Pursuing the abundance of a closer walk with Christ

Posts tagged ‘Hope’

Perseverance to Harvesting Hope


Not only so, but we rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.” Romans 5: 3-5 (NIV)
   We all need encouraging.
   I think the Lord may have wanted to encourage me this morning as I opened my Bible to the book of Romans.
“You’re encouraging me to persevere? Haven’t I been persevering? Or do I need to grow beyond the recurring challenges in my life?”
   The Lord sees what is in my heart. He sees what is hidden from my eyes, and what may be hidden from the view of others as well.
   Life can be both beautiful and difficult.
   Each day is filled with wonderful blessings from God. There are also days that include hardships. Hardships as tall as brick walls that you run into and they can become discouraging road blocks. Have you had struggles in your  journey that lasted way longer than you expected? Have you been hindered or delayed from reaching your goals, calling or duty?
   In 2001, an automobile accident interrupted the lives of our family. In fact, it more than interrupted, it changed our lives forever. My husband, Jerry, was knocked unconscious and suffered whiplash. Eight years later, the effects of the untreated whiplash progressed to spinal stenosis in his neck and required surgery to correct it. The surgery went well, but tragically, a blood clot caused his death two weeks later.
   The detour of our automobile crash occurred just two weeks before my daughter Rachel’s fifteenth birthday. She suffered much more than my husband or I. Her head injury quite severe. She needed an emergency last-ditch brain surgery to save her life.  Afterwards, she remained in the hospital five months to relearn how to swallow, eat, speak, dress and eventually walk.  The near fatal accident impacted her emotionally, mentally, and physically.
   It has been a challenge balancing the responsibilities of a full-time caregiver, mother, and guardian throughout her miraculous recovery these past fifteen years. More so has been widowhood these last seven years. I have struggled to care for an older home set in beautiful park-like surroundings as I’ve juggled the special care she requires long-term.
   Sometimes I’m able to accomplish what I need and/or want during the week within the few hours she is away at a supervised work or recreational care facility.  Others times, the reality of living with the effects of a Traumatic Brain Injury break-up that much-needed respite. I should be used to the setbacks. I should be a pro by now, right?
   Recently, I hit a “chuck-hole” in my journey and discovered I needed more perseverance. Last week, I bought paint for the exterior window trim. The next day, I re-injured my foot and strained the tendons in the back of my knee as I reached out to help some one.  Really?!  I waited a year as my foot healed and gradually returned to physical activity. It had only been a month since I was able to walk on the soft cushion of the lawn and ride my bike up and down the road for 20 minutes.
    The hobbling saga aside, the windows needed attention three or four years ago. The neglected wood trim was weathered and had dry rot in places. The caulking was cracked and falling off. The scraping, repair and painting of the window trim I planned to get done, was pushed aside while I attempted to manage the bump in the road consisting of phone calls from nurses and staff regarding the “seizure-quo” activity occurring in the last few days. My daughter began to grieve the loss of her step-dad with the onset of seizures.
   Thank God the reality of our ongoing circumstances have been wonderfully sustained with the abundance of his strength and grace. For the next couple of weeks, I continued with the management of her care by: talking with the doctors via phone, consulting with staff who care for her during the day, scheduling and attending appointments with specialists, transporting her to counseling and testing, making extra pharmacy trips for new seizure meds, providing home skill requirements and recreation, and dealing with the red-tape of tedious paperwork. (“Jesus, take me away!”)
   I tend to drive myself hard in order to finish tasks, and as a result, at times I’ve become burned out, depleted of joy, discouraged and parched. This detailed explanation sheds light on the poem, “Listen to the Rain” previously posted on A Beautiful Life website.
   I need to grow spiritually, grow more into Christ likeness, instead of complaining about my circumstances. I need to consistently praise God because, He is aware of all that goes on in my life. He doesn’t give me more than I can bear, after-all, he bears my burdens. His yoke is easy and his burden light. Matthew 11:28-30 (ref.) I need to respond with the power that is available to me through close communication with him. With his power, I’m able to have a mature attitude. Not an attitude with a capital A. Not a ranting, crying out to God for help in a dysfunctional way, as I try to cope with the challenges.
   My response of humble repentance has yielded a quiet character that hopes. My heart is renewed and filled with love poured out from God through the Holy Spirit.
   From perseverance to harvesting hope.
   It’s harvest time. When we harvest hope, others can also hope to grow into the person God intended them to be. Beautiful inside and out, because God desires to make something beautiful out of our lives.
   Let us be an encouragement to one another. Have you been challenged recently with road blocks in your life? Have you repaired any windows lately? Perhaps you’ve a story to share of how God closed one door and opened a window of opportunity.
   Incidentally, I finished most of the front windows of the house without breaking them or falling. Praise the Lord!

