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.

​Broken Ears

While recently participating in a local children’s book festival and enjoying the interaction with the children and their parents, I overheard a conversation between an adult and a child. The adult was explaining to the child that because her ears were broken, she needed a special device to help her hear.

What stood out to me was how she referred to her hearing impairment. She said her ears were broken. She wanted to explain her impairment in a way a child would understand.

When our ears are broken we can’t hear what is being said to us or around us. The inability to hear could result in confusion or a lack of understanding.

Thankfully there are devices to assist us in hearing better, therefore, eliminating much of the confusion and lack of understanding.

When our spiritual ears are broken we can’t understand what God is saying to us through His word. And trying to read His word can be very confusing.

Ezekiel 12:2 “Son of man, you are living among a rebellious people. They have eyes to see but do not see and ears to hear but do not hear, for they are a rebellious people.”

Sometimes our spiritual ears may not be broken but we may instead have selective hearing. Having raised three boys, I am very familiar with selective hearing.

2 Timothy 4:3 For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.

Or sometimes we may choose to stick our fingers in our spiritual ears while drowning out God’s voice with a loud la-la-la-la-la. Many times we just don’t want to know the truth because we don’t want to change or lose control of our lives, which in reality is a mess.

Isaiah 42:20 “You have seen many things, but you pay no attention; your ears are open, but you do not listen.”

Whether our spiritual ears are broken, being selective, or choosing not to listen at all, it’s because we do not belong to God.

John 8:47 “Whoever belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.” Ouch!

But just as the woman at the Book Festival explained, in her conversation with the child, there is a way to help our broken ears hear. Even our broken spiritual ears.

The Holy Spirit helps us understand what God is saying and doing. He helps us hear God with our spiritual ears and understand what He is saying to us, therefore eliminating confusion.

1 Corinthians 2:9-10a However, as it is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived” – the things God has prepared for those who love him – these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit.

The only way to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, which is needed to hear and comprehend the things God is saying and doing, is through Jesus. Jesus is the only access to God and He is the only access to the Holy Spirit.

Acts 2:38 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”

Do you read your bible but can’t understand what God is trying to say to you? Do you have selective hearing when it comes to the things of God? Or maybe you just choose not to hear what God is saying.

The Holy Spirit is the answer; the help for the spiritually hearing impaired. He will give you a better understanding of God and His word. He will give you a desire to know the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. He will change your heart and mind and give you new desires.

All you have to do is pray the prayer at the end of this post and mean it with all of your heart.

Prepare to hear things you’ve never heard before. Prepare for new understanding. Prepare for spiritual assurance, certainty, and confidence. Prepare to be amazed!

~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 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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prayer

And it came to pass in those days, that He went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God (Luke 6:12). 

One question that comes to mind when we ponder the prayer life of Jesus is why He prayed at all. To put it another way, why does God need to pray to God? This is indeed a challenging question, and the Scriptures do not offer any explanation as to why Jesus prayed. They simply tell us that He did; so we are left to speculate on something like this.

Let’s consider some plausible explanations: 

First, because He is the Son of God, He wanted to maintain a very close relationship with His Father. Notice that He refers to the Father in the prayers that are recorded in the Bible. Examples: Our Father, which art in heaven (Matthew 6:9); and father, the hour has come; glorify Thy Son… (John 17:1).

Second,  in order to be the effective Teacher on prayer, He needed to pray in the presence of His disciples. When He was about to feed the 5,000 men, He offered a prayer of thanksgiving in the presence of all the people and the disciples (John 6:11); and at the Last Supper, He took the cup, and gave thanks (Luke 22:17; see also Luke 22:19). In His Sermon on the Mount He taught that we should pray without hypocrisy (Matthew 6:5), pray privately (Matthew 6:6a), realize the Father rewards prayer (Matthew 6:6b), avoid empty praying (Matthew 6:7), recognize that the Father knows our need even before we ask (Matthew 6:8), pray directly to the Father (Matthew 6:9a), recognize God’s holiness when we pray (Matthew 6:9b), recognize God’s sovereignty when we pray (Matthew 6:10), pray for our basic needs (Matthew 6:11), pray for forgiveness and be willing to forgive others (Matthew 6:12),pray for deliverance from Satan and His attacks (Matthew 6:13a), and pray constantly with an expectation that God will answer (Matthew 7:7-8). 

Here are some other basic facts about the prayer life of our Savior:

He often prayed alone (Matthew 14:22-23; Mark 6:46; Luke 9:18). 

He prayed for children (Matthew 19:13).

He often prayed early in the morning (Mark 1:35).

Sometimes He prayed all night (Luke 6:12).

He prayed, knowing the Father heard Him (John 11:41-42).

He considered His Temple a house of prayer (Matthew 21:13).

May we as God’s people learn to pray as He did! And He spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not faint (Luke 18:1).

Keep on praying to God on high,

Keep on praying, He hears your cry!

God will answer the sincere heart;

Keep on praying! He will do His part!

Keep on praying all through the strife;

Prayer will purchase a crown of life;

Heav’n is ringing with songs above,

Hallelujah for a Savior’s love!

For Jesus hears you,

He’s listening to your plea,

So keep on praying,

And He will answer thee! 

Keep on Praying

Frederick W. Vandersloot

These thoughts from a higher perspective were presented by John Rataczak, Ph.D.

                                         www.eleutherosbooks.com

A Brief Moment in Time

I know you’ve probably heard about the thief on the cross. But have you ever really thought about him? What was his name? What kind of life did he live? Did he have a family? How old was he? We know so little about him.

What we do know is that he was a thief and his crime was serious enough to require his execution. We also know that he had a conversation with Jesus before he died. Luke 23:42-43, Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

Several years ago I was going through the hardest thing I had ever endured. It involved one of my children. One day over the phone I was having a conversation with my pastor at the time. We were talking about my son and his situation and he said something to me that I will never forget. He said, “God had to get the thief to the cross.” Those words were life-changing for me. Those words changed my perspective on the whole situation. It was no longer about consequence due to some bad choices my son had made but it was about God’s plan.

God used the thief on the cross to teach me about how far He will go to find the one sheep that is lost. And that’s when I started including these words in my prayers for my lost loved ones, “Lord, get them to the cross whatever it takes.” Those words are still so hard to say but with eternity in question, they are necessary.

So I’ve said all of that to come to this conclusion. We know one more thing about the thief on the cross. He had a purpose. For a brief moment in time, he fulfilled that purpose. Still to this day people are talking about the thief on the cross. He is being mentioned in sermons all over the world. A thief!

We all have a purpose. God used the thief on the cross to change my life, change my perspective and to change the way I pray.  Who’s life will God use you to change? Who’s perspective will God use you to enlighten? Who’s prayers will God use you to influence? You don’t have to have a platform or be a pastor or a famous person. All you have to be is available and willing to be obedient. It can be something as small as a short conversation. What may seem small to you could mean everything to someone else.

Philippians 2:13 For it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.

~Patrice Maguire