Jesus!


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It’s Christmas-time once more. The season for frantic shopping; planning and entertaining and spending far too much.

What’s the point of it all? The true reason for the season is to honor the Christ-child, Jesus. To remember why He was born and be thankful.

All who believe in and follow Him, have been changed forever by His birth. Saved from worldly values to live according to the Word of God (the Bible).

Matthew 1:21 says it so well. An angel of the Lord spoke to Joseph to reassure him and to tell him what was about to happen. It was an event that changed his and Mary’s life forever. ‘And she (Mary) will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.’ This was the birth of Christ. The first Christmas to those who looked for and adored Him. No jangling cash registers or crowds of shoppers; but a quiet event, on a cold night, that brought a sigh of relief to many. Peace. Comfort. Reassurance.

May Peace, Love and Comfort be yours, now and forevermore.

Happy Birthday, Jesus!

Patricia

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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.

How Will I Know?


Matthew 24:36 But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only. (NKJV)

The media has shown over the years, people who have predicted the end of the world. We’re still here to proclaim them as eccentric. It is sad, because they affect the integrity of the truth of the Bible. Believers in Christ are not fooled. In fact, the Bible is clear – we will not know the time or date of the end of the world. So why would anyone, with wisdom, fool themselves and try to delude others by declaring that they do? We are to choose to have faith in God and believe in Jesus Christ as His son and our risen Savior.

Matthew 24:42 Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming. (NKJV)

The Bible gives us clear direction on this. In Matthew 24:4-7
And Jesus answered and said to them: Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. (NKJV)

We are called to trust in, and believe in God and His Son, Jesus Christ. Faith is to trust the words of the Bible. They are God-breathed. They are not of man. Yet, thousands still choose to follow their own passions. Many choose another God. Time will tell whether we have chosen wisely. For some the end will be a time of celebration, while for others it will prove to be a time of great mourning. The sad fact is that by then it will be too late to change direction.

Matthew 24:29-30 Immediately after the tribulation of those days, the sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. (NKJV)

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

My devotionals can be read on:
http://www.devotionalchristian.com
http://www.underthecoverofprayer.com
http://www.presbycan.org (search – daily devotionals)

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!’

MY blog: http://pattersmatters.wordpress.com
My Devotionals can be read at:
http://www.devotionalchristian.com
http://www.underthecoverofprayer.com
http://www.presbycan.com/daily devotionals

Where is the Love?


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The world can be a cold and hostile place. It is not for the faint of heart and yet, here we are living our lives in the best way we can and, at this time of year, sharing our love and gifts without exemption.

How wonderful the world would be if each day were this way. We get up, get showered (bathed), dressed and fed, hoping that our day will be a good one. There is no guarantee and yet, as Christians we do have the assurance of an inner strength that is unavailable without reaching out to our God, who loves unconditionally.

The Bible is God’s words……..and it gives us clear direction and support……..it is a blueprint for living the right way. Of course, God is invisible – but He is not absent, because He gives us His spirit once we trust Him with our lives.

Colossians 2:5 For though I am absent in the flesh (you cannot see Me), yet I am with you in spirit (in your heart), rejoicing to see your good order, and the steadfastness of your faith in Christ. (NKJV)

These words give me strength and comfort at all times; I agree, it is hard to trust in the wisdom of a person unseen, and yet I believe the contents of the Bible. The advice contained within its pages reassure me at all times, because the words are wise and mean me no harm. They set me upon solid ground in thought, word and deed – and I like that.

May my God of all that is good and kind and loving, bless your celebrations of Christ’s birthday and beyond.

http://pattersmatters.wordpress.com

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Pleasing or Loving?


Knowing right from wrong and then choosing to live in a way that is respectful of others is a choice. Living life your own way and disregarding others is not only selfish it is wrong and will bring repercussions that you will regret – not necessarily soon but eventually and you will experience like behavior towards yourself, so think before you treat others unkindly because it will come back to you, one way or another.

