Who is Jesus? Week One of the questions of faith series hosted at my local church

When I first became a Christian, I struggled to feel close to Jesus. I found it much easier to connect and communicate with the Holy Spirit. Yet when I had my encounter on the Alpha course, I experienced all three aspects of God at once. I felt the overwhelming love and protection of God, I saw my Lord Jesus Christ and invited him into my heart, and I knew the Holy Spirit was allowing me to have this experience. I knew that all three parts were there, ready to love and welcome me but I struggled to maintain that connection. Like a poorly tuned radio signal.

Things began to improve as I started to read or listen to a section of the Bible every day and meditate more on Christ’s life and the nature of his journey and sacrifice. When the opportunity came to attend a discipleship course at my local church, I leapt at the chance because I want to live as a good modern Christian and learn how to spread the message to others. To do this I need to improve how I listen to God.

The question for the first session was: Jesus – Who is he?

Well, he is a human being who is also God. That is a really difficult thing to understand. He was born just like all of us. He could feel pain, the full range of human emotions, he had doubts and fears and tangible relationships, but he was God and has existed since The Beginning. He is right there in Genesis 1; He is The Word. “and God Said”, that is Jesus creating as God. All three parts of the trinity are there from the very beginning.

That is a difficult thing to comprehend, how can someone be 100% human and 100% God? The leader of the course had us picture a television. The colour and volume could each be turned to 100, or to 0. The options were a picture with no sound, sound but no picture or the ideal, both together. Together, they allow us to appreciate the sound and picture simultaneously to form a heightened experience. Jesus is like that, by being God and Human, we can come closer to our creator and see the true beauty of that relationship whilst being completely and utterly understood.

The Reading: Philippians 2: 5-11

The reading for the session came from Paul’s letter to the Philippians whilst he was imprisoned in Rome. We listened to the reading twice the NIV version and the Message version. I got to read a third version as my bible is NLT. We thought about what phrases or words stood out to us and I have highlighted them below.

You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.

Though he was God,[a] he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges[b]; he took the humble position of a slave[c] and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form,[d] 8 he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross.

Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Philippians 2: 5-11 [NLT]

I have always struggled with authority. Particularly at school. I don’t believe you should respect people just because of their age and I think it’s fine to call people out when they say something fundamentally wrong, biased, or based on false information. As a child I could have been more polite about it, then perhaps I wouldn’t have been labelled as precocious. As an adult I pick my battles and words more carefully. I can be brash, blunt, ornery, and often fall into group leader roles but within me I have felt a desire to be subservient to something. To obey something other than myself. I thought I could find that in a sexual relationship, that perhaps I could be submissive there, but that route led to all manner of problems both emotional and physical. When I accepted God as my Lord and the master of my life it filled a void for me. This was a force I could always respect, that I wanted to please and obey. I do not feel awkward when I humble myself before my Lord. I know that I am loved beyond my imaginings and that if I obey God’s will

This passage spoke to me in particular because it tells us that Jesus put aside his divine right to become humble before God, he became God’s slave. Whereas I only had to put my self-interest to one side, Jesus put aside many of his rights as God, he submitted himself to God’s will and was crucified as a criminal, with murderers. There are some people I would die for or risk myself for, but when I try to imagine death by crucifixion, I feel nauseous, I start to sweat, I want to cry. Its horrific. I don’t think I could do it for anyone. Jesus did it for people he never met, for me, for you, for the worst sinners those we don’t feel deserve redemption. He died to give us all hope of an eternal life in God’s love. It is quite frankly amazing.

The Universe and My Aquarium – Why was God a man?

Following the reading, the session leader read an abridged version of The Universe and My Aquarium written by Philip Yancey. It’s a fantastic metaphor for why God had to send their son to bridge the gap between two completely different worlds. The fish are constantly afraid of the person that is trying desperately to care for them and keep them safe. They only way to make them understand is to become a fish and live among them. Then you could explain why the keeper is acting the way they do: you can share the message that the keeper loves you and does things out of that love.

God had tried to care for us and each time we grew scared and disobeyed him, it’s all over the Old Testament. God sent their Son to die for us and offer us redemption for our sins and uninhibited access to God’s love. Jesus Christ lived, died and was raised again to allow us to come into God’s love and enjoy everlasting life after death.

