False Advertisement

Have you ever purchased something online only to be disappointed when it arrived? Or maybe you watched a commercial about a particular food making it sound enticingly delicious only to bite into something that left you dissatisfied. You’re not alone. My husband and I fell prey to this trickery recently.

At the beginning of October, I was determined to visit a pumpkin patch to purchase pumpkins for my outdoor fall decorating. I went online to find a pumpkin patch nearby. My search was successful. On a beautiful Saturday morning, my husband and I set out to the pumpkin patch.

Upon our arrival, we didn’t see a pumpkin patch so we went into the information office to be pointed in the right direction. The kind lady behind the desk informed us that there was no pumpkin patch but was quick to point out other things they offered at that location.

Needless to say, we left unfulfilled; not finding what we had been searching for and what had been promised. We were victims of false advertisement.

A lot of us fall prey to another form of false advertisement; sin.

Hebrews 11:25 defines sin as fleeting pleasure.

We are tempted to sin with the promise that it can deliver pleasure, satisfaction, and happiness. However, instead, we are left discontented, unfulfilled, and miserable.

There is an old song by the Cathedral Quartet titled ‘Sin Will Take You Farther’. Some of the lyrics are:

Sin will take you farther than you wanna go. Slowly but wholly taking control. Sin will leave you longer than you wanna stay. Sin will cost you more than you wanna pay.

This reminds me of an incident in the Bible with a king named David. One night David was on his rooftop where he saw a beautiful woman bathing. He inquired about her and discovered that she was married and that her husband was away at war. He was not deterred. David sent for her and spent the night with her. The woman became pregnant. So David, trying to cover up his sin, sent for the woman’s husband in hopes that he would go home and sleep with his wife. Things didn’t go as David had planned so he went to plan B; he had the husband killed in battle. Wow! [2 Samuel 11]

David had gone further than he wanted to go and paid more than he wanted to pay. A family was destroyed, a young woman was now a widow, and an innocent man was dead. All for the selfish hopes of pleasure, satisfaction, and happiness. Sin is definitely a false advertisement!

Are you trapped in sin? Have you fallen for its false advertisement? There is hope! You don’t have to stay in that miserable unsatisfied condition.

1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

Once we confess our sins, repent, and ask for forgiveness, we can ask God to help us to stay away from sin through the power of the Holy Spirit.

1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can bear it.

We also have God’s word to help during times of temptation.

1 Thessalonians 2:13 And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as a human word, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is indeed at work in you who believe.

We all need a trusted friend who we can open up to, who will keep us accountable, and who will pray with us and for us.

James 5:16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.

There is no excuse to live one more day miserable and dissatisfied in a life of sin. God has provided all that we need to say “no” to sin and “yes” to true joy and true fulfillment.

God always delivers on His promises. He always keeps His word. With God, you never have to worry about false advertisement.

Psalms 119:89-90 Your word, Lord, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens. Your faithfulness continues through all generations; you established the earth, and it endures.

~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.

​​Better Than I Deserve

This morning, while reflecting on my weekend, I realized the Lord had been speaking to me throughout the weekend about His grace.

Saturday evening, upon greeting my son, I asked the usual, “How are you?” He replied, “Better than I deserve.”

I marveled at the depth of his words. As I pondered his response throughout the weekend, it has become very meaningful to me.

“Better than I deserve,” is the very definition of grace!

Then the Lord showed me an example of His grace while shoe shopping with my granddaughter on Sunday. I accidentally knocked over a trash can that was strangely in the center of the aisle. The trash spilled out.

There just so happened to be a man standing beside us who witnessed the incident. Immediately he bent over to pick up the trash can and the trash. He said, “I’ll get it.”

He wanted to clean up a mess I had made. He was giving me something I didn’t deserve. As I continued trying to do it myself, he kept telling me he would do it. He was very persistent.

Then this Monday morning, as I was listening to a sermon on my phone while getting dressed, I heard a message on God’s grace.

But it wasn’t until later this morning that I put everything that God had been trying to reveal to me since Saturday evening all together. I had an aha moment.

I started to laugh and then to cry as I marveled at God’s goodness to me and His faithfulness to reveal Himself to those who seek Him.

We all have been given far better than we deserve: salvation, the forgiveness of sin, eternal life.

The man in the shoe store persistently told me he would clean up a mess I had made and then proceeded to do so while I continued to try to do it myself.

We can’t earn God’s grace and we can’t pay for it. We cannot, no matter how hard we try, clean up our sin mess. It is an undeserved amazing gift.

Jesus paid for all sin, past, present, and future, for all time. The penalty for sin is death and He paid it in full. He cleaned up our mess! A mess He didn’t make.