1 Thessalonians 4:1-8, 4:11-12

Brothers, now I have some other things to tell you. We taught you how to live in a way that will please God. And you are living that way. Now we ask you and encourage you in the Lord Jesus to live that way more and more. You know what we told you to do by the authority of the Lord Jesus. God wants you to be holy and to stay away from sexual sins. He wants each one of you to learn how to choose a wife in a way that is holy and honorable. Don’t use your body for sexual sin (depravity). The people who do not know God use their bodies for that. So do not wrong your brother or cheat him in this way. The Lord will punish people who do those things. (There is a consequence for everything you do). We have already told you and warned you about that. God called us to be holy and does not want us to live in sin (disregarding and not respecting each other). So the person who refuses to obey this teaching is refusing to obey God, not man. And God is the One who gives us His Holy Spirit (making us better at discerning right from wrong and then choosing to make changes in our lives, to live according to His laws and direction – never hurting or maiming or killing).

Do all you can to live a peaceful life. Take care of your own business. Do your own work. We have already told you to do these things. If you do, then people who are not believers will respect you. And you will not have to depend on others for what you need.

God loves you. He always has and always will. I pray that you choose to live in accordance with His direction outlined in the Bible. Life improves day by day as you choose to love and live His way.

This Day!


Psalm 55:22 Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous fall.

Make this a day like no other. A day to be thankful for so many good things in life.

a) not living in the southern USA states, where folk are dealing with the aftermath of another hurricane.

b) having a healthy body.

c) blessed with family – even if you don’t spend as much time with them as you would like – you still have family in your life.

d) comfort – shelter – clothing – water to drink – safety – work – income – loving friends and church family………… add your own here…….

Determine, right now, to make a difference today – even a small thing can be big in someone else’s eyes.

Colossians 3:23-24 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.

Prayer: Thank you Lord, for everything: the good empowers me and fills me with joy; the challenging grows my character and perseverance. Amen!

http://pattersmatters.wordpress.com
Eleanor’s Story – A Stolen Childhood is a stage closer to final edit…….

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

Taking the Right Path


`I am a Christian! I am set apart from non-believers. I am NOT better than, I just have different beliefs!

Psalm 118:8  It is better to trust the Lord than to trust people. ICV)

Life and some people I have met, have taught me it is better to trust in God, than any mortal being.

I do not abuse, nor use or appreciate profane language!
I do not kill, maim or torture, nor do I steal!
I do my best to not worship man-made idols, although in this technological world I do admit to being dependent on certain items!
I respect people, and attempt to live for truth, in truth and for truth!
I love those who choose to not like or love me in return. I acknowledge they are doing the best that they can, with what they know, or perhaps – they just do not find anything about me they are comfortable with.

I believe in the one true God! In Jesus Christ as His Son, who died and rose from death to prove His love for me and He lives eternally.

John 3:16 For God loved the world so much that He gave His only Son. God gave His Son so that whoever believes in Him may not be lost (caught up in worldly pursuits to alleviate their inner needs), but have eternal life. God did not send His Son to judge the world guilty, but to save the world through Him. (ICV)

Choosing God was life-changing for me. Years ago, I had desperate need of something but did not know what it was. I had a huge emptiness inside that nothing satisfied. My life was not good! I had trusted people who were unworthy of my trust, and I was led astray.  God stepped in and put me on a better path. He saved me. He will do the same for you, but you need to let Him know that you want Him to!

Matthew 7:7a  Continue to ask, and God will give to you.  Continue to search, and you will find. (ICV)

Prayer: God – are you really there? I need help and I think you are the only one who can do it. I am struggling: alone and caught up in a lifestyle that I have no control over. Please help me! Show me what the right next step should be. Come in to my life and save me and show me a better way to live. In Jesus Name, Amen.

read my Blog:   http://pattersmatters.wordpress.com

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

Writer of Devotionals for:

www.devotionalchristian.com

www.pccdailydevotionals.com

 

 

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)