Friday, January 7, 2011

Hope and Blessing

“I wait for the Lord, my soul waits,

and in his word I put my hope.”

Psalm 130:5 (NIV)

I serve on the board of a faith based nonprofit ministry. It was founded by a friend of mine. The ministry has been inexistence almost six years. I helped at a book bag distribution in 2007. At the end of 2009 my friend emailed me asking me if I would do their newsletters, one for the community and one for the families the ministry serves.

Just a few days before she asked me, I told the Lord I missed doing a newsletter. I had done the one at our former church. God answered my prayer. This will be the third year I have served in this capacity.

At the ministry’s annual planning meeting last February, we were asked to think and pray about the vision for the work. The director had some ideas for where she wanted to see the ministry be in one year, five years and ten years in the future.

We prayed for God’s leading and guidance as we planned fundraisers to help meet needs those in our focus group have. We had to cancel some of our projects. Our city canceled its 4th of July Midnight Parade Where we were planning to have a booth selling concessions. One of our rummage sales got rescheduled twice before it happened.

A little over two month ago, my friend who founded the ministry shared with the board that her employer, a healthcare facility (nursing home), was making a calendar to sell in the community. They asked the residents to participate by posing in pictures taken at various businesses in the area. The powers that be called my friend into the main office and told her nursing home couldn’t keep the money made from the sale of the calendars and the decision was made to give that money to the ministry.

Our director has said several times that this ministry is God’s ministry. He has blessed it in several ways this past year. This calendar sale is from God and again proves His goodness to those whose hope is in Him.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Thoughts that bring Hope

“I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall.

I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me.

Yet, this I call to mind and therefore I have hope:

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed for his compassions never fail.

They are new every morning: great is your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:19-23) (NIV)

Do we have thoughts or memories that bring us down? Sometimes a lot of us do. When we have them we need to take Jeremiah’s counsel to focus on the Lord and all he has done for us.

I write this as I pray about a circumstance within a friend’s family that may cause problems in other family members’ lives. I have been told of the need in confidence. Therefore, I must pray hard for this clan.

People usually focus on the last part of this passage. We hear the part about the Lord’s great love and how great His faithfulness is. For some reason we don’t focus on the first part.

A large group of our society deals with anxiety, hopelessness, and depression. We do what we can to compensate for our outlook. People not afflicted with these issues don’t know how to react to those who are.

Jeremiah’s words of wisdom are simple. He does this himself. He remembers the fact that God loves him, and shows great kindness to him, He does this each day. These memories bring hope to Jeremiah’s downcast heart.

Can we adopt his practice of focusing on the Lord’s goodness to us, especially when we have issues in our lives that seem to pull us down? We might want to list what He does for us and keep it where we can find it.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Our Hope, Our Intercessor

“We have this hope as an anchor for the soul,

firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind

the curtain, where Jesus, who went before us,

has entered on our behalf. He has become

a high priest forever. . . .” Hebrews 6:19-20

There it is, in print. We have this hope. We need not despair. Our Hope is Jesus. He makes all things bearable.

We waste a lot of time and energy when we worry. Most issues we fret over usually fall into two categories those occurrences that might not ever come to pass and conditions that are not ours, they belong to another person and aren’t for us to get upset over. Yes, we can show Christian compassion and love as long as we rely on God to care for the needs of those we hold dear.

An antidote to worry is a combination of hope and faith. We have to believe God has whatever vexes us in His hands. We have to trust He will resolve the problem in His time.

As I write this I think of three families who face multiple health issues. In each case members of the family have either a chronic disorder, a form of Cancer, or are facing surgery or a surgical procedure. One family has to trust God for the outcome of a member’s untreatable condition. These families believe in God and have experienced His goodness many times.

When we face impossible circumstances, we need to look for the Lord to guide us through the difficult steps laid out before us.

We have this hope because Jesus Christ sits at the Father’s right hand and intercedes for us.

Fear, Courage: God Is With Us  Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD ...