HOPE*ann*FAITH

Learning to Live , Again, On Purpose.


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He Gave … He Came …


He Gave ... He Came ... John 3:16-17

He Gave …
He Came …
John 3:16-17

Give … ’tis The Season.

The Greatest Gift of All.

Christmas … a season of giving. I want to tell you a story. So get that cup of tea {or coffee.}, settle in comfortably.

Are you comfortably? Ready? Let’s begin … =)

God gave us, His children, the best gift we will ever receive. He gave us this gift because He loved us so much He sought to reconcile each and everyone of us to Himself.

This is not my story. I copied the biblical version from Biblegateway.com; because I felt it needed to be told correctly. This story is so very important to humanity and it’s been told and retold countless times that I didn’t want to diminish it with my “version”.

I give to you the story of Father’ giving to us, all.

For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” Luke 2:11-14

Christ’s Birth Announced to Mary

Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And having come in, the angel said to her, “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!”

But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was. Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JesusHe will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.”

Then Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I do not know a man?”And the angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.  Now indeed, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren.  For with God nothing will be impossible.”

Then Mary said, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.

Mary, then went to visit her cousin Elizabeth who was also pregnant. They rejoiced in their visit and the magnitude of Mary’s pregnancy. Even, Elizabeth’s child (John, the Baptist) rejoice within the womb.

The Song of Mary

 And Mary sang:

“My soul magnifies the Lord,
And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.
For He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant;
For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed.
For He who is mighty has done great things for me,
And holy is His name.
And His mercy is on those who fear Him
From generation to generation.
He has shown strength with His arm;
He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
He has put down the mighty from their thrones,
And exalted the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things,
And the rich He has sent away empty.
He has helped His servant Israel,
In remembrance of His mercy,
As He spoke to our fathers,
To Abraham and to his seed forever.”

And Mary remained with Elizabeth about three months, and returned to her house.

Christ Born of Mary

And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city.

Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife,who was with child. So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

Glory in the Highest

Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.  And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”

So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.”  And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger.  Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child.  And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds.  But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart.  Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.

Today, I give you the true story of Christmas. The truth of the season and why we give one another gifts each year at this time. Some would say we are not celebrating Christ’s true birth date, but let me submit to you that it hardly matters to God, the Father or to Jesus, His Only Son, when we celebrate Jesus. It only matters that we celebrate Him and what He did for us …

So this year, I choose to give JOY … Give Joy

The very thing we need here in the earth. The very thing we need here in Hutchland.

JOY TO THE WORLD! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to ALL!

Thanks for reading my dear friends and God Bless You.

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Trying to Be Still in Overwhelming Circumstances |Few Words Thursday


christmas box

Just this week I participated in a word prompt exercise on Fear, you can read it {here}, if you haven’t already. That was Tuesday. It’s Thursday and what I began knowing was going to be an over full week has become more full! Isn’t it just the way of the enemy to attack just as you think you’ve come to a place of rest. Well as versed as I am in fear, and how I handle, it a whole new version of an old foe has reared it’s ugly head.

Anxiety.

Anxiety about the holiday. Anxiety about the clinical trial. And anxiety about this illness getting in the way of our family’s happiness and joy, especially at this time of year. It’s The Hubs’ favorite season, Christmas!

The research doctor at RCI called about needing The Hubs to have another CAT scan; the original biopsy was not big enough to get what they needed, so they need to start with a CT scan. Well that said, he had a CT scan a week after we saw her, so they used that. This morning the research nurse called about scheduling the biopsy. Next week is out due to his work schedule, so that leaves the week before Christmas.

THE WEEK BEFORE CHRISTMAS! I HAVE ABSOLUTELY “0” DONE!

Now anyone who knows me knows that the hoopla around the Christmas Holiday doesn’t usually appeal to me. I’ve never liked the music or the decorations. I do, however, LOVE the meaning, the family and the togetherness with people we love. But all the hoopla … I always preferred to avoid, as in “I” didn’t touch the tree and things like that, the decorating, lighting and background music of the holiday. Let’s just say that the holidays were always  a source of chaos and anxiety, or worse, when I was a child.

