HOPE*ann*FAITH

Learning to Live , Again, On Purpose.


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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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I Tell YOU the Truth |Tues. @ 10


Happy Tuesday … Where we, a growing group of creatives get a prompt word meant to spark creativity in the heart of the writer, or the photographer, or artist, in them. Just about a week is given for the creator to create from this word and all that is asked is that you share and check out what your neighbor in the link up list did with the prompt. You’ll be surprised at how often we are all led on the same path!

Tuesday @ Ten

Tuesday @ Ten

 

Today’s Tuesday Prompt is …. Truth.

“I tell you the truth …”

Jesus is quoted as saying that phrase 78 times in the New Testament! 78 … that’s a lot of truth, but that is part of why he came to earth as a man. To testify to the Truth of God. More interesting: 30 of those truths were recorded just in the book of Matthew.

To tell you the truth, we need healing in our house. A lot of healing. And today I am having a very hard time with the information we got from the doctors at The Hubs’ last two visits. In  my head, and usually in my heart, I know and cannot be moved away from the knowledge that we WERE healed by Jesus’ sacrifice, for US, on the cross. This is knowledge in our home.

It is Truth in our home.

Lord, I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief! Mark 9:24 (my prayer, taken from the same story but in the book of Mark.)

Matthew 17:14-23

The Healing of a Boy with a demon: also — Mk 9:14-28; Lk 9:37-42

14 When they came to the crowd, a man approached Jesus and knelt before him. 15 “Lord, have mercy on my son,” he said. “He has seizures and is suffering greatly. He often falls into the fire or into the water. 16 I brought him to your disciples, but they could not heal him.” 17 “O unbelieving and perverse generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy here to me.” 18 Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of the boy, and he was healed from that moment. 19 Then the disciples came to Jesus in private and asked, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?” 20 He replied, “Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” 22 When they came together in Galilee, he said to them, “The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of men. 23 They will kill him, and on the third day he will be raised to life.” And the disciples were filled with grief.
*****
 This causes me concern about my faith. And if I’m having a crisis of faith right now, it’s not my faith in God’s promise of healing! It’s about my level of faith being hammered at almost daily for over a year. I thank God that it is His faith that works in and through me and not a faith that I must maintain on my own!
I said to my husband last night, in heartbroken, absolute truth, that it is so hard to hear these things and look at him vibrantly himself. It rocks me that he can be virtually well yet this thing can be inside of him trying to kill him! I told him that I wouldn’t be having such a hard time with his decision to NOT do anything about what they were telling us (he’s decided to refuse anymore chemo; but is willing to consider clinical trials for experimental drugs.) if he were ill and suffering. Somehow it would be easier to just quietly sit back in my sorrow about his refusal.
But, like he says, the chemo doesn’t seem to be doing anything (reminder to self: chemo is poison, not medicine!) can doing nothing really be worse?
And my wife/mother screams in my head … WE HAVE TO DO SOMETHING! Yet, the truthful questions is: Do we? or Does God?
The amazing truth is he looks great! He feels and functions almost at his norm, except for some fatigue.
It’s amazing, as much as the schedule and the chemo stressed him and fatigued him, I’ll say it again, he did not experience what we all hear about and see on TV, or what others seem to have experienced with their loved ones.
No days of pain and suffering. No horrible, wasting illness. No vomiting and not being able to eat. None of that.
And it is for those very “NOs” that we remain faithful to God’s assurances of The Hubs’ healing.
And then the doctors tell us “their” truth. So when we were told what we were told yesterday their truth rocked my truth. So to decided to do nothing is beyond my scope right now.
The truth is, though, that it is ultimately my husband’s, and God’s, decision. Though I did honestly tell him that while I support his decision he needs to keep in mind that he [they] is making life altering decisions for both our lives.
Truthfully. I believe God. The Hubs looks and feels great, though right now, today, he is angry and frustrated that all this year’s work and treatments seem to have been for naught. We believe, we know, that God has healed him. That God is bigger than the doctors reports and tests and protocols.
Yet today’s Truth is that I am spent. I posted for all our loved ones and friends in the faith and prayer that we were home and were moving forward for the possibility of the clinical trial, and most took that as the good news that it is. But like the chemo (which isn’t curative or even really a medicine) the trial medications are unproved and may be non-curative either. It’s a clinical trial. The doctors and manufacturers have high hopes and so do we.
The truth is …. I am ready for the manifestation of healing in Hutchland. I am ready to stop feeling like I have to be waiting for the next report.
I am ready for the doctors and the world to understand the Truth, that …
Only God heals. Jesus is the only cure.
Like The Hubs says and stands by: The doctors are not curing him, God is. The doctors cannot heal him, only God can.
So today I will continue to recite that … Only God. Only Jesus. He is our cure. He is our doctor. He is our healer.
Hiding-Psalm-27-in-My-Heart_DoNotDepart I’m going to add here today’s attempt at my memorization of Psalm 27: 1 & 2 … here goes!
1. The Lord is my light and my strength; 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 The to eat up my flesh, My enemies all fell  and foes, they stumbled and fell.
Not too bad for the second day of adding verse two!
I thought that Psalm 27 fit this post, truthfully. These two verses are a big part of what I am and will be focusing on in regard to our current circumstances here in Hutchland.
I refuse to allow the enemy to kill my two men (the second being my youngest. I wrote a post on Sunday about my son’s struggle here.)
Quite frankly it’s been a very trying couple of weeks for this wife and mother.
Thanks for reading. Blessings to you, all.
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Would I wish …


It’s a quiet day here in Hutchland. I’ve been awake since 4:30 am, had to get the boy to his job early. Then it was hard to get back to sleep after my return home, just as the light was filling the sky with cotton candy clouds surrounded by pastel pinks and purples … like I said, a quiet morning. Peaceful as most of the world around me lay sleeping.

I recently purchased the devotional “A Year with C.S. Lewis”. I adore his writing, which is odd because it is not easy to read, at all. After all much of his writing is 100 years old, but I LOVE his style and the way the people spoke back then. Eloquent and complete, not dumb-ed down like our language is today.

Today the reading was about wishing a dearly departed love back. It spoke to me, because I have moments when I want desperately to beg God NOT to take The Hubs from me right now. And it conjures memories of my younger Christian existence when I surrendered everything to God in my salvation, but asked passionately and repeatedly that He not take my love from me. OH how naive I was; believing that God, after giving me the man I KNOW He chose for me, would wrench him and that love, a love I had never experienced before, from me.

God doesn’t do that. He NEVER gives to take away; it’s not how God operates, I know this to my marrow, now; but did not then.

This devotional, by no mistake, is focusing on the book ‘A Grief Observed’, which I own but have not read. It’s heart wrenchingly sweet and tragic how Lewis felt about losing the love of his life. The love that caused him to evolve into the man that wrote these many books, the man who, as he described as a creature coming out of its shell being doomed to crawl back in after such loss.

I must read the entirety of this book to know the outcome of this Grief that he experienced and observed within himself.

Today the devotions is titled “Would I Wish Her Back” … this only rises fear in me, yet it begs the question of will I be able to let my love go when it is time, at any time. Or will I crumble into that naive little Christian who begs God not to take what she still wants and needs regardless of His plan, or the needs and desires of my love.

Now we women have a way of practicing and rehearsing possible outcomes of the circumstances of this life, good and bad. You know you do. We conjure the horrible and test our emotional fortitude under the imagined outcome. And losing a loved one is one many practice often, as uncomfortable and self-serving as that may be.

Yet, I wonder of my fortitude: am I as strong in faith as I believe? Really, who am I to judge the level of my own faith and courage? With what or whom do I compare mine to?

Lewis poses the question to himself: “What sort of lover am I to think so much about my affliction [loss] and so much less about hers?

What kind of love am I to want him to stay if  it’s his time to go home? Does this make me faithless? Does it mean I don’t trust God with my future?

OR

Does it mean that I simply love my love too much to imagine my life without him. I mean obviously I’ve imagined it. But NOW, today, this last year, the possibility was all too real. Some of the doctors were even convinced it was a sure thing. Thank God they were wrong.

Yet the day will come … even though the Word says we have 120 years, 120 is not eternity and jealously and selfishly I want eternity.

EVERY.SINGLE.MOMENT.OF. ETERNITY.

That is what I want, but alas, we cannot always get what we want, to quote Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones.

So rather than dwell any further on whether or not I would wish my love back, even for a moment, I will remain here in the present and enjoy …

EVERY.MOMENT.OF.LIFE. with my love.

That is what I would wish for today.

My Heart

My Heart


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NOTHING … FMF


This is the place where once a week we take the chance to just write, and not worry if it’s just right or not.

For five minutes flat.

Here’s how the game works: you simply stop, drop and write. Set your words free. Don’t edit them, don’t fret over them, don’t try to make them perfect.

That’s how Five Minute Friday was born. Want to play? It’s fun. And it’s never too late to link up. Also? The awesome Karen whipped up a Facebook page where we can connect and talk all things writing beyond just Fridays! Click here to join us.

Then come take the Five Minute Friday challenge.

1. Write for only five minutes.
2. Link back here and invite others to play along.
3. Go high five the word artist who linked up before you with an awesome comment.

It’s liberating; give it a a try and see.

OK, are you ready? Give me your best five minutes for the prompt:

– See more at: http://lisajobaker.com/2014/05/five-minute-friday-nothing/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+thegypsymama+%2No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

5 Minute Friday … write for 5 minutes, no editing, no cleaning it up. Just write from the heart … tell your short story on the topic of the day and then share it with others at: http://lisajobaker.com/five-minute-friday/

indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

God says: GO!

Nothing Can Separate Us from God’s Love

What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else? Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? No one—for God himself has given us right standing with himself. Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us.

Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death?(As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.) No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.

And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

No nothing can separate us from God’s love … except for ourselves!

But then grace says … no NOTHING means NOTHING! I cannot even separate me from my Father God’s love; no not even if I try my darnedest

Ahhhh Grace … a man who perserveres through my doubt and fears. Jesus, who never leaves nor forsakes us, even in our darkest hour.

So I muddle through all the mire that this life brings to my doorstep. Sounds worse than it is, really.

The worst so far is cancer. Is that infirmity that frightens all of humanity. That dis-ease that causes the very thing within us that triggers it … resentment and anger.

indeed, NOTHING … we have persevered, we beat the first round and we are now in the second inning … It doesn’t mean we are not loved. Cancer is not a death sentence for some unknown felony in life … it is a trial like any other and we choose …

I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live,

LIFE!

STOP.

Scriptures used:

Romans 8:31-39; Deuteronomy 30:19 and Deuteronomy 31:6


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Words … He comes because of my words … {Day 3}


Woke up before the sun … knowing that God wanted me to pray. In the seeking of the Him in me I am finding the shoulds …

HAPPY THURSDAY … MY ATTEMPT AT A BRIEF POST … WON’T YOU SHARE WITH US YOUR HEART? SIMPLY LINK IN WITH THE LINKZ TOOL AT THE END! BLESSINGS.

A Few Words Thursday @ HOPEannFAITH

       

Because (S)he loves me, says the LORD, I will rescue her; I will protect her, for she acknowledges my name. (S)he will call upon me , and I will answer …Psalm 91:14-15a

My words … I deal in words {obviously} and this is a very important thing, because it is my words that He responds to …

Do I say I love Him enough {do I understand and truly feel that love I profess?}

Do I consider life and death before I use my words.

When I call on Him do I truly want His answer … His rescue? 

Our mothers spent a zillion hours teaching us to be polite, to watch our words, to be kind with our thoughts …

Sticks and Stones may break my bones but Words can never

 hurt me!”

According to God and His Word this is the most harmfully lifelong lie out there. It is our words that hurt the most. It is words that kill a spirit and make a being stop thriving. Just look at the world we live in …

Have you ever extended a kind word and had the person either act as if they’ve never heard kindness before or get angry, because they actually think you are mocking them? This is the climate of the world we live in.

But God! God is good.

The angel in Daniel 10:12 says: ” I have come because of your words.”

God, directly to us, in Psalm 91:15: ” He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him …”

Our words determine our daily relationship with God. Our words, in our day to day, determine whether the angels of God are commanded concerning us, to guard us in our ways (in our daily life) …

Its about what we SAY …

In this quest of finding God in me … in my life, daily … I see it requires me to be concerned with my words. I must speak God’s truths, in light of the world’s truths. I must call on God, and not my confidantes, who may be living harder than I am. Don’t get me wrong … God speaks to us in many ways; for most primarily through the Word, but definitely through His other children! What I am saying is that if I reach out to a human first it stays God’s hand in my dealings.

