Inspiration, Christianity and My Life, Children

Archive for the ‘Faith’ Category

Living Without Hope


HOPE in darkness

How can you live without hope?

I have been pondering this question lately.  I don’t have a reference point for not having hope. As a child even when I was sick I always believed that I was well.  I remember one time when I was in eighth grade and suffering from something the doctors were puzzled about. I had to spend time in the hospital for tests, back then they made you stay in the hospital for as many days as it took to give you all the tests to figure out what was wrong. When I got out my mother was so glad that she bought me new pants. For us that was a really big thing. You only got new clothes when you totally wore the old ones out or outgrew them.

Through good and bad times I have been blessed with a faith in God. So I don’t understand those who do not believe in Him. I don’t know how to live without knowing Him. Daily I feel compassion toward those who do not know Him or have rejected Him because of what others have told them. I grieve over the many people who embrace ways to escape from the reality of this life just to survive another day. Is that really living? I say that it is not.

There will always be times of fear and doubt and times when things are really dark, but in those times we should always remember that we have HOPE as long as we believe in God and what Jesus did for us on that cross. Jesus did not come to the world to become a celebrity. He came to make a way where there seemed to be no way for salvation. He came to bring forgiveness because He knew the nature of man. He came to give us HOPE for an eternal life with Him and the Father.

It is much easier to live rather than just surviving another day when in the midst of the darkness you can see a light that directs you. If we could see what God sees we would be able to understand everything, however God does not show us everything so we have to trust in what He has given us and believe in the promise of our future with Him.

Join me in asking God for His perspective and to show His light in the midst of any darkness. Our world is full of darkness but we are called to be the light. My prayer this week is that we will provide the light to the world that is too dark for comfort.  I will be back next week with more.

Advertisements

The Gift


GiftBoxWhat do I want to give? If you are like me and you know that there is a birthday coming up, deciding on a present to bestow is a big issue, especially if the birthday is for your child or grandchild. Today while contemplating this issue I realized that my mind usually goes to “What can I buy this person that will be meaningful?” But maybe the real thought process should be what can I give this person that will be meaningful and helpful in their life?

Buying something brand new seems to be the thing to do because there are so many things to buy out there. However isn’t it much more appropriate and heartfelt to give from what you have? Wouldn’t it be a better gift to share your love for that person expressed in a unique way. For example, if you are artistic then give something artistic, if you are crafty then give something crafty. If you are a writer then put pen to paper and share a story. Or maybe pass on a family heirloom to the next generation.

Buying something is much easier, but who ever said we should always do the easy things in life. I believe that giving something that truly comes from you makes the gift all the more personal and memorable. And if the recipient does not understand at the time, I am sure down the road they will understand and get the message.

God sent Jesus into this world to share the biggest gift that had ever been given. Many of the people He came to share it with rejected His message, but that did not stop Him. He continued on because He knew that someday everyone would have the chance to accept this gift of eternal life with God. Jesus sacrificed all that He had to share Good news and after He left this world His disciples continued on. For over 2000 years the Gospel of Jesus Christ has been shared. Many lives have been saved by its saving grace and mercy.

The greatest gift of all is forgiveness of sins and eternal life through Jesus. Christians should consider it an honor and a privilege to be able to share this gift with the world.

John 3:16 (NKJV)

16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

Be encouraged this week to continue sharing the Gospel because you never know when someone will be ready to accept their salvation.  Enjoy your week and I will be back next week with more.

Invitations


Isaiah 55

I remember when I was just starting this intense walk with God. Our wash machine stopped working and I had to use the local Laundromat to clean our clothes. Laundromats are interesting places; you never know who you will see or what kind of conversation you will find yourself in. I decided that the Laundromat time would be a great time to dig a little deeper into reading the Bible so I took it with me. As I sat and waited on my laundry a lady that I worked with on occasion came into the place.

