Nana Mary’s Story

Hello again!  I’ve got something badly wrong with the bottom of my back!  I had an x ray last Friday and they told me I would have to wait 7-10 days for the result, but the Surgery called me this morning (Tuesday) to get me to make an appointment, so I have done.  They must have got a result.

I’m writing a new blog post, to take my mind off my pain.  I promised to tell the story of my Irish Nana.  I shared that story, last time I was at the Storytellers Club, but for people who haven’t heard it.  here it is.

My Nana’s name was Mary.  When I was born, she was already bedridden, and it was she, who taught me my prayers, and told me about God.  I always think of her as my first Christian influence.

she was Roman Catholic.  I was also brought up in that faith, but did not remain a Roman Catholic.  I think of myself as a Christian, but of no particular denomination.  Previous posts, explain my views.

But the Church was Nana’s life.  Even when she was unable to leave the house, the priest used to come once a week, and she would make confession, and receive Holy Communion.  I remember her, with her rosary beads in her slim fingers, mouthing her prayers, with the relics of her faith, all around her.

Nana came to England, from Dublin, in 1902, and within weeks of arriving in Manchester, she had met the man she was to marry.

Granddad’s name was Samuel Bradshaw.  He was crippled, because of a fall from a tree, when he was a child.  His broken leg did not set right, and never grew, so one of his legs was just half the size of an adult leg.

When he was 21 years old, he met Nana, who was walking down the street.  Because he was carrying crutches, she was not afraid, when he spoke to her.  They talked, and he asked to see her again.  She agreed, and they began to meet regularly.

It wasn’t long before they fell in-love and wanted to get married, but Nana’s parents didn’t approve.  He was disabled, he was English, and he was a Protestant, so she was forbidden to marry him, or even see him again.

Nana wasn’t having any of that!  she disobeyed her parents, and eloped with Sam.  Her future husband was a bespoke tailor, and he actually made the lovely two-piece suite, which she got married in.  He also married her in the R.C. Church, as he knew how much her faith meant to her.

He also knew that she would need her family around her, so he made the decision to convert to Catholicism, for her.  He also proved to be a good provider, so eventually, her family came round, and got to love her new husband.

Mary and Sam Bradshaw, had eight children.  The eldest boy was also named Sam.  When he grew up, he met a wonderful, down-to-Earth woman named Vera Warrington.  They married, and three years later, their eldest daughter was born.  Because Vera liked the actress, Marilyn Monroe, she called her eldest daughter Marilyn.

And here I am.  Now aged 62, writing about my family, on by blog.

There is something good, on the radio tonight, to take my mind off my bad back.  My wonderful Mika.  My favorite singer-songwriter, has another episode of his occasional radio show, The Art of Song, broadcasting tonight on BBC Radio 2.  My ears cannot wait.  The episode is about the work of Carole King.  It should be wonderful.

But I love Mika’s own work!  I think he is peerless.  Here’s one of his songs.  I sang this at a previous Storytellers night.  It’s a beautiful song called ‘Hurts’

I will post again soon

 

 

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Don’t Mind The Gap

When I started this blog, I thought of it as an adventure.  Not just for me, but for anyone reading it.  I don’t really plan what I’m going to write about.  As a disabled person, maybe I will write about my struggles with rare disabling conditions.  As an older woman, maybe I will post about something from my past.  As a Christian and a woman of deep faith, I might talk about the things of faith that matter to me.

If you’ve read my previous posts, you will know that my husband and I don’t adhere to the teachings of the church on Earth, as corrupted by man.  For example, Alan and I celebrate the Sabbath on a Saturday (as Jesus did) and we maintain that Jesus died on a Wednesday, to conform with the fact that he was in the tomb for three whole days.

So now I have heard God’s voice in my heart.  I believe he wants me to share something else.  It is something I found out, by chance (or design) some time ago, and it answered some questions which had always puzzled me, about the creation story, told in Genesis.

