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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That Was Easy!


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Psalm 16:8 I have set the Lord always before me; because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved. (NKJV)

I begin each morning in this order – – coffee, devotional reading from the Daily Bread, Bible reading and then prayer.

My prayer today was that I please God in thought, word and deed. Nothing to it, or ‘That was easy’, as a certain company jingle tells us.

Next I sit at my computer, ready to read newly arrived emails. And I sit. And sit And – – “come on computer, don’t start my day working at a snail’s pace. I’m not sitting here to waste time”. My, that was easy – I’ve blown my good intentions already and the day has just begun.

“Whoops, Lord – sorry. It didn’t take much for me to forget”.

How easy it is to plan our day, and how easy it is to allow distractions to destroy them.

Prayer: Help us focus on what is good today. Let us follow Your directions so, at the end of our day, we end our day knowing we have done our very best, in all ways. Let us then justly claim that ‘that was easy’. 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.

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

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

 

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.

 

 

A New Morning!


It is New Year’s Eve and it snowed overnight.  I look out at gray skies and a crispy, white blanket of snow covering the ground.  There are many imperfections concealed beneath it’s shroud.  You would never know there were areas of uneven ground there, because they are now hidden from view.  Just a layer of snow; deep and crisp and even!

The happenings in our lives can sometimes be hidden like that too.  We often do not know what to expect as each new day dawns.  Each event of the day is ‘under wraps’, until it is time for it to be revealed to us.   We hope against hope, that all will be white and beautiful, and not dark and menacing.  We hope for a comfortable white blanket to snuggle into.

The Bible promises that kind of comfort from God!  Each new day presents us with an opportunity to discover and experience more of God’s love.  Even in the midst of terrible sorrow, great is His faithfulness.  He is the comforter and compassionate God who remains “full of grace and truth”.  His love endures forever and is available to us, like a blanket to wrap around ourselves each and every morning.  

Lamentations 3:22-25 Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not.  They are new every morning.  Great is Your faithfulness.  “The Lord is my portion” says my soul, “there I hope in Him”.  The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the soul who seeks Him. 

Prayer:  Lord reveal Your loving kindness and comfort to us.  Where there is despair bring hope!  Where there is sadness, bring joy!  Where there is struggle, bring relief.  We trust in Your provision and in Your Grace.  Please do not stay hidden.  In Jesus Name, Amen. 

http://pattersmatters.wordpress.com

Author of Eleanor’s Story – A Stolen Childhood

For grieving children Brenda Wood’s beautifully illustrated book ‘The Big Red Chair’, brings a message of love and hope.  Comes complete with a CD, on which Brenda reads the story.

http://heartfeltdevotionals.wordpress.com

  HAPPY NEW YEAR !

 

The Best Christmas Gift


HAPPY CHRISTMAS!

Ah! Christmas-time is here again. Time for hurried shopping trips. Time for shopping excesses. Time to buy gifts for those we love. Decision after decision!

What can I give my spouse?

What to give the children!

What to give friends and family!

Will it be a new guitar? The latest electronic gadget on which to view, text and listen? Perhaps the latest video game?

It is so easy get ‘caught up’ in the buying frenzy expected of us by retailers.

The very best gift you can give is the story of Jesus! Christmas after all, is the celebration of His birth.

He was born to bring us the gifts of peace, contentment and joy! He wanted and still wants us, to share his unconditional love with others. What greater gift is there?

Gift-giving is a beautiful way of sharing and showing our love with those nearest and dearest to us, but let’s not forget the true meaning of Christmas.

Let us remember to say, “Happy Birthday, Jesus”!

Let us invite and welcome Him into our hearts, minds and spirits.

Let us remember to thank His Father, God for all that He provides for us day by day.

Let us keep Jesus in our hearts all year long, and each successive year of our lives.

Isaiah 9:6 For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on His shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (NIV)

Prayer: Father, when the worldly interpretation of Christmas overwhelms us, help us to not forget You, and Your gift of Jesus to us. May we focus on what is important and beneficial to us and may we grow in faith and love. Amen

https://pepeprays.wordpress.com

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

See more at:  https://pepeprays.wordpress.com

http://pattersmatters.wordpress.com