Too Good To Be True

Do you ever take time to actually listen to and watch commercials on tv or social media? They are all offering us something that they claim is sure to change our lives.

This anti-aging cream will take 10 years off your face. This pill will take 10 inches off your waist. This food will add 10 years to your life.

If you buy this car, this vacation package, this house, you will be happy. If you have this job, this education, these clothes, these shoes, you will be important.

If you take this drug, drink another drink, have more sex, eat more food, all the pain will go away.

Sound too good to be true? That’s because it is. How do I know? Because I’ve tried them. They only left me wanting more and never lived up to their claims.

What are we all searching for? The fountain of youth? A trouble-free life? Purpose? Happiness? Peace? Love? Hope? Security? Acceptance?

We are all searching for something that’s real and lasts forever. Some of us are willing to pay any price to get it.

What if I told you the most important things in life are not for sale? What if I told you that the most important things in life are free for you and for me? They’ve already been paid for.

We can live forever. We can have peace, love, joy, and purpose. There is hope. And it doesn’t cost us a thing.

God gave us eternal life. The definition of eternal is ageless, dateless, everlasting, immortal, imperishable, timeless, undying. Who wouldn’t want that? It’s ours for the taking!

John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

Jesus gave us His peace.

John 14:27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

God gives us unconditional, complete, unchanging love.

No one will ever love us like our heavenly Father loves us. He is love. People can only give us as much love as they have in themselves to give. They can’t give us what they don’t have. Human love is imperfect but God’s love is perfect and nothing can separate us from it.

Romans 8:39 Neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

God gave us joy.

Joy is not happiness. Happiness depends on what is happening in our lives. So we can be happy one minute and sad the next. Happiness is fickle.

Joy doesn’t depend on what is going on around us. It has more to do with what’s going on inside of us. Joy is a calm consistent delight.

1 Peter 1:8 Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with inexpressible and glorious joy.

God gave us hope.

Joy and peace are a result of hope. God fills us with hope. Hope is always looking forward and expecting better. God always keeps His promises and this alone is our source of great hope.

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.

God gave us purpose. Life without purpose is meaningless. Life without God is meaningless.

Ephesians 2:10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

All we have to do is accept the gift of forgiveness for our sins through Christ Jesus to enjoy all of the amazing benefits of the cross; eternal life, peace, joy, love, hope, and purpose.

You may think that this offer is too good to be true. It is the one thing that will ever be offered to you that is not too good to be true. How do I know? Because I live it every day and so can you.

It is so good and so true! 

How have you experienced disappointment in what the world has to offer? How have you experienced the amazing benefits of the cross that God offers? Share in the comments below!

~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.

 

 

 

 

 

The Most Important Choice You Will Ever Make

This past week there were two accidents on the road that runs in front of our house. Well, two that I know of. One resulted in injury and a totaled car. The other resulted in death.

I was talking to one of my friends about the two accidents and she commented, “Things happen so fast that can change lives forever.”

That got me thinking about the person that died in the accident. They woke up the morning of the accident thinking that day was going to be like any other day.

They probably had a particular plan for that day. They were obviously headed someplace and may have been planning what they would do once they got there.

In a moment everything changed.

Psalm 146:4 When their spirit departs, they return to the ground; on that very day their plans come to nothing.

We never know what is going to happen from one moment to the next. The fact is we go through life thinking we will be here another second, another minute, hour, day, month, and year but in reality, we don’t know how long we will be here.

For the person who died in the accident, they had no idea they would be standing in front of their creator that day.

Was that person ready? Are you ready?

Hebrews 9:27 Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment.

We have all sinned and fall short of God’s glory [Romans 3:23]. But on the cross, Jesus paid the penalty for all sin for all time. It is God’s gift to us.

1 John 2:2 He [Jesus] is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.

If we do not accept the gift of Jesus’ sacrificial payment for our sins, we will be charged for our own sins.

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

There is physical death and there is spiritual death. Spiritual death is eternal separation from God.

2 Thessalonians 1:9 They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might.

The good news is that we get to choose. We don’t have to be separated from God’s love, joy, peace, or light forever. We can choose to live in the presence of God for eternity starting right now.

Revelation 7:16-17 Never again will they hunger; never again will they thirst. The sun will not beat down on them, nor any scorching heat. For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; he will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.

The most important gift that you could choose to receive this Christmas is the gift of eternal life; the gift of forgiveness of sins; the gift of Jesus.

John 11:25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die.”

You may be wondering, what do I have to do to receive this most important gift?

First, you have to realize you are a sinner in need of salvation from sin. Then Pray the prayer at the end of this post and mean it with all of your heart. That’s it!

Romans 10:9-10 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.

What’s next?

Start reading your bible. If you don’t have one, get one. The book of John is always a great place to start.

Find a bible-teaching church. Get involved in a bible study. Surround yourself with bible-believing people.

Pray every day asking the Holy Spirit to help you understand what you read in God’s word and to live according to what you read and understand.

We don’t know how long we will live on this earth but we can have peace in knowing where we will spend eternity when our time here is up.

Don’t be caught dead without Jesus. You get to choose now. If you wait until tomorrow, it may be too late. Jesus is the most important gift you’ll ever choose.

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.

~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.

 

 

 

 

 

It Takes as Long as it Takes

Back in the early 1990s, a friend of mine was in a gift shop buying a gift for someone and having it wrapped. My friend asked the store clerk how long it would take to wrap the gift because she had someplace else to be. The clerk replied, “It takes as long as it takes.”

My friend was initially a little upset by the clerk’s answer but now we get a good laugh out of it.

Sometimes I find myself asking God the same question. How long will it take for so and so to change? How long will it take for me to change? How long will it take for my circumstances to change?

When will my body be healed? When will Your promises come to pass? When will You come back to get Your people? How long will it take Lord?

Recently I was praying and I found myself asking God that “how long will it take” question. That’s when I remembered the answer the clerk gave my friend, “It takes as long as it takes.”

It’s as if God is saying to each of us, “I’m working in your situation in ways you can’t see. But trust me, I am working and these things take time.”

Sometimes the wait is longer than we expected but the best outcomes in the worst situations take time.

John 13:7 Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.”

As a young boy, Joseph had a dream that his dad and brothers would bow in reverence to him. This made his brothers hate him even more. They wanted to kill him but ended up selling him as a slave instead. They told their dad Joseph was dead.

Meanwhile, Joseph ended up in Egypt as a slave in the house of an official. The official’s wife wanted to have an affair with Joseph but Joseph refused. To make a long story short, she accused Joseph of rape and he ended up in prison for a long time.

While in prison, Joseph interpreted the dreams of a couple other prisoners. His interpretation of their dreams came to pass and one of the prisoners that were being release promised to put in a good word for Joseph but instead, he was forgotten.

Ok, at this point I’m sure Joseph had thought to himself many times, “How long Lord? How long will I have to be a slave? How long will I be in prison? How long before I get to see my dad again? When will my dream come to pass? How long does it take Lord?”

About 13 years after Joseph had been sold as a slave, he was finally remembered as the one who interprets dreams and was released from prison to interpret the Pharoah’s dream. After doing so, Joseph was made right-hand man to Pharoah and saved many lives from starvation.

Eventually, he was reunited with his father and brothers as they went to Egypt looking for food. Joseph’s dream had come to pass, his father and brothers bowed in reverence to him [Genesis 37-50].

There was a lot that God had to do to work things out in Joseph’s life for the best outcome; His purpose and His plan. There was a lot going on behind the scenes that Joseph and his family couldn’t see or understand.

Joseph had to go to Egypt to save many lives from starvation. Joseph’s family had to survive the famine to become the 12 tribes of Israel; the nation of Israel. Jesus had to be born from the tribe of Juda, one of Joseph’s brothers. Most importantly, Jesus had to be born to die for our sins.

Joseph finally understood what God was up to. He told his brothers, “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people’s lives [Genesis 50:20].

God is always working. He’s working things out for our good, the good of those around us, and for His glory.

God cares about every detail of our lives and He’s working each one of them out. Nothing happens by chance. It’s all part of His plan.

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.

Joseph may not have understood God’s plan while God was working out all of the details but Joseph trusted God and never gave up hope and that’s what we have to do.

It takes as long as it takes!

Galatians 6:9 And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap if we do not give up.

~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.

​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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Friend or Foe?

What would you call someone who is only your “friend” when no one else is around? They never mention you to their other friends. They never invite you to go anyplace with them. They behave as if they are embarrassed to know you or to be associated with you.

They might meet you for lunch now and then if it’s convenient, and the rest of the week you never hear from them unless they need your help with something or they are in a desperate situation. It’s as if you are their secret “friend.”

How would that make you feel? Would you consider that person a true friend? Would you entertain the idea that this person may actually be an enemy?

Isn’t this how we treat God a lot of the time? When we are with our “non-christian” friends we are careful not to mention God. We leave God at home or at the church “where He belongs.”

Or we only talk to Him when we have an emergency or want something good to happen to us or someone in our family. We keep God a secret because we don’t want to be controversial or unpopular; we don’t want to be politically incorrect.

When we deliberately leave God out of our lives or don’t invite Him into all areas of our lives, that is what the Bible calls being of the world; worldly or a friend of the world. The world’s way of doing things, saying things and thinking things is to do so apart from God. God is not welcome. God is not invited.

We should always love people and be friendly towards them. God tells us to love all people. That is completely different than loving the world; the things of the world and the ways of the world.

God uses some pretty strong language about being friends with the world. He definitely doesn’t mince words.

1 John 2:15 Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love for the Father is not in them.

James 4:4 You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.

In the line of work I’m in as a book author, there is the constant temptation to leave God out. For example: If I leave God out of my books I could make more money; my books could be seen by more people and more people might buy them. I’m limiting myself if I label myself a Christian Author. I would be more successful and more popular if I were a secular author.

I once heard a statement in the movie “God’s Not Dead,” that has stuck with me and explains my view of choosing between God or the world; “I’d rather stand with God and be judged by the world than stand with the world and be judged by God!”

Even if I never make a living writing and selling books, I will never regret my decision to never leave God out!

John 15:18-19 “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated Me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.

1 John 2:16-17 For everything in the world-the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life come not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.

Every moment of every day we have a decision to make; will we invite God to go with us every place we go? Will we invite God into our workplace, our classrooms, our friendships? Will we invite Him into our intimate relationships? Into our entertainment, our wardrobe, our politics? Our conversations? Our finances?

Most importantly, will we invite Jesus into our hearts?

John 3:16-19 For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him. Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.

Will you choose to invite God into every area of your life? Will you choose to live a life that says, “I am a friend of God!”

Matthew 10:32 “Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven.

~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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do You Know Your Father?

I enjoy the TV show “Finding Your Roots.” It’s a show that hosts famous people and reveals their ancestry to them. They learn things about their family that they never knew before. I like the history behind it all. It’s extremely fascinating! Maybe you’ve seen it.

Recently as I was watching, there were two guests on the show that wanted to know more about their fathers. One’s father was an absentee father and the other had a biological father but was raised by a man she considered to be her “real dad.”

To discover the unknowns about the guest’s fathers, the professionals used a genealogy paper trail and genetic DNA analysis to reveal hundreds of years old secrets. Then they compiled it all into a book they called a “book of life.”

These two individuals had spent most of their lives wondering about fathers they barely knew. They knew their father’s names but almost nothing about their father’s lineage. They wondered how their lives would have been different if their fathers had been part of their lives a little bit more.

They both felt that if they explored their paternal roots they would see themselves more completely than ever before.

The highly anticipated moment had arrived. They both received the information they had been waiting for and longing for.

Some of their comments, after receiving their book of life, were: “There is a peace in knowing the truth about who you are and where you come from; it’s empowering.” “I have a feeling of wholeness.” “Learning about the father I never knew is transforming.” “You gave me information, context and a journey to go on.” “This changes the way I look at myself.” “It’s healing to know who I am and where I come from. I leave here a changed person; healed on the inside. It’s very powerful!”

We have a Heavenly Father that wants us to know more about Him. There is a paper trail called the Bible that reveals hundreds of years old secrets about our Heavenly Father; God.

We can get to know God better through the study of His word (the bible). The bible is also one of the ways God speaks to us. We also get to know Him through prayer (talking to Him) and experiencing Him; spending quality time with Him and noticing His presence in our lives. These are all the same ways we get to know anyone.

We can’t get to know someone if we don’t listen to them, talk to them and spend time with them. Right?

Most of us know more about our earthly father than we do about our Heavenly Father. We may know His name but we know almost nothing about Him or His character. He doesn’t want to be an absentee Father. He wants very much to be included in every aspect of our lives.

Psalm 53:2 God looks down from heaven on all mankind to see if there are any who understand, any who seek Him.

How would our lives be different if we got to know our Heavenly Father better and allowed Him to be part of our lives a little bit more?

Would we feel more complete and whole? Would we have more peace and joy? Feel more empowered? Would the knowledge of our Heavenly Father transform our lives? Would that knowledge cause us to see ourselves differently? Would His presence be healing to us in every way?

In my own life, I can emphatically answer yes to all these questions.

Ephesians 1:17-19 I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know Him better. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened so that you may know the hope to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in His holy people, and His incomparably great power for us who believe.

Did you know that our Heavenly Father also has a book of life? We get to choose whether or not our names are written in His book.

Choosing to have our names in God’s book of life is as simple as accepting forgiveness for our sins through the blood sacrifice of Jesus on the cross.

Hebrews 9:28 So Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many.  Romans 10:9 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.

Revelation 21:27 [Speaking of heaven] Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

Knowing the truth about our Heavenly Father and what He has provided through Christ, to be in a relationship with us, sets us on a journey to tell others this same truth.

Mark 16:15 He [Jesus] said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.

The gospel is the good news concerning Christ, the kingdom of God and salvation (Merriam-Webster Dictionary App).

Will you get to know your Heavenly Father better today? Will you choose to have your name written in His book of life? Would you be willing to set out on the fascinating, adventurous journey that your Heavenly Father has in store for you?

The above questions are the most important questions you will ever answer in your lifetime. I hope and pray that your answer is yes to all of them.

~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.

 

 

There is no Peace

Recently, while decorating the Christmas tree and listening to an Elvis Christmas CD, the gospel song ‘Peace in the Valley’ was up next on the shuffle repeat mode. While listening I began to sing along, to which my husband commented, “There is no peace.”

If that is so, then what did the heavenly host mean when, to the shepherds, they proclaimed, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” on the night Jesus was born? [Luke 2:14]

Did that mean everyone, from that point on, would all live in peace with one another? If so, the Angels got it all wrong that holy night. Look around you or within you! There is clearly not much if any, peace to be found.

The definitions for peace are 1: a state of tranquility or quiet a: freedom from civil disturbance b: a state of security or order within a community provided for by law or custom. 2: freedom from disquieting or oppressive thoughts or emotions 3: harmony in personal relations 4a: a state or period of mutual concord between governments b: a pact or agreement to end hostilities between those who have been at war or in a state of enmity (Merriam-Webster Dictionary App)

Today, just the opposite is true in the world, our homes, our lives, hearts, and minds. We are all fighting something or someone. Countries are fighting. Governments are fighting. Political parties are fighting. Races, genders, and families are fighting.

We are angry, offended and offensive. We are worried, stressed and exhausted. The list goes on and on.

So are we doomed to a life of no peace? Was my observant husband correct? Is there no peace? Is there no hope?

Don’t despair! There is one opportunity for true peace. The heralding angels had it right after all.

When God gave us the gift of His Son Jesus, on that faithful holy night, He also gave us the gift of peace.

Isaiah 9:6 For to us a child is born, to us a Son is given, and the government will be on His shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

And just as with any gift, if we don’t accept it we won’t experience the benefits the amazing gift has to offer.

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

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.”

I love the incident that took place in Matthew 8:23-26. In my opinion, it is a perfect example of peace.

Jesus and His disciples got into a boat on a lake. Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and spoke to Him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.

Why were the disciples afraid? Why were they worried about the fierce storm/circumstances? They obviously didn’t have a full understanding of who Jesus really is.

To truly know a person we have to spend time with them. There have to be conversations. There has to be a relationship. Trust has to be built. In order for trust to be built, we have to consistently experience a person.

The disciples didn’t fully understand that the One through whom all things were created had authority over all creation.

Colossians 1:15-16 The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in Him, all things were created; things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through Him and for Him.

Matthew 28:18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.”

The boat represents our life, our heart, and our mind. If Jesus is in our boat we can rest assured that He is in control of troubling circumstances that are sweeping over us.

When peace is in our life, heart, and mind we can remain calm in the midst of the craziness going on around us. When Jesus is on the scene we don’t have to be afraid, worried or troubled.

If Jesus isn’t worried then we shouldn’t be worried. If Jesus is resting during the storm then we should be resting during the storm.

Matthew 11:28, “Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”

Are you experiencing disquieting or oppressive thoughts and emotions concerning the turbulent storms all around you or within you? Is Jesus in your boat? No Jesus equals no peace!

Will you spend time with Him in prayer and studying His word to get to know Him better so you can trust Him more?

Will you accept the gift of peace that is being offered to you today? It’s the same gift that was offered by God that first Christmas so long ago; the gift of His Son Jesus and the peace that only He can bring.

If you don’t accept the gift, you will never experience the benefits the amazing gift has to offer. The choice is yours!

~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.