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.

April 18

Today’s prayer:

Proverbs 17:17 KJV — A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.

Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for friendship. Thank You that You are the best friend we can ever have. Thank You for friends inside the body of Christ. Thank You for those brothers and sisters who are so faithful, caring, long lasting, and full of love. Lord, thank You for how You work through others to touch us. Please help us, help me, to be a friend like You are. Please help me to be a friend who loves at all times. Lord, help me to see the sin, but love the sinner well. To speak Your truth and to let no unwholesome talk out if my mouth, but only that which will build up those who listen. Lord, please help me to stand before You in prayer for others. Help me to know how to pray. Lord, please bless them, provide for them, walk with them, guide and protect them. Help them to live daily unto You in all they do and all they are. Bless others through them. Thank You for each and every one. Lord, thank You for Your love. Thank You for friendship. May we serve side by side to be used to bring glory to Your name. I love You, Jesus. Amen.

Yard sale stories

Yesterday was an adventure.

It was one of the fastest mornings I’ve had in a while.

People showed up over an hour early.

Loads of chit-chat happened.

I had people show me pictures on their phone of their “prize” items.

I met more neighbors than I have since we moved here.

One of whom, kindly posted our Yard Sale on a local events app I’d never heard of.

We had moments of embarrassment.

Near the beginning, when I was feeling stressed, I tried to give change to a lady, who still owed me money.

She was very sweet about it, and I took money off her bill since she could have taken advantage of my error and didn’t.

I thanked her for her honesty.

One gentleman seemed to be rather rough with things, caught me looking at him.

He apologized.

When he came over to make a purchase I realized why he seemed to be rough.

His hands shook a as he handed me the money.

I felt bad.

There were a few moments of connection.

A retired couple were purchasing some toys.

The lady explained how they had four children, 13 grandchildren, and great grandchildren.

Then she began to tell us about her granddaughter who was scheduled for an early c-section due to problems with the baby.

My heart just hurt as I listened to the details.

Sis was sitting next to me listening as well.

When she finished, no words came, I just felt blank with the pain this woman was obviously feeling.

The pain in her eyes was deep.

God didn’t give me anything to say.

Instead, He spoke through our oldest.

“We will be praying for her and the baby!”

I seconded that and the woman walked away.

There were other people God put in our path.

A gentleman who was recovering from hip surgery and his wife came.

They bought a library table.

Our son helped them load it.

As they drove off we noticed a tote with a bungee cord holding down the lid, sitting in the road.

They’d taken it out of the truck to put in the table and forgot to put it back.

I had our son move it next to the house.

I prayed for them to realize what had occurred.

And He answered.

They returned in the late afternoon.

There was another couple who wanted to purchase Sis’s hide-a-bed couch.

They asked questions, looked it over, opened it up.

They decided to “think about it” but wanted my number.

Later, I noticed two missed calls from the same number.

It was them and they wanted the couch, but…

“We don’t have any way to get it to our house and we don’t have the space ready for it yet. Can you deliver it?”

I assured them we could.

They came back later to pay for it and I heard her telling Sis:

“I was just saying this morning to my husband, ‘Wouldn’t it be great if we found a hide-a-bed?’.”

She smiled and finished with, “Well, be careful what you pray for.”

I had to smile.

It’s true, we should be careful what we pray for.

Careful because God deserves our attention, our thoughtful requests, our love and devotion.

Not careful because He might give us something we actually don’t want.

Matthew 7:11 NKJV — “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!

God is trustworthy.

Let us be careful to ask for things which are truly valuable.

James 1:5 NKJV — If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your faithfulness. Thank You for Your Word. Please continue to help us be a blessing while we move things on to new owners. Lord, You alone know what each one needs. Please speak to us about trusting You and not forging ahead in our own wisdom. Please shine Your truth upon our hearts and minds. Thank You for another beautiful day. Thank You for Your love. We praise Your holy name, Jesus. Amen.

Dealing with the stuff

With these days of prep for the yard sale, I’ve been stretched.

Something I struggle with is holding on to things.

Even as a child, I struggled with this.

As long as I can remember, I’ve struggled with this “stuff”.

God has been so gracious and patient with me.

He has taken me through times of extreme need.

