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The Importance Of Hope

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Hope can be described in many ways. It is an anchor for our soul in turbulent times. It is a comfort when we are unsure of the direction our lives are taking. Hope is a beacon of light piercing through a fog of confusion.

It is a simple word used in the most complex situations. A cancer survivor may say that it was hope and faith that saw them through the darkest of nights. Wounded soldiers from the battlefield shroud themselves in hope, of survival, of seeing family again, of being whole.

 In the process of life, one can quite easily lose hope: in others, in God, and even in themself. Despair is often cyclical, spiraling into depression and helplessness, leading to even greater despair. The result is that one sad thing leads to another seemingly without end, until we feel that we can’t possibly break free. It can all be a bit too much for our souls to handle, but with hope we have someone to turn to for help.

 As humans, we need hope. Our life would be meaningless without it. Hope is part of the lifeblood of our spiritual survival and it is often the only thing that can pull us out of the deep trenches of pain and hurt in our lives.

 Let God be the source of hope in your life. Paul tells the Romans that our hope rests in a bright future that we cannot see with our eyes, “For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees?” (Rom 8.24)

 We have hope in the form of a promise, that as Christians, we will be adopted as children of God and heirs to the kingdom. We have hope because God can provide patience and comfort through His word while we are on earth (Rom 15.4). Most importantly, we have confidence and hope of eternal life with God.

            In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;” (Tit 1.2)

 God is the source of all hope for a world that desperately needs Him. Unfortunately, many people do not realize they need Him until the depths of despair are closing in. They need a beacon leading their souls to safety. Are you a beacon of hope for the Lord?

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. (Mt 5.16)

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Crumbling Home Fronts

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America’s ambassador to Japan, Douglas MacArthur II, served as Counselor of the State Department under John Foster Dulles. Like Dulles, MacArthur was a hard worker. Once when Dulles telephoned the MacArthur home asking for Douglas, Mrs. MacArthur mistook him for an aide and snapped irately, “MacArthur is where MacArthur always is, weekdays, Saturdays, Sundays, and nights – in that office!”

Within minutes, MacArthur got a telephone order from Dulles: “Go home at once, boy. Your home front is crumbling.” (Source Unknown)

 

            In fact, many home fronts are crumbling away across our nation because spouses do not spend enough time with each other or their children. Parents often work two or three jobs while at the same time making sure the homework gets done, the children are engaged in sports, scouts, or other interests. To be honest, they don’t even spend much time in the same room together, and family meals around the supper table have become a relic of a bygone era

           

            A couple can become more like roommates than husband and wife, spending more time with everything else in life than they do with each other.

 

            Love is a decision to be made and nourished, not just a feeling to be shared once and a while (Eph 5.22-23). A husband must love his wife as much as he cares for himself and wives must give respect to their husband in the same manner.

            God instructs couples to enjoy one another (Prov 5.15-19). How can they do that if they do not willingly build their relationship through mutual love?

 

Parents are to love their children and in truth, most do. Their love however, must go beyond providing for their physical growth and driving them to their games before making sure the homework is done and finally collapsing into bed, exhausted.

Godly parents show true love to their children by bringing God into their homes and making Him the center of it (Eph 6.4, Mt 10.37, Deut 6.4-9).

As God’s people, we have to turn to Him and His way for living our lives. We will be happier when we do. It is time for families across the nation to shore up our foundations, strengthen our homes, reunite with our spouses, and provide our children with the greatest gift of all, a personal relationship with God who loves them deeper than we ever could.

Who’s Your Barnabas?

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There are a few places in this world that are both awe inspiring and humbling at the same time. One such place is the Normandy American Cemetery in Colleville-sur-Mer, France. Row upon row of pristine white crosses line a deep green sea of earth. So many lives lost, dreams cut short, opportunities never realized. Standing there, you may realize that you are truly are in a company of heroes.

(Image via http://home.comcast.net/~ejwoodall/Christmas_In_The_Military.html)

Experiencing the reality of such a place may make one wonder, how will we be thought of by others once our time on earth is done? It is impossible to sum up a person’s entire being with jut a few words, but imagine for a moment, what is the one thing you would like to be most remembered for?

Barnabas was a man, just as we are, and he is mentioned only a few times in scripture. What is said about him however, speaks volumes.

When he came and had seen the grace of God, he was glad, and encouraged them all that with purpose of heart they should continue with the Lord. (Acts 11.23)

(Image Via www.yourdictionary.com)

Barnabas demonstrated his love for the Lord and his fellow man through one of the most powerful means known to man. Barnabas was an encourager! What a wonderful thing to be remembered for. Consider for a moment how our lives would change if we all became more like Christ by following the example of this godly man.

So…Who is your Barnabas?

What About Your Twelve Year Old?

