Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Inspiration on its Way to YOU!

It has been quite sometime since visiting or writing in my blog. Many events have taken place, both unexpected and routine. But during the past few years one thing I have learned and know well...the Lord's joy has been my strength. Even during times of great pain and sorrow, loss and doubt, God has lovingly and most certainly filled me with His joy, eventually.

My desire is to be an inspiration to others through the words He gives me. My call is to bless you through the penning of letters that make you smile, sometimes cause you to cry but always point you to Jesus. Life has become very busy for me in caring for twin 3 year old girls I have been a nanny for since they were born, watching my two youngest grandsons now in their terrific two's, and starting school once again in hopes to finally finish next year with degree in hand! I pray the Lord will fill you to overflowing with words that stir your deepest emotions, food for thought that challenges your greatest opinions, new perspectives that transform the most intricate places of your mind, saturates completely with a supernatural love and hope that floods your soul and paves the road for healing to take place in the deepest crevices of your heart.

The joy of the Lord that has been so graciously given to me at times where I yearned for Jesus to return at any moment I pray will be YOURS for the taking and that YOU will be blessed beyond your wildest imagination! God reminds us in Ephesians 3:20 that He can do exceedingly, abundantly more than we could ever ask or think according to His power that works in YOU!

I encourage you to follow me and my inspirational messages will follow you weekly. May the Lord bless YOU and show YOU the amazing and unconditional love He has for YOU!

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

The Simple Gospel in a Nutshell

If you don’t yet have a personal relationship with the living God, today is the day of salvation. Invite Jesus into your life, give Him your heart and surrender yourself to His will. It will be the best decision you will ever make entire life.

If you believe in God and that He sent His only begotten Son to die for you, (John 3:16), that you may have eternal life, say this simple prayer- “God, I admit I am a sinner and am in need of a Savior. I believe in You Lord and that You sent Your only Son, Jesus Christ, to pay for my sins through the shedding of Jesus’ blood on the cross. I receive this free gift of salvation and ask you to come into my life and make it new. You said old things have passed away and new things have come. I want this new life in You, Lord. Cleanse my heart, forgive me for my sins, those in the past, present and future. Thank you for saving me. I am now a new creation and ask for your guidance in my life. In Jesus’ name, Amen”

If you prayed the prayer of salvation, congratulations! You now have eternal life with Jesus. No longer do you need to fear death, no longer do you have to persevere extreme trials and tribulations alone. God promises you in Hebrews 13:5, “He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” God is your advocate now and with God on your side who could possibly be against you?

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

There's Purpose in the Pain

The past few months have been hard for my family and I. Two deaths of family members that were loved and now missed deeply have captured our attention and seared our hearts. We have shed tears when we thought we had run dry, were surprised that our bodies could operate with such little sleep and that we finally had no more words to speak and strength to comfort as we had previously.

Death has a way of doing this to anyone. It stops you in your tracks, takes your breath away and causes you to stop and think, re-evaluate, remember and sometimes shed regrets you had not idea would exist. You wonder what purpose could there possibly be in this pain?

So what do you do with these thoughts, emotions, heartache and pain? In I Peter 5:7, we are told to "Cast our burdens on the Lord for He cares for us." Just think for a moment, the Creator of this world is interested in YOU and all that concerns YOU. God is aware of what you are going through and does not want YOU to endure it alone. Jesus Christ can give you the strength you need, the comfort you seek and the peace that passes all understanding.

John 3:16 says, "For God so loved the world (You, His creation), that He sent His only begotten Son (God came into the world as Jesus Christ), so that whosoever would believe (you and me) in Him (Jesus Christ, God's Son), would not perish (die spiritually as well as physically) but have everlasting life (to be in the presence of God forever). This scripture offers the FREE gift of salvation that all of mankind need. Everyone needs a Savior and Jesus Christ came that you might have life and have it it abundantly!

Know this...there is purpose in your pain. God does not miss a single tear or is unaware of the pain you are going through. You are the apple of God's eye and He loves you so much He sent His Son to die for you, and Jesus willingly gave up His life for sinners like you and me. Nothing we ever do will be good enough to earn our way into heaven. There is no fire insurance beyond believing that God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to die for you and that Jesus did spill his blood that you would not have to. We are not saved by good works, but by believing in the saving grace of Jesus Christ.

