John 11:25-27 

John 11_25-27 .png

Jesus said to Martha, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?  “Yes, Lord,” she replied, “I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.” - John 11:25-27 

Dear Jesus,

Your words to Martha are the most hope filled words I will ever hear.  We will live beyond the grave if we put our faith in you.  It gives me hope that I will see my parents and friends that I loved so much but who have since left this life.  It reminds me that I will not really ever die.  I will just be translated to heaven.  I'm like Martha, "Yes, Lord, I believe you are the saving Messiah. Help me smile all day today because I know eternal life is alive and well among my Christian loved ones. 

Amen

Pastor Don Patterson

Hope in Christ reaches farther than any other hope we will ever have.  

Romans 8:32 

Romans 8_32 .png

He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? - Romans 8:32 

Dear Heavenly Father,

When I think that you gave up your own Son for me, I know you are committed to blessing me without blame or regret.  How could you let him go for a second in order to save a worm such as me?  It comforts me that in my wandering story where I experience many setbacks and struggles to know that you are actually giving me blessings on top of your Son who saved me.  I know things will work out for my good because you gave me your Son.  I know things will eventually get better because you gave me your Son.  I know you still love me while I'm fumbling around because you gave me your Son.  The fact that you gave me your Son settles all my fears. I am loved and blessed, after all, you gave me your Son.  I will live in that joy today. 

Amen

Pastor Don Patterson

If you think God doesn't love you, you have forgotten Jesus' cross. 

Jude 3-4

Jude 3-4 .png

Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt compelled to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to God’s holy people. For certain individuals whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord. - Jude 3-4

Dear Jesus,

The grace and forgiveness you have given me are the mainstay of my life. They give me peace of mind and confidence that although I'm a sinner, you still have my back. You are bound to me through love. Please don't ever let me do what Jude talks about here; turn your grace into a license to sin. You are forgiving but you are not lax. You care deeply that I live a godly life and glorify you in the way I treat my body. You want me to live a pure life and I want to do it for you too. I live in a very permissive society that now wants me to value many immoral acts as legitimate choices for all. Give me a lust for purity and grace so I am vigilant about walking the line of godliness but loving to all to all those who fall off the path.

Amen

Pastor Don Patterson

Starve your worldly desires by lusting after grace and truth instead.

2 Peter 1:3,5-7

2 Peter 1_3,5-7.png

His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. ... 5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. - 2 Peter 1:3,5-7

Dear Jesus,

Ever since you saved me and sent your Holy Spirit to live in my heart, you have empowered me to live a godly life.  I know I have often stumbled and fallen back to old worldly habits.   I hear you gentle call in these verses to renew my efforts to add to my faith the fruits that you grow in lives.  I want goodness, knowledge, self control, perseverance and love.  Take my heart by the hand and lead me to evaluate the changes you want me to make so I can grow into the person you want me to be to bless my family and friends and to be a blessing to myself as well.  You have graciously given me so many spiritual virtues, don't let me waste them while by idling through life.  

Amen

Pastor Don Patterson

Jesus Christ come to live and work in our lives, not sit on the couch.  

2 Peter 1:4

2 Peter 1_4.png

Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.  - 2 Peter 1:4

Dear Jesus,

You want me to be different than the fallen world around me.  But you see that I am cut out of the same lumber and fall to the same temptations.  But you have given me promises that you have saved me and that you now live in me by faith.  You promise that with your presence in my life I can say "no" to sin and "yes" to loving service to all.  You promise that you are with me and that you are working behind the scenes to help me.  You promise to meet me at the end and congratulate me.  You promise grace to cover my guilt feelings and love to fill the holes caused by hurts.  You promise to listen, to care and to rescue.  In your promises I am invincible and powerful to live a God pleasing life from the right attitude.  I can thrive through troubles and be a blessing to others even when I am in a difficult spot.  Thank you for your great and present help.  It will make my full week a blessing for me and others.  

