That Was Easy!


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Psalm 16:8 I have set the Lord always before me; because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved. (NKJV)

I begin each morning in this order – – coffee, devotional reading from the Daily Bread, Bible reading and then prayer.

My prayer today was that I please God in thought, word and deed. Nothing to it, or ‘That was easy’, as a certain company jingle tells us.

Next I sit at my computer, ready to read newly arrived emails. And I sit. And sit And – – “come on computer, don’t start my day working at a snail’s pace. I’m not sitting here to waste time”. My, that was easy – I’ve blown my good intentions already and the day has just begun.

“Whoops, Lord – sorry. It didn’t take much for me to forget”.

How easy it is to plan our day, and how easy it is to allow distractions to destroy them.

Prayer: Help us focus on what is good today. Let us follow Your directions so, at the end of our day, we end our day knowing we have done our very best, in all ways. Let us then justly claim that ‘that was easy’. Amen.

This Is Not Love!


Name calling or making another person feel badly about themselves.

Controlling what another person does, where they go, who they form friendships with.

Refusing to communicate: using children or another person to give messages to someone else.

Demanding any sexual activity that is unwanted or coerced.

Controlling all aspects of money and time outside the home.

Hitting or slapping; biting, pushing or harming another person in any way. 

Refuse to allow access to all care and work outside the home.

Never tell another person that the abuse perpetrated against them is for their own good or only done in fun.

Respect one another and treat others

as you would want to be treated yourself.

Respect is earned and not to be demanded as your personal right!

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Wanted! Expansion!


Many folk swear by the power of the Prayer of Jabez; proclaiming how it has changed their lives.  Little wonder.  After all, they are asking for their lives to be radically made-over…….made bigger……perhaps, better!  We have no way of knowing how or what will be affected in our lives, once we commit to praying this little prayer – but be certain of one thing – your life will change!

“Oh that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, that I may cause no pain’.  (1 Chronicles 4:10)

So asking to have increase in one’s life; we should also remember that this might not bring what we have in mind!  It might not just be more of what we already have!  It could thrust us into uncomfortable places, situations or decisions, thus – we need to also be sure to ask God to stay with us – to keep His hand upon us and so be directed away from any wrongdoings, that might bring dishonor or deep concern to family and friends, as well as self.

Prayer:  Abba – take captive, our actions and our words to edify and enrich hearts that need You.  Let Your blessings be used honorable ways and may we be truly thankful for the small as well as big blessings.  Amen.

Pray for our Children


This is a repeat of my posting on www.devotionalchristian.com and http://pattersmatters.wordpress.com – because I am incensed that our children are being brain-washed by social, media and fashion expectations AND – exploitation.  Perhaps this program was especially biased and our children are not being desensitized as deeply as the program suggested – but from what I saw and heard our children need prayer.  I don’t apologise – I am too upset and we need to be more aware of what is happening to our young.

A recent program on Doc Zone covered how media and fashions trends are affecting our children and youth. They called it ‘the sexualization of our children’ and it was not a pretty picture.

Fashion for children – girls in particular – has been dressing them, more and more, in miniature editions of adult clothing – portraying a tiny woman and not a child. This has affected their thinking and eventually their actions and emotions, that are devoid of what is good and truly respectful. They do not respect themselves; boys respect girls even less, especially if denied physical satisfaction……on and on the program covered (too bad the girls clothing didn’t too) how fashion, media and magazines and models, as well as entertainment ‘idols’ emit the idea that exploiting a child to be sexually attractive is what life is all about. Nothing else matters! WRONG!

I share this for all the children and youth that might be exposed to this Christian website …… please know that you are a child and a child should NOT be expected to be a small adult! You are meant to have fun – good clean childlike fun and not be an enticing piece of flesh for somebody elses pleasure.  That is not what life is all about!

I was sickened by what I heard on this program – children are being used in the most sickening ways and are losing respect for themselves and for each other. What kind of society is this going to produce a few years hence?

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 tells us a different story of what regard for self and others is all about…….

