Category Archives: Spiritual

Abounding in Hope

This world is full of disappointments, heartaches and sadness. Wouldn’t it be great to have hope?! How about to be abounding in hope?

Abounding means to have or possess in great quantity, existing in or providing a great or plentiful quantity or supply.

I do not know your situation or what you have been dealing with, but God knows. There have been times in my life when I have felt a sense of hopelessness, stemming from helplessness. I think we all go through it at one time or another. The important thing to note, is to NOT stay in the state or feeling of hopelessness. Easy to say, but harder to do.

How can you and I find hope? The world shifts under our feet, people let us down, we let people down, life is hard. Can someone just tell me how?!

“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13 (NKJV)

God has the answer. in fact, He IS the answer. He IS a God of hope and He fills His children with hope. Filled, not just a tiny quantity…but abounding in hope! He knows we need it to survive and thrive here. Not that all of our problems magically disappear but it puts them in a brighter perspective, knowing that God IS in control.

We are given a hope that does not disappoint, because this hope comes from Gods love directly poured into our hearts, it is a hope that helps us hold on and endure hardships and pain.

Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” Romans 5:5 (NKJV)

When we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior and we walk with God, we receive within us, the power of the Holy Spirit.

After Jesus was resurrected and ascended to heaven, a Helper was given to all believers. Look up John 16:5-15 and see the Power believers are given!

The Holy Spirit was given to us by God to help us. If we choose to allow the Holy Spirit to guide and help; we can experience joy and peace during our darkest times. He will walk with us through our troubles, sorrows and heartaches.

We need to hold on to hope. There will come a day when all will be made right and evil will be defeated and forever erased!

“And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, as the former things have passed away.” Revelations 21:4 (NKJV)

May you abound in the hope of God, and may He fill you with His peace and joy.

The FLAG Was STILL There

John16_33As I sit here and listen to the fireworks that marks this 4th of July and our Independence, I wonder how we got to where we are right now.

These past few months, it seems all hell has broken loose. What I would never thought I would see in America—is happening.

We made it through the self-quarantine, we are hearing so many different stories about the Corona virus, I don’t know who to believe and what “Experts” I can trust.  It seems now, we are waiting for the violence and destruction of property and monuments to be over, for sanity and common sense to come back…we are waiting to get back to the life we knew. Will this wonderful country that I love, that my Dad and perhaps many of you and your loved ones have fought for or are currently fighting for—the USA, be what it was?

I wonder how we got here as a country?  What happened? It seems like a blur to me. Why are we so divided? We are called the UNITED STATES.  Haven’t we been through this stuff before? Haven’t we learned ANYTHING??

Perhaps those doing most of the rioting, looting and other acts of violence do not know our history, has it fallen by the wayside in our schools? In our homes?

Maybe those acting out in violence don’t know what the words in our National Anthem means? Do they understand what it meant in a night of fighting to see our flag still flying high in the early morning hours?

Do they not understand what this country has been through to be free…to get where we are…a high price was paid to give ALL of us, no matter our race—FREEDOMS—the freedoms that gives us a voice and a choice…the freedoms that give those who choose to cause harm, a voice—BUT NOT a voice or right to be destructive. THAT is NOT in our Constitution!

It seems we are on self-destruct. What are we to do? The wound seems so deep and festers like a rancid boil—waiting for the next thing to cause it to be inflamed and erupt, spewing hate & discord to anyone close to it.

My heart cries out, How can this be fixed…what can we do to stop the division? Man cannot fix it, a political party can not fix it, even on our “best” days as humans, we fall short. God alone, as we repent and turn back to Him, He alone can heal our land  (See 2 Chronicles 7:14-15).

As I take a deep breath, I am reminded of a song. It was written in 1814 by poet Francis Scott Key, who was inspired by the sight of the American flag still flying over Fort McHenry after a night of heavy British bombardment.

Our National Anthem.

“Oh, say can you see by the dawn’s early light
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars thru the perilous fight,
O’er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?”

