Category Archives: Hope

aim purposefully

dancing leaves

Let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works.
Hebrews 10:24

It’s a good afternoon for a walk.  The rain has stopped for now and the pup is longingly looking at her leash.  The weatherman says there’s a cold front coming our way making the skies to the north dark and grey, so we decide to take advantage of the break in the rain and head out to enjoy the outdoors.

Walking through the neighborhood, the dead leaves are crunching beneath my boots.  Suddenly the wind begins to gust by us, ushering in another blast of cooler air around these parts.  The lifeless piles of leaves seem to come to life dancing around in circles.  The wind blows them this way, and they go this way.  Then the wind blows them that way, and they go that way.  They swirl and twirl, they bounce and skip, they tumble and glide wherever the wind aimlessly carries them.  Aimless and lifeless . . . full of motion, but void of life.

How many days have I walked around just like those leaves?  Full of motion, going here and there, drifting aimlessly through my day.  How many times have I let the circumstances of my day determine what I do, how I respond?  Do I wake up, roll out of bed not even thinking seriously about the hopes of my day?  That’s not how God intends my day to be.

Instead I need to take time, time to be purposeful about my day.  I need to take the time, time to focus and time to aim myself intentionally asking for His guidance and His strength for every moment of my day.  Remembering, I was created in his image by Him and for His Glory, I was not created to wander about my day aimlessly like those leaves that dance across the street ahead of me.  I was created to be purposeful in His Love. 

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Romans 12:2


light

CIty Centre

Lights are glimmering everywhere I look.  The twinkling lights on a tree, the blinking decorations on buildings, the warm, soft glow of candles.  Lights are beckoning me to remember that the Christmas season is all about light . . . His Light.  

I find myself thinking about the time when there was no light.  The earth was without form and there was no light, just darkness that covered the void of existence.  And then God spoke four simple, but all-powerful, Almighty words . . .

“Let there be light “

And there was light.  And it was good.

My mind marvels at this.  From the very beginning of creation, His light shines in the darkness, yet the darkness did not overcome it.  And throughout scripture Light beckons man.

So at this time of celebration of the birth of a little baby called Jesus, the light that is on my mind is the guiding light that beckoned the simple shepherds and the credentialed wise men to the Savior.  This little baby who was born in a lowly, dark manger came to be Light to this dark world.

“I am the light of the world. Anyone who follows Me will never walk in the darkness but will have the light of life.”

Yes, lights are glimmering everywhere.  Around every corner there are lights blinking and twinkling, gleaming in bright colors or shimmering like icicles.  Lights flickering from the glow of candles or warm fires burning.  The lights beckon us to get lost in the glow of the hustle and the bustle.  

But let’s not miss the Light of the World, whose birth we celebrate.
Without His Light, we walk in darkness – no matter how bright the lights of the world seem to shine around us.  

I want to be a light for Him.

G for the Gores!

 


new every morning

sunrise

One of the beautiful reminders of a sunrise . . .

His compassions do not fail us 

They are new every morning, no matter how dark the night has been.

His faithfulness is there from sunrise to sunset . . . and through the night.

He is my Hope. 

I have deep appreciation for sunrises, which is really kind of funny because I’m not really an early morning person.  My husband loves to catch a sunrise whenever he has an opporutnity and I’m usually just trying to “sleep just a little bit longer. . .” But you know I am never disappointed with losing that little bit of extra sleep, even if I haven’t had my first cup of coffee.

Sunrise – the beauty of Creation paints the morning sky, a reminder of His mercy and His faithfulness.  A reminder that I have been called out of the darkness into the Light.  

Yes, there is something very special about a sunrise.  Yesterday is gone.  Tomorrow is yet to be.  With the rising of the sun, I have His promise of today.


building a palace

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do not fret

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Do not fret . . .  it only causes harm. 
Psalm 37:8

Don’t fret.  Who me? 

Maybe I’m sitting around in a group . . .  or talking face-to-face with a loved one or a friend . . . or sending a note by an email . . . or texting a reply . . . or commenting on a post . . .

It seems so easy for me to say, “Don’t worry . .  Just be patient . .  You’re going to get through this . .  Let’s pray about this . .  God’s got this . . .”  to someone else.  