Give yourself to the Lord, surrender your life, believe and be saved. Allow the purpose of your pain to lead you into a lasting relationship Jesus Christ. It will be the best decision you ever make in your entire life. Find a non-denominational church that will disciple you, teach you God's word and read it for yourself. Meet with other believers and hear the wonderful testimony's of what awesome things God does in the lives of those who believe in Him, love Him and follow Him.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

The Cornerstone of Life

"All other ground is sinking sand. A doubting maze of desert land" are the words in a song sung by the group Day of Fire that speaks of God being our Cornerstone. I pondered this while listening to this song and realized if we put our trust in anything less than the awesome deity if Jesus Christ; if we have faith in anyone other than the Creator of this entire world we become one of the weakest links in humanity.

What exactly is a weak link? It's simply the person-hood of someone without strength, power, self control, ability to love unconditionally, forgive graciously and give continuously. A weak link looks to himself as their Cornerstone.

With that said, how do you measure up? I know I certainly have not arrived when I assessed what I put my trust in, who my faith was in and who actually was my chief Cornerstone. Although I devoutly believe in God, have my my faith in Jesus Christ and daily attempt to surrender my life, will, emotion and heart to the Lord, there are areas I have found to be very lacking.

Crises seems to prove who your cornerstone truly is. When things are going good it seems easier to forget who our very existence belongs to. We forget what we believe to be the keeper of our precious lives, our very breath, our sheer destiny in the life thereafter.

What is the foundation of everything we do? What motivates us, drives us, encourages us and even tears us down? If the living God is our Cornerstone, darkness never need to rule the heart of man, as we have been taken from darkness into the light. We are no longer slaves to sin but free to choose for ourselves whom our Cornerstone will be. If it is not Jesus, than who? If it is not the Creator of the world, than who? Is it you? Are you your own cornerstone? Do you place your trust in yourself having faith in no one else?

The most widely read book of all time says No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. In Matthew and Luke this verse is referring to loving God and money, but in reference to who our cornerstone is, we cannot idolize ourselves and choose God as our Cornerstone.

Ask yourself this, who better to build our lives than God Himself, the One Who sees our pasts as well as our futures? Can you build our lives in a away that withstands turbulence beyond your imaginations? Can you successfully resist every fierce storm that attempts to drown your existence and leave you for dead? Can you rebuild that which has been torn down to smitherings? Look at Rome, look at the USA, look at your own life.

Truly all other ground is sinking sand beneath our feet leaving life to be a doubting maze of desert land. Choose God to be your Cornerstone, choose Jesus to be your saving grace and choose life abundantly. It's yours today for the taking!

John 3:16 offers us the life offered nowhere else. "For God loved YOU so much He gave His only Son, Jesus Christ, Who willingly suffered and died for YOU so that YOU would have everlasting life."

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Peace to you our sweet Puppe.... finally you are truly home

Tuesday, January 18, 2011, My husband and I had to put our sweet family Lab to sleep, Puppe. She was thirteen in March of 2010 and loved rolling in the grass, taking herself on walks to the nearby park and around the neighborhood, loved car rides and laying next to me. She was Branden's dog since he was 13 years old, so this is a very hard day for him as well.

Please keep us in your prayers. She has been struggling with cancer for the last couple of years, and could not beat it. Her hips were getting worse, she'd injured her back left thigh going on a walk-about with Boomer in the winter of 2009, and had a hard time getting up. She still managed to trot when she was told to head home after sneakily taking off, loved salami treats, soft food and basking in the sun. Puppe was not real close to any of our dogs but Cookie, and they laid around together often.

Now, Puppe is at peace. She is no longer hurting, suffering, uncomfortable or agitated over licking her wound that would never heal and had quadrupled in size in the past month. We got to have her here in Arizona, and enjoyed her for Christmas. It was time to think of Puppe and help her go onto heaven. Now she is healed, no doubt rolling in the grass like she loved, and her spirit is peaceful and body well.

Thank you Jesus for being with us in the room. Thank you for such a loving and caring vet and staff at our veterinarian's office. They were so peaceful themselves, loving, understanding, oh my gosh, and stroked Puppe like she was one of their own. They gave us time with her first, then came in and explained things to us, gave us more time with her, then sedated her, and after about ten minutes came in and I went to the car. Ken stayed with her as he and my daughter Chrissy felt it would be too hard on me to be with her when she drew her last breath, (I'm sure they were right) and then at 8:47 am she went home, peacefully like I and so many family and friends had been praying.