Did you get the line? It always makes me tear up every time I hear it—The FLAG was STILL there!  WE MUST NEVER forget what it cost and continues to cost men and women everyday that know this country, this UNITED STATES of AMERICA is worth fighting for!

Through these last few months, I think about what I have learned.

  • I have learned to trust God more. He never changes. The world very easily shifts under our feet all the time.
  • I have learned to do my research and I have learned that many things the main stream media is telling me is not true.
  • I have learned to make informed decisions and I will not be coerced or made to feel like I am insensitive or something is wrong with me if I don’t conform to policies & behaviors not fitting for me.
  • I have learned that I love this country and will fight anyone who seeks to destroy it.
  • I have learned to pray fervently and God will listen to the prayers of His children.
  • I have learned to not let a “few” voices make me fearful.
  • I have learned to listen to Jesus Christ alone and He alone gives me PEACE in all the unrest & chaos.
  • I pray that His words that He has given us to hold onto will comfort and calm you.

“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 (ESV)

Don’t let the world make you fearful. Embrace His peace!

Picture Reference http://www.renewedstrength.org/page/verse-images

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Hope is all I need

Remember  that  song  by The Beatles, All you need is love?

I sang it as a teen…thinking if I had someone to love me, everything would be okay.

As I get older, I realize that it is hope that I need.  Love is important.  We need to feel loved, but for me…I need hope.

Today marks the 8th anniversary of the miscarriage of my baby girl.  I was devastated and had a hard time coping for quite a while. In 2006, My husband & I already had 2 amazing sons and we had tried for more than 8 years to conceive again…we so hoped to have another child, especially a girl. When my test strip finally showed 2 blue lines, I was in shock.  I was old…at the end of my child bearing years.  I was 44 at the time and felt kind of like Sarah…I was sure God was chuckling as He answered my prayers.  Yet tragically just 6 weeks later…she was gone.

I have not shared this heart ache with many, however I feel I must today.  For without hope, I feel I would have given up and faded into the abyss.

I have a loving husband, friends, a great support system but yet I was sinking into blackness. I knew God loved me…but that just wasn’t enough at that low time in my life. I had to find my way back.  I knew I needed to recover to take care of my boys.., they needed me, their Mom…and it was hope that got me through.

Hope that my heartache would subside.  Hope that I could and would be the best Mom I could be to my boys.  Hope that even though I did not get to hold my daughter…I have hope that I will see her one day in Heaven.

I do not know why I had to endure this heartache, however I have learned to not question “why” anymore.  It doesn’t change things…in fact it was causing me to be bitter.  Like whenever I saw a pregnant woman,  a newborn or a child of the same age mine would have been.  Now I pray in each situation and release the pain, the sadness, the longing for what might have been.

He said, “I came naked from my mother’s womb,                                                              and I will be naked when I leave.

The Lord gave me what I had,
    and the Lord has taken it away.
Praise the name of the Lord!”  Job 1:21 (NLT)

I believe that God knows best.  He has a plan.  I will probably never understand His reasons this side of Heaven, but I trust Him.  He has the right to give and take away. He calls us to praise him EITHER WAY!  The pain is there as days like today roll in and try to steam roller me, but I am free because I have hope.

Hope is all I need.

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GOD is Sovereign Over ALL

His masterpieces are everywhere

His masterpieces are everywhere

When life doesn’t go as expected, it is difficult to accept…feelings of regret, resentment and unfairness can easily seep into our subconscious and steal our joy. One bitter, caustic drop at a time, eroding our peace.

In those times it is essential to remember that God is Sovereign over ALL circumstances in our life.  He is limitless, boundless and  unending in ALL THINGS…including His love & mercy for us.  To gain and retain peace & joy, we must allow Him to rule, to call the shots. NO matter what is happening to us.

Sometimes the world can shatter our faith and make us doubt the TRUTH of God.   Often times it draws our focus away from Him, especially when our world is crashing down around us.  Making us feel that we are getting nowhere by adhering to His Ways…that maybe it doesn’t matter what we do or who we follow.

