Tag: hope (Page 1 of 2)

Posted on LinkedIn as a response to a recommendation to read

I’m a pretty avid reader (think 3-5 books a week), and I have been since I was five years old. The thing that trips me up about that is that I have found my time consumed by books that DON’T MATTER in the grand scheme of things, primarily because my favorite reading material is sci-fi/fantasy with mystery/thriller/action books a close second. Those things are just stories about fictional characters, and it’s just another kind of addiction/method of escapism. I know this. I have known this for years and years.

I do read non-fictional books as well, although not as many. 98% of those are Christian in nature. When I do read those, I find God speaking to me in a lot of different ways… but even those have not helped me as much as the people recommending those books thought that they would, or that I thought they would (help me, that is).

What I have found, though, is that reading the scripture gives me an almost tangible sense that God is breathing new life into me. Even if it’s something I’ve read repeatedly hundreds of times in my life time (Psalm 23 for example). When I’m desperate for a touch from the Lord, I don’t pick up a book that some really anointed (no sarcasm at all here!) spiritual leader has written. I do go back to the basics and reread the book of Genesis, or Isaiah, or various Psalms, or the gospels, or some of Paul’s letters, or even Revelation (especially when I need hope).

I realize the value in reading, and it is a sorely neglected skill. DO read. Do read recommended books. Maybe something that spoke to the person making the recommendation will speak to you. But first and foremost, READ THE BIBLE. It was my favorite storybook when I was a child, and that’s exactly how I think people forget to read it. We’re always looking for something from God in a verse that we want to speak to us, relevant to our situation. We’re usually studying it to dig out deeper meanings or to find support for things we feel God has put on our hearts.

How often, though, do we just sit down and simply read HIS story? It’s the story of His glory… how often He showed up and moved or spoke or breathed into a situation and changed that situation by simply being there. If you can just take it in, over and over again, then without even intending to do so by human effort, you will find yourself hiding His word in your heart.

Today was one of those days when I woke up flat on my back and couldn’t get up. I couldn’t do anything but lay there and cry for a few hours. But when I talked to the Lord, the scriptures whispered back to me. When I said, “I can’t handle this, Lord,” He said, “My grace is sufficient.” When I thought of how dark my life looks right now, Psalm 23 wandered through my heart: “Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me. Thy rod and Thy staff, they comfort me.” When I just wanted to scream that despair was overwhelming me, I heard, “Faith is the substance of things hoped for…” Even now, I keep hearing, “The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear? Of whom shall I be afraid?”

Reading matters. Reading the Word matters even more–not just to obtain something for a sermon or a song, not just to find an answer for an argument against Christianity, not just to find something that speaks to us when we’re looking for answers, but just because IT’S GOD’S WORD. When we know it well, He DOES use it to speak back to us when we need it, and He can use it to speak through us for someone else’s benefit in song, sermon, or just daily conversation.

Hope this has been helpful for someone.

Orion

Hello, Orion, brightly shining in the winter night.
As time moves on, your stars aligning give my heart delight.
I still declare when seeing you that there is always hope,
For you’re prepared, you’ve set your view with all encompassed scope.

The hunter’s bow is ever ready to supply the food you need.
The warrior is always steady meeting every foe with speed.
Your eyes are focused forward to the goal with cool command,
Yet ever conscious all around the place in which you stand.

Your knees stay bent with arrow notched to move at slightest whim.
So, I am sent by God who’s watched me, called me out in Him.
To watch, to learn, to hear, to move as Holy Spirit leads—
To pray, to burn with holy love—He through me intercedes.

I still repent on bended knee, convicted when I sin.
We war against my enemy, in battles fought within.
Father meets my every need and gives me daily bread.
So, on my knees I rest indeed, submitting without dread.

Hello, Orion, brightly shining in the winter night.
As you shine on, you are reminding me of Father’s Light.
Keep running through the skies above despite the winter chill.
Your hope anew blooms while God’s love enfolds me in His will.

Brilliant Iris

I saw the sun the other morning
Peeking through a crevasse in the clouds
Like a brilliant iris of light,
(Too bright to see the color)
Staring through the vast, dark grey eyelids.
Even when the sun rose to its hidden place
Behind the upper mass of moisture,
The brightness of that spot drew my vision
Till all the last remnants of radiance
Faded to the jaded blue of the indifferent sky.
But bright hope kept shining within me…
Beyond the canopy of clouds,
Sun shone with all her beauty and
I felt touched by it, gifted with it,
As if I were a carrier of that light
In some supernatural, ephemeral way.
But no one else could see it, feel it… touch it.
So I curled the hope up inside me,
Snuggling with the joy already there
Until it blossomed into fresh faith.
Father sure knows how to paint a beautiful sky!

Feel the Season Changing

I can feel the season changing.
Seems God’s always rearranging,
And I wonder what new strange thing
He is doing in my life.
As I look towards tomorrow,
I am hoping I that I will grow
Moving forward as I follow
Leaving worrying and strife.

