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Category Archives: Prayer

Words

What are the last words you spoke to the last person with whom you spoke?

To be fair, I’ll share mine: “I love you, too.”

But if you’d heard my words yesterday, they would’ve sounded less beautiful. More… ungrateful. Untrusting. Unkind.

Words have the ability to encourage or the ability to destroy. When you add emotions, exhaustion, and ego to the mix, communication can be a minefield. The paradox? We frequently mete our harshest words to the individuals we love the most.

Why is that? Don’t you hate it? I do. I want to be a better listener. A better problem-solver. I want to end a conversation with someone knowing that I’ve affirmed him. In times of disagreement, my desire is that when the conversation is over, the problem has truly been resolved instead of postponed. I want to stop falling into the same speech traps that constantly leave me disappointed and defensive.

The gift of speech is one of the greatest gifts I’ve been given, but I’m so inept at utilizing the spoken word. That’s why the Proverbs wield power. These wise sayings help me to love God and my neighbor.

“Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” Proverbs 12:18

“An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up.” Proverbs 12:25

“He who guards his lips guards his life, but he who speaks rashly will come to ruin.” Proverbs 13:3

“It is to a man’s honor to avoid strife, but every fool is quick to quarrel.” Proverbs 20:3

“A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.” Proverbs 25:11

Sometimes the best use of the tongue is to keep it sealed behind our lips. Silence is a powerful form of communication. The best Communicator who ever lived, Jesus Christ, chose to remain silent even when He was unjustly accused and on the way to His crucifixion. I would’ve been screaming. But He was silent. He knew He was right. Therefore, He had nothing else to say. His final action of love was all that was necessary.

It’s tough to control our words. We should think before we speak, and if we do have to say difficult words, they must be spoken in love. One of the scriptures most difficult to apply is this: “Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless.”

Father, give me wisdom. Use my speech to glorify You and encourage others. Make my words agents of Your healing.

 

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Are you frustrated yet?

3753584003_95eef4f7ce_oYou’re 18 days into the new year, and you still haven’t lost those ten pounds, finished that novel, or gotten your kids in line. Your plan to get the house clean seems to have disappeared beneath a fresh layer of dust, and you’ve apparently misplaced the organization chart you spent hours crafting. Your decision to work out daily was waylaid by a nasty cold, and your resolution to make it to church every Sunday wasn’t quite enough to drag you out of bed on time.

You started the year with such hope lo, those many months…er, days ago. And now, all is lost.

Or maybe you’re like me and quit making resolutions years ago. If we don’t aim for anything, it’s impossible to miss.

Impossible to hit, too.

I jumped on the word-of-the-year bandwagon awhile back, so every year around the first, I pray about what word God would have me focus on for the next 365 days. Guess which one he gave me this year?

Perseverance.

I wasn’t happy when the word came to me, because it means that those things I want might not come so easily. The ten pounds won’t just slip off like pants two sizes too big. The words of the novel won’t glide effortlessly from my fingers onto the screen. The teenagers won’t suddenly behave like mature adults.

So I’ve decided to look at my word from a different angle. Perhaps my word is not about the goals at all. Perhaps it’s about trusting God with everything and slogging forward—“straining toward what is ahead” as Paul so aptly put it (Philippians 3:13).

Would God ask me to persevere in a lost cause? Would he expect me to keep fighting a losing battle? I think not. I think he wants me to fight for what I want and trust him with the results, so that when I do achieve what I’ve worked for, I’ll have truly accomplished something. And I’ll know he was with me all along.

There are still 347 days left in this year to persevere. Imagine what God can do with a servant unwilling to give up.

Bring it on, 2017. I’m ready.

 

DSC_8915-25edRobin Patchen is an award winning multi-published author, but only because she can’t pursue her other dream.

If time and money were no object, Robin would spend her life traveling. Her goal is to visit every place in the entire world–twice. She longs to meet everybody and see everything and spread the good news of Christ. Alas, time is short and money is scarce, and her husband and three teenagers don’t want to traipse all around the world with her, so Robin does the next best thing: she writes. In the tales she creates, she can illustrate the unending grace of God through the power and magic of story.

