Our Rescue in the Corona Storm

Wow! What a storm we are all going through right now! It’s not just our own little individual storms. The whole world is in the same boat going through the same storm. We’re all in this together.

I’m reminded of another storm in Matthew 14:22-34. Jesus told His disciples to get into a boat and go ahead of Him to the other side of the lake while He went alone to pray. Later that night a storm arose and the boat was being beaten by strong winds and waves.

Shortly before dawn, Jesus went out to the boat walking on the waves. When the disciples saw Him they were afraid. Jesus assured them that it was He; therefore, calming their fears.

Peter, full of faith, wanted to walk on the water with Jesus and so he did. But when he took his eyes off Jesus and put them on the stormy waves, he began to sink.

Peter cried out to Jesus, “Save me!” Jesus reached out His hand and caught Peter. Then He said, “You of little faith, why did you dought?”

Jesus and Peter got into the boat, the wind died down, and the disciples worshiped Jesus saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.” Then they continued their journey to the other side of the lake.

We are all in the same boat going through the same storm and everything seems dark right now. Jesus is telling us we are going to make it to the other side together. He’s assuring us of His presence and who He is, calming our fears.

He’s inviting us to walk on the storms of life with Him, to trust Him, to keep our focus on Him.

When we keep our eyes on Jesus, we walk in victory above our circumstances with confidence in the One who is in control of all things. When we take our eyes off Jesus and put them on the storm we sink in fear; because we are putting faith in the storm rather than the One who can calm the storm.

However, when we begin to sink in fear, and we all do at times, we can cry out to Jesus to rescue us and He is right there to catch us and calm the storm inside us and give us His peace.

Philippians 4:7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

During this Corona storm, Jesus wants us to know that truly He is the only one who can save us. Truly He is the only one that can calm the storms in our hearts and minds and give us peace that surpasses all understanding. Truly He is the only one who can get us to the other side of this storm victoriously. Truly He is the Son of God!

I’d like to encourage you today to keep your eyes on Jesus amid the storm. Amid the turbulent wind and waves of fear and dought beating your heart and mind.

You may ask, “How do I do that?”

Some things I do to keep my focus on Christ are to read and study His Word, the Bible, listen to worship music, read devotionals, pray, read Christian books, listen to sermons filled with the truth of God’s Word, talk to other believers for encouragement.

Yes, stay informed and take every precaution to avoid catching or spreading the Coronavirus. We need to do these things just out of love and respect for everyone around us.

But we can do all these things while keeping our eyes on Jesus, keeping our faith in Him as our source of help, strength, protection, peace, joy, provision, and victory.

Psalms 91:14-15 “Because he loves me,” says the Lord, ” I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With a long life, I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.”

God’s got this and He’s got you!

Isaiah 41:10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

If you would like to offer additional words of encouragement to others please comment below. Also, let’s remember to pray for one another, help one another, and be generous with our resources. God bless you!

~Patrice Maguire

Dear God, I know I am a sinner, and I ask for Your forgiveness. I believe Jesus Christ is Your Son. I believe that He died for my sin and that You raised Him to life. I want to trust Him as my Savior and follow Him as Lord, from this day forward. Guide my life and help me to do Your will through the power of Your Holy Spirit. I pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen.

 

 

 

​A Thief and a Liar​

Great news! My radiation burned skin has nearly been completely replaced with brand new skin. I’m healing well and quickly. Yay!

I still deal with some tired spells but thankfully they aren’t every day. Also, my skin is very itchy at times. I’ve been told that the itching of a formally injured area is a sign of healing. If that’s the case, the itching is welcomed but not enjoyed.

Recently, on one of my not-so-tired days, I went for a walk with my husband on our property. As usual, we took our dog Autumn along and our cat Gabby followed.

We walk on a trail that loops through our mostly wooded 15 acres. Gabby frequently follows along on the trail with an occasional romp through the tall grass or woods. But this time something frightened her and she went into the woods and refused to come out.

I could see and hear Gabby but she was out of reach and wouldn’t be coaxed back onto the trail. Therefore, we reluctantly continued our walk hoping she would follow, stay put, or run home.

