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.

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Grow Sweet Pea


Beside our house is a sweet pea plant. The previous owner planted it long ago. It is a perennial and it is vigorous where it is.

I, however, do not want it growing in that spot and have attempted on more than one occasion to root it in other parts of the garden where it could be better enjoyed. Each try has failed – despite my careful choice of sites in different exposures and earth.

In desperation I prepared one more spot. I carefully dug the ground and planted a few roots with the command, “grow sweet pea or you’re out of here, once and for all”.

Despite all these failures, the original root still thrives beside the house untidily spreading itself across the ground. I am equally determined to grow a root from it in another part of the garden.

Our lives can be similarly unruly as we are placed in different locations trying an assortment of jobs, homes, pastimes. Sometimes the choices are fruitful but there are others when we fail because we choose to not take root or to use our particular skills. Sometimes, when the changes are thrust upon us, our perseverance fails us – we feel unable to prosper and we wane, unable to deal with the new situations.

Much like the sweet pea, we can each be relocated time and time again in an effort to succeed in a new place, only to fade away and die.

Daily living presents us with many opportunities; each one presumably better than where we are, but unless we can grab hold and ‘take root’, the opportunity will fall on stony ground and we will not succeed.

Mark 4:5 Some fell on stony ground, where it did not have much earth; and immediately it sprang up because it had no depth of earth. But when the sun was up it was scorched, and because it had no root it withered away. And some seed fell among thorns; and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no crop. But other seed fell on good ground and yielded a crop that sprang up, increased and produced: some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some a hundred. (NKJV)

After numerous tries I think I have, at last, found a spot it likes. The roots are yielding strong shoots and are looking very promising. Perhaps my perseverance has paid off and I have found the right spot!

Prayer: Abba – we are not perfect but like to think we can achieve much with our dimunitive efforts. Our attempts can fail, despite our determination to make new things happen. Please grant us Your Wisdom and Discernment as we contemplate different careers, new locations and choices. Keep us beside you and let us not become unruly as we are planted in fresh ground. Amen

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Contributor to: http://www.devotionalchristian.com

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:

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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!

The Noisy Squirrel


Jeremiah 25:7 – “Yet you have not listened to Me,” says the Lord, “that you might provoke Me to anger with the works of your hands to your own hurt.” (NKJV)

I was trying very hard to concentrate on reading my Bible passages for the day. But there was an equally determined black squirrel in the garden.  It was racing up and down the trees, loudly admonishing and protesting some unseen adversary. Despite my telling it to be quiet and loudly shushing it, it continued with its noisy protesting, oblivious to scolding from me.  All very frustrating.

My protestations fell upon deaf ears! I am fairly certain that, many times, we behave in much the same way when God is attempting to get our attention — all those times when we are crazily running around, doing what we feel needs to be done; when we’re voicing opinions where none are really wanted or needed. I can almost hear God trying to shush us and have us listen to Him, instead of wearing ourselves out with what we perceive as necessary busyness and activity, which, to all intents and purposes, achieves nothing of particular value. Sadly, His calls often fall upon our deaf ears, too.

Exodus 18:19a – Listen now to My voice; I will give you counsel. (NKJV)

Now that I’ve completed my writing I’m thinking that this distraction was meant to get my attention — because the noise has stopped, and the squirrel has vanished!

Okay, Lord, I heard You!

Prayer: Thank You, Lord, for the many times when You attempt to get our attention. Thank You for persevering, even though we can often suffer from selective hearing and continue doing what we think is most important, when really and truly, You are. 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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Rest on God’s Promise


New Life

Have you noticed how easy it is to give advice to others, while overlooking what you might need guidance on?

Recommending a change of direction or lifestyle in someone else’s world is easy but it is not so easy to do for ourselves. 

The world has many well-intentioned folk.  Some are not Godly and certainly not kind.  They make unrealistic, even cruel demands on others, ensuring their own needs are met, while completely ignoring the difficulties and restrictions they impose upon others. 

A saving grace in complex or dangerous situations, if you believe in the one true God, is to remember that you do have a ‘safe place to go’.  

God lives in the hearts of all believers and no-one can take Him away from us.  Life can be full of regulations and controls that burden  and even cause us to consider ‘giving-up’, those times are when God’s people seek the quiet of a God-filled heart.  They in turn receive a strength that is beyond the understanding of non-believers, many of whom will ridicule our dependence upon a God that cannot be seen. 

Psalm 71:1 – I run to You, Lord, for protection.  Don’t disappoint me. (CEV)

Prayer:  Father God, let us always remember who is truly in charge. We can be overwhelmed by the control that others have on our lives.  Help us to focus on You and trust in Your provision for our well-being and our inner peace.  Lord help us to continue to grow in our faith.  Amen

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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.

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 !