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.

Seeing is Believing


Jesus was crucified. He was buried. He rose again on the third day, as was prophesied. He was alive and well, after the horrors of flogging, rejection and crucifixion.

It would be easy to doubt His resurrection. It is not usual for anyone to come back from death. Yet, Jesus did. It is not only written about; there are also eye-witness accounts.

He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve (Apostles). After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep. After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles. Then last of all He was seen by me (Paul) also …. (1 Corinthians 15:6-7)

So, who are we to doubt? Faith is believing in someone greater than ourselves. It is to believe the promises written about in the Bible. God – promises us that the Bible contains the absolute truth on how to behave, how to trust and how to live.

When there is nothing in your life worth a cent, putting your trust in God and in His written (God-breathed) words, can often be the difference between a life worth living and one of unspeakable heartbreak.

Jesus lived for us. He died for us. He lives for, and waits, for us to follow Him.

Choose life!

Psalm 118:8 It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man. (NKJV)

The Name of Jesus


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During prayer time, this morning, a beautiful song kept invading my thoughts. Perhaps my words were not what He wanted to hear; although first thing in the morning, they are more pleasant than my singing. However, the tune stayed with me and I had to find the words. I needed to know if there was a message for me or one that I could share.

My conclusion is – – I do not know. The only thing left for me to do, is to print the words here. Perhaps, somebody else needs to know about the power and grace of Jesus Christ.

YOUR NAME

As morning dawns and evening fades,
You inspire songs of praise,
That rise from earth to touch Your heart
And glorify Your Name.

Your name is a strong and mighty tower,
Your name is a shelter like no other.
Your name let the nations sing it louder,
Cause nothing has the power to save,
But Your name.

Jesus in Your name we pray
Come and fill our hearts today.
Lord give us strength to live for You,
And glorify Your name.

What beautiful words. I hope your spirit has been calmed by them, and I hope you trust your life to Jesus and His redeeming grace.

So, whatever else we do today, let us Live for Truth. Live in truth. Stand for truth. Speak the truth.

Prayer: In all our ways, our words and our actions, let us honor You and Your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen.

http://pattersmatters.wordpress.com
Novel – A Stolen Childhood, Eleanor’s Story coming soon

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.

How Will I Know?


Matthew 24:36 But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only. (NKJV)

The media has shown over the years, people who have predicted the end of the world. We’re still here to proclaim them as eccentric. It is sad, because they affect the integrity of the truth of the Bible. Believers in Christ are not fooled. In fact, the Bible is clear – we will not know the time or date of the end of the world. So why would anyone, with wisdom, fool themselves and try to delude others by declaring that they do? We are to choose to have faith in God and believe in Jesus Christ as His son and our risen Savior.

Matthew 24:42 Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming. (NKJV)

The Bible gives us clear direction on this. In Matthew 24:4-7
And Jesus answered and said to them: Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. (NKJV)

We are called to trust in, and believe in God and His Son, Jesus Christ. Faith is to trust the words of the Bible. They are God-breathed. They are not of man. Yet, thousands still choose to follow their own passions. Many choose another God. Time will tell whether we have chosen wisely. For some the end will be a time of celebration, while for others it will prove to be a time of great mourning. The sad fact is that by then it will be too late to change direction.

Matthew 24:29-30 Immediately after the tribulation of those days, the sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. (NKJV)

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

My devotionals can be read on:
http://www.devotionalchristian.com
http://www.underthecoverofprayer.com
http://www.presbycan.org (search – daily devotionals)

Many Were Baptized


At our church yesterday, ten people dedicated their lives to God, by being baptized.

A public proclamation that God is now the controller of their lives. They no longer want ‘to do’ life their own way, nor do they want to conform to the ways of the world.

It was a public announcement that they have chosen to be like Jesus, and want to change their ways – – or at least – – have decided to follow a different path in life. It doesn’t make life all rosy, but it does give each one an inner strength and peace that unbelievers cannot understand or experience.

Trusting the One and Only unseen God truly does make a difference to your life, but unless you are willing to change and trust His way – nothing I say will convince you to live any other way. You will choose to stay where you are – – suffering all that you are dealing with, feeling all alone.

Psalm 121:1-3 you will find the God of help for those who seek Him….I will lift up my eyes to the hills – from whence comes my help? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. He will not allow your foot to be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber. (NKJV)

My Blogs –
http://pattersmatters.wordpress.com
https://pepeprays.wordpress.com

See my devotionals at:
http://www.underthecoverofprayer.com
http://www.devotionalschristian.com
http://www.presbycan.ca (daily devotionals)

May God bless and keep you safe.

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!

The Beatitudes


Do you not know that God blesses you and draws ever closer to you, when you are treated unkindly by others? He wants you to lean on His strength. He wants you to trust in His everloving Grace. He wants you to have Peace. All this does come at a price, however, we have to cast aside the unkindness that is directed at us, just as Jesus did when people mocked Him.

The Beatitudes, can be a source of reassurance when disparaging behavior or words are directed at you. God takes notice and will deal with the thoughtlessness, in His own way.

God blesses those who realize their need for Him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is given to them.
God blesses those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
God blesses those who are gentle and lowly, for the whole earth will belong to them.God blesses those who are hungry and thirsty for justice, for they will receive it in full.
God blesses those who are merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
God blesses those whose hearts are pure, for they will see God.
God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God.
God blesses those who are persecuted because they live for God, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.

My Blog: http://pattersmatters.wordpress.com
My Novel: Eleanor’s Story – A Stolen Childhood is in the process of pre-publication

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

Focus!


Matthew 6:6  But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and Your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.  (NKJV)

When you pray, do you ever find yourself being inundated with other thoughts and a myriad of distractions around you?  I do, I have to confess. 

During my bible and prayer time recently, I found my focus drawn to activity in the garden.  I was trying to say the Lord’s Prayer, but I kept interjecting my own thoughts into it.  It was so persistent that I decided I would write down my attempts.  Here it is.

Our Father who art in heaven.  Uh-oh, here comes a pesky squirrel.

Hallowed be Thy Name.  I wonder did you spill the feeder yesterday, to get to the seed?

Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, On earth as it is in heaven.  You’re very fortunate you are quicker on your feet than me.

Give us this day our daily bread.  Even the squirrel!

And forgive us our trespasses   Even those of us who plot against Your squirrels.

As we forgive those who trespass against us.  Gotta be the squirrels!

And lead us not into temptation,  I plot to hurt it, but would not

But deliver us from evil.  It is one of your creations too.

For Thine is the Kingdom  And it belongs to you just as much as I do.

The Power and the Glory  I  give up!  I’ll continue to watch – but not during my bible time.  Sorry, Abba!

Forever and ever, Amen

See what I mean?  Wasn’t that pitiful?  Reading it, I was ashamed of my poor effort and my lack of focus.  My focus should have been on God and His Prayer – not on the squirrel in the garden.  

Prayer:  Abba, I thank You that you are tolerant of my weaknesses and foibles.  Forgive me when my attention is taken from You.  Direct me to focus on You and You alone, for You are more than worthy.  Amen.

http://pattersmatters.wordpress.com

www.devotionalchristian.com