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    by Melissa Mathews

The Luck O' The Irish (or A Life Worth Celebrating)
Date Posted: March 12, 2006

"But I entreat those who believe in ...God, whoever deigns to ...receive this document
composed by the obviously unlearned sinner Patrick in Ireland,
that nobody shall ever ascribe to my ignorance any trivial thing that I achieved...
that was pleasing to God...accept...that it would have been the gift of God.
And this is my confession before I die."
-Saint Patrick

This coming Friday, March 17th, people will celebrate a man they know not of. If they really knew anything about St. Patrick, they might not celebrate in such raucous ways, though the influence of his life definitely deserves a party.

His name at birth was Patricious, and he was born somewhere in Roman Britain. His family was Christian, but Patrick was a bit rebellious as a youth and appears to have turned somewhat from the faith of his family. Then, worse turned to worse. He was captured as a teenager and taken to Ireland where he was sold as a slave to a local warlord.

He served as shepherd slave for 6 years. During his many lonely nights in the hills with his sheep, God revealed himself to Patrick. As legend tells, Patrick dreamed one night that a ship was waiting for him at the island's coast—waiting to take him back to his home in Britain.

He escaped and traveled south where a ship was about to sail for Britian. He was allowed on board, but home would not come soon. As he was traveling through Britain he was captured and sold into slavery again. But by God's grace, he was free of his captures in a few months, but spent 7 years wandering Britain, trying to decide God's purpose for his life.

He decided God's will for him was a life of ministry. He went to seminary in France, and then returned to Britain to serve as priest.

Then another dream—an Irish voice begging Patrick to return to Ireland and bring the message of Christ.

And he did. Patrick went to Ireland, the land of his former loneliness and captivity and stayed until he died. Upon his death, Patrick had thoroughly converted the island to Christianity. The truth of Romans 8:28 had been proved once again: "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." (NIV)

God had "worked all things for good" in the life of Patrick- for his good, and for the luck O' the Irish.


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Biography Information:
I'm a preacher's kid, pastor's wife, and southern belle who married a Southern California boy. Can you say 'culture clash?' Scott and I have four boys - Max, Mark, Jackson, and Grant who keep us busy with homework and sports.

Scott and I have been married 22 years and currently live in Northern California where we are beginning year five as church planters. I also teach 12th grade English and love it.

I would love to hear from you. Email me anytime at melissa.g.mathews@gmail.com
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