​​Shattered​

I love Fall. Don’t you? I love the colors, the smells, and the slight chill in the air. It’s just all so beautiful and rejuvenating.

Come September 1st, Fall fever begins for me. It’s the beginning of school, football, and the hope for a near end to long hot Summer days. Don’t get me wrong, I love Summer too but by September, I’m ready for a change.

Considering I’ve just spent an entire Summer dealing with breast cancer and breast cancer treatment, I am definitely ready for a new season and a little Fall fun.

I usually manage to postpone my Fall decorating until September 15th. I know that’s not the official start of Fall but I think I’m doing very well in being able to wait that long.

Recently, while doing my much-anticipated Fall decorating, I had a little mishap. With an item in one hand, I tried to remove a larger item with the other hand. In doing so, I managed to knock over my favorite vase.

As I stood there, staring at the shattered pieces of my precious vase, I felt so much regret. If only I had put the less meaningful item down and used two hands to remove the larger item, my vase would still be intact. Ugh!

Sometimes in life, we have a tendency to do that very same thing. While trying to hold on to something trivial or meaningless, we may be recklessly destroying something priceless and irreplaceable.

In the Bible, Lot’s wife had trouble letting go of her past, therefore destroying her future [Genesis 19:26]. In Haman’s refusal to release racism, his life and the lives of his family were annihilated [Esther 3-9].

Solomon’s unwillingness to lay down his lust for passion and women damaged his relationship with the Lord and the future of his kingdom [1 Kings 11].

While Jesus was here on the earth, the Pharisees, refusing to abandon their traditions and pride, murdered their own long-awaited messiah [Matthew 26].

For years I held onto bitterness and unforgiveness that was hindering my relationship with the Lord, destroying my relationship with my family, and eating me up inside. I was angry and resentful.

Thankfully, I came to my senses before it was too late. By the power of God’s word and His Spirit, I have been set free.

What things are you holding on to that may be destroying the most meaningful things in your life?

Maybe you’re hanging on to the unforgiveness that is shattering your relationships and your health.

Maybe, like Lot’s wife, you are having trouble letting go of your negative past and it’s hindering you from enjoying your present or killing your hopes for a positive future.

Maybe, like Haman, you’re gripping racism and hate while decimating other’s characters. Ultimately destroying your own life and the lives of your family by obsessing over destroying other’s lives.

Maybe, like Solomon, you are holding on to an illicit relationship or an addiction that is ruining your family and your reputation.

Or maybe like the Pharisees, you’re embracing stale traditions and religious pride so tightly that you are demolishing any opportunity for the newness of life that is standing right in front of you.

Don’t be the one who ends up staring at the shattered pieces of your life, relationships, and potential in regret. Let go of the unimportant and grab hold of the most important before it’s too late.

Hebrews 12:1-2a Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer, and perfecter of faith.

~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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Waiting, Expecting and Longing

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

~Patrice Maguire

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.