Proverbs 23:17-18

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Do not let your heart envy sinners,
    but always be zealous for the fear of the Lord.
There is surely a future hope for you,    and your hope will not be cut off. - Proverbs 23:17-18

Dear Jesus,

It's so easy to see people short cutting to success by doing things that are unethical and wondering why you allow them to get their way.  It makes me envy their wins.  But you beg me here to trust you and refuse to succumb to their ways.  You want me to pursue the fear and respect of you instead of success at all costs.  I love your promise that their is a future for me when I put you first in all dealings.  I will live by that faith and wait for you to make good on your promise.  I figure that if you saved me by giving up your son you most certainly will bless me as I follow your ways. 

Amen

Pastor Don Patterson

God's way may take longer but always ends better. 

Proverbs 22:9 

The generous will themselves be blessed,
    for they share their food with the poor. - Proverbs 22:9 

Dear Jesus,

Your joy in life was to give it all for me.  It blessed you to bless me with salvation.  I want the blessing of being a generous person like you.   Help all of your saints to see the needs around them, especially of the hungry.  Make your church the extension of your love to the people who live on your planet now who need the help of others for food, shelter and clothes.  Make your love known through us who claim your name as ours.Help believers everywhere learn the thrill of sharing. 

Amen

Pastor Don Patterson


We are Christs hands and feet as long as we also have his heart.  

John 5:44

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How can you believe, who receive honor from one another, and do not seek the honor that comes from the only God? - John 5:44

Dear Jesus,

Your words strike fear in my heart because all my life I have wanted words of approval from people.  I have even foolishly measured my happiness based on how much approval I had lately received.  I would say that what attracts me the most is that people are visible and their praise seems as real as their skin.  It makes me feel valuable.  Their praise seems to give me worth and meaning.  But just as their words give me joy, they also trap me and give me sadness.  One word of criticism seems as heavy as 50 pounds of praise.  It crushes me.  I hear what you are saying in this verse that if I am addicted only to the praise and criticism of people I will never believe in you.  Your word about my life is the truth that never changes or falters.  You see me as I am faults and all, but you do not try to manipulate me with praise or cuts.  Instead, you simply reveal my need, then meet that need with redeeming grace.  You restore my soul with love that promises your help and deliverance.  You live with me by your Spirit and work with me as I am in order to take me to where you are.  You are forgiving yet strong to push me toward being better out of love and faith.   I believe in you because you are the God who made me and saved me.  Oh Jesus, help me to listen to your word over the chatter of human centered approval ratings.  

Amen

Pastor Don Patterson 

The measure of your worth will never have anything to do with how many "Likes" you receive from people. 

Joshua 1:9

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Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. - Joshua 1:9

Dear Heavenly Father, 

I can learn to be strong and fight fear when I know you are with me in every situation.  Your presence calms me because I know I am not by myself out there trying to figure out what to do.  I'm glad to have your word to guide me and your promise to do lots of things behind the scene for me. Help me to rise up to face the tasks and challenging conversations today with faith and love and boldness born from the knowledge of your never ending presence in my life.  Thank you for not abandoning me because of my sins.  Grace helps me trust that I have your help in spite of how often I have failed you.  

Amen

Pastor Don Patterson 

When God is in the room, everything looks different.

1 John 1:8-10

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If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us. - 1 John 1:8-10

Dear Lord Jesus,

Do not let me deceive myself by refusing to see my part in any problem.  Help me to own my bad attitude and mistakes and to transparently come clean with you and my family and friends.   Your grace and mercy make it possible and even attractive that I freely admit my wrong doings to others.  When I know that my confession will be met with forgiveness instead of rejection it frees me up to honestly inspect my heart and life to see if there is any errant way in me.  Thank you for padding my life with grace so that even though I am a sinner living with sinners we can recover and restore relationships instead of living isolated by our own selfish will and guilt. 

Amen


Don Patterson


Nothing restores a relationship better than pure forgiveness.

‭‭1 Peter‬ ‭1:8-9‬ ‭

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Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
‭‭1 Peter‬ ‭1:8-9‬ ‭

Dear Jesus,

I have never seen you or heard your audible voice. But I have experienced the power of your grace and forgiveness. It has given me peace and hope that I could not find anywhere else. Your truthful love brings real joy and purpose into my life. Thank you for meeting me in my heart. I cannot what to experience you also with my senses. 

