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Sunday, March 20, 2011

HOPE 0004

Isn't it easy to feel guilty about our own pain and suffering in light of the enormous amount of suffering and loss and grief and danger in Japan? The enormity of that catastrophe moves it beyond any use for perspective-finding in my life.  So think about this: even with the enormity of what is going on around the world, there is no detail of your life that has escaped God; not the good, the bad, or the ugly. Yet he holds out his arms to you and to me - to forgive us, to love us, and to comfort us. He longs for you to go running to him because of the tenderhearted way he loves you.

You don't need to minimize your suffering -- don't shut down either. Instead, take your hurt, or your fear, or your shame, and your loneliness and go running with it to God.


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

HOPE 0003

These last few days of winter just seem to crawl by, don't they? Some of us struggle with the heavy, dull, cold, aching parts of our lives that can sometimes make us feel like we live in a gray soupy fog. The remedy? Choose hope. If you don't feel hopeful, make a decision to choose hope. Spring is going to be here in 5 days. It sure doesn't look like it and it may not look like it on March 20, 2011 either. But sooner or later, we'll be living in springtime. What does it look like to choose hope? I start wearing spring colors on the first day of spring and I don't stop. I don't care if I have to walk through a foot of snow, I'm doing it wearing a splash of coral, or yellow, or blue. I'm choosing spring -- regardless of the temperature. Choose hope regardless of your circumstances or your feelings. Choose hope because you can.

            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.  -- Isaiah 40:31 

Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society®
Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Wear spring colors or soar on wings -- choose hope.
See you next time.

Friday, March 11, 2011

HOPE 0002

It's time to rest a little. You were never meant to carry the weight of everything that is on your mind. Yet, all the things you deal with are real. ---------- It doesn't matter. For right now, try setting it down just for a minute. Like an overstuffed great big suitcase full of rocks, just set it down -- if only for a minute. You were never meant to carry that. Nothing has changed; you just weren't meant to carry that.

Here's something I like: Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about what happens to you.

That's something, isn't it?

See you tomorrow.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

HOPE 0001

You may feel like you are at the edge of what you can handle. You may feel desperate for relief, for help, something .... anything. It's your heart. Your mind. But if feels physical.

I am not a medical provider but I have felt something similar to what you are feeling. This is what I want you to do right now; Stop. Take a deep breath. Really. Take a deep, deep breath in through your nose, hold it for just a second, and let it out through your mouth. Did you do it? Good for you. Now, there's not much I can tell you about how you will feel tomorrow that you can believe right now so, I will simply tell you this: God understands. Now don't wrestle with the questions or your anger just yet, try to remove all of that from your mind right now and try to think only: God understands. He knows.
Now, take another deep breath: in through your nose, out through your mouth.

If you are able, roll both of your shoulders to the front, then up, backward, and back down. Try it again -- a circle. I'll tell you this. With everything that's going on right now, your feelings may not be your most reliable gauge. So, just for now, just for today, try to set it aside and try to know that God understands. Take what energy you have and try to get a hold of that.

We're almost done for today. Now I want to tell you something that was written about God a long, long time ago. It is this:
                                       ... for he has said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you."

That's all for right now. I have prayed for you.

I hope you can visit me again tomorrow.

"Scripture quotations are from the Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved."