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.

 

 

 

 

 

My Journey/Week 9

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

~Patrice Maguire

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Journey/Week 6

Every summer I make a to-do list. I’m a planner and I’m task-oriented so to-do lists are a must for me.

My to-do list consists of things I’d like to accomplish between June and September. Needless to say, not many things on my list have been completed since I found out about my breast cancer on May 30, 2019.

Some of the things on my list are: paint the laundry room, launch new children’s book, relocate wall photos, and clean out files. Funny thing is, as many times as I look at that list, I can’t find breast cancer anywhere on it. Go figure!

No one plans a health crisis or any crisis. It’s as if the crisis has a mind of its own. It just pops into our lives unannounced and unwanted.

I’m in a healing/waiting period at this stage of my breast cancer journey. I don’t know when radiation treatment will begin. And from what I understand the worst side effect of radiation treatment is low energy. Great! More tiredness!

In preparation for the impending low energy, I would like to get as many things marked off my to-do list as possible before treatment begins. I realize I may not get the entire list completed by the time I’d like to, so I’ve added one more thing to my to-do list; stay calm and trust God.

Over the years, as I’ve experienced life with God, I’ve come to realize that He is in control and that His plan and timing is perfect. That realization is so freeing and gives me so much peace.

Proverbs 19:21 Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.

Isaiah 26:3 You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast because they trust in You.

I wonder if Job was a list maker. He had a lot of responsibilities; a lot of things and people to keep up with. He may have had a daily to-do list lying around.

Job was just going about his daily life and tasks when out of nowhere crisis hit; unannounced and unwanted.

Job lost his livelihood, his servants, children, and his health. To make matters worse, he had no support from his wife and friends. He was going through a horrible crisis. I can’t even imagine what he must have suffered.

What Job does in the midst of his devastating health and life crisis is amazing. He trusts God! He realizes that God is in control and is sovereign. He refuses to turn his back on Him. As a matter of fact, his faith and knowledge of God grow.

Job 42:5 tells us what Job gained from his crisis; “My ears had heard of You but now my eyes have seen You.” For Job, God had gone from being “God” to “My God.” Job had come to know God on a much higher level than he had before.

I know that I am not going through anything close to what Job went through, but just the same, I want to gain from this health crisis the same thing Job did. I want to know God on a higher level as I trust Him in the midst of my crisis; I want my faith and knowledge of Him to grow.

Jeremiah 17:7 But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him.

What unannounced and unwanted crisis has hit you or your family? God sees you! He cares about what you are going through. Will you cry out to Him for help?

Will you trust that He is in control of all things and that He is sovereign? Will you trust that His plan and timing is perfect?

While you are waiting for God to answer your prayers in His way and His timing, will you allow your crisis to take your relationship with Him to a whole new level; to a place where you can go from calling Him “God” to “My God?”

Psalm 31:14 But I trust in You, Lord; I say, “You are my God.”

~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.

 

 

 

 

Camp Fear or Camp Faith

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

~Patrice Maguire

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

 

 

 

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.

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stop Paying for Things that Already Belong to you!

Do you know someone who has so much stuff that they don’t know what they have? I do! We probably all know at least one person who is that way.

They start a project and need a particular tool so they go to the store to buy it when all along they already have two or three of the exact same tool; they just didn’t realize they already had it.

I have to admit I’ve done that a time or two myself only to find the twin item later and feel silly about having wasted money on something I already had.

A lot of times we do the same thing in life. We go about trying to obtain things that are already ours.

We may try to acquire peace by having more money, more insurance or more security systems when Jesus has already given 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.

There is nothing wrong with having money, insurance, and security systems. But if we are putting all of our trust in them bringing us true peace we will ultimately be disappointed.

Maybe its love we desire and we think that buying friends or sex is going to fill the love void that we feel. Maybe we are tolerating abuse and calling it love. Maybe we are trying to buy the love of our children with stuff and enablement when all the while we are already loved.

We don’t have to earn love or deserve it we only have to accept it.

Romans 8:38-39 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 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.

How about joy? A lot of times we try to attain joy by purchasing things. We think that the more stuff we have the more joy we will have.

Sometimes we think food, drugs, alcohol or sex will bring us joy. Maybe a better job or a different wife or husband will bring us joy? How about a bigger house or a fancy new car? Travel? More money? The list is endless.

In reality, Jesus is the only way to true and lasting joy. The joy that He gives never fades due to circumstances. It’s in us and it stays in us no matter what is going on around us because we have something that can never be taken from us; true love, true peace, and hope.

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.

Maybe you didn’t know that you have access to true love, true peace, and true joy. Or maybe you’ve forgotten that these things already belong to you. Regardless, they belong to all of us through Christ.

Stop paying for things that already belong to you. Jesus already paid for them. They’re yours! Just accept them and enjoy them.

~Patrice Maguire

If you have never accepted Jesus as your Savior, you can pray this prayer: Dear God, I know I have sinned and I want to ask for your forgiveness. I believe that Jesus died for my sins. I now accept Your offer of eternal life. I will follow Jesus as my Savior and try to obey Him in all that I do. Thank You for my new life. In the name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.

Opinions of Others

I have struggled with the opinions of others for most of my life. I have made lots of decisions about my life based on what people will think of me. It has been crippling at times, but also so much a part of my life, that I didn’t even realize it had such a hold upon me. Recently the Lord has been revealing areas related to this in my life and I have been laying them down as they would arise. I would find myself so surprised at how bound I was to people’s potential judgments of me.

This past week my husband dyed my son Judah’s hair blue, without me knowing when I was not home. Judah wanted his hair blue, so Matt went to the store to buy supplies and dyed his hair blue. When I got home, I found Judah asleep and realized from the hall that his hair was blue. I was literally appalled. I was in tears because I was so upset. I was honestly very angry at Matt. We didn’t really talk about it much at that moment. Matt went to bed and I planned in my head what I would have to “tell people”. I immediately felt judged and no one had even seen it yet!! I was literally panicking inside. I was planning to place all the blame on my husband by throwing him “under the bus”. I had a mini conversation planned out in my head how it would all go. After about an hour of turmoil, I felt the Lord speak to me very clearly about the situation. I decided that I needed to forgive my husband and chill out. It’s JUST hair and WHO cares what others think. This was big for me because I don’t ever just not worry about what people think! I ALWAYS consider what others may think. It was honestly empowering at the moment. I then decided that my comment to others, if they asked what was up with his hair, would be, “Dads are way cooler than moms!” I felt a peace going to bed and it was such a change from all of the anger that I had built up just an hour prior to that moment.

The next morning I felt at peace. I apologized to Matt for being angry and I greeted Judah in his room. He had the BIGGEST smile on his face. He was so proud of his blue hair. I made sure to tell him it was a pretty shade of blue, just how he likes it! Judah is not typically a kid who would ever ask for blue hair. He’s a kid who doesn’t usually like change and isn’t very radical when it comes to such things. So the fact that he actually asked for blue hair is shocking to me. BUT this blue hair has been such a gift. I never thought I’d say that!

We went to Costco that first day, and I was prepared for the stares. I was surprised that several people commented on how much they loved his hair. One of the ladies passing out samples sang to him that he was “bad to the bone” or something along those lines. He was so excited that they loved his hair! I literally saw so much joy all over his face. With every compliment he received, he beamed with confidence that I’ve never seen him have before. Judah isn’t a super social kid and this blue hair has honestly brought him out of his comfort zone. He’s had conversations with strangers and he has rarely done that before.

This has been huge for Judah, but I’d go as far as saying that it has been even more huge for me. I am honestly THRILLED that Matt dyed Judah’s hair. It has provided me an opportunity to walk out this commitment to not worry about what others think of me. Will there be situations when I will be tempted to revert back to worrying about what others think of me? Absolutely, but I pray that I continue to stand firm on God’s opinions of me because those are the most important opinions. I don’t ever want to be bound by what others think of me again. It was impossible for me to live the free life that God intended for me to live.

If you made it all the way to the end of this, thanks for reading. I pray that you see yourself as God sees you and not how you anticipate that others will see you. So, if you see Judah’s blue hair, please tell him how cool it is so you can see the sweetest smile on his face.

Amanda Eastman