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)

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

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It’s a Cold, Cold Day


It’s a cold, cold day, here today. Snow squalls are continually driving a path through the area, and brutally cold temperatures are the order of the day. Unforgiving weather, is what I call it. Exposure to these elements for too, long, would mean you would be dealing with frostbite, as well as certain death, if exposed for too long.

The world is filled with deadly conditions too. Abortion. Rape. Abuse. Deception. Theft. Prostitution. Human trafficking. Child labor. The list can almost be endless.

Billy Graham, aged 93, and still a man of God, with Godly values, prays for our human frailties and I print his prayer here, for all who would like to pray it for themselves and our earthly world and governments.

Billy Graham’s Prayer

THIS MAN SURE HAS A GOOD VIEW OF WHAT’S HAPPENING NOT ONLY TO THE U.S. BUT ALSO TO OUR WORLD!

‘Heavenly Father, we come before you today to ask your forgiveness and to seek your direction and guidance. We know Your Word says, ‘Woe to those who call evil good,’ but that is exactly what we have done. We have lost our spiritual equilibrium and reversed our values. We have exploited the poor and called it the lottery. We have rewarded laziness and called it welfare. We have killed our unborn and called it choice. We have shot abortionists and called it justifiable… We have neglected to discipline our children and called it building self-esteem. We have abused power and called it politics. We have coveted our neighbor’s possessions and called it ambition. We have polluted the air with profanity and pornography and called it freedom of expression. We have ridiculed the time-honored values of our forefathers and called it enlightenment. Search us, Oh God, and know our hearts today; cleanse us from sin and Set us free. Amen!’

MY blog: http://pattersmatters.wordpress.com
My Devotionals can be read at:
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http://www.presbycan.com/daily devotionals

Where is the Love?


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The world can be a cold and hostile place. It is not for the faint of heart and yet, here we are living our lives in the best way we can and, at this time of year, sharing our love and gifts without exemption.

How wonderful the world would be if each day were this way. We get up, get showered (bathed), dressed and fed, hoping that our day will be a good one. There is no guarantee and yet, as Christians we do have the assurance of an inner strength that is unavailable without reaching out to our God, who loves unconditionally.

The Bible is God’s words……..and it gives us clear direction and support……..it is a blueprint for living the right way. Of course, God is invisible – but He is not absent, because He gives us His spirit once we trust Him with our lives.

Colossians 2:5 For though I am absent in the flesh (you cannot see Me), yet I am with you in spirit (in your heart), rejoicing to see your good order, and the steadfastness of your faith in Christ. (NKJV)

These words give me strength and comfort at all times; I agree, it is hard to trust in the wisdom of a person unseen, and yet I believe the contents of the Bible. The advice contained within its pages reassure me at all times, because the words are wise and mean me no harm. They set me upon solid ground in thought, word and deed – and I like that.

May my God of all that is good and kind and loving, bless your celebrations of Christ’s birthday and beyond.

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Pleasing or Loving?


Knowing right from wrong and then choosing to live in a way that is respectful of others is a choice. Living life your own way and disregarding others is not only selfish it is wrong and will bring repercussions that you will regret – not necessarily soon but eventually and you will experience like behavior towards yourself, so think before you treat others unkindly because it will come back to you, one way or another.

1 Thessalonians 4:1-8, 4:11-12

Brothers, now I have some other things to tell you. We taught you how to live in a way that will please God. And you are living that way. Now we ask you and encourage you in the Lord Jesus to live that way more and more. You know what we told you to do by the authority of the Lord Jesus. God wants you to be holy and to stay away from sexual sins. He wants each one of you to learn how to choose a wife in a way that is holy and honorable. Don’t use your body for sexual sin (depravity). The people who do not know God use their bodies for that. So do not wrong your brother or cheat him in this way. The Lord will punish people who do those things. (There is a consequence for everything you do). We have already told you and warned you about that. God called us to be holy and does not want us to live in sin (disregarding and not respecting each other). So the person who refuses to obey this teaching is refusing to obey God, not man. And God is the One who gives us His Holy Spirit (making us better at discerning right from wrong and then choosing to make changes in our lives, to live according to His laws and direction – never hurting or maiming or killing).

Do all you can to live a peaceful life. Take care of your own business. Do your own work. We have already told you to do these things. If you do, then people who are not believers will respect you. And you will not have to depend on others for what you need.

God loves you. He always has and always will. I pray that you choose to live in accordance with His direction outlined in the Bible. Life improves day by day as you choose to love and live His way.

Thankful for Everything


I have a very energetic mind and need constant variety in my life, to stop me from becoming disenchanted with my lot!

It occurred to me a long time ago, that I easily get bored with life, when I feel ‘stuck in a rut’.

Then I considered how important it is to be thankful for all situations. I thought about how we grow when faced with adversity! We problem solve and accomplish much more in order to survive or get through to the other side of the challenge. We focus on the solution instead of the problem.

When life is dealing the right cards and all is relatively good, we can easily become complacent and then slip into a pity-party mentality, when we view our lives as being mundane.

One day, listening to news reports of war-torn areas around the globe, a light bulb suddenly went on, and I thanked God I was not living there with the deprivation of conflict. My ordinary life, which I sometimes consider dull, was at once a blessing. I realized that if it was taken from me I would miss it! My daily chores and lifestyle would be craved more than anything else.

I have endured and survived the horror or losing every material thing in my life, and at the time it was an absolute nightmare; however, all the things I lost were quickly replaced as time passed. My emotional turmoil was not so quickly healed, but again, as time passed it happened.

I would not want to live parts of my life again. There have been some dreadful moments of rejection and worse, but thankfully, there have been more beautiful moments and they more than compensate for the bad ones.

I now view each day as a blessing. One to be enjoyed to the fullest because I can. I sometimes, slip back to imagining times when my life was not so ordinary, and I certainly do not want to dwell there for long. I am thankful for where God has brought me and for the people He has placed in my life. I am thankful for my sons and their beautiful families: for my step-children and their families. I have a husband who respects and encourages me. He loves me despite my faults. I have friends that I trust and enjoy spending time with. My earthly family has grown over the years and I am glad for each person. Why on earth would I wish for anything else?

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 says, Rejoice always, pray without ceasing in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (NKJV)

If that is God’s will for me, I will stick with that and follow His guidance, after all, where would I be without Him in my life? I really don’t want to ‘go’ there!

Prayer: Lord God, it is so easy to wish we were on the ‘other side of the fence’. The trouble is that when we get there things are never as rosy as we expect them to be. Help us to be thankful and content with what we have – as long as we are not in abusive situations. Let us be aware of how we would feel, should everything be taken away from us. Then we would crave our mundane lives back and be truly thankful.

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.

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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