Amen

Pastor Don Patterson

God went to heavenly great lengths to save us.  He's not going to abandon us now.  

Luke 9:33

Luke 9_33.png

As Elijah and Moses were leaving Jesus, Peter said to him, “Master, it is good for us to be here. Let us put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.” (He did not know what he was saying.) - Luke 9:33

Dear Jesus, 

We would all love to be with you and those heavenly saints on that holy mountain.  Sometimes our earthly lives seem so mundane and even cruel.  But to experience a taste of heaven once in a while, that would be grand.  I get what Peter was thinking.  But you had to finish your earthly trek.  We have to finish ours too.  Be with us as we journey across our lives and guide our footsteps by your word.  Help us to see where and how you want us to shine for you.  We will build a shrine for you in how we live and speak.  And we will keep one ear to your word to listen to what you tell us there.  

Amen

Pastor Don Patterson

God wants to be listened to more than enshrined and gawked at.  

Proverbs 28:9

Proverbs 28_9.png

If anyone turns a deaf ear to my instruction,
    even their prayers are detestable. - Proverbs 28:9

Dear Heavenly Father,

It's frightening for me to think that my prayers would be detestable to you.  But you are clear in showing me that you want me to listen to your instruction about good and evil, about love and truth, about faith and righteousness.  If I refuse to let you teach me and only try to get to know you on my own terms, you will detest even my prayers.  Who am I that I would act like you have no will of your own outside of mine?  Who am I that I would demand that you answer my questions before I listen to you?  You are the author of my life and the captain of my destiny.  I was made by you at my beginning and in the end I will have to answer to you for everything.  Teach me your ways.  Show me your will.  Guide me in your truth and forgive my haughty waywardness.  For Jesus sake, hear my prayers for your help and strength.  Whatever I face today, be there to help me see it through your eyes and experience it through your promises. 

Amen

Pastor Don Patterson 

One goes to a well for pure water and to the word for pure spiritual truth.

Proverbs 27:4

Proverbs 27_4.png

Anger is cruel and fury overwhelming,
    but who can stand before jealousy? - Pro
verbs 27:4

Dear Heavenly Father, 

It's comforting to have you show me that you understand how hard it can be for us when others are angry with us, cruel to us or they reject us because they are jealous of our lives.  Jealousy is very hard to deal with because the other person feels it's their right to be jealous.  They believe they are more deserving of our blessings than we are.  Only your Holy Spirit can help them overcome their jealousy by his grace.  He must enlighten them to the gifts they are receiving from your hand.  Help me to be patient with those who are jealous of me and protect my heart from being jealous of anyone around me.   Your blessing in their lives is your business and not mine.  It's enough for me to manage the blessings and challenges you have graciously given to me.  Give me joy in my own lot in life. 

Amen

Pastor Don Patterson

Only you can properly live in the slot God has chosen for you.  

1 John 4:9

1 John 4_9.png

This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. - 1 John 4:9

Dear Father in Heaven,

I heard it again yesterday, someone upset by all the trouble in your world asked how you as a loving God could allow evil in the world.  I confess that I wonder that too at times, especially when someone I love is hurt by evil.  I realize that I cannot know all of the profound reasons you in your wisdom would be patient with the devil and his demons while you prepare their final destruction.  But because of your Son, who came to endure their onslaughts with us, only to redeem us, I trust you.  Sometimes through gritted teeth, I trust you.  You showed your love among us, not by making our sinful lives easy but by sending him to live in this mess with us so he might rescue us all once and for all.  This allows you to rescue every perpetrator and victim alike.  I am living forever through him.  I will not die but will live.  So, today I will smile at evil because I know your Son and he has changed my life from death to life.  

Amen

Pastor Don Patterson

There is an expiration date on the evil that plagues us all.

