Thursday, May 21, 2015

A MISSED MOTHER'S DAY


"There are two lasting bequests we can hope to leave for our children. One of these is roots, the other, wings."  ~ Unknown author

You can't miss Mother's Day when God has entrusted you with five children. I sometimes feel a bit smothered by the reality of being 'the mother'. This is one relationship that is not easy to ignore; it will last until your last breath. I must admit, a perfect day for me might be to totally ignore my whole family, even our little dog, grab my sun hat, a good book and sit on the beach. The rhythm of the waves remind me, one after another, that if the Lord can control and contain the oceans of the world; He can handle my insignificant challenges - which sometime seem very significant to me.

I pray for my children to connect with God and know Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Everything else starts and ends with this relationship.

"So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness."
Colossians 2:17

Paul wrote in Romans 11:6 - "if the root is holy, so are the branches." Most Christian parents try to be 'holy', because we want our branches (the kids) to be holy. That's why it's important for them to know it is Jesus who is the holy one, God Himself. We humanly fail, and can only be holy and righteous because of His love and forgiveness.

I continually pray for all my children not knowing what God's plan is for them, but trusting Him to make His will known. It's hard not to give advise to your grown child if you feel they are headed in the wrong direction, but we need to sometimes take a deep breath, step back, and watch them try their wings. I was e-mailing my daughter-in-law, Dawn, a few days ago and the Lord reminded me of several of my prayers for her over the past few years. Every one was answered, maybe not in the way I had planned, but the result was answered prayer. For instance, I so wanted a new home for my grandchildren. God sent a tree-tossing tornado type storm that destroyed their old home, then provided a way for them to get a new home! I never would have prayed for the storm.

We mothers often struggle with the thought that we've done the wrong thing for our child; sometimes we do in our eyes, but when we lean on God's grace and are convinced of His sovereignty, we can have peace. I spoke with a young mother recently who'd withheld some medication from her son hoping that another alternative would come to light.  It didn't, things got worse, and she fears harm has been done. I want her to know that God's timing is always perfect. If her son should have taken the medication earlier, he would have. It is God who "knit us together in our mother's womb", Psalm 139:13, He knows what our children need and when they need it. He sees the whole picture, we can only see a small portion; walk in faith, this is when peace will come.

I like what someone said about their mother, "She was our center of gravity, and saw life as a controllable project". That little belly button we all have is to remind us that we were protected and nurtured by the woman who bore us. It's a big deal to have a child, a truly momentous decision; like having your heart walking around outside of your body. We often feel that our children take us for granted, and in way, I think that's a good thing, sort of like a fish swimming in the ocean takes the water for granted. It's just there for them, no big deal. I want to be 'there' for my children.

I wish that every baby face was sculpted with their mother's kisses. Amazing how most of us love that baby within our body, sight unseen. We have a job to do - applaud success, weep over failures, encourage, discipline, love when it's not wanted or you don't feel the love, and eventually, let go and watch God work in your child's life. This is the hardest of all. 

Most mother's spend a lot of time in the kitchen. I put dinner on the table for a family of seven for many years. During the winter I had this beautiful potato plant, pictured above, on our sink. It grew from a sweet potato. I put it in water and the roots of the potato sprouted and grew into this lovely plant. I gave it fresh water and plant food so that it would grow and be healthy and strong. We nurture our children so they will grow to be healthy and strong - not only in body, but in faith.

Maybe, if you had a choice, you'd have chosen a different mother other than the one you have. You may not think you have a good one, let alone a 'perfect' one. Remember this, she may not be perfect, but she's perfect for you. You had nothing to do with choosing your mother; God arranged it all. If you were adopted, God gave you two mothers, the one who gave you birth, and the one He trusted to grow you into the person He wants you to become. There is only one of the Ten Commandments that has a promise - "Honor your mother and father so life will go well with you."

