Author Archives: hope

About hope

The Lord has blessed me with life and in living each day I have found the struggles, joys, and triumphs to be each an opportunity to encourage those around me.

Happy Independence Day

For all those in uniform, protecting our country,

Thank you!

For all those who have served in the past,

Thank you!

For all those who have supported a loved one while they served, spending countless time without them, but holding them up by keeping the home a safe place to return to,

Thank you!

For those who have given of themselves in other ways; pastors, counselors, teachers, medical staff, and hundreds of other positions which help our nation,

Thank you!

For those who boarded a boat to start a new beginning in a land unknown, willing to risk so much just to serve God and build a future for their families,

We remember you!

For those who chose to separate from England and risked their lives to fight for freedom,

We remember you!

For our Heavenly Father, who created each one, provides for each one, and sent His Son to pay the price of sin, for each one,

Glory and honor and praise be to You!

May we never forget that America is blessed because of God.

May we never tire of living faithfully before God and mankind as a testimony to Jesus Christ and the betterment of all.

Happy Independence Day!

July 2, 2022

Today’s prayer:

Give us help from trouble, For the help of man is useless. Through God we will do valiantly, For it is He who shall tread down our enemies.
Psalms 108:12‭-‬13 NKJV

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for Your faithfulness, Your mercy, Your grace, and Your goodness. Lord Jesus, I thank You for Your provision. You carried me through yesterday and I am so thankful for Your guidance. Lord Jesus, please continue to teach me from Your Word. As the Psalmist said, help us from trouble, for You alone are our refuge and strength. Lord, thank You that You defeated sin and death on the cross. Thank You that through Your salvation I have nothing to fear. You have trampled down doubt and worry through Your faithfulness and I am so thankful to be able to trust in You for all things. Lord Jesus, I love You. I thank You for Your love. I praise Your holy name, for You are magnificent, there is none like You. Lord, You are God and through You all creation came to be. Thank You for creating me. May my life bring glory to Your name. Amen.

Some days…

I need more.

This morning, I needed more thankfulness.

I woke up late, probably due to my asthma giving me trouble.

I’d neglected to open the house last night, to allow the cool evening air to circulate and cool down the house.

As I moved around trying to get the lamb’s bottle, make my husband’s coffee, and open the house, I found myself struggling.

(I have so much compassion for elderly people!)

Yet, as I did the required things, the Lord spoke to my heart.

Be thankful.

Yes!

“Lord, thank You for this beautiful day. Thank You for my husband, please be with him at work and help him in all he does.”

After feeding my lamb, I went to open the chicken coop.

The outside door had been difficult for me to open, so last weekend, my husband fixed it.

As I hooked it open I praised God for His blessings, specifically my husband and an easier chicken door.

My sluggishness began to return as I headed to water the garden.

Our hose is newer and often causes me trouble, this morning was no different.

I began to grumble in my heart and the Lord spoke again.

Be thankful.

“Yes, Lord. Please forgive me.”

“Lord, thank You for this hose, as difficult as it is, I am so glad I’m not carrying buckets of water.”

“Lord, thank You for Your provision, how You are making our garden grow. Thank You that even with the loss of so many plants, You have given us much. Lord, I lift up my day and thank You for Your blessings. You know what is in store, please help me to hear Your voice and trust in You completely, waiting upon You for direction.”

I setup the sprinkler, watering the corn, and heard my husband.

He was headed to work, but came out to kiss me goodbye.

We briefly talked and he left an image of his warm smile on my heart.

“Lord, thank You for my husband. I’m so blessed.”

By the time I returned to the house, my attitude had lifted greatly, the physical restrictions were no longer able to rob me of joy.

After all, God is good, His mercy endures forever, what, in this life, compares?

If I suffer, it is a reminder to pray, praise, and be thankful.