Check out my latest releases, Convenient Lies and A Package Deal, at my website. Or read more about them below:

Kindle CoverConvenient Lies

What happens when a woman marries her greatest enemy?

When investigative journalist Reagan McAdams discovers her new husband Julien is part of a powerful international crime family, she flees Paris with their newborn, returning to her childhood home in Nutfield, New Hampshire. She plans to gather her inheritance, collect her beloved grandmother, and disappear forever. She’ll do whatever it takes to protect her son from his criminal father. 

But when Reagan arrives home, her heart breaks at the news of her grandmother’s death. Finding her missing inheritance—hidden somewhere on the property—is as impossible as a second chance with her former boyfriend, Brady. Reagan’s feelings for Brady are stronger than ever, but when Julien harms innocent people to smoke her out, Reagan must make a choice.  

What—and who—will she have to sacrifice to save her son?

Only Mine

A Package Deal

Jo didn’t know she wanted children until she learned that cancer had likely ruined her chances to have them. Dared by her friends to try online dating, Jo meets a man who would be perfect—if not for his obvious desire for a family and her too recent cancer scare. 

Carter can’t believe his luck when his first match through the online dating site is the pretty woman from the UPS store. He figures he’ll tell Jo about his five-year-old daughter if things get serious—which he doesn’t figure they will. He’s been burned by enough women not to get his hopes up. 

As Jo and Carter start to fall for each other, they realize the secrets they’ve hidden could tear apart the tenuous bond they’ve created. They both come with baggage. 

Can either of them accept a package deal?

 

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Unwanted Gifts

flexible_flyers_in_snowI’m sure you can remember some of your favorite Christmas presents ever. One year our parents bought my sister, brother, and me those old-fashioned sleds with the metal runners on the bottom. A few days before, the skies had dropped frozen rain on top a foot of snow, so that the little hill in front of our house was as solid as the pond across the street. The sleds flew like rockets down that icy incline. It was one of the most fun and memorable Christmases of my childhood.

Other Christmas gifts haven’t seemed so wonderful.

Last year, my 18-year-old son wasn’t home for Christmas. Instead, Nick was in a rehab facility six hundred miles away. While his being there was a gift straight from God, it sure felt terrible at the time.

Some gifts are like that. They come wrapped in hardship and layered in pain, and they carry the scents of disappointment and shame. But when you get through all the coverings, the treasures beneath are priceless.

This Christmas, Nick is home, healthy, and sober. He’s already had a number of opportunities to share his testimony of God’s grace in his life, and he’ll have plenty more as he heads off to Youth with a Mission next month. We will miss him terribly during the months he’s gone on his mission trip, but even that will be a gift, knowing that God is using him to bring light to dark places.

Some gifts don’t look like gifts right away. And sometimes, those are the best gifts of all.

 

DSC_8915-25edRobin Patchen is an award winning multi-published author, but only because she can’t pursue her other dream.

If time and money were no object, Robin would spend her life traveling. Her goal is to visit every place in the entire world–twice. She longs to meet everybody and see everything and spread the good news of Christ. Alas, time is short and money is scarce, and her husband and three teenagers don’t want to traipse all around the world with her, so Robin does the next best thing: she writes. In the tales she creates, she can illustrate the unending grace of God through the power and magic of story.

 
 

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Thanks to God–and You

Have you ever felt hopeless? Had that feeling that all is truly lost? In fiction, we call it the “black moment.”

I don’t know about you, but I’ve had a few black moments in my life. The worst came a little over a year ago and had to do with my eldest son, who’d made some life-altering and potentially deadly choices. All I could do was watch and pray.

But there was one other thing I did. I told a lot of my friends and family about our struggles. Not because they were fun to share—trust me, they weren’t. I told them because the Lord encourages us to be honest with each other and to and pray for one another. When we pray, He moves. (James 5:14-16, I Timothy 2:1) And our family desperately needed God to move.

