Doubting Thomas!


Are you a doubting Thomas? Do you only believe what you can actually see with your own eyes?

Holy Week is not about chocolate, bunnies and eggs. It is about the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus – for us all.

He was wholly human and some days was sad, just as we can be. He was real and He suffered rejection, hatred and brutality. He was crucified. Buried. Rose from that death. Many did not believe it was Him. Many, even now, disbelieve the credibility of this historical fact.

Thomas was skeptical of the disciple’s and peoples’ reports, that they had seen Jesus – alive and well.

“Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe”. John 20:25

After eight days His disciples were gathered and Thomas was with them. Jesus came, and stood in their midst, saying “Peace to you”. Then to Thomas He said, “Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing”. And Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and My God”. (John 20:26)

So how about you? Will you only believe when you actually see Him? It’ll be too late to choose Him then, because He will not know you.

Choose Jesus now. He is just waiting for you to decide.

Don’t be a doubting Thomas.

Jesus come in to my heart and soul. I need You. Forgive my unbelief and help me to start again. In Your Name I pray, Amen.

What Is Church?


IMG_0117I have taken this message from The Daily Bread. It is an excellent message, written by John Stuart. Thank you, John, for your uplifting visionary words.

Luke 13:18-19 – Then Jesus asked, “What is the kingdom of God like? What shall I compare it to? It is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his garden. It grew and became a tree, and the birds of the air perched in its branches.” (NIV)

I find it amazing to think that Christianity is actually the world’s largest faith. About one-third of our planet’s population is connected to Christ, and each year, that number is growing all over the earth. Beginning on a hillside in Galilee two thousand years ago with just a couple of hundred followers, Christ’s ministry has expanded and increased throughout the centuries. In every nation on this planet, there is a Christian community. The gospel has been preached in every corner on earth. The mustard seed of God’s kingdom, which was planted so long ago, now has people of every nation living in its branches. There are currently more Christians on earth than at any other time in humankind’s history. Christ’s life, work, and ministry continue to grow. It is a faith that cannot be stopped; it is a teaching that cannot be curtailed.

Churches are springing up everywhere. Old buildings may be closing, but new fellowships of faith are being planted. Christ’s mission never stops, and despite what western media or anti-religious groups express about the decline of Christianity, the numbers across the world prove them to be false prophets. Western Christianity is being transformed, and a rebirth of faith is being experienced. The church changes as each century comes and goes, but one thing remains constant: Christ’s people are growing numerically and spiritually across this planet in every generation.

Sometimes, we western Christians get downhearted about declining congregational numbers and moral standards of society. We get hung up on finances and money instead of being inspired by faith and mission. All that we are negatively experiencing are the birth pangs of a new twenty-first-century church. Christ will not let His people down; Christ will not let His mission die.

So let’s rejoice, because throughout the earth, more people will be brought closer to Christ today and give their hearts to His kingdom.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, Your work on earth continues each day, and new souls are saved for Your kingdom. Thank You for allowing us to be a part of Your great commission. Help us to reach out to other people in charitable and cheerful ways, so that they may also be drawn closer to You. In Your holy name, we pray. Amen.

Many Were Baptized


At our church yesterday, ten people dedicated their lives to God, by being baptized.

A public proclamation that God is now the controller of their lives. They no longer want ‘to do’ life their own way, nor do they want to conform to the ways of the world.

It was a public announcement that they have chosen to be like Jesus, and want to change their ways – – or at least – – have decided to follow a different path in life. It doesn’t make life all rosy, but it does give each one an inner strength and peace that unbelievers cannot understand or experience.

Trusting the One and Only unseen God truly does make a difference to your life, but unless you are willing to change and trust His way – nothing I say will convince you to live any other way. You will choose to stay where you are – – suffering all that you are dealing with, feeling all alone.

Psalm 121:1-3 you will find the God of help for those who seek Him….I will lift up my eyes to the hills – from whence comes my help? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. He will not allow your foot to be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber. (NKJV)

My Blogs –
http://pattersmatters.wordpress.com
https://pepeprays.wordpress.com

See my devotionals at:
http://www.underthecoverofprayer.com
http://www.devotionalschristian.com
http://www.presbycan.ca (daily devotionals)

May God bless and keep you safe.

You Are Never Alone!


Sitting and thinking about what to write, I immediately focused on a friend who is dealing with a major challenge, and to help her all I can do is pray. I say that not to diminish the power of prayer, but to say she is dealing with an obstacle that only she can overcome.

Other friends and I, are all praying for resolve in the situation -assuring her that God is with her and to trust and lean on Him.