Once we looped back around to where Gabby had been too frightened to continue her walk, we called out to her but heard no response. So we went on toward the house but as we neared we realized she wasn’t there either.

My husband went back out onto the trail in search for Gabby. He eventually found her hiding in fear behind trees in the tall grass. I was very relieved to see her in his arms as they emerged from the woods.

Due to fear, Gabby was unable to enjoy her journey and unable to reach her goal of completing the walk.

Fear is a thief! It will rob us of joy and peace. It keeps us from enjoying our lives and fulfilling our purpose. In reality, a life of fear is not truly living.

John 10:10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

I once read that fear is f-false e-evidence a-appearing r-real. Fear is not only a thief but is also deceptive!

As long as we are breathing, we will always have an opportunity to feel fear.

So what can we do about fear?

Pray!

Philippians 4:6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your request to God.

What if our fear doesn’t go away?

Trust God!

Proverbs 3:5 Trust the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.

Fear is putting our faith in something other than God. But if we don’t know God then we can’t trust Him or put our faith in Him.

The only way to get to know anyone is to spend time with them and experience life with them. That’s what a relationship is all about.

Spending time with God looks like reading and studying His word. Talking to Him and listening to Him as He speaks to us through His word and His Holy Spirit.

When we get to know God, His love for us, and His power, we quickly realize there is nothing to fear.

1 John 4:18a There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear.

Psalms 77:14 You are the God who performs miracles; you display your power among the peoples.

The feeling of fear may not go away. But when you know God’s got you, you can move forward, doing what fear has been keeping you from accomplishing or experiencing.

Philippians 4:13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

Sometimes, when we step out in faith and do the thing we were afraid to do, it may not turn out the way we thought it should. But we can still trust that God is using the experience for our good and His glory. Nothing is wasted in God’s economy [Romans 8:28].

What is fear trying to steal from you? Your joy? Peace? Sanity? Your future? Your purpose, promotion, or potential?

How is fear deceiving you? Is it telling you there’s no use in trying because you’ll just fail or end up being rejected? Is it telling you to compromise so you can keep your job or a bad relationship?

Will you make a decision to get to know the all-powerful God who loves you and has a great plan for your life? Will you get to know Him so you can start enjoying your life and fulfilling your purpose?

2 Timothy 1:7 For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid but gives us power love and self-discipline.

Don’t waste another day existing in fear. Start truly living today!

~ Patrice Maguire

Prayer for salvation: Dear God, I know I am a sinner, and I ask for Your forgiveness. I believe Jesus Christ is Your Son. I believe that He died for my sin and that You raised Him to life. I want to trust Him as my Savior and follow Him as Lord, from this day forward. Guide my life and help me to do Your will. I pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Journey/Week 9

As of right now, starting this blog, all I know about breast cancer treatment is what I read or what other people that have “been there done that” tell me.

I’ve read books on traditional breast cancer treatment and books on alternative breast cancer treatment. I’ve listened to other people’s experiences with breast cancer. I’ve listened to what people think I should do and what they would do if they were in my shoes. I can wrap all of that up into one word, confusion.

At the end of last week, I was so confused that I nearly canceled my radiation treatments. The confusion led to the fear that I was making a mistake. Fear of making a mistake led to anxiety and panic. At that point, all of my peace was gone.

Confusion, fear, and anxiety are not God’s attributes. God is not in the midst of confusion and all that confusion brings.

I had to get back to peace; back to where God is. He hadn’t gone anywhere. I had wandered off away from Him.

So, what did I do? First I realized what was happening. I realized that the state I was in was not where I wanted to be or needed to be. I realized my peace was gone and I needed to get it back.

The first step to solving any problem is realizing you have a problem. Step one was complete; I realized I had a problem.

Next, I had to retrace my steps to discover where I lost my peace. This is how we find anything we lose, right? I retraced my steps all the way back to all of the confusing, contradicting information.

I’m all for knowledge, learning, and science but when it puts you into a state of confusion, it’s time to take a break.

Next, I went to the one true source of peace, God. I just got alone with Him in a quiet place and asked Him to help me. And He did.