A lot to consider over the next two weeks

The course is fortnightly and I have a lot to consider. The first verse tells us to have the “same attitude” as Jesus Christ. To me that means to put God’s desires and wishes above my own. To do that I need to listen carefully and keep my heart open to God.  It certainly isn’t going to be easy. Our lives are busy and full of temptations. I am going to end this one on a prayer I think:

“Lord, please help me to hear your voice. When I read the Bible, when I walk in nature, when I am quiet and meditating. When I hear your voice help me to put my own desires and fears aside so that I can enact your will and trust in your vision for my life”

Thank you for reading this, God Bless.


My Journey to God – I’ve Been Scattered More Than Once

Every day I listen to a portion of the Bible with an aim to have listened to the whole thing in a year. I started on the 2nd of July 2021. I use the YouVersion Bible App+Audio. I can listen as I walk, or I can read along with the audio recording. The app is free to download and contains a vast array of Bible study tools and plans. I am following “Bible in One Year 2021 With Nicky Gumbel”. Each day starts with a devotional that explains that sets out a theme between the passages and then goes into them in more detail. It brings the word to life for me and puts it into a modern context. I understand how to apply it to my present.

The devotional on days 49 and 50 really struck a chord within me and they are the inspiration for this post. The New Testament passage is Mark 3:31 – 5:20 which is quite a large segment (but it is over two days), a lot is covered in this portion of Marks gospel but the parts that struck me most were the parable of the scattered seed, the parable of the lamp and the parable of the mustard seed particularly when listening to them in the context of Nicky’s devotional. They reminded me of my personal journey in faith and brough back a lot of memories some filled with joy, others more painful.  

I am going to do a post on each of these parables and how I feel connected to it in my own personal journey, how it resonated with me.

The Parable of the Scattered Seeds

This parable is discussed twice in chapter 4 of Mark’s Gospel. Jesus tells a story to the assembled crowd about a farmer sowing his seeds, he describes what happens to the seed depending on where it lands (Mark 4: 4-8), then when pressed later in private by his disciples he goes on to precisely explain what various parts of the story represent (Mark 4: 14-20).

As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants, so that they did not bear grain. Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up, grew and produced a crop, some multiplying thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times.”

Mark 4: 4- 8 | New Living Translation

14 The farmer sows the word. 15 Some people are like seed along the path, where the word is sown. As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the word that was sown in them. 16 Others, like seed sown on rocky places, hear the word and at once receive it with joy. 17 But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. 18 Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; 19 but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful. 20 Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop—some thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times what was sown.”

Mark 4: 14 – 20 | New Living Translation

My Interpretation of the Parable

There are three main components here: the seed, the soil, and the farmer. The seed is the word of the Lord within us, it is the news that God loves us, exists, and wants us to thrive. The soil is the conditions we find ourselves in when we hear the word, and the farmer is the source of the word at the time of sowing. I want to take this further and describe the time when I was sewn on the path, the shallow soil and where I have been sown now.

As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up

I see this as when I was really young between 6 and 12. My parents are not religious or spiritual and all of my education about God came from my aunt, and a close family friend. They bought me colourful Bibles and took me to Sunday school when they could. At this point in my life there was no groundwork, there was no soil for the seed to grow in and so it was lost. It didn’t have a chance to take root.

Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root.

I was extremely lucky and attended a private school in England which had a chapel attached to the dining room. We attended chapel most mornings and on weekends. It was a beautiful building, and I was part of the choir. I felt a desire for what being a Christian would mean for my life. I thought it meant I would always feel safe. I thought if I were confirmed it would make it all work. I would be covered and never be alone again. I went to confirmation classes held by my biology teachers’ husband who was a reverend. Each week for several months I went to the headmaster’s lounge which overlooked the grounds and learnt about the word with a couple of other members of my year. This time I am the seed sown on shallow soil. I was so keen, eager, I devoted myself to my study. My parents did not understand my decision, but they didn’t oppose it either. I was confirmed when I turned 12. 

When I was 14 my parents separated, and my mother’s mental health began to become a serious issue. In the face of so much anger and abuse my faith withered. I renounced God and became a staunch atheist because I was alone and helpless. Despite the efforts of close friends and dedicated caring teachers my faith died. I buried it. When I think back on that time, I am brought to the brink of tears, not solely because my family disintegrated but because instead of running to the light, I chose to slam the door on it. I know I was a child and responded to the situation as a child, but I am so grateful that God sent someone to scatter the seed of the word in my life again.

Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants, so that they did not bear grain. Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up, grew and produced a crop, some multiplying thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times

The third time the seed was sown by my Alpha course leaders, it landed on deeper soil. It has shot up and a year later is growing even stronger than ever, tended carefully by new and old friends, it hasn’t started to wither at all. I opened the door I had closed 17 years previously and welcomed God’s love into my life. I hope this time I have been sown in the good soil and I don’t get swallowed up by the weeds. Modern life is constantly trying to tell us what we should prioritise, and I am determined for nothing to overtake my faith. If I do this right the things I want, and my faith should complement each other. I’m trying not to worry too much about the future and to trust that God will provide what I need. I want to thank all the farmers that prepared the soil in the years before, I want to thank God for continuing to shower me in love even when I was determined to pursue my own path. I pray that in the future God will reap the crop of my faith and I will have helped spread the word to many others.

Admin To Finish

This article shares some really personal parts of my journey, but I am a candid person.  The images used in this article aren’t mine I found them on another blog written by Russ McCullin, you can find his original image here. As always, I welcome your thoughts, feedback, comments, advice, and most of all your prayers. Thank you for taking the time to read this. I urge you to be polite in your feedback even if you have taken great offence to or been angered by what is written. I am always learning and always willing to listen to those that state their point without hate or malice.

God bless you and keep you,


What do all Christians believe? A Creed for a Modern Faith

One God – Many Churches

I have always found it confusing and strange that one religion can have seemingly endless different variations, but giving it more thought I guess it isn’t surprising at all. Roughly a third of the world’s population follows some form of Christianity, around 2.6 billion people. It is a global religion encompassing a diverse range of cultures which all have different histories and perspectives. It is also very old being founded sometime in the 1st Century AD. Given this it is hardly surprising that differences have arisen between different groups.

As far as I can work out there are three major groups of Christians: Orthodox (0.28 billion), Catholic (1.35 billion) and Protestant (0.96 billion). They split at different points in history, see my basic schematic below inspired by BBC Bitesize, I don’t know why they pulled apart, but I will be looking into it. These are then split further based on more nuanced interpretations of the Bible and the weight that is placed on different aspects of the teachings and writings contained therein. There is a comprehensive (but not necessarily exhaustive) list available via Wikipedia.

A very brief history of the main divisions of Christianity adapted from BBC Bitesize

What do all Christian’s believe?

In my experience all Christians believe that there is one God, whom we should honour above all things. We believe that Jesus was the Son of God born from the virgin Mary and that he came to fulfil God’s law written in the Old Testament. We believe that through his crucifixion and resurrection he took the burden for our sins and opened the possibility for us to have a right relationship with God. This right relationship comes about through following and believing wholly in Jesus Christ and dedicating our lives to following his teachings. We believe that there will be an eternal life after our physical life ends where we will join God in heaven.

The Nicene creed, written in the 4th Century at the council of Nicea, is a unifying statement of what is held to be true by the whole church. It was originally written in Greek and was used to teach the central beliefs of Christianity to a growing community. Many Christians recite the Nicene creed during their worship, particularly at Eastertime. It is accepted as authoritative by the Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Anglican and many Protestant churches.

My Thoughts on the Nicene Creed

The Creed:

We believe in one God,
the Father, the Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all that is,
seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made,
of one Being with the Father;
through him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven,
was incarnate from the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary
and was made man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered death and was buried.
On the third day he rose again
in accordance with the Scriptures;
he ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,
and his kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit,
the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son,
who with the Father and the Son is worshipped and glorified,
who has spoken through the prophets.
We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come.

My Thoughts:

I am a scientist and understand and accept the scientific theories (ideas that have been backed up with rigorous data collection and physical proof) of evolutionary biology. I also accept the Big Bang however I do not believe that science or any human mind will be able to fully comprehend or explain and then prove an answer to all of life’s questions. I agree wholeheartedly with this first paragraph.

The second paragraph is a summary of how God became flesh and sent his own son to die for us. It does seem to have a few redundant passages as we have already stated that God made all things. I think the triplet “God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God” is significant. They really wanted people to know and accept that Jesus wasn’t made in the usual way but is a part of God made into a human being. In fact, over half the paragraph is a description of how Jesus was both man and God.

The final paragraph used to really get my back up because of my own ignorance. The part explaining the Holy Spirit I am completely down for. The Holy Spirit has been with me as a tangible force many times helping me to feel completely present with God. I took Umbridge at the phrase:

“We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church”

I confused catholic for Roman Catholic and apostolic for Apostolic Church. These words do not refer to the denominations, the names for the denominations came from these words. The word catholic means “universal” and the “apostolic” means we believe that the church began with the apostles at Pentecost. I agree with both of those statements.

