Practicing Patience

This past Saturday, my husband and I went to see the movie, ‘A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood.’ I’ll try not to give away too much about the movie, just in case you haven’t seen it yet. I will say that it’s a great movie and I hope you get a chance to see it.

There are many words that could be used to describe Mr. Rogers. My husband and I tried to come up with one word that best described him. The word my husband chose was patience.

It wasn’t until the next day, while sitting in church, that my word to describe Mr. Rogers came to me; godly. He displayed many attributes of God in his daily life.

Patience is one of the attributes of God. It’s also listed as one of the fruits of the Spirit. Fruit meaning it is the evidence that the Holy Spirit abides in us as believers.

Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

Patience is an act of humility, gentleness, and love.

Ephesians 4:2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.

Patience is not just about waiting but it’s about waiting well.

Psalms 37:7 Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways; when they carry out their wicked schemes.

A patient person is a wise person.

Proverbs 14:29 Whoever is patient has great understanding, but one who is quick-tempered displays folly.

A patient person is a peaceful person.

Proverbs 15:18 A hot-tempered person stirs up conflict, but the one who is patient calms a quarrel.

The thing I noticed about the patience of Mr. Rogers is that it made an impact on the lives of the people around him and his own life. His wife said that he had to practice at being the kind of person he wanted to be.

We all need to practice at being better people; more patient people.

We have plenty of opportunities to practice patience on a daily basis. Like when we are in traffic. Or when someone makes a mistake and that mistake affects us or our schedules.

Or how about while we are doing our holiday shopping in a crowded store and there are 10 checkout lanes but only 3 are open and your cashier is new and slow?

Or how about when we try to show someone how to do something and they don’t understand right away?

We have many opportunities every day to make a difference in someone else’s life by just being patient with them.

Who’s life could you impact with patience? Your spouse or children? A coworker? A student? An aging parent?

Who has impacted your life with patience? A teacher? An employer? A parent? A stranger?

No one has been more patient with us than God.

2 Peter 3:9 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.

Considering how patient God is with us, how much more should we be patient with others?

~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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What is Your Value?

How do you determine your value? Do you determine it by how others treat you? Do you determine it by what others say to you or about you?

Maybe you determine your value by your regretful past. Or maybe by how you look, what you do, or what you own.

A long time ago I heard a statement that has stuck with me all of these years. I think I may have heard while watching Antique Road Show.

The statement is, “The value of an item is determined by what someone is willing to pay for it.”

Now, let me tell you how valuable you are.

You are so valuable that the creator of heaven, earth, and all living things gave His one and only Son, whom He loves, to die for you. In dying for you Jesus paid the price to redeem you from a life of slavery to sin and to give you eternal life with Him [Romans 6:23].

That may sound cliche to you but when you consider how much Jesus excruciatingly suffered in order to pay that price to set you free and give you eternal life, you will realize that you are priceless to God.

Isaiah 53:3-10

He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.

Surely he took our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds, we are healed.

We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way, and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.

Yet who of his generation protested? For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of the people, he was punished. He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth.

Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the Lord makes his life an offering for sin, he will see his offspring and prolong his days and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand.

I know those were a lot of scriptures but read them again. Slowly this time. Allow them to soak into your heart and mind.

When you get a full grasp of what Jesus went through for you; you will realize that the only thing that makes you valuable is what God through Jesus was willing to pay for you.

They gave everything for you. You are priceless!

~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.

If You Love Me

My husband and I like to take our dog Autumn for walks on our property. We take the leash along just in case she refuses to obey.

If we’re not careful, she’ll wander off and return smelling like the decaying carcass of the animal she rolled around in. Why on earth do dogs do this? Baffling and gross!

When my husband and Autumn returned from a recent walk, he was happy to report that she was very obedient. Actually, he was amazed by her obedience. Needless to say, he made sure Autumn knew he was very pleased with her.

You see, Autumn is usually a fearful, stubborn, rebellious dog (sounds a lot like me at times). So, for one of us to say that she was obedient for an entire 15-acre walk is really saying something.