Romans 5:18 Consequently, just as one trespass resulted in condemnation for all people, so also one righteous act resulted in justification and life for all people.

Are you trying to clean up your own sin mess? Jesus has already cleaned it up. All you have to do is receive the amazing undeserved gift and all of the amenities that go with it: peace, joy, unconditional love, eternal life, abundant life, purpose, and victory.

Ephesians 2:8-9 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God- not by works, so that no one can boast.

Wow! You can’t beat God’s grace! There is nothing like it in the entire world. As a matter of fact, the world will never be able to offer you anything remotely close to God’s amazing grace.

What are you waiting for? Pray the prayer at the end of this blog post, mean it with all of your heart, then receive the gift of God’s grace and all that goes with it.

~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.





Nowhere to Run to! Nowhere to Hide!

Temptation is all around us! It’s in our homes, in our workplaces, in our classrooms. It’s in our cars, at parties, at the grocery store and even in our churches. It’s everywhere!

Sometimes I feel like Martha Reeves and the Vandellas when they sang the words, “Nowhere to run to, baby, nowhere to hide.”

Or is there?

Thankfully the temptation to sin is not a sin. The sin is when we give in to the temptation.

James 1:14-15 But each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.

Whoa! Temptation leads to sin and sin leads to death.

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

So what should we do when we are tempted to sin? Should we ignore it and hope it goes away? Should we play with fire and see how close we can get to sin without getting burned? Should we use will power?

I’m just like everyone else. I’m human. I am tempted to sin every day just like you. Over time I’ve learned that I have to rely on God for help to resist temptation or I will eventually fail.

Matthew 26:41 “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

Notice Jesus said to watch and pray. That means we have to stay on our guard because temptation is coming and it’s dangerous.

1 Peter 5:8 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

Once we see that we are being tempted, we should pray. Will power alone won’t be enough to fight the temptation. Even if we manage to resist the temptation the first time, it will come back, again and again, to wear us down.

When we pray we are humbling ourselves and asking God for help. Basically, we are saying to God, “I can’t fight this temptation on my own. I need Your help or I will fail!”

James 4:7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

To submit to God is to yield to His authority; surrender to His will [Merriam-Webster App].

When we surrender to God’s will we are saying “no” to our own will. When we say “no” to our own will we are saying “yes” to God’s will. God’s will is that we desire to please Him and not ourselves.

Galatians 5:16 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.

Submitting to God helps us to resist the devil. The devil is the one behind the temptation. He’s the one that’s always trying to entice us to sin because he knows that sin separates us from a holy God.

Ultimately separation from God without repentance leads to spiritual death. Thus the scripture earlier, the wages of sin is death [Romans 6:23].

Resist means to exert force in opposition [Merriam-Webster App].

Exerting force in opposition to something requires violence. Meaning we have to see temptation as our enemy; a threat and a danger. This is not a time for passivity.

We have to see that the possibility of giving in to temptation is a threat to our reputation, our relationships, our family, and our future. It can also be a threat to our health. And as Christians, it is a threat to our spiritual growth and our influence for the kingdom of God.

We have to view temptation as a thief that is trying to steal everything from us! We have to see it as our enemy!

John 10:10a The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.

God is our only hope to not fall into temptation.

1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

Even Jesus was tempted by the devil. Each time the devil tempted Him He fought back with God’s word; the scriptures [Luke 4:1-13].

The Bible refers to the word of God as a sword [Ephesians 6:17]. It is a weapon! A weapon to use against our enemy; temptation.

What are some things you are tempted by? Lust, gluttony, greed? Laziness, anger, envy, pride? Hate, adultery, stealing? Lying, cheating, gossiping? Drugs, sexual perversion? The list goes on and on.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking temptation is harmless and something that can be entertained or played with. See it for what it is…your enemy; a real threat and very dangerous.

Let’s be on the watch for temptation because it is coming. Let’s humbly submit to God by praying and asking Him to help us to resist temptation. Let’s use God’s word to fight temptation like Jesus did.

So, to the questions, is there someplace to run to or someplace to hide in times of temptation?


Proverbs 18:10 The name of the Lord is a fortified tower; the righteous run to it and are safe. Psalm 32:7 You are my hiding place; You will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.

~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.


Paid in Full!

Recently I had designed and ordered 50 advertisement postcards from a company that specializes in business marketing merchandise. I had looked over my designed postcard several times to make sure it was perfect before choosing to purchase it.

