Monday, November 24, 2014

Pray and Hope

Ok, if you are thinking things are hopeless, you need to start reading the tweets Pope Francis sends out.

Let this one in particular occupy your thoughts for the rest of the day.

“There is never a reason to lose hope. Jesus says:  “I am with you until the end of the world.”

“Never a reason to lose hope.” Sure we all have problems, all face difficulties, all live with disabilities, all will have a cross to carry, but all have Jesus who says: “I am with you until the end of the world.”

I’m liking it.

Right about when I’m ready to give up, throw in the towel, admit defeat, and succumb to a lesser me, a message of hope pops up.

Like I said, “I’m liking it.”

“Let your hope keep you joyful, be patient in your troubles, and pray at all times.” (Romans 12:12)

More… “May God, the source of hope, fill you with all joy and peace by means of your faith in Him, so that your hope will continue to grow by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13)

And, if you’re still not quite feeling it… “I alone know the plans I have for you, plans to bring you prosperity and not disaster, plans to bring about the future you hope for.” (Jeremiah 29:11)

Pray and hope.

No reason to ever doubt.















Monday, November 17, 2014

Projects in Progress

Just about everyone I know has multiple projects going on in their lives.

Just like everyone has his or her own special talent.

A person who is willing to use their gift to help others can turn ordinary projects into extraordinary affairs.

I see this every time I read or get involved with helping out at a local homeless shelter called Project Hope.

This is their mission: “To respond to the human hurts and hopes of persons in Lake County who are homeless by providing emergency shelter, care, and guidance in the name and for the sake of Jesus Christ.”

My husband and I recently signed up to volunteer for an evening shift. I thought it would be easy to stand behind a counter and dish out portions of a meal to the homeless who happened to be in attendance. (I didn’t realize how humbling of an experience I was about to encounter.)

Before any serving or eating began a few announcements were made, and then as instructed we gracefully gave our attention to the evening prayer being spoken.

All bowed down, and together we gave thanks for the generosity of the meal providers, and the volunteers who were present. Here the homeless clapped (my heart humbly fell to the pit of my stomach.) We prayed for the people who didn’t make it to a shelter for the night, and we prayed for the needs of all those present.

After that a procession started, and as the guests came through the buffet line to receive their dinner meal, it hit home with me exactly how fortunate I am, how carefree I live - never knowing what it is like to be hungry or without a bed to sleep on. As my eyes met theirs I saw people who were grateful, people who were hungry, people who were confused, people who were alone, people who needed hope. (Never have I felt more humble than I did then.)

Sadly I couldn’t help but wonder if any of them felt Godforsaken.

It seems to me that being homeless means more than living without a roof covering your head. I can understand how being without shelter could lead to feeling abandoned, destitute, uncared for, lonely, helpless, forgotten, poor, lost. I could see how the situation could cause a person to become withdrawn from society, looked upon as that of an outcast.

Places like Project Hope, respond to the call of our Lord. Proof can be found in Matthew 13:20 “For where two or three come together in My name, I am there with them.”

When we come together to use our gifts to help others under the love and guidance of our Lord, ordinary projects become extraordinary.

Support Project Hope, (or like projects that help those in need.)

God forbid should those needing food and hope ever feel Godforsaken.

"for I was hungry and you gave me
something to eat,
I was thirsty and you gave me
something to drink,
I was a stranger and you invited me in..."















Tuesday, November 11, 2014

My Cup Overflows

Most of the people I know who say and live as such are filled with blessings that have come about from some type of brokenness.

They will tell you some amazing things as they describe how their current cross is a blessing in disguise. They speak from the bottom of their heart proclaiming they are okay with whatever has happened and may continue to happen to them. They’ll go on and on at how God continues to bless them over and over.

What others look at as tough luck, is what they thank God for! Their cup is filled to the brim, overflowing with blessings.

Easy to get where they are? No.

Anyone who has a cross to carry knows this, and by the way who doesn’t have a cross to carry?

Have you set your cup down and took a look at some of the blessings pouring in?

Fresh air to breathe, clean water to drink, legs that move, eyes that see, three meals a day, solid roof overhead, second chances, hope for all problems, family to gather with, friendships to enjoy, being loved, loving others.

And that’s just the sloshing going around at the bottom of the cup.

Psalm 23:5-6 reads, “You prepare a banquet for me, where all my enemies can see me; You welcome me as an honored guest and fill my cup to the brim. I know that Your goodness and love will be with me all my life; and Your house will be my home as long as I live.”

So many blessings are being offered for those who care to drink.

Indeed, we are a group of people whose cup overflows!

"The Lord
is
my shepherd;
I have everything
I need."
(Psalm 23:1)








Thursday, November 6, 2014

Oh Fudge

Homemade peanut butter fudge is my ultimate favorite.

It is so rich, so delicious, so addicting that I can’t just have one little square. The temptation is too much.

So sue me!

Still trying to walk off what I gained from eating last year’s Holiday fudge I have come to the realization that all it takes is one small piece to ruin the somewhat healthy diet I have going on.

All right, all right, yes I’m stretching the truth a bit much. I could easily be busted if the contents of my cupboards were visible.

So, I’m fudging the truth…it’s not like I’m lying…right?

Outright lying is a sin, and I am fully aware that fudging the truth about certain things, even just a little can lead to disguising the truth so much that we no longer know what was or wasn’t true.

Oh Fudge…I knew you weren’t good for me!

Setting desserts and humor aside…lying is a serious offense that can trigger other sins.

Here’s some truth: if and when we get caught in a lie, we immediately start backtracking, trying desperately to cover-up our tracks the fastest way possible, as any bogus person does who tries to deceive their self and others. 

We take all measures possible to keep our lie going, we deny, we lie more, we blame, and we swear up and down that we are telling the truth.

The truth, well, somehow the real truth got lost. Maybe we left it where we left our faith, our faith that reminds us of the promises of Christ.

John 8:31-32 - So Jesus said to those who believed in Him, “If you obey My teaching, you are really My disciples; you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” 

Let go of any lies that are holding you back, restricting you from living the truth. Once you do, you’ll feel so much better, inside and out.


"The TRUTH
shall set you
FREE."








Saturday, November 1, 2014

Feelings

…Nothing more than Feelings, trying to forget my Feelings…

Some days I feel terrific.

Some days I feel like a Mack truck has hit me.

What are we to do with all of these feelings, the constant thoughts, emotions, and memories that are a concrete part of us?

For sure our feelings change over the course of our lives. In truth our feelings can change over the course of five minutes. (At least mine do!)

I don’t particularly like the way certain feelings make me feel.

It is easy to fall prey to feeling life has dealt you an unfair hand, and allow your past to stand in the way of the present. Who hasn’t brought up the past to justify feeling sorry for oneself?

Our past isn’t always what we would have chosen.

Old feelings can pop up out of nowhere. Mine can be triggered by a certain song on the radio, a piece of watery watermelon dripping down my arms; really all it takes is one glance at a corn field, the sweet smell of Heaven Scent cologne, or the delicate feel of an old handkerchief and the doors of my past fly open.


Moving forward in life, in other words, as I’m aging I’m finding my memories, even the ones I don’t care for, are becoming just that…mere memories of yesterday.

No matter what has happened or will happen, with God at my side I am loved and protected.

Seriously, what more could one ever hope to feel?

God tells us to keep an unwavering faith, to never let go of hope, and to feel the power of love.

Some days we feel better than other days, but if we choose, we can always feel the love of God.

Yesterday has ended.

Today a new beginning arrives.

Wondering how do you feel about that?