Psalm 30:12 KJV — To the end that my glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks unto thee for ever.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your patience with me, such a slow learner. Thank You for Your mercy and grace which never fail! Lord, thank You for reminding me to be thankful. It has been such a joy to turn all things back to an opportunity to praise You. For You are worthy of all honor and glory. Lord, thank You for supplying my needs, especially this week. You know I was not looking forward to our schedule, yet You have stepped in and carried us through. Lord Jesus, You know what is required for today and I rest in Your provision, trusting Your Sovereignty. Lord, please continue to remind me to be thankful, especially when I stray into self-pity. Guard my heart against the temptations of self focus and continue to teach me how to see as You do. Lord Jesus, I praise Your holy name! Amen.

A lesson from a leper

When He had come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed Him. And behold, a leper came and worshiped Him, saying, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.” Then Jesus put out His hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing; be cleansed.” Immediately his leprosy was cleansed. And Jesus said to him, “See that you tell no one; but go your way, show yourself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.”
Matthew 8:1‭-‬4 NKJV

This story is rich with personal application.

Picture the words:

“When He had come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed Him.”

Jesus is not alone, infact He’s being followed by an extreme number of people.

“And behold a leper came…”

God’s Word clearly states that those with this terrible disease were to avoid others.

“Now the leper on whom the sore is, his clothes shall be torn and his head bare; and he shall cover his mustache, and cry, ‘Unclean! Unclean!’ He shall be unclean. All the days he has the sore he shall be unclean. He is unclean, and he shall dwell alone; his dwelling shall be outside the camp.
Leviticus 13:45‭-‬46 NKJV

Can you hear him?

He would have yelled “unclean” as he crept toward Jesus.

But then his actions changed.

“…and worshiped Him.”

The first thing this leper did was worship, some translations say knelt.

The attitude of this leper is one of humility.

Which are reaffirmed by his words.

“Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.”

He’s not asking for healing, he’s staying his understanding of Jesus’s authority and placing himself before Him with surrender.

‘Then Jesus put out His hand…”

As a person who was not allowed to be touched, this must have been an incredible moment.

But it was Jesus’s words which were life changing.

“…saying, ‘I am willing; be cleansed.’ Immediately his leprosy was cleansed.”

This leper was a leper no more!

And Jesus gave him another identity, one of testimony.

“And Jesus said to him, ‘See that you tell no one; but go your way, show yourself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.'”

His testimony was not of words, but of action.

This man was to stand before the priests as a testimony to Jesus’s healing.

The very religious leaders who should have recognized the hand of God.

This man’s story is staggering.

His desperate need brought him to a place of surrender before Jesus.

Jesus changed his life, permanently and gave him a new future, a new calling.

The change in him after he met Jesus being visible to all.

I want that kind of testimony.

I want my life to be so healed, so different than the me before Jesus, that people might merely look at me and see Him.

And I know if I humble myself before Jesus daily, surrendering myself fully to His will, He will touch my life in such a way as to change me, making my life a testimony to others.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for this story. Thank You for the humility in this man. Lord, I know he was never the same after meeting You and neither am I. Lord Jesus, please help me to humble myself before You surrendering myself completely. Thank You for making this transformation a journey, each day a new opportunity to be polished by Your Holy Spirit. Each day a chance to shine brighter than the one before. I give You all glory and honor, Lord! You are worthy of all praise and worship! Amen.

June 30, 2022

Today’s prayer:

Psalm 55:22 KJV — Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your promises. Thank You that through Your sacrifice I can be right before You. Lord Jesus, I cast my cares upon You this morning. I humble myself before You and thank You for Your patient endurance with me. I know Your love is what sustains me. I know it is Your righteousness that is never moved and I’m so thankful to find protection and comfort under Your salvation. Lord, thank You for Your faithfulness yesterday and last night. Thank You for Your provision this morning. Thank You for continuing to supply all my needs, especially those of the heart. Lord, please help me to be honest, upright, loving, long suffering, joyful, and at peace. Some days are easier to reside in those things than others, but I know, without doubt, that through Your Holy Spirit I can. Thank You for teaching me how to do well with little or much, how to wait upon Your direction instead of trying to make my own way. Thank You for a new day. Lord, please be glorified through us, that praise and honor will spring forth. I love You, Jesus. Amen.