Jeremiah 29:11-13

Jeremiah 29_11-13.png

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.  - Jeremiah 29:11-13 NIV 

Dear Lord,

 I love this promise.  It comforts me when life doesn't make sense and when bad things seem to keep happening to me.  You have good plans for me even when I cannot see what they are.  So, I will pray to you just as you encourage me to.  Lord, come and intervene in all those situations I'm concerned about.  Give me  what you want me to have and guide me through the difficult decisions I face.  Take my hand and lead me to where you want me to go.  

Amen

Pastor Don Patterson

God won't forget the good plans he has for us even when we forget that he has them.  

Proverbs 22:3

Proverbs 22_3.png

Rich and poor have this in common:
    The Lord is the Maker of them all. - Proverbs 22:3

Dear Lord,

All people are equal in your eyes.  The are equally special and wonderful for you to behold because you made them just the way you wanted and put them in their time and place.  You also love them all the same.  Your Son was the high price you paid for each one.  In heaven there will be no earthly distinctions such as rich or poor.  Instead, we will all be seen as the precious gems that you have made us.  Give me your divine acceptance of all people so everyone feels their worth when they deal with me in whatever moment we find ourselves, whether stressful or calm, whether fun or serious, whether good or bad.  Make me a gracious lover of people so they feel your grace coming through me.   

Amen

Pastor Don Patterson

All people are worth being loved with unconditional acceptance.  

Revelation 9:13-16

Revelation 9_13-16.png

The sixth angel sounded his trumpet, and I heard a voice coming from the four horns of the golden altar that is before God. 14 It said to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, “Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates.” 15 And the four angels who had been kept ready for this very hour and day and month and year were released to kill a third of mankind. 16 The number of the mounted troops was twice ten thousand times ten thousand. I heard their number. - Revelation 9:13-16

Dear Lord,

My dear friends who have watched the news lately sat with me over lunch and decried the terrible things going on in my country and all over the world. It seems that you let things spin out of control. But you don't. You moderate the the evil that Satan rages to wreak on the earth. You are not responsible for evil but you will not rid the earth of all evil until the end. I know, I know. You want us to preach the gospel to all those whom you give the wake up call too. Lord, help us, your church to stay focused on relieving suffering through the hope of Christ as you allow the devil to torment people. Beat him at his own game by using the sorrows he creates to drive people into our churches and your arms.

Amen

Pastor Don Patterson

These are the worst of times and best of times at the same moment.

Revelation 9:1-6

Revelation 9_1-6.png

The fifth angel sounded his trumpet, and I saw a star that had fallen from the sky to the earth. The star was given the key to the shaft of the Abyss. When he opened the Abyss, smoke rose from it like the smoke from a gigantic furnace. The sun and sky were darkened by the smoke from the Abyss. And out of the smoke locusts came down on the earth and were given power like that of scorpions of the earth. They were told not to harm the grass of the earth or any plant or tree, but only those people who did not have the seal of God on their foreheads. They were not allowed to kill them but only to torture them for five months.And the agony they suffered was like that of the sting of a scorpion when it strikes. During those days people will seek death but will not find it; they will long to die, but death will elude them. - Revelation 9:1-6

Dear Jesus,

How will we ever know for sure what you were picturing for us in the locusts coming up out of the abyss of hell to torment the earth? Many people think the are false teachers led by Satan and his demons. They lead the church astray and they lead governmental leaders to do terrible things to your true saints. The five months represent the era of chaos in which we live until the end. I know many people are enduring terrible lives. Thank you that you have given us a living hope of eternal escape from this rough time. We will learn to wait patiently for your return even though the going get's tough. Honor yourself in our lives no matter what we go through.

Amen

Pastor Don Patterson

The best part about the difficulties that we endure is that we will outlive them for sure.