Autumn’s act of obedience reminds me of scripture. John 14:15 “If you love me, keep my commands.”

We don’t have to exhaustingly work hard at trying to obey God in order to prove our love for Him. The more we fall in love with the Lord, obedience to Him will come more naturally. We’ll actually desire to be pleasing to Him.

Psalm 119:35 Direct me in the path of your commands, for there I find delight.

The more time Autumn spends with my husband, the more she gets to know him and trust him. The more she knows him and trusts him, her love for him grows. Therefore, her obedience to him increases.

It’s the same with God. The more time we spend with Him in prayer, bible study, and experiencing life with Him, the better we will know Him. The better we know Him, the more we will trust Him and what He says.

The more we realize we can trust God and His Word, the deeper and deeper in love we will fall with Him. Resulting in more obedience.

What is the result of more obedience? A more pleasant journey.

Psalm 119:1-2 Blessed are those whose ways are blameless, who walk according to the law of the Lord. Blessed are those who keep his statutes and seek him with all their hearts.

What is the reward of obedience?

Psalm 91:14-16 “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.”

Just as my husband made it clear to Autumn that she had done a great job on their walk and that he was very pleased with her obedience, so also the Lord will express His delight in our obedience.

Matthew 25:23 His master replied, “Well done, good and faithful servant! Come and share your master’s happiness!”

I don’t know about you but that’s what I’m looking forward to hearing the Lord say to me at the end of my walk.

~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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Journey/Week 11

My second week of breast cancer radiation treatment is complete. I am officially halfway finished with my treatments. Yay! High-five!

I’ve gone from getting tired during the first two weeks of treatment to a perpetual state of being tired going into the third week. Ugh!

I don’t have the words to describe this whole new level of tiredness. If I’ve ever been this tired in my life it was probably during my pregnancy days. I do remember sleeping a lot during pregnancy. I slept so much my husband nicknamed me RIP haha.

The advice of professionals and those who have blazed this trail before me are to listen to my body and rest when it tells me to rest. That’s what I have been doing a lot of these days; resting.

God is all for resting. He even included it in the 10 commandments [Exodus 20:8-10]. It’s in the same list with do not murder, do not lie, do not commit adultery; so it must be pretty important.

The definition for rest is freedom from activity or labor, a state of motionlessness or inactivity, peace of mind or spirit, free of anxiety [Merriam-Webster Dictionary App].

We are a three-part being; spirit, soul, and body. Not only do our bodies need rest but so do our souls and spirits.

The same advice given to me about resting my body pertains to resting our spirits and souls (mind, will, and emotions) as well; “listen to them and rest when they tell you to rest.”

A true sign of our souls needing rest is worry and anxiety. If you have been following this blog you know that due to my confusion over breast cancer treatment options and the fear of their side effects, my soul was in desperate need of rest.

When we are struggling to make things happen our way; trying to control things that are out of our control, our souls will grow weary and tired. We can become emotionally and mentally exhausted.

Once we realize that only God is in control of all things and that He is working all things out for the best, in His way and in His timing, we can be at rest; at peace.

Trusting God is the most effective way to rest and be at peace in our mind, will, and emotions; our soul.

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

How can we know when our spirits need rest? Our spirits are restless when they are searching for peace. A spirit apart from God will never find peace. As a matter of fact, a spirit apart from God is at enmity with God; it is under God’s wrath.

Romans 2:5,8 But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when His righteous judgment will be revealed. To those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger.

Jesus is the truth that is rejected that causes our spirits to be restless and without peace.

John 14:6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

Searching for a way to God, eternal life, and peace other than through Christ is exhausting and pointless. There is no other way!

Is your body tired? Then listen to it and give it what it needs; rest. Take a break!

Is your soul tired? Are you worried about things you have no control over? Don’t ruin today worrying about something that may or may not happen tomorrow or by worrying about things out of your control. Do your best and trust God with the rest; literally!