A Modern Creed

I think the Nicene creed does a great job of summarising what all Christians hold to be true, but I think the language is outdated making it open to misinterpretation and inaccessible to many people. It was written and agreed by men, not by God or the Apostles and should reflect the language and time it is currently being used in. Here is my attempt at a modern creed, it is written from a white European perspective so would need adapting for different cultures but:

The Almighty who made everything.
Not just what we can see and understand but also all the things we cannot see or understand.

The Holy Spirit the giver of life,
Who spoke through the prophets.

Jesus Christ, The only Son of God.
Not created through sex but made from God.
When Jesus was born from the virgin Mary
God was made man.
Jesus was crucified to save us,
He died and was buried,
In agreement with the Old Testament,
he rose on the third day,
He went up to heaven where he is seated
at God’s right hand.
Jesus will return to judge all of God’s creation and his kingdom will have no end.

We worship God the Almighty, The Son and the Holy Spirit together.

We believe in a universal church planted by Jesus Christ and founded in his Apostles.

We acknowledge one baptism for the
forgiveness of sins

We look towards the resurrection of the dead and eternal life in the world to come.


This was a very long post and, I think, potentially radical in some respects. My hope is that it has stimulated or challenged some of your own thoughts and ideas. I have said it in other posts, and I will say it here. I am a new Christian raised in the UK. I am ignorant of many things and am constantly looking to learn. I welcome your comments and emails.

God Bless,


My Sources:

Here are links to articles that I found extremely useful when writing this post. They were all working and accessible at time of publication.





Converting to Christianity

Summer 2020

Lockdown was hard for basically everyone in the UK. I struggled, especially with the lack of physical contact and the sense of community. I require a lot of attention from different sources to thrive. Seeing friends and family at such distance felt like torture and would leave me feeling more anxious and alone. I needed to find something to occupy my weeks, to stimulate my mind and spirit. I could feel the beginnings of a deep depression setting in, something I have battled since my adolescence.

I have felt a constant emptiness, a missing piece that I have tried to rationalise. I am a scientist by education and training, and I always considered myself too reasoned and logical to believe in God. In the past I was terrified what people would think of me, that they would mock me but then I felt God’s love. I believe unconditional love was my missing piece, the love that can only come through God.

What would I ask God?

I decided to try a long-distance Alpha course hosted through my local church. I was coming in at best as a sceptical agnostic at worse as a close-minded atheist. The first thing we were asked after the much too cheery introduction video that made sweeping statements and gross generalisations was:

“If God was here in this room right now what would you ask?”

I didn’t need to think about it, as a woman there is something that causes me great pain and discomfort every month like clockwork.

“Why do women have periods?”

The poor Alpha leader was not expecting that. It’s important though, periods are a key ingredient to bring forth new life – but they hurt, they are embarrassing and, in many cultures and religions around the world, they are used as a stick to subjugate half of the population. So, I want to know – Why? The elderly gentleman leading our course had clearly not thought about this before and wasn’t able to give me an answer. It is a question I intend to come back to later in my journey – for now it has a pin in it.

Unconditional Love

As the weeks went on, I started to become more frustrated the videos continued to make generalisations, I continued to get hung up on points of intellectual debate and clearly, I was missing something – faith.

A constant topic was the unconditional love of God, but I have never (or very rarely) experienced unconditional love. On top of this they kept talking about The Father, another concept I cannot readily identify with. It made the whole thing seem unobtainable, mythical, almost non-sensical. I was beginning to despair.

At the start of Alpha I had begun to pray, really pray and to read the Bible. I prayed to understand, to hear God, to feel that love. I prayed for mundane things too and I could see those prayers being answered, but still I could not feel God’s presence. I still did not know what unconditional love felt like.

My Revelation

During a video towards the end of the course we were shown a painting: The Light of the World by William Holman Hunt along with the passage from Revelations:

“Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me”

Revelations 3:20

The image is of Jesus knocking at a closed door in the dark, there is no handle and so Jesus cannot let himself in to bestow divine light, I interpret that as love, on the occupants. I wanted desperately to feel that love. I wanted to open that door.