The last couple of years (and I mean like 2) I’ve been feeling more “into” the celebration and decorations part of the holiday.

This year I’ve actually been feeling quite festive. Albeit a very new feeling for me.

I know it’s because I am so grateful for my time with The Hubs and our little family here in Hutchland. =)

And who deserves the honor and glory for that “new” feeling? Jesus. Yes, he does.

Then the calls … We were in a holding pattern of perpetual waiting with this clinical trial possibility, and it’s still only a possibility! The holding pattern was frustrating, I was going to call them Monday about where we were; then they called.

Now I’m feeling like that chaos and anxiety are invading again. All of a sudden I have absolutely no idea how I’m going to get this Christmas up, festive and complete with all this going on in the only two weeks we have to do it all in!

Anxiety makes being Still very hard. I have to force myself to pray and trust God. For some odd reason my heart and head are spinning again and I’m having issues getting it under control.

So what to do?

I’m praying in tongues, in my head and out loud. I am thanking God for His hand on and plan for our lives and resisting the urge to beg Him to fix all this.

He will. He is. I know this, but right this very moment I just need something concrete to know that my world isn’t rushing off on some chaotic run away roller coaster!

So I’ll read the bible. I’ll study for the Bible Lesson I’m giving tonight at bible study. I’ll continue to pray and hopefully I’ll be able to get something constructive done today.

I wish, I pray for answers, to know why I’m feeling like this. Why the anxiety after all this time (15 months).

I have a sound mind … I have power and love; everything to conquer this unfounded fear. Now I just need to remember how to use them.

So first, here, I’ll work on my memory verse and meditate on what it means when God is my fortress and stronghold!

Hiding-Psalm-27-in-My-Heart_DoNotDepart

Psalm 27:1-3 (with the Productivity501 tool in front of me.) While praying in tongues. The red is where I had to check the psalm for the right word and the cross outs are self explanatory. (Got that word, or run, incorrect.) The purple is my “commentary”. 😉

1. The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid?

2. When the wicked came against me to eat up my flesh, My enemies and foes, they stumbled and fell. (Thank you Lord! feeling better now.)

3. Though an army may encamp against me, My heart shall not fear; Though war may rise against me, In this (God, God’s Word) I will be confident.

{Psalm 27 is such an amazing Scripture to be memorizing at this time in my life. I thank God that I stumbled upon it in my blog hopping!}

In this circumstance of our lives cancer and addiction are certainly our enemies and foes; but I need not be afraid, If God is with me of whom or what shall I be afraid?

Romans 8:28-32

28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. 29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.

God’s Everlasting Love

31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?

After writing this diary-esque post, I feel better. I think I am just overwhelmed with all of the hubbub around the holiday and this clinical trial. I am purposefully going to keep my mind on the REASON FOR THE SEASON and try to not be overwhelmed by getting it all perfect. Because frankly, this girl has NEVER been perfect, especially around the holidays, nor have I ever striven for such a thing.

I’m going to remind myself that God perfects what concerns me … and I am going to be confident in Him and what His Word says about all of this hoopla!

Psalm 138:7-9

Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You will revive me;
You will stretch out Your hand
Against the wrath of my enemies,
And Your right hand will save me.
The Lord will perfect that which concerns me;
Your mercy, O Lord, endures forever;
Do not forsake the works of Your hands.

 

Christmas is about celebrating our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. All the rest of it is just frills that we created to make us happy. I’m going to sit in the hay with my pups and rejoice that Jesus came to save me and that He is working with Father God, right now, to bring about the perfect results for our lives here in Hutchland.

joy

I know my words weren’t exactly few (but I did add full scripture)!

Thanks for reading my diary of woe. It’s wonderful to know you’re here listening (reading, ha.)

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Trusting God in the Face of Fear @ 10


God's Got This Welcome.

Today I’m joining my writing/blogging friends over at Karen’s Finding the Grace Within’s Tuesday at Ten writing prompt.