He helped me by reminding me of who He is. Not just who He is in general but who He is to me. He reminded me of all the things He has been revealing to me during this difficult time about His love for me and that He is my shelter and my shield of protection.

1 John 4:18a There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear.

Psalm 91:1 Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.

Psalm 18:2 The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

Once I shut out every voice except God’s voice, my peace returned.

Information, knowledge, and science are necessary and useful. However, it is most important to know who God is and what He is capable of.

God is in control and knows what’s best for us. No matter what doctors, professionals, or anyone else says; God is the final authority in every situation. And that alone gives me great peace!

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.

Proverbs 3:7-8 Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.

Have you lost your peace? Do you want it back? Retrace your steps to find out where you lost it.

Maybe you’re like me, losing your peace over confusing, contradicting voices. Maybe fear of making a mistake or fear of the consequences of making a mistake have caused you to lose your peace. The loss of peace could even be due to a job, health, or family crisis.

Our peace can be lost easily and quickly when we wander away from God.

Only the Lord can give us peace in the midst of every difficult situation. Will you go to Him with your confusion, fear, and anxiety? Will you ask Him to help you? Will you go to His word and ask Him to reveal to you who He is and what He is capable of.

Philippians 4:6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your request to God.

Even when things don’t seem to be working out the way we would like them to, it’s comforting to know that God is in control, He knows what’s best, and He always has the last word. Stay close to Him; that’s where true peace is.

Philippians 4:7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

~Patrice Maguire

Prayer for salvation: Dear God, I know I am a sinner, and I ask for Your forgiveness. I believe Jesus Christ is Your Son. I believe that He died for my sin and that You raised Him to life. I want to trust Him as my Savior and follow Him as Lord, from this day forward. Guide my life and help me to do Your will. I pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Journey/Week 8

I’ve recently been contacted by the radiation oncologist’s office. My 1st appointment is set for this week. Part of me is ready to get radiation treatment over with. The other part of me doesn’t want to do it at all.

Yes, I’m still struggling with the thoughts of radiation side effects. But I’m also struggling with the idea of the return of breast cancer or possibly other cancers.

I notice that the more I focus on the negative circumstances or the “what ifs,” fear creeps in. But when I focus on the Lord, His power, and all that He has done, the light of faith disperses the darkness of fear.

There is a constant battle going on in our mouth, mind, emotions, and heart; it’s fear vs faith. The battle starts when we take our eyes off of the Lord and put them on our negative circumstances.

If you have a nice camera you may have a setting for blurred background. It’s called the aperture priority mode. You would set your camera to that mode, do some adjustments to the lens, then, keeping the subject closer to you than to the background, zoom in on your subject and take the photo.

When we stay close to the Lord and keep our focus on Him, zooming in on His character and His attributes, everything else will become blurred in the background.

Peter wanted to walk on the water with Jesus during a storm so Jesus invited him to do so. Peter, full of faith in Jesus and His abilities, got out of the boat and walked on the water. Then Peter became distracted by the storm and began to sink. He cried out to Jesus for help and Jesus rescued him. [Matthew 14:22-32]

As long as Peter kept his focus on Jesus, the storm was blurred in the background and was of no concern to him. But the instant Peter transferred his focus from Jesus to the storm, Jesus became blurred in the background. Peter went from faith to fear as soon as he took his eyes off of Jesus.

That’s exactly what I’ve been doing; focusing on the storm of breast cancer and all that comes with it. As a result, I’ve been sinking in fear and not walking in faith. The negative circumstances are in focus while Jesus is blurred in the background.

Keeping our focus on the Lord doesn’t come naturally. After all, the storm is loud, scary, and a natural attention-getter. We have to make a decision to focus on the Lord and then do all that it takes to stay focused on Him.

What does keeping our focus on the Lord look like? It looks like constantly putting God’s word in our eyes, mouth, ears, and heart.

Romans 10:17 Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.

Faith comes from hearing the message about Christ. What is the message about Christ?