I've been occupied with the task of getting my last book to press. As of yesterday, 5/20/15, it has been published and is available on Amazon.com. The writing is easy for me, like a labor of love, the publishing part is not. Within a couple of weeks you may purchase the e-book version to download to Kindle, i Pad, whatever you have. This book, as with 'Blogging God's Word' has been written from my blogs. . .THE GOD WHO SEES ME  - by Roberta Van Hise

Lord, thank you for allowing me to be a mother. Assure me that my children see that I honor You above all. Help them to grow deep roots of faith so they can stand strong when the storms come.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

WHO NEEDS SELF-ESTEEM?

"Make the most of yourself, for that is all there is of you."

Ralph Waldo Emerson

I believe it was in the early 1960's when the 'self-esteem' ball got rolling. And it continues to roll. According to the majority of psychologists self-esteem is what makes us, or breaks us. We as flawed human beings are always looking for a reason, or perhaps an excuse, for what we do not like about ourselves.

Personally, I'd rather have self-control than self-esteem. Especially after reading these definitions. . .

Self-esteem - undue pride in oneself, conceit, vanity and egotism

Self-control - poise, restraint, reserve, discretion, stability, and dignity

In my humble opinion, if a person has self-control, self-esteem will follow. You can't have one without the other. Most of us have noticed that controlling one's self isn't all that easy. To do this, we need to rely on the help of the Holy Spirit.

If we are not a confident person, probably others won't have confidence in us either. A believer should understand that it's not about having confidence in our abilities alone. God has made us according to His design. Psalm 139:13-14 says that God "knit me together in my mother's womb", and I am "fearfully and wonderfully made". Paul writes in Romans 9: 20 that God is the potter and we are the clay. He molds us into the person He wants us to be. God has an eternal purpose; we're centered on the 'here and now'.

We need to view ourselves as a three dimensional person. First, and most important, we need to see ourselves as God sees us, second, we need to see ourselves as others see us. Last, we need to see ourselves as we perceive ourselves.

You may think that you're a 'nobody', but if you are 'in Christ', believe me, you are a 'somebody'!

"For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God."
Colossians 3:3

If God has hidden our life, we can't see it unless or until He wants us to. But we can trust that it is safe with Him. He has given us the gift of faith, grace to be saved from our sinful nature, the fruit of His Spirit - love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.  He's also given us spiritual gifts that will bring joy and peace to someone else's life. You have a place and a purpose in this world. Remember that man looks at our outward appearance, but God looks at our heart - I Samuel 16:7.

It's difficult for me to think of Jesus gathering His disciples and telling them they need to have more self-esteem. Or preaching to the multitudes and telling them that life would be so much better if they learned how to esteem themselves. Instead, He told them to esteem God. He did say that we are to love our neighbor as ourself - Matthew 22:39. I believe Jesus was teaching a simple truth; other people are as valuable as you are, honor them.

We have to wonder what causes the common malady of low self-esteem. Sometimes it's merely a personality trait that we need to accept. It isn't always something or someone who has caused a poor self image, it's just the way we are. However, we can point to some very specific causes based on many years of psychological data. One of these is living in a way, and doing what you know isn't right. It's hard to think well of yourself when you're ashamed of your behavior, or who you are. Self respect comes from behaving respectfully.

David, who wrote most of the beautiful psalms, was in terrible distress about that whole Bathsheba mess until he admitted his sin to the Lord and asked for His forgiveness. Read Psalm 32: 1-5; it's a beautiful passage and paints a picture of the agony we may go through until we 'get right' with God.

Sexual promiscuity is so pervasive. During this time in history when the moral code has slipped off the radar,  it's easy to be caught up in a vicious circle. Psychologists tell us that a lack of personal esteem is the prime cause of sexual immorality. Sexual activities then produce more feelings of low esteem. This is not a winning scenario that results in feeling good about yourself.

I've taught in our local jail for over fourteen years. The majority of people in jail or prison are there because of alcohol and drug addiction that ultimately causes them to cross the line, commit a crime and be incarcerated. We're told that low self-esteem is the cause of addiction. Not being able to control the drinking and drug use causes even lower self-esteem.

