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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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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Still … In Five Minutes |FMF


Welcome to my FMF post. Where I join Kate and the others in blogging from my heart for 5 minutes; unhindered by the need to edit or corrections. Just my heart to yours on this fine Friday. You can either follow the FMF link in the sentence above or hop on over to how it works from the button on my side bar! Join us!

His Laughter - My Favorite Sound.

His Laughter – My Favorite Sound.

Today’s Prompt is: Still. So lets ….

GoToday I honor this man, The Hubs.

If you’ve frequented my blog you know who he is because I mention him often! ❤ Today is his birthday!

So today I honor the most honest man I’ve ever known. He changed my life almost 26 years ago! Wow … 26 years. I actually met him when I was 19 (and thought he was old.) but our worlds would become one when I was 24.

This man’s honesty, integrity and character are evident in him everyday, without fail. It thank God that He made me discerning enough to choose the man He sent for me, and me for him.

I am awed by this man’s strength and dignity in all things, and I could not love him more. That is until tomorrow comes and I realize a new and wonderful thing in him.

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O’ Lord this man.
We declare and decree the Word of God.
“Greater is He that is in you than He that is in the world.”
“By His stripes you are healed.”
“No weapon formed against you shall prosper.”
“You shall not die but live and declare the works of the Lord.”
“Don’t forget the benefits of God. He heals all our diseases.”
“The Lord will restore health to you and heal you of your wounds.”
“Affliction will not rise up a second time.”
“The power of the Lord is present to heal you.”

 

I count our years together as blessings, having realized that our successful marriage and relationship was God’s plan . How much more wonderful can a life be, than to live the life that God unites between the two people he built for one another?

With all my heart and soul, I love this man STILL and always.

I will honor him for eternity times infinity.

So Happy Birthday to the Love of my life. ❤  And … stop

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Praying Healing Psalms For a Friend and All Things | FMF & 31 days: day 17


God is LIMITLESS Love

God is LIMITLESS Love

Today’s Prompt for 5 Minute Friday: LONG. Go.

The Psalms are filled with {mostly} David’s desperate cries for help, healing and deliverance! We often long for God to help us, heal us or deliver us. Be for all that longing we neglect sometimes to pray … to cry out our petitions.

David, before and after becoming King David, was one of God’s favorites. Even, as He sinned, in his human-ness God referred to this son of His as “A man after My own heart.”

Well I am here to tell YOU that that is true of each one of us today. We are His favorite, You are His favorite, I am His favorite!

“How?!”

You ask.

Well, it’s because He is LIMITLESS … His very essence is LIMITLESS … His Love for us is LIMITLESS!

We, in our human-ness, put God in a box. A box infinitely smaller than God, in all of His LIMITLESSNESS.

Like small children, we cannot fathom the limitlessness of this Omnipotent, Omnipresent, Infinite God; nor can we fathom that His love for us has those same qualities.

But He DOES!

He DOES!

I find deep and visceral comfort in that. I long for you to feel this, too.

I am writing this particular post after being inspired by a good friend’s struggle today. By this friends perseverance in staying in God’s Word and His presence, today.

This person is struggling with something deeply tragic and emotional; and while that is going on they are doing their level best to stay in God’s Word and presence, today; while feeling like they cannot even breath for the pain and fear. I wanted my friend to know that God LOVES them and while the circumstances are what they are, and regardless of the fact that they cannot seem to feel Him as close, today, that God is, in fact, right there with them.

This is one of those Jesus moments for this friend; that test that reaches within one, viscerally, and actually, when all is said and done, proves within one’s Spirit and Mind that God’s is ALWAYS faithful to His children and His promises.

I have experienced this Jesus moment on several occasions just this year. So I know it is what my friend is experiencing right now. My friend has described, in short, feelings and emotions and fears that I have felt many times this year.

Yet, I came to a place where when my limits on God were destroyed, I became assured of the vastness of His love for me, deeply and permanently. I want that assurance for my friend; for all my friends and loved ones. For everyone.

That place? True Serenity!

The psalmist realized the limitations of man and recognized the limitlessness of God. He expressed these concepts in Psalms 139:7-12: “Where can I go from Thy Spirit? Or where can I flee from Thy presence? If I ascend to heaven, Thou art there, If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, Thou art there, If I take the wings of the dawn, If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea, Even there Thy hand will lead me, And Thy right hand will lay hold of me. If I say, ‘Surely the darkness will overwhelm me, And the light around me will be night,’ Even the darkness is not dark to Thee, And the night is as bright as the day. Darkness and light are alike to Thee.” (from: God’s Limitlessness).

So, as I cry out to God for my healing, { You changed my mourning into dancing. You took off my funeral clothes and dressed me up in joy so that my whole being might sing praises to you and never stop. = healing} I’ve added my friend and others in intercession …

I cried out to you, Lord.
I begged my Lord for mercy:
“What is to be gained by my spilled blood,
by my going down into the pit?
Does dust thank you?
Does it proclaim your faithfulness?
Lord, listen and have mercy on me!
Lord, be my helper!”
You changed my mourning into dancing.
You took off my funeral clothes
and dressed me up in joy
so that my whole being
might sing praises to you and never stop.
Lord, my God, I will give thanks to you forever. {AMEN} — Psalm 30:8-12 

Stop!