My friends here at Quid Pro Quills prayed. Other friends prayed. Extended family prayed. Even some strangers prayed. And guess what? Through all those prayers, the Lord reached and saved our son.

Now, he’s home and safe. He’s a new person in Christ. He believes in the power of prayer as much as the rest of us, because he’s experienced the results of it. He’s so convinced of the Truth and so in love with his Savior, he’s headed to Youth with a Mission this January, where he’ll spend three months in Discipleship Training School before heading somewhere in the world (we don’t know where yet) on a mission to tell the lost about the freedom he’s found in Jesus Christ.

Our black moment was turned into victory, and it’s all because of the folks who prayed and this amazing, beautiful, powerful God we serve.

Tweet this: The prayers of good friends turned our darkest moment into victory.

For those of you who prayed, thank you for interceding for my family. For all of you, if ever you need prayer for yourself or someone you love, please ask me. I would be honored to lift you up the way we have been lifted, to be a part of your miracle the way so many of you have been a part of ours.

If you’d like more information or if you’d considering partnering with Nick on his mission trip through prayers or financial support, click here.

If you’d like more information about this amazing organization, Youth With a Mission, check out this video.

 

 

DSC_8915-25edRobin Patchen is an award winning multi-published author, but only because she can’t pursue her other dream.

If time and money were no object, Robin would spend her life traveling. Her goal is to visit every place in the entire world–twice. She longs to meet everybody and see everything and spread the good news of Christ. Alas, time is short and money is scarce, and her husband and three teenagers don’t want to traipse all around the world with her, so Robin does the next best thing: she writes. In the tales she creates, she can illustrate the unending grace of God through the power and magic of story.

Connect with Robin at her website.

 

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Praying for Truth in the Misinformation Age

liesI have a friend who suggests that the so-called “Information Age” should be relabeled the “Misinformation Age.” I think he has a point, and that point has been sharpened considerably in the last few months. No matter what you think of our president-elect or his opponent, you can prove your side of any argument with just a few strokes of the keyboard and clicks of the mouse. Anybody with even the smallest platform can publish truths, half-truths, or flat-out lies, and regular folks like you and me are left to parse facts from fabrications.

It’s maddening, isn’t it?

I studied journalism in college, and I was proud to be part of a long tradition of men and women dedicated to ensuring the public knew what was going on behind all the closed doors—in police stations and schools and state houses, in courtrooms and congress and the White House. Today, journalists and bloggers and anybody else with keyboard or microphone can espouse whatever they wish—truth or fiction—with no fear of backlash from the public.

Well, it’s time to lash back. The question is, how?

Tweet this: Only God can replace the lies with truth in the Misinformation Age.

I’m sure there are lots of great answers to that, but I just want to focus on one: Prayer.

I pray that America once again becomes a nation dedicated to truth. I pray that citizens will discard the lies—and the sources that advocate them—in favor of honesty and integrity, even when the truth doesn’t line up with our philosophies. I pray that Americans would again be able to distinguish between falsehoods and facts. I pray that we would become a nation capable again of clear and logical thinking that differentiates between feelings and realities. In short, I pray that, as Shakespeare said, “Truth will out.”

Will you join me in praying Psalm 25:5 over our nation? “Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long.”

Only God can accomplish this, but God can accomplish it. Let’s pray that He does.

 

DSC_8915-25edRobin Patchen is an award winning multi-published author, but only because she can’t pursue her other dream.

If time and money were no object, Robin would spend her life traveling. Her goal is to visit every place in the entire world–twice. She longs to meet everybody and see everything and spread the good news of Christ. Alas, time is short and money is scarce, and her husband and three teenagers don’t want to traipse all around the world with her, so Robin does the next best thing: she writes. In the tales she creates, she can illustrate the unending grace of God through the power and magic of story.

Visit her website for information on her latest release.

 

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Pray and Vote

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On the eve of Election Day in the United States, I wanted to encourage you to be praying for this election, for our potential leaders, our country. Along with praying, get out and vote.