He has walked me through downsizing, multiple times.

He has proven in miraculous ways.

He has taught me that things are never going to fix anything.

Currently, we are in a new season.

Last fall my husband started a small furniture business.

But with the furniture came other things as well.

Used items which were still in good condition.

We donated a bunch straight off, but some other things needed to be sorted out.

That took a while.

Now, with the good weather, we are selling all kinds of stuff.

And this new season of things is a little baffling to me.

Because God hasn’t had me follow my past ways of handling things.

This requires a lot of time, prayer, and patience.

Instead, I’m learning a new way to deal with stuff.

And it’s brought me back to realizing two things:

1st my flesh is greedy and I need to be on my guard against this.

2nd God can use anything or many things to teach me to cling to Him and nothing else.

Deuteronomy 6:5 KJV — And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.

Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for this command. Thank You that You are giving us the gift of life, contentment, peace, and true joy in these words. When I focus upon You and Your truth with every part of me, I find all I need and all I want. Lord, it is when I leave off following You with a whole heart that I get into trouble and become confused or depressed or discouraged. Lord, thank You for telling us how to live, that we might not pierce ourselves through with many sorrows. Lord Jesus, following You is not easy, it goes against my flesh, against the culture, and against the enemy, but great is Your faithfulness! I know You chose that which was difficult, to be our Savior. Please help me to choose it as well, each day, to walk in Your ways and to love You with all of me. Thank You for Your faithfulness, truth, protection, wisdom, understanding, justice, goodness, righteousness, and salvation. I could continue speaking Your praises day and night and never come to the end! I praise Your holy name, Jesus. Amen.

Yard sale!

Literally.

We are having one tomorrow and Saturday.

It’s been a plan for a while now, but being this close to the reality is a bit disturbing.

Mostly to my house.

Dragging things out of the closets, out of storage in totes, it out of the hutch and cabinets means stuff everywhere!

I don’t like it.

But it needs to happen.

Because to go through our stuff and move it on is both wise and generous.

It keeps us from becoming over whelmed by the “things”.

Helps us keep our priorities straight and it places items out for others.

As I’ve been going through all this stuff it’s caused me to reflect.

Going through “stuff” shouldn’t be kept to the physical, but it’s important for me to allow the Lord to do this in my heart as well.

To take time to open the closet and drawers and cabinets of my life to Him and be sure there’s nothing I’m treasuring which doesn’t belong there.

Just like the items accumulate, so can bitterness.

Even more important than cleaning out old clothes I don’t wear, is cleaning out old habits or unhealthy thoughts.

But it takes time, effort, and attention to deal with stuff, physical or internal.

I praise God for His Word.

Daily, reading, and prayer sustain the soul.

Study, teaching, and time away from the regular routine give the Lord opportunity to “deep clean”.

So, as we prepare for our yard sale, I’m praying.

I’m expectant that the Lord will use this activity.

I’m also seeking Him for a “deep cleaning” within.

Matthew 23:25-26 NKJV — “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you cleanse the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of extortion and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee, first cleanse the inside of the cup and dish, that the outside of them may be clean also.”

I want to be clean, everywhere.

John 13:8-10 NKJV — Peter said to Him, “You shall never wash my feet!” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me.” Simon Peter said to Him, “Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head!” Jesus said to him, “He who is bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean, but not all of you.”

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for reminding me how important it is to get rid of things. To let go of stuff, both inwardly and outwardly. Lord, I know You have washed me completely in Your blood and redeemed me. Lord, please continue to cleanse my heart and mind for living in a sinful world with a sinful nature means I get dirty and sometimes I don’t even notice. Lord, I don’t want to sin. I want to be set apart for You. Please continue to help me hear Your voice and walk in Your ways. I love You, Jesus. Amen.

Quietly waiting

Lamentations 3:26 NKJV — It is good that one should hope and wait quietly For the salvation of the LORD.

It’s one of the most difficult things to do.

Wait quietly.

But in the case of our salvation, it’s a pleasure and privilege.

Because we don’t earn our salvation.

Hebrews 12:2 KJV — Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

We can simply wait upon the Lord Jesus.

Because He provides all our needs.

He has given us His Word.

