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!

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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/.

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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

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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

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A Christmas Miracle


Today, I feel burdened!  We have a friend who has major health issues.  She and her husband have been estranged for years.  The sadness, I feel, is for her children and the fact that they have not been permitted contact with their mother for many years.  The sadness, is also due to the choices they have each made to not decide for themselves, to contact her.  They are all adults, but have had their minds and hearts hardened due to the ongoing negative comments, made by their father of their mother.

So this posting is to ask you for prayer for this lady! 

It is to ask God for a Christmas miracle for Christina. 

It is for prayer for reconciliation for this family (mother and children). 

It is to ask God for His peace, grace and wisdom to rule supreme in all their hearts and minds.

It is to ask for God’s spirit of love and healing to fill the hearts, minds, bodies and spirits of each member of this family, including the father.

It is to ask for A Christmas Miracle for Christina!

Thank you, and may God bless you as you pray for them.

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Love or Sin?


We all have the freedom of choice and recently, I chose to commit to a writing challenge.  The goal is to write 50,000 words through the month of November – the biggest challenge has been what to write about.

Someone once said to me, “The world is your oyster” – and thinking about that statement made me realize it also applies to my ‘topic’ dilemma!  It’s all very well saying that but ‘what to choose’ – as in a subject to write about is an overwhelming thought. 

Having considered much and deliberated even more – I decided to write about a successful author (fictional) looking back over – what had been a roller-coaster ride of a life for her and for her loved ones.

In developing this idea, it occurred to me that we all encounter ‘roller-coaster’ situations in our lives and often take advice from the wrong sources. 

The bible gives us simple yet very effective advice:  ‘Love Each Other” – imagine the kind of world we would live in if we respected one another, loved one another and did not judge one another? 

Consider this:

1 John 3:7-10  Children, don’t be fooled.  Anyone who does right is good, just like Christ himself.  Anyone who keeps on sinning belongs to the devil.  He has sinned from the beginning, but the Son of God came to destroy all that he has done.  God’s children cannot keep on being sinful.  His life-giving power lives in them and makes them His children, so that they cannot keep on sinning.  You can tell God’s children from the devil’s children, because those who belong to the devil refuse to do right or to love each other.  (CEV)

1 John 4:16b-21  God is love.  If we keep on loving others, we will stay one in our hearts with God, and He will stay one with us.  If we truly love others and live as Christ did in this world, we won’t be worried about the day of judgement.  A real love for others will chase those worries away.  The thought of being punished is what makes us afraid.  It shows that we have not really learned to love.  We love because God loved us first.  But if we say we love God and don’t love each other, we are liars.  We cannot see God.  So how can we love God, if we don’t love the people we (can) see?  The two commandments that God has given us are:  Love God and love each other”.

Sinful folk will not have your best interests at heart!  They will take advantage of you – your situation – your naivete – your weaknesses!  They will laugh at you – will not respect you and will certainly lie if it is to their advantage.  I know this to be fact – because I have encountered such people through my life;  they are very convincing and very manipulative and they will con you out of everything that is good and wholesome in your life.  They will NOT be lovers of God – nor will they believe in Jesus as His Son.  They will scoff at such beliefs; whereas if you choose to take the life-giving, life-saving advice that can be found in the Bible – your life can be immensely changed, for the better.

The Contemporary English Version or The Message are both written in every day language, that can be easily understood.  Try one of them and see for yourself, if you have the inclination – it will be well worth the effort.

 

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The Armour of God


One and Only Creator Lives!

I pray God’s armour and therefore His protection each day, for my husband, my children and their families; for my friends and church family and their loved ones and for myself:  so I can feel assured that each one of us is guarded against the darkness of this world, in which we live. 

It’s easier than we might think, to succumb to a life that is wrong, when we naively trust the people we meet, who convince us that they have our best interests at heart: a safe way to determine if they are trustworthy is to ask if they believe in the One and Only God – a God who cares for each one of us and is forgiving and concerned about us, a God who does not seek retribution or revenge, but only what is good for us.  If they scoff at us and that suggestion – they really are NOT concerned with our well-being.

Even if we are not believers (yet) in God and His Son, Jesus Christ – we can safeguard ourselves (just to be sure) by saying the following – every single day:

Ephesians 6:10-18

I put on the helmet of salvation – please Lord protect my mind – take away impure thoughts, critical thoughts and judgemental thoughts!

I put on the breastplate of righteousness – thankyou, that this covers my heart.  Protect my heart against feelings of anger or resentment or unforgiveness.

I put on the belt of truth.  Lord please expose things that are false.  Help me to live in truth, to speak truth and if need be, to stand for truth!

I put on the shoes of the gospel of peace.  Help me always to be willing to share with others the hope and peace that you have given me within my heart and spirit!

I hold up the sword of the spirit!  The word of truth!  Keep me faithful in reading Your advice in the bible and thank you that the enemy (satan and his spirits of darkness) run when Your Word is spoken!  Let us read it out loud each and every day, if we are in a comfortable place and are able to do this; otherwise let it be in our minds, then at least, we are speaking directly to You.

I hold up the shield of faith.  Thank you that you are my Protector, my Defender and my Friend, please continue to grow my faith and allow all that is good to flourish in my heart and spirit and my life!

Remember that if we truly (really and truly) believe that the one and only God is all-powerful and that Jesus Christ is His one and only Son – crucified – died – buried and rose again for each one of us – then we can be assured that God protects us and will bring us through much!

Keep us faithful in praying!  Amen and Amen!

In God we trust!

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Standing Firm!


Calm amid the Storm

In times of trouble or torment or spiritual attack – or if you need to express yourself but your nearest and dearest refuses to allow you to speak or ‘hear’ you;  STAND FIRM and pray God’s armour upon yourself for protection.

 

The helmet of salvation – and having been made perfect He became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey Him.  Hebrews 5:9

The breastplate of righteousness – He is the source of your life in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God and righteousness and sanctification and redemption.  1 Corinthians 1:30

The belt of truth – Jesus said, “I am the Way the Truth and the Life.  No-one comes to the Father except through Me”.  John 14:6

The shield of faith – Let us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, who inspires and perfects our faith, for the sake of the joy which lay before Him, he endured the cross, heedless of its’ shame.  Hebrews 12:2

The shoes of peace – sharing the news “For He is our peace, He came and proclaimed peace far and near.  Ephesians 2:14-18

The sword of the Spirit (God’s Word) In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God.  Genesis 1:1

Each day, when we put on the full armour of God, we claim His protection in all that we do.  Ephesians 6:11

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Woke Up – Praise the Lord!


Psalm 118:24 – This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. (NIV)

Woke up this morning — the sun is shining … the sky is blue with puffy white clouds … nice temperature … the soybeans and corn are growing … the flowers are blooming. Rejoice!

Woke up this morning — the sun is shining … the sky is blue … it’s hot already … the grass is dormant … the flowers are thirsty … we need rain. But, I won’t have to mow this week, I can water the lawn and flowers if I want, and I can turn on the air conditioner for my own comfort. Rejoice!

Woke up this morning — the sun is shining … the sky is blue … it’s hot, hot, hot and very dry … still need rain. But this, too, is a day the Lord has made, and I will rejoice!

Woke up this morning — the sun is shining … the sky is cloudy … the air is humid … autumn comes next when the leaves are beautiful. Rejoice!

Woke up this morning — I’ve got a home, clothes, food to eat, family and friends. Rejoice!

Every day is a gift from God. Some days, it’s easier to rejoice than others, but God, who creates every day, also created us. He is our Father; we are His children. God has promised He is always with us; He loves us; He knows our needs; and He wants us to seek Him out. On those days when it’s hard to rejoice and God seems far away, who do you think has moved?

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 – Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (NIV)

Prayer: Dear God, help us to rejoice in each day, drawing ever closer to You. Amen

(Received in an email message – original writer unknown)

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