Sunday, September 27, 2015
Saturday, August 29, 2015
There will be disturbances around the world—from great earthquakes to famines to epidemics... Luke 21:11
On January 17, 1994, before dawn, Southern California was hit with a 6.7 magnitude earthquake. It was a violent up and down movement that caused freeways to collapse, buildings to crumble, fires to break out and loss of life.
I remember jumping out of bed rushing to see if my kids were okay, thinking that in a split second we could all be dead. It is a frightening experience to have the violently shake underneath you. Did I have an earthquake plan? Did I have all the items that the preparedness teams told us to have in case of such an emergency?
Growing up in California, we have always been taught to know how to turn off the gas, keep a flash light with fresh batteries handy, first aid kits, bottled water, canned goods for 7 days in case the "Big One" hits. We must be ready.
Over the years, we have seen many such disasters increasing all over the world, so much devastation, loss of life and destruction of property. Could they have been better prepared for this? The answer is... not really. No one knows when a earthquake will really hit.
Jesus Himself tells us in the scripture above that these things will occur in the last days before His return. So, we must be ready... not only physically but spiritually. We need to prepare ourselves and help others around us be ready too.
Jesus says in John 11:25-26,
He ends this statement with a question..."Do you believe this, Martha?”
I believe that is the very same question He is asking all of us today. It is so simple, isn't it... believe and live... yet many choose... reject and die. It grieves my heart when I think of one member of my own family, my dad, who is choosing reject and die. Yet God is merciful and wishes no one to perish, so the prayers continue to go up on his behalf. If you are reading this, may I ask that you say a prayer for him too. His name is Hugo. Who knows... I may be writing to let you know your prayers availed on his behalf. Thank You.
We all need to be ready... live our lives reflecting the purity of the Lord. I remember something my pastor used to say... "you don't want to be doing something you shouldn't and have the trumpet sound.... That would be a bad day."
Our conduct must be above reproach and our words "seasoned with grace." I love how this translation says it: Col 4:6 Phillips
Be wise in your behaviour towards non-Christians, and make the best possible use of your time. Speak pleasantly to them, but never sentimentally, and learn to give a proper answer to every questioner.
Stand in love for truth, giving those around us the reason to choose life. Ask the Holy Spirit for the boldness to share this life giving truth with others. Ask Him to help you not fear what others will say when you do. I know that is my prayer.
Remember, the Lord will come when we least expect Him...with the suddenness of an earthquake. We don't know the day or the time of His coming, but it is promised to us who believe. Let us encourage each other with these words and bring as many people as we can with us!
Until next time,
Saturday, August 22, 2015
Thursday, May 14, 2015
Friday, October 3, 2014
"But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper." Ps 1:2-3 nkjv
One year ago today, we were hit with the news that our dear Pastor Chuck went home to be with Jesus. I was crushed when I heard the news.
But yesterday something even more devastating to my heart... the news that my own pastor… My dear Pastor Steve Mays went home to be with Jesus due to complications from back surgery. I was stunned when I received the phone call that delivered that sad and awful news. My pastor… No it can't be... it seemed too unreal. The last time I saw him was 3 ½ month ago. He had given Marty, my husband, and I his blessing as we moved up north to start a new work for the Lord. His last words to me were, “I love you kiddo… keep your eyes on Jesus”. My heart is broken… it can’t be true… My spiritual father… gone… now in glory with his pastor Chuck, and both beholding the face of Jesus.
I was a part of the congregation at Calvary Chapel South Bay for 26 years. I had become a Christian about 2 years before I stepped into the doors of CCSB. I was still lost… I knew Jesus yes, but I didn’t know how to read the Word and take it in for myself. My sister and I had been church hopping for 6 months before the Lord led us to South Bay. From the moment I stepped in those doors, I knew I was home.
|Teaching the Word with authority|
The years passed, and I was challenged by the Lord to become involved in ministry there… Children’s ministry, Womens, and Worship ministry. I love my church, loved my pastor and his wife! I couldn’t wait for Tuesday nights Thursday nights and Sundays to be with all my new found family at CCSB.