Here writers creatively represent the word prompt that Karen gives us at 10 am and then we all connect with one another {HERE}. There aren’t any real rules, no word limit or time limit … just one heart connecting with the prompt and sharing their thoughts with the others.

Today we ponder what the word FEAR means in our lives, right here and right now …

So join us by following the link above or the one at the bottom of this post.

Fear. We all encounter it in our day to day lives. From the little worries like being on time or not missing that call from a friend to the larger more daunting fears that involve life and death!

For me it’s no longer about the fear … In the past I feared everything from making someone mad to really doing something very wrong. It created a vicious cycle of anxiety, which my family sees as an illness. It’s not!

Cancer is an illness. Addiction is an illness. Fear is NOT an illness, we control fear. It says so in the bible.

There are two types of fear described in the Good Book of the Good News! Remember that … it’s the GOOD News, you can always trust it’s guidance.

Fear of the Lord.  

Fear of the Lord gives us authority and allows us to trust God in the face of the spirit of fear, which strips us of our authority and is brought by the enemy of our soul.

The spirit of fear is NOT of God.

Fear, or REVERENCE {to have a reverential awe of (fear God)} of the Lord, is about respecting God, as you would a father.

[Now if your earthly father wasn’t the greatest, or you were actually afraid of your biological dad, stay with me.]

God, Himself, was His original template of who and what a father was supposed to be. All loving, strong security and steady guidance for His children.

This Fear [of the Lord] is beneficial to us and brings with it promises and blessings. The bible says it is the beginning of wisdom; a good understanding to all those who do His commandments. His praise endures forever {Psalm 111:10}. It leads to life, rest, peace and contentment and evil will not visit {Proverbs 19:23}. This Fear [of the Lord] is the fountain of life {Proverbs 14:27} and provides security in a place of safety {Proverbs 14:26}.

Good News, right!  =)

If we respect God as our Father Creator, and follow His guidance for our lives, we benefit as any child who accepts guidance and correction from good parents. Think about it, we only fear what our parents feared, for the most part. If time and appearances were of concern {a type of fear} to our parents, then we grow up to be concerned about time and appearances. But dig this!

Our Father God, repeatedly, tells us to FEAR NOT, because He has given us the tools of authority over fear.

We control fear. Fear does NOT control us.

Though an army may encamp against me, My heart shall not fear; Though war may rise against me, In this I will be confident. {Psalm 27:3}

The second kind of fear in the bible is described to us in guidance.

We are told that God didn’t give us this spirit of fear.

 God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. {2 Timothy 1:7}

There it is, the guiding reminder that we were given: Power, Love and a SOUND mind.

(remember I said that fear leads to anxiety and people see anxiety as an illness today?)

We have a SOUND MIND.

Fear is a real thing. It is what we do in the face of this fear that matters most. Do we conquer or fall in defeat to fear?

I choose to conquer fear, and trust me, today, this very moment, I have enough going on in my life that if I allowed the fear [of the unknown results] of my circumstances I could easily curl up into a ball of tearful fear and anxiety and never see the light of day. In fact, when I think about this, even at this moment, I feel fearful of that possibility.

I prefer my Sound Mind!

How do I conquer these fears? Fear of cancer, of addiction, of my happy life changing severely, of not knowing what my life could possibly look like if the worst happened?

I. Trust. God.

I. Pray. ~ and I pray scripture.

1 John 4:18 says: Perfect Love casts out all fear. {God is Love.}

God promises me; ‘Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed {another form of fear}, for I am your God. I will strengthen you. Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.’.{Isaiah 41:10}

The overwhelming truth is that I must FEAR NOT.

Did you ever notice that when we are spinning with fear we don’t allow anyone to help; that we resist those that would be with us and uphold us! God knew we would do this and clearly instructs His children not to fear … to …

Be Still … and know that He is God. {Psalm46:10}

Isn’t it interesting that the “scary Old Testament” God continually told His creation to FEAR NOT. He clearly wanted us to ALWAYS know that He was with us and was our protector, even from the very beginning.