It wasn’t until they arrived in my mailbox, about a  week later, that I noticed the misspelled word. When I sent a picture of one of the postcards to my cousin, to show her my mistake, she found another misspelled word. She also made a few suggestions on how to make the entire postcard more effective. I am so thankful for her expert eye and opinion.

I called the business marketing company the next day to make the corrections and place a reorder. To my wonderful surprise, they made all of the corrections at no extra cost to me. They didn’t even charge me for the changes I wanted to make that weren’t mistakes.

I didn’t have to pay for my mistakes! Talk about amazing customer service!

It reminded me of how I don’t have to pay for my sins. Jesus paid for them all. He paid for mine and yours. He paid for all sins for all time.

Jesus never sinned. He never did anything wrong His entire life. We’ve sinned and inherited sin and He paid for all of those sins. Wow!

1 John 3:4-5 Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness. But you know that He appeared so that He might take away our sins. And in Him is no sin.

Sins are like debts. God says the sin debt can only be paid with sinless blood. Even if we shed our own blood for our own sins the debt would still not be paid.

Only the sinless blood of Jesus was enough to pay for our sins. Blood tainted with sin cannot pay for sin. Jesus was and is our only hope!

1 Peter 1:18 For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.

Are you still trying to pay your sin debt? Are you trying to pay for your sins by doing good deeds? By punishing yourself? By being a good person?

Although it is good to do good deeds and to be a good person, those things will never pay for your sins. If they could then Jesus would have come to earth and died for nothing.

No! We can’t pay for our sins. Only the sinless blood of Jesus pays for our sins.

Don’t get to the end of your life and stand before Jesus only to find out that you lived your whole life believing a lie; that you could be good enough to get into heaven. Jesus said the only way to forgiveness of sins and eternal life is through Him.

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

Stop trying to pay for your sins. They have already been paid for in full. Receive your gift of eternal life today!

Ephesians 2:8-9 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-not by works so that no one can boast.

~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.






From Trash to Treasure

Tis the season! Time to put the autumn decor away and replace it with the Christmas decor.

The day after Thanksgiving, I recruited my sweet husband to take on the tree decorating challenge with me. He agreed before he knew that there would be extra work involved. Thankfully, once he was informed of the special request, he did not back out.

I like to recycle and repurpose. If something is broken I like to fix it or have it fixed. Especially if it was expensive. I exhaust all efforts to restore an item until all hope of restoration is gone. Then and only then does it end up in the trash.

A couple of years ago our pre-lit Christmas tree decided not to light up. I tried changing bulbs and fuses but that didn’t work. So instead of discarding it, I just didn’t plug it in. I went out and bought more lights and put them on the tree hoping no one would notice the lifeless bulbs. Much to my delight, my scheme worked.

Last year, feeling nostalgic, we decided to buy a live tree. That was fun but a lot of money to spend on something that only lasts one month and then ends up by the road.

So, this year we went back to being frugal and practical and brought out the old dysfunctional pre-lit tree. But this time, instead of trying to hide the inoperable lights, we decided to remove what was broken and replace it with what worked.

My husband was such a good sport about the extra work. We both got scissors and got to work. It was a daunting, back straining task. It ended up being more work than we had anticipated.

The wires were not only attached to the tree but they were knotted around every branch. The tree was literally entangled in useless wires and bulbs. Halfway through the process, we were rethinking our noble decision. However, we persevered and saw the task through to the end.

Off with the old and on with the new! With all of the unusable lights removed, we could then add the usable lights and ornaments. The finished product is a bright radiant tree that is serving its purpose.

The tree is a beautiful spot to place our gifts beneath and its beauty can be enjoyed by all who see it. Plus we can relax knowing that we no longer have to hide the secret of the deadlights and we can feel good about not adding to the landfill. A win-win for all!

The broken lights represent darkness. In the bible, darkness represents evil and sin.

Sometimes we want to secretly hold on to our sin and use godly things, words, and deeds to distract from the truth; the truth of our entanglement in hidden sin. We know that sin is what’s broken in our lives and that it is unproductive, useless and maybe even embarrassing. But we are afraid of the pain and effort it will take to change. So we take the easy way out and hang on to our brokenness while continuing to conceal the truth.

Proverbs 5:22 The evil deeds of the wicked ensnare them; the cords of their sins hold them fast.

Luke 12:2 There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed or hidden that will not be made known.

Just as in the case of that broken pre-lit tree, a lot of people may be ready to give up on us. They may want to throw us away. They may label us as being trash, hopeless, dysfunctional, unproductive and useless.

But God!

Thankfully God is in the restoration business.

Psalm 80:3 Restore us, O God; make Your face shine on us, that we may be saved.