Afterall, that’s what scriptures tell me – it’s what I’ve been taught from the early days of my childhood.  More importantly, it’s the Truth I’ve witnessed over and over again throughout my life.  So why?  Why, when I was led to read Psalm 37 did the phrase “do not fret” jump out at me?  It wasn’t because it was repeated several times throughout the Psalm.  No, it was much more than that.  It was that word . . . FRET.

There was something about that word . . . that word that I’ve heard my mother use from time to time and one I’ve used myself.  But when I looked it up – there it was speaking straight to me.  It was more than just the association with the word “worry.”

FRET: verb (used with object).

to torment; irritate, annoy, or vex: [You mustn’t fret yourself about that.]
You see for some reason, I thought “fret” was just a little bit of a more positive word for “worry.” Positive?

Torment? Irritate? Annoy?  Vex?
 None of those are extremely positive.  So easy to say, but hard to believe when the world is turned upside down and inside out, when things seems to be out of control and life goes awry.
So again, some time for some inner reflection.
[Why the word “fret”? ]  

Do not fret – it only causes harm.

[Because that’s what I tend to do. I fret. I thought I had that “worry” thing under control.]

Do not fret – it only causes harm.  

[Do I allow things, people, situations, to annoy me?  To irritate me? To vex me?]


Do not fret – it only causes harm.

[I’m reminded of health issues, of a time of depression, of hurt relationships, of a spiritual desert.]

When things in life are moving along without hitting  speed bumps or the pot holes – whether big or small – it’s easy not to fret, it’s easy to wait patiently . . . to abide in Him.  But if I can not “not fret” when the speed bumps come, when the pot holes are waiting in the road for me, or when uncertainty is hiding around every corner then I truly am not trusting and resting in the Lord.  And if it’s not working for me, then how can I say it’ll work for someone else?    I can’t. I can not do it myself. 

Worrying always results in sin. We tend to think that a little anxiety and worry are simply an indication of how wise we really are, yet it is actually a much better indication of just how wicked we are. Fretting rises from our determination to have our own way. Our Lord never worried and was never anxious, because His purpose was never to accomplish His own plans but to fulfill God’s plans. Fretting is wickedness for a child of God.                ~from My Utmost for His Highest

So when I fret, I’m telling God I don’t think He can handle my situation.  All my fretting and my worry is me planning without God.  And that will always cause me harm. 


Hope for the filthy rags

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Even at my very best, I have nothing to offer but filthy rags.

But I have the Hope that will not disappoint!

Therefore, since we have been declared righteous by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus
Christ. 
We have also obtained access through Him by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.  And not only that, but we also rejoice in our afflictions, because we know that affliction produces endurance, 
 endurance produces proven character, and proven character produces hope.

This hope will not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
Romans 5: 1-5


truth

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 “Truth is a glorious but hard mistress. She never consults, bargains, or compromises.” – A.W. Tozer

Truth.  The dictionary defines truth as “the real facts about something : the things that are true.”

Biblically speaking, truth is “not merely truth as spoken; truth of idea, reality, sincerity, truth in the moral sphere, divine truth revealed to man, straightforwardness.”  (Strong’s Greek)

Truth is, we all want someone who we can be vulnerable with . . .

someone we can show transparency, exposing our hurts, shortcomings, struggles . . .

someone we can be completely up-front and honest with.

We want that person to be lovingly understanding of us, show us integrity, be merciful. Yet, so many times in life and in our relationships, we find ourselves turning away from others because people let us down. So we run, or maybe we do a fast walk, or even a slow, sulk.  And then we drift apart . . . or perhaps completely turn away.  So instead, we turn further into ourselves, living in pretense.

But the real truth is . . . we can have that Someone.  

In Christ, I have the Truth.

You will know the Truth, and the Truth will set you free. – John 8:32

I don’t have to live in the trappings of pretense, of the believing the lies the enemy wants me to hear.  The Truth has set me free.

Truth. It does exist . . . it is real . . . it is straightforward.

Sometimes, the Truth has stopped me right in my tracks.  At other times, Truth is tapping me on the shoulder – redirecting my focus, my eyes.  Instead of looking inward, or avoiding the eye contact, Truth tells me to look upward.  Truth reminds me to look around and get myself back on the right road.

 And then there have been times, Truth has had to get me square by the shoulders and look me straight eye-to-eye, just like a parent with a child.   Gently, but firmly, steering me home.

Truth . . . God’s Truth does not consult, bargain or compromise.