Low esteem leads to feelings of insecurity and often reflects itself in becoming materialistic. The Lord wants us to have good things. Do you know that Abraham had an indoor bathroom in his home over 4,000 years ago? They've found the ruins in the Ur of Chaldeans, modern day Iraq. David, Solomon, even Job had great riches. There are many people in the world who have worked hard, done well, or had wealth passed on to them. It's not a bad thing for them to enjoy their wealth. I'm referring to those who need to wear the 'right' clothes, drive an eye-catching car, shop at the Nordstrom's of the world, who spend every spare moment beautifying their home etc., all because 'nice things' help them to overcome feelings of low esteem and insecurity. But they never do, it's still there, still hurting them. Most of us learn sooner or later that material things cannot make our life more meaningful.

So, what's the answer? How do we 'fix' this? I'm aware of only one way that is consistently successful. Secular psychology cannot generate any true and lasting sense of personal dignity. No matter how hard we try, we need help from God. He created us and when we're broken, He can put us together again - no one else can do that, not ourselves, not a psychologist, only God.

The book of I John speaks to us about God's love. John tells us that God is love, 4:16, and that we love because he first loved us, 4:19. My summation of this book is that we are to be who God created us to be, His beloved child. Let us look at ourselves as God does; holy, forgiven by Jesus, and righteous in His eyes. We do the will of God, I John 2:17, when we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior.

"Then they asked him, "What must we do to do the works God requires?" Jesus answered, "The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent." John 6:28 - 29.

There is only one 'work' to do, believe in Jesus, the One God sent. Bask in this love, relish it, drink it in, bath in it, swim in it, luxuriate in it! I may be getting a bit carried away but I'm trying to make a point that this is the only way to solve the problem of self-esteem. If this isn't a problem for you, I'm sure you don't need to look far to find a family member or friend who is suffering. The temptation is always to elevate this person so they'll feel better about themselves. Resist this and elevate the Lord instead. Once we understand how much the Lord loves and esteems us, we'll be able to see ourselves in a different light.

And by the way, the Scripture is full of accounts of those, like Moses, who weren't sure of their value. This goes all the way back to the Garden of Eden and a broken promise with God. God gave the Apostle Paul a thorn in his flesh. We're not sure what that was, but we do know from Paul's words in I Corinthians 12 that he was tormented by it and pleaded with the Lord to remove it. This is what the Lord told Paul in vs. 9

"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness."

Torment comes in many different forms - disease, loneliness, difficult relationships, lack of money - you can come up with your own list. We had five teenagers at one time. The youngest turned thirteen and the oldest was nineteen. That was torment!

Ever feel a little weak? I do. Do the problems and decisions in life seem overwhelming at times? Stand tall and believe as Paul did.

"Therefore I will boost more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. . .For when I am weak, I am strong."  II Corinthians 12: 9,10

I want the Lord's power to rest on me because I've noticed that my own power isn't adequate to deal with all the problems in this world. I believe this is what we all want, God Power!

Thank you Lord that we can count on Your power and strength. Help us to see ourselves through Your eyes, and understand how much you value those who love You.






Tuesday, April 21, 2015

CUBA, CASTRO, COMMUNISM and GOD



I could add the word 'cars' to the title of this blog. When you go to Cuba, you can't miss the Cubans love for the American classic cars. I'm sitting in a 1956 Ford Fairlane, I think. I'm not good with cars, old or new. One evening our tour group was getting ready to go for dinner. The twenty-four of us expected to get into our bus, but not tonight. As we stood in front of our hotel, we watched six classic cars drive up. Some took photos and we all wondered why they were there. Soon we discovered they were there for us! What fun, we hopped into the cars and cruised the Malecon for several miles, wind blowing through our hair, waving, laughing, and tooting the crazy horns. In short, re-living our teenage years. Many of us had driven cars like these, or had parents that drove one like it. It's a pleasure to engage in nostalgia, and it feels good to be a kid again! Life is too serious most of the time. I know the Lord wants His children to enjoy themselves. I think in Bible verses so will share some with you.

"A man can do nothing better than eat and drink and find satisfaction in his work. This too, I see, is from the hand of God, for without him, who can eat or find enjoyment?" Ecclesiastes 2:24 - 25.
"I know there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live. . .this is God's gift." Ecclesiastes 3:12 - 13.