Today, as I got in the car to come home, without Puppe, my heart sank. Today, as I walked in my front door with leash in hand and Puppe not by my side, my spirit cried deeply. Today, as I sit and try to write this eulogy for Puppe, everything in me wishes her life had been longer, she had been healed and she were sitting at my feet. But it did not happen that way. And today, I am realizing, more than ever, God was with us even though our plans were into carried out. Jesus comforted us and still does. The Holy Spirit was with Puppe and kept her calm even going into the doctor's office. I believe Jesus told Puppe what today was. Because as I was getting things together to leave, Puppe went to the front door, which she seldom does. She walked with us, we helped her in the backseat where I sat beside her, and she didn't fight going in, nor did she act fearful. I think Puppe knew it was time to go home, to run in the pastures of heaven and finally be made whole in the presence of Jesus.

Jamuary 18, 2011 at 8:47 am, Puppe met Jesus... and before me. How blessed Puppe truly is. We miss you Puppe, so very much, but we will see you and love on you again.

During this horrible event, God was with us and with Puppe. What comfort this has brought us. Hebrews 13:5 "I will never leave you or forsake you."

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Salvation amongst the Chaos

There’s a certain chaos in the air these days, that of hatred, and ridicule, judgment and murder. Sometimes I ponder the condition of the world we live in and wonder how our next door neighbor can be the next serial rapist, child molester or deranged stalker. How with so much love one can share with others, why hate, anger, hostility and deception has seemed to dominate this planet. I have come to a sad conclusion, sin.

We live in a sin-filled world full of ill-minded people living unhealthy lifestyles and expecting succession, victory, acceptance and reward. It’s just not going to happen; plain and simple. It’s just not.

When we were created we were made to bring pleasure to our Creator, God Himself. We were chosen for a higher purpose than we could ever give ourselves and for richness no man could ever fathom. But humans comes sin, and so Jesus came to make things right with our Creator. To justify us if you will, so that we would not be punished eternally for our mistakes but instead be pardoned from them. This is where Jesus comes into the picture.

Without Jesus unconditional love for you and me, his shedding of blood on the cross and His resurrection from the dead, our eternal destination would be that of bloodshed, hatred, anguish and a violent punishment we could never imagine. Still there are so many that refuse to receive the free gift of salvation that Jesus humbly offers. Why?

Is it perhaps some do not believe they have done anything wrong to earn them a lifetime in hell? In the book of Romans, chapter and verse 3:23 of the Bible God tells us, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. No one is righteous, no, not one.”

Perhaps it is because we do not think we need saving? Luke 19:10 states, “For the Son of man came to seek and to save the lost.” If we were not lost why do we need saved?

Maybe it is because we feel if we make good decisions, help the poor, give money to organizations, go to church twice a year or refrain from killing anyone we are a good person. Good enough to get into heaven, so we think.

Because we were born into sin through Adam’s decision to eat of the tree of good and evil, we became damned to an eternal life in hell. But in Romans it clearly tells us everyone has sinned and we fall short of the requirements to make it into heaven. In Luke we are told that Jesus, the Son of God, came to save us, the lost.

So now that we know we are sinners, lost and on the road to eternal damnation, are in need of a Savior to bridge the gap between us and our Creator, God, why not simply express this to God, ask for His forgiveness and accept His free gift of salvation?

It just doesn’t get any easier than this. If you realize you were born into sin, understand your life will end in eternal damnation in hell, see how you truly need a Savior and want to spend eternity in heaven and beyond, say this simple prayer.

Lord God, I am a sinner. I believe Jesus died for my sins so that I may spend eternity with You. I ask your forgiveness and accept your free gift of salvation. Change me Lord, help me make the most of my life. Create in me a clean heart willing to please You. Thank you for sending Jesus to die for me. Thank you Jesus, for choosing to take the punishment for my sins, for hanging on the cross and being resurrected back to life. Thank you for loving me, for choosing me, for saving me. In Jesus name, Amen.

Now, share the best decision you could ever make in your life, the decision you just made to give your life to Lord who promises never to leave you, forsake you or forget you (Hebrews 13:5). Find one other person who has made this decision and go church shopping. Look for a non-denominational church that you feel welcomed to, accepted and loved. Attend atleast three church services in a row at the same church in order to gain a rounded view of what the body of believers (the church) believes, has to offer to help you grow in your new-found faith.