Amen 

Pastor Don Patterson

A message that changes your life from the inside out is as real as water, air, land and nature.

Proverbs 10:5

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He who gathers crops in summer is a prudent son,
    but he who sleeps during harvest is a disgraceful son. - Proverbs 10:5

Dear heavenly father,

Thank you for the parents who taught me to put in a days' work for a day's wage.  Help me to continue being productive with the abilities and opportunities you place before me.  I want to provide for my family and model for them the joy of prudent productivity.  Your Son never wasted a second when he walked your earth and he made it count for me and everyone else.  Help me to make every moment count too, in good times and bad, in challenges and breakthroughs.  It's a great pleasure to live in your world.  Help me to leave behind blessings that live much longer than I do.  

Amen

Pastor Don Patterson

No circumstance can prevent us from showing God that we appreciate the life he has gifted us.  

1 Peter 5:1-6

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To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder and a witness of Christ’s sufferings who also will share in the glory to be revealed: Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away. - 1 Peter 5:1-6

Dear Lord,

Give to your church those special men who will lead us like you would and who will truthfully watch over our souls.  Give us men who will study deeply in your word and will labor hard to bring your truth to us in a way that makes us understand you and your ways.  Give us men who will be brave enough to be your mouth piece to call us back when we stray, who will be loving enough to gently relocate our dislocated hearts, who will be self forgetful, humble and rather unconcerned about their compensation.  Make them live out their lives in front of us in a way that preaches to us about the godliness and peace that you want for us. Make them eager to serve others and tireless in the their devotion to people.  Help them to lead but not boss, to encourage but not flatter, to listen but still speak.  Help them deflect praise with gratitude and to live for your acceptance alone.  Give us shepherds who will feed us, care for us and help us make it to the finish line as believers.  And give those same men, all the help, praise and strength they need to be the man you have chosen to lead others.  

Amen

Don Patterson


Thank God for the shepherds in your life.  They are turned inside out for you.  

Philippians‬ ‭2:3-4

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Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. -Philippians‬ ‭2:3-4

Dear Jesus,

I was born looking out for my own interests and it has been a lifelong struggle to free myself from that passion. It seems that the whole universe starts with me and moves outward at times. Fill me with your selfless heart and help me avoid doing things for selfish ambition. Help me start with you and others when I think about the world and how I fit in. Give me a love for all people that it is beyond my natural reason. Don’t let me make excuses or rationalize myself out of valuing others more than myself. Teach me to leave it all on the field on earth until my last breath. Because that’s what you did for me and I want to do that for others. Amen 

Pastor Don Patterson 

Life is found in losing it. It’s crazy but true. 


Colossians 3:13

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Bear with one another and forgive one another if you have any grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. – Colossians 3:13

Dear Heavenly Father,

The burden of anger is too much to bear when others let me down or drive me crazy with their selfishness.  I can sift through their mistakes like an old coin collection sometimes. But it gets me no where fast.  I love your simple and powerful advice.  If I have a grievance against someone, you tell me to forgive it just the same way you forgive me.  It helps tremendously to know that you died for the person that hurt me just like you died for me.  I forgive them with the love you have shown us all.  Take my mental file drawers and erase all the records I have against anyone.  I'm tired of storing them.  They just clutter my otherwise happy life.  

Amen

Pastor Don Patterson

Forgiveness is like cleaning out the garage.  Everyone feels better when it's done. 

Jonah 4:10-11

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The LORD said to Jonah, “You have been concerned about this plant that I grew to shade you and then took it away, though you did not tend it or make it grow.  It sprang up overnight and died overnight.  And should I not have concern for the great city of Nineveh, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left-and also many animals. – Jonah 4:10-11

Dear Heavenly Father,

Don't let me be like Jonah who did not want you to show your grace to Nineveh.  There are people that have hurt me that I don't really want to pray for.  I just want them to meet justice.  But you are the God who loves to forgive and restore more than punish and destroy.  You even care for animals with grace.  Give me your gracious heart for the people around me so I rejoice when you are patient with them and I forgive them along with you. 

Amen

Pastor Don Patterson

It's much easier to forgive someone sitting on the shoulders of Jesus rather than the back of accusations. 

Psalm 139:22-24

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Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.  See if there is any offensive way in me and lead me in the way everlasting.  – Psalm 139:22-24

Dear Heavenly Father,

It's not enough to be liked by people.  It's not enough for people to believe I'm good.   I care what you think more than anyone else.  I live for an audience of one.  So, I say with David, you can search my heart and life and look for rotten attitudes and misdeeds that need changing. I want to get it right because I love you  for being my Savior God.  You can tell a lot about me by what scares me.  So, explore my anxious thoughts and send your Holy Spirit to reveal to me why I am anxious about anything that you do not want to frighten me. 

Amen

Pastor Don Patterson

When God has our hearts the good works he likes will follow.

Psalm 139:19-22

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If only you, God, you would slay the wicked!  Away from me you bloodthirsty!  They speak of you with evil intent; your adversaries misuse your name.  Do I not hate those who hate you, LORD, and abhor those who are in rebellion against you? I have nothing but hatred for them; I count them my enemies. – Psalm 139:19-22

Dear lord,

I've always had a hard time reading David's words how he hates the wicked with a perfect hatred.  But I understand what it means to be loyal to you.  You are the one who made me.  You are the one who saved me.  You are the one who helps me grow and protects my life.  When people use your name lightly or as an expression of astonishment, or as a curse word or they say things about you that are demeaning or minimizing, I do get disturbed in my heart.  I know they don't know you.  I know they don't care about you either.  I always want to be sensitive about you because I love you with my heart.  But I also want to be careful to reach out to even your enemies with love and respect.  You tell me that it gives them the best opportunity to repent.  Help me strike the balance between inner loyalty to you at all times and outer gentleness toward those to whom you send me to confront with your love.  

Amen

Pastor Don Patterson

 When we are truly loyal to God, we will hurt in a world that disregards him.

Psalm 139:13-18

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For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you    when I was made in the secret place,
    when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;    all the days ordained for me were written in your book
    before one of them came to be.
How precious to me are your thoughts, God!    How vast is the sum of them!
Were I to count them,    they would outnumber the grains of sand—
    when I awake, I am still with you. - Psalm 139:13-18

Dear Heavenly Father, 

I spent the first few years of my life wishing I was made like someone else.  I was insecure and jealous.  But you have taught me to appreciate how you have made me with all my uniqueness and idiosyncrasies.  You have made me to fit my spot in your masterpiece jigsaw puzzle.  Help me to treat the body you have fashioned for me with respect and appreciation.  I know that you have all my days counted out for me.  I won't die one day too soon or too late and even then i will be saved for eternal life.  Thank you for creating me and giving me a time to live on your planet.  Help me to use my time of grace for the benefit of others.  

Amen

Pastor Don Patterson

We were made by God to fit one exact spot in his grand design.  Don't try to be something you're not. 

Psalm 139:7-12

Where can I go from your Spirit?  Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;    if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,    if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,    your right hand will hold me fast.
If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me    and the light become night around me,”
even the darkness will not be dark to you;    the night will shine like the day,
    for darkness is as light to you.  - Psalm 139:7-12


Dear Heavenly Father,

It is both comforting and frightening to my divided heart that there is no getting out of your presence ever.  I cannot ever hide my misdeeds from your glance.  But also, I can never complain that my life is hidden from your gracious stare.  You watch my life to protect me and then to correct me - all at the same time.  I used to think my mother had eyes in the back of her head.  You are much more observant than she was.  You have no back so your eyes are on me all the time.  It keeps me hopeful and honest, sober and settled, peaceful and prompt.  Thanks you for reminding me that you see me all the time.  

Amen

Pastor Don Patterson

Remembering that God is always present changes everything you think in every situation. 

Psalm 139:1-6

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You have searched me, Lord, and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;  you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;    you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue    you, Lord, know it completely.
You hem me in behind and before,    and you lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,    too lofty for me to attain.  

Psalm 139:1-6

Dear Heavenly Father,

When I read these words from David I am blown away by two thoughts.  First, that you know me better than I know myself.  You know every detail of my life from the moment my dad winked at my mom to the moment I will gasp with one last breath.  Every moment, every thought, every word and every deed, you know perfectly.  How can that be?  The second thought that blows my mind is this:  You love me even though you know me.  This I cannot fathom logically either.  But this illogical pair of thoughts are my mainstay in life.  I am known and loved by God, my Creator,/redeemer.  It's enough to help me carry on in the hope, faith and love that makes life real.  Thank you for revealing to me what I need to live out my days with the highest dignity, meaning and purpose.  

