- 2017Mar 17
St. Patrick lived his years as a great example for us today. But he didn't live it out simply by "the luck of the Irish," as some may say, for one theme shines through it all: God’s Presence and Sovereignty are powerful.
10 Things You May Not Know about St. Patrick:
1. St. Patrick was actually not Irish, he was born in Great Britain in the yr. 387, and was kidnapped by pirates at the age of 16, and taken to Ireland where he served as a slave for 6 yrs.
2. During those yrs., he worked as a shepherd, under harsh authority, often alone, hungry, and cold. He says it was during those yrs. that God's Presence became very real to him, and he began a close, intimate walk with the Lord.
3. St. Patrick shares in writings that he prayed many prayers through the day, and even into the night. He shared these words of his time in captivity, "and the faith grew in me, and the spirit was roused, so that, in a single day, I have said as many as a hundred prayers, and in the night nearly the same, so that whilst in the woods and on the mountain, even before the dawn, I was roused to prayer..." He wrote a famous prayer still recited today called the prayer of St. Patrick or St. Patrick's Breastplate.
4. God awoke him one night and said, "Your way of escape is here." St. Patrick walked 200 miles to a ship where he was able to secretly escape to get back to his homeland.
5. Over time, as St. Patrick began to study God's Word, he sensed God leading him back to Ireland to share Christ with the people. He shares in his writings of a dream in which he heard the "voice of the Irish" begging him to "come and walk once more amongst us." He knew very well this could mean certain death, for the Irish at that time were a barbaric, pagan people.
6. God blessed St. Patrick greatly as he went to Ireland and taught, served, and ministered to the people. Revival broke out, thousands of people were saved, it was reported that he baptized over 120,000 people and founded 300 churches. It was said that Patrick found Ireland heathen and left it Christian, resulting in Irish missionaries re-evangelizing Europe in later centuries. History recounts that because many of the people at that time were illiterate, they would memorize long passages of scripture such as Psalm 119, the longest chapter of the Bible, and pass their teachings down to their children.
7. History tells us that St. Patrick used the 3 leaved clover to teach about the Trinity, God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit - how they are one, yet 3.
8. Legends say that St. Patrick drove out all the snakes of Ireland. But reality is, there were never any snakes there to begin with. Historians believe that this story is actually related to the fact that St. Patrick bravely stood up against the pagan gods and the king's command to worship them, thus driving out dark forces.
9. St. Patrick died on March 17th, 461 in Ireland. It's been recorded that his favorite color was actually blue, he wore it all the time, yet green became the choice for the celebration of St. Patrick's Day since it's now the official color of Ireland.
10. One thing we learn from studying this amazing man's life. It wasn't about leprechauns, 4 leaf clovers, wearing green, or about luck.His life was simply about the amazing Sovereignty and blessing of God, about obedience to His call, about prayer and faithfulness.
May the example of this godly man from years ago, spur us onward even today.
His life reminds us:
- We can trust God with our days.
“My times are in your hands…” Ps. 31:15
- We can trust that He will bring purpose through even the darkest of times.
"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." Rom. 8:28
- We can trust His Sovereignty and Power over all.
"For you bless the righteous, O Lord; you cover him with favor as with a shield." Ps. 5:12
- We can be assured God's presence is always with us and His plans for us are good.
"For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor; no good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly." Ps. 84:11
A Prayer of St. Patrick:
"As I arise today,
may the strength of God pilot me,
the power of God uphold me,
the wisdom of God guide me.
May the eye of God look before me,
the ear of God hear me,
the word of God speak for me.
May the hand of God protect me,
the way of God lie before me,
the shield of God defend me,
the host of God save me.
May Christ shield me today.
Christ with me, Christ before me,
Christ behind me,
Christ in me, Christ beneath me,
Christ above me,
Christ on my right, Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit,
Christ when I stand,
Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.
Happy St. Patrick's Day, may God's favor and blessing cover you this day.
Debbie McDaniel is a writer, pastor's wife, mom to three amazing kids (and a lot of pets). Join her each morning on Fresh Day Ahead's facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/DebbieWebbMcDaniel, for daily encouragement in living strong, free, hope-filled lives. Find her also at http://twitter.com/debbmcdaniel and at http://debbiemcdaniel.com.
- 2017Mar 16
Life can be full of challenges at times. But no matter what we face, we can be assured that God is always with us. He knows our way. He cares. And we are never alone.