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Have you ever used the phrase, “enough is enough”? If you have uttered those words, when? I must confess, I have recently found my heart hurting and have to shout enough is enough!

            My dilemma, you see, comes from a recent series of ‘best seller’ books that is sweeping the tween and teen world along with many adults. Reviews for these books use words such as thrilling, engaging, a must read, a fantastic book with a wonderfully creative plot.

            Cautious, responsible parents will even be encouraged by reviews such as: “This will be a terrific discussion starter for middle-school literature groups, in which students will quickly make fruitful connections to our own society.” (www.commonsensemedia.org)

Hurray! A great book for my child. Wait!!!

With the same breath, on the same website, we read this…

Violence: Torture and deaths of many important supporting characters, with limbs blown off, faces/bodies melting, and necks broken by frightening beasts hunting them in sewers. Lots of weapon use, both in combat and for hunting. Constant sense of danger and peril. Bombings with many casualties — even hospitals and large groups of children aren’t spared.

And this

Drinking, drugs, & smoking: Lots of a drug called “morphling” — which has the same effects as morphine — is given out to sick patients, including main characters; some become addicted to it. Haymitch is a recovering alcoholic at the beginning of the book, but only because alcohol isn’t allowed in District 13. He’s back to drinking heavily when he leaves.

    This is only the tip of the iceberg of what our children have to look forward to when they read The Hunger Games. Do we really believe this is how our children will make ‘fruitful connections to our own society’?  I don’t like rotten fruit, it makes me sick!

            We must wake up to the hypocrisy of the world. Our society tells its children to “say no to drugs” while encouraging reading about excessive drug and alcohol use and says “it’s just a book, it’s not real”. It goes on campaigns against bullying and violence against women while it shouts hurray for a sixteen year old heroine whose only goal in life is to find revenge through murder.

            The author of the Hunger Games presents a world of suffering and pain to the point that the only way of escape is alcohol, drugs, or suicide. And our eleven and twelve year olds are eating it up like candy!  And we parents sit back and wonder what affects the high teen suicide rates in this country.

Shame on us for allowing this to happen without speaking a word of common sense or, more than that, a word of godly sense.

Speaking of the evil men speak, Jesus says “…For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things.” (Mt 12.34b-35)

Jesus was right; we become a product of what we feed our minds.

God and His word is the source of hope, happiness, blessings, and eternal life. The world is the author of misery, murder, and the loss of all hope.

I ask you…what is your twelve year old reading? What are they feeding their minds?

Here are the poems. Love you …

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Calais sent me these poems this morning and I thought I would share with all of you. She has been writing a lot lately and I am proud of her. The depths and insight an eleven year old girl can reach at times astound me. Sometimes she is light and carefree and at other times her concern for others and the world around her take on a seriousness that some adults have yet to attain. My baby-girl is growing up…<sigh>…

fuelyourphotography.comThe Sea of Time

Adrift upon the sea of time,

Lonely spirits wander from shore to shore,

Cherishing the warmth from the golden sun and the beauty of twinkling stars above.

 

God Is My Friend

God is great,

God is the comforter,

Beside me wherever I am.

He strengthens me when I am weak,

When I am down He picks me up,

He helps me see the evil in worldly things.

He is my Lord,

He is my Savior,

He is my friend and God over all.

A Bible That’s Falling Apart…

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~Paul Nygard

I can’t take credit for this one. A friend of mine sent it to me in an email and I thought I would share.

Consider One Another

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~Paul Nygard

And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching. (Heb 10.24-25)

 

            Take a moment to consider the Christians you know and have known throughout your life. I am almost positive that there will be some people on your list who used to be extremely active in the church. Now they do not attend at all. I have wondered, what must have happened in their lives that they are now able to completely ‘tune out’ God?

            In truth, there are many reasons people use to try and justify turning away from God. Perhaps someone in the family was ill and they needed to be taken care of, or maybe one’s profession became too burdensome. Could their faith have been shaken by some false teaching? Hopefully it is not because ‘someone got upset with someone else’ and they never even tried to talk about it.

            Whatever the reason or excuse may be, most people who become unfaithful seem to have something in common. They miss giving and receiving that spiritual stimulation that is so important to our lives, or at least, they missed it at first. Now, with time, they simply are accustomed to not having it.

            Warning!!! Apathy is just one way that the devil works in our lives. Just like Novocain, apathy deadens the hurt and loss felt by the heart. This deceitfulness can sneak up on us quietly and work slowly. What was once painful in missing God and His people, now are forgotten. This is just one way sin works in the hearts of once godly people.

            So let us consider one another and stir up each other’s hearts to acts of love and good works, especially in worship to God. It may be also that it is your phone call, your hug, your visit, and your love or compassion that rekindles the flame for God in someone. Won’t you consider and act on God’s behalf so that a soul may be saved today?

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