When He looks at us He sees what we will be, not what we appear to be. We are priceless to Him. He’s not concerned with the work it will take to change us. He has a plan!

He wants to remove all the things in our lives that are useless and broken and replace them with things that serve a purpose and are productive. He wants to cut us free from the sin that entangles us. It isn’t easy and it isn’t painless but it is always worth it.

The finished product is a life that is bright and radiant with God’s light, love, and joy. A life that is beautiful and meaningful. A life that can be enjoyed by all who see it and experience it. A life that is free from darkness and secrets. A life that is usable for God’s glory and for the good of others. A life that goes from trash to treasure. Now that’s a win-win for all!

~Patrice Maguire

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









Broad Path or Narrow Path

Today my husband and I went on a very long nature hike. When we started our hike we were on a broad path. At the beginning that was our only option. Then we got to a place on our hike where we could continue on the broad path or choose the narrow path. The broad path is the path most people take. It’s safer and easier. The narrow path is the road less traveled as they say. There are a lot more obstacles along this path and also more potential danger. It’s definitely not the easy way. We chose the narrow path. We were looking for adventure.

I was fortunate to have my husband with me. There were a lot of times that he had to help me over obstacles or offer a hand for support. We even met some nice strangers on the path that pointed us in the right direction and warned us that things were about to get a lot tougher. You see, they had traveled that way before so they knew exactly what was ahead. That is always helpful.

Along the way, we ran into a lot of spider webs. If we were paying attention we could avoid them but sad to say we weren’t always paying attention. I even got bit by a giant ant. Ouch! There were also plenty of ups and downs. Some might call them hills and valleys.

By the end of our hike we were so happy it was over. We had a great time but we were dirty, sweaty from head to toe, our feet hurt and we were exhausted. Thankfully we had brought a change of clothes for the trip home. In the end, we never regretted taking the narrow path but we were glad that it was over and happy to be going home.

Our hike today reminded me of our lives. We are all born in sin and all start out on the broad path. Mathew 7:13 calls the broad path the path that leads to destruction. Then we come to a place in our lives where we can choose to stay on the broad path or choose another path. The bible calls that other path the narrow path. That path leads to eternal life and only a few choose it (Mathew 7:14).

Staying on the broad path is the most popular way. It’s full of pleasure and sin. It’s the easy route. We just kind of go with the flow. We have a “whatever feels good do it” kind of mentality.

Taking the narrow path isn’t quite as popular. We’re not going with the crowd. We’re going with God and usually, that way isn’t the easiest way but it is an adventure. If we choose the narrow path we’re on our way to eternal life but there are a lot of trials and tribulations along the way. That path is filled with a lot of self-denial, service, and humility. It’s definitely not for the faint at heart. But it’s also filled with a lot of love, joy and peace and who doesn’t want that?

Along the narrow path there are others that are walking alongside us. They are going through the same trials that we are going through. They support us with prayer and encouragement. Also, there are those on the path to point us in the right direction with a scripture, sermon or song. They may warn us that things are going to get a lot tougher but they will also encourage us by letting us know that through Christ we can do all things as He strengthens us (Philippians 4:13).

There are plenty of webs to get caught up in. Webs of temptations, offense or self-pity. Not all webs are the same but they are all tricky and sticky. If we keep our spiritual eyes open and are vigilant and alert we will see them and can avoid them. In Mathew 26:41 Jesus says, “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.”

There are also lots of hills and valleys in life on the narrow path. These hills and valleys are also on the broad path. The good part about the ones on the narrow path is that though we walk through the valley our Good Shepherd is with us and we are not alone (Psalm 23:4).

Along our journey on the narrow path, we experience a lot of bumps and pains along the way. But it’s all worth it in the end. They are all reminders of God’s faithfulness to bring us through the tough times and they all serve a purpose.

At the end of our journey we get to exchange our dirty, sweaty, stinky sin clothes for a clean robe of righteousness washed in the blood of Jesus. Then we get to go home; our real home. This earth is not our home, we are just journeying through on the narrow path that leads to eternal life.

John 14:2-3 My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will came back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.

Matthew 25:23 “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!”

~Patrice Maguire



Sleeping in the Dirt

Yesterday my husband and I went for a walk and our dog Autumn came along. She was having a great time freely running around and smelling everything. This seemed to bring her such joy. Then we came to a place on our walk where she could continue with us or head back to the house. We tried to persuade her to stay with us. We even commanded her to come but she decided to do what she wanted to do, disobey us and head back to the house. She’s very stubborn and rebellious.

When we had returned from our walk we found that she had gone under the house. My husband tried and tried to coax her out from under the house but she wasn’t having any of it. She’s an inside dog so she would have had to have a bath in order to come back inside. Autumn chose to spend the night under the house sleeping in the dirt.