He has forgiven our sins, He has made us righteous, He has set us free from a life of slavery to sin, He has given us eternal life, He has healed us; spirit, soul, and body, He is interceding for us, He has sent His Holy Spirit to reside within us. The list goes on and on. The good news is, all we have to do is accept all that Christ has done for us. It’s a gift!

We can hear this message spoken to us and we can speak it to ourselves. As we do the light of faith will disperse the darkness of fear.

What storm are you going through today? Are you sinking in fear or walking in faith? What are you focusing on? The storm or the one who can rescue you and calm the storm?

Get to know God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Get to know them,  their character, and their attributes. Your faith in them will grow. As you zoom in on them and their abilities, everything else will blur in the background.

Psalm 56:3 When I am afraid, I put my trust in You.

Isaiah 41:10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

~Patrice Maguire

Prayer for salvation: Dear God, I know I am a sinner, and I ask for Your forgiveness. I believe Jesus Christ is Your Son. I believe that He died for my sin and that You raised Him to life. I want to trust Him as my Savior and follow Him as Lord, from this day forward. Guide my life and help me to do Your will. I pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why Me?

Wow! It’s been quite an emotional couple of weeks. Some moments have left me speechless. Others have left me angry. And still, others have left me in tears.

The expression, “When it rains it pours,” comes to mind.

Transparency isn’t always easy for me. Some may say it’s rooted in pride and they would probably be right. However, as I have been praying about whether or not to share my latest health issues with you, I sense the Lord prompting me to do so in the anticipation that my struggles will encourage and help someone else.

If I share my struggles with you, and you happen to be going through a similar situation or know someone who is, and what I share with you encourages you in some way or causes your faith in God to grow then my struggle and transparency will have all been worth it.

2 Corinthians 1:6 If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer.

Most importantly God is glorified when we humbly admit that when we are weak, He is strong.

2 Corinthians 12:9-10 But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

So, it is by God’s grace, for His glory, and for the good of others I share this with you.

On Wednesday, May 22, 2019, I went to the hospital for a follow-up mammogram. Follow-up, because 6 months ago I had a surgical biopsy that turned out to be benign.

Leading up to and the day of the mammogram, I never once considered that there would be an issue. After all, I had just been there 6 months prior and all that had been determined to be cause for concern had been removed.

For one quick moment, while driving into the parking lot, a fleeting thought came to me about a possibility of an issue but I quickly dismissed that negative little thought and proceeded.

Once inside and all checked in, I didn’t have to wait long to begin the procedure. After the images were taken, I was directed to wait in the waiting area until further instruction was given.

I was sitting there interacting with the women around me, prepared for opportunities to be an encouragement to them or possibly pray with anyone who had received a negative diagnosis.

To my shock and amazement, the one receiving a negative diagnosis that day was me. As I was guided back into the imaging room and shown the images that had just been taken, I was numb and confused.

Many questions were going through my mind and my mouth was searching for words. How could this have happened in such a short amount of time? Why is this happening to Me? What is it? Is it cancer?

I was trying to trust God and resist the temptation to fear at the same time. I have to admit a little fear snuck in.

More images were taken and more waiting as instructed. All I could think was, “I have to tell my husband.” I went to my locker to find my phone.

While sending him a text, there was a woman standing beside me. She said something leading me to believe she may be a Christian. I asked her if she was a praying person and she responded that she was. She asked me if I was a Christian and I responded that I was.

As I cried, I told her about my situation and we prayed. She was done with her mammogram and was free to go but she wanted to stay with me as long as she could.

I had arrived there that morning prepared for God to use me to comfort someone in need and that person in need turned out to be me. He provided exactly what I needed at the exact time I needed it. He is our on-time God!

From there, I had a consultation with the radiologist about my area of concern and the need for a biopsy. I went upstairs to see my doctor and surgery was scheduled for the next week, Tuesday, May 28th.

In between that time and my surgery, I had many people praying for me. Everyone had encouraging and positive words for me.

To be honest, I was saying positive things and I was praying and asking God to cause this to all turn out to be nothing, as it had been before, but in the back of my mind, I sensed that this time may be different. But I was still hopeful.

I had the surgery and all went well. The area of concern had been sent off to the lab. I had no pain and no nausea. Glory to God! Post-surgery nausea has always been a problem for me in the past. Thankfully, not this time!