If I dwell in the shelter of the Most High; rest in the shadow of the Almighty, If I say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress, My God in whom I trust … {Psalm 91}

Why then would I seek the counsel of man first … are my words of Faith and Trust true …

This is what I find in this journey [and while I’ve added a new twist to this journey with the 30 quest; the journey remains the same.] … I find that when I seek God in my day to day He sends the right person(s) to impart to me what I need.

And I often find Him in the writings of other Christian women like Kelly Sauer and Jennifer and Lisa-Jo and Ann VosKamp and others. He sends their words with the answers … and these ladies do what I strive to do … we write what He gives us, to share with you.

He comes because of my words … what I think … what I speak … what I write, and when I use those words right, God shows up.

What are you saying in your life today? Did you wake before the sun with kind thoughts for yourself, for your day? Are you ready to stop speaking the banalities of the world and begin speaking the life God intended for your life?

It’s my humble suggestion that you first read Psalm 91 ~ God’s love letter to us directly ~ all the promises contained within! See yourself as the child who acknowledges Him and see the promises and blessings that come with that simple task.

Blessings Loves.




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#Trust30 ~ Divine Idea


 I have joined others in this challenge…click through the Trust  30 picture and join us!

Grace

Divine Idea by Fabian Kruse

Imitation is Suicide. Insist on yourself; never imitate. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Write down in which areas of your life you have to overcome these suicidal tendencies of imitation, and how you can transform them into a newborn you – one that doesn’t hide its uniqueness, but thrives on it. There is a “divine idea which each of us represents” – which is yours?

(Author: Fabian Kruse)

For me, in my faith, Imitation is LIFE…made in the image of my Creator God, the Father.

I insist upon being who God created me to be.

On the day I gave my heart to Christ, and was baptized by water and in Spirit I was transformed and born again! Unique in Him and thriving on eternity!

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:The old has gone, the new is here!      ~2 Corinthians 5:17

“There is “a divine idea which each of us represents”…which is mine?

Honestly? The idea, The reality I represent is Salvation…Love…Grace…

But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives lifebecause of righteousness. And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because ofhis Spirit who lives in you. ~Romans 8:10-11

I have been transformed…translated into the light…If imitation is suicide then I die, again, with Christ, and live in Him…by choice of that divine idea reality.

“For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves,” ~Colossians 1:13 

Blessings Loves


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In the Land of the Living


Let My Words Be Few...

Few Words Thursday…A Writing Prompt…

Join us with a quick few words of inspiration, love or laughter…no real rules…no word counts…Click the picture above to see what were about and jump in. We look forward to sharing this space with you!

It’s been a hard week…

Death has been a theme…

It’s been very hot, right off of it being wet, damp and cold.

A lot for a body and spirit to take…

But God! There is a hope and a prayer and praise music to console a weary heart and mind.

I wrote my heart yesterday, at the loss of a friend.

I’m caring for my dad’s house while he sits at his mother’s side; I don’t really know my grandma on this side of the family…

Tomorrow I do it again, after caring for my mother’s mother’s needs…my grandma…

Yet I feel spent and as if I am somehow uncared for…which is silly!

And yet this scripture came to mind amidst all of this sorrow and loss…

I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living!        Psalm 27:13

and I keep going back again and again to this song…It was the song that was in my head when I awoke to the Monday of this week of loss…the song that remained all day, as I realized this would be a week of loss, regret and sadness.

I believe I even posted this within the last entry…here .

So today…after yesterday…I decided I must come out of the funk and roam again amongst the living…

There is going to be loss and pain in this life…but I cannot give in to the emptiness and nothingness that is my natural reaction.

So as I, again listen to the song above and watch my love play with pups that are just opening their eyes, I…

choose to see the good that is in the land of the living and put aside the things of which I have no control…

and allow God to handle that which is His, while I live this life abundantly, as He has provided.

I will hurt for a bit…but they are with Him and singing Holy, Holy….just like the song…

Blessings Loves