Wanted! Expansion!


Many folk swear by the power of the Prayer of Jabez; proclaiming how it has changed their lives.  Little wonder.  After all, they are asking for their lives to be radically made-over…….made bigger……perhaps, better!  We have no way of knowing how or what will be affected in our lives, once we commit to praying this little prayer – but be certain of one thing – your life will change!

“Oh that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, that I may cause no pain’.  (1 Chronicles 4:10)

So asking to have increase in one’s life; we should also remember that this might not bring what we have in mind!  It might not just be more of what we already have!  It could thrust us into uncomfortable places, situations or decisions, thus – we need to also be sure to ask God to stay with us – to keep His hand upon us and so be directed away from any wrongdoings, that might bring dishonor or deep concern to family and friends, as well as self.

Prayer:  Abba – take captive, our actions and our words to edify and enrich hearts that need You.  Let Your blessings be used honorable ways and may we be truly thankful for the small as well as big blessings.  Amen.

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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

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)

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

The Hawk


Sitting and gazing out to the garden, my attention is suddenly grabbed by a hawk landing on the lawn.  It has a fresh catch in its talons. 

What an unbelievable sight.  I’m used to seeing these beautiful birds soaring high above, while searching for prey below.

It rests a few seconds while the poor captive bird struggles to free itself.  Alas, it will not win.  With determination, the hawk tightens the grip on the little bird and takes off; feathers flying in all directions.  It is no doubt intent on feeding its young – but I do feel for the helpless meal!

Aren’t you glad you’re not on the menu?

Watch out that satan doesn’t have you in his sights!  Be careful how you’re living; he may be coming to get you next!  He stalks each of us, determined to feed his ever hungry lusts: not caring how or who, or why.  He just wants one more; then one more; then one more, ad infinitum!  As long as there are willing lost souls, he cannot lose.

Be wary!

more at:  http://pattersmatters.wordpress.com

The Love of God


The love of God is greater than anything we experience here on earth.

I tend to allow distractions to break my focus, even during prayer time, and so one day in March, I was particularly surprised to ‘hear’ this:

You are mine and I love you! 

Stay with me always and do not concern yourself

with things of your earthly life…………

Although I said, surprised, I still LOVE when this happens.  It makes God very real, which of course He is!

Have you heard a still small voice inside?  Don’t you just love it?

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

 

The Blue & Yellow Can


 John 10:10 – A thief comes to steal and kill and destroy, but I came to give life — life in all its fullness. (NCV)

John 15:3 – You are already clean because of the words I have spoken to you. (NCV)

The directions on the blue and yellow spray can promise us that it:

  • Lubricates (helps things to run more smoothly)
  • Cleans (removes dirt, adhesives, and much more)
  • Protects (against rust and corrosion)
  • Penetrates (infiltrates)
  • Displaces moisture (restores)

This is much like what God does with us when we enter a relationship with Him through His Son, Jesus:

  • He lubricates us, helping to make our attitudes run more smoothly.
  • He cleans and convicts us of all wrongs and removes anything that clings to us that is not of Him.
  • He protects us, by way of His Son, Jesus Christ, by giving us His eternal life, a life acceptable to Him, instead of a sentence of eternal death.
  • He penetrates our hearts and souls in order to preserve us, so that we can spend eternity with Him.
  • He displaces or dislodges the wrongs in us (attitudes or actions) and fills us with His love, truth, and integrity.

Dirt is so easily attracted.  Sometimes the harder we try to keep ourselves, our clothes, or our hearts clean, the more likely it is that we’ll be stained in some way. We can easily shower our bodies and launder all our dirty clothes to wash away the dirt, but it is difficult to change our attitudes and become more forgiving. Only God can change us completely. He erases the guilt of mistakes, encourages us to see only the best in people, and leads us along new paths in our lives — places that we would never have thought ourselves capable of walking. He gives us the strength to accomplish much more than we could possibly dream of, because only He knows what and who we should be. Only He can lubricate our lives, cleanse us, protect us, penetrate to our heart (our core), and displace anything that would spoil our chance to spend eternity with Him.

Romans 12:2 – Do not be shaped by this world; instead be changed within by a new way of thinking. Then you will be able to decide what God wants for you; you will know what is good and pleasing to him and what is perfect. (NCV)

Prayer: Father, we want to be made whole and in good working order, so please come into our hearts, minds, bodies, and spirits, and lubricate us with Your grace and love. We pray this in the precious name of Jesus Christ. Amen

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.