HOPE*ann*FAITH

Learning to Live , Again, On Purpose.


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Father, grant me the Serenity …


Let My Words Be Few Thursday...

Let my words be few …

I  believe they will be today!
We – I – try my best to say the most in the fewest words here on HOPEannFaith, and most times I don’t succeed.
So this is an easy prompt, with not many rules or an incredibly small word count requirement.
I hope you join us in encouraging one another in our writing and in our lives.
We – I – would love to share this time and space with you!

Credit: Google Images

God grant me the Serenity to…

Accept the things I cannot change the…
Courage to change the things I can and the…
Wisdom to know the difference.
I pray this today. I must admit I don’t pray it much more than on Monday evenings among like-minded people.
Did you know that this Serenity Prayer is not in the bible. For the longest time I didn’t know that. Just some FYI.
Today … for days, really, I have been in a strange place. One of quiet frustration and sadness, I think. It feel like a holding pattern. LIMBO…NOTHINGNESS…
So I am praying … in thanksgiving for last nights praise music at church, for the Word brought by my dear friend and Pastor that was God speaking directly to me!
My attitude is out of wack…it has wandered from the path! Even as the blessings flow, I am at a place of wandering just inside the edge of the desert, and I don’t know why.
This has been a year of change, transition and lifestyle correction. There have been losses, yet there has been much more blessing!
God has shown Himself in ways that I cannot ever put into words. Let’s just say there were Miracles and Wonders! He is a good God.
Therefore, today I seek Serenity in HIM.
Serenity is defined as utter calm, a tranquil state, and this one, which I like because in the last 48 hours I have decided that it would be my state on this path… Quietude.
Quietude – an attitude of quiet. I love that.
I’m incapable of that attitude at the moment…which sadly means I am incapable of Serenity. However, in God… I am capable of ALL things, right? RIGHT!
So I am off to this place of Quietude … learning to accept the things that I cannot change and the courage to change what I can…hoping to gain the wisdom to know the difference.
Wishing you Peace and Serenity Loves.
Blessings ♥


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Praise … The Joy in our Hands… #Trust30


Call to Arms by Sasha Dichter

The secret of fortune is joy in our hands.Ralph Waldo Emerson

What if today, right now, no jokes at all, you were actually in charge, the boss, the Head Honcho. Write the “call to arms” note you’re sending to everyone (staff, customers, suppliers, Board) charting the path ahead for the next 12 months and the next 5 years. Now take this manifesto, print it out somewhere you can see, preferably in big letters you can read from your chair.

You’re just written your own job description. You know what you have to do. Go!

(bonus: send it to the CEO with the title “The things we absolutely have to get right – nothing else matters.”)

(Author: Sasha Dichter)

_______________________________________________________________________________

At this point I am forced to believe that this “Trust 30” Challenge is a world view of how we humans are to become Self-Reliant.

I would have to do some research, which I someday may, on Emerson’s religious, spiritual views. However, whether Christian or Atheist, what I see in each of his quotes is a very clear and evident faith.

The kind, well-educated and well minded authors interpreting these lines of quote, possibly out of the context of the original essays, apparently do not see Emerson’s faith. Or, having seen it try to fit it into the too small vision of their world and this Trust 30 challenge.

God does not fit into any box, let alone one defined by the world view of today.

Todays quote speaks to ” the SECRET JOY in our hands” … their interpretation is this quote somehow equates to our being IN CONTROL of our profession.

…and they would be correct, but so off base by crushing this God concept into that world view box!

Our first and most important calling (what the world would view as profession) is to Praise and Worship our Creator.

The foremost reason we, humanity, were created was to praise God, to love God, to be God’s companions.

Revelation 4:11

“Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created.”

To quote a pastor I grew up under, “We were made by God, For God.”

So what is this “JOY in our hands”?

The Joy in our hands is our ability, our desire, to Praise God for all He has provided. It is Joy for us to Worship God in His sovereignty, giving Him the accolades of our reverence, honoring and glorifying the Almighty God for what He has done for this dying world in which we reside.