She noticed that I was reading the bible and that struck up a conversation. She had been divorced and said that her church would not really allow her to participate because of the divorce. She said she knew that the church taught her that divorce was wrong but she could not avoid it. She asked me my thoughts. I explained to her about salvation and how God can and will forgive us of our sins. I explained how God doesn’t condemn people who seek His forgiveness. She was stunned to hear that God would really forgive because her church did not seem willing or able to forgive her.

She was very interested in this and asked what she could do. I then led her in a salvation prayer. When she left the Laundromat she not only had clean clothes but she also had a clean heart. She did not know that God would meet her there and invite her to receive forgiveness, but He did. I went home with clean clothes and a smile on my face having witnessed someone receiving the Good News that God forgives.

I share this today to encourage all of us that we never know when we might receive an invitation or when we might be called to invite someone else into their relationship with God. So be on the lookout and take every opportunity to share His love.

Enjoy your week and I will be back next week with more.

Family Time


family time 2 pictureI believe family relationships are very important to a healthy life. A few weeks ago my husband and I traveled over three hundred miles one way to see our son, Matt in a play. He never really showed an interest in acting in his childhood but has recently become involved in a community theater thanks to his wife Heather. I had traveled to see him play young Scrooge in a Christmas Carol last year since I was close by taking care of my sister after surgery. I really enjoyed that experience. But this time he had a leading role playing Einstein in Picasso at the Lapin Agile, a Steve Martin play.

My daughter and her family also made the trip. We were all very impressed with his acting abilities and the whole cast did an awesome job. Matt even got a great review on his performance. They also added their own twists to the play making it into a bit of a musical. Then they did a version of karaoke at the end. It was great. I love live theater and seeing one of my children acting was a plus. Matt even did good with his singing.

And if that wasn’t enough live entertainment my daughter Jacquie took me to see “Beautiful” a musical about the life of Carol King. It was amazing. I got to see the Bass Performance Hall in Fort Worth, what a beautiful place. I got my exercise in climbing many flights of marble stairs that day.  We could have taken the elevator but it was much more interesting to walk the stairs. I never realized that Carol King wrote so many songs. Then we got to have mother daughter time and ended up walking around downtown Fort Worth for a while. It was a great time.

And if that wasn’t enough family time Saturday I got to watch my grandson Jack play soccer, and score a couple of goals. I also got to sit near “Iron Man” Rex. Superheroes love soccer games. When that was over we walked around the fire department event that was going on adjacent to the soccer fields. We learned about fire trucks, the jaws of life, and how to break a car window to rescue someone. We also got free food from In and Out burger. Jack and Rex got their pictures taken with the Chick-fil-a cow, dressed up as a fire fighter. The boys got to sit in a swat truck and see bomb squad robots. It was lots of fun.

I don’t think that we can ever have too much family time. I am so appreciative of all the time that I have with my family. Really we never know how much time God will let us have on this earth, so it is important to take advantage of all the time he gives us.

Enjoy your week and I will be back next week with more.

Be the Match


IMG_1759I remember as a child going into a cavern with my family on vacation. It was one of the few vacations we ever took together. We went deep into the cave and then the guides turned off all the lights. It was so dark you could not see anything. You had to feel to find out if the person next to you was still there. In the darkness it got quiet and scary. They only left the lights out for a few seconds but in that time I experienced total darkness for the first time in my life.

With the recent eclipse some people were able to experience darkness without entering a cave, but there were still the stars that shone in the sky and the glow around the moon. Brief experiences with darkness can change your life.

I had a co-worker ask me this week, “When did this world get so evil?” It is a question that I have been asking myself a lot lately. We constantly hear on the radio and television about all the evil things that are taking place. There are murders, terrorist attacks, robberies, assaults, and general destruction occurring every day. It seems inescapable. And I have been praying for an answer.

Do I know exactly what has happened? No, but I am sure that some of it is because our society no longer believes in God and has lost hope. So what can I do as one individual? I can choose to react to these evils with love rather than becoming like those who have chosen the easy route and responding with hate. I have found that it is easier to respond to hate with hate than it is to respond with love. From a purely fleshly point of view this is true. However Jesus told us in John 16:33 (NASB):

“These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”

So if we believe in Jesus, have accepted Him as our Lord and Savior and given our life over to Him then we are obligated to respond with love because we are no longer living for ourselves but for the glory of God.

