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)

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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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
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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.

A Wolf in Coyote Clothing?


In the area I live, there are wolves. You can hear them howling in the evening hours. Neighbors and friends have seen them. Apparently there is a pack of six in the nearby woodlands.

Some folk claim they are not wolves but coyotes, in an attempt to dispel the fear that people have about wolves, thinking that coyotes are less of a threat to humans and animals alike.

However, a recent report I heard suggests that there is proof of inter-breeding between wolves and coyotes. This creates a very different type of coyote – one that views humans, not as something to avoid, but as large prey! The mix results in a coyote with killer tendencies.

So what we see is not necessarily what we get!

A deception of another kind is a person with an evil spirit. On the outside they present as kind, generous and caring, while on the inside they are planning your downfall or even demise.

Wolves come into any flock with the intention of destroying, so we should be more vigilant when seeing coyotes, because they could be one of the new breed of wolf and coyote mix. Likewise, we need to use wisdom and discernment when meeting people for the first time – they might not be as good as they appear. I do not say this to cause alarm – but to suggest discretion, until that person proves themself to be worthy of our consideration as a friend.

Acts 20:29 For wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. (NKJV)

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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.

 

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!

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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!

Wholesome and Clean


 

Ezekiel 37:23b – I will wash away their sin and make them clean, and I will protect them from everything that makes them unclean. They will be my people, and I will be their God. (CEV)

There is a major house renovation going on close to where we live. Actually, it has been in progress for weeks and weeks – new roof, insulation, siding, windows, doors, sunroom and storage addition – a complete overhaul! I don’t know, because I have not seen inside, but I have to assume that there is a great deal of updating, repair and cleaning being addressed inside the home too: and I assume this due to the time it is taking to complete the work.

I recall when my husband and I, were looking for a home in this park, that we viewed one particular unit that was in a beautiful location, the price was amazing (it would have left a great deal of ‘spare’ cash for renovations) but the condition inside was nothing short of ‘disgusting’: how anyone could have lived in the home in the condition it was in, was beyond our comprehension.

We had agreed that we were willing to move into a house of our choice and do work while living there, but the filth and the updates needed in that particular house, were way too bad for us to even consider moving in and living there in – there was far too much to do to make it habitable.

When some people are challenged to give their lives to God and invite Jesus into their hearts, they recognize the truth that they have sinned before God. As a result, they want to clean up their lives before they issue an invitation to Jesus. They don’t yet understand that God comes into our lives to clean us up, precisely because we can’t do it for ourselves.

Isaiah 64:6a – We are unfit to worship You; each of our good deeds is merely a filthy rag (CEV)

The good news is that when we become willing to accept God into our lives; He can and does accept us just as we are.

Thankfully, God does not shun our dirty lives like we rejected that dirty home. He welcomes us and cleanses us.  He does not leave us as we are, with our disparaging thoughts, our criticism of others, our idolatry of all things material, and all our major and minor sinful ways. This process is called “sanctification”.

 Isaiah 1:16Wash yourselves clean! I am disgusted with your filthy deeds. Stop doing wrong. (CEV)

 Just as the house we viewed had much to clean up before being habitable, so God needs to clean up our lives, thoughts, and actions, so that we become a true reflection of His Son, Jesus, in our hearts, minds, and spirits.

 James 4:8 – Come near to God, and he will come near to you. Clean up your lives, you sinners. Purify your hearts, you people who can’t make up your mind. (CEV)

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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The Twelve Days of Christmas


I recently heard that, to buy all these items as a gift for someone for Christmas, would now cost over one hundred thousand dollars, given todays inflated  ‘values’!  WOW!  I have no way of knowing the cost way back when this was first written; I do know however, that it is always a popular song (and poem) at this special time of year. 

Enjoy reading this; even sing it if you know the tune, but don’t forget the real reason for Christians celebrations at Christmas time:  Jesus is the name and it is His birthday that we celebrate. 

Fortunately, in Canada, we are free to celebrate despite many attempts to erase God, Jesus or Christmas from our vocabulary; our schools and our places of business.  It is not so in many countries around the world; and so,  here I am sharing it again!  This was given to me a couple of Christmases ago, and it is still asked for!

From 1558 to 1829, Roman Catholics in England were not permitted to practice their faith openly.  Someone during that era wrote this carol as a catechism song for young Catholics.  It has two levels of meaning:  the surface meaning plus a hidden meaning known only to members of their church.  Each element in the carol has a code word for a religious reality, which the children could remember.

–         The partridge in a pear tree was Jesus Christ.

–         Two turtle doves were the Old and New Testaments.

–         Three French hens stood for Faith, Hope and Love.

–         The four calling birds were the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

–         The five golden rings recalled the Torah or Law, the first five books of the Old Testament.

–         The six geese a-laying stood for the six days of creation.

–         Seven swans a-swimming represented the sevenfold gifts of the Holy Spirit:  Prophesy Serving, Teaching, Exhortation, Contribution, Leadership and Mercy.

–         The eight maids a-milking were the eight Beatitudes.

–         Nine ladies dancing were the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit:  Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self-Control.

–         The ten Lords a-leaping were the Ten Commandments.

–         The eleven pipers piping stood for the eleven faithful Disciples.

–         The twelve drummers drumming symbolized the twelve points of belief in the Apostles’ Creed.

MERRY (Twelve Days of) CHRISTMAS to you, one and all!

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