As the video progressed I prayed:

“Lord please send the Holy Spirit to guide me, so that I can open my heart you know and know the weight of your love. I am ready. I know I don’t need to understand anything please let me feel your unconditional love”

Immediately after that prayer I felt that love. An overwhelming crushing acceptance. I fell from my chair to the floor and wept with joy. I knew that whatever mistakes I may make, however broken and undeserving I thought of myself, I was loved. Utterly and completely. I was not alone, I did not need all the answers, I knew that something bigger than anything I can comprehend loved me. I could barely breathe. The members of my Alpha call were concerned for me and I went to see my husband in the kitchen. I expected him to freak out and be overwhelmed with worry and anxiety but he didn’t react like that at all. He held me close, stroked my hair and cracked a ridiculous joke turning my tears to laughter.

I knew from that moment I was a Christian. I didn’t understand much then and I still don’t, but I have come to accept that I will never have many of the answers. I was afraid of telling people, that they would mock me or assume it was something to do with my mental health condition, but I know the truth and over time they have come to accept that this is my truth and respect my outlook.

God Bless E.M.

The Light of the World – William Holman Hunt

What do I believe?

This is a declaration of what I, as a Christian in the UK, believe at this moment. I am new and I think ignorant, but I don’t view that as a hinderance to my faith or believe that my opinions should be discredited on account of it. Jesus instructed us to be like little children. When I think of children, I see them trust without all the facts, they want to understand but accept that they don’t or cannot understand everything, they express their emotions and are authentic. God wants us to be like that. To trust, to be authentic and to accept that we cannot have all the answers.

I haven’t included any references in this blog because these are my beliefs built up throughout my life but considered much more deeply over the last year. I have no firm idea of where I fit within the Christian Church here in Britain and this is the first step towards me trying to figure that out.

I am not trying to upset or discredit anyone directly, but I do wish to state where I sit on the following topics.


God loves us all unconditionally. That means that even though we fall short God loves us. Even when we think someone is not worthy of love, God loves them. What we have is the choice to accept or reject that love. Rejection hurts God just as it hurts us when we are rejected in life. Accepting the offer of that love, acknowledging that we cannot perfectly follow God and need something given by God’s grace to make up the distance leads to salvation. I believe that true love is a beautiful gift from God and that it is perfect between two adults.


God bridged the gap between our behaviour and what God expects by being born to a woman as a man named Jesus Christ. Jesus grew up and as a man was baptised and went on to sacrifice himself to redeem us of our sin and allow us to access God’s love and The Kingdom of Heaven.

The Trinity

God exists in three parts but is one being. There is God as The Lord, a parental figure guiding and desiring the best for us acting as both the nurturing and critical parent. There is God as humankind, Jesus the Son of God born by a remarkable woman, Mary, who redeemed us all in the eyes of God. He was able to connect with us on physical level and gave us the Gospels. He taught us how to move past the Old Testament Law so that everyone could come to experience God’s love and grace. Finally, the Holy Spirit, I see this like a child enabling us to be curious, to feel our emotions and God’s presence in the moment. To spur us to action and give us the little push we need to be brave.


To me the last supper was an invitation for us to remember and thank God for the redemption we were gifted. I think it is a metaphor and that Communion can be celebrated at home with friends over any food or drink not just bread (or wafers) and wine (or grape juice). I think any Christian that believe Jesus came and sacrificed himself through Gods will to save us can lead a ‘communion’ the important part is to thank God for the gifts we have been given.

Organised Religion

Jesus is the head of the Church and any that believe in him have the right to be a member of that Church and spread what is truly fantastic news. We are all priests in that regard. I believe God has gifted some with ability to share the truth of God’s News more effectively than others. I also believe that there is a place for structure particularly as things grow in size. I can’t get away from the fact that Jesus spent a lot of time throwing religious leaders out of their temples though. I think the devil can lay many traps for those in religious authority and that we need to be very careful when considering what is truly important to God and therefore what should be important to us. I do not think anyone should be kept from a position of authority within a Church on grounds of gender identity, sexual orientation, age, race, or any other label. God made all of us in their image. It is ludicrous to pick one label over another. God is the I Am, God is all things, all peoples. To discriminate against a particular label discriminates against a part of God.

That’s all I have in me for now. I really welcome your thoughts, feedback, comments, advice, and most of all your prayers. Thank you for taking the time to read this. I urge you to be polite in your feedback even if you have taken great offence to or been angered by what is written. I am always learning and always willing to listen to those that state their point without hate or malice.

God bless you and keep you,