I have learned so much the hard way
When I try to do things halfway.
Still there’s really only His way,
If I want to do them right.
Can I use what I’ve been learning
To obey Him without turning
And to use what I’m discerning
To trust God without my sight?

Faith is following His guidance
As He leads me in this romance
With the loving grace that He grants
When I’m stumbling along.
As I move into the next phase
He is changing me in new ways,
Giving mercy to me always—
He reminds me I belong.

In His everlasting promise
I can take each step with calmness,
Knowing He will hold me harmless
In the refuge of His wings.
He’s my dwelling place and fortress.
I will trust in His great goodness
Through the seasons’ steady progress,
Though I don’t know what they’ll bring.

For Ryan and Shawna

You are astonishing, Lord!
It amazes me to stand here
As your hand slowly unfolds
To reveal the tiny gift inside.
The waiting isn’t over, but
It seems as if Your plan is clear.
My friends are rejoicing
With some reserve as of yet.
But life bundled up in a baby boy
Just bounces around and
Smacks you in the heart with joy!
It’s hard not to hope that
Your hand is holding grace, that
Your goodness will be the sure hand–
Even though, for now, we still wait,
I’m going to trust You to know best
Still hoping for long years of prayer
To be answered in THIS gift.

Waiting Game

I thought it was hard before…
When I waited through weeks and months
Of uncertainty and clouded vision,
But this really has turned into an ordeal.
I find I have to balance between
Stagnation, contentment, and impatience.
It’s difficult to understand how…
To be content where I am without settling,
To trust that God can be, and is, using me here,
Yet make some effort to move forward
Because I don’t believe I am to stay “here.”
It’s a fine line to have to walk…
Not stagnant nor striving, only steady.
I just don’t think I’m quite “there” yet,
So, sighing, I sit still and keep waiting,
Keep trying to learn whatever lesson
I’m supposed to be learning at this desk,
Keep hoping for some miracle to happen…
Soon? Maybe? Or not.
Is it any wonder I can’t figure things out?

Psalm

The splendor of Your holiness
Is like a newborn star,
Whose brilliance light the universe,
Whose beauty shines so far.
The glory man cannot embrace
Displays Your greatness, hides Your face.

I pray, O Lord, that I would be
Your light of hope for men
That all who come could only see
Your grace, Your love for them.
Exemplify Your mercy, Lord,
Redeeming lives with every word.

Holy Spirit, breathe new power.
Renew my passion for
Your people in this very hour.
Please, call us all toward more.
And God, please, multiply Your life
For everyone who seeks Your light.

Giving Up The Sin Within

I’ve been a quiet angry mass
Of seething feelings, shattered glass,
And though I seemed a peaceful soul
Within me was a great big hole
Where at some point in my dismay,
I tried to hide myself away.

But it has been a brutal bout—
A battle huge within, without.
For though I tried to shield my heart,
I could not hide from every dart.
The feelings grew; the glass cut deep;
(This bleeding mess of mine can’t keep.)

I long for grace to truly heal,
Let go of bitter hurt I feel.
My Father longs to give me rest,
But I’ve held tight within my chest.
Yet come what may I trust Him still,
Despite the cold, resentful chill.

Soon, I will choose to push away,
My  “righteous? anger gone astray.
I’m tired of holding anguish in;
Careworn with what my life has been.
Somehow, Holy Spirit, take
The painful feelings and heartache.

Please fill me with forgiveness, Lord,
For self and others; speak Your Word.
Light the darkest part of me
With Your sweet love so I can see.
Give me hope and make me new.
Unite my heart to worship You.

Sing A Song (1/5/11)

Sing a song, a pretty song,
To tell the world you love Me.
Sing it strong; sing all day long,
Sing “just because? and freely.

With great sacrifice, You saved us, gave us,
A wellspring of hope, You lift us, gift us
With faithfulness and mercy, Lord
With generous compassion, Lord
You work within us by Your Spirit.

Sing a song, a pretty song,
To tell creation’s story.
Sing it strong; sing all day long,
This gift of life from Glory.

O Light of our lives, we raise You, praise You
Love from above, we meet You, greet You
With everything we have to give,
With never ending awe we live,
For Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Sing a song, a pretty song,
With all you have within you.
Sing it strong; sing all day long;
Faith, hope, and love will shine through.

…Maybe (10/20/10)

Just when I think I’ll be fine…
Things are going to be okay,
Life is going to settle down…
Something happens.
In my life “something? is usually not small;
It’s a right-down-to-the-wire MAJOR issue.
According to Erma Bombeck,
“Normal is a setting on the washing machine.?
So, really, normal is a relative term.
“Normal? for me seems to be “crisis-mode.?
I am learning, like Paul, to be content in
Whatever state I am in—calm or crisis.
But it remains for me to trust that
Christ strengthens me…
Because today I know I am weak,
Fainting with the uncertainty of tomorrow.
Still… not to think this time, but to pray,
Not to trust in false hope, but to hope in true faith.
I choose again
His life within me while I am crucified with Him,
Maybe this time I’ll really die to myself
…Maybe.

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