In my thoughts an advertisement from years ago popped in to my head – funny how the mind can open old files at seemingly inopportune moments. I pray for her and reassure her that she is never alone and that God is always with her and along with that meditation came an old TV ad for cigarettes – no I don’t smoke – where a mysterious gentleman is strolling dark streets – goodness knows why, I don’t remember – and in the ominous darkness he reaches for, and lights a cigarette and you hear the words – ‘you are never alone with a Strand (ciggy brand)’. I guess it was meant to be his comfort and of course, a sales pitch for the cigarette company.

My point here is that God can be and will be our comfort each and every day, if we choose to let Him. Our wellbeing is His greatest desire and when we allow Him complete control of our lives we are filled with a courage and comfort beyond our understanding.

Joshua 1:5d-6a …. I will not leave you nor forsake you. Be strong and of good courage. (NKJV)

So there you have it – He tells us clearly in His Word, ‘You are never alone’. Nothing dark and sinister but a comfort and the knowledge that He is with us always.

Whatever is overwhelming – whatever is challenging – God can change it.

Patricia

https://pepeprays.wordpress.com
http://pattersmatters.wordpress.com

Mirror, Mirror


The wicked queen of Sleeping Beauty fame, spoke into her mirror and expected to be pleased with the response.

Ever been to a fairground and looked into the distorted mirrors? Some make you appear squat and wide. Some give you the appearance of being many feet taller than you really are – long and lanky. Still others cause you to almost vanish as your image comes back as a tiny speck, while in another you appear split in two………..amazing!

Much like our personalities and characters, I am thinking. We can appear to others as good and wholesome, while inside we are not. We can present ourselves as unpleasant and gruff, while inside we are not. We can be so quiet as to be insignificant to onlookers, as we speak and are not heard. Do the opinions of others concern you? They matter to me less and less as I become older.

What is more important, is how I appear to God! Am I pleasing Him with my actions and words? Do I care for myself to enable me to care for others? He does not care how we look – whether we are handsome or plain nor fat or thin – all He looks for is that we are representing Him in mirror image.

Can we look at ourselves and say, “mirror, mirror, on the wall, am I honoring God as I should?” Hopefully, the response will be a resounding yes!

Love your neighbors as yourself is good advice. If we all chose to be kind to one another and not offend or hurt – think how wonderful the world could be!

My blog is: http://pattersmatters.wordpress.com
I write devotionals for http://www.devotionalchristian.com
My first novel Eleanor’s Story – A Stolen Childhood is in pre-publication stage

Peace of Mind


Even though the songs are on a christmas album, I often play these songs from Susan Boyle’s cd The Gift.

I imagine myself mulling over the events of a beautiful time spent with God, when I listen to Perfect Day!

Oh it’s such a perfect day, I’m glad I spent it with You………

and in her rendition of Make Me A Channel of Your Peace, I yearn to be that channel for someone else. Somebody struggling – sometimes, it’s myself.

Make me a channel of Your peace, where there is hatred let me bring Your love, where there is injury Your pardon, Lord, and where there’s doubt true faith in You!

The words are a balm when presented by Susan, with her wonderful voice.

My hope is our day will reach the end, having been a perfect day in God’s estimation.  I further hope another person is blessed by words we speak, or by our actions.

Abba, We pray and ask Your guidance on all matters, and we will be obedient to Your prompting, whatever the need.

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/.

More of mine:  http://pattersmatters.wordpress.com

www.devotionalchristian.com

 

The Blue & Yellow Can


 John 10:10 – A thief comes to steal and kill and destroy, but I came to give life — life in all its fullness. (NCV)

John 15:3 – You are already clean because of the words I have spoken to you. (NCV)

The directions on the blue and yellow spray can promise us that it:

  • Lubricates (helps things to run more smoothly)
  • Cleans (removes dirt, adhesives, and much more)
  • Protects (against rust and corrosion)
  • Penetrates (infiltrates)
  • Displaces moisture (restores)

This is much like what God does with us when we enter a relationship with Him through His Son, Jesus:

  • He lubricates us, helping to make our attitudes run more smoothly.
  • He cleans and convicts us of all wrongs and removes anything that clings to us that is not of Him.
  • He protects us, by way of His Son, Jesus Christ, by giving us His eternal life, a life acceptable to Him, instead of a sentence of eternal death.
  • He penetrates our hearts and souls in order to preserve us, so that we can spend eternity with Him.
  • He displaces or dislodges the wrongs in us (attitudes or actions) and fills us with His love, truth, and integrity.