I do appreciate the Lord sending me to Cuba; I've wanted to do this for many years. I will describe Cuba with a few 'C' words, in no special order. It is colorful, cultured, a Caribbean Island, creative, Castro-ized, cigars, coffee, complex, calm and colonial. It was a sad day when Castro took control after the Revolution in 1959. The country soon fell into Communism. The government took away people's businesses, land and often their home. It is difficult for an American to comprehend a government taking what doesn't belong to them. Well, come to think of it, we do have a little of that in my country, and if we're not careful who we vote for, we may have a lot more. Communist Russia supported the Cuban economy for several years, then pulled out as their own country fell apart and their economy was in trouble.

I traveled with the Road Scholar program called a "People-to-People Cultural Exchange". Our group consisted of Americans from all over the country. We were all eager to learn about the Cuban people and have the opportunity to know them personally. We found that we were accepted even though ties between our two countries were severed long ago when the Communist government came to power and there was a build up of nuclear weapons just ninety miles off our shore. So many Cubans have family in the U.S. and I'm sure they get news from them via letters. They don't have access to the internet.

Cubans are able to get a college education without any payment. However, they must work for the government for four years to re-pay their education. Our wonderful Cuban guide was a teacher. She was paid by the government, also by Road Scholar. The man who 
drove the classic car I road in was a medical doctor. We asked why he was driving a 'cab'. "I make $60.00 a month as a doctor. I can make so much more taking people for a ride in my car", was his answer.


The money taken by Castro's government was supposed to be distributed to the people, but the majority of the people are desperately poor and live on an average monthly income of $20 U.S. dollars. It's reported that the Castro brothers have many millions of dollars stashed away. We stayed in nice hotels that are owned by the government, and often ate in government - owned restaurants. Free-enterprise can't be entirely suppressed, so we were able to eat in 'Paladars', non-government owned cafe's and restaurants, and were told that there are now privately owned Bed & Breakfast type lodging available. In fact we visited one in the Colonial town of Trinidad. Old Havana has some nice 'boutique' hotels.

Several lectures were included in our program. The first one was about Cuba's religion. The woman who presented, a university professor, painted a picture of a country that had no real interest in religion. "Cuba is not religious", she said several times.  This lovely island was originally occupied by Spain having been 'discovered' by Christopher Columbus. The Catholic church was prominent and Christianity was their religious belief. We visited an amazing cemetery where 2.5 million are buried. The statuary made of fine marble was so impressive. Figures of Jesus, crosses, even replicas of the Pieta were displayed. As many groups moved to the island they brought other beliefs with them and were free to practice those beliefs. Cuba imported slaves from Africa, Ireland and China. I believe they worked in the sugar cane and tobacco fields. Most every country at some point has had a history of slavery.

When Castro came to power, he closed the churches. Communism and Christianity don't mix. Only the government is to be 'worshipped', not God. But just like you are unable to stifle free-enterprise completely, spirituality cannot be taken away from people. The Christians simply went 'underground'. The lecturer did not say this, maybe she didn't know, but I know because I've talked to Christian missionaries who've brought in Bibles and taught classes to those gathered secretly in homes. God will always make His presence known! David wrote this in Psalm 139:7. . .

"Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?"

I was thrilled to visit the home of Ernest Hemingway; a delightful place. I remember the 'Bay of Pigs' as a young student and was excited to be able to wade in the warm water along the shore. How different life would have been for the Cuban people if the Cuban rebels, armed and trained by the U.S., had been successful.  I don't doubt that God's plan will ultimately prove 'perfect'. Faith is believing in what you can't see.

** Note about my book, Blogging God's Word. I recently was informed that the publisher, CrossBooks, would not continue to publish. I guess they couldn't compete with so many other publishers. The book will be available until April 30, 2015. Then, it will be unavailable for about two months while I get it re-published.

Thank you Lord for allowing me this pleasant time in a country I've wanted to visit for so long. I trust You to bring about good things as these wonderful, cheerful, bright people look to You to provide change and give them hope for a better tomorrow.



 


Thursday, April 2, 2015

A HAPPY ENDING

 
On the day we call, 'Good Friday', we mourn the death of Jesus Christ. Sunday morning, we celebrate His resurrection. I wrote the 
following poem using words from Scripture.
 