What’s life like for Autumn inside the house? Well, she gets to enjoy the air conditioning. She gets healthy food and clean water. She even gets treats from time to time. She has a nice soft bed to lay on. She gets to spend time with her family. She’s safe inside and rests peacefully.

What’s life like for Autumn outside under the house? She sleeps in the dirt. She’s alone in the dark. There’s no guaranty of her safety. There is no fresh water so if she gets thirsty she has to drink dirty pond water. There is definitely no food there. And it’s hot outside right now since its summertime in the South.

It reminds me of us with God. We are just walking along with Him and enjoying fellowship with Him. Then we come upon a fork in the road of life. We can choose to stay in fellowship with God and continue walking with Him in joy or we can choose to go our own way apart from Him. God is trying to persuade us to stay with Him but something is tempting us to go in the other direction. The temptation seems like such a good idea at the time so we give in to it. (Matthew 26:41 “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”) And, just like Autumn, we end up sleeping in the dirt of sin. We have no more fellowship with our Father, who loves us, or fellowship with others who are part of the family of God. (Psalm 55:14 with whom I once enjoyed sweet fellowship at the house of God, as we walked about among the worshipers.) We are out of God’s protection. (Psalm 4:8 In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord make me dwell in safety.) We are no longer drinking the living water that only Jesus provides. (John 4:13 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”) We are no longer being nourished by God’s word. (Jesus answered, “It is written ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God’.”) And we are just plain miserable. All because we want our own way. (Isaiah 53:6 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.)

Is this a picture of you today? Have you chosen to sleep in the dirt of sin instead of sleeping in the Father’s house? He wants to clean you up and bring you back into fellowship with Him. (Jeremiah 33:8 I will cleanse them from all the sin they have committed against me and will forgive all their sins of rebellion against me.) All you have to do is go to Him. (Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”) He’s calling you today. Choose wisely.

~Patrice Maguire



Honor One Another Above Yourselves

I learned a long time ago that if I focus on self-preservation God can’t use me. And as hard as it is to be transparent I know that it is required of me for the greater good of others. If God can turn my mess into a message then so be it. Every day I pray that the Lord will help me to use all that He gives me to glorify His name, build His kingdom and edify His body (the Body of Christ/the Church). That includes revelations about myself. So here it goes.

Those that don’t know me very well may think that I have it all together. Well, that couldn’t be further from the truth. I’m literally a mess. God is never reluctant to correct me and discipline me. As painful as it may be I know it’s necessary to my spiritual growth. Like any good father, He does it gently and in love. I guess the worst part about the revelation of my sins is the ugliness of them. When He shows them to me I can hardly believe I actually did them and thought they were ok to do at the time. I don’t even recognize it. That’s scary!

Recently I was in Barnes and Noble checking on the sales of my children’s book, ‘The Many Fears of Miela the Cat.’ There was only one left on the shelf. I didn’t like where it was. It was all the way on the left end of the shelf and the side of the bookshelf was casting a shadow over it. I thought it should be in a more prominent position on the shelf. Seems reasonable right? I mean if you want to succeed in life you need to be aggressive right? So I saw no harm in moving my book front and center at eye level. The only problem was I had to move someone else’s book onto the shadowy end of the shelf to get mine where I thought it should be. So I did.

This happened Friday and it wasn’t until Sunday morning, while I was reading my morning scriptures and devotionals, that I realized my sin. Funny how God’s word has a tendency to do that. My sin literally shocked me. I felt like Urkel and found myself saying,  “Did I do that?” I felt so disgusted with myself. I repented right away and managed to not wallow in regret but instead got back up and moved on. That in itself is a testament to the work of the Holy Spirit that I’m so thankful for.

The scripture the Lord used to reveal my sin to me was Romans 12:10. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. I was not honoring, above myself, the other person who had written the book that I moved to a less prominent place on the shelf. I was being greedy and selfish. I was not treating that person the way I wanted to be treated (Matthew 7:12). I was not trusting God with all of my heart. I was leaning on my own understanding. I was not acknowledging Him in all of my ways (Proverbs 3:5-6). I was wrong on so many levels. I cannot tell you enough how thankful I am for the convicting of the Holy Spirit. I don’t want to stay in my sin and misrepresent God. I want to move up and onward.

How about you? Is there something that you do or have done that is justifiable in the eyes of the world but offensive in the eyes of God? Will you confess your sin and ask God to forgive you today? Don’t wallow in regret over it. Get up and move up and onward!

~Patrice Maguire