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.

Change Your Life



If you are struggling with life or are in a situation that you are unable to control; may I suggest you open a Bible? If you do not own one, a visit to your local library will fill that need.

Not only can you find guidelines on how to live a good life, but you can also find encouragement and wisdom, to help you make better decisions.

For instance, in Philippians 3:18-20

Many people live like enemies of the cross of Christ. I have often told you about them, and it makes me cry to tell you about them now. The way they live is leading them to destruction. Instead of serving God, they do whatever their bodies want. They do shameful things, and they are proud of it. They think only about earthly things. But our homeland is in heaven, and we are waiting for our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, to come from heaven. (International Children’s Version)

There is a better way to live than disrespecting yourself, your body or other people. God, who is a God of pure love explains in the following passages –

Take a look at 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a where it tells us what true love is like. Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous, it does not brag, and is not proud. Love is not rude, is not selfish, and does not become angry easily. Love does not remember wrongs done against it. Love is not happy with evil, but is happy with the truth. Love patiently accepts all things. It always trusts, always hopes and always continues strong. Love never ends. (ICV)

So if you are not treating yourself this way, or somebody you know is not treating you this way; moreso, if you are not acting this way towards the people who love you – perhaps you need to reconsider your lifestyle!

May God bless you and keep you safe.

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Pray or Prey!


A recent report, in our local newspaper, gives reason for concern to hikers or even just casual walkers. In an area west of Barrie – north of Angus – a couple preparing for a hike report having been stalked by cougars! (Innisfil Journal, Sept. 6, 2012)

Having left their vehicle to begin their walk they were immediately aware of movement in the undergrowth on either side of the path they were on. In addition to this they heard, what sounded like a whistling noise and felt they were being watched. Deciding to investigate whatever was there and discover what was stopping when they stopped and moving when they did, the man looked into the undergrowth then thought he was imagining things, for looking right back at him was a huge cat: a large cougar, with two others beside it. This sighting was on the outskirts of one large city and bordering another smaller one – not an area where you expect to see these creatures.

His first thought was for his wife, who he ordered back to their vehicle, and then decide how he was going to make it there safely himself. Thankfully, another vehicle suddenly arrived and the sound and that and of doors opening and closing, as more people arrived, saved him. The cats hastily retreated deeper into the bush giving him opportunity to return to the vehicle and safety. He had no doubt that their safety was definitely compromised should the distraction not have occurred. They each realized they had been stalked by the cougars, from the moment they had arrived.

1 Peter 5:8-9 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. (NKJV)

Similarly, the devil stalks each of us during our daily walk. He will creep into our lives and then destroy us, given ample opportunity. He will bide his time, stopping when we stop and moving right alongside us when we move. Planning to overcome and destroy us if we are not vigilant, taking steps to protect ourselves.

God is our over-comer: our Protector, as we grow in faith with Him in our lives, He shows us the safe paths to take; paths that lead us to growth and safety and not to destruction. Jesus is His rescuer, if you will, guiding us and bringing us to safety, just as the arrival of the second vehicle brought safety and escape from potential harm to this couple.

Prayer: Father, help us to be constantly aware of our surroundings and not be complacent in any way as we trust in You. Amen

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!

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.

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I’m Here – Where are You?


John 14:1-3 “Don’t be troubled.  You trust God, now trust in me.  There are many rooms in my Father’s home, and I am going to prepare a place for you.  If this were not so, I would tell you plainly.  When everything is ready, I will come and get you.  And you know where I am going and how to get there”. (NLT)

We are a one car family and so when I need the use of our car, I have to get my body out of bed early enough to travel with my husband, into town and deposit him at his workplace.  At the end of the day, I reverse that order and journey to bring him back home again so he can relax and enjoy the comforts of home.  Hopefully, it welcomes him with a modicum of order after I have done necessary housekeeping through the day, thus making it a place for each of us to enjoy come evening.

I tend to be very punctual and so, when my husband is not at the appointed place at the agreed time, I begin to display my ‘antsey’ disposition.  “Ok, I’m here, where are you?” or “Come on, Mister, I’ve worked hard at home cleaning and preparing supper and I’m tired too, I need to get home” or “I’m here, come and find me then I can take you home”.   I agree – it is sadly not the best attitude and certainly not a Godly one.

Thankfully, God is infinitely gracious and patient and will wait for us to meet Him, anytime and in any place.  He wants to be welcomed into our day and into our lives.  He waits for us to meet and greet Him and allow Him to take us along the path that leads to His heavenly abode – our eternal home, where, He has promised He has already prepared a place for each one of us: all we have to do is welcome Him and agree to take that journey with Him, trusting that there we really will find promised rest and comfort.

Isaiah 55:6 Seek the Lord while you can find Him.  Call on Him now while He is near.  (NLT)

Prayer:  Father God, Help us to look for You and wait for You and follow You on the journey of life that is Your choice for each one of us.  Help us with our attitudes and grant us grace.  In Jesus Name, Amen.

 

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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STOP What You Are Doing!


I try very hard, most days, to write a devotional.  Lately, I struggle to do this because I have allowed myself to become distracted with other things.

I always pray about the words that God wants me to use before I write, and even though I have done this my mind does not bring a ‘flow of words’ – so I am left to think that God wants me to concentrate on something else!  So I focus on that thought!  Still nothing ‘pops’ into my mind – I put my efforts into housework (which has been sadly neglected since I worked on my novel at the end of last year). 

It feels good to see the house sparkle again – but I still feel I should be doing more of God’s (word) work. 

I need to be content that I can do all that I can do!  I need to be (and am) thankful, for all that I have – my husband, my family, my friends, my home and so much more!

Perhaps I have neglected to give thanks; perhaps that is why God is not giving me words to share – I really don’t know – so I will be content with what I am, what I have, what I am becoming and wait for Him to give me the next right step to follow.

Maybe He wants me to ‘let go’ of thinking about what I want in my life and be content ‘in the moment’ and with what I have.

So, I am trying to STOP wasting time and allowing distractions to ‘swallow’ the precious minutes of my day and I take a deep breath – then ask God to show me what it is He wants of me.

Prayer:  Abba Father, thankyou that you stop us ‘in our tracks’ and get our attention, when we are likely wasting precious time on unimportant stuff!  Please give us purpose and direction, then let us know the next right step that you want us to take.  In Jesus Name, Amen.

May Jesus hold you close in His embrace today and evermore!

http://pattersmatters.wordpress.com

https://pepeprays.wordpress.com

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 !

 

Welcome, JESUS!


And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.  (Luke 2:7 NKJV)

Praying you are blessed with the company of family and friends!

Praying you are safe and have shelter!

Praying that you experience a Peace beyond your understanding, as you welcome JESUS into your hearts and lives.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JESUS!