 
REDEEMED
 
John 1, Matthew 27, Isaiah 52:14, Psalm 22
 
 
In the beginning was the word,
and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God.
He was with God in the beginning.
 
Through Him all things were made;
without Him nothing was made
that has been made.  He
became flesh and lived among us.
 
In Him was life, and that life
was the light of men.
The light shines in darkness,
but the darkness has not understood it.
 
At the appointed time in history
told by prophets of old
a bloodied and beaten body,
marred beyond human likeness
was nailed to a cross.
 
The mid-day sun was replaced by
darkness over all the land.
He was heard to cry out;
"My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"
Then, He gave up His Spirit.
 
At that very moment the curtain of the temple
was torn in two from top to bottom.
The law had been fulfilled
providing free access
to God the Father through
the Living Word, Jesus Christ.
 
The earth shook that day, the rocks split,
tombs broke open and
 bodies were raised to new life.
Those present exclaimed,
"Surely, this is the Son of God!"
 
It is finished.
I've been redeemed.
To God be the glory.
 
 
Poem by Bobbe Van Hise
Resurrection Sunday, March 2008

 
 


Wednesday, April 1, 2015

HAPPY EASTER

I made plans many weeks ago to go to Cuba with a relative. Later we realized that we'd be gone on Easter. Easter, unlike most holidays is not celebrated on the same date every year. There is a precise formula used - the first Sunday after the first full moon after the vernal equinox.

What is the most important thing about Easter to you? I hope you have good memories of coloring eggs, searching for candy to fill a special Easter basket, going to church with your family, having a special dinner, often lamb, reminding us that Jesus is the Lamb of God who sacrificed Himself so we may live eternally in heaven.

If Jesus had died a cruel death on a cross, was buried and that was the end of the story, there wouldn't be anything special about this day or about this man. Everyone dies eventually. But Jesus rose again on the third day. I Corinthians 15 tells us that He first appeared to His disciples, and after that appeared to more than five hundred people. The apostle Paul said that if Christ had not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is our faith.

Job wrote hundreds of years before the death and resurrection of Christ. . .

"I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; I myself will see him with my own eyes - "
Job 19: 25 - 27

All those who saw the risen Jesus will give witness to the fact that our bodies also will be raised to new life after death. When Jesus comes to earth again, it won't be as a baby lying in a manger, or a beaten man nailed to a cross. He will come as the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords, our Redeemer and Savior. And do you know what will happen?

It is written: "As surely as I live says the Lord, every knee will bow before me; every tongue will confess to God."
Romans 14:11

Everyone will then know who He is and bow down before Him.

Scripture says that each one of us will give an account of ourselves to God. In other words, we'll stand before God and be judged. Do you know how God will judge us? Only one thing will matter at this point. . .do we know Jesus as Lord? Those of us who have a personal relationship with Jesus had all of our sinful ways die on the cross with Him. We've been washed clean, not because we were 'good' or religious' but because Jesus loved us and paid the penalty for all the wrong we've done. He entered heaven to appear for us in God's presence. Hebrews 9:24. God sees His Son in us, forgiven, and able to live eternally in heaven.

That most famous and oft repeated verse, "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life" comes alive and penetrates our hearts as we celebrate Resurrection Sunday. 

I'll be writing about how the Cubans celebrate Easter in a couple of weeks. I wish you all many blessings in this most holy season.

Lord, I pray that everyone who reads these words has a new understanding of who You are and what You've done for those who believe in You. We know that our human intellect fails us when it comes to spiritual truth. We are dependent on you to reveal truth to us - that You Lord  are the way, the truth and the life and that no one comes to the Father accept through you. (John 14:6)  


 

Monday, March 30, 2015

A PORTRAIT OF JESUS

 

It's the time of year when even those who are not Christians give pause and reflect on who Jesus is. Most of us can come up with many 'titles' that have been assigned to Him. . .Son of God, Redeemer, Prince of Peace, Lamb of God, Savior, King of Kings, Lord of Lords...and so on. Can you add a few of your own?

