Patrick Day

The Melody of the Holy Spirit


Friday, February 23rd, 2018

WHEN THE DISCIPLES, overearnest as ever, asked Jesus who was the greatest in the kingdom of heaven, Jesus pulled a child out of the crowd and said the greatest in the kingdom of heaven were people like this (Matthew 18:1-4). Two thousand years of homiletic sentimentalizing to the contrary notwithstanding, Jesus was not being sentimental. He was saying that the people who get into heaven are people who, like children, don’t worry about it too much. They are people who, like children, live with their hands open more than with their fists clenched. They are people who, like children, are so relatively unburdened by preconceptions that if somebody says there’s a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, they are perfectly willing to go take a look for themselves. 

Children aren’t necessarily better than other people. Like the child in “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” they are just apt to be better at telling the difference between a phony and the real thing.  

 

Frederick Buechner

Tuesday, February 20th, 2018

“Yawn! The start of another day in jail. Day after day after day in jail, one week after another in jail.” That’s the interior dialogue of sleepy Christians in the Wright County Jail, or any other jail or prison for that matter. Below will be my opening statement when I give two talks at the Benton County Jail this Thursday (by the way, will you please pray for me that day that I speak only out of the power and direction of the Holy Spirit).

____________________

A young boy of seven named Charles accepted Jesus into his life during a Wednesday youth meeting at his church and excitedly told his whole family when he got home. Three days later Charles pushed his younger sister who had grabbed one of his toys.

She said. “Why did you do that?  I thought Jesus was living within you.” Still seething with anger, he answered, “He fell asleep.”

Now the story is a joke, but it’s not a joking matter. You see, it’s not Jesus who was asleep to Charles, but it was the young boy who was asleep to Jesus. And that’s the story of all of us.

There are a few Christians who are wide awake to God all the time. I’m not one of them. And there are non-believers who are sound asleep to God all the time. Thank God, I’m not one of them.

In between, there are Christians who are awake or asleep to God in various degrees. Some are mostly awake and some are mostly asleep. Some are awake more often and some are asleep more often. Which one of these are you? Which one were you when you committed your last crime?

I can’t 100% guarantee that you’ll never go back to jail again when you get out. But I can say this: “If you stay awake to God in your life most of the time, if you walk His way instead of your own way, your odds of staying out of jail will be dangerously close to 100%.”

_______________

You realize, of course, being the astute Christians you are, that I’m not speaking only to the inmates. I’m speaking as well to you and me. Are we wide-awake Christians most of the time or sleepy Christians much too often, like couch potatoes in the kingdom of heaven here on earth?

 

 

Thursday, February 15th, 2018

My wife and I dashed off to the Great Southwest for the past two weeks, a welcome relief from a steady procession of bleak and wintry days in Minnesota.  We stayed with my sister and her husband in Palm Desert, CA, for a week. Every day was in the 80s.  Then off to Phoenix for a week, with the weather in the 70s.

I played golf twice and Diane met with some of her cousins on three different occasions, once in Palm Desert and twice in Phoenix. It was fun, fun, fun and busy, busy, busy. I could go on and on about all we did and saw, but then I’d be like your out-of-tune relative who doesn’t know when to shut up. I had some good times with the Lord, but that’s not the focus of this message.

Late last night we pulled into our townhome and went to bed immediately. Well, at least after we hauled some luggage inside and took out necessities.  I slept well in our own little beddy bye and awoke to start the day in our own little bathroom and then went downstairs to spend prayer time before our own little fireplace. Then into the day’s routine.

It was a splendid vacation in every way, but I was reminded today of what Dorothy said at the end of The Wizard of Oz: “There’s no place like home.”

Sunday, February 4th, 2018

Check out the article I wrote for Best For Christ magazine entitled Battling Depression. You may also be interested in other articles in this online magazine. Here’s some information the publisher sent to me upon my request.

BestForChrist’s goal is to help our readers to live and grow as Jesus’ disciples not only during sacred moments but also in everyday life.
Here you can find inspiring texts how to grow in your faith, advice how to keep good relationships with the family and other interesting topics related to the Christian life. You can find us https://www.bestforchrist.com/or follow us on FB https://goo.gl/sJy8aS

Article Link 

Friday, January 26th, 2018

TYLER’S VIDEO MESSAGE

Tyler, the young man I’m mentoring, is definitely growing in the Lord. He has a wisdom that can only be explained as the power of the Holy Spirit. Here are a few quotes from the weekly video that he recorded today.

“Stop waiting on someone else or something else to make you happy. Learn how to look around you and see God’s handiwork. Be content in all things, whether you’re hurting or healthy, whether rich or poor, whether it’s sunny out or cloudy.

“Look at the big picture. We’re only here on earth for a short time, as long as an early morning mist. We’re like a leaf blowing in the wind that will soon be dead on the ground. Be content in the here and now. We don’t know when it will be our last day. Be appreciative of what you have, whether much or little. You can choose whether to be happy or sad, anxious or at peace, grateful or scornful. There is a wonderful life waiting for you. Trust God for the present day and rejoice in it.”