May God bless you richly in your eternal relationship with the Creator of this world.

Acts 16:31 “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved.”

Saturday, January 01, 2011

A New Committment for a New Year

As I welcome in 2011, a year of urgency and great expectation for better things to come, I have decided to sell myself out to Jesus, in every way. Those areas I thought I had surrendered I'm laying at the feet of Jesus, praying I can give my worries, cares and burdens to the Lord once and for all.

I have dedicated myself to live for God, to love others as he has loved me, to serve Jesus Christ wholeheartedly and completely living for Him. Now, I am committing to be a woman of prayer, every day. I want my life to reflect Jesus' love, His compassion, His patience, and strength, His will and His choices not only in the parts of my life that are easy to give up, but especially in those I have hung onto, knowingly or not.

As I pour myself out for His glory, His causes, His work, I know He will fill me with Himself so fully, an abundance of Him is what will flow out of me, and that is truly my heart's desire this year... to be completely surrendered to allowing Christ to live in me, through me, consuming every part of me. This is it, the life I once lived I lived for myself, but now, I live 100% for Jesus Christ. Loving others, caring for others, serving others to a greater capacity than I ever imagined.

Won't you commit to a higher cause, a more noble ideal, a lifestyle that glorifies God in every way, every single day? Become a woman, man, young adult, teen, adolescent, child of prayer. Re-commit today, or commit for the first time and watch what God makes of your life and those He puts in your path. Make a new commitment for the new year. Trust God to hold your life in His hands, so that He may mold and make you into a treasure of worth beyond compare. Place your faith in an everlasting God Who loves YOU unconditionally. (John 3:16-17) Prayer changes things, transforms people and blesses others. Pray like your life depends on it...because it truly does.

Friday, December 24, 2010

The Challenge of a Lifetime

In reading my dear friend and fellow writer, Steve Wallace's blogpost today, I was touched and challenged. He speaks on active evangelism, going out and truly being God's hands, feet and voice. Utilizing ministries already set in place, we as God's kids have an army behind us, strategies have proven success rates and tools to easily share the love of Jesus in whatever way or to whatever capacity God offers us. God has ordained and anointed people and programs, ministries and groups for His children to grow but if we only use these devices for our own pleasure, growth or care, what good do they do us in helping the lost, the blind, the broken and shamed?

If our whole hearts are not in evangelizing the lost, what sad, pathetic, useless individuals we become. God's gift to us was His Son Jesus. Jesus' gift to us was His very life. Our gift to them is what we do with our lives.

No more excuses, no more lies, no more ignoring the pain in others eyes. Search deep within, reach out unconditionally, love so much more and do something. Just a week or so before my husband, son and I left Oregon to move to Arizona, my daughter and I had had the opportunity to visit with a homeless man. We invited him to have breakfast with us at McDonald's but upon meeting him there he decided to just take his breakfast and eat outside alone. Buying him food was of little concern, it was just the tool God used to connect our hearts for a brief time. It was relationship that was the needed ingredient here. One in which this man felt unworthy to have with us. I tried to talk him into sitting at a table with us but he refused only saying why would nice ladies like us want to be with a man who's wasted his life? My heart sank for him and broke as he spoke of such hard times as he was growing up that never got better as he aged. I blessed him and said I would pray for him, and to this day I still do.

We may never know the impact or influence our very presence, Jesus' presence, may have on an individual. But we do know God's words will NEVER return void, so if we don't look for the appointments God gives us, so many will remain broken, shamed and hurting. So many lives will remain the same, and so many will die without ever meeting Jesus.

It's not a choice people, it's a calling. And an honorable and mighty one at that. Using ministries already in place empowers you to do the single most simple act in the world, share the gospel with the lost. You are called to share the love of Christ in whatever way God leads you to as He opens doors of hope and opportunities to share. Will you be that link, that connection to Jesus? If not you . . .than who?

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Make a difference in a disadvantaged child's life this holiday season!

This is great for those who want to give to a child in need, a most worthy cause, yet don't have the time to shop for the gift. If you want to be a part of putting a smile on a disadvantaged child's face and to bless his/her heart this holiday season go to this site and give a gift of love Christmas. It is the least we can do as God has blessed us so much with His unconditional love for us through the tiny babe of the nativity (Jesus Christ) and His unselfish death for all mankind's sins. Jesus truly is the reason for the season!

