Why Grief Hurts!


You will remember them with a fragrance, a sound or a photograph. You will cry again, and again and again. Let the tears fall. They ease the pain you feel in your heart.

I have close friends, who are dealing with the loss of a loved one. People still tell them ‘to get over it’ and to ‘move on with their lives’, when to each friend their life seems to be over. They each struggle with the loneliness of being alone. They continue to wonder what they are now, because their identity has changed.

I am reading a devotional book on the subject of grief and how to deal with it in God’s way. Why am I reading a book on grief? Well, because I can but also because I write reviews for http://www.booksneeze.com and this happens to be one of the publications offered to reviewers.

Margaret Brownley (author of Grieving God’s Way) gives a practical solution as to why grief hurts the way it does. She says ‘Heartache (grief) is love that has nowhere to go’. That being so; the tangible pain one suffers when dealing with the death of a loved one is explained in a very simple manner; one that makes complete sense.

God offers comfort in His Word and gives this invitation to anyone willing to take the gift……

Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.
1 Peter 5:7

Time is a great healer. Nobody can predict how long grief takes. For each person it is different.  So for all who think another person should ‘be over it’ by now – step back and learn gentler ways. Grief is nothing like anything else you can imagine. It is a deep emptiness that devours your spirit, and until you have experienced it for yourself, you really have no understanding of how it is affecting the person you criticize or give advice to.  Just be kind!

God is the great Healer. Rest in His grace and love and be patient, with yourself or with others.

Prayer: Abba, we experience such raw pain when a loved one dies. Please be our comfort, strength and peace, as we struggle forward with our new life.

Blog: http://pattersmatters.wordpress.com

More devotionals at: http://www.devotionalchristian.com (daily devotions)

Author of: Eleanor – A Stolen Childhood (in the process of publication)

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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

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!

A New Morning!


It is New Year’s Eve and it snowed overnight.  I look out at gray skies and a crispy, white blanket of snow covering the ground.  There are many imperfections concealed beneath it’s shroud.  You would never know there were areas of uneven ground there, because they are now hidden from view.  Just a layer of snow; deep and crisp and even!

The happenings in our lives can sometimes be hidden like that too.  We often do not know what to expect as each new day dawns.  Each event of the day is ‘under wraps’, until it is time for it to be revealed to us.   We hope against hope, that all will be white and beautiful, and not dark and menacing.  We hope for a comfortable white blanket to snuggle into.

The Bible promises that kind of comfort from God!  Each new day presents us with an opportunity to discover and experience more of God’s love.  Even in the midst of terrible sorrow, great is His faithfulness.  He is the comforter and compassionate God who remains “full of grace and truth”.  His love endures forever and is available to us, like a blanket to wrap around ourselves each and every morning.  

Lamentations 3:22-25 Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not.  They are new every morning.  Great is Your faithfulness.  “The Lord is my portion” says my soul, “there I hope in Him”.  The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the soul who seeks Him. 

Prayer:  Lord reveal Your loving kindness and comfort to us.  Where there is despair bring hope!  Where there is sadness, bring joy!  Where there is struggle, bring relief.  We trust in Your provision and in Your Grace.  Please do not stay hidden.  In Jesus Name, Amen. 

http://pattersmatters.wordpress.com

Author of Eleanor’s Story – A Stolen Childhood

For grieving children Brenda Wood’s beautifully illustrated book ‘The Big Red Chair’, brings a message of love and hope.  Comes complete with a CD, on which Brenda reads the story.

http://heartfeltdevotionals.wordpress.com

  HAPPY NEW YEAR !

 

A Christmas Miracle


Today, I feel burdened!  We have a friend who has major health issues.  She and her husband have been estranged for years.  The sadness, I feel, is for her children and the fact that they have not been permitted contact with their mother for many years.  The sadness, is also due to the choices they have each made to not decide for themselves, to contact her.  They are all adults, but have had their minds and hearts hardened due to the ongoing negative comments, made by their father of their mother.

So this posting is to ask you for prayer for this lady! 

It is to ask God for a Christmas miracle for Christina. 

It is for prayer for reconciliation for this family (mother and children). 

It is to ask God for His peace, grace and wisdom to rule supreme in all their hearts and minds.

It is to ask for God’s spirit of love and healing to fill the hearts, minds, bodies and spirits of each member of this family, including the father.

It is to ask for A Christmas Miracle for Christina!

Thank you, and may God bless you as you pray for them.

https://pepeprays.wordpress.com

http://pattersmatters.wordpress.com

 

 

 

 

Psalm 23


At a particularly crucial time, in my life, I was drawn to this Psalm in a bible!  I was in England and had travelled out of the city to attend a job interview – for an exciting and challenging position working with seniors.  I had time to spare and wanted to calm my nerves and so walked into a church close to where my appointment was to be.  I walked to the front of a small chapel and knelt; picked up a bible and asked God to guide and reassure me – to show me what to read – the bible ‘fell’ open at Psalm 23 and I have loved that particular psalm ever since.

Here is another version that I came across recently – I do hope you like it and are comforted by the words contained therein!

Psalm 23

The Lord is my shepherd (that’s relationship)

I shall not want (that’s supply or provision)

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures (rest)

He leadeth me beside the still waters (refreshment)

He restoreth my soul (healing)

He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness (guidance)

For His names’ sake (purpose)

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death (testing & trials)

I will fear no evil (protection)

For Thou art with me (faithfulness)

Thy rod and Thy staff comfort me (discipline)

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies (hope)

Thou anointeth my head with oil (consecration)

My cup runneth over (abundance)

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life (blessings)

And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever  (security).

May God guide our decisions and our words today and hold us close to His heart!

more at:  http://pattersmatters.wordpress.com   &  https://pepeprays.wordpress.com