Categories
Hope

Look for the Hope

A friend from my church choir, whose whole family recently recovered from COVID-19, shared a testimony during our praise and prayer time after rehearsal: “Look for the hope.”

I immediately thought of King David’s words in Psalm 112:4 “Even in the darkness light dawns for the upright, for the gracious and compassionate and righteous man.”

Come to think of it, light–no matter how small–always displaces darkness. I experienced this once in a large room of a limestone cavern. The tour guide turned out all the lights; it was the most complete darkness imaginable. “It’s so dark in here you can’t see your hand in front of your face,” he said. “Try it. Stick your thumb on your nose and wiggle your fingers.” Well, I did–looking like one of the three stooges. Suddenly, the lights came back on. “Gotcha!” said the ornery guide.😊

God’s hope is like that. It can illuminate our lives at any moment, because the Lord Himself has his finger on the switch. And, contrary to popular belief, He’s still the BOSS.

And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.

Genesis 1:3 (NIV)

Frankly, I’m in need of some hope from heaven this very morning. You too? Kind reader, our Heavenly Father is able to shed His glorious light, even on the darkest situation. So don’t get caught wiggling your hands in front of your face when He does.😊

This is the message we have heard from Him and declare to you: God is light; in Him there is no darkness at all.

1 John 1:5 (NIV)

🙏❤️ prayers and love.

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Categories
Christian Living sacrifice

A Different Kind of Hero

When his younger brother went off to war in 1942, my grandfather, a bookkeeper, became a reluctant cotton farmer. Their dad was unable to manage 160 acres by himself. So Raymond, my grandfather, came back home to help.

Trading ledger books for leather gloves doesn’t sound like that big of a deal. But PaPaw, as we called him, had a weakened heart–caused by a childhood bout with rheumatic fever. He was well into his sixties by the time I remember him. But, even as a boy, it was clear to me that Papaw had never been a “he man.”

Yet, like so many of his generation, he made big sacrifices for the good of others. And that makes this little 135 pound guy my hero. Sound like anyone else you know?

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In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus.

Philippians 2:5

Recently, Jeff King caused me to ponder what makes a real hero with his post, Quote for 10/11/21. “When we talk about heroes we think of someone elevated, a marble statue on a pedestal.” Jeff goes on to say that actual heroism is often less statuesque. Many who inspire us by their selfless acts are “misshapen,” (Jeff’s word) by their circumstances.

And like a good Christian blogger, he backs up his thoughts with scripture, highlighting the process every hero endures. “Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.” –Romans 5:3-4 (NIV)

For some reason, I’ve always thought of this biblical purification process–from suffering to hope–as a one time deal. But Jeff’s post made me realize it’s actually a repeating cycle.

Caution: for best results, load this type of washing machine evenly. Overloading can lead to life imbalances. It also makes quite a racket!😊

Here’s my favorite hero spin cycle scripture. Please share one of yours!

“Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don’t be impressed with yourself. Don’t compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life.“ —Galatians 3:4-5 (MSG)

🙏❤️ prayers and love.

Categories
Christian Living Self Care

God’s Love is Stronger

As he drove up the ramp to a tall bridge, Dave was at an all-time low. Hopelessness and despair filled the car like a gloomy haze, fogging over his brittle mind. * “Why don’t you just pull over at the top and jump?” said an unreliable voice in his head.

Dave turned on the radio to distract himself from such a desperate thought. A favorite easy listening station cued up a hit by the soulful crooner, Aaron Neville- Everybody Plays the Fool.

🎶 Okay, so you’re heartbroken
You sit around mopin’
Cryin’ and cryin’
You say you even think about dying?
Well, before you do anything rash
Dig this!

Everybody plays the fool sometimes…🎶

The guy behind the wheel (me) couldn’t believe his ears! God used a seemly random song on the radio to send just the right message at precisely the right time. (Stop taking yourself so seriously, David!)

I kept driving that day, off the bridge and into an unsettled future. But one thing was certain. God had directly intervened at a pivotal moment.

Neither height nor depth, nor anything else in creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8:39 (NIV) – emphasis mine

I understand Paul isn’t talking about tall bridges and unbalanced psychological states here, but it fits. Another verse that took on a fresh meaning is, “Love is as strong as death.” — Song of Songs 8:6b (NIV)

God’s love is more powerful than anything we can imagine! (Ephesians 3:20) That’s what I learned that day on the bridge. He has the GPS coordinates for every human heart. Yours and mine too.

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

Psalm 139:7 (NIV)

God’s Love is Stronger!


*If you struggle with thoughts of self harm, please seek out a professional counselor or even a trusted friend. I did, and it made a big difference.

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🙏❤️ prayers and love.