My surgery was on Tuesday the 28th. Thursday the 30th I received the call from my doctor with the lab results. I was hoping to hear, “I have good news, the area of concern is benign,” just as I had 6 months ago. To my dismay, that wasn’t the case this time.

Instead, he told me I have early-stage breast cancer. As the doctor informed me of my next steps, my head was spinning.

Honestly, I never thought that I would ever hear my name and the word cancer in the same sentence. I was shocked!

As I cried, I began to mentally review my “good deeds” resume’ with God. You know the one; I eat healthily, I don’t drink, I don’t smoke, I go to church (even on Wednesdays), I volunteer at my church, I read and study the bible, I pray for others and share the gospel with others. I don’t deserve this! Why is this happening to me?

Then the Lord reminded me that He is love. He is good. And He is sovereign.

He doesn’t love me because I do good things. He isn’t good to me because I do good things. He loves me and is good to me because it’s who He is. I can’t earn His love and goodness.

He didn’t stop loving me that day. He didn’t stop being good to me that day. He didn’t leave me that day. He didn’t fall off of the throne that day.

Once all of that was settled in my spirit, the fear left and the peace of God came. 1 John 4:18a There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear.

God allows suffering in the lives of believers. We can see it throughout the Bible. For example, look at the lives of Joseph, Job, Peter, John, Paul, and of course Jesus.

God allows suffering for His greater purpose, His greater plan, and His greater good; a purpose, a plan, and goodness we don’t always see or understand right away.

I heard Joyce Meyer say once, “We live life forward but we understand it backward.” That’s so true!

What should we do when we don’t understand?

Trust the One who does!

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.

I may not understand why or how this is happening to me, but I am determined, through the power of the Holy Spirit, to trust God and to submit to His will for me. I know He will lead me to victory; whatever that may look like.

I don’t know where this journey will take me but I’m honored and humbled to be able to share it with you. One thing I do know is that no matter what happens, God will be glorified. That, after all, is my purpose.

~Patrice Maguire

Dear God, I know I am a sinner, and I ask for Your forgiveness. I believe Jesus Christ is Your Son. I believe that He died for my sin and that You raised Him to life. I want to trust Him as my Savior and follow Him as Lord, from this day forward. Guide my life and help me to do Your will. I pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Waiting, Expecting and Longing

While I’m eating breakfast in the mornings, I like to sit in the kitchen where I have a view of the backyard. Recently, as I was enjoying my breakfast and the warm sunshine, I was entertained by my dog Autumn and her interaction with the love of her life; my husband.

They had just returned from a morning walk. Autumn had chased my husband back to the fenced-in area behind our house. I could tell she was invigorated by their time together.

After corralling Autumn into the fenced area, my husband proceeded to gather his tools to go back into the woods to do some work on our property. As he drove away, Autumn never took her eyes off of him. Even when he had disappeared into the tree line she still watched for him.

She stood watching for a while then eventually laid down in the warm sunny grass making sure she was positioned so that when my husband reappeared she would be the first to see him and excitedly greet him. And that’s exactly what she did when she saw him returning.

I thought to myself, as I watched her, am I waiting for the return of Christ as eagerly as Autumn is in waiting for my husband’s return? Am I expecting Christ’s return? Am I longing to see Him face to face? Are you?

Acts 1:11 “Men of Galilee,” they (the angels) said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen Him go into heaven.”

Even Jesus Himself said He will return from heaven to gather His people.

Matthew 24:30 “Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And then all the peoples of the earth will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory.

If Jesus said He is coming back then He’s coming back. It’s just that simple!

But He doesn’t say when He will return. And I think that is when we start to become weary in our waiting and expecting.

2 Peter 3:3-4, 8-9 Above all, you must understand that in the last days, scoffers will come scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ He promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.” But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord, a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness. Instead, He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

We don’t know when the Lord will return but we do know that He will. Only God the Father knows and He’s not telling. Therefore, we should always be expecting that today could be the day.

Matthew 24:36 “But about that day or hour (of Christ’s return) no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.”