What is it today that you need God to heal or deliver you from; what do you long for? I encourage you to pray God’s scriptures; pray what He says about your situation today. I have found and can testify to the fact that praying God’s scriptures to Him never fails.

HE.NEVER.FAILS.

God bless.

Thank You for Reading. Andrea

Thank You for Reading.
Andrea

 

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The Patience of Waiting on God … A Healing Thing | tuesdays @ ten


Waiting ... Patience ... Perseverance

Waiting … Patience … Perseverance

“If you are going through hell, keep going.”
Winston Churchill

And there it is … the truth! True patience and perseverance.

Romans 5:3-8

Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

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Strong Enough

So shouldn’t we be patient and wait on God?

Patience is the ability to accept and wait or suffer on something or someone without becoming angry or upset!

Be still and know that I am God … Psalm 46:10-11

10 Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.

11 Jehovah of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah

Selah means to sit quietly and meditate on this … in other words have patience and wait on the Lord to reveal the meaning to you. Not your understanding, but the meaning of what God is saying to you, individually, right now, about your circumstance.

Waiting on healing that the Word says is already complete is a conundrum to say the very least. To understand the promise and to manifest that promise are two very different things! And it can be frustrating.

Yet, Patience says we must suffer that wait without that frustration. Even though that frustration can only delay, not stop, that manifestation.

So how do I have patience enough to endure the process. How does one accomplish this ethereal task within themselves?

” … suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God has been poured out into our hearts …

I believe this is about us and our response to God in the hard situations. Circumstances like cancer and heart failure and addiction.

Because at “just the right time” when we are truly powerless and surrendering all to God … God then demonstrates Himself: LOVE, for us, to us and through us. Even as we are still sinners.

Like I said this morning in a scripture status on our favorite Social Media vehicle:

You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. – Ephesians 4:22-24
* Note: WE were TAUGHT … it’s a walk, a process. WE MUST read and learn and fellowship and CHANGE the attitudes of our minds. As wonderful as it all is the Love and Grace of God … we are human in a fallen world and we must LEARN and be GUIDED to this place of TRUE righteousness and Holiness in God.

It’s all a process, in patience and perseverance, to Righteousness and Holiness … to getting what we KNOW down in our Spirits for true Understanding.

I simply need to remember that my Manifest Healing was completed the day I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior, and that I must wait patiently on my human-ness to catch up with my acceptance.

True Serenity.

We call that “Speaking those things that are not (in the natural/the flesh/what is tangible to us here on earth) as though they are. Speaking FAITH; because what we KNOW is promised must be KNOWN in the heart …

That short 18 inch trip from the head to the heart.

And that takes Patience and Perseverance … so I fight the frustrations and do what I know I should do and wait, patiently on God.

Trust me I know this is hard, a LOT. We all live it. We all struggle to be patient in this instant gratification world of ours … but what is it you need to hand to God and be patient and trusting for Him to complete today? Know you are not alone in this virtuous struggle with Spirit and Flesh.

For me, today, I’m handing God the obesity and asking that He conquer it … even as I set out to start Nutrisystem so that I can get my dietary lifestyle under control.

It’s letting God work in me, while I do what I know to do … leaning on Him and not my understanding (or anyone else’s understanding) of what NEEDS to be done to conquer this underlying and deadly dis-ease within me.

Thanks for forgiving the length (this went just a bit over 5 minutes, didn’t it!) and for reading, my faithful friends.

Andrea

Andrea

 

 

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Tuesday @ Ten

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Sunday Healing (2) | 31days:12


Sunday … truly a day of healing. Especially during praise and worship … That’s when the Holy Spirit decides to show up and join us. That moment when individually or corporately we are truly exalting His name; when we truly recognize His presence within us. We call this the manifest presence of God … that moment when God shows up and the Spirit is truly upon you.

That presence upon me gives me a sense of healing of health … I recognize it as something I should feel all day everyday … that feeling of complete wholeness of health … Spirit mind and body. And then I think, deeply and viscerally thankful … Who am I? This overweight, can’t control my stress eating woman; who knows the clinical reasons for doing the right thing by my health but cannot seem, these days, to get a grip on it.  Who am I that the God of the Universe should be mindful of me or care for me?

Then I remember that the Creator of the Universe is My Father and He loves me! =) And then … I feel that sense of wholeness again. I am learning how to retain that … maybe I just need to remember that He loves me and praise Him in that continually.

Psalm 8:3-5

I look up at your macro-skies, dark and enormous,
    your handmade sky-jewelry,
Moon and stars mounted in their settings.
    Then I look at my micro-self and wonder,
Why do you bother with us?
    Why take a second look our way?

 Yet we’ve so narrowly missed being gods,
    bright with Eden’s dawn light.
You put us in charge of your handcrafted world,
    repeated to us your Genesis-charge,
Made us lords ….

 

Psalm 8: 3-8

When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers,

The moon and the stars, which You have ordained,
What is man that You are mindful of him,
And the son of man that You visit him?
 For You have made him a little lower than the angels,
And You have crowned him with glory and honor.

Thank you for reading.

Andrea

Andrea

31 Days Journey to Healing

31 Days Journey to Healing

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31 days of Five Minute Free Writes

31 days of Five Minute Free Writes

31 Days!

31 Days!


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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