31 verses from His heart to you:
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30
“Cast all your anxiety on Him because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7
“Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always.” Psalm 105:4
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6
“It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect.” Psalm 18:3
“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest on me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9
“But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength; they will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:31
“Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” Hebrews 4:16
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7
“Cast your cares on the Lord, and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous fall.” Psalm 55:22
“But the Lord answered her, ‘Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.’” Luke 10:41-42
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things…and the God of peace will be with you.” Philippians 4:8-9
“Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10
“…for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:11-13
“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.” John 16:33
“For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.” 2 Chronicles 16:9
“In the day that I called, you answered me. You encouraged me with strength in my soul.” Psalm 138:3
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10
“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust’…He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge…” Psalm 91:1-2,4
“The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.” Psalm 145:18
“The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights.” Habakkuk 3:19
“So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.” Galatians 6:9
“…he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.” Proverbs 11:25
“I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.” Psalm 4:8
“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” Psalm 46:1
“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Psalm 73:26
“…for he grants sleep to those he loves.” Psalm 127:2
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” John 10:10
“Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.” Isaiah 40:28-29
“My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” Exodus 33:14
“I lift up my eyes to the hills, where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip, he who watches over you will not slumber.” Psalm 121:1-3
(This post first appeared at http://debbiemcdaniel.com)
Debbie McDaniel is a writer, pastor's wife, mom to three amazing kids (and a lot of pets). Join her each morning on Fresh Day Ahead's facebook page,http://www.facebook.com/DebbieWebbMcDaniel, for daily encouragement in living strong, hope-filled lives. Find her also athttp://www.debbiemcdaniel.com and http://twitter.com/debbmcdaniel.
- 2017Mar 14
Some days can seem hurried, pressured, and tense. We know God’s truth, we believe His goodness, and yet we still find ourselves struggling, minds racing, before our feet even touch the floor in the morning.
Our focus gets blurred. We start listening to the lies of other voices that do more harm than good. The constant media headlines tell us how dark and broken our world is. Images and reminders all around us shout that we’re “not enough.” The enemy’s great at heaping on guilt, condemnation, and fear. The problems we face seem more like giants of impossibility than anything good that God can ever bring from it.
The truth is, some days we don’t feel like much of a strong warrior for God’s purposes. We just feel really weak. Afraid. Alone. Defeated.
But often, out of His goodness and grace, when we find ourselves right smack in the middle of huge feelings of defeat, God shows up strong.
"When the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, he said, "The Lord is with you, mighty warrior." Judges 6:12
Gideon certainly had no reason to feel strong, mighty, or anything like a warrior at that moment. He and his people were facing great suffering and defeat at the hand of the enemy. He doubted God was even with him. In fact, when the angel showed up, he was threshing his wheat in the pit of a winepress, not up on a hilltop where this was usually done. He was fearful and trying to keep hidden from view of the enemy who’d been raiding their land. Gideon questioned, "If God was with us, then why did this happen?"
Ever been there?
If God is really here, then why?
If God is really good, then when?
If God really cares, then how?
I love how God is so gracious, patient, loving, and kind - even with the questions, even after His people had turned their backs on Him. God still sends an angel to encourage, to strengthen, to remind Gideon and all of the Israelites that He is surely with them.
And yet even while staring straight into a heavenly messenger, Gideon continues to persist in defeated thoughts. He still questions, "But I am the weakest, I am the least...how can God save Israel?"
“And the Lord answered, ‘I will be with you...’" Judges 6:16
Five powerful words. That can see us through anything we face in this life.
“I will be with you.”
God's Presence is real. He gives us strength for every day. The battle can be intense. And some days especially, the enemy seems really strong, and we feel really weary. We can find ourselves wrestling again with the same defeated thoughts that we thought we'd finally laid to rest just the night before. Disappointments come. We struggle with feeling like we haven't measured up, we listen to the lies that we are "less than..."
But God still answers us. Just like He did for Gideon.
He sees "mighty" when we see "weak."
He sees victory when we see defeat.
He gives hope, when we're filled with disappointment.
He's still with us, no matter how we might feel, or what struggles flood our thoughts. He is filling us with the power and grace of His Spirit, just enough for the day.
For this day.
A reminder for your heart, in whatever you might be facing,
"The Lord is with you...mighty warrior."
7 Verses of Strength:
"But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me." 2 Cor. 12:9
"But the Lord is with me like a mighty warrior..." Jer. 20:11
"So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." Is. 41:10
"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go." Josh. 1:9
"The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?" Ps. 27:1
"Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” Deut. 31:6
"The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing." Zeph. 3:17
Debbie McDaniel is a writer, pastor's wife, mom to three amazing kids (and a lot of pets). Join her each morning on Fresh Day Ahead's facebook page,http://www.facebook.com/DebbieWebbMcDaniel, for daily encouragement in living strong, hope-filled lives. Find her also at http://www.debbiemcdaniel.com and http://twitter.com/debbmcdaniel.