If we are not longing for the return of Christ then there is a relationship problem. If we don’t know Jesus, we won’t be excited about His return. If we don’t spend time with Him we don’t know Him. If we’ve never met Him, we definitely don’t know Him.

Autumn was waiting for and expecting my husband’s return because she has experienced him and she knows she can trust him; he had proven himself to be reliable and trustworthy. She knew He was coming back the same way he left.

Autumn was longing for my husband’s return because she loves him and she knows that he loves her; they spend time together, they are in a relationship with one another.

Isaiah 26:8-9a Yes, Lord, walking in the way of Your laws, we wait for you; Your name and renown are the desire of our hearts. My soul yearns for You in the night; in the morning my spirit longs for You.

If Autumn did not know my husband she would not be happy to see him coming toward her from the woods. He would be a stranger to her. She would be afraid of him.

The same is true of those who do not know Christ. When they see Him they will be afraid because they don’t know Him. He is a stranger to them. They will be afraid because they had an opportunity to know Him but rejected Him.

John 3:36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them.

Like Autumn is with my husband, are you invigorated by time spent with the Lord? Are you keeping your spiritual eyes on Him as you continue to wait for His return? Are you at rest and peace knowing He will return as He said He would? Are you ready to greet Him enthusiastically when He does return?

Every week I add a prayer to the end of my blog. It is a prayer that will make us ready for the return of Christ. It is where our relationship with Him begins. Will you consider praying that prayer this week?

Romans 10:8-10 But what does it say? “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,” that is, the message concerning faith that we proclaim: If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.

~Patrice Maguire

Dear God, I know I am a sinner, and I ask for Your forgiveness. I believe Jesus Christ is Your Son. I believe that He died for my sin and that You raised Him to life. I want to trust Him as my Savior and follow Him as Lord, from this day forward. Guide my life and help me to do Your will. I pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Worry is a Waste of Time

It was an extremely stressful time, at my husband’s place of employment, a few weeks ago. Employees were becoming unemployed left and right. Two-thirds of the employees were losing their jobs. Everyone was wondering if they were included in that fraction. Worry was definitly in the air.

Their mindset determined their behavior as they waited to discover the fate of their employment status. Some were physically ill; throwing up. Some were angry. Some were surprised and others were not so surprised. Some were hopeful while others were nervous. There was undeniably a smorgasbord of feelings and emotions on display that day.

My husband had a different attitude concerning the situation. He cleaned his office thinking if he was losing his job he didn’t want to leave it dirty for the next person. Then he sat down at his desk and proceeded to get plenty of work done. Everyone else was preoccupied so he had more time for completing tasks.

Most other employees were busy roaming around discussing what might happen to them. They couldn’t understand how my husband could sit at his desk and work while being surrounded by chaos and uncertainty.

My husband’s attitude was, “If I lose my job, I lose my job. That is something that is out of my control. And it doesn’t change the fact that work has to be done today.”

Was being worried about the situation going to help the employees keep their jobs? Was making themselves so sick with worry, that they were physically ill, going to secure their positions? Was walking around talking about possible scenarios going to insure their employment?

No! All of those things were a waste of precious time and energy. None of those actions were going to change the decisions that had already been made before members from corporate had arrived that day. Their employment status had already been decided.

Matthew 6:25,27,32,34 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Can anyone of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?Your heavenly Father knows that you need these things. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

When we see man as our provider instead of God as our provider, worry can and will easily set in. The world’s perspective is opposite from God’s perspective.

Romans 12:2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is; His good, pleasing and perfect will.

The only way to change your way of thinking, to coincide with God’s way of thinking, is by reading, listening and studying God’s word (the bible) and by praying; asking God to give you an understanding of His word and asking Him to help you see things from His perspective.

Faith is the opposite of fear. Fear results in worry. Faith results in peace and joy.

Romans 10:17 Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Jesus.

When we know the creator and sustainer of heaven and earth; we don’t have to worry. Things don’t always turn out the way we think they should but they are no surprise to God.

God has a plan and a purpose for all that He allows. He uses even the things that we perceive to be negative for our good and His glory. Therefore, worry is useless and pointless.

Genesis 50:20 You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.

Instead of making ourselves sick with worry, let’s make better use of our precious time, spending it in prayer and trusting our all powerful, all knowing Heavenly Father. The creator and sustainer of all, knows what’s best for us. We just need to trust Him.

Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.

~Patrice Maguire

Prayer for salvation: Dear God, I know I am a sinner, and I ask for your forgiveness. I believe Jesus Christ is Your Son. I believe that He died for my sin and that You raised Him to life. I want to trust Him as my Savior and follow Him as Lord, from this day forward. Guide my life and help me to do Your will. I pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen.

 

 

 

Camp Fear or Camp Faith

Last week I received a photo from my son who is in the military. He had taken a photo of a windshield with multiple cracks in it.

The cracked windshield belongs to the C-130 that my son was traveling in from Nashville to MCAS Cherry Point, North Carolina. The damage took place during the flight. Nothing hit the windshield; it simply broke.

I’m no expert on broken windshields mid-flight but I know enough to understand that it is potentially dangerous. I once read about a co-pilot who was nearly sucked from the cockpit when the plane’s windshield suddenly shattered (cbsnews.com).

I’m a follower of Christ who is also a mom. I have normal mom reactions to things that involve my children. I am human after all. In this situation, the first reaction that wanted to dominate my mind and emotions was fear.

I had a decision to make at that very moment. Was I going to pitch my tent at Camp Fear or at Camp Faith?

I’ve been to the miserable Camp Fear many times. It’s very easy to find. I’m pretty sure everyone has been to it at least once. It’s an extremely popular hangout. There is actually one around every turn. Unfortunately the longer you stay there the harder it is to leave. It’s an immensely comfortable place.

There is never a shortage of fellow like-minded campers who discourage you from leaving so you can stay to keep them company. You can sign up for daily activities which include doubt, anxiety, pessimism, and gloom. At Camp Fear, the tears flow like whine and there are many pity parties to attend.

The other choice of camps, that were available to me that day, is Camp Faith. I’ve been frequenting this camp more often than Camp Fear lately. It’s not as easy to find as the alternative choice but it can be found if you ask the right people. You’ll know who they are when you see them. They are the ones with smiles on their faces and positive words coming out of their mouths. There is also a map (the Bible) that gives directions leading straight to Camp Faith.

I much prefer this camp over the other option. Once there, you never want to leave. The other attendants of this camp are always so encouraging, cheerful, and friendly. This camp also offers daily activities including trust, peace, joy, and optimism. There aren’t as many people at this camp as Camp Fear. However, this camp is much more enjoyable. There is plenty of laughter and tranquility to be experienced. And victory celebrations are a frequent occurrence.

Philippians 4:6-7 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your request to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

How do you react to unsettling situations that could have potentially resulted in a disaster? Do you choose to allow fear to overtake you and your thoughts to take you to a place of would’ve could’ve should’ve? Or do you choose to trust God and thank Him for the positive outcome?

Fear is a result of a lack of trust in God. You can’t trust someone you don’t know. To get to know God you have to spend time with Him. You have to talk to Him (pray), read about Him, and study Him by reading and studying the Bible; God’s word.

Once you know God and His character, you will trust Him more and fear will disappear. Once you come to know that He is in control of all things, you will see fear as pointless. Once you come to know how much God loves you and cares for you, your fears will dissipate.

Once you experience Camp Faith, you will never go back to Camp Fear. Switch camps today! You’ll never regret it!

~Patrice Maguire

Prayer for salvation: Dear God, I know I am a sinner, and I ask for your forgiveness. I believe Jesus Christ is Your Son. I believe that He died for my sin and that You raised Him to life. I want to trust Him as my Savior and follow Him as Lord, from this day forward. Guide my life and help me to do Your will. I pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen.

 

 

 

Take What is Yours

What if someone promised you something really awesome? It’s yours, all you have to do is claim it.

But what if claiming the promise meant fighting for it? Would you fight for what was yours or would you allow laziness, timidity, passivity, and excuses to keep you from taking what was promised to you?

I’m intrigued by the bible’s account of the events that unfold in the book of Joshua. God had promised Israel land flowing with milk and honey. All they had to do was drive out the current occupants.

So, what if the current occupants were bigger then them (giants) with iron chariots. No problem! God told them over and over again to not be afraid because He was with them and He was fighting for them.

All they had to do was show up and do their part. What was their part? Trust and obey. Easy Peasy right? Well, maybe not as easy as we think.

It was going to take tenacity, drive, and determination to take possession of the promise. Not all of Israel embodied that recipe for success. Some of them were passive fearful procrastinators.

So what is the difference between someone who is passionate about taking what is promised to them and someone who is passive about taking what is promised to them?

Faith! Faith in who made the promise. Faith in who is saying He is fighting for them. Faith is the secret ingredient in the recipe for successfully taking hold of the promise.

In the Fall of 2016, God told me I was going to write a book (when I say He “told me” I don’t mean I heard an audible voice. He spoke into my spirit. It’s hard to explain unless you’ve experienced it).

I had never written a book before. The only thing I had written was in my journal. I didn’t know the first thing about writing a book. But my first book was about fear and rightfully so because that is what I had to overcome (my giant) in order to move forward in obedience.

God has been faithful to show me step by step what to do in the process of writing a book and getting it published.

What was I doing? I was taking hold of the promise. I was trusting and obeying. I was being brave and courageous. I was driving out the occupant of fear; the fear of failure and rejection.

I chose to put my faith in God. A God that I had seen come through for me in the past over and over again. A God who has proven to be faithful to His word and character throughout my life. The same God that had proven Himself faithful to Israel.

Do I get discouraged? You bet I do! Do I sometimes want to quit? Yes! But the Lord always encourages me through His word.

1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear.

Deuteronomy 20:4 For the Lord your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory.

What has God promised you? God has made many promises to all of His people. The bible is full of them. Has God promised something specifically to you? A promise just for you?

What’s keeping you from taking hold of that promise? Are you afraid of the giants of failure or rejection? Are you afraid of the giants of inadequacy or hard work? Are you making excuses for not taking what is yours?

Will you put your faith in the God who made you the promise? Will you put your faith in the God who is fighting for you?

Will you trust the God that loves you? Will you move forward?

The promise is yours. Take it!

~Patrice Maguire

 

 

Forgetting What is Behind

For the past couple of months, we have had a lot of deer flies and horse flies on our property and around our house. Before that, our dog Autumn thoroughly enjoyed running around at the back of our fifteen acres. We would take her back there and she would run around and explore; smelling everything and just enjoying being free and enjoying life in general. When the flies arrived on the scene that all ended. She was even afraid to just go outside.

The flies are pretty much gone now. There may be a stray one here and there but nothing like it had been. However, Autumn is not convinced. Thankfully, she isn’t afraid to go outside anymore. It took her a while to trust that the flies were gone. But she still won’t go beyond the fence on her own.

Recently my husband wanted to prove to her that the flies were no longer at the back of the property either. He opened the gate and coaxed her beyond the fence. She reluctantly followed him. He kept encouraging her to go a little further and a little further. The whole while she would continually stop and look back at the house. They got more than halfway through the backyard and she had gone as far as she could go. She stopped, turned around and ran back home. She anxiously sat at the back door waiting for it to open to safety.

My husband wasn’t going to give up that easily so he put the leash on her and took her back out there. This time taking her all the way to the back of the fifteen mostly wooded acres. She was frightened the entire time and constantly wanted to go back to the house. My husband was certain she would begin to understand that the flies were gone and that she could go back to enjoying life and running free again. Unfortunately, she was never convinced. She was so happy to be back home once it was all over.

Isn’t that just like us? We want to hold on to what’s comfortable and safe even though it may be keeping us from something better. It’s just easier. God is calling us out of our comfort zones and out of our fears. He’s encouraging us to leave our disappointments, our discouragements, and our hurts behind. He’s saying “I have so much more for you. I have a life of peace, joy, and freedom for you. All you have to do is trust Me. I will be with you.”

Philippians 3:13-14  Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. 

~Patrice Maguire