Had to share this w/ all my family, friends and anyone else that feels led to be a part of this great opportunity to bless a child in need. It breaks my son and daughter-n-law's heart's knowing there are children who won't receive a gift of love this holiday season, so they're going to make it happen for as many children as they can with our help through this tax deductible charitable event. Check out this site and make a difference in a child's life!

Thank you Doug and Jessica for organizing this wonderful event!

Monday, November 01, 2010

Whispers of Hope - week 3

Last week we learned about why we need hope. When life comes crashing down on you and you are taken by surprise or aggressively shaken beyond description hope carries you on when you want to give up. You can be filled with hope, rejoice in hope and live fearless lives trusting in an almighty God who wants to give us a reason to be hopeful.

During this journey towards hope, you have read in Psalm 139 how important you are to the living God. He adores you, knew you before you were even born and places such value on your very life. You have purpose and a reason to go on. If you have accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior, your plans for a bright future begin the day you give your life to the Lord. As you surrender every area of your life, Jesus begins to formulate a plan for good, to give you a hopeful future. Enter into that plan today if you have not already, and taste and see that the Lord is good and can remove the pain in your life that has stolen your hope, squashed your joy and left you wanting to end your journey.

Everyone needs hope

Whether you are young or old, rich or poor, famous or unknown, you need hope. Hope imparts strength at times when you are weak and ready to throw the towel in. Putting on a face of joy when your very soul is aching and bleeding does you no good. Allowing God to heal and renew areas of your life that have been so broken and bruised, battered creates new life within you. Life worth living, worth waking up for, worth carrying on. Jesus died because people needed a Savior. Placing your trust in Jesus gives you hope. God fills you with hope so you can rest on eagles wings and soar to new heights. You do not need to remain hopeless, no matter what your situation looks like. God is in the business of making miracles happen.

Blessed beyond Hope

To be blessed by God is one of the most endearing things you can have happen in your life. Knowing God has placed His hand on you, you specifically, and sent His love and care your way, can instill a hope that cannot be shaken. When situations are disturbing, devastating or sorrowful, who do you put your trust in? Is it yourself, friends, family? Perhaps you don't trust anyone because so many you have trusted in the past have let you down. God is worthy of your trust. People are mere humans trying to do the best with whatever gifts, talents, wisdom and education they have been born with or acquired. Jesus is the only One Who always has it together. He can take care of you in ways you will never be able to care for yourself. Let Jesus be the lifter of your head, the encourager of your soul, the very reason you have hope. He won't let you down.

Shifting your focus

Keeping eternal benefits in the forefront of your mind will do much to alleviate the anxiety, worry and fear that so often overwhelms you and paralyzes your plans. In the storms is where our very characters are built up, tested and made stronger. These storms are temporary and will pass. Having faith enables you to see past your circumstances to better days. Seeing that which is not visible requires attention, focus and diligence. Through faith you can view any circumstance, no matter how shameful or intense, although it feels so unforgiving as the waves of doubt and fear wash over your body and rock your spirit. God will bless you in the midst of your suffering. As your eyes turn to Him for protection, for comfort, for answers, He will lift you out of the mire and the clay and place you upon a foundation that is built on rock rather than shifting sand. Real hope and blessings comes from God who has an eternal plan for your life. With Jesus as your guide and your focus becomes eternal, day to day trials and tribulations will seem less intense, less devastating and more manageable. Peace can flood your soul, if you will only ask for it to.

Today, take a moment to bring your cares and lay them at the feet of Jesus. Box them up as you learned during week 1 of this study, and leave them with Jesus, don't take them back. Ask God to show you how to think eternally and focus on things that last more than a lifetime. Ask Him to give you a thankful heart for whatever situation you are in. God has good plans for you, plans to prosper you and give you hope. Let's be mindful of Philippians 4:4, "Rejoice in Him always, again I say rejoice!"


1. Begin a thankful journal. You can purchase a journal from the store or one you can make yourself. A notebook with paper will work as well. Label it, "I am thankful for..." Each day, jot down atleast one thing you are thankful for. It can be an event, a person or something you were given, etc.

2. Write a short note or make a phone call to someone you have been meaning to thank. Tell the person what you are grateful for.

3. Ask the Lord to give you a new perspective on how you see things, people, your situation. Be ready to receive a new game plan or strategy for tackling a trial you are going through.

