The Hawk


Sitting and gazing out to the garden, my attention is suddenly grabbed by a hawk landing on the lawn.  It has a fresh catch in its talons. 

What an unbelievable sight.  I’m used to seeing these beautiful birds soaring high above, while searching for prey below.

It rests a few seconds while the poor captive bird struggles to free itself.  Alas, it will not win.  With determination, the hawk tightens the grip on the little bird and takes off; feathers flying in all directions.  It is no doubt intent on feeding its young – but I do feel for the helpless meal!

Aren’t you glad you’re not on the menu?

Watch out that satan doesn’t have you in his sights!  Be careful how you’re living; he may be coming to get you next!  He stalks each of us, determined to feed his ever hungry lusts: not caring how or who, or why.  He just wants one more; then one more; then one more, ad infinitum!  As long as there are willing lost souls, he cannot lose.

Be wary!

more at:  http://pattersmatters.wordpress.com

Advertisements

Focus!


Matthew 6:6  But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and Your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.  (NKJV)

When you pray, do you ever find yourself being inundated with other thoughts and a myriad of distractions around you?  I do, I have to confess. 

During my bible and prayer time recently, I found my focus drawn to activity in the garden.  I was trying to say the Lord’s Prayer, but I kept interjecting my own thoughts into it.  It was so persistent that I decided I would write down my attempts.  Here it is.

Our Father who art in heaven.  Uh-oh, here comes a pesky squirrel.

Hallowed be Thy Name.  I wonder did you spill the feeder yesterday, to get to the seed?

Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, On earth as it is in heaven.  You’re very fortunate you are quicker on your feet than me.

Give us this day our daily bread.  Even the squirrel!

And forgive us our trespasses   Even those of us who plot against Your squirrels.

As we forgive those who trespass against us.  Gotta be the squirrels!

And lead us not into temptation,  I plot to hurt it, but would not

But deliver us from evil.  It is one of your creations too.

For Thine is the Kingdom  And it belongs to you just as much as I do.

The Power and the Glory  I  give up!  I’ll continue to watch – but not during my bible time.  Sorry, Abba!

Forever and ever, Amen

See what I mean?  Wasn’t that pitiful?  Reading it, I was ashamed of my poor effort and my lack of focus.  My focus should have been on God and His Prayer – not on the squirrel in the garden.  

Prayer:  Abba, I thank You that you are tolerant of my weaknesses and foibles.  Forgive me when my attention is taken from You.  Direct me to focus on You and You alone, for You are more than worthy.  Amen.

http://pattersmatters.wordpress.com

www.devotionalchristian.com

 

 

 

 

The Noisy Squirrel


Jeremiah 25:7 – “Yet you have not listened to Me,” says the Lord, “that you might provoke Me to anger with the works of your hands to your own hurt.” (NKJV)

I was trying very hard to concentrate on reading my Bible passages for the day. But there was an equally determined black squirrel in the garden.  It was racing up and down the trees, loudly admonishing and protesting some unseen adversary. Despite my telling it to be quiet and loudly shushing it, it continued with its noisy protesting, oblivious to scolding from me.  All very frustrating.

My protestations fell upon deaf ears! I am fairly certain that, many times, we behave in much the same way when God is attempting to get our attention — all those times when we are crazily running around, doing what we feel needs to be done; when we’re voicing opinions where none are really wanted or needed. I can almost hear God trying to shush us and have us listen to Him, instead of wearing ourselves out with what we perceive as necessary busyness and activity, which, to all intents and purposes, achieves nothing of particular value. Sadly, His calls often fall upon our deaf ears, too.

Exodus 18:19a – Listen now to My voice; I will give you counsel. (NKJV)

Now that I’ve completed my writing I’m thinking that this distraction was meant to get my attention — because the noise has stopped, and the squirrel has vanished!

Okay, Lord, I heard You!

Prayer: Thank You, Lord, for the many times when You attempt to get our attention. Thank You for persevering, even though we can often suffer from selective hearing and continue doing what we think is most important, when really and truly, You are. Amen. 

http://pattersmatters.wordpress.com

The Love of God


The love of God is greater than anything we experience here on earth.

I tend to allow distractions to break my focus, even during prayer time, and so one day in March, I was particularly surprised to ‘hear’ this:

You are mine and I love you! 

Stay with me always and do not concern yourself

with things of your earthly life…………

Although I said, surprised, I still LOVE when this happens.  It makes God very real, which of course He is!

Have you heard a still small voice inside?  Don’t you just love it?

http://pattersmatters.wordpress.com

www.devotionalchristian.com

 

Yo-Yo Person


Psalm 118:8-9 – It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in princes. (NKJV)

Ever watched a yo-yo? Up and down — up and down. Round and round! Excuse me — round and round?

A skilful player can direct the yo-yo up and down the string with incredible accuracy. The player’s dexterity can bring exclamations of awe from onlookers. It looks easy, but just try to work a yo-yo! What goes down does not necessarily want to come up again. Try as we might, it will wander sideways, round and round the string or around our hand, hitting us as it travels in the direction it chooses.

We can be somewhat yo-yo-ish ourselves! Sometimes in life, especially before we accept Jesus as our Lord and Saviour, we can travel on chaotic pathways, trusting unscrupulous people (of course, we didn’t realize they were until it was too late), making bad decisions, choosing unethical lifestyles, the list goes on and on. We become tired and off-centre just like a yo-yo in the hands of a novice player. When we become aware that we need to change, we have to look carefully for someone “tried and true”, a person who is worthy of our trust. Yet only God can live up to that expectation — no person is perfect enough.

We can continue in our own direction, doing as we please and sometimes hurting ourselves and those around us, or we can choose the way of complete truth — God! We can invite Jesus into our lives if we have never done so before, and surrender (or re-surrender) our lives to His Lordship — and you know what? — He really does make a difference. It’s pointless for me to tell you that taking this step will make your life better and more fulfilled: it is for you to decide to take that step for yourself, because my words and suggestions are merely that, mine! God’s Word, however, is a true blueprint of right and wrong — His direction for the path we need to take, to make our lives so much better than we could ever imagine. Try it and see! You’ll be glad you did.

Prayer: Father, we always think that we know better and always find out too late that we are “off centre” because we have chosen wrongly. Please centre us! Focus us! Guide us! — because only then can we begin to choose wisely, and stop being a yo-yo person. In Jesus’ precious name, we pray. Amen.

http://pattersmatters.wordpress.com

www.devotionalchristian.com

 

Why GOOD Friday?


GOOD FRIDAY mourning!

Good Friday!

I began my day thinking why is today called Good Friday?  After all Jesus was crucified this day, so long ago?

I researched and came up with this as an answer.  I admit to posting the information on FB and www.devotionalchristian.com, and now here.  If I was curious then perhaps somebody else might be asking that question too – so here is what I found out (actually I knew the answer, but this is so much more detailed and may answer your question in a way you understand).

John 3:16  For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.  (NKJV)

“Good Friday” is certainly not the only thing we could call this day. In Latin countries, it is called “Holy Friday.” In Germany, it is called “Mourning Friday” or “Friday of Mourning.” Norway refers to it as “Long Friday” (a reference to the length of the day’s services). The Orthodox Churches call it “Holy Friday” and “Great Friday.”

All of these names are instructive and understandable. So how did it come to be called “Good Friday” in English-speaking lands? The reality is that we do not know for sure. After scouring the internet and other sources, there appear to be three plausible alternatives.

1. An archaic meaning of “good” is something akin to “holy.” Thus, it used to mean “Holy Friday.”

2. It was recognized that the evils of that day lead to the greatest good, the salvation of mankind. Thus, despite the bad, the day was truly good.

3. An archaic meaning of “good” is “God,” just as “good-bye” means “God be with you.” Thus, it used to mean “God’s Friday.”

Each of these alternatives is apt and instructive. But perhaps the one most relevant to our culture and times is the middle one. Despite the evil of that day, God evoked the greatest good from it. But by good we do not mean happy or a time of celebration per se. As stated well by Chris Armstrong in Christianity Today:

Of course, the church has always understood that the day commemorated on Good Friday was anything but happy. Sadness, mourning, fasting, and prayer have been its focus since the early centuries of the church. A fourth-century church manual, the Apostolic Constitutions, called Good Friday a “day of mourning, not a day of festive Joy.” Ambrose, the fourth-century archbishop who befriended the notorious sinner Augustine of Hippo before his conversion, called it the “day of bitterness on which we fast.”

Many Christians have historically kept their churches unlit or draped in dark cloths. Processions of penitents have walked in black robes or carried black-robed statues of Christ and the Virgin Mary. And worshippers have walked the “Stations of the Cross,” praying and singing their way past 14 images representing Jesus’ steps along the Via Dolorosa to Golgotha.

Yet, despite—indeed because of—its sadness, Good Friday is truly good. Its sorrow is a godly sorrow. It is like the sadness of the Corinthians who wept over the sharp letter from their dear teacher, Paul, convicted of the sin in their midst. Hearing of their distress, Paul said, “My joy was greater than ever.” Why? Because such godly sorrow “brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret” (2 Cor. 7:10).

For me, the day is a somber, reflective one. I focus on all that Jesus gave up and suffered for his Church. The humiliation, pain, and death are a sacrifice on our behalf. Today, we appreciate the price of that sacrifice. At the same time, however, we should not forget the great good that Jesus’ sacrifice effected. After all, Resurrection Sunday is on the way.

Taken from http://christiancadre.blogspot.ca
https://pepeprays.wordpress.com

Easter Sunday we celebrate the Resurrection of Christ!  He is Risen, we will proclaim and we will be joyful and celebrate!