1 John 4:11-12

1 John 4_11-12.png

Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. - 1 John 4:11-12

Dear Heavenly Father,

I haven't seen you. And here John admits that he hadn't seen you either. But he had experienced pure love through your Son. We have experienced that unconditional love too. You have empowered me to love people who have been difficult to love. I have been loved even when I was difficult to love. It's a spiritual awakening to live in unconditional love for others. You are living in us and are making us like you. Today, I hope to love the people close to me without criticizing them. Give me words of encouragement for them and make me stop myself from complaining about them in my heart. And about that person that gets on my nerves, well, help me not have a nerve for them to step on. I want to be the love you have been for us.

Amen

Pastor Don Patterson

Loving someone hard to love helps them feel the gospel not just hear it.

Proverbs 19: 17

Proverbs 19_ 17.png

Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the Lord,
and he will reward them for what they have done. Proverbs 19: 17

Dear Lord,

The whole world is yours an all who live in it. You watch over every person, rich and poor. You love to see me share with those who need it. Make me an outward person who fills the bucket in other people's hearts with good things. When I give to them, I'm giving to you. And since you have given your only Son for me I am forever in your debt. Take my life and let it be an offering consecrated to thee.

Amen

Pastor Don Patterson

To give without regret is a great gift from God.

Revelation 8:13

Revelation 8_13.png

As I watched, I heard an eagle that was flying in midair call out in a loud voice: “Woe! Woe! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth, because of the trumpet blasts about to be sounded by the other three angels!” - Revelation 8:13

Dear Jesus,

Your vision to John provokes anxiety in my heart. It shows me an eagle flying around shouting that although you have already prophesied calamities on the earth that even more and more are to come. It's like there is nowhere to hide from your judgement on a broken human race. But I know you are the redeemer who has already forgiven us. Be merciful to us your children as you frustrate the idolatry we have for created things. And as you take away our little kingdoms please draw near to us and bless us with your kingdom of grace and peace. Help us to rest in the quiet of your promises and to wait through the hard times for the rising Sun of that last great day when all trouble will be over. Give me the knot in your rope to hold onto!

Pastor Don Patterson

Hang on to God's promises even when he allows the fiercest storms and he will pull you through.

Revelation 8:6-12

Revelation 8_6-12.png

Then the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared to sound them.

7 The first angel sounded his trumpet, and there came hail and fire mixed with blood, and it was hurled down on the earth. A third of the earth was burned up, a third of the trees were burned up, and all the green grass was burned up.

8 The second angel sounded his trumpet, and something like a huge mountain, all ablaze, was thrown into the sea. A third of the sea turned into blood, 9 a third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed.

10 The third angel sounded his trumpet, and a great star, blazing like a torch, fell from the sky on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water— 11 the name of the star is Wormwood. A third of the waters turned bitter, and many people died from the waters that had become bitter.

12 The fourth angel sounded his trumpet, and a third of the sun was struck, a third of the moon, and a third of the stars, so that a third of them turned dark. A third of the day was without light, and also a third of the night. - Revelation 8:6-12

Dear Jesus,

You showed John through these visions of angels sounding trumpets that you control all the forces of nature and the entire planetary system. You have consigned this universe to decay since our first parents fell into sin. For the rest of our lives and into eternity we will see natural disasters. Snow and ice storms, tsunamis, hurricanes, earthquakes, fires and so much more will keep coming. We can expect for you to touch our planet with trouble in order to call some people home and to cause the rest to reach out to you in prayer. You are God and you will have your way with your planets. I'm so thankful that you came to this planet and saved us so we can be sure we will survive every calamity even if you use one to call us out. We are safe in grace. Help us to tell more people about you before their expiration date arrives.

Amen

Pastor Don Patterson

We're just passing through so don't get too bogged down by collecting things you have to leave to others.

Revelation 8:1-5

Revelation 8_1-5.png

When he opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour.