Love makes you patient and kind

Love is not jealous, love does not brag

Is not proud, love is not rude nor selfish

Love does not become angry

Love does not remember things you have done wrong

Love does not like people who tell lies, only truth

Love patiently accepts and trusts

Love always hopes and always remains strong.

True love never ends but grows stronger each day. (ICV)

It is NOT about selling yourself for the pleasure of others, but all about loving who and what you are, and treating others as you want to be treated.

Prayer: God help us in all our ways and let us be guided along a true and righteous path, knowing that this will produce good results. Amen!

http://pattersmatters.wordpress.com

A Wolf in Coyote Clothing?


In the area I live, there are wolves. You can hear them howling in the evening hours. Neighbors and friends have seen them. Apparently there is a pack of six in the nearby woodlands.

Some folk claim they are not wolves but coyotes, in an attempt to dispel the fear that people have about wolves, thinking that coyotes are less of a threat to humans and animals alike.

However, a recent report I heard suggests that there is proof of inter-breeding between wolves and coyotes. This creates a very different type of coyote – one that views humans, not as something to avoid, but as large prey! The mix results in a coyote with killer tendencies.

So what we see is not necessarily what we get!

A deception of another kind is a person with an evil spirit. On the outside they present as kind, generous and caring, while on the inside they are planning your downfall or even demise.

Wolves come into any flock with the intention of destroying, so we should be more vigilant when seeing coyotes, because they could be one of the new breed of wolf and coyote mix. Likewise, we need to use wisdom and discernment when meeting people for the first time – they might not be as good as they appear. I do not say this to cause alarm – but to suggest discretion, until that person proves themself to be worthy of our consideration as a friend.

Acts 20:29 For wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. (NKJV)

see more: http://pattersmatters.wordpress.com
and my devotionals are web-published on http://www.devotionalchristian.com and http://www.pccwebdaily.ca

Grow Sweet Pea


Beside our house is a sweet pea plant. The previous owner planted it long ago. It is a perennial and it is vigorous where it is.

I, however, do not want it growing in that spot and have attempted on more than one occasion to root it in other parts of the garden where it could be better enjoyed. Each try has failed – despite my careful choice of sites in different exposures and earth.

In desperation I prepared one more spot. I carefully dug the ground and planted a few roots with the command, “grow sweet pea or you’re out of here, once and for all”.

Despite all these failures, the original root still thrives beside the house untidily spreading itself across the ground. I am equally determined to grow a root from it in another part of the garden.

Our lives can be similarly unruly as we are placed in different locations trying an assortment of jobs, homes, pastimes. Sometimes the choices are fruitful but there are others when we fail because we choose to not take root or to use our particular skills. Sometimes, when the changes are thrust upon us, our perseverance fails us – we feel unable to prosper and we wane, unable to deal with the new situations.

Much like the sweet pea, we can each be relocated time and time again in an effort to succeed in a new place, only to fade away and die.

Daily living presents us with many opportunities; each one presumably better than where we are, but unless we can grab hold and ‘take root’, the opportunity will fall on stony ground and we will not succeed.

Mark 4:5 Some fell on stony ground, where it did not have much earth; and immediately it sprang up because it had no depth of earth. But when the sun was up it was scorched, and because it had no root it withered away. And some seed fell among thorns; and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no crop. But other seed fell on good ground and yielded a crop that sprang up, increased and produced: some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some a hundred. (NKJV)

After numerous tries I think I have, at last, found a spot it likes. The roots are yielding strong shoots and are looking very promising. Perhaps my perseverance has paid off and I have found the right spot!

Prayer: Abba – we are not perfect but like to think we can achieve much with our dimunitive efforts. Our attempts can fail, despite our determination to make new things happen. Please grant us Your Wisdom and Discernment as we contemplate different careers, new locations and choices. Keep us beside you and let us not become unruly as we are planted in fresh ground. Amen

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Facing our Pain


Yesterday, I addressed the fathers in our earthly lives. Today, I make mention of our own possible shortcomings.