Is your spirit tired due to searching for peace? Are you tired of trying to earn your way to heaven? Are you weary from trying out every religion or mystical idea known to mankind only to find yourself empty and still without peace? Jesus is the only way to God, eternal life, and true everlasting peace.

John 16:33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

~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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Are you a Prisoner?

Recently I took a trip to visit my cousins. Before leaving to return home, on a Sunday morning, I attended church with them.

During the sermon, the pastor told a story about a time he had visited a prison to play a softball game with the prisoners, have lunch with them and minister to them.

He mentioned that during the worship and ministry time with the prisoners, he marveled at their freedom. They didn’t restrict their worship or their joy for fear of what others might think. They were completely free! It’s what I like to call “reckless abandonment.”

Having visited a loved one in prison, hearing the pastor’s description of his prison experience brought me to tears. I was flooded with distracting memories of someone I love with all my heart, in an orange jumpsuit, shackles, and chains.

Thankfully, the pastor made the statement that redirected my focus, “Those men were locked up for life with no hope for parole and they were freer and more joyful than people that are outside of visible prison walls.”

The prisoners were physically captive but spiritually free. As a result of their spiritual freedom, they had unexplainable hope, peace, and joy.

There are people walking around today with sadness, anxiety, and anger on their faces, on their tongues, and in their hearts. They have no hope, no peace, and no joy.

But if you ask them if they are free they would say, “Of course I am free!” “I can do what I want when I want and where I want!” They would think that your question was silly. But is it?

Jesus said in John 8:34 that everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Slaves are not free!

Romans 6:16 Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey-whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?

So we have two choices, we can choose to be obedient to sin or obedient to God. One leads to death and the other leads to righteousness, holiness and eternal life [Romans 6:22].

I don’t know about you but if I only have two choices in whom to obey, sin or God, obedience to God sounds like a much better deal. Not to mention that hope, peace and joy are included in the package.

Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

I’m reminded of an incident in God’s Word where Paul and Silas had been severely flogged and wrongfully imprisoned. Their feet were fastened in stocks. Then around midnight, they began praying and singing hymns to God [Acts 16:23-25].

How could men who had just been severely flogged/beaten, thrown into prison, with their feet in stocks, pray and sing hymns at midnight? They had to be in horrible pain. How were they able to move beyond their pain, suffering, and disappointment to praise and worship?

They were free on the inside! They had a hope, a peace and a joy that was not a result of their circumstance but instead a result of their faith in God.

A true sign of someone who is set free from a life of slavery to sin is hope, peace, and joy.

How do we get this freedom from sin?

Jesus said in John 8:31-32 That if we hold to His teaching and are true followers of Him then we will know the truth and the truth will set us free.

John 14:6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

Jesus is the truth that we need to know in order to be set free from slavery to sin. He is the only way to eternal life. He is the only way to hope, peace, and joy.

Don’t go through life shackled and chained by sin having no hope, peace or joy. Choose to know the truth! Choose to know Jesus! Choose to be free!

John 8:36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

~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.

 

 

 

 

This is a Test! This is Only a Test!

Tax season! Ugh! Need I say more? Well, I’ll say just a little more.

Recently, I had taken all of our required tax documents to the local tax professionals to have our income taxes calculated and prepared. I went in hopeful and optimistic but I left confused and, I must admit, more than a little upset.

Outwardly I maintained self-control but inwardly I wanted to cry. As a matter of fact, I did cry a little when I got back into my automobile. When I contacted my husband to let him know the results, he was very disappointed as well.

You see, my husband and I had finally managed to build our savings back up after buying a house with 15 acres a year ago. We were hoping to be able to start some needed home repairs and improvement projects soon.

Well, with the results of the income tax calculations we found that we owed all of the money we had saved. Imagine our shock and disappointment.

I spent the rest of the day feeling a little sick to my stomach and letdown. My husband was angry and depressed.

I had a decision to make. Was I going to allow the loss of our savings to determine my joy?  Was I going to be bitter and angry at the government? Was I going to put my trust in money or in God? After much prayer and with a lot of help from the Holy Spirit, I chose to put my trust in God.

