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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A God Moment


The Sun Returns

The Sun Returns

Sitting quietly in prayer, I ask – ‘Lord, help me to be the best that I can be for You today’.

I then busy myself, checking email messages. As I do this a box pops up on the screen. “What is this?” I wonder. “I didn’t hit any keys”, but as I look I realize it says, ‘Request Wisdom to Know’. “Excuse me”? “What is that?”

Curious, I open the box and then see that it was an old message; one where I had sent a request for a particular book, in order to write a review.

Silly me! Sometimes, attention can be captured unexpectedly and at very opportune moments. In this instance, I felt it could very well have been God letting me know, He had received my prayer and He responded in a way that certainly got my attention.

A God moment! I love when that happens. There is no explanation as to why this message suddenly appeared – I only know that the wording hit home in a profoundly reassuring way.

Be blessed.

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

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 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!

http://pattersmatters.wordpress.com

 

 

 

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

Pray or Prey!


A recent report, in our local newspaper, gives reason for concern to hikers or even just casual walkers. In an area west of Barrie – north of Angus – a couple preparing for a hike report having been stalked by cougars! (Innisfil Journal, Sept. 6, 2012)

Having left their vehicle to begin their walk they were immediately aware of movement in the undergrowth on either side of the path they were on. In addition to this they heard, what sounded like a whistling noise and felt they were being watched. Deciding to investigate whatever was there and discover what was stopping when they stopped and moving when they did, the man looked into the undergrowth then thought he was imagining things, for looking right back at him was a huge cat: a large cougar, with two others beside it. This sighting was on the outskirts of one large city and bordering another smaller one – not an area where you expect to see these creatures.

His first thought was for his wife, who he ordered back to their vehicle, and then decide how he was going to make it there safely himself. Thankfully, another vehicle suddenly arrived and the sound and that and of doors opening and closing, as more people arrived, saved him. The cats hastily retreated deeper into the bush giving him opportunity to return to the vehicle and safety. He had no doubt that their safety was definitely compromised should the distraction not have occurred. They each realized they had been stalked by the cougars, from the moment they had arrived.

1 Peter 5:8-9 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. (NKJV)

Similarly, the devil stalks each of us during our daily walk. He will creep into our lives and then destroy us, given ample opportunity. He will bide his time, stopping when we stop and moving right alongside us when we move. Planning to overcome and destroy us if we are not vigilant, taking steps to protect ourselves.

God is our over-comer: our Protector, as we grow in faith with Him in our lives, He shows us the safe paths to take; paths that lead us to growth and safety and not to destruction. Jesus is His rescuer, if you will, guiding us and bringing us to safety, just as the arrival of the second vehicle brought safety and escape from potential harm to this couple.

Prayer: Father, help us to be constantly aware of our surroundings and not be complacent in any way as we trust in You. Amen

I Needed That!


Self-pity and discontent crept into my heart silently: an uninvited guest and it charged my thoughts with ugliness.

The recent illness of someone near and dear had caused us different individual personal losses. Rest, comfort, income and confidence suffered while our tired minds tried to maintain equilibrium with our situation and inner peace.

It sadly, opened a door to negative thinking (boy, that can creep in so quickly, can’t it?) – that’s the only way I can best describe the turmoil within my heart. Then, I was prompted to watch a service on TV from Peoples Church, in which they showed a recent trip made to Israel. Families planted a tree in memory of those lost to persecution through the ages, particularly the Nazi regime and it’s atrocious ethnic cleansing.

That immediately grabbed my attention and lifted my thinking. I still have family, health, freedom, faith: so why was I wasting precious energy with self-pity: even without financial issues I still have more than many in this world.

A singer then sang one of my favorite hymns – praising our faithful Father, who makes us whole. Whose grace and mercy and love continually amaze. I needed that!

Once again, with this past tribulation overcome with perseverance, my challenges are still small compared to those that many people endure. Some of those cannot be overcome, but still they try.

I guess the reminder was necessary – I know it was and I am now seeing things with different eyes and a refreshed heart.

So – mean and ugly thoughts – you are not welcome! You will not get the attention you crave. God is first in all matters – it is just that occasionally, I need a small reminder to travel another route when the burden becomes too heavy.

Romans 5: 3-5 – And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. (NKJV)

Prayer: Thankyou, thankyou, thankyou! Jesus!

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)

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

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