Make Your Centerpiece a Fresh Bouquet of Appreciation

As I was busy preparing a beautiful table for a feast for my family on Thanksgiving, the Lord reminded me to also take the quiet time to prepare my heart to offer Him a feast of thanks. In the busyness of the season I needed to be reminded to prepare a table for Him decorated with a bouquet of fresh appreciation, a heart full of gratitude and mouthful of praise as I reflected on His faithfulness during the past year.
We should always be thankful but it is also good at this holiday of Thanksgiving to stop and meditate on what we are truly thankful for lest we start to take His blessings for granted and find our beautiful tables lacking the luster of the joy of the Lord!

Visiting The Place Of His Betrayal


After traveling up to the Mount of Olives to admire the breathtaking view of Jerusalem lying before us, we slowly strolled downhill to spend a reflective time at the Garden of Gethsemane. It was as if we could almost touch time as we rubbed our fingers down the trunks of the trees that are over 2000 years old and would have been growing in the Garden when the Lord Jesus agonized in prayer before His crucifixion.


If those trees could talk what would they tell us? Would we have grown weary as the disciples did? How often have we grown weary and fallen asleep during spiritual warfare?


Our journey then took us up a row of steps, some of the only authentic stones in Jerusalem that are the actual steps He walked as He was ushered to the palace of the high priest Caiaphas after His arrest and betrayal by Judas.

We saw the place where Peter denied Him and heard the cock crow. My heart was convicted as I pondered how many times I have denied Him by my thoughts or my attitudes?


It was an emotional and deep spiritual moment as we climbed down the narrow staircase down to the pit where He was imprisoned the night before He carried His cross to Calvary. The walls were spattered with blood. We don’t know but could this be some of the blood He shed for us?


After we walked the Via Dolorosa following His road to Golgotha, we finished our day in prayer at the Wailing Wall with a deeper, sensitive  appreciation of the awesome cost of our salvation.


1 Peter 1: 18-19 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold. But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:

Do You Only Turn To God When All Else Fails?

I had so much to accomplish that I didn’t have time to pray.
Problems just tumbled about me, and heavier came each task.
Why doesn’t God help me? I wondered
He answered, “You didn’t ask.
I wanted to see joy and beauty, but the day toiled on, gray and bleak,
I wondered why God didn’t show me
He said, “But you didn’t seek.”
I tried to come into God’s presence, I used all my keys at the lock.
God gently and lovingly chided “My child you didn’t knock.”
I woke up early this morning, and paused before entering the day;
I had so much to accomplish that I had to take time to pray.
Page 88 “Developing a Secret History with God”

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Saint Patrick – Truth or Legend



Since I was born in Aberdeen, Scotland and raised in Belfast, Northern Ireland, I had a personal interest to dig out some of the truths surrounding the man who brought the gospel to Ireland. The real Patrick has almost been lost under an avalanche of myth, legend and folklore.

Did you know that Patrick was not an Irishman?

His parents were Britons and Patrick was born near Dumbarton on the river Clyde in Scotland.

Did you know that he is not even a Saint?

At least not in the technical sense of the Roman Catholic Church, because he was never officially canonized. According to the encyclopedia Patrick “ passes as a saint merely by popular approval”.

Did you know that Patrick is claimed by Catholics and Protestants?

All we can say, whatever his affiliation, he was an evangelical preacher. Patrick is often said to be a man of One Book! He never appeals to the authority of any creed, ecclesiastical leader or council, but in his writings, few as they are, he quotes from 113 scriptures. It has been commented that from his constant emphasis on the Bible, that Patrick sounded like a 5th century Billy Graham, “ The Bible says, the Bible says.”

Did you know that Patrick ranks with the greatest missionaries that ever lived?

Perhaps second only to Paul of Tarsus (Raymond Edmoan, Moody Monthly magazine)

Did you know why the shamrock is so important to the Irish?

Patrick plucked a shamrock from where it was growing in abundance on the Irish mountainside, and used it as a lesson to teach his converts the mystery of the trinity.