4. Wake each morning rejoicing in who you are.Remember, if you have received Jesus as Lord and Savior, you are a child of almighty God. If you have not yet asked Jesus into your heart, consider asking Him today. Today is the day of salvation as no one is promised tomorrow.

5. Find 3 scriptures speaking of faith or trust in God. You can use your Bible, online resources such as Biblegateway or a book you have read in the past. Write them down on a 3 X 5 card and place them on your refrigerator or mirror in your bathroom. Read them daily.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Whispers of Hope ~ Week 2

Last week we learned what is the purpose of hope. Looking forward to and believing in something, hope keeps us going when we want to give up, give in and call it quits. Because God reminds us in Jeremiah 29:11, He knows the plans He has for us and they are not for harm but for our good. These plans are meant to give us hope and a bright future. Looking forward to what the Lord wants to share with us and believing what He says to be truth and for our good, let's look into the life of a man who experienced his share of trials yet remained hopeful in His God.

David was a man of much joy and many sorrows. His heart was said to be close to God's and the Lord's hand rested heavy upon David in victory and in defeat. Psalm 42:5 tells of when David's soul was downcast and disturbed. Can you relate? Are you depressed, feel defeated or restless within your body and mind? David puts his hope in God and praises Him. Can you do that when the world around you is falling apart? I know when I am depressed, feel defeated and my soul is restless, praising God has not always been my first response, but I am learning to make it my first response. It seems peace floods my spirit when I begin to put my hope in Jesus to calm the fierce waves that are smashing my dreams and drowning my desire to persevere.

When Hope is Needed

Hope is needed when you feel you can't goon, don't want to live another day nor care to see a new tomorrow. If you are engulfed in depression, despair, feel any kind of improvement in your situation is utterly impossible and are desperately wanting to just stop breathing...do not fear, have hope.

Often small troubles turn into massive trials that seem to last forever. I have family and friends right now battling for their very lives against the evil disease of cancer.I can feel their helplessness in a fight that does not belong to them, but to the Lord of heaven and earth. The despair in their voices yanks at my spirit and I shake my fist at satan and tell him he has no authority over these precious ones that belong to almighty God. As I pray diligently for them, my hope lies in our God to comfort those I am battling for. I pray for them to be filled with hope that only God can give them. I pray they have joy in the midst of the sorrow and peace during their storm. The Lord tells us in Romans 12:12, to rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation and earnestly pray. We have hope if we place our trust in Jesus. He can put joy in our hearts, patience in our souls and give us the strength and the desire to pray earnestly over our present circumstances.

Hopeful for Joy

Although not one of my favorite verses in the Bible, James 1:2 gives the gentle reminder, “Count it pure joy when you face trials of many kids, because the testing of your faith develops perseverance.” Oh my how we need perseverance when being tested, especially when everything seems so hopeless. How in the world might we be joyful during our trials when we lack hope? That's a very good question, but I believe the answer lies in Who we put our hope in rather than what we put our hope in. I Timothy tells us to put our hope in the living God Who is the Savior of all humans, especially those who believe. Do you believe in God? Do you believe in His Son Jesus Christ? Do you believe that God sent the Holy Spirit to give us peace, to comfort us and to teach us?

John 3:16 & 17 says, “For God loved the world so much that He gave His only Son, Jesus Christ, so that whoever would believe in Him would not perish but have everlasting life. God did not come into this world to condemn the world but to save the world through Jesus' death on the cross.” We have hope that we can be assured we will have eternal life if we truly believe that God loves us and Jesus Christ died for our sins, taking all our sins upon Himself, paying the price of punishment with His own blood, so that we could be washed clean. God sees us no more as sinful people, but righteous through Jesus' death on the cross. Accepting this free gift of salvation buys you the right to have eternal life once you leave this world.

Your Journey Towards Hope

As you place your hope in Jesus, begin giving Him the areas of your life that seem hopeless. Imagine placing them in a box, wrapping them up as a gift and laying them at the feet of Jesus. Go ahead, take each area and wrap up your multitude of tears and your basketful of sorrows, the intense pain and deep anguish you feel, and one by one, place each one in the box. Beautifully wrap them and hand them to Jesus. Let them go, and walk away. God sincerely cares for you and wants you to give him all your burdens.