The first puzzling thing, is something that puzzles many people.  The Bible only goes back a few thousand years, yet the Earth is supposed to be millions of years old.  Science proves this, but whenever I have questioned this in the past, I have received one of two replies.  The first reply states that, yes, the Earth is very old, so the six days of creation are not to be taken literally.  They always quote the “a thousand years is but a day to God”, idea, and say that the writer just simplified things for the reader.

The second reply I always got is that the Bible speaks the absolute truth, and that God took just six days to make the Earth.  They maintain that it’s the science which is wrong.  Some people even go so far as to suggest that if dinosaurs roamed the Earth, they were here at the same time as man, which goes against everything in the fossil record.

So which answer is right?  Well, The Bible does speak the truth, but neither of those answers explains what actually happened.

Another thing which always puzzled me about the story, is the appearance of Satan.  When he appears to Eve in Genesis, Chapter 3, he is already a bad guy, yet in Isaiah 14: 12-20, we read that he was in Heaven, but he wanted to become higher than God, so God cast him out of Heaven, but if the universe, and the Earth itself, were still brand new, at that point, when did that happen?  It makes no sense.

One day I was reading something in a pamphlet, just flicking through, and something caught my eye.  I began to read, and have you ever experienced a feeling when, you find something out, and a light comes on in your head?  It illuminates your thoughts and joins them together , and suddenly everything makes sense?

I had such an experience.

So here is what I found out.  Yes, the Earth is millions of years old.  Verse 1 of Genesis states that God created the heavens and the Earth.

Yet, verse 2 goes on to say that the Earth was formless and empty.  Darkness was over the surface of the deep and God was hovering over the waters.

Christians are always taught that those two verses run concurrently, but if they do they make no sense.  If God created the Earth, as it clearly states, in verse 1, then why is it not a viable planet in verse 2?  Why is it without form or void (as some versions of The Bible State)?

The answer is simple.  The verses do not run concurrently, they are millions of years apart.  There is a gap of an indeterminable size between the two verses.  The Hebrew word for “was”, is the same as for, “became”, so if the Earth “became” without form or void, that indicates that the Earth was there, perfectly fine, supporting dinosaurs and other living things, until something terrible happened which destroyed it again.

Basically, what God did, during the six days, was repair a broken planet and get it ready to receive life again.  So when the Bible says that God took six days to make the Earth, it is true.  The Earth as we know it was completed, and all living things were in place, within six days.

So what of Satan?  It’s quite simple really.  The war between Satan and his followers, and God and his angels, was a cataclysmic event.  It is the event which destroyed The Earth between the first two verses, and left it without form or void..

Some people say that this theory, which is known as, ‘The Gap Theory’, or ‘Ruin-Restoration-Creationism’, isn’t true,because if it was, it would have been mentioned in The Bible.  But very often, The Bible leaves out details of a story, such as the childhoods of Jesus and Moses.  We don’t know why some things are included and others aren’t.  The other argument against it says that sin entered the world with the fall of Adam and Eve, but if the earth was already there, sin would have entered with the fall of Satan.  But I suggest that, as Satan is a spirit being, he doesn’t count as a physical person.  I also think that when God re-made the Earth, he chose to give it a completely fresh start.  He hoped mankind would not be tempted by Satan.  When mankind did become corrupt, he considered destroying The Earth again with a flood, but in the end, he left a few survivors to begin again.  This proves to me that God did want our planet to exist and thrive.  He knows we are not perfect, but he did have a plan in mind for our salvation.  His own son Jesus.

So I hope you have found this post interesting.  Here is something for you to look at, about what I have touched upon in this post.  Until next time, may God bless you all.  Love from Mari

http://www.divinerevelations.info/gap/

 

 

Potterness is not against Godliness

Hello again.  For those of you who have been keeping up with my blog, you will know I am a Christian.  Therefore, you may be surprised to learn that I am really looking forward to tomorrow.  I am going to see the new Harry Potter spin-off movie, ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them’.