From his early confession we learn that, at the age of sixteen, he was captured by a band of Irish pirates, who sold him as a slave to a Druid chieftain in Northern Ireland. Until his captivity Patrick had no real experience of God or salvation even though he had been raised in a Christian home, where his grandfather was a minister of the gospel. Here are his own words, “I was sixteen and knew not the true God, but in a strange land the Lord opened my unbelieving eyes and I was converted.” He realized that God in His mercy had allowed his captivity to take place so as to lead him to a new and better life. With the sufferings of exile had come the understanding of salvation. Finally after six years he escaped and returned to his family in Scotland. Something wonderful had happened to Patrick, he did not hate the Irish, but instead he had love for them.

He had seen the Druids in Ireland controlling the people, encouraging them to worship sacred trees, stones and even the sun itself. The Lord spoke to Patrick in a dream in which he heard, “ The voice of the Irish…We beg you, Holy boy, come and walk among us again.” He began to prepare to return to Ireland even though his family tried to persuade him not to.

In the year 432, Patrick returned to Ireland again, as a result of his obedience to the voice of God. From the 5th. to the 8th. century thousands had turned to Christ. Ireland became one of the great centers of Christianity in the world, not only of Christian holiness and virtue, but also of education because of monasteries all over the country. Thus Ireland has been named, “ The land of Saints and Scholars”.

The heathen Druid chieftain, whom he was sold to, became his first convert. His name was Dichu, and he offered Patrick, the pick of his land for the site of Patrick’s first church, situated high on the mountains of County Down, from where Patrick could see much of Ireland spread out before him. It was from here that Patrick carried out the great commission for the next thirty years of his life, where the influence of his ministry expanded to the mainland of Scotland, England and Wales and even much of Europe. Here he died and was buried on March 17th. 462 AD. Today you can still visit that first little church, even though 1500 years have passed since Patrick ministered there. The visitor can also visit his burial place on the grounds of the Protestant Cathedral of Downpatrick in County Down.

Let’s celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day by praying for the country that Patrick loved so much.

Thanksgiving is a Faith Builder


Dear Child,

Entering My presence with thanksgiving will build the faith you need to present your requests before Me, and without that faith it is impossible to please Me.

Without thanksgiving you will not have that ever increasing faith to believe that I am a rewarder of those who diligently seek Me.

Because thanksgiving brings to remembrance My faithfulness in the past and feeds your faith.

But ingratitude produces a complaining heart drowned in self-pity which will quench your faith.

An unthankful heart will be excluded from My presence.

In My presence is joy unspeakable and full of glory, a place you can only enter through the gate of thanksgiving! Child, be thankful!

                                            Thus saith Papa

                                              My Jehovah Jireh

Psalm 16:11 Thou wilt show me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.

1 Thessalonians 5:18-19 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. Quench not the Spirit. 

Counting our blessings and remembering His goodness and faithfulness in the past feeds and nourishes our faith BUT being ungrateful and complaining will quench our faith and gratify the weeds that the enemy has sown.

An attitude of praise is the result of a thankful heart.

 Praise and thanksgiving are like Siamese twins i.e. they are inseparable.

Without thanksgiving we haven’t even entered the gate. Yet so often we try to offer praise in His court, and yet still find ourselves coldly on the outside. The only way into the warmth His presence is through the Gate of Thanksgiving. 

So often we come to church with a heavy heart because of circumstances. But if only we would spend a few moments reflecting as we declare  “I will remember the works of the LORD: surely I will remember thy wonders of old.” Psalm 77:11 it would give us an appreciative and thankful heart and our attitude would change, preparing us to enter the gate and into His courts with praise. As the Word tells us “the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness”Isaiah.61:3.

Please note that I did not say our circumstances would necessarily change, I said our attitude to the circumstances would change. We will no longer be under the circumstances because our sacrifice of praise will raise us above those circumstances, and we will find ourselves spiritually seated in Heavenly places in Christ Jesus. Then in His timing we will see victory because He can work with those who praise Him. A grateful heart is a soft, pliable heart in the loving hands of the Master Potter. But hearts become cold and hardened when we murmur and complain.

Yes, it is hard when we are burdened and we just don’t feel like praising God.

But isn’t that what a sacrifice is all about? Something that is costing you! What is the cost? An act of our will to choose to offer Him a sacrifice of praise even when we don’t understand the “whys?” We are actually saying with that praise, “ God, I don’t know the future but I do believe that you hold my future and I trust you with the outcome.” We call that faith and without faith it is impossible to please Him.

CHALLENGEMay we all grow to the stature of the faith of Job who declared “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him:” Job 13:15



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