It’s a wonderful gift which brings us knowledge, understanding, and hope.

He has blessed us with salvation, when we believe and trust in Jesus Christ.

Psalm 68:19 KJV — Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation. Selah.

We even have the Holy Spirit to guide and direct our hearts.

Acts 2:38 NKJV — Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

John 14:26 NKJV — “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.”

Thus, we can live unto the Lord, with confident expectation and quiet waiting.

2 Timothy 4:5 NKJV — But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.

Our patient endurance will be rewarded, one day Christ will return!

Isaiah 40:31 KJV — But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

Praise the Lord!

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for salvation! Lord, please continue to teach me how to walk in Your Word daily, waiting quietly upon You in all things. I know often I get distracted and worried by many things and I get tangled up in trying to do things on my own instead of humbling myself and waiting upon You. Lord, I do not want to continue in that. Please help me to recognize when I am, that I might return to trusting and waiting upon You. Thank You for Your love, Your mercy, Your faithfulness, and Your grace.

Planting…

What crop do you want?

Scripture makes it clear, we choose the produce by the seeds we plant.

Job 4:8 NKJV — Even as I have seen, Those who plow iniquity And sow trouble reap the same.

Life isn’t a vending machine, where you put in your money, press a button, and get out whatever you want.

Instead, it is a continual choice and in the choosing is where the seeds are planted.

Following the Lord is costly, but it holds enormous promise.

Psalm 126:5 NKJV — Those who sow in tears Shall reap in joy.

No amount of sacrifice can compare to the joy of eternity.

Hosea 10:12 NKJV — Sow for yourselves righteousness; Reap in mercy; Break up your fallow ground, For it is time to seek the LORD, Till He comes and rains righteousness on you.

What joy and gladness to know we can choose today to plant seeds for tomorrow!

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for Your truth. Please continue to teach me what to do each day, as I want to sow seeds of righteousness. Lord, only in You can I find wisdom and truth. Only in You can I understand how to walk correctly. I want righteousness to rain down upon me and my family. Please help me to plant honorably. I love You, Jesus. Amen.

Some changes…

…are sad.

I came into the office this morning to get my shots.

And found, they are closing our branch.

My shot nurse is retiring.

The remaining staff is moving to the other office.

I feel like crying.

I know that sounds silly.

But these four ladies (shot nurse, doctor, nurse, and receptionist) I care about.

They were the encouraging smiles and gentle listening hearts as I began this journey with my allergy shots.

We had just moved to a new city, didn’t know anyone, didn’t have a clue where anything was and we were fairly ignorant about a great deal in this area

I remember the nurse taking my blood pressure and telling how to find Walmart.

The doctor (before the virus) telling me it was okay to bring both my kids and our grandbaby to my appointment, because I just didn’t feel comfortable leaving them home.

I remember the ladies’ sweet comments about our baby granddaughter, as we all came to the office for my shots.

Then, after the virus, the care continued in asking to see pictures of our granddaughter, then of our grandson.

Discussions with the receptionist as we both had highschool children.

One time I shared my favorite Youtube link about crocheting.

And many other little moments which have been a blessing.

They have made this time a joy and something to look forward to.

Especially nice, as I rarely go anywhere.

I’m praying for each of these ladies and the changes they are all making.

Although, I’m sad, I know change is part of life and oftentimes a blessing.

Change helps us to value the things we have.

Like today, I am so thankful for the past year and a half with these ladies.

I’m praising God for His provision of what I have had.

No matter what this change brings, I’m thankful.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your blessings. Thank You for the medical professionals who step beyond treatment and into caring for each individual. Thank You for the courage to continue to get up each day and work to help others. Please bless those who are serving. Please shine Your love to them and through them. Thank You, Jesus. Amen.

April 11

Today’s prayer:

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?
Psalms 27:1 NKJV

Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for pointing out the areas of my heart where fear has been hiding. Thank You for revealing the truths of scripture to my heart and mind in such an incredible way. Lord Jesus, I praise You for Your faithfulness, righteousness, compassion, understanding, and abounding love. Lord, You alone are worthy of all praise, honor, and glory. Please continue to open my eyes that I might look into Your Word and understand Your truths. Please continue to help me to see myself and my own areas of need through Your perspective. Lord, I again surrender my life before You and I thank You for Your loving kindness and tenderhearted patience. Lord, I lift up the helpless, the weak,the sick, the needy, and the innocent please touch them where they are. Lord, please return the prodigal, stop the liar, thwart the wicked, and save the lost. Thank You, Jesus. Amen.

