Our Gifts

Psalm 68:19 Blessed be the Lord, who daily loads us with benefits, the God of our salvation! NKJV

We all have gifts. Some we are aware of and use prolifically, while others lay hidden deep within us – dormant.

We live our lives, staying within our comfort zone. The thought of taking a new step and learning a new hobby or venture, stay rigidly in STOP mode.

I once read a story about a man arriving in heaven, being asked about his life and how he had lived it.

“God, I’ve been kind and generous towards others all my life. and I’ve been the best person that I could be”.

“Could I ask you a question, God?” “Go ahead” he was instructed.

“Well, I know it isn’t Christmas, but beside You is a Christmas tree laden with gifts. How come”?

“Well” God replies. “It is the tree of life and blessings”. “The gifts represent the many talents I bestowed upon you. A few you used. Those on the tree remain unopened, because you refused to consider yourself capable of doing more”.

We are all guilty of similar behavior. I can stay in one spot thinking myself incapable of attempting more or living life differently; knowing full well that all I need to do is try, to discover that maybe I can do it.

Our tendency is to give up too easily. I am so glad that God does not give up on us. He pursues us and guides us. He forgives us and chides us. He bestows great and wonderful gifts upon us, then waits for us to use them.

I don’t want to reach the end of my days to find out how many unopened gifts I have left. I want to have the determination to try something new (legal, ethical, edifying), whenever the opportunity arises.

Prayer: God, we ask for the strength to do more; to try more. We ask that You grant us discernment in using the gifts You have given us. May we become conscious of those we have, that remain unopened. May we grow them and use them for Your glory. Amen.

Don’t Be Like Jonah!

Early in the day, I can be heard asking God to reveal His will for me. Many times, I am quickly aware of a direction I should take. Sometimes, though I am not so sure.

At times, such as these, I continue on with my day by being productive and only doing those things that I feel God would be pleased with. I prefer to please God, not annoy Him.

Not so, Jonah. He was given a clear directive from God. He was to travel to Nineveh and confront the people living there, of their wickedness. They were guilty of pride, greed, brutality and adultery. God was not pleased with them.

Jonah, did not agree with God’s calling for him. He wanted “out”. Instead, of fulfilling God’s Will, he chose, instead, to attempt to hide. He wanted to get as far away from God as he could. No way, did he want to confront the inhabitants of Nineveh. So he stole away on a ship to Tarshish; thinking it would solve his predicament. Instead, it only made things worse. The ship succumbed to a mighty storm at sea and Jonah found himself, not only overboard, but swallowed alive by a leviathon of the ocean.

Read Jonah 1 – 4

We might say, he went from the frying pan, into the fire! Realizing what he had done, he beseeched God to forgive him.

Jonah’s story contains a strong warning to all godly people. We can easily miss the blessing of God’s grace, when extended beyond our comfort zone. In our human-ness, we only have enough vision to see our circumstances where we are at. God, on the other hand, sees the whole picture. He has planned our lives, and He will fulfill all His plans if we trust Him.

Jeremiah 29:10-13 “For I know the plans I have for you”, declares the Lord. “They are plans to give you hope and a future. When you call upon Me, and pray to Me with all your heart, I will be found by you and I will bring you to a place, that I kept exclusively for you”.

I’m not sure I am getting to the point – – but, what I am trying to say is, I would prefer to do God’s bidding, rather than go against His leading for me. So, each day I pray that I will hear His directive and I will not just agree, I will obey.

Abba: We are such wimps, at times. Thinking more about our own condition rather than trusting You to lead us. Help us to, not only hear your voice, but give us the strength to obey Your calling for our lives. Amen

Patricia Day
Innisfil, Ontario

Care for One Another

1 Corinthians 4:20 For the Kingdom of God is not in word but in power. (NKJV)

Valentine’s Day is almost here again. A form of insanity takes over as we are urged by manufacturers to show our love for one another, by giving something packaged in red or in a chocolate box.

It is a day to show loved ones how much we care for them; but what about those who had loved ones who are now gone?

1 Thessalonians 5:11 Therefore comfort each other and edify one another…………(NKJV)

I think God would want us to reach out to, not only, our own loved ones, He would be greatly pleased if we showed compassion to others too. We, as Christians are called to love one another. We are expected to care about all people. Not only on one day of the year, but every day.

We are to remember that the power of the world is self-serving, but the power of God is always good. He does not expect us to spend, spend, spend to show that we care. He expects, in fact commands us, to love one another unconditionally, as He loves us.

The greatest gift He has given us is love. It is unconditional love – where we give without expecting anything in return.

So tomorrow, perhaps someone you know is hurting because of a loss in their lives. Do you think that person would be greatly encouraged by receiving a hug, or a telephone call or a card telling them that they too are cared for. I am sure of it.

So have a happy Valentine’s Day, everyone. Brighten someone’s day as you are led.

My blog: http://pattersmatters.worpdress.com

God is All

Hearts can easily be broken, as life deals out blows and challenges. We feel lost, empty and hopeless, as we battle to overcome adversity and take a new direction.

God is all we need – spiritually. He can strengthen us and bring us hope, as we trust him more and more, in our daily lives.

Psalm 103 gives us strong reassurance of what He willingly does for each one of us, as we bring Him into our lives.

1. He forgives all our sins. 2. He heals all our diseases. 3. He redeems our lives from destruction. 4. He crowns us with loving kindness and tender mercies. 5. He satisfies our mouths with good things, so that our youth is renewed like the eagle’s. 6. He executes righteousness and judgment for us against oppression. He sets us free. 7. He makes known His ways to us. 8. He gives us His grace and mercy in times of need.

All these things can be available to us, but we have to claim them through accepting Him through Jesus Christ.

God is all-powerful and all-knowing. He is everything we need and we can tap into His unending power, any time, by taking a different direction in life, and including Him in all we think, say and do. His promises can be trusted.

Ephesians 21-10 And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others. But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is a gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. (NKJV)

–dead in trespasses, means, spiritually dead and lost.
–you once walked, it could be a path of moral carelessness or a dark alley of evil, believers should no longer live according to their past evil ways.
–prince of power, namely the adversarial spirit Satan. To continue to disobey God’s way of living, is to support the devil.
–we were dead, because of Adam’s sin, the entire human race is spiritually dead. Only God can grant new life and save us from our wrong choices. His mercy and kindness prevail forever through Jesus Christ, His Son.
–the gift of God, is something we cannot earn by any good works. We cannot earn our salvation. Everything is received from our merciful and gracious Father, once we have faith enough to trust Him and believe in Jesus Christ and His sacrifice, for us.

All that God is, we need. First we have to invite Him into our lives and accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour.

“Dear Lord, I want to know you personally. I know that I have done wrong and I am sorry. I am willing, with your help, to turn away from my sins and turn to You. I believe, Jesus, that You died and rose again for me. Please come into my life. I welcome you as my Saviour and Lord, as best as I know how. Right Now”.

Patricia Day

Christmas Frenzy

Are we there yet? This is a familiar question from young children when embarking on a journey – – it doesn’t take long for them to wonder if we have reached the intended destination.

Right now, my thinking is – – are we finding ourselves in the midst of the frenzy of Christmas shopping and preparations? Time is running out….countdown is on to that wonderful day (although, some admit to having a bah-humbug attitude toward December 25th and all it entails). It’s too bad that we allow ourselves to become stressed with busy-ness instead of focusing on the reason for Christmas – – Jesus and His birth. Born to give us a peace beyond our understanding. Born to save us from ourselves and all the obligatory stuff.

So STOP what you’re doing! Take a deep breath and count to ten. RELAX and concentrate on what life must have been like in those far off days when Mary gave birth to her son.

Seemingly, it was just another day: after all, the reason for us celebrating Christmas had not yet arrived. When He did, the heavens erupted with the sound of heavenly song; the Magi arrived to discover the long-awaited Messiah was born and Mary and Joseph rested, knowing there were great expectations required of them now their little Christ child had arrived.

The night was cold and dark, with only the light of the star and perhaps a lantern. No clamouring traffic; hurried shoppers; tired, frustrated parents and excited children. Just quiet.

We can recover our composure and sigh a deep breath of relief, if we can visualize that night, and immerse ourselves into what we think it felt like. Perhaps it will energize us to continue the preparations for Christmas in a calmer way. Maybe we will actually begin to do what we’re supposed to do……enjoy this wonderful season, as we anticipate celebrating the birthday of Christ.

Luke 2:8-14 That night, some shepherds were in the fields nearby watching their sheep. An angel of the Lord stood before them. The glory of the Lord was shining around them, and suddenly they became very frightened. The angel said to them, “don’t be afraid, because I am bringing you some good news. It will be a joy to all the people. Today your Saviour was born in David’s town. He is Christ the Lord. This is how you will know him: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a feeding box (manger). Then a very large group of angels from heaven joined the first angel. All the angels were praising God, saying “Give glory to God in heaven, and on earth let there be peace to the people who please God.”

Have a happy and safe Christmas everyone and remember to have fun while you spend time with family and friends. Whatever does not get done — let it go – – don’t get stressed over small insignificant things. If you forget to buy eggnog or extra cookies or milk – – so what – – life will go on without them. Relax and remember to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JESUS and thank Him for His gift of salvation and freedom from sin.

When we finally finish all that is expected of us let us sit – – relax and be glad we’ve made it to the finish line. If anyone asks “Are we there yet?” we can truthfully say “Yes” – – thank the Lord. We’re ready for Christmas. The frenzy is ended.