The ways you did things in the past are over with. Don't look back except to ensure you don't repeat past mistakes or useless attempts on your own to remain hopeful for seemingly impossible situations, relationships or outcomes in your life or in others lives. Ask God to forgive you for trying to handle life on your own, without His help, His Spirit and presence in your life. Thank Him for His wonderful gift of eternal salvation if you have believed in God and in His Son Jesus Christ. Tell someone you gave your life to the Lord and surrender your life to the leading and control of your God, the Creator of all life.

I pray you accept God's peace and joy that He so faithfully pours out onto His sons and daughters. In the midst of your storms, you can have peace, the peace that passes understanding. You can have joy and have it flood your soul. You can be so filled with hope from God that it overflows onto others. In Jesus' precious name, amen. Your journey towards hope continues today!

~ Application ~

Read Psalm 139:1-24. Read it aloud as if God Himself were reading to you. Soak it all in, know that you are valuable, were created for a purpose and are priceless to Jesus. Choose a scripture out of this passage that directly speaks to your heart, or a favorite that brought a tear to your eyes. Write it on 3 index cards and place them in different places of your home where you spend a few minutes a day. Re-read them daily and memorize this scripture.

If you believe in God and in His Son Jesus Christ, tell someone today that you accepted Jesus as you Lord and Savior! Today is a day to celebrate for you made the single most important decision you will ever make your entire life. Share it with someone, seek out a non-denominational church to attend and get plugged in with a body of fellow believers so that you may grow in your knowledge of God, and in your relationship with Jesus Christ.

Make a list of all the areas of your life you have given to the Lord today. Then, as they come to mind, list any specific things in the areas you have surrendered. Write each one down on a piece of paper, put them in a cardboard box, and throw the box away. Do not take the box back, leave it in the garbage where it belongs.

Look in a Bible or online at Biblegateway.com for a scripture concerning hope, joy and peace. Mark these in your Bible and reflect on them throughout this next week.

As you accept your importance to God and begin to see yourself as a person of worth, thank God for giving you life, for loving you so unconditionally and giving you the freedom to read your Bible, study His word and have hope in a living God Who cares so deeply about you.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Whispers of Hope - Week 1

For all those going through various trials and tribulations, you know what it is like to feel hopeless. It's that deep, down feeling that nothing is going to get better. You are gripped with the fear that things will only get worse. There is no light at the end of the tunnel nor is there is any reason to believe there should be. Hopelessness paralyzes you where you are and living becomes a chore you'd prefer avoiding altogether.

Webster describes hopelessness this way. It is having no expectation of good or success - despairing; not susceptible to remedy or cure; incapable of redemption or improvement; giving no ground for hope- desperation; incapable of a solution, management or accomplishment - impossible. Despairing, you bet you are, desperate most definitely, impossible, that is exactly how you feel about your situation, that's how you feel about your life.

The Purpose of Hope

The purpose of hope is to give us something to look forward to, something to believe in, something to keep us going when we just want to give up. I love the scripture in Jeremiah 29:11, it reads, "For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future." Each and every person alive has a purpose, provided by almighty God to give them hope for a brighter future.

Our expectations when we are hopeless are those of despair, pain, sorrow, anguish, disgust, desiring to give up completely, aimlessly existing with nothing to look forward to beyond our present circumstances. God wants so much more for His people. He wants us to expect the best even when trials come our way. He wants us to realize He can use our pain, sorrow and suffering for better purposes when we hope in Him. Psalms 42:5 reminds us to put our hope in God when we are in despair, downcast and disturbed.

What Hope Can Do for You

Hope can make you stronger, allowing you to rise about your current circumstances and look to a higher power for answers. Hope can sustain you when all seems futile. Because we live in a fallen world, sin-filled and corrupt, we will encounter pain and sorrow, suffering and our share of problems. But hope gives you the perseverance you need to go on, to wake in the morning, to get out of bed and be thankful you are alive. Hope inspires endurance that can take you farther than any other experience in life. Isaiah 40:31 reminds us, "Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles, they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not grow faint."

What Hopelessness Does for You

Hopelessness steals your joy and brings you sorrow. It can make you upset and feel frustrated enough to just stop trying. Hopelessness is debilitating and makes room for fear, anxiety, and depression to control your life. When you are hopeless, life seems unbearable. Without hope we feel insecure, lacking confidence and are unsteady in all our ways. Low self-esteem surrounds us and the spiritual battle begins.

Where Do You Turn for Hope?

When trials come and you are engulfed in the waves of panic, where do you turn and who do you turn to? The Bible tells us in Proverbs 13:12 that "Hope deferred makes the heart sick." We all need hope, the essence of greater things in life. The purpose of hope is to bring us joy in troubled times, strengthen us when we are weak, give us endurance to run the race and finish successfully and to give us something to believe in, to look forward to.

I pray that God fills you with the hope of joy and peace as you look to Him, so you may overflow with this hope by the power of the Holy Spirit that instills life, love and liberty to your very soul. Your journey towards hope begins today!

1. What areas of your life seem hopeless right now?

2. What have you done in the past to remain hopeful that has not worked?

3. Who can you put your hope in that can give you joy and peace despite the storms you face today?

4. What advantages are there to feeling hopeful rather than feeling hopeless in any situation?

5. What step can you take today to feel hopeful about the areas in your life that seem hopeless?

Friday, October 15, 2010

Whispers of Hope

Today I begin a new journey, one in which I hope will bless and inspire you along the way. I will be sharing on the topic of hope, a four letter word that can throw someone into a tailspin without it, or lift one to new heights with it.

Catherine Marshall says, "God is the only one who can make the valley of trouble a door of hope." I must completely agree, and by the end of this interactive course, I trust you will too.

Because God cares about what you go through in life, He also cares about the most intricate things that shake you, rock you and sometimes cause you to fall. Your faith may be tested in ways you never thought possible. Your beliefs though strong and sure, may be questioned in ways that could cause you to doubt them. Your very life could be threatened because of your belief in God and faith in Jesus Christ. Yet, with hope, no matter how dark the journey gets, how fatal the threats seem or how hard you fall, hope can carry you on the wings of an eagle flying high above the clouds.

Living in the valley of the sun in beautiful Phoenix Arizona, I am reminded that as long as we stay connected to the Son, Jesus, however cold, wet, dreary and dark the skies get when it rains, the sunshine will always reappear to warm our freezing body, dry our drenched hair and brighten the heavens above us chasing out all signs of despair, hopelessness, disappointment or sorrow. Because Jesus is our hope, with Him, all things are possible, Philippians 4:13.

Whispers of hope radiate from the mouth of God and Jesus lovingly picks us up out of the mire and carries us to safety once again. He is our night and shining armor, our King of Kings and Lord of Lords, our rescuer, our guide, the One in Whom we can always trust.

Are you in a valley of trouble where you so desperately seek a door of hope? Join me for the next several weeks in rebuilding your faith, deepening your trust and being filled with the hope that can take you from the valley of trouble through the door of hope on an exciting new journey.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Road Least Traveled

In the kingdom there are many different roads we can choose as we navigate through the paths of life. One thing is for sure, if we take any other road other than the one in which God has destined us to journey upon, surely our road will be rockier, more dangerous and take more time to get where we are going. God has given us the perfect road map if we will but only read the directions and follow His lead.

Proverbs 14:12 says, "There is a way which seems right to man, but its end is the way of death."

I am reminded of so many times I have taken what I thought were short cuts that turned out to be long maneuvers that lengthened the distance to get to my destination and caused my trip to be uncomfortable and wasteful. Paths that lead me away from temptations and struggles are meant to protect me, guide me and enrich my journey. Those which are there to deter me onto paths that are dark, sinful and painstaking I would do best to avoid and ignore.

Proverbs 3:5-6 states, "Trust in the Lord and lean not on my own understanding. In all my ways acknowledge the Lord and He will direct my paths." Simply stated, if I choose on my own to take an alternate route and stray away from the ultimate map, I can only expect to encounter harsh road conditions, a lengthy journey and trials along the way.

When I embark upon troubles I had not planned for, I can't blame anyone but myself for strolling off the path meant to lead me safely to my destination. When I create my own road map of life and navigate myself, it is then I need to realize taking the wrong turns along my trip could lead me off the side of a mountain, against an immovable wall of rock or worse, out of the will of my heavenly Father. Trusting in my own feeble abilities is as useful as being dropped off at night in the middle of the wilderness without a compass to lead me to safety.

Taking the road least traveled and following Jesus' lead will allow the one who created the path to give me the revelation I need to travel the path best chosen for me and avoid certain eternal death. What will you do? Follow the path that safely leads you to your destination or make your own road map and discover dangerous corners at every turn, ultimately leading to an untimely death. The choice is yours...