Hebrews 4:16 Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

The tax incident happened on a Thursday. Friday morning I made the decision that I was not going to allow the loss of money to determine my behavior or my joy.

Money is not my God! God is my God! He is able to provide me with more money if I need it. He is my source and my provider. He meets all my needs!

Because I moved my focus from money to God, I went from being angry about losing all of our savings to being thankful that we had the money to pay our taxes.

2 Corinthians 9:8 And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.

As soon as I made the decision to trust God, to keep my eyes focused on Him, and to be thankful instead of resentful, my joy returned.

Psalm 107:22 Let them sacrifice thank offerings and tell of His works with songs of joy.

That Saturday, my husband and I went to the tax professional to ask a lot of questions and to sign papers. While there, mistakes were discovered and we ended up owing about a tenth of what was originally projected.

Wow! Talk about rejoicing! My husband and I were so relieved.

I was reminded of an incident in the bible where God asked Abraham to offer his son Isaac to Him as a sacrifice. Abraham must have been confused by God’s request but He willingly agreed to do what God had asked him to do. As Abraham was just about to kill Isaac on the altar of sacrifice, God intervened and said, “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.” [Genesis 22:1-19]

It was a test! God was testing Abraham’s heart. God wanted to know that He was Abraham’s number one. Abraham passed the test!

That’s when I realized that the whole tax mishap was a test. God was testing my heart. God wanted to know if my trust was in Him or in money? He wanted to know if I would willingly offer my savings on the altar of sacrifice? He wanted to know if I would still trust Him if He took away what He had given me? God wanted to know if He was my number one.

What is God asking you to be willing to sacrifice to show your love and devotion to Him? Time, money, food, entertainment, friends? It may not be something negative. God asked Abraham to sacrifice his son; the son that God had promised him and had given him. Are you willing to sacrifice your ministry, gifts, and talents; things that God has given you?

God wants to be your number one. Is He your number one?

~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.

 

 

 

Titanic

Believe it or not, I’d never watched the movie “Titanic” from start to finish. I’d seen bits and pieces here and there but never the whole movie.

I’m not a fan of movies that I know will end unhappily. I like happy endings.

On Valentine’s Day, I decided to do something about that. I watched “Titanic;” well half of it. I watched the other half the next night.

As I was watching, I took note of the statements that were used to describe the Titanic; ship of dreams, unsinkable, unchallengeable supremacy, stability in strength and size, and solid as a rock.

The passengers of the Titanic had put their faith and trust in the hopes that those descriptions were trustworthy. They had put their faith and trust in a man-made ship, the people who had made the ship, and the captain of the ship; all things and people that are fallible.

While on the ship, the people went about their lives without a care in the world; certain that they would reach their planned destination. Then they ran into trouble and suddenly they were left confused, afraid, angry, disappointed, and hopeless. Most of them were destroyed.

We all put our faith in something!

What do you put your faith and trust in? Do you put your faith in politicians? Your education? Your career? Marriage or a spouse? Your children and their future? Money? The Stockmarket? The government? Doctors? Yourself? The list could go on and on.

There was a time that I had placed my faith in the fact that if I raised my children properly, they would never go astray. I was putting my faith in my abilities as a parent.

There have been times when I’ve put my trust in people to meet my emotional needs and to keep me happy. I have even put my faith in myself and the ability to protect myself and to meet my own needs.

In every one of those instances, I ran into trouble and was left feeling confused, afraid, angry, disappointed, and hopeless. Without God’s intervention, my life could have been destroyed.

Through trial and error, I’ve come to realize that putting my faith and trust in God and Him alone ultimately never ends in disappointment or devastation. Sure, I don’t always understand what God is up to, where He’s taking me or why He’s taking so long, but it is comforting to know that He knows what He’s up to.

God’s way is always the best way and His timing is perfect. He is a sovereign God!

Deuteronomy 32:4 He is the Rock, His works are perfect, and all His ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is He.

Life is a voyage-a journey. We can always trust God to get us to our final destination in His way and on His time schedule. We will have plenty of obstacles along the way but as long as we abide in Him we are ultimately safe from destruction.