BUT it DOES matter.  In JESUS, we have ALL we need…in this life and more importantly, in the LIFE to COME!

His way is ALWAYS the BEST way.  His way is the way to LIFE.  Jesus tells us, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. John 14:6 (NKJV)

We need to FIX our eyes on Him, sometimes we need to take our glasses off and give them a good cleaning  and readjust WHO we are looking at. When we are at our lowest, our breaking point…HE IS THERE… READY TO LET HIS PEACE WASH OVER US.

Do NOT despair.  It WILL ALL WORK out.

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Believe

Believing what we cannot see

Can we Believe what we cannot see…

Believe…what does that really mean? Are we operating solely on faith when we believe someone?

 

 

 

 

be·lieve

1.  To accept as true or real                                                                                                               2. To credit with veracity                                                                                                                   3. To have firm faith, especially religious faith.                                                                       4. To have faith, confidence, or trust                                                                                         5. To have confidence in the truth or value of something                                               6. To have an opinion; think

believe (one’s) ears—To trust what one has heard.
believe (one’s) eyes—To trust what one has seen.
reference:  http://www.thefreedictionary.com/believe

What about if we cannot see?

Many times, when we believe…we cannot necessarily see what it is we believe…like oxygen…we breathe it in, we have faith that the oxygen is there to fill our lungs.

What about faith in GOD?  Can we believe by reading ?   We have not yet seen God face to face but we believe His Word. We believe the word of others who HAVE SEEN.  We believe GOD HIMSELF breathed His inspiration into men to write His Word.  So if we believe His Word…IT MEANS We believe He LOVES us., CARES for us, calls us PRECIOUS, has a GOOD PLAN for us. YES!

The New Testament urges us throughout to believe in Jesus Christ. The well-known scripture John:3:16 explains that God loved the world and gave His Son so “that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” Believing in Jesus is THE KEY FACTOR.

I believe GOD’s WORD FULLY.  I believe we ALL have a PURPOSE here.  We are here to uplift each other, to let our light shine.  I believe YOU MATTER.  YOU ARE MAKING A DIFFERENCE! I believe you are reading this because God has a MESSAGE for YOU.

Don’t lose heart…BELIEVE.

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Stop Worrying

Stop worrying.  Has anyone ever said that to you? I know I have been told that and have said it many times to people. Just how can we stop worrying?  There is so much going on in the world, in our lives and in our heads.  Does worrying about anything ever help?

Matthew 6:27 says, “Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” 

God is saying to us, “My Precious child, Stop worrying.  It does not help things.  Stop worrying  long enough to hear MY VOICE.  Hear what I have to say about your struggles.  Listen…I am speaking softly to you in the depth of your being”.

Our mind flutters back and forth in anxious confusion.  We are so caught up in our own thoughts that we miss His Thoughts, His Direction, His Advice, His Answer.

This hit me loud and clear…The Creator of the Universe is speaking to us!  Why don’t we listen?!  I don’t know about you, but most times I am too busy listening to the noise of the world or my own thoughts.  If only we would stop and quiet our minds.  We would hear His response.  He longs for us to be renewed in Him.

Romans 12:2 New International Version (NIV) tells us, Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will”.

I have been making a conscious effort to sit quietly in His Presence.  If we can reprogram how we think…we will be able to know His Will.  That in turn gives us less time to worry.  A step in the right direction.

Reference:  New International Version (NIV)

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Seek My Face

Keeping My Eyes on Him

Keeping My Eyes on Him

Jesus urges me to “Seek His Face.”

Doing that takes our focus off of ourself and I find myself putting aside thoughts of everything else.

He is in all that there is and in all I am…all that we are.  His communion with us transcends both time and any of our circumstances.

I wish to open my heart and mind to receive all He has for me…blessings beyond what my finite mind can imagine.

When I am in close step with the Lord, I get a tiny foretaste of what awaits me in the life to come! I wish to be filled with you, Jesus.  More of You and less of me. More of Your ways and less of mine. More Trust, more Faith. Less anxiety.  Less Fear.

