Sunday, November 30, 2008

Thankful Hearts

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever. Psalm 106:1

Thank you Lord, for all You are and all You have done for us. May my family, friends and readers be filled with joy and abundance during this season of thankfulness.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Dare to Hope

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. Romans 15:4

This has been a week of challenges and cheers, trials and triumphs. In the past seven days, I've had reason to celebrate. My Dad had serious heart problems, was hospitalized and had surgery to open up 95% blockage. He is home recovering and we expect him to live many years to come. I am deeply thankful. A dear friend in Denver had her first baby, a girl. She and her husband have been trying to get pregnant for nearly five years. Finally, a baby! I am joyful with Tammy and Paul for the new baby, Ellianna Joy.

On the other hand, a woman I know from back home in Milwaukee lost her husband from a sudden heart attack in the middle of the night. He was only in his early 50s. Ed leaves a wife, two kids and a large extended family. A business associate's son, a 20-year old Nothwestern University student, has been missing for over a week. They found some of his belongings near Lake Michigan, but not him.

How do we cope? In the middle of our circumstances we can thank God for his blessings, and we can cry out for his healing hand to help us and those we love.

We can also have hope.

In Joyce Meyer's "The Allure of Hope," she explains that we need more than perspective, we need a new vision. "Perspective helps us cope, but coping is so much less than what our lives were made for. I can't imaging Jesus looking around at His twelve friends at the Last Supper and saying, 'You can have the peace I leave with you if you work really hard at keeping a good perspective on things.' No. He invites them to see differently, to see beyond. He says, 'My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.' (John 14:27)."

Hope runs to the heavenly Father, and holds on. Hope embraces His close presence and finds comfort in his nearness. Hope means less striving and more trust. Trust in the only One who has the power to make real changes and bring healing and life. Hope builds strength of character and changes us from the inside out.

Are you rejoicing today? Are you hurting today? Either way, take time to listen to God today. In the stillness, you find the "Trust Me" you need to find courage and strength in your time of need...and always.

Oh, that I might have my request, that God would grant what I hope for. Job 6:8

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

God Bless America

God Bless America!

For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, to give you a hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Finding Solid Ground in a Shaky World

Today at church our pastor talked about God’s steady faithfulness. In a world that is uncertain, unstable and shaky, he said we can “settle the issue” of where our strength and solid ground is found. Then we sang this song; it’s one of my favorites. Read the words, or listen to a few lines of it by clicking on the title of this post.

And remember the love…and power…and strength available to you that helps us to stand firm. No matter what.

In Christ alone…I will stand.

"In Christ Alone"

In Christ alone my hope is found;
He is my light, my strength, my song;
This cornerstone, this solid ground,
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace,
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease!
My comforter, my all in all—
Here in the love of Christ I stand.

In Christ alone, Who took on flesh,
Fullness of God in helpless babe!
This gift of love and righteousness,
Scorned by the ones He came to save.
Till on that cross as Jesus died,
The wrath of God was satisfied;
For ev'ry sin on Him was laid—
Here in the death of Christ I live.

There in the ground His body lay,
Light of the world by darkness slain;
Then bursting forth in glorious day,
Up from the grave He rose again!
And as He stands in victory,
Sin's curse has lost its grip on me;
For I am His and He is mine—
Bought with the precious blood of Christ.

No guilt in life, no fear in death—
This is the pow'r of Christ in me;
From life's first cry to final breath,
Jesus commands my destiny.
No pow'r of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand;
Till He returns or calls me home—
Here in the pow'r of Christ I'll stand.

Words and Music by Keith Getty & Stuart Townend
Copyright © 2001 Kingsway Thankyou Music