Amen

Pastor Don Patterson

God knows us better than we know ourselves and loves us more too. 

Hebrews 10:30-31

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For we know him who said, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” and again, “The Lord will judge his people.” It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. - Hebrews 10:30-31

Dear Jesus,

I remember how I trembled when I knew I had tested my own father beyond his limits.  When his disciplinary side came out, "Watch out."  It wasn't going to be pretty.  But by demonstrating that there is a limit to patience, and that sooner or later justice will be served, I learned to fear him and you in a healthy way.  It made me deal with my own rebellious heart.  If it would try to lead me down the wrong path I would think, "There's a limit to patience."  I know you are slow to anger and patient with everyone.  But if we do not learn to follow you in faith and obedience, if we test your will again and again, I know you will bring justice on us.  You sent your Son to save me.  It was dreadful that he fell into your hands, the hands of the living God.  But even though he saved me, that doesn't mean I can live like a hellion.   I am a heavenion! So, give me the wisdom to fear your just anger if I were to abuse your grace and use it as a licence for selfishness or evil.  Give me grace and forgiveness for when I have run from you and do not let me take your patient to it's limit.  

Amen

Pastor Don Patterson

God sent his Son so no one has to go to hell.  But if we reject his Son, hell is what we rightfully deserve nonetheless.  


Hebrews 10:35-37

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So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.  You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. For, (as it is written) “In just a little while, he who is coming will come and will not delay.” - Hebrews 10:35-37

Dear Jesus, 

I'm confident that you have saved me for all eternity.  I am confident that you are watching over my life too.  In my faith I want to serve you in every relationship, every social setting and in every way.  But even with all my confidence and devotion, evil is right there with me.  I am tempted to doubt.  I hear messages from the world that you are only an invention of people for a crutch.  I am tempted to live for myself in the moment and quit serving others.  It helps to know you're coming back soon to call me to account with all people.  It keeps me honest and on my toes.  Please keep speaking to my soul through your Holy Spirit using your word, so I do not throw away my faith and spiritual blessings for a life of self indulgence and unbelief.  Give me the perseverance to make it all the way to the door from earth to heaven without wavering.  And make me an example and strength for others by the way you sustain me through every trial.  I depend on you to get me there.  

Amen

Pastor Don Patterson 

Hang on to God under every pressure and he will lift you out of it at just the right time. 

Romans 5:3-4

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Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. - Romans 5:3-4

Dear Lord,

I have to admit that my first thought when I suffer is not, "Hey, I should be happy about this because this produces patience and perseverance in me."   I'm usually squirming under the pressure that suffering brings.  But I'm listening to your word.  You tell me the good you are working in me by walking me through challenges.  I want to have more hope in my life. So, if enduring an illness or experiencing a set back makes me more durable and teaches me what to really value and if it gives me a bigger, better perspective, then I will receive it from your hand as a blessing rather than a curse.  Help me to grow in character by learning the deep lessons you want me to understand from my difficulties.   Forgive me for Jesus' sake for checking out on your lessons at times when I suffer.  I really do want to let you make me into a mature believer while I sojourn here on your planet.  

Amen

Pastor Don Patterson

Hard times create strong lives for those who will let it.

2 Corinthians 4:16-18

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Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

Dear Jesus,

As I watch the aging process take it's toll on us all, I can be grieved that no one can stop the slow slide down hill into the grave.  But you and your salvation bring a whole new positive slant to my thinking.  The slow slide toward the end of my earthly life is the way I will get to eternal life.  I am renewed in my heart by the thought of heaven being my destination and not the grave.   I cannot wait to get there where I will see my parents, sister and countless friends and mentors that have passed before me.  I can even get excited if I let myself.  Thank you for giving me the unseen world that faith sees.  It's real and it will last.  You have made it all mine by the sacrificial life and death you had for me. I will live out my few days on earth now in joy and hope. 

Amen

Pastor Don Patterson

Heaven is our forever home.  So, don't get too disappointed when you must leave places on earth that are temporary anyway.