 Galatians 2:20 (NASB)

I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.

So if anyone asks you why the world is so evil try to refocus them to the light of Jesus so they can have some hope instead of being mired in the darkness that surrounds them. I remember in that cave they lit a match and I was amazed at how that small match lit up the whole dark cave. Let us be the match in the darkness and guide the world back to the Savior.

Enjoy your week and I will be back next week with more.

Natural Disasters


hurricane harveySome days I wake up and wonder what is happening to our world. The weather is changing and storms seem to be getting more intense in areas that have not experienced the type of weather we are seeing. People are scrambling to evacuate to a safer place. But not everybody can get out and some are forced to ride out the storm where they are. With unprecedented amounts or rainfall and strong hurricanes, wild fires and earthquakes it feels like our world is falling apart.

Please rest assured that it is not falling apart, but we are being presented with some unusual challenges. The real question is “What will we do in the midst of these challenges?”

We have some options:

  1. We could watch the news stories and talk to others about how bad it is but never really do anything to help.
  2. We could try to ignore the whole thing and go about our normal everyday routine as if we don’t care.
  3. Or we could let the compassion that God has put inside of us rise to the surface and find something that we can do to help those whose lives have been completely disrupted by these natural disasters.

Last week we saw many people put their lives at risk to help rescue others who were left stranded by hurricane Harvey. Even as I write today hurricane Irma is destroying many parts of Florida. Please join me in praying for the safety of those in the path of the storm and for those of us who are safe and comfortable away from the storm that we would all reach out to help those in need. It is going to take a joint effort from all of us to help these areas of our country recover.

There are plenty of nationally known organizations and faith based organizations that will need volunteers and donations to help with the recovery. These disasters are not over and each one affects all of us in this country. As Christians lets show the world that we are compassionate and care for our fellow man the way Jesus did.

Matthew 14:14

When He went ashore, He saw a large crowd, and felt compassion for them and healed their sick.

I will be back next week with more.

Plan “B”


IMG_1752After last week I thought this week would be just a little better. And in some ways it was and in some ways it got even stranger. I understand that the hurricane caused massive damage and closed down a lot of refineries. But I was caught off guard by the gas shortage in the Dallas Metroplex.

Wednesday evening on my way home I contemplated filling up my car but decided I would wait until morning and get the gas on the way to work. Well, the traffic was bad and I didn’t get an early enough start to get gas on the way so I decided I would go out at noon and get gas. Then I heard that there were long lines and stations were running out of gas. So in semi-panic mode I went out at lunch time to see for myself. Yes the lines were too long for me to get gas and make it back to work on time. Since I had enough gas to make it home. I came up with plan “B”.

Bob gets off work before me so I had him go and fill the old truck up with gas if he could find a station that was not out of gas. Then I would just drive the truck to work on Friday. It took him a while but he found one. And it was a good thing because the lines at any gas stations I passed on my way home were even longer than at noon. Bob went out really early on Saturday morning in the car and saw a tanker truck filling up a gas station. He quickly made his way there and was able to fill the tank for me to drive the car to work this week. YES, I have a loving husband who takes care of me!

It always helps to have a plan “B” when life becomes unpredictable.  Being flexible and willing to change the way we do things is essential, no matter how much we want things to be constant and steady. There is One who never changes and always gives us the grace we need to get by in this ever changing world. I hold fast to Him because I know the world will change and will be challenging but God does not.

Hebrews 13:8 (NASB)
 
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. 
 
 
1 Kings 8:57 (NASB)
 
May the Lord our God be with us, as He was with our fathers; may He not leave us or forsake us,

Challenges will come and with the understanding that God is with us, we can make it through anything that comes our way. Enjoy your week and I will be back next week with more.

%d bloggers like this: