I invite you to join discussions, it enhances the reading experience for everyone. Please share your thoughts, opinions and knowledge in a respectful manner. May we all learn something in our endeavor to educate our hearts and minds. I look forward to hearing from you!

Monday, December 4, 2017

A Hopefilled CHRISTmas- reflecting on last year and saying goodbye

When I began this year with the series Building a Framework of Hope I had no idea it would turn into a YEAR long sequence of posts.

Little did I know what God had in store for me. What He wanted to teach me.

You see, these posts were just as much for me as they were for you.

2017 will not go down as the “Best year of my life” or even come close to it.

If I had to put a label on it, I would say 2017 has been the “MOST challenging year of my life”. 

I have been tested, refined, beaten down, shaken, and turned upside down. 

As this year comes to a close I must confess, my world has shifted and I have been redefined. I am still struggling to know who I am and what my role is in this new “norm” called my life. 

But one thing I can say with certainty: I have HOPE.

My foundation suffered a brutal beating this past year, but my Hope stayed secure. 

His Word, His promises, kept me safe in Him. 

Abiding in Him.

Resting in Him.

Learning that I am not alone.

He is always with me.

I don’t know how your year has gone, but I pray you know Who to cling to when storms come your way.

I pray this series blessed you in some way.

While it barely scratches the surfaces of learning to Hope in Him, I pray it’s at least a jumping off point for you. That as you enter 2018, you can build upon your foundation in Christ and mature in Him.

I’m not certain I will blog in 2018. I am still seeking God about that.

May HIS will, and not my own, be done.

Merry CHRISTmas dear Believer.

I pray you have a joyous time celebrating the birth of our Savior and a blessed 2018. 

Perhaps we will meet again in the blogging sphere.

“but 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 be faint.”

Monday, November 6, 2017

To be Thankful- Building a FrameWork of Hope: Part 14

It’s my prayer that this 10 month long series has both challenged and inspired you to find your identity, and your hope, in Christ alone.

He alone is a sure foundation to build upon.

Remember, in a world of uncertainty, He NEVER changes (Heb 13:8)

As we approach Thanksgiving, I pray you take time to reflect upon all the blessings in your life and Thank God for each of them (Phil 4:8).

I pray you also make time to evaluate the trials and setbacks in your life and seek to learn from them. Ask God to show you where He was during these dark times and what He wants you to know. Ask Him to teach you, heal you and refine you. 

Being refined isn’t fun.

But it is a blessing. 

Hard times are opportunities to yield to God’s design in your life, to trust Him more, to know the power and depth of His love.

Nothing can separate you from His love. 

For I know that nothing can keep us from the love of God. Death cannot! Life cannot! Angels cannot! Leaders cannot! Any other power cannot! Hard things now or in the future cannot! The world above or the world below cannot! Any other living thing cannot keep us away from the love of God which is ours through Christ Jesus our Lord.Romans 8:38-39 NLV

I pray that as you set your sights on this upcoming year (2018) that you will embrace any hardships that come your way. That you don’t waste your time or energy trying to fight against God’s plan for you and that you don’t wish your life away by comparing yourself to others or longing for a different set of circumstances to make you happy or give you peace.

True happiness, peace, and joy are not found in a set of circumstances but in the arms of a Savior (John 16:33).

Please don’t view trials as punishment from God. He is not against you. He is for you.

There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.John 15:13 NLT

He’s already laid down His life for you…will you lay down yours for Him?

Will you trust Him with your pain…or continue to rely upon your own understanding? 

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” Prov 3:5-6NIV

Life is full of choices.

How you live your life, is your choice.

How you respond to trials, is your choice.

And what you do with His invitation to Come and Build upon His foundation, is your choice.

What will you choose?

The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let the one who hears say, “Come!” Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life.Rev 22:17 NIV

Happy Thanksgiving.

May God bless you abundantly with the knowledge of how wide, long, high and deep His love is for you (Eph 3:17-19).

Monday, October 9, 2017

There's Still Hope- Building a Framework of Hope: Part 13

Three of the four people I mentioned in my previous post survived the Holocaust. The fourth died just days before liberation.

None of these people could control their environments. They were at the complete mercy of unmerciful people. 

And yet, they didn’t give up. 

They didn’t wallow in self-pity. 

While they didn’t like where they were or how they were treated, they didn’t let resentment fester until it killed any semblance of hope remaining inside.

When we reject the “bad” in life, we are not only rejecting God’s higher purpose for us, but we are also throwing away valuable lessons—lessons that can change our lives, mold our character, and give us a greater purpose for living than we ever dreamed possible

Trials can catapult us into a closer relationship with God, mature us so that we can be used in greater measure, and anchor down the beliefs we hold most dear.

Suffering great loss, such as those who experienced the Holocaust, challenges not only who we are, but what we believe to be true.

When all is taken from you…who are you?

When no one is there to comfort you…where will you turn?

When you can’t avoid the valley…how will you navigate through it?

When your world is pitch black…can you see the light? 

When evil is all around—when you are abused, neglected, or offended…how will you respond?

When trials threatened to defeat you…will you push forward?

While no one knows how they will respond to calamity, how we live our lives NOW is a good indicator of how we will traverse even bigger tragedies.

When we try to control every aspect of our lives we are not being dependent upon our Creator.

I’m guilty of being a “control freak”. I like to make plans and to have more than one “back up plan”. 

But God has shown me that this keeps me immature in my faith, impatient in how I handle setbacks, and full of turmoil. 

In essence I create additional chaos in my life because I am trusting in myself more than I am in Him.
I think my plan is better than His and so I cling to an illusion that I have more control over my life and circumstances than I do.

I am rejecting His will for my life. 

give thanks in ALL circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thess 5:18 NIV (emphasis mine)

We cannot always control our environments or the circumstances we find ourselves in. But we can trust that God is in control.

You didn’t suddenly slip out of His sight. 

He knows where you are and how you feel.

He knows the conditions you are living in.

He feels your pain.

He is not “toying” with you.

You are loved…even when nothing in this world feels very loving (John 3:16-17).

And for that, we can give thanks NO MATTER the circumstances. In ALL things we can have hope.
Our God never fails (1 John 4:4, John 16:33) . 

When life gets tough, you don’t have to “get tougher”, simply trust in God (Deut 31:6).

Don’t let resentment, despair, doubts or fears steal your hope and joy (John 10:10).

HE is our hope and joy (Rom 15:13).

HE is the prize set before us (Heb 12:2).

This world, this trial you are currently in, is not all there is (Heb 13:14). 

There’s still hope.

Enjoy this song by Danny Gokey, “Hope in front of me”.