Forward and Onward Victory


January is a good time for me to re-organize my house. More time is available if there isn’t too much snow to deal with. The Winter of 2016 so far, snow has been scant. Amongst the clutter of too many magazines, notes from sermons, journals and books, I found an inspiring poem written by the evangelist, Norman Moore.

 

FACE IT, FORGIVE IT AND FORGE AHEAD

For some of us in our past there’s pain and much abuse.

The hurt is great and the scars are deep, and we wonder, “what’s the use?”

As anger boils down deep inside from suffering in our past, sometimes we react in harmful ways, needing victory that will last.

We read and pray and seek advice, trying hard to cope.

How do we handle our abusive past? Is there any hope?

Face it, forgive it and forge ahead His Spirit comes to say.

We can recover from old hurts and enter a brand new day!

To face the hurts and forgive the wrongs is not an easy task.

But only then can we forge ahead to real victory that will last!

 

Be inspired to forge ahead to lasting victory! Can you hear the Victory song?

“Victory in Jesus” by Eugene M. Bartlett, 1939

“He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1Corithians 15:57) NIV

 

The Heart of Hope


The Heart Of Hope

The Heart Of Hope

 

When searching for an illustration depicting hope, I clicked on Google Images and viewed a large number of various pictures and a few quotes. From an unknown author, a profound expression of vision; “Hope sees the Invisible, Feels the Intangible, and achieves the Impossible.”

One image in the group representing the category of hope showed soil so parched it cracked leaving deep furrows. It reminded me of  the desert in the Death Valley Days western series, yet in this visual, the life of a tiny seeding grew in the midst of an impossible environment.

My quest to provide a picture of Hope brought to mind a few of the Bible verses I’ve committed to memory over the years. “Hope deferred makes the heart sick…”. When confirming the reference of verse in my Bible,  I realized there was more from Proverbs 13:12  I didn’t include, “ but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.”

In this post, I chose to include  the image of an open book illustrating Hope, the inner pages folded toward the center to form the shape of a heart. I would venture to say the book shown here is the Holy Bible.

I can see much more that the graphics of the photo. I see God’s love perfectly binding the pages together with Promise, Wisdom, Truth, Light,  Mercy, Grace, Forgiveness, Salvation through His Son, Jesus, Deliverance, Restoration, Life, Liberty, Peace, Joy, Direction, Purpose and Hope.  I have come to experience a deep wealth of this abundance after accepting Christ as my Savior and as I continue to grow in a daily walk with Him.

Another encouraging verse of hope I memorized was from the Davonne Lee Hide and Keep Ministries. It’s catchy tune plays a melody of blessing in my thoughts and heart from time to time. “The Lord delights in those who fear Him, Who put their Hope in His unfailing love.” (Psalms 147:11 NIV)

Hope in His UNFAILING LOVE! The heart of hope is putting our trust in His Son, Jesus! He is the Heart of Hope and His Word is filled with the Heart of Hope. And He never Fails!

“For God so loved the World He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have ETERNAL LIFE.”  John 3:16 (NIV)

While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. The Heart of Hope is there for us before we are aware of our sin, but, we are not condemned by Jesus!

For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him. John 3:17(NIV)

Once we realize we are in need of a remedy for the sickness caused by sin in our life, God’s Grace and Mercy leads us to the Cross on which Jesus died for our sins. The forgiveness He lavishes on us also cleanses us from sin.

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sin and purify (cleanse) us from all unrighteousness. I John 1:9 (NIV)

Our Creator has placed a longing in our hearts to know Him, love Him completely,  serve and follow Him. More simply put, a relationship with the HEART OF HOPE.

We can be one with our Savior, the Lamb of God, the Creator of everything, who is All-knowing, All -powerful, Omnipresent, Wonderful Counselor, King of Kings and Lord of Lords, best friend ever. Forever!

 

 

“…But a longing fulfilled is a tree of Life.”    

Dear Reader,

Welcome me back to the writing of my blog.

I hope you know and trust the Heart of Hope, Jesus. What better way to begin a New Year than rejoicing together, helping each other and sharing in the Family of God!

I encourage you to grow into His Grace like the tiny seedling mentioned earlier in this post and mature into a tree of Life, where the Heart of Hope lives within.

Blessed to be a Blessing,

 

Greenginger

                       

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