This morning on the Christian radio station I listen to (WCRH 90.5 FM), Phillip DeCourcy gave the following quote: “We have a responsibility to vote…Part of obeying the government is to vote.”

Here’s what Romans 13:1-5 (NIV) has to say about those in authority over us: Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience.”

Pray and vote.

social-media-2015 Jodie Wolfe creates novels where hope and quirky meet. When not writing she enjoys spending time with her husband in Pennsylvania, reading, walking, and being a Grammie. She has a regular column in Home School Enrichment magazine and has written for Christian Devotions. Her newest novella released in November, Love in the Seams. Learn more at www.jodiewolfe.com.

 

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The Perfect Response to Facebook Haters

The Perfect Response to Facebook Haters

You know the type. You post something you think is fairly innocuous, and suddenly you get people slinging hateful comments like cow patties. As you read the shocking words, you heart drops, your hands tremble, and your whole body vibrates with anger. Words bubble up from a simmering cauldron you thought you’d taken off the fire years before, and the next thing you know, you’re typing furiously.

You attack. He spars. You’re in a full-blown fight with some Facebook friend you’ve never even met.

And then the dust settles, and you think…what did I just do?

I was in a situation just like this two week ago. I’m still embarrassed by what I said. Not that it wasn’t true. It just wasn’t necessary. Or God-honoring. Or kind.

The next morning, the Lord reminded me of James 1:19. “Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.”

I failed, but perusing Facebook lately, I see that I’m not alone. As our nation becomes more divided and as the political race heats up, people are choosing sides and attacking their opponents as if they were armed with clubs and spears instead of black dots on a white screen.

We’re fighting this battle like it’s ours to win or lose—which is contrary to what the Lord teaches in 2 Chronicles 20:15b: “The battle is not yours but God’s.”

We’re fighting this battle as if people are the enemy when Ephesians 6:12 clearly tells us our battle is “against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”

What truly breaks my heart is when I see Christians engaged in battle against other believers. I’m reminded of a speaker I heard nearly twenty years ago addressing the church. “We have an enemy, folks, and it is not us.”

Believers are not the enemy, even when they disagree with you. Even if you’re absolutely certain they’re wrong and you’re right—and aren’t we all? Truth is, we’re all wrong about lots of things. We are human, after all, and our understanding is limited.

Nonbelievers are not our enemy either. How can those who have never met the Truth know any better? God expects us to love the lost, not attack them.

So what’s the solution when you feel attacked on social media?

  • Don’t fire off an answer immediately, but pause, let the wave of anger pass, and be thoughtful about what you want to say—if anything.
  • If you feel the words someone typed on your page might offend others, delete the comment.
  • Pray for wisdom, and pray for the person who offended you. Wait for the Lord to speak before you say or do anything.
  • If you’re in the wrong, apologize.
  • If you feel you must address something that someone else said, do so privately, as we’re instructed in Matthew 18:15.
  • Have no expectation that the other person will agree with you or repent. If he does, rejoice and be reconciled. If he doesn’t, forgive and, if necessary, step away.

We believers must be very careful during these volatile times to behave in a Christ-like manner. I know how it feels to do this wrong. I’m thankful for God’s grace when I mess up, and it reminds me how important it is to extend that grace to others when they do.

 

Have you been tempted to get involved in arguments on social media? If so, how did it go? What do you do when you see something you disagree with on social media?

*All scriptures pasted from Bible Gateway.

 

DSC_8915-25edRobin Patchen lives in Edmond, Oklahoma, with her husband and three teenagers. Her third book, Finding Amanda, was recently named a finalist in the ACFW Carol Awards and won the 2016 Bookstores Without Borders Lyra Award in the Women’s Fiction category. Its prequel, Chasing Amanda, is currently offered for free at all major retailers. When Robin isn’t writing or caring for her family, she works as a freelance editor at Robin’s Red Pen, where she specializes in Christian fiction. Read excerpts and find out more at her website, robinpatchen.com.

 

 

 

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