Sunday, July 29, 2012

From my Spiritual Journals
November 25, 2000

                                                         Ministering Hope

"The word which God has written on the brow of every man is hope."
                                                                                              - Victor Hugo

Victor Hugo was right about that. When trials come, the first thing that seems to disappear from the discouraged soul is hope. If we, who call ourselves the Lord's are living right, these dear ones will not be left feeling miserable and wretched.
If we're living right, when our paths cross they will see HOPE shining from our eyes, and will soon  realize that the hope they see is not a thing, but a very real person- Jesus Christ.

Every one of us has opportunity to bless others, to bring Christ to others by a gentle touch, with encouraging words, a lift up (a helping hand without judgment). The Lord ministered in this way, and still can through us.

"1  Peter 4:10-11"
Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering  God's grace in various forms. If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ.

"Hebrews 6:19
"We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure."

The world we live in is a very scary place. Millions of people get up each morning and start their day in fear, without friends, are homeless, hungry, in desperate need of a lifeline. Those of us who love the Lord ought to be doing our very best to reflect that hope is Christ.
     At our best we will disillusion others, will disappoint them: at our worst we shall surely do this. But if Christ is at the core of our hearts, if we start our mornings asking for him to guide our speech and actions, we can count on Him doing that. He will bless our efforts to bless others.

People coming towards us,  I always tell my husband, either know the Lord, or are desperately searching for him. If they know him we'll be blessed with their company; if they don't, we have opportunity to make them rich by allowing them to discover hope through us. Let us not fail the Lord. He is counting on me..on you, on us all.



Friday, July 27, 2012

From my morning devotion
lesson (shared in April-2001

Matthew 28:20

"Lo, I am with you all the appointed days."

We don't have to fear the changes that enter our lives. Our tomorrows will find the Lord beside us just as he was the day before- and is today. He has walked with us to this present moment and will be with us at our last.

The years of our lives will contain many experiences: marriage, divorce, births, deaths, new jobs, the loss of a job, a new home- the loss of a new home. There will be happy families and dysfunctional families, and God will be there to rejoice with us, or grieve with us, as He has always done.

"Lo, I am with you.." What comfort; what reassurance. God with us doesn't mean what it means when a man says this. When the LORD says it it means we'll not be betrayed, won't be abandoned, will always have somebody trustworthy in our corner. It means we have somebody on our side, somebody who won't bail out on us when things get rough. It means no matter how bright our day- or how dark the nights, we can depend upon him. His WORD is better than gold.

One of my sons, as a small child - about four years old, feared the dark. Even with a night light on he'd have trouble falling asleep. Every night, I'd tuck him in and reassure him that I'd be in the next room, so he didn't have to worry or be afraid. Yet every night, until sleep found him, he'd call our at regular intervals "Mommy, are you there? Are you still there?"
    This is how we are with the Lord, when the stress of life has hemmed us in, leaving us discouraged, weary, and afraid. It does not seem quite good enough that God says to us  "Lo, I am with you all the appointed days." We still call out to him when we are in trouble, in the dark of night- and  yes, sometimes in the bright of noon-day. "God, are you there? Are you still there?
   Jesus promised to never forsake us. Let's believe him ; let's praise Him for his faithfulness rather than be a doubting Thomas.
Create some wonderful memories today. Be good to others- good to yourselves too. Be patient with yourselves. Don't become discouraged when considering your imperfections but instead, set about remedying them. Every day= a new way. Every day begin the task anew.


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Entry from November 23, 2000

God created our eyes-
and we looked for alternatives.
He formed our ears-

and we listened to the wrong voices.
He gave us feet-
and we walked away from Him unto

loss, loneliness, and despair.
So God created
A Light through the darkness-
and He is the Way.
A Promise amid lies-

and He is the Truth.
A Hope at the graveside-
and He is our Life.
But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive
with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions- it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus...For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
                                                                                                  -Ephesians 2:4-7, 10

To study carefully all of the above is to discover how greatly our Creator loves us. It bothered me to realize how negligent I was for awhile with my Bible lessons; how I put of doing them sometimes, took no time to truly search for the hidden wealth within the pages of Scripture. But now that the Lord has enabled me to get back on track, I realize the value of what I'd almost thrown away.
   We sometimes look at things without really seeing them. Our vision is often clouded by hostility, anger, resentment, sadness, frustration, confusion, and ignorance. We forget that the choices we make keep us close to the LORD,  or cause us to get lost. God is Life. It is HE who provides our daily breath, HE who enables us to walk and talk, love and laugh. To choose to remove ourselves from his presence places us again into the dark valleys of despair, loneliness, fear and loss.
   We have the precious gift of Christ to fill us with warmth, joy, peace and HOPE. He, through the Holy Spirit, guides and directs our lives. If we will but trust him with everything, we'll be amazed at all that he will do for us.

  To those of you going through hard times I wish to remind you that you're never alone, not even midst your darkest of moments. And if you ever feel as if you're alone, remind yourself that you're alone with God, and there is not a safer, or more wonderful place to be.
If you are having a wonderful day, remember that all good things come from above, from HE who created us-created all that exists.

May the warmth of God's love be with you throughout your days and may your sleep be peaceful