Wednesday, March 17, 2010

It's a beautiful March 17!

Matt and I love you and we prayed for you today. Many around the world are celebrating leprechauns  and green beer today but we are remembering a revolutionary Christian brother who dared to proclaim Christ and reach a nation.  It's inspiring to read from the actual journal writings of Patrick and I want to share with you a brief overview of why he is one of our heroes of the faith.
He was born in England in the 1400s.  As a teenager he knew nothing about God. He was kidnapped by Irish Druids along with many other young people at that time, put on a boat and sold into slavery in Ireland.  Far from home and isolated from family, friends and everything dear, he was enslaved as a sheep herder.  He was treated cruelly, but during the next  7 years he began to call on God and the Lord began to reveal Himself to Patrick.  Kind of reminds me of Moses, or David! He received Christ.  He says in his journal that one of the most powerful scriptures to him was from Jeremiah..."Call upon Me in the day of thy trouble, and I will deliver thee, and you will glorify me.."  The love of God began to overtake him and he was strengthened day by day.  He writes, "I used to get up for prayer before daylight, through snow, through frost, through rain, and I felt no harm, and there was no sloth in me, as I now see, because the spirit within me was then fervent."  
After many years, he escaped his captivity and found a boat to return to his homeland in England.  But soon he felt out of place, and was compelled to return to the Ireland who enslaved  him and treated him cruelly. His passion was to bring to the entire  nation of Ireland the gospel of Jesus Christ.  He returned and began to preach, and teach, and plant churches, and make disciples , and start schools, and train pastors.  For the next decades he evangelized  all of Ireland. Soon he and his teams were sending missionaries to other nations like Germany, France and Holland. Supernatural miracles followed his preaching. He continually used the three leafed  Irish Shamrock, which was plentiful on the hills of the entire nation, to illustrate the nature of our triune God...God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.  This enraged the Druids, because up until then, the shamrock was their symbol! He had many supernatural encounters with the Druid priests and some were converted to Christianity.
This Patrick of Ireland overcame the bitterness and hurt of being snatched from his homeland and family and enslaved and treated cruelly. He allowed the love of God which rescued him to propel him in to his destiny and return to that very place of his devastation and see God pour out His Spirit.  Out of ashes, God brings restoration.  From death comes resurrection.  He replaces our mourning for joy unspeakable.  From destruction He brings life!  Many of the churches Patrick established are still continuing today. And the people he shared the gospel with, he discipled and trained to share the gospel with others, who did the same for others.....and this multiplication continued through the centuries. Perhaps even your life has been influenced by God through the ministry of this man in Ireland.  Today, be encouraged to  be willing do something great for God! He will direct you, enable you, and fill you with His love.  On this Saint Patrick's day, remember this man of God whose example  is so powerful!  And don't be moved if things look like they are not going could be a divine set up!  He is the orchestrator of our life and works all for His purposes.
You are His beloved today.
Love, Amy 

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