|Pastor Steve and Mama...|
But, it wasn’t until 1999 that I really got to know Pastor Steve as more than just a pastor. He became my friend. I was going through a divorce after 20 years of marriage and both he and Mama Gail- his wife, my spiritual mother- helped me through it, calling me at home to be sure I was okay, offering love and godly counsel at every turn. That he would care for me, a nobody, was amazing to me. He was never condemning, never judgmental. He was always kind and caring.
|He loved Sunday Night Prayer Service|
It was 5 years ago that I felt the Lord calling me into ministry, so I when a position became available to work on staff there at my church I knew it was for me. There I had the privilege of being part of his ministry, getting to hear his heart during staff devotions, getting to pray with him and for him, sharing the stage with him as part of the worship team every Sunday and Thursday night.
It was there I became painfully aware of the suffering my pastor was in every day. Yet in all that, he did not stop coming by my desk, encouraging me in my new role, to ask how I was, to offer a smile and fatherly hug. He was an example to all of us of how to keep pressing on no matter what… This scripture describes him so well… He lived it.
I posted this link on FB, it so exemplifies the humble heart of my pastor. Enjoy and please pray for Mama Gail, his mother Helen, his children Nathan & Heather, all the grandkids and extended family. Please pray also for all of my friends on staff at CCSB who are all reeling from this sudden loss.
Who am I?
I will miss you Pastor, your smile, your generous and tender heart. I will miss your insightful words, your silly stories, your care and concern for me. Above all, I’ll miss your fiery teaching and love for the Lord and His word. I love you… can’t wait to see you again… Enjoy beholding HIS face.
Until next time,
Friday, August 1, 2014
Let me now go to the field, and glean ears of corn. – Ruth 2:2
Downcast and troubled Christian, come and glean today in the broad field of promise. Here are an abundance of precious promises, which exactly meet your needs. Take this one,
“He will not break the bruised reed—nor quench the smoldering wick.” Does not that suit your case? A reed—helpless, insignificant, and weak; a bruised reed, out of which no music can come; weaker than weakness itself. A reed, and that reed bruised—yet, He will not break you; but on the contrary, will restore and strengthen you. You are like the smoldering wick—no light, no warmth, can come from you; but He will not quench you; He will blow with His sweet breath of mercy, until He fans you to a flame.
Would you glean another ear? “Come unto Me all who labor and are heavy laden—and I will give you rest.” What soft words! Your heart is tender, and the Master knows it, and therefore He speaks so gently to you. Will you not obey Him, and come to Him even now?
Take another ear of corn, “Fear not, O worm Jacob—I will help you, says the Lord and your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.” How can you fear with such a wonderful assurance as this?
You may gather ten thousand such golden ears as these! “I have blotted out your sins like a cloud, and like a thick cloud your transgressions.” Or this, “Though your sins be as scarlet—they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson—they shall be as wool.” Or this, “The Spirit and the Bride say, Come, and let him who is athirst come, and whoever will—let him take the water of life freely.”
Our Master’s field is very rich; behold the handfuls. See, there they lie before you, poor timid believer! Gather them up, make them your own, for Jesus bids you take them. Do not be afraid, only believe! Grasp these sweet promises, thresh them out by meditation and feed on them with joy!
Saturday, July 19, 2014
The other day I was randomly "surfing " through some old songs and came across a old video of Tammy Wynette singing her hit Stand By Your Man. Everyone over the age of 40 knows that classic chorus... "Stand by your man... give him two arms to cling too... " So at first I had to chuckle at the video clip I was watching. There she was decked out in a red sequined dress, her blonde hair in a bouffant hairstyle, standing on the porch of a quaint little house.. singing a song with the most serious look on her face. Oh my... it had classic 1960's all over it...Here are the words to the song:
Sometimes it's hard to be a woman, Giving all your love to just one man, You'll have bad times, And he'll have good times, Doin things that you don't understand But if you love him, You'll forgive him Even though he's hard to understand And if you love him, Oh, be proud of him Cause after all he's just a man
Stand by your man, Give him two arms to cling to And something warm to come to when nights are cold and lonely
Stand by your man And show the world you love him Keep giving all the love you can Stand by your man
Stand by your man And show the world you love him Keep giving all the love you can
I love my husband, "my man" with all my heart and soul. There is nothing that I would not give to him, nothing that I would withhold from him. He is the man the Lord chose for me, he is the second chance I have always dreamed of. He is the one who will provide for me, who will be there for me when I need a shoulder to cry on. I had so many expectations as a new wife. But what happens when he falls short of meeting my expectations? Do I begin get bitter and bicker with him, making his life miserable?