The Joy in our hands is the gratitude that drops us to our knees in the most trying of times, as well as the most joyous and victorious times, alike.

He is worthy to be praised!

So what of the “Secret of fortune” the quote speaks of immediately?

The secret is in the praise, in the worship. Our desire to Praise and Worship God, to acknowledge with loving reverence His Son and to follow the guidance of His Holy Spirit is the secret.

The fortune is derived from the obedience of our Praise and Worship of God. It is in our obedience to God that His grace is garnered. It is the obedience in which we operate our faith that garners the favor we receive in this life, and beyond, as His Children.

In obedience to this prompt, here is my Call to Arms to the CEO, to the Staff, suppliers and customers…

to ALL who are to be laborers for the Kingdom of God …

Psalm 150

1 Praise the LORD.

Praise God in his sanctuary;
praise him in his mighty heavens.
2 Praise him for his acts of power;
praise him for his surpassing greatness.
3 Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet,
praise him with the harp and lyre,
4 praise him with timbrel and dancing,
praise him with the strings and pipe,
5 praise him with the clash of cymbals,
praise him with resounding cymbals.

6Let everything that has breath praise the LORD.

Praise the LORD.

…Lift your hands, Lift your hearts, Lift your eyes

and …

Let everything with in you, praise the LORD!

Blessings Loves ♥


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Wonder ♥•*¨*•☼•*¨*•♥ 5 minutes with Gypsy Mama


Good Morning Loves … I wanted to do this post last night, and have it already posted this morning. However, God had other plans for me to rest and sleep. So here we are on a yet again gloomy Jersey Shore morning and Gypsy Mama gives me  us the chance to redeem this moody day with a virtual gratitude list.

And I can say that that is something to be grateful for …

So this is what we do on Friday … after your five minutes, take an additional five minutes to check out those who have joined us here and chime in with the love and encouragement all we blogging ladies need!

Here’s how it works, and we all gather and rejoice in one another over at gypsy mama’s blog, you can connect there too …

1. Write for 5 minutes flat with no editing or tweaking.

2. Link back here and invite others to join in {you can grab the button code

in my right side bar}

3. Go and tell the person who linked up before you what their words
meant to you.
Every writer longs to feel heard. {And if you love us,
consider turning off word verification for the day to make it easier for folks
to leave you some encouragement}

It’s a great way to tally up our week and to take a deep breath of peace!

Give us your best 5 minutes on WONDER …

 

the beauty of wonder

GO! 

“He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed…” Job 5:9

miracles that cannot be counted.

I wonder … I write … the miracles of this life …

Of a heart that a year ago was so sick that I now take a ton of meds to help it heal. Yes, I said heal, I know the docs think it’s a lifetime of maintenance, but I KNOW that it’s about the healing … the restoration.

And I wonder ….

Why did He save me … why the second chance. Yet, again, I KNOW, it’s because I am His beloved, and isn’t that a miracle that cannot be counted.

He came … He sacrificed … He saved…and I wonder ….

He knew what this world would come to … and it’s as if He went back to Moses asking Him to save the 10 … He remembers His love for us and He stays His hand against a dying world … to garner us the chance to choose …

There are a ton of wonders I see in this life of mine …

Love grew where no ground was cultivated.

A family grew out of  two of the unlikliest of orphans.

Health and Prosperity is growing in ground that was tired and drained of all nutrients.

He truly has performed wonders that this girl cannot fathom … miracles that exist in the very air that I breath, yet somehow this writer cannot find the words for the page … in fact this page cannot stand beneath the glory that God has shone upon this face … the peace cannot be contained within a sentence …

To describe the wonder of the fullness of this life that sentence would become a tome…

STOP!

I felt the urge this 5 minute friday to take a few moment to share with you a favorite song of mine! So forgive the cheat … but this was my very first thought upon seeing the prompt! Enjoy!

Blessings Loves ♥


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That which concerns me…#Trust 30


Speak Less by Laura Kimball

What I must do is all that concerns me, not what the people think. This
rule, equally arduous in actual and in intellectual life, may serve for the
whole distinction between greatness and meanness. It is the harder, because you
will always find those who think they know what is your duty better than you
know I.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

I once received a fortune cookie that read: “Speak less of your plans, you’ll
get more done.” What’s one project that you’ve been sitting on and thinking
about but haven’t made progress on? What’s stopping you? What would happen if
you actually went for it and did it?

(Author: Laura Kimball)

________________________________________________________________________________________

 Hey Loves…Its Thursday again…and here we are sharing in the Shortest post as possible…no rules, just our hearts and words that move one another. You know the route, click-through the pictures to find out what each prompt is about and join us! We would love to share this space with you!

Let My Words Be Few..

I, once again, have a different view of this profound quote by RW Emerson. Do the authors creating these prompts not see God in Emerson’s words. Do they not see his faith, as peculiarly as he states such? Do they not see both the light of spirituality as much or more than the light of profound intelligence?

Ah, but I digress…my interpretation…

What I must do is all that concerns me, not what the people think. “

Each one of us has a calling on our lives. A dreamy thing we do, well, excellently, something we love to do and would do as much and as often as we could. Yet, we often hear, first from parents, then from those in the world who don’t understand or frankly would rather we not succeed; that we cannot do that thing, for several reasons that these nay sayers promptly list for us to prove their point.

It’s frivolous, you’ll never be able to support yourself, and much worse, you’re not smart enough, or you’re not good enough … and to think these are people who love us, people who think they are helping us. Uh, who needs a nemesis when we have friends and families, right?

What I must do, implies that we do not have a choice, that we are compelled by this particular task. It appears more a desire than just a tedious task… What I must do …

I could say: What I must do is what concerns me … we are shown in the bible that only God and ourselves know what our calling is. The fact that there are those who would tell me what I am to do with my life does directly conflicts with scripture … and I live my life by the scriptures of the God who created me.

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters,” Colossians 3:23

Upon reading Emerson’s quote here, this scripture was my first thought.

“This rule, equally arduous in actual and in intellectual life, may serve for the
whole distinction between greatness and meanness.”

“…equally arduous in actual and in intellectual life.”

Doing your work for the Lord is an act of faith and passion.

I believe I have been called to write. Yet, it is hard to reconcile in my mind. I hear those who profess to know my duty better than I. And I hear me … agreeing with their worldly assessment of my calling, my desire, my compulsion to please this inner voice that tells me, now, louder than the worldly voices, that yes I can.

That I must … do my work unto the Lord and to TRUST Him wholly …and He will cause my thoughts to become agreeable to His will causing my plans to be established and to succeed. Proverbs 16:3

I have been lead to write a book on Psalm 91 … I suffer from the magnitude of this assignment and the voices that tell me I am not a good enough writer. Worse, I agonize in a fear of success; the fear that success would mean uncomfortable changes, complications in my life. I am by nature a creature of comfort and complacency; character defects.

Fear stops me …

What would happen if I took a step of faith and did this thing?

I would please my Father God. I would fulfill my calling, or at least the beginning of it, anyway. I would be fulfilling a lifelong dream.

I would succeed, as I know I would, if I would only do my task with the faith that God has given me. His faith … and the things born from God’s faith do not fail.

If I did this thing … I would be helping others to find TRUTH and TRUST in the promises of God. In this I would find the blessings of God in my life.

Faith is the direct opposite of fear … When I write this book I will have conquered fear.

Here’s to knowing that the things that Concern me are perfected by God! Psalm 138:7-8a

Blessings Loves ♥


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Epiphany: a sudden manifestation or perception of the essential nature or meaning of divine truth…


I had an epiphany just now! Yes … and let the skies open up 🙂

And by God, as my Grandpa would exclaim, the skies are opening up, just now, and the thunder is sounding as I tap, tap away at this post!

(I have to admit that this just a bit on the eerie side!)