So, as Franklin D. Roosevelt said, in his First Inaugural Address: “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself,”

Do not fear God, reverence and trust Him. Only fear fear; it’s not from God.

It is said, much too often, “give it to God”, and I must say it took a lot for me to completely come to an understanding of that Christian cliché. When I finally came to a true understanding of and relationship with God I changed how I used that friendly, if not dismissing, cliché to …

Bring it to God. If you are afraid today. If you harbor what seems to be uncontrollable anxiety in your day to day life. Bring your cares to God. Compare what you are afraid of to what God says about that thing in His book. Present it, as I do, to Him in prayer and just watch what He does to quell that fear within you. He will wipe it away, I promise.

BE STILL.

FEAR NOT.

BE COURAGEOUS.

GOD’S GOT THIS.

Come walk with me, and fear not, God is always with us!

Thanks for reading and God bless.

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Tuesday @ Ten

Tuesday @ Ten

Hiding-Psalm-27-in-My-Heart_DoNotDepart

 

 


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A Relationship with God * His Grace.


GraceGrace:

For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ. In accordance with his pleasure and will – Ephesians 1:4-5

Grace is a huge subject and one I am very careful with. Why, you ask?

Because right now Grace is the “BIG, NEW” thing in Christian “revelation”; and I am concerned about how the message of Grace is being taught in some circles.

Quite frankly there is NOTHING new about God’s grace and God’s grace is BIG! Grace holds the same tremendous message as it did when Jesus came here as man, and so much more!

Jesus was God’s grace. Jesus is Grace. Jesus extends Grace.

We were extended God’s grace in the man of Jesus. We are to extend God’s grace to others. We are to show God’s grace in the fruit of our lives.

See … there is so much more than we can fathom in one small and beautiful word.

Grace is about Relationship.

{for this post I was lead to the relationship with God that we receive through grace}

Like I said Grace is so many things. Such a broad canvas, but it began with God and His desire for relationship … with us.

RelationshipGrace was sent and Grace chose us before the creation of the world! Do you realize what that means? God created this world for us. So we would have a place to live and be with Him! By His Grace, and for His pleasure and will He created us to be Sons of God! And to secure that in it’s most pure and holy form God sent His only Son for us.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

That’s it. That’s the Grace we are all talking about. We didn’t deserve it. We don’t deserve it. It’s simply that God loves us.

ALL.OF.US.EVERYONE.

Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham.  For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” Luke 19:9-10

THAT.NONE.SHOULD.PERISH.

You see, I’m a Christian. A follower of Christ on a mission to do what Jesus did and more. I’m here to show you grace. To give you grace. And to point you to the person Grace, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I am no longer lost. I have attained grace and the eternal life Jesus extended to me. It is now my job to let you know this …

By God’s grace He loves you. Right where you are. And too much to leave you there!

It doesn’t matter what you’ve done, where you’ve been. He chooses YOU. Right Now. Right Here.

Have you accepted the gift of Grace? Have you accepted the Grace that is Jesus Christ? Do you believe that He died on the cross for your sins and sickness? Do you believe that He rose again to reconcile God’s relationship with you and for you?

If your answer, today, is YES, then you’ve entered into the Grace.

The Grace that is the Love of God. Jesus.

Welcome to the journey, there is much to do and learn, and you are not alone. There are many of us here with you … come let us walk with Jesus.

If you have any questions, please, I would be happy to share this truth with you personally. You can contact me through the comments or personally at: romans826-28@comcast.net

Thanks for reading my friends. And blessings to you all.

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Tuesday @ Ten

Tuesday @ Ten


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On Father God … | Let My Words Be Few … Thursday


Words ThursdayMy little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth. 1 John 3:18

I’m reading ‘The Shack’ by William P. Young, again. Yes, it’s that profound. Not just good, PROFOUND. I encourage you read it and then keep in your library … you can find it in paperback for under $8 and on Kindle for less that $5! Follow the link above.

Quickly, I want to address what we think about God’s parenting style in our hard times.

