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

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…….

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

 

 

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

Accepted and Respected


I read recently, in The Daily Bread (www.rbc.org), that over 15 million people die each year from starvation. A mind boggling figure that tends to be just a number. Each number is a person! A child, a woman, a man! Attempting to do the best they can. But it is never enough.

They do not have adequate income to buy food! They cannot grow enough to support their needs! Never enough resources available for them to access.

We are called to HELP those in distress! No, we cannot help them all, but one by one with the little help we can give, can keep one more person alive or at the very least, keep them healthy and well!

We can each donate to a local food bank. Support missions and charities that drill wells for fresh drinking water! Help with breakfast or lunch programs! Just a little can do so much!

Galatians 2:10 They asked us to do only one thing – to remember to help the poor. And this was something that I really wanted to do. (ICB)

http://pattersmatters.wordpress.com
http://www.devotionalchristian.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.

http://pattersmatters.wordpress.com

www.devotionalchristian.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!

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

 

My Blinking Coffee Maker


A New Day

A New Day Dawning

My coffee maker is winking at me! Honestly: on and off, on and off goes the little red light. It’s actually telling me that the machine needs cleaning, but what it isn’t recognizing is that I have cleaned it — I removed every removable part that I can find; I removed the filter mechanism and replaced the filter, and then cleaned it some more just to be sure. But the blinking red light still winks at me! What is its problem? What have I missed? Every nook and cranny has been dealt with that I can see, but it chooses not to take any notice — and so-o-o, day in, day out, whenever I make coffee, the machine winks at me. I even tried to hide the light with a black marker — a big, black, permanent marker that I thought I could use to daub onto the little red light and mask it — well, that didn’t work! No way was it going to be hidden. I think I’d miss it now — I’ve become quite used to its presence.

Psalm 51:1-2 – Have mercy upon me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness; according to the multitude of Your tender mercies, blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. (NKJV)

When God sees the need for us to be cleaned, His light, the Holy Spirit, convicts us that unnecessary sediment is present in our spirits and hearts, the remainder of all the wrongs we have committed. He pursues us continually in many ways. He puts His people in our path to get our attention, to speak to us, and help us to recognize where improvement is needed. He reminds us continually through His Word — if in fact we are actually checking the interior of the Book. He will keep reappearing in many forms, reminding us that it is time for change.

Yet, how many times we try to mask Him so that we can go on doing what we are doing — things that we know He would not approve of. It’s as if we are picking up a big, black marker and trying to obliterate Him from the eyes of our hearts and spirits. We do that in vain because His light will not be blocked, however hard we try to make it happen. He will continue to pursue each one of us and make us aware of His disciplines and His way. His light will be ever present until we take notice and attend to what needs correction.

John 12:46-48 – I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness. And if anyone hears My words and does not believe, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him — the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day. (NKJV)

Those who have received Christ need periodic cleanings, but others need to confess their sins and receive Christ’s forgiveness for the very first time. Only when we choose to conform and repent and call upon God in the name of Jesus to help us and accept us and change us from the inside out can we begin to understand what a difference His cleansing in our lives will make. It is a feeling beyond any other and cannot be adequately described by mere words — we’ve got to try it ourselves. Many years ago, He called me to change and to follow Him. Thankfully, He took over, and I had no control over the powerful spirit of love that wrapped itself around me. He walked me to the prayer rail of my (then) church, where I gave my life to Him. I have rejoiced in that action ever since. You can do it too!

Prayer: Lord Jesus, I want to know You personally. I know that I have done wrong things in the past and I am sorry. I am willing, with Your help, to turn away from my sins and turn to You. I believe, Jesus, that You died for me and rose again for me. Please come into my life and change me and show me Your ways, right now. Amen.