2 And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and seven trumpets were given to them.

3 Another angel, who had a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense to offer, with the prayers of all God’s people,on the golden altar in front of the throne. 4 The smoke of the incense, together with the prayers of God’s people, went up before God from the angel’s hand. 5 Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and hurled it on the earth; and there came peals of thunder,rumblings, flashes of lightning and an earthquake. - Revelation 8:1-5


Dear Jesus,

I'm comforted by this vision where your angels bring all the prayers of your people to your throne.  It assures me that every single one of my prayers is heard by you.  You don't miss a thing.  It's so easy to think my prayers don't make it past the ceiling of my home because I don't yet see you or hear your voice.  But your word reminds me that you and all your angels are studying my prayers along with those of all other Christians.  By grace you listen to us like a loving parent listens to the slightest coo of her newborn.  I see too in this vision that although you hear my prayer and plan to rescue me, I might have to go through more trouble before I get there.  Your angel hurled the sensor to the earth and ushered in more announcements for earthly tribulation.  Give me patience Lord to not grow weary in my prayers or to become unbelieving about your attentiveness as earthly trouble marches on.  Help me to be a light of hope for those around me as we wait for our deliverance.  Give me friends who pray to you also and who will encourage me from the heart.  Be our God and Savior as sojourn here.  

Amen

Pastor Don Patterson 

God hears your heart beat, how much more, then, your prayers!

Revelation 7:13-17

Revelation 7_13-17.png

 Then one of the elders around the throne in the vision asked me, “These in white robes—who are they, and where did they come from?”  14 I answered, “Sir, you know.”  And he said, “These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. 15 Therefore,

“they are before the throne of God
    and serve him day and night in his temple;
and he who sits on the throne
    will shelter them with his presence.
16 ‘Never again will they hunger;
    never again will they thirst.
The sun will not beat down on them,’
    nor any scorching heat.
17 For the Lamb at the center of the throne
    will be their shepherd;
‘he will lead them to springs of living water.’
    ‘And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.’” —-
Revelation 7:13-17

Dear Jesus,

What a powerful and peaceful scene you give us of heaven.  You remind us that this life is "The Great Tribulation." and that the oasis of solitude where death and trouble will never harm us again is in heaven with you.  You show us that our reason for getting there is your righteousness that covers our lives like a beautiful white robe.  You eliminate the doubts we have that you would ever receive us.  You comfort us with the promise that you will wipe our tears away and replace them with smiles and gladness. I am comforted even now when I remember the suffering of my parents toward the end of their lives.  They are now in your tent and the beast of suffering that wiped them out will never touch them again. In my most difficult days on earth to come, please bring this scene to mind. Use it to hold me up in faith and to make me triumph in love to those around me instead of sink into self indulging self pity.  Make me a champion of hope for myself and others. 

Amen

Pastor Don Patterson

Be comforted!  God knows where he's taking us through this jungle of sorrow.   

Revelation 6:9-11

Revelation 6_9-11.png

When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained. They called out in a loud voice, “How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?” Then each of them was given a white robe, and they were told to wait a little longer, until the full number of their fellow servants, their brothers and sisters, were killed just as they had been. - Revelation 6:9-11

Dear Jesus,

I avoid horror movies so I won't have their sad or gruesome picture plaguing my mind. Then you put in Scripture a picture like this of people who died for you and your gospel crying out for justice. I cannot get the picture out of my mind. You hear the prayer of every one of your children who suffer injustice or abuse. But you still make us wait until all your people are gathered to heaven. It's the waiting through tragedy that's so painful. It tests our faith in your goodness. But the white robe you give us to wear in your righteousness comforts us. We are given Christ who righted every wrong on the cross to wear over our pain torn lives. Give me the power to cling to your gift of salvation in Christ while I wait through this veil of tears for our rescue. And help my Christian brothers who are suffering terrible persecution to hang on in faith that you will rescue them and all believers when the last Christian gets put on the ship to heaven.

AMEN

Pastor Don Patterson

God gives his people the power to wait with him for his gracious plan to reach it's fulfillment.