I know that Trusting what is unseen is difficult, but how oh so sweet it will be when we can finally gaze upon His Face…a full vision of Jesus awaits ALL BELIEVERS in Heaven!

Picture from http://preparetoserve.com/blog/pictures-of-jesus/

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Spending Time with God

Spending time alone with You, God is essential to my well being.

I need that time to shift my focus from myself to You, Lord. So many times I am consumed by my own agenda…

I don’t have to make it such a big plan about meeting with You that it overwhelms me and I don’t set apart some time. It needs to be THE desire of my heart…it is not an option but a necessity.

I wish to talk to You about what is happening in my life and ask for Your guidance & direction…as a daughter would go to her Dad for guidance.

Why does it seem so hard to do…when it really should not be? I know it takes commitment and practice…however the benefits are astounding! Every step I take toward You, You take many toward me.

You help me make choices & correct my errors in ways that I could only dream of. My pile of mess becomes a beautiful master piece with your input.

Commit & Practice…a little bit each day. I can do it!

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Don’t Be So Hard On Yourself

HE WILL make something BEAUTIFUL of MY LIFE!

HE WILL make something BEAUTIFUL of MY LIFE!

I have made many mistakes in my life. I have done things that I should not have done, said things that I should not have said, and I have remained silent when I should have spoken. All of these things haunt me.

My finite mind tends to look backward, longing to undue some decisions I have come to regret…like not being involved in a church when my children were younger, like not making them come to church with me when I went to church, like letting what others have said to me in error stop me from following the path God has laid out for me. It makes me feel as if I am a complete failure. It sometimes blinds me to all I have done right and freezes me to do what God has called me to do.

I have come to know that this is a complete waste of time and energy and it only leads to frustration.

So instead of wallowing in my pity party of mistakes, Jesus tells me to release all my mistakes to Him. I wish to look to Him, to Trust in Him…to know and look with anticipation at what His infinite creativity can weave… a beautiful tapestry using both my good and bad choices.

Because I am human, I will continue to make mistakes. My failures can be a source of blessing, humbling me and giving me empathy for other people who struggle…maybe a tiny reflection of our Shining Savior.

Failures can also highlight my dependence on Him…JESUS, HE WHO LOVES US MOST. He is ABLE to make beauty out of my messes. I am WATCHING with anticipation and TRUSTING HIM to see what He will DO…HE WILL MAKE SOMETHING BEAUTIFUL WITH MY LIFE…AND YOURS TOO!

My inspiration & Reference: Jesus Calling Inspirational Calendar by Sarah Young, May 9

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So Hard to Say Goodbye

I am deeply saddened by the passing of a young man who left this earth way too  soon.  A life so precious that we will not let it fade.   I cannot begin to imagine the pain that loved ones are going through right now.  I don’t know why some leave this earth way too soon.  In my heart I know that God has a plan and I try to make it make sense…but to my finite mind, it does not .  With grief this fresh,  it is difficult to understand  and It does not initially make it any easier for the loved ones left behind.  It makes no sense, it is all a blur of tears, shock, pain and deep grief.

I think if we are honest, we could all recall saying  at some point,  “Why did God let this happen?”  “Where is his miracle?”   “Where is God?”  According to His Word…God is right here in the middle of it all.  Holding on and cradling our loved ones and waiting for us to allow Him to comfort us.

It is not an easy road to travel.  Family & friends are needed now more than ever…needed to stand together and offer love and support in these sad times.

May I respectfully offer a ray of Hope…some Good News?  You may not want to hear it right now and that is okay…so when you are ready…here it is— If we believe that Jesus is God’s Son and died and rose again to be Our Savior…we can be reassured that we WILL SEE our loved ones again.  When it is God’s Time, Jesus is coming back for us.  He will personally meet us and carry us home.  We have a Heavenly Home waiting.  A home free of pain , tears and sadness.

JESUS says it best, “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust in Me.  There are many rooms in My Father’s house, I would not tell you this if it were not true.  I am going there to prepare a place for you.  After I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me so that you may be where I am.”  John 14:1-3 (NCV)