We all face difficult situations that involve the people we love. In some of these situations the wise course of action may not be clear. We may feel a heavy burden to act but have no idea what to do.

Sometimes, we are powerless, because of our stations in life. We may be in a situation where other people have power over us. We may feel that we are trapped by the demands of others and that there is no way to please them all. It’s a double bind; to please one is to disappoint another. Sometimes when we feel stuck and frustrated with our relations, we look for a measure of control by escaping through our addictive behaviors.

Genesis 16:9-11 Hagar is a picture of powerlessness. She had no rights. As a girl, she was a slave to Sarai and Abram. When Sarai proved unable to have children, Hagar was chosen to be a surrogate. How demoralizing! She became pregnant but then Sarai was so jealous that she beat Hagar, so much so, that she ran away. All alone in the wilderness, she was met by an angel who gave her an amazing message. ‘Return to your mistress and submit to her authority and I will give you more descendants than you can count’. The angel then said, ‘You are now pregnant with a son. You are to name him Ishmael, for the Lord has heard about your misery’. (The Life Recovery Bible).

When we are caught in no-win situations, it is tempting to run away through our addictive/compulsive escape hatches. At times like these God is there, and He is listening to our woes. We need to express our pain to God instead of just trying to escape it. He hears our cries and is willing to give us hope for the fuuture.

Jeremiah 29:11-

“For I know the plans I have for you” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me in earnest, you will find me when you seek me. I will be found by you” says the Lord. “Iwill end your captivity and restore your fortunes. I will gather you out of the nations where I sent you and bring you home again to your own land”.

I too, have found the comfort that this verse offers. Many times I have wanted to run from circumstances or situations, but we are only reassured of safe change when by recognizing how helpless we are against our weaknesses we choose to entrust God with our lives. We must put ourselves into His powerful loving hands. Realizing that God loves us no matter what! No matter how we have lived! No matter what we have done!

Prayer: Dear Lord God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I need help. I believe in You and that Jesus is Your Son. I believe that He came and died to pay the penalty for the sins I have committed. I ask You to forgive me, and to give me the gift of eternal life You promised. Come into my life and cause me to be born again. Amen!

—passages taken from The Life Recovery Bible.

http://pattersmatters.wordpress.com
Author of Eleanor’s Story, A Stolen Childhood

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.

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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?

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www.devotionalchristian.com

 

Anyway!


Anyway!  the word can sound like a negative response, or justification for a wrong action or spoken word.

I (try my best to) live by the biblical laws of the Lord’s Ten Commandments, and some time ago, I’d had some unexpected challenges and I had been questioning myself.  How could I react in a positive manner?The truth was, I was angry and in need of much grace within myself; nevertheless, I wanted to overcome that negativity.  Checking my emails, I found a friend had sent me a link to Dr. Kent Keith’s, ‘Paradoxical Commandments’  and his presentation helped me to put things into perspective -perhaps, they’ll help you today in someway too – so with permission granted me by Dr. Kent Keith, here they are for you – remember to always try to Do Your Best, in all you do.

THE PARADOXICAL COMMANDMENTS

 By Kent M. Keith

  

  1. People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered. Love them anyway.

 2.   If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior   motives. Do good anyway.

3.  If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies. Succeed anyway.

4.  The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway.

5.  Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable. Be honest and frank anyway.

6.  The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds. Think big anyway.

7.  People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs. Fight for a few underdogs anyway.

8.  What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight. Build anyway.

9.  People really need help but may attack you if you do help them. Help people anyway.

10. Give the world the best you have and you’ll get kicked in the teeth. Give the world the best you have anyway.

© Copyright Kent M. Keith 1968, renewed 2001

The Paradoxical Commandments were written by Kent M. Keith as part of his book, The Silent Revolution: Dynamic Leadership in the Student Council, published in 1968 by Harvard Student Agencies, Cambridge, Massachusetts. More information is available at http://www.paradoxicalcommandments.com/.

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