I've discovered that many believers are not able to Biblically describe the person of Jesus Christ. Jesus is the heart of our faith; without Him, we have no faith, no hope.

I've discovered how important it is to learn a few verses that will make Him come alive to you and others. The Bible does not give a
vague description; it gives us one that is precise and detailed. The following quotes are from the NIV Bible.

John 1 - "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life and that life was the light of men." vs. 1 - 4

"The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us."
John 1:14

These verses clearly state that Jesus was with God in the beginning and He is a part of the triune God. . .Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and most significant, He became "flesh" and dwelled here on earth.

Colossians 1:15 - "He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation."

When we look at ourselves in a mirror, what we see is our image; that's you. This passage goes on to teach that all things were created by Him and for Him, and in Him all things hold together. These words can only describe God; no one else can fit this description.

Hebrews 1:3 - "The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word."

Note these words, "the exact representation of his being." This means Jesus and God are One in the same.

Philippians 2:6 - 7 "Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness."

We learn from this passage that He had the appearance of a man and humbled Himself - even to dying on the cross. Do you know that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow and every tongue confess that He is Lord?

Learn where these verses are in your Bible. You don't need to memorize them, just remember - John 1, Colossians 1, Hebrews 1 and Philippians 2.

I hope you will be blessed during this most holy of holidays and that Jesus, God in the flesh, will be the focus of your celebration.

Thank you Lord for coming to earth as a man, dying on a cross to pay for my sins and to make me acceptable to God the Father with whom I will dwell eternally in heaven, my real home.








Tuesday, March 17, 2015

AN IRISH CELEBRATION


March 17th is the day the Irish celebrate St. Patrick's Day. Many who have no Irish heritage will join the fun. They will dress in green clothing, buy Shamrock plants, go to parades, make special food and drink green beer. The Chicago River will turn a bright green and some pubs will have little green mice running around the bar tops.

In order to understand why this day is so celebrated, we need to study the history of the beautiful country of Ireland, often called the Emerald Isle because of its lush green grasses. At one time this land was occupied by pagans who worshipped their pagan gods. But God had a different plan for this country and as always, what He has been planned will happen -  Ephesians 1:11.

God choose a boy named Patrick, who wasn't even born in Ireland, to come to their rescue, like a savior. He was born in Great Britain 385 AD (in the year of our Lord). At this time Britain was under Roman control. As a sixteen year old boy, Patrick was taken as a slave to Ireland and spent six years as a shepherd. This is significant as it ties in so beautifully with the Biblical theme of the shepherd and the sheep.

Jesus said, "I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me - just as the Father knows me and I know the Father - and I lay down my life for the sheep. . .I give them eternal life and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my Father's hand. I and the Father are one."
John 10: 14, 15, 28 - 30

Patrick escaped and went back to Britain where he received an education and studied Scripture. After some ten years or so, he traveled back to Ireland as a missionary to bring the gospel of Jesus Christ to those who had been deceived and believed in pagan gods. He often used the Shamrock, a three-leafed clover unique to this area, to describe the Trinity; God in three persons - Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Eventually Patrick became known as the 'Apostle of Ireland' and was the first bishop there. We often hear that he was the Patron Saint of Ireland because he drove out all the snakes. Truth be known, Ireland didn't have any snakes, at least not after the post-glacial period.

In the Bible, snake and serpent are the same. In order to understand the allegorical nature of this story, we need to take a look at the first mention of the serpent in the Bible, which is a picture of Satan.

"Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God made."  
Genesis 3:1

The serpent came to deceive Eve and even today, Satan stays true to who he is - the great deceiver. Pagans often worship a serpent symbol, not because they love and honor it, but because they are fearful of it. So when we hear of St. Patrick driving the snakes out of Ireland this is symbolic for driving out pagan gods and bringing in the truth of the gospel. He died in the year 457, or thereabouts. The year seems to be more uncertain than the day - March 17th.

 Here we are hundreds of years later paying tribute to this humble man. What we do for the Lord is lasting. I wonder how many people who are out celebrating this special day know what and who they are celebrating. Maybe you can share this information.

Lord, we thank you for always having a good plan in place. We know that heaven is your throne and the earth your footstool.