It’s a Cold, Cold Day


It’s a cold, cold day, here today. Snow squalls are continually driving a path through the area, and brutally cold temperatures are the order of the day. Unforgiving weather, is what I call it. Exposure to these elements for too, long, would mean you would be dealing with frostbite, as well as certain death, if exposed for too long.

The world is filled with deadly conditions too. Abortion. Rape. Abuse. Deception. Theft. Prostitution. Human trafficking. Child labor. The list can almost be endless.

Billy Graham, aged 93, and still a man of God, with Godly values, prays for our human frailties and I print his prayer here, for all who would like to pray it for themselves and our earthly world and governments.

Billy Graham’s Prayer

THIS MAN SURE HAS A GOOD VIEW OF WHAT’S HAPPENING NOT ONLY TO THE U.S. BUT ALSO TO OUR WORLD!

‘Heavenly Father, we come before you today to ask your forgiveness and to seek your direction and guidance. We know Your Word says, ‘Woe to those who call evil good,’ but that is exactly what we have done. We have lost our spiritual equilibrium and reversed our values. We have exploited the poor and called it the lottery. We have rewarded laziness and called it welfare. We have killed our unborn and called it choice. We have shot abortionists and called it justifiable… We have neglected to discipline our children and called it building self-esteem. We have abused power and called it politics. We have coveted our neighbor’s possessions and called it ambition. We have polluted the air with profanity and pornography and called it freedom of expression. We have ridiculed the time-honored values of our forefathers and called it enlightenment. Search us, Oh God, and know our hearts today; cleanse us from sin and Set us free. Amen!’

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My Devotionals can be read at:
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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

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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Father’s Day Approaches!


As Father’s Day approaches, there are many who celebrate their Dads. These men have been excellent role models for their children. They have raised them with love and respect and have provided a safe home. Their children are well-adjusted, displaying mature coping skills that enable them to live life independently. 

Sadly, there are many others who have not got Dads that they want to celebrate. They have been brutalized or neglected emotionally and physically; leaving their children afraid, confused and lacking the necessary skills to cope in relationships and with life in general!  They survive life, they don’t know how to truly live it with joy in their hearts!

God provides a safe haven! He is a Father to the fatherless, a Provider and Protector to all!  He gives peace to our hearts and minds as we grapple to live life on this earth.  You can reach Him and speak to Him and trust Him with all your hurts, secrets and doubts. How?  Jesus said, “Find a quiet secluded place so that you won’t be tempted to role-play before God.

Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage. The focus will shift from you to God, and you’ll begin to sense his grace. ….This is your father you are dealing with, and He knows better than you what you need. With a God like this loving you, you can pray very simply.” Matthew 6:6-8/**[The
Message]*

Don’t know what to say?  Just talk to Him as you would a close friend.  Nobody else will hear what you say or know what you are thinking.  God is safe! 

Prayer:  God – please hear me and help me.  You know what is right for me.  So I put my life in Your hands and trust You with everything.  God bless the good Dads!  Help the not-so-good Dads to become better.  Help every child to put their trust in You, so they can live life to the fullest, no matter what they have experienced in the past.  Amen!

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

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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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!

I’m Here – Where are You?


John 14:1-3 “Don’t be troubled.  You trust God, now trust in me.  There are many rooms in my Father’s home, and I am going to prepare a place for you.  If this were not so, I would tell you plainly.  When everything is ready, I will come and get you.  And you know where I am going and how to get there”. (NLT)

We are a one car family and so when I need the use of our car, I have to get my body out of bed early enough to travel with my husband, into town and deposit him at his workplace.  At the end of the day, I reverse that order and journey to bring him back home again so he can relax and enjoy the comforts of home.  Hopefully, it welcomes him with a modicum of order after I have done necessary housekeeping through the day, thus making it a place for each of us to enjoy come evening.

I tend to be very punctual and so, when my husband is not at the appointed place at the agreed time, I begin to display my ‘antsey’ disposition.  “Ok, I’m here, where are you?” or “Come on, Mister, I’ve worked hard at home cleaning and preparing supper and I’m tired too, I need to get home” or “I’m here, come and find me then I can take you home”.   I agree – it is sadly not the best attitude and certainly not a Godly one.

Thankfully, God is infinitely gracious and patient and will wait for us to meet Him, anytime and in any place.  He wants to be welcomed into our day and into our lives.  He waits for us to meet and greet Him and allow Him to take us along the path that leads to His heavenly abode – our eternal home, where, He has promised He has already prepared a place for each one of us: all we have to do is welcome Him and agree to take that journey with Him, trusting that there we really will find promised rest and comfort.

Isaiah 55:6 Seek the Lord while you can find Him.  Call on Him now while He is near.  (NLT)

Prayer:  Father God, Help us to look for You and wait for You and follow You on the journey of life that is Your choice for each one of us.  Help us with our attitudes and grant us grace.  In Jesus Name, Amen.

 

Rest on God’s Promise


New Life

Have you noticed how easy it is to give advice to others, while overlooking what you might need guidance on?

Recommending a change of direction or lifestyle in someone else’s world is easy but it is not so easy to do for ourselves. 

The world has many well-intentioned folk.  Some are not Godly and certainly not kind.  They make unrealistic, even cruel demands on others, ensuring their own needs are met, while completely ignoring the difficulties and restrictions they impose upon others. 

A saving grace in complex or dangerous situations, if you believe in the one true God, is to remember that you do have a ‘safe place to go’.  

God lives in the hearts of all believers and no-one can take Him away from us.  Life can be full of regulations and controls that burden  and even cause us to consider ‘giving-up’, those times are when God’s people seek the quiet of a God-filled heart.  They in turn receive a strength that is beyond the understanding of non-believers, many of whom will ridicule our dependence upon a God that cannot be seen. 

Psalm 71:1 – I run to You, Lord, for protection.  Don’t disappoint me. (CEV)

Prayer:  Father God, let us always remember who is truly in charge. We can be overwhelmed by the control that others have on our lives.  Help us to focus on You and trust in Your provision for our well-being and our inner peace.  Lord help us to continue to grow in our faith.  Amen

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STOP What You Are Doing!


I try very hard, most days, to write a devotional.  Lately, I struggle to do this because I have allowed myself to become distracted with other things.

I always pray about the words that God wants me to use before I write, and even though I have done this my mind does not bring a ‘flow of words’ – so I am left to think that God wants me to concentrate on something else!  So I focus on that thought!  Still nothing ‘pops’ into my mind – I put my efforts into housework (which has been sadly neglected since I worked on my novel at the end of last year). 

It feels good to see the house sparkle again – but I still feel I should be doing more of God’s (word) work. 

I need to be content that I can do all that I can do!  I need to be (and am) thankful, for all that I have – my husband, my family, my friends, my home and so much more!

Perhaps I have neglected to give thanks; perhaps that is why God is not giving me words to share – I really don’t know – so I will be content with what I am, what I have, what I am becoming and wait for Him to give me the next right step to follow.

Maybe He wants me to ‘let go’ of thinking about what I want in my life and be content ‘in the moment’ and with what I have.

So, I am trying to STOP wasting time and allowing distractions to ‘swallow’ the precious minutes of my day and I take a deep breath – then ask God to show me what it is He wants of me.

Prayer:  Abba Father, thankyou that you stop us ‘in our tracks’ and get our attention, when we are likely wasting precious time on unimportant stuff!  Please give us purpose and direction, then let us know the next right step that you want us to take.  In Jesus Name, Amen.

May Jesus hold you close in His embrace today and evermore!

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