Dirt is so easily attracted.  Sometimes the harder we try to keep ourselves, our clothes, or our hearts clean, the more likely it is that we’ll be stained in some way. We can easily shower our bodies and launder all our dirty clothes to wash away the dirt, but it is difficult to change our attitudes and become more forgiving. Only God can change us completely. He erases the guilt of mistakes, encourages us to see only the best in people, and leads us along new paths in our lives — places that we would never have thought ourselves capable of walking. He gives us the strength to accomplish much more than we could possibly dream of, because only He knows what and who we should be. Only He can lubricate our lives, cleanse us, protect us, penetrate to our heart (our core), and displace anything that would spoil our chance to spend eternity with Him.

Romans 12:2 – Do not be shaped by this world; instead be changed within by a new way of thinking. Then you will be able to decide what God wants for you; you will know what is good and pleasing to him and what is perfect. (NCV)

Prayer: Father, we want to be made whole and in good working order, so please come into our hearts, minds, bodies, and spirits, and lubricate us with Your grace and love. We pray this in the precious name of Jesus Christ. Amen

Recall Notice!


I loved this message.  I received it in an email from a friend.  I do not know the origin.

The Maker of all human beings (GOD) is recalling all units
 manufactured, regardless of make or year, due to a serious
 defect in the primary and central component of the heart.

 This is due to a malfunction in the original prototype units
 code named Adam and Eve, resulting in the reproduction of
 the same defect in all subsequent units.

 This defect has been identified as “Subsequential Internal
 Non-morality,”  more commonly known as S.I.N., as it is
 primarily expressed.

 Some of the symptoms include:
 1. Loss of direction
 2. Foul vocal emissions
 3. Amnesia of origin
 4. Lack of peace and joy
 5. Selfish or violent behavior
 6. Depression or confusion
 7. Fearfulness
 8. Idolatry
 9. Rebellion

 The Manufacturer, who is neither liable nor at fault for this
 defect, is providing factory-authorized repair and service free
 of charge to correct this defect.

 The Repair Technician, JESUS, has most generously
 offered to bear the entire burden of the staggering cost of
 these repairs. There is no additional fee required.

 The number to call for repair in all areas is: P-R-A-Y-E-R.

 Once connected, please upload your burden of SIN through
 the REPENTANCE procedure.

 Next, download ATONEMENT from the Repair
 Technician, Jesus, into the heart component.

 No matter how big or small the SIN defect is, Jesus will
 replace it with:
 1. Love
 2. Joy
 3. Peace
 4. Patience
 5. Kindness
 6. Goodness
 7. Faithfulness
 8. Gentleness
 9. Self control

 Please see the operating manual, the B.I.B.L.E. (BEST Instructions
 Before Leaving Earth) for further details on the
 use of these fixes.

 WARNING: Continuing to operate the human being unit
 without correction voids any manufacturer warranties,
 exposing the unit to dangers and problems too numerous
 to list, and will result in the human unit being permanently
 impounded. For free emergency service, call on Jesus.

 DANGER: The human being units not responding to this
 recall action will have to be scrapped in the furnace. The
 SIN defect will not be permitted to enter Heaven so as to
 prevent contamination of that facility. Thank you for your attention!

 – GOD

 P.S. Please assist where possible by notifying others of this
 important recall notice, and you may contact the Father any
 time by ‘Knee mail’!

 Because HE Lives

 May the Lord Bless and Keep you.

 

 

Christians And Christmas


I live in a diversified, multi-cultural area to the northwest of the city of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. This area I now call home was only a small town sixty years ago. Now it has multiplied into the thousands. And yes, things are changing — in the home, in the workplace, in retail business, and in our churches. Worship styles are changing from traditional to contemporary. Christians have to think of new ways to get the unchanging, true Word of God out in the open for those who do not know what it is to be a Christian. What better time than Christmas to do that?

Take for example the Santa Claus parade we just had in Brampton. It was watched by many, including a mixed group of many cultures from distant lands. It was held on a Saturday evening when the main street was sealed off to all traffic, except for the floats that were all lit up in different colours.

I watched with a certain bit of pride as our church here in Brampton took part, using a float loaded with parcels all wrapped up in anticipation of the greatest gift we can give. The nametags posted on the float declared the birth of Christ.

After the parade, I began thinking how, in our churches, we need to market what we believe in and keep Satan from slipping in through the cracks of the foundation upon which we built Christ’s church!

1 Corinthians 8:6– Yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live. (NIV)

Prayer: Heavenly Father, we come to You this day as we approach the celebration of the birth of Christ, our Saviour and our Lord. May we never give up what You have given so generously to us who believe. Help us in spreading the good news as we have been commanded. In Jesus’ precious name, we pray. Amen.

By Kind Permission of the Author:  Anne Russell, Brampton, Ontario

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