His Truth gives me comfort and hope.  It is my Freedom.


meet me in the timelessness

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 Life has different stages of waiting.

There is that gnawing demand on the mind as we wait.

It seems like so much of time we are sitting in a waiting room – that place where I tend to become frustrated with inefficiency and inaction.  With myself, with others.  And yes, at times . . .  even God.

Some of the times of waiting are in anticipation of something good happening – the birth of a new little baby.  The excitement of looking towards starting a new chapter in life.

Some times it is that vast area of waiting for God’s timing in a specific situation or circumstance in my life, the lives of my family, of my friends.

Then there is the  waiting room where I kneel praying for the Prodigal.  It’s often a very lonely place where well-meaning people seem to slip in and out of as time wears on.  It is a seemingly ending vastness of time ticking away – time slipping away.

And yet another sweet reminder comes that God meets me in the timelessness . . . 

and in that time of waiting, He continues to bless me with strength, and joy, and power.

But as for me, I watch in hope for the Lord, I wait for God my Savior; my God will hear me.
—Micah 7:7

 

Wait patiently with Me while I bless you. Don’t rush into My Presence with time-consciousness gnawing at your mind. I dwell in timelessness: I am, I was, I will always be. For you, time is a protection; you’re a frail creature who can handle only twenty-four-hour segments of life. Time can also be a tyrant, ticking away relentlessly in your mind. Learn to master time, or it will be your master.

Though you are a time-bound creature, seek to meet Me in timelessness. As you focus on My Presence, the demands of time and tasks will diminish. I will bless you and keep you, making My Face shine upon you graciously, giving you Peace.
(from Jesus Calling)

 


come as you are

As this new song by David Crowder reminds me  . . .  my hands are dirty.  I am not fit to sit at the Table.

Yet, He calls me and you to His Table.  It doesn’t matter how broken we are, or how far and how long we have wandered from Him, or how much hurt and shame we carry around.  It does not matter – our Abba Father calls us to come as we are.  He invites us to sit at His Table.

Come as you are.  Sit at His table and lay down your burdens, your broken heart, your shame, your wanderings, all your hurts that you’ve papered over through the years.  He will wash you clean and He will heal all the hurts.

 Come As You Are ~ by David Crowder
from Neon Steeple

Come out of sadness
From wherever you’ve been
Come broken-hearted
Let rescue begin
Come find your mercy
Oh sinner come kneel
Earth has no sorrow
That heaven can’t heal
Earth has no sorrow
That heaven can’t heal

So lay down your burdens
Lay down your shame
All who are broken
Lift up your face
Oh wanderer come home
You’re not too far
So lay down your hurt
Lay down your heart
Come as you are

There’s hope for the hopeless
And all those who’ve strayed
Come sit at the table
Come taste the grace
There’s rest for the weary
Rest that endures
Earth has no sorrow
That heaven can’t cure

So lay down your burdens
Lay down your shame
All who are broken
Lift up your face
Oh wanderer come home
You’re not too far
So lay down your hurt
Lay down your heart
Come as you are
Come as you are
Fall in his arms
Come as you are
There’s joy for the morning
Oh sinner be still
Earth has no sorrow
That heaven can’t heal
Earth has no sorrow
That heaven can’t heal

So lay down your burdens
Lay down your shame
All who are broken
Lift up your face
Oh wanderer come home
You’re not too far
So lay down your hurt
Lay down your heart
Come as you are
Come as you are
Come as you are

 


desolate places

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Dry, parched land begs for water.  A picture of desolation.

It wasn’t too long ago that our land was dry and parched.  Cracks were spreading out in every direction across the soil.  We were praying for rain to pour out on the thirsty land.

Just like the land, there have been seasons of desolation, parched places in my life.  Not physically, but spiritually.

“I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground.  I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring and my blessing on your descendants.”  ~ Isaiah 43:3 

How does God see those areas in my life?  He promises to pour out water in those dry places – what mercy!!

Then the rains came.  The dry, parched land soaked in the quenching rain that eventually covered the land and the land began to flourish again.

And so I go to my desolate places and plant myself to seek Him.  I plant myself next to the streams of Living Water and the falling rains and bubbling springs of pure Mercy saturate the places where He knows I need it most.

  Remember God is more anxious to bestow His blessings on us than we are to receive them.
Augustine


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