June 29, 2022

Today’s prayer:

“Therefore, I will judge each of you, O people of Israel, according to your actions, says the Sovereign Lord. Repent, and turn from your sins. Don’t let them destroy you! Ezekiel 18:30 NLT

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your love and righteousness. Thank You for paying the price for my sins and allowing me to come underneath Your righteousness. Lord Jesus, thank You that I can be honed by You daily, reading Your Word and applying it to my heart. Lord Jesus, please continue to reveal those things I have need of correction for. Give me Your perspective and help me to humble myself before You in all things. Lord, show me if there’s anything I’ve allowed in the secret places of my soul which should not be there. Lord, teach me Your Word and help me better understand Your truths. Jesus, if I have been mistaken about something in Your scriptures, please show me my error. Lord, let me never be haughty, prideful about anything. Lord, I do not want to lean on my own strength or walking in my own ideas or be foolish and blind to my stubborn flesh. Lord, correct me when I’m in error. Chastise me when I have fallen into sin, that I might return quickly to You and be guided by Your Word and Your Holy Spirit. Lord Jesus, thank You so much for Your truth, Your grace, Your mercy, Your patience, and Your love. I love You. Amen.

June 28, 2022

Today’s prayer:

Isaiah 61:11 NLT — The Sovereign LORD will show his justice to the nations of the world. Everyone will praise him! His righteousness will be like a garden in early spring, with plants springing up everywhere.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You so much for Your righteousness! Thank You for Your Word which teaches, guides, exhorts. Lord, thank You that You show us what is truth, what righteousness really is. Thank You that Your time on Earth is our example of how to live, how to serve You, and how to love others. Thank You that You alone are the perfect One who not only showed us ourselves clearly, revealed our sinful state, but You paid the price. Lord, I’m confessing my struggles with temptation and humbly requesting Your strength to remain diligent in all things. Lord Jesus, I’m trusting You to show me what Your desire for my day is. I want to be honorable before You, no matter the cost. Please keep my feet upon Your paths, guard my heart against stumbling onto the paths of selfish ambition, fearing man, the ways of the flesh, or anything else which would lead me astray. Lord, may my lips speak truth, my heart be filled with gratitude for Your salvation, and my mind ruminating upon Your Word. I want to be seed which produces a crop. I want Your righteousness and praise to spring up in my life daily. I love You, Jesus. Amen.

In my arms

Tiny, precious, and a miracle, my heart overflowed, my tears trickled down my cheeks, and around my smile as I embraced one of the twins.

Yesterday, our friends who had identical twins came to church for the first time.

I was surprised, but so pleased when offered to burb one of the babies.

As a cradled this small miracle man on my shoulder, trying to gently encourage a release of gas bubbles, an older woman looked up at me and said,

“There’s nothing like holding a baby.”

I agreed.

As we drove home, I just couldn’t contain my joy and privilege at being allowed to hold a tiny baby whose beginning was so many answered prayers.

But I had no idea this wasn’t the only gift God would grant me this blessed Sunday.

Anne and I were able to attend a wedding yesterday in a community I’ve never visited before.

The bride was a friend of our daughter’s and we were excited to celebrate this union of two people who love Jesus and one another.

Not long before the ceremony began, Anne grabbed my arm.

“Mom, did you see her?”

Shaking my head, I crooked my neck in an effort to see who she was talking about.e’ve known each other since in our teens.

It turned out to be a friend of mine.

We’ve known each other since our teens.

I hadn’t expected to see her, but realized I should have, as she and her three girls are good friends with the bride’s family.

I’m a bit older than she and when I had our Anne, she and her sisters visited me in the hospital.

She also made Anne the most beautiful baby quilt.

We worked together at the Academy and I was blessed to have her oldest daughter in my class my final year of teaching there.

Because of my health and our move, I’ve not seen her in about three years.

Just this year she’s been diagnosed with cancer.

Because of the other people, I had to wait for a bit to see her.

When she stepped within reach I threw my arms around her and hugged her.

I don’t know if it’s possible to communicate all emotions from one person to another through a hug, but I certainly tried.

Tears streamed down my face again.

The final gift God gave me was after the ceremony.

As I stepped close to the bride, her expression was surprised.

Then I realized, she’d not seen me since my health began improving.

Her comment was of the joy that I was able to come.

I was so blessed to wrap my arms around this beautiful young woman and tell her how glad we were for her and her husband.

In one day God placed three people in my arms and each one was a gift.

When I consider the wonderful privilege of friendship, life, and love, I’m amazed by God.

Ecclesiastes 3:5 KJV — A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

Yesterday, was definitely a time to embrace!

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You so much for blessing me! My heart is still full of gratitude for all Your wonderous works. I want to remain in this place of thankfulness all my days, please help me to never stop recognizing and praising You for Your gifts. Lord Jesus, I lift up those beautiful miracle men, and I humbly request You place Your hands upon them daily, leading them in Your calling, working through their lives. Please help these boys to know You from an early age and cling to Your Word and You, Jesus. Lord, I lift up my dear friend and her daughters. I thank You for each one of them and how You are walking them through this extreme season of difficulty. Lord, please touch each one, giving them grace and strength to follow You throughout. Finally, Lord, I lift up this couple who committed themselves to You and each other, before so many, yesterday. Please give them all they require, supply their needs and help them to find joy in this new family You created by bringing them together. Thank You for marriage and the blessings You grant within it. Lord, thank You so much for all these precious people. Thank You for Your blessings and Your gifts. I love You, Jesus. Thank You so first loving me. Amen.

June 27, 2022

Today’s prayer:

Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma. Ephesians 5:1‭-‬2 NKJV

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your Word. Thank You that You left us such an incredible example of how to walk through this world. Thank You for those You used to preserve Your Word, that we might know and learn about You. I want to imitate You, please help me to do so. Lord Jesus, please hold my hand as I walk through this day, teaching me, guiding me, and helping me to trust You continually. Lord, Your ways are perfect and Your truth is life. I thank You so much for the blessings You have bestowed upon each one of us: life, provision, breath, the Bible, love, joy, peace, patience, compassion, understanding, but most of all salvation. Lord Jesus, I want to follow after You, living today honoring Your sacrifice and loving as You do. Please continue to help me to see You clearly, knowing You personally, and following You always. Thank You, Jesus. Amen.

June 25, 2022

Today’s prayer:

A lying tongue hates its victims, and flattering words cause ruin.
Proverbs 26:28 NLT

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your Word and all the instruction within. Lord Jesus, You know my heart and the struggles I am facing this day. You understand my weaknesses and the things which grieve me. How my heart hurts for those who are hurting and those who are choosing sin rather than righteousness. Lord, You know the truth of those hidden thoughts which are never spoken. Lord, I do not want to sin against You in anyway at all, but especially with my words, for they harm others when spoken out of sin and they separate me from You. Lord Jesus, my flesh wars against my spirit and although Your gift of self-discipline has made it easier, I don’t always understand how to reconcile the things which hurt me. Lord, please teach me when to speak and what to say. Please help me walk with integrity and truth, looking for Your guidance, searching Your Word for the truth. Finding my answers through Your discernment and not in man’s ideas. Lord Jesus, please keep me from falsehoods and bitterness. Please protect me from the snares of the enemy, the cares of this world. Lord, please help me to wait upon You in all things and to walk with You every moment. Please, place Your Word in my mouth, that I might build others up. Please guard my heart from temptation and help me recognize evil quickly that I might turn away from it. Lord Jesus, please continue show me how You provide for each day, as You always have, that I might give You the thanks and praise You deserve. Lord, thank You for Your patience with me. Please heal the hurt I’m experiencing. Thank You for all things, for I know You are working throughout. I love You, Jesus. Amen.