Proverbs 18:10 The name of the Lord is a fortified tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.

God is unsinkable and unmovable! His supremacy is unchallengeable! He is stable! His size and strength are unmatched! He is our Rock and sure foundation!

Isaiah 26:4 Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord Himself, is the Rock eternal.

Now that is something to put your faith and trust in!

~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.

 

 

 

 

Go Your Own Way

Last week, during a weekly Bible Study, our group of ladies was discussing answers to a question concerning Psalm 2:1-3:

Why do the nations conspire and the people plot in vain? The kings of the earth rise up and the rulers band together against the Lord and against His anointed, saying, “Let us break their chains and throw off their shackles.”

The discussion question was, What is the complaint against God in Psalm 2:1-3 and how does this compare with people’s complaints against God today?

One of the ladies in our group creatively responded with, “It reminds me of that Fleetwood Mac song ‘Go Your Own Way.'” Which was very appropriate since we were discussing Psalms. We all laughed.

Needless to say, I haven’t been able to get ‘Go Your Own Way’ out of my head or off of my tongue since. It’s funny how God can use a song to expand our thoughts on a subject. He’s so clever!

The growing consensus against God thousands of years ago and today seems to be, “Leave us alone! We want to do what we want to do and we don’t want any accountability or consequences. We want to be free of You. You only want to spoil our fun!” If it isn’t said in words it is definitely said in deeds.

God gives us free will. We get to reject Him if we want to. That’s one of the aspects of His love for us; freedom.

We are free to live apart from God. We are free to do what we want when we want and how we want to do it. We are free to have as much so-called fun as we want to have. But there will be consequences and accountability rather we want them or not.

I’m reminded of a parable in the Bible of a Father that had two sons. The younger son wanted his share of the Father’s estate. So the Father divided the property between his two sons. The younger son decided to gather all of his money and belongings and move far away from his Father. He squandered his wealth on wine, women, and song.

There arose a severe famine where he was living and he became desperate. So he went out and got himself a job working for a pig farmer. The pig farming business must not have been very lucrative because he was so hungry that even the pig’s slop looked appetizing to him. [Luke 15:11-16]

God is the Father. We are the rebellious son. We want the benefits of God the Father but we don’t want to live with Him or be in a relationship with Him. We want to be far away from Him. So we “go our own way” living our life of freedom apart from God.

We spend our money the way we want to. We use our bodies the way we want to. We spend our time the way we want to. All of which are gifts from God our Father.

We think we are enjoying a life of freedom without accountability. But in reality, we are living a lie.

Revelation 3:17 “You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.”

Consequences do come and when they do we need to know where to go for help. There is hope!

The story about the father and son continues. The son came to his senses and decided to go home to his father, ask for forgiveness, and ask for a job. He thought he had messed up so bad that the best he could hope for was a job working for room and board.

While the son was on his way home, but still afar off, his father saw him. He was filled with compassion for his son; he ran to his son, embraced him and kissed him. The son asked for forgiveness and told him he no longer felt worthy to be called his son.

To the son’s surprise, the father threw him a party and lavished him with gifts. The father proclaimed, “My son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found!” It was a time of repentance, forgiveness, and restoration; a time of celebration! [Luke 15:17-24]

Maybe you have “gone your own way” and are doing things your way like the son in the parable. Maybe you are wallowing in a mire of sin. Maybe you are squandering God’s goodness on wine, women (or men) and song. Maybe you think you are living the high-life of freedom but inside you feel dead, lost and empty; hungry for something that will truly satisfy.

The good news is we get to choose life over death.

Deuteronomy 30:19 This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live.

We can choose to be found over being lost.

Luke 19:10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.

We can choose a life with the Father, sharing in all that is the Father’s; true love, true joy, and true peace. We can choose true freedom; freedom from slavery to sin.

Romans 6:16 Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey-whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?

We can choose true satisfaction.

John 6:35 Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.”

Just as the son came to his senses, realizing that life apart from his father wasn’t as great as he thought it would be, will you come to your senses today? Will you go to the Father with a repentant heart? Will you ask God to forgive you for wasting His goodness on a life of self-gratification?

Ephesians 2:3 All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath.

The Father is longing for you to come to Him. He’s waiting for you. He loves you and has compassion for you. He wants to call you His son or His daughter.

He wants to give you gifts and give you a life worth celebrating; a life of eternal purpose. Will you go God’s way instead of your own way? Will you do life His way instead of doing life your way? He’s waiting for you! Come to your senses 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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Something to be Thankful For

The question that seems to be on everyone’s lips this week is, “What are you most thankful for this year?” I guess its time to start making our “Things to be thankful for” list.

Your list could be a written list but, if you are anything like me, it’s more likely to be a mental one. Or perhaps you feel as though you have little to nothing to be thankful for this year. Hopefully, by the end of this blog, you will either be adding to your list or starting one.

There is a popular song out right now called “Known” by Tauren Wells. It’s a beautiful song. If you get the opportunity to listen to it, pay close attention to the words. There is one particular phrase in the song that really gets me thinking, “I’m fully known and loved by You.”

What does it mean to be fully known? My dictionary app is one of my best writing friends. Some synonyms I found to replace the word fully are: completely, entirely, perfectly, thoroughly, through and through, totally and wholly.

How about the word known? The meaning of the word known is to come to a knowledge of.

I would venture to say that there is not a single person in this world that fully knows you or me. They might think they know us but in reality, people only know about us what we allow them to know.

To fully know, a person would have to know everything about us: everything we have ever done, every word we have ever spoken, every thought we have ever thought and even every motive or intention of our heart. Now, that is completely knowing someone.

Oh, and what are the chances of finding a person that not only knows us through and through but loves us regardless? I’m talking about the kind of love that doesn’t criticize or judge. The kind of love that never changes toward us no matter what we have done, are doing or will do.

The kind of love that knows us completely and remains kind, gentle, understanding and patient with us. The kind of love that never thinks less of us.

That is almost impossible to find in this world. I would venture to say that the closest we would come to finding that kind of love may be the love a parent has for their child.

Isn’t that what we all want? To be completely known and completely loved simultaneously. I do! We all do!

There are things that I could tell you about my past or things that I struggle with today, in my heart, that would cause you to think of me differently or speak of me differently. It would be humanly impossible not to. As a matter of fact, you may not even treat me the same way.

There is only One who will ever entirely, through and through, know us and still love us entirely, through and through. That’s God; our Heavenly Father!

Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

It’s impossible for God to not love us. Love is who He is [1 John 4:8].

He knows us completely because He created us.

Psalm 139:13 For you created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother’s womb.

Psalm 139:1 You have searched me, Lord, and you know me.

Not only does God fully know us and fully love us but He also fully understands us. Wow!

There is actually someone that understands why we do what we do and why we say what we say? He even understands what we meant to say when the words just came out wrong or were misinterpreted. He understands our intentions. Now that’s huge!

How often are we misunderstood weekly or even daily? It hurts to be misunderstood. And it usually makes things worse when we try to explain ourselves. I’ve kind of given up on the explaining part. At this point in my life, my thinking is, “God understands and that’s all that matters.”

In my experience, most people don’t really want to understand. They only want to make their point. And that’s ok because God understands them too. That takes us back to being fully known and loved by God. Now we have come full circle!

Hebrews 2:17, 4:15 For this reason, He (Jesus) had to be made like them, fully human in every way, so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that He might make atonement for the sins of the people. For we do not have a high priest (Jesus) who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are-yet He did not sin.

There is someone who knows you perfectly, loves you perfectly and understands you perfectly. He is the Creator of heaven, earth, and you. Now that’s something to be thankful for!

Nehemiah 9:6 You alone are the Lord. You made the heavens, even the highest heavens, and all their starry host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them. You give life to everything, and the multitudes of heaven worship You.

~Patrice Maguire

If you would like to accept Christ as your savior pray the following prayer:                   Dear God, I know I’m 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.