presence felt for the first few years. The difference is, He never grew weary or tired as I did, He never became frustrated from not knowing what I needed as He always knew. Much like how a new Mum holds their baby, comforts them, feeds them God does this with all His newborns and His love is so deep for us, even more so than mine is for Little S. When We first come to Him we hold a special place in His heart and He desires to hold us close and protect us.

Like Little S has done we do grow and we need less reassurance but we will always need our Father to guide us and comfort us, we will mature in Him and grow in Him as we study His word, talk to Him, walk closely with Him our relationship with Him changes as mine has with Little S, he still needs lots of cuddles and lots of help but I stand back a little now and only step in when he gets in a mess. Like little S I don’t cry as much now and I am learning new ways to communicate my needs and desires.  But even though our relationship with Him changes, He never changes and the loving caring Father who held me so tightly for the first few years of my life with Him still loves me just as deeply and always will.  As he does for all us.

and said, “Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 18:3

 

A Christians Guide to the Internet – Introduction

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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!

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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.

Cleaning up

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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.

Burdens

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The 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.

 

Confidence

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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

 

 

 

First Fruits

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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.

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 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

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