Alan and I have been to several churches, as I mentioned in a previous post, and we never fitted in anywhere.  I remember the pastor of one such church, breaking a DVD of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, by jumping on it. I kid you not.  The sharp bits of the DVD were flying everywhere and could have easily gone into someone’s eyes!  I’d say that was more dangerous than Harry Potter is.

Why do Christians have such a problem with the Harry Potter phenomenon?

Well in my opinion, they see how popular it is, and they think it is spreading the idea of The Devil’s Black Magic around the world.  But like so many fundamental ideas, they judge it, without looking into what Harry Potter is really all about.  If they really studied the magical universe created by the visionary author, J.K. Rowling, they wouldn’t see so many differences, they would see many similarities.

From the very start of the first story, ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’, we are introduced to a world of magic, which exists alongside our own.  Non magical people, known as ‘Muggles’, do not know this magical world exists.  They don’t have the combination, to make the bricks part, so they can enter the alleyway, where all the magical shops are.  They can’t enter The Ministry of Magic and they can’t get onto Platform 9&3/4 to board the Hogwarts Express.  They don’t understand that there are good magical people, fighting the forces of evil, which is happening all around them.

To me, this seems very similar to the relationship we have with the spirit world.  The world beyond this one.

Children have always been taught that Heaven is in the sky, however, people who return from the brink of death, and talk about entering the tunnel and the light, often say things like…

“I looked one way, and there was the beautiful meadow.  I looked back, and saw my relatives around the bed.”

When they return, they often say that the spirit world is just another dimension which actually exists alongside our own world.

I believe that too.  I think that the spirit world is in exactly the same place as this world, but because we are trapped, at the moment, inside our physical bodies, we cannot access the spirit dimension.  We walk this world, mostly unaware of the spirits who are all around us, and we don’t see how they, and Christ himself, are guiding and protecting us.  So in a way, there is a magical world out there, which is not too dissimilar to the magical world in the Potter books and movies.

There are also many people who believe they have had encounters with angels.  Maybe someone has suddenly appeared and pushed them out of the way of a speeding car, or helped them escape from a burning building.  The helper then disappears, never to be seen by that person again.  They are not wearing tutus and wings.  They don’t have halos, but people are convinced they were angels.  I also believe that they were.

When J.K. Rowling first thought up the world of Harry Potter, I don’t think she was trying to start any kind of religion.  I don’t think she thought of it that way, she just wanted to tell a great story.  That is all it is, a great story about a fictitious world and made-up characters.  But I don’t think her brilliant work deserves to be thought of as unholy, just because the characters are witches and wizards.  I think that that is very unfair.  The good characters always win against the evil ones, and if people are going to say that Harry Potter is evil, then, in my view, so are movies and books about made-up serial killers and thieves, for aren’t murderers and thieves also sinners?  Couldn’t those films also be promoting evil?  Yet, when we read those books or watch those films, it doesn’t make us into a serial killer of a thief, we just enjoy the story.

At the end of the day, a story is a story, and in J.K. Rowling’s case, she created something very special (in my opinion) with the Harry Potter franchise.  It’s a lot of fun, and fans often say it’s about love, and tolerance, about not judging someone because they are different.  I agree with that, and if such positive vibes are created by the world of Harry Potter, how can it possibly be evil?  My own opinion is that God would not be against it.

So this is why I love everything to do with Harry Potter and have read all the books and always go and see the movies when they are in the cinema.  I am 62, but I get just as exited as a young girl when I see the films.  I am really pleased that there are more ‘Fantastic Beasts’ movies to come.

Will post again soon.  God bless you all.

Halloween: Is it Evil?

Hello again.  It’s Halloween today.  A lot of Christians consider the day to be evil, and want nothing to do with it.  Well I’ve done a bit of research, and this is what I’ve found out, about the origins of this controversial holiday.

It’s actually a mixture of a pagan holiday, and a Christian one.  This is not unusual.  Most of the man-made Christian Holy Days are mixed with paganism.  It was a way of the early church, making Christianity more palatable for the masses who had always followed Pagan Rituals.  Do you remember me mentioning Easter in my last post?  Well Easter is a case in point.

Easter is mixed up with the worship of an Egyptian fertility goddess called Eostre  Her symbol was a rabbit.  This rabbit is now world famous, and we call him, ‘The Easter Bunny’.  So do you see how our so-called holy times become corrupted?

Getting back to Halloween.  Early Christians created a time to remember the Christian Martyrs.  It is called, All Saints Day, or All Hallows Day, or Hallowmas.  The day before is called, All Hallows Eve, which we now refer to mostly, as Halloween.

This holy time became mixed up with an Irish pagan harvest festival, called Samhain.  Samhain means, Summer’s End.

It is said, in Irish legend, that Samhain is the time when the walls of the spirit world grow thin, and spirits walk the Earth.  This ties in to my late Irish Nana’s belief that the souls of the dead visit the living on the evening of All Saints Day (All Hallows Day) In her family, they used to put out chairs before they went to bed, so that the souls of the departed would have somewhere to sit.  I kid you not!

It doesn’t take much imagination therefore, to believe that if good spirits can walk the Earth, then so can evil ones, and for the idea of evil spirits walking the Earth on Halloween, to become much more of an issue to people.  So now we get Halloween, depicting the time when evil can come to Earth and posses people.

Is Halloween evil?  Well, and this is just my opinion, it is no more evil than any other day of the year.  If people want to bring evil spirits out into the open, they are going to do that anyway.  They are not going to wait for October 31st.

Even the holy days, All Hallows Eve and All Saints Day, are not true holy days.  The only true holy days are the ones talked about in The Bible.  All else is man-created, not God-created, so there is no proof that the souls of the dead actually do come to Earth, or that the spirit world is more accessible to us at this particular time.

The spirit world is accessible to us, if we pray to Jesus.  That’s how we access the world beyond this life.  We can really do it, no other way.  If we try to, then we may invoke demons, and that is not a good idea at any time of year.

So, should we shun Halloween?  Well my opinion is that we don’t really need to worry about the day itself.  For most people, Halloween is a chance to have some fun.  Most people aren’t interested in bringing out any evil spirits, they just want to dress up in costumes and have a laugh.  If that is all they are doing, then, in my opinion, no harm is being done.

When I was a child in the 1960s, we did not bother with Halloween.  The idea behind making a big thing of Halloween, originated in the USA.  They started the ritual of knocking on doors saying,  “trick-or-treat”, and the dressing up in costumes.  We copied America, just as we always seem to do.  But in my day, Bonfire night was the time we got excited about.

Instead of knocking on doors saying “trick-or-treat”, us kids used to make an effigy of Guy Fawkes out of old material, stuffed with old socks and other rags, then, we would wheel the effigy around in an old child’s stroller (then called a trolly) and knock on doors, saying, “a penny for the guy.”  People would give us one old penny which we could put towards sweets or fireworks.  On Bonfire night itself, Mum used to bake potatoes in the oven and then we would light the bonfire and set off our fireworks.

So, I hope I’ve given you some good information.  Everything I write is only my own opinion.  I don’t personally think Halloween is threatening.  Like any other day of the year, it is, what you make of it.  Evil will always beget evil, no matter the time of year, and at all times of the year, we can always pray to Jesus.  He is our only safe haven and always will be.

I will post again soon

Love from Mari

 

To perform, or not? That is the question

Hello again.  I had a great time last night!  I’ve joined a storyteller’s club in Sale, and there was a get-together last night.  I have to tell you all that I love to perform.

