Thursday, May 24, 2012

From Hassle to Hope!

What would you think if I told you that irritating, annoying, frustrating life circumstances that we deal with every day...can actually become amazingly wonderful realities in our lives?

You'd think I was out of my mind.

Well...what if it were true?

You see, when we apply God's promises to everyday situations, those little mundane annoying circumstances will actually become nuggets of hope in our lives.  Those nuggets - those annoying circumstances, chronic difficulties or horrendous struggles, will turn into stepping stones that we can put our weight on until the day comes when we step into our Final Hope - Heaven.

I know.  You are probably furrowing your brow right now as you wonder what in the world I'm talking about.  Stay with me here.

Did you see the movie, "The Voyage of the Dawn Treader"?  Remember the pond that turns everything into gold that is immersed in the water?  The pool of water was found in a cave and the people who discovered it, saw what looked like valuable statues in the pond. Turns out that everything that was dropped into the water - no matter how mundane it was - turned into gold.

That is what happens when we know the Word of God and apply His promises to the everyday circumstances in our lives.  Those painful frustrations actually become potential sources of hope... but only when we apply the truth of God's Word to every situation.

It's as if we "dropped" an exasperating life event into the water...the water being the Word of God...and eventually what was once a frustration becomes gold in the sense that it places you in a position of needing to apply God's word in order to "deal" with the vexing venue you find yourself in.  The gold isn't the situation...we are refined like gold.

No.  It isn't easy and it certainly doesn't come naturally.  It requires that we allow the Holy Spirit to work in our lives as we give ourselves over to Him.  That takes discipline and willingness.  It may happen quickly or it could take more time than we'd like, but...

It can be done.  It IS being done by some.  Do you want to include yourself in that number?

It's time to move . . .

From Hassle to Hope!

Monday, May 14, 2012

A Hope That Satisfies...

You know how sometimes you read or hear about something that sticks with you?  A long time ago, I was reading about a couple of hikers that got lost.  I will call them Becky and Tara.  Nobody knows exactly what happened, but apparently they got lost and eventually separated from each other in hopes that at least one person would find civilization and send help back to the other hiker...if that hiker could be found.

Of course, once separated, each hiker would be on their own and very much alone. They parted ways and made individual attempts at reaching civilization for days. Becky, who was about ready to keel over and sink into oblivion, took a few more steps that took her to the top of a barren hill that she had climbed.  She looked down and spotted a small lake.  It was the first water she had seen in days.  It gave her a hope that renewed her strength with a fervor that propelled her to the life saving watering hole.

She lived.

Days later, a search party found the other hiker about a mile behind where Becky had almost died before she spotted the life giving water.

Tara was dead.

You see, the water that gave Becky hope and propelled her to action, was not in Tara's vision.

I wonder what killed Tara first?  The lack of water or the lack of hope?

So what does this story have to do with me and you?  Sigh...

I will speak for myself.  When I have a lack of hope, I want to die.  Looking around at people surrounding me, I see that I am not alone.  Hopelessness is pervasive and threatens to destroy us.

Proverbs 13:12 says:

Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.

How can we turn life into longings?  In my next post, I will share with you what I have discovered about how to have ...

A Hope That Satisfies...

Saturday, May 5, 2012

One Month to Live

Okay.  I admit it.  I was at someone else's house for a while and found that I needed something to wedge the door open so I could get some fresh air inside.  If I could just find something narrow, as I didn't want a gale of wind pouring through the house.  I small slit would do.  "I know", I thought.    I sauntered over to the bookshelf in search of a suitable doorstop.

I pulled out a book, tried wedging it in the door - but it was a little too wide.  "Rats".  On my way back to the bookshelf to return the unhelpful item, I glanced at the title of the book in my hand.  It caught my attention immediately:

"One Month to Live" by Kerry & Chris Shook.

Wow.  That sounded like something I would be really interested in.  No...I 'm not going to die anytime soon that I am aware of - but still.  Sounded interesting.

I started reading:

"If you only had one month to live, what would you change?"

Hmmm...what would I change?  I continued:

"... By embracing the fact that our time on earth is limited, we can live deliberately, no longer postponing the joy and peace that come from fulfilling our God-given destiny..."

"Your time on earth is limited.  
No matter how much this idea makes you squirm, it's a fact.  No matter who you are, how young or old, what measure of success you've attained, or where you live, mortality remains the great equalizer.  With each tick of the clock, a moment of your life is behind you.  Even as you read this paragraph, seconds passed that you can never regain.  Your days are numbered, and each one that passes is gone forever."

Does this sound morbid?  Perhaps to some people it does.  But the fact remains that it is true.  Turns out this book, "One Month to Live", is not so much about death as it is about life.

Two main points, as I see it:

1)  If you aren't so sure about your eternal destiny, you might be scared away by the very title.  If that is the case, my recommendation is that you read some of my previous blogs.  Take life and death seriously.

2)  If you are certain about where you will go when your physical body reaches it's expiration date, then this book is a keeper.  Why?  Because it is so helpful to look at life with a renewed perspective.  It changes everything...including your heart.

I like to write...but I have to say, it would make me very happy if you would purchase the book, "One Month to Live".  I am not saying that because I would get anything out of it.  The authors don't even know of my existence.  You, however, are important to me - even though I may not know your name or face - and because of that I hope you purchase this book.  It will encourage you and give you the new perspective that you may very well need.

Take care, okay?  Pretend like you only have...

One Month to Live.