I saw a Facebook status just now, one I’ve probably posted a hundred times, and God opened up my mind (the skies!) … the haze parted and I heard the angels sing …♪♫♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸Ahhhhhhhhh, Ahhhhhhh..♪♫♪♫

The sweet girl posted … “Is believing all things are possible……” … and she is right where she is supposed to be with God.

(I cannot believe I continually use that phrase – the italicized! Thank you Julie!)

Incidently, there is absolutely nothing wrong with her faith or her post.Her post is an affirmation, from Matthew 19:26, Mark 10:27 and Philippians 4:13.

Many, myself included, use, or have used, this interpretation of these scriptures in situations where we are actively and verbally standing on our faith, with just a touch of wonder and maybe doubt, mostly as to whether we are worthy of God’s hand in that, or any, particular situation.

Mark 19:26 Jesus looked at them and said, “With human beings this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

Mark 10:27 Jesus looked at them and said, “With human beings this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.”

Philippians 4:13  I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

For me, her post brought instant revelation upon reading her faith.

I was then compelled to write the following status, which I believe and KNOW rose out of the Holy Spirit within me. The status is altered by the writing out of the full thought through prayer, so for those of you who follow me on Facebook, you read the instant version. 🙂 This is the filled out version.

I believe all things are possible. The notion that I am “believing” for this or for that individual situation, singularly, gives the impression that I sway from the truth of God and His promises in times of trial or unrest. I do not.

 It is this firm believing that has become the foundation of my personal faith. A firm, unmovable belief that my Father, God, can and will make the impossible, most possible in ALL situations, good and bad.  And that my “believing” must exist at all times; when I am in favor and when I am out of favor.

Most especially when I have removed myself from favor.

Mine is to believe and be obedient, continually, constantly, ceaselessly … this too is possible with God! This, in fact, is only possible with God.

I think this revelation bore itself out because of this challenge I took on.

Two days ago, one of my favorite authors and bloggers , Ann Kroeker posted So Be It on her blog. Briefly, and I suggest you jump over and read her post, her pastor put a John Wesley  prayer in their bulletin, that captivated her. Well it captivated me too.

It is a daunting prayer, one that will completely change my life, again. Much like the one that led me to a gurney at the ER this time last year. Now I know, that this challenge will not end me up there again, God and I are taking care of the health issues. This prayer is going to define the very Covenant that I have with God. The changes and definitions will be determined by God in His timing. Until then, I pray this prayer each day:

Prayer: John Wesley

I am no longer my own, but thine.

Put me to what thou wilt, rank me with whom thou
wilt;

Put me to doing, put me to suffering.

Let me be employed by thee or laid aside for thee,

exalted for thee or brought low by thee.

Let me be full, let me be empty.

Let me have all things, let me have nothing.

I freely and heartily yield all things

to thy pleasure and disposal.

And now, O glorious and blessed God,

Father, Son and Holy Spirit,

thou art mine, and I am thine. So be it.

And the covenant which I have made on earth,

let it be ratified in heaven. Amen.

It is about surrendering, sacrificing my life, my day to day living, into the hands of my Father, who has given me His image and expects that I understand that …

I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me. That I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him, who infuses, within me with His strength. That I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency. Philippians: 4:13 Amplified Translation

This is definitely going to have a catastrophic effect on my character defects. This is going to help to make me the Andrea God intended me to be.

I believe this, though in myself not only is this metamorphosis impossible, but I don’t want to do this thing, yet my spirit compels me on to my refining in the fire of Christ’s love for me!

After all this was Father’s plan all along.

… And the covenant which I have made on earth, let it be ratified in heaven. Amen.

Blessings Loves ♥


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Five Minutes with The Gypsy Mama…Home


 Today we join the gypsy mama and we write, without worry. No editing, no correction…no concern that what we have written is not just right!

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
 2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
 3. Get a little crazy with encouragement for the five minuter who linked up before you.

Click through the five minute picture and hook up with the 5 minute community…there is encouragement, love, friendships and giveaways…Best there is just women who write about real life everyday…just like us.

Now give yourself the gift of 5 minutes of journalling your heart. Share with us your …

Home …. Go!