Being what is considered a ‘mature’ Christian I rarely blame or question God. I was awed to discover that I didn’t blame or question God when The Hubs was diagnosed with lung cancer. I did all the things people do when they are presented with the grave, worldly understanding of such a diagnosis.

My head spun, my eyes became water spigots and my heart dropped and ached terribly, for the longest time. I slipped unhindered into a cavern of fear. It was dark and cold and I’d wake in the middle of the night just to check if he was breathing; when even the night before the diagnosis this was not a question in my thought processes. Now (or I should say then, it was over a year ago) it was a constant concern.

We were faced, blindsided by mortality. Oh how offensive that truly can be. I was offended. It never occurred to me that my husband, who had smoked for 40 years, could get cancer! How silly is that? [btw: he was diagnosed with non-smokers cancer, go figure]

But I never questioned God on the why. I just prayed, at first, that desperate wife’s prayer for healing, explaining to God how I couldn’t imagine living without this man he created for me. How I’d want to go with him. That there was nothing left here for me if he was gone. And then it changed, the prayer changed, when I came out of that tailspin. I began to pray the already received promise and thank God for our life so full of blessings. I don’t recall how long it took for the transition I speak of. But it came and I began to move forward, purposefully.

That said, I was reading the book, while waiting at some appointment or other, yesterday.This was the dialog between Mac and his youngest daughter, Missy, that caught my heart:

“Is the Great Spirit another name for God – you know, Jesus’ papa?” Missy

“I would suppose so. It’s a good name for God because he is Spirit and he is Great.” Mac

“Then how come he’s so mean?” Missy. She goes on to question why Jesus was made to die on the cross.

Mac goes on to tell her that Jesus didn’t think God was mean. He said Jesus knew God was full of love and loved him very much. That His daddy didn’t make Him die. Jesus chose to die because he and his daddy loved you and me and everyone in the world; that He saved us from our sickness.”

SAVED us from our sickness.

I knew this all along. I knew it when they presented the diagnosis. I knew it in my tailspin and I knew it when I came up for air. But deep down; did I question God’s logic in all of this?

Maybe, I guess I must have at some point. But I didn’t linger there, because when I think about God and His roll in these things we encounter in this life my head goes to the #1 scripture for the question: “Why, God?”

Jeremiah 29:10-13 10 For thus says the Lord: After seventy years are completed at Babylon, I will visit you and perform My good word toward you, and cause you to return to this place. 11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13 And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.

And the #2:

Isaiah 55:8-10  10“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
    neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
    so are my ways higher than your ways
    and my thoughts than your thoughts.
10 As the rain and the snow
    come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
    without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
    so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,

For me, this speaks it all, and it’s my husband’s scripture. This scripture has been spoken over my husband by many preachers, many who didn’t know him at all. And it’s the Jeremiah 29:11 always left my husband bristling. =) Not anymore!

God is saying right here, I will visit you in your illness [Babylon] and I will perform My good word [the promises] toward you and I will return you to this place [Divine Health] … for I know what I’ve planned for your life and the plan is good and will give you a future and hope! … and so much more. This scripture is so deep!

I am reassured by it. I know Daddy is not mean, that this illness is not His design for our lives. We don’t allow the illness to define us as a family, The Hubs as a person or our lives going forward. We live our life in forward motion, as though nothing is amiss. We don’t question God about it.

We know that like the rain and snow, we were sent [born] and will not return until we have done our work, planned by the Father, for the kingdom, that He planned for us.

We will fulfill our Kingdom Destinies! And nothing can stop that.

Though we do ask when it will stop; the chaos that comes with this malady. I think that’s a different question.

We call on Him for answers and we pray and He listens. We seek and we find Him because we search for Him with all our hearts, everyday.

So, my question: Are you blaming God for somethings? Are you asking Him why in regard to something or some circumstance in your life?

Know this. Today. Right here. If it’s a bad thing it is not of God’s design for your life, but He will use it so that you come out of it SURE of His presence and love and stronger for the test!

Thanks for reading. Give me your ‘few words’ about where you’re at today with God’s parenting of you in your life. I’d love to share this quiet day with you.

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