I was told, last night, that I am a natural performance artist.  It meant so much to me.  I performed a story which I had written especially for that night.  It is a horror story called, ‘Fresh Young Meat’.  It’s on my portfolio on writing.com.  I have several  pieces of writing listed there, which you can read if you wish.

Mastin at writing.com/portfolio

My sister Joan, who I am not in contact with anymore, has always been dismissive of my talents.  She was not the only one who dismissed me either.  I used to go to church, because I am a Christian, and I would always tend to volunteer as a worship leader, since I speak well in public and really felt called, by God, to do that kind of thing, or I would wish to sing, either in the choir, or maybe, I would ask to do a solo.

I always felt, in the churches we attended, that I was tolerated at best, or frozen-out, at worst.  There were always people in whatever church Alan and I joined, who were the ones who did everything and woe-betide anyone who wished to upset the apple-cart.  I might get a chance, in order to keep me sweet, but there was a problem, I was good at what I did.  I honestly think they saw me as a threat to their positions of power, even though I really wasn’t.

I don’t say that they were threatened by me, in order to be vain about myself, or in order to say that I’m better than the next person.  I have always been a team player and I know when to step back, but my talents have always lain in things which put me on show.  I’ve never been that good at stuff which is behind the scenes.  It’s just how I am.  It is ME.  I love to use my talents which, I believe, God has given me to use.

If I perform a song, or speak in public, I always give the glory to the God who gave me the gifts to do that, but for all of my life I have been made to feel that I’m showing off, when other people, who do the same thing as me, are not made to feel that way.

There was a lay-preacher in one of the churches I attended, who would insist on bringing his violin with him, every time  he conducted a service.  He played with a big orchestra  and I’m not sure if he still does, or if he is retired.  That is not important.  What is important is that everyone was (and probably still is) really supportive and no one has ever said.  “Why is he bringing his fiddle with him again?”  They just always accepted that this is what he does.

There was another lay preacher.  A woman who had a lovely singing voice.  When she used to come to preach, she always sang, and people used to natter behind her back.  “Why does she always have to sing?  Why is she showing off every time she comes?”  This double standard really got on my nerves, and I just knew that many of them would have said the same thing about me, so I tended not to push myself.   But sometimes the urge to get up and use my talents was so strong.  If you are a singer, actor or performance artist yourself, you will understand how I felt and the dilemma I was in.

In the end, Alan and I stopped going to church.  We are still Christians and do our own Bible Studies at home.  We also celebrate our Sabbath on a Saturday, which is the day that the Sabbath was always held on, until Emperor Constantine mixed Christianity with the worship of the sun, and changed the day to Sunday (the sun’s day)

We don’t call Easter Sunday, “Easter Sunday”, either.  We call it Resurrection Day.  When you think about it, Easter, as it is celebrated in our Christian churches, is not accurate.  The Bible never states what day it was, when Our Lord was crucified, but it does state that Jesus was in the tomb for three days, before he was resurrected.  Alan researched the real story, so I am confident of what I write.  Jesus was crucified on the Wednesday, not the Friday.  there was an extra holy-day that week, on the Thursday, and that was why they had to hurry up and get Jesus’s body out of the way.  He came back to life sometime after the normal Saturday Sabbath.  Somewhere between sunset on Saturday, and sunrise on Sunday.  Mary Magdalene went to the tomb to prepare the body, on the Sunday Morning, and met the risen Christ, as everyone knows.  Therefore, from Wednesday evening, to Sunday morning, we have the right time frame, which agrees with what is actually written in The Bible.

I don’t mention all of this to rain on anyone’s deeply held beliefs, but I don’t see any harm in mentioning what we discovered, when Alan looked into the background of aspects of Christianity.  It’s worse to hide things, better to talk about them and bring things into the open.

Anyway, this blog-post is a bit different, I know.  But I think it is good to share different things about myself.  I am not just someone who is face-blind, I am a whole person, with wishes, dreams, beliefs and hopes.

That’s all for now.  I will post again soon.

Love from Mari