I almost suggested this very topic a week or so ago. At the time I was feeling warm and fuzzy about my home in Hutchland!

Wisteria Watercolor

 Actually I always do, but Spring had come and things were budding and all my men were home…

HOME…

Cluttered and loud…pets everywhere and now we have 5 puppies! The boys are now adults and the excitement of pups is not quite as it would have been…but if you quietly enter a room you’ll find a full grown man cuddling the tiniest little pup in his huge paw of a hand, whispering baby talk softly in the furries little ears!

James' Hands

Incredible to me is where we are today from where it was we came. Comfort and security were not a thing I would have envisioned for the lives of my sons and I. 

Yet by the grace of God…here we are, HOME safe and secure and twenty years older.

They say HOME is where the heart is…and they are so very right. Even on the most difficult of days. Even when the tough love is necessary for my prodigal or a bill is going to have to wait we have a HOME.

So much more than some, frankly more than many. And for those I pray right now…that very soon they will experience HOME.

STOP.

(forgive me some extra time as I add some photos of HOME here…the writing was within the time limit though) 

🙂 Blessings Loves  ♥

 


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A New Creation ~ #Trust 30


Let My Words Be Few...

 

Alternative Paths by Jonathan Fields

When good is near you, when you have life in yourself, it is not by any known or accustomed way; you shall not discern the foot-prints of any other; you shall not see the face of man; you shall not hear any name; the way, the thought, the good, shall be wholly strange and new. Ralph Waldo Emerson

The world buzzes about goals and visions. Focus. Create a vivid picture of exactly where you want to go. Dream big, then don’t let anything or anyone stop you. The problem, as Daniel Gilbert wrote in Stumbling Upon Happiness, is that we’re horrible at forecasting how we’ll really feel 10 or 20 years from now – once we’ve gotten what we dreamed of. Often, we get there only to say, “That’s not what I thought it would be,” and ask, “What now?” Ambition is good. Blind ambition is not. It blocks out not only distraction, but the many opportunities that might take you off course but that may also lead you in a new direction. Consistent daily action is only a virtue when bundled with a willingness to remain open to the unknown. In this exercise, look at your current quest and ask, “What alternative opportunities, interpretations and paths am I not seeing?” They’re always there, but you’ve got to choose to see them.

(Author: Jonathan Fields)

♥•*¨*•☼•*¨*•♥

This is way late in the day…for all you who read, I apologize for the delay of Few Words Thursday, I’ve been very busy of late. I know you understand…life is being life here in Hutchland!

You know the route…simply click through the pretty lily pic to see what FWTH is all about…and click through the Trust 30 pic to see what the RWE Self-Reliance challenge is about.

Now to answer this prompt:

I am not inclined today to follow the author’s lead here…I am finding that these prompts continually ask the same question. Being first and foremost a woman of faith and secondly a woman of above average, yet nowhere near genius, answering the same question over and over becomes tedious. So true to my nature I am making my own rules.

When good is near you…when you have life in yourself…it is not by any known or accustomed way…

In our natural state we are not good. The word said we were all born in sin, after the apple and the fig leaf!

Our natural state is base and human. However, our spiritual selves do recognize and desire “good” and when it is near I do agree it is the unknown and we are unaccustomed to its ways. However, we know it is near and it brings within us a spark of life…

Although born in the sin nature, there is life in us. Our creator is benevolent, and while we seek to fill that void in our lives, that void is not entirely empty.

Psalm 139: 13-16

13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
16 your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be.

Our Creator created us…and from that day that He knit us together He has never left. Therefore I find Emerson’s last line to not be entirely true.

Although…

the way, the thought, the good, shall be wholly strange and new.

We will find it wholly new…but strange? I recognized the Way, the Truth and the Good, immediately when I was introduced to Him.

Before formally introduced I ran from the way, the thought, the good, because it was introduced according to the world.

When properly invited to meet Him there was no sensation of strangeness only newness…

Because I became new.

2 Corinthians 5:16-18

16 So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation:

Blessings Loves ♥