Today’s prayer:

April 10

Why should a living man complain, A man for the punishment of his sins? Let us search out and examine our ways, And turn back to the Lord ; Let us lift our hearts and hands To God in heaven.
Lamentations 3:39‭-‬41 NKJV

Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for teaching me through it. Lord, please help me to be mindful that what I’m complaining about is probably the result of my own sin. Lord, thank You for opening my heart and mind to this. Please help me to follow these words, examine my ways and lift my heart and hands to You. Lord, please place a guard on my mouth, that I might not sin against You. Please keep me in Your borders, that my feet might not wander into the snares of the enemy or the folly of my sinful nature. Lord, thank You for walking with me daily. Thank You for Your truth and understanding. Lord Jesus, how great You are and greatly to be praised! Please heal the sick, return the prodigal, provide for the needy, purify Your church, stop the liar, thwart the wicked, and save the lost. Thank You. Amen.

Mercy

Matthew 5:7 NKJV — Blessed are the merciful, For they shall obtain mercy.

Mercy is often misunderstood or misused.

When someone is truly seeking mercy from God, they are repentant, humble, and well aware of their transgressions.

Proverbs 28:13 NKJV — He who covers his sins will not prosper, But whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy.

Psalm 25:7 NKJV — Do not remember the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions; According to Your mercy remember me, For Your goodness’ sake, O LORD.

Truly seeking God’s mercy equals an acceptance of one’s status of commiting acts which bring penalty.

It’s not a place where the proud go, because pride throws out any acceptance of wrong doing.

Numbers 14:18 NKJV — ‘The LORD is longsuffering and abundant in mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression; but He by no means clears the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generation.’

Thus, the prideful can not receive mercy, for they refuse it.

Nehemiah 1:5 NKJV — And I said: “I pray, LORD God of heaven, O great and awesome God, You who keep Your covenant and mercy with those who love You and observe Your commandments,

Those who admit the truth of their sins are able to find incredible, long lasting mercy.

Daniel 9:9 NKJV — “To the Lord our God belong mercy and forgiveness, though we have rebelled against Him.

Acknowledging God’s truth, walking in understanding of our just deserves, and then being freed by the gift of God brings one to praise.

1 Chronicles 16:34 NKJV — Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.

Psalm 13:5 NKJV — But I have trusted in Your mercy; My heart shall rejoice in Your salvation.

Psalm 23:6 NKJV — Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the LORD Forever.

Once the heart and mind have grasped the gift; the debt is paid, mercy has come, we are expected to be people of mercy.

Hosea 6:6 NKJV — For I desire mercy and not sacrifice, And the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.

The Lord wants our hearts, not just our actions.

He wants us to know Him so we’ll that we live daily as He would.

Giving mercy.

Forgiving others.

Loving with understanding, not blind to the sin, but not hardened towards the sinner.

Jonah 2:8 NKJV — “Those who regard worthless idols Forsake their own Mercy.

Love tells the truth.

Micah 6:8 NKJV — He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God?

Zechariah 7:9 NKJV — “Thus says the LORD of hosts: ‘Execute true justice, Show mercy and compassion Everyone to his brother.'”

When we walk in obedience and humility, not taking God’s mercy for granted, life is good.

Micah 7:18 NKJV — Who is a God like You, Pardoning iniquity And passing over the transgression of the remnant of His heritage? He does not retain His anger forever, Because He delights in mercy.

Praise the Lord!

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your mercy. It’s such an incredible gift and blessing. Lord, please help me never to refuse to show mercy as You have shown me so much! Lord, please continue to open my heart and mind to Your Word, that I might better understand You and what it means to walk with You daily. Lord, please soften anything in my heart where I am refusing the truth or being blind to my own sin. Please help me to repent quickly. Lord, I do not want to sin against You or others. Thank You for helping me. I love You, Jesus. Amen