A good word for all of us.

 

Tuesday, January 23rd, 2018

LIVING THE GOOD LIFE

I know God better in pain than in prosperity. Maybe some of you are like that. My neighbor across the street, Bob, isn’t like that at all. He stays close to God in good times and in bad, in blessings and calamities, in sickness and in health. I had coffee with him yesterday and asked him why he’s like that.

“Through growing up in a pastor’s house, I have seen people in all sorts of situations and have observed that the best life to live is one lived by the precepts of the Bible. It tells me who I am, how to act, and where I’m going. I have seen Christ at work in the lives of others and myself. Nothing will separate me from the love of God, and I live my life in his service. I am his hands and feet extended.”

Those aren’t just words or lofty ideals. That’s how Bob lives his life. I thought you’d like to know that.

Friday, January 19th, 2018

A QUOTE FROM TYLER

I’m using a new book this year when I visit county jails and drug rehab facilities. Right on the front cover is a quote from Tyler (but under the name of Carl Anthony Raines). You can find out more about this book on the following LINK.

“When I’m with God, good things happen. When I’m not with God, bad things happen. It’s that simple.”

In God’s perfect timing, just at this point while  writing this post, Tyler called me to check in and ask me to pray for his sister and fiance who are having a falling out. I told him what I had written so far, and his response was breathtaking. He has a friend who was in the Wright County Jail for a week, just after my presentation to 45 inmates this last January 12. Though he didn’t make the meeting, I had left an additional five copies of the book for those who wanted one but weren’t able to make it that night for one reason or another. He got one of them and told Tyler about it, mentioning that the three-page story of Carl Anthony Raines sounded just like him.

When Tyler said that he himself was Carl Anthony Raines and that the story sounded just like him because Dan and Tyler had done some of the same stuff together. Dan said, “No way.” Then Tyler told him the quote on the front of the book was also his. It seems this book is being passed around the Wright County Jail and has become a hot commodity. Praise God. He is behind this jail ministry in ways I could never have imagined. And bless Tyler for his faithfulness. He would like some copies of the book that he could talk about and hand out to people who needed it. Who would have thought it?

 

 

Tuesday, January 16th, 2018

LOVE IN THE POLITICAL LANDSCAPE

And they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love
Yeah they’ll know we are Christians by our love
.

Where is this love today, my friends, in the political landscape of this country? Serious Christians are drawn to the outermost poles of the political spectrum, from far left to far right, and seem to have nothing in common. Those who should know better squint to see their far-away fellow Christians and refer to them as they, spit out as if they were part of Satan’s hordes ravishing this country.

What can I do about this? you say. You can start seeing people as people and not ideological aberrations. You can find common ground and steer conversations to that landscape. And what may that be? you say. For those of you who are Christians, that’s the common ground. And love is the common commodity.

Friday, January 12th, 2018

A TEST FOR TYLER

Last week Tyler called me with the bad news that the motor on the car he had bought a couple months back had seized up and would never run again. A total loss.

He calmly said, “You know, Pat, this is the kind of setback that would have driven me to get high on drugs and alcohol two years ago before I put all my trust in Jesus. I’m not sure how He’s going to take care of this, but He will.”

And the Lord did take care of Tyler. The next day he found himself at a car dealership in St. Cloud. If you were on the sales team there, would you sell a car on payments to a guy who has two felonies and a horrible credit rating of 500? Probably not, unless the power of the Holy Spirit was behind the transaction.

Tyler drove out of the dealership in a 2009 Impala with 60,000 miles on it and a bumper to bumper warranty of 3 years or 30,000 miles. He has to pay 19% interest on the payments, but as he said, “It’s a high interest rate, but what can you expect with a credit rating like I have.”

I received a call from the dealership, I think the following day, since I was one of Tyler’s references. The guy asked how often I talked to Tyler. I answered, “At least twice a week. You won’t have to worry about that loan.”

He said, “I know. I thought he was a very nice young man.” Chalk up another one to the Holy Spirit.

Tuesday, January 9th, 2018

BECOMING LIKE JESUS

For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.  Luke 19:10

As He did for us, we are to do for others – the spiritually lost, the captives, the sick, the hurting, the mentally ill, the homeless, the victims of events and circumstances, and those experiencing all the other pains of living in this fallen world.

In Luke 10:37, Jesus talks to us about showing mercy: Go and do likewise. This is not a suggestion, it is a command and requires obedience. I don’t think Jesus is pleased by believers who sit on their hands and don’t make themselves available to those people listed in the second paragraph.

A new command I give you: love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.  John 13:34-35.

This very day, find someone in the list of “others” above that needs you to stand alongside of them. Don’t let this day pass without making a small difference in someone’s life.