Do I become that contentious wife who can only spew out angry unsatisfied words? Scripture tells me that it's better to live in the wilderness all by yourself than under the same roof with a contentious woman, YIKES!
My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him. Ps 62:8
The scriptures also tell me that my expectations should only be in the Lord. He is the only one that can satisfy all my needs. How quickly I can get my focus off the Lord and onto my husband and what he is or is not doing. The Lord tells me to have faith in HIM, to come to HIM and HE will take care of all that concerns me. HE tells me, Patty, pray! Trust that I have everything you need and will fulfill all the desires of your heart!
The Lord reminded me today through the simple words of this song that, my husband, as wonderful as he is, will never be able to meet all my expectations. He is just a man, doing the best he can to deal with all the situations in his life. He is not a perfect human being, instead just as frail and full of faults as I am. So if I keep my heart and mind focused on the Lord, I will never be disappointed when things don't go the way I think they should.
Til Next Time...
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Yet as I pondered this, I realized that we are not much different than the Israelites at the time of Jesus birth.
I thought about something I heard in a recent study… Why was there not a “Messiah” watch in Bethlehem? If it has been prophesied, there should have been religious leaders waiting and watching for this miraculous event… Yet there was not…
Could it be that they had grown weary of waiting? Had they forgotten the scriptures? Or even worse, maybe they no longer believed it would come to pass? Surely there had to be one who was still waiting, hoping, searching?
I find that we today can be the same way… We too are waiting… waiting for Jesus to return for us… to come and take us out of this godless world… RIGHT????
Are you on a Messiah watch? Jesus Himself said He would return for us? Are our eyes open and waiting for him? Or like our brothers of old, are we tired of waiting? It’s been 2000 years… Do we really believe He’ll come in clouds of glory?
I'm sure all of you are saying, Well Patty how can you say that? Of course I believe that? OK… Are you living like He’ll be here any minute? Or are you going to be caught… like most of the nation of Israel… asleep and unaware of His coming?
I was convicted… I know I don’t… I too get sooo wrapped up in everything that I don’t think about His coming… unless I’m in pain or in a big jam… then I say… Come Quickly Lord Jesus…
As you know, I have been reading the Christmas story in it's entirety every day as part of my devotions… I prayed, Lord this is so familiar… Mary, Joseph, the baby Jesus… the Shepherds, the wise men… Help me Lord to make this not just a story but reality for me…
1 Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,2 Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.3 When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.4 And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born.And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judea: for thus it is written by the prophet, 6 And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, art not the least among the princes of Judah: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.7 Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, enquired of them diligently what time the star appeared.
8 And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also.
9 When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.
11 And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.
Isn’t that a wonderful passage of Scripture? The Lord has me focus on this part of the Christmas story today… I read and read this… then these words jumped out at me…
Go and search diligently for the child…
My heart stopped as I heard the Lord, say Go and search diligently for the child… He is here Patty, sit and wait…
This is a command… Go and search diligently… for who ? for Jesus…
The wise men traveled a long way… following a star in the east… a star that pointed to where the Lord Jesus was…
They must have caused quite a scene upon entering Jerusalem. While we all think of only 3 wise men, scripture gives the impression that there was many more than 3. They usually traveled in numbers, so imagine an entourage from the east coming into Jerusalem, looking for the "newborn King of the Jews". No wonder King Herod got all freaked out.
Maybe you are like those wise men tonight? Maybe you too have been walking with the Lord for a long time… being led by the “star” the Holy Spirit…who always leads you to Jesus… everything is fine… until you lose sight of Him…and start asking others for direction.
Maybe circumstances, problems have caused you to lose sight of Him. I know for me that happens far too often. I ‘m traveling down my road with the Lord… happy to be going His way, until my flesh gets in the way of the star, and I start going down the wrong roads… and seeking guidance from the wrong person.
As I look at this I realize that even though the wise men were directed to Bethlehem by Herod, the motive behind that direction was wrong. King Herod DID NOT want to worship this “newborn” king… He wanted to kill the child, cause He was a threat to his throne…
I love the next verses, cause it speaks to me of the Lord’s faithfulness…
9 When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was.
Do you see this? The Lord never let them out of His sight…. For it says “ THE STAR WENT BEFORE THEM”. Wow…
And what else…. “TILL IT CAME AND STOOD OVER WHERE THE YOUNG CHILD WAS”… He has always been leading them… exactly to the place He wanted them to go…They did not need to stop and inquire of anyone.
Have you lost your way? Are you weary from your journey…Look up… see the Star… the Holy Spirit leading you…
When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.
Oh LOOK… there it is… we haven’t lost our way after all…(my paraphrase)
Rejoice! The Holy Spirit is waiting to lead you to the your only source of EXCEEDING GREAT JOY…. JESUS…
The next verse really came alive to me…
11 And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.This should be our posture before the Lord… We should be on our faces before Him, ever thankful for His leading and guiding…. Ever thankful the His Holy Spirit…
Now in this state of homage and worship… they did this.. opened their treasures and presented gifts to Him… gold, frankincense and myrrh.
I saw 3 things here… The Lord wants us to present gifts to Him, not only at Christmas but all year around
Gold… represents everything that is precious to you… valuable in your eyes… present it to him every day as a gift…What is your “GOLD”… ? Ask the Lord to show you what you value more than Him and present it to Him as a sacrifice of praise.
Frankincense… represents everything that is fragrant… Your talents… your spiritual gifting… Anything that makes you look good or feel good other than Him…What is your frankincense? Ask the Lord to show you what in your life is more fragrant than Him and present it to Him
Finally… Myrrh… represents everything that is bitter…
What is your Myrrh? Ask the Lord to reveal it to you… confess it… present it to Him as a burnt offering…
Will you bring your gifts to Jesus and allow Him to take them up for you?
May He who loved us enough to come and dwell among us… bring that healing… that comfort… that security… that LOVE that you desire…
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
We are to give thanks in all things, not some things, not the great and wonderful things, but in everything.
As you my know, Marty and I have had a very tough year. It’s harder to have a thankful heart in hard circumstances isn't it? So when scripture instructs me to be thankful, does that mean I am to be thankful for Marty's cancer? God isn’t saying that I am to be thankful that something awful has happened. He knows we are human, we get hurt, we lose hope, and suffer grief. He wants us to give thanks inspite of it.
So as I thought about this more I started a list of what I am thankful for.
I can be thankful that the Lord spared my husband’s life…that He gave Marty he strength to persevere and get through the treatments. I can be thankful for the great results of his last CT scan. It showed NO CANCER! I can be thankful that my husband and I, though we went through some very difficult emotional moments, are closer today than we were when all this started. I can go on and on…there are many more items on this list.
If I start to look at all my circumstances with spiritual eyes, I can do as scripture says… I can “always be joyful”… not for the circumstance, but for all that the Lord will do in it. I causes me to “never stop praying”, cause I know that I have a God who hears me and will take care of all that concerns me. It causes me to “give thanks no matter what” because GOD has been faithful. He has never let me go, will never let me go. His arms are big enough to hold me and all that comes my way.
How about you? Maybe your year not gone as you would have wanted it to? Maybe you are having a tough time being thankful in the face of storms. Maybe your sorrows blinded you to the sweet face of God?
If so, stop for a moment and look around you. Pray for the Lord to heal, and soften your heart. Pray He give you spiritual eyes to see beyond the troubles. Ask the Lord to fill your heart with thankfulness for all He has done for you.