Monday, November 29, 2004

Is hope important to you? Why?

Hope is very important to me. If I didn't have hope I wouldn't have anything. Romans 8:23-25 says: "Not only that, but we also who have the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body. For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance."

My hope in Jesus Christ carries me through tough times and keeps me focused on eternity and the One who gave me eternal life. Also, hope is a gift that goes along with grace. It's given by God for me to and I wait with anticipation - with hope - on Him.

Sunday, November 28, 2004

What is Hope?

Hope. My friend Webster has lots of definitions of Hope.

As a noun hope is:

1. A specific instance of feeling hopeful - I have felt hopeful many times. It's what keeps me going. I know that hope.

2. The general feeling that some desire will be fulfilled - I've had hopes of getting pregnant, hope that I would get a position I wanted, hopeful that God would answer a prayer the way I wanted. I know that hope.

3. Grounds for feeling hopeful about the future - Titus 3:4-7 But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.

4. Someone (or something) on which expectations are centered - My hope is set on Jesus Christ.

5. United States comedian (born in England) who appeared in films with Bing Crosby (born in 1903). - I'm sure that since God has a sense of humor He has him preforming for all the veterans up there. :)

6. One of the three Christian virtues. - This is based on 1 Corinthians 13. Faith, hope and love. Faith in Jesus, hope in Jesus and love for Jesus. Does it get any better than that?

As a verb hope is:

1. Expect with desire - I am so looking forward to Christ's return. I long for Heaven, no more illness, a new body, worshipping my Savior for eternity...

2. Be optimistic; be full of hope; have hopes - My hope is positive. I see it from an optimistic point of view and I know that having hopes and desires in line with God's will is a good thing.

3. Intend with some possibility of fulfilment - John 14:1-4 quotes Jesus: "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going." I believe that without a doubt.

What do you hope for this Christmas?

My hope for this Christmas is simple. I only hope for two things.

1. That Jesus be the focus of our season.
2. That my grandmother's Alzheimer's is still moderate (gone would be nice) so that we have Christmas Eve at her house just like always.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Let me hear of your unfailing love
to me in the morning,
for I am trusting you.
Show me where to walk,
for I have come to you in prayer.
Save me from my enemies, LORD;
I run to you to hide me.
Teach me to do your will,
for you are my God.
May your gracious Spirit lead me forward
on a firm footing.
Psalm 143:8-10 NLT

Sunday, August 29, 2004

Isaiah 43:1: The Savior of Israel But now, O Israel, the LORD who created you says: "Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine. (NLT)

Wonderful news, isn't it?! What does your name mean? Mine is a derivation of Laura - it means Laurel Crowned. Hmmmm.........

Just knowing He knows my name makes me feel very special and magnifies my personal relationship with God. In the sea of billions on earth He knows my name! When I go before Him in prayer He hears Laurie praying.

That He would bless us and share this wonderful news with us through His prophet Isaiah is so soothing in times of trouble. He won't forget us. He knows our names. Just like a parent knows each one of their identical twins when no one else can tell them apart He knows each of us.
Praise God!

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Psalm 40:1-3: I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the LORD.
At some point in our lives I am sure that we, as Christians, have felt God lift us out of the throws of depression. I can really identify with what David, a man after God's own heart, wrote in this Psalm. From waiting patiently, to the slimy pit, feeling God turn to me, lifting me up, working me up out of the mire, and planting my feet on a firm place to stand, I can honestly say that over the last few days I have gone through all of these things. 
You see, for the past few days I have been depressed, down, feeling as though I were sinking just a little bit at the time. Yesterday, especially, was a very depressing day for me.  6 years ago I gave birth far too soon to Sydney Michele.
While I am confident our angel is in heaven and I know one day I will have the chance to hold this sweet baby in my arms, this year was particularly rough. Usually it's not quite this bad. Could it be because I would be shopping for school clothes and school supplies, making ready to send our angel on a lifelong journey to learn? That's certainly a milestone in a child's life and most surely a parent's. Or that I could have been planning a birthday party? I'm just not sure why it was so rough this year. At any rate, I have felt "stuck in the mire" down for a few days. I have missed my baby. How my arms have ached to hold that child! God blessed me beyond belief by even giving me the privelege and allowing me to carry our angel for the short time I was able to. 
This time of the year I feel Him, my Heavenly Father, closer and closer to me. I begin sinking in the mud, the slimy pit of depression about a week before the baby's birthday (or the date of the miscarriage).  
As a Christian, my hope is in God. This means that I know beyond a doubt that this sinking feeling is just that. God will turn to me and hear my pleas for "feeling back to normal." I feel the loss of our child but think of the blessings of my life and just like most children, for I am a child of God, I hold up my arms to God and let Him free me from this mucky, slimy pit of depression and lift me out of it, placing me gently on a firm foundation, the truth of His Word. 
Once again, I praise Him. I testify to how I feel so dark, so lost, so stuck, yet waiting patiently for the Lord. And He does come. Sometimes I feel Him later rather than sooner, but I stick it out. I know my God will show up to save me from the pits of depression.  God works me out of the muck and plants me on the Rock, the firm foundation of His Word, bringing me from darkness into light. I will sing of His mercy and love, I will share His might and His strength. 
Be encouraged, friends and loved ones. No matter what you are going through just stand there, looking up for God. He'll come. Hang in there and hold your arms up to Him. Let Him work you loose from the muck of the slimy pit, for He is far stronger than anyone, especially our own selves, and is our only way out of that pit.   When He grasps our outstretched arms and moves us from the slimy pit to the firm place we are to praise Him.
Thank you, God, for giving me strength to wait patiently for you to lift me out of the pit. I praise You for not leaving me alone, and I offer my thanksgiving and love to You for placing my feet back on firm foundation. Help me to dust myself off as I go back on my way through another year. May the years become easier and easier, but if this is the way that You have in mind for me to re-acknowledge Your love and presence and that You only are my Helper, then I don't mind getting stuck in the mud. I know You'll always show up to pick me up and put me back on the firm foundation, oh, Lord.  And thank you for the strong network of support you have given me.  A loving husband, mother, sister, father.  Thank you, Lord.  You are worthy to be praised, indeed.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Happy Birthday, Sydney Michele.  I love you and I miss you.  Daddy and I were talking last night about how lucky you are to have such a wonderful family in heaven.  From Paw Paw, who wasn't alive to see the twins born, to Uncle Todd, who had to leave his baby here on earth to come home to Heaven, you have a whole host of angels who love you.  I bet they are fighting over who will play with you next!  How do you like Uncle Wimpy?  Don't tell any of the other uncles and aunts that are with you, but Uncle Wimpy was my favorite and I bet he's yours, too! 
If we didn't have God in our lives we would be just sick over losing you and I would have to just lay right down and die.  What hope would we have for you?  I know that you are in Heaven.  I have no doubt that when Daddy and I come to Heaven, too, we will see you and hold you in our arms.  Don't worry about me.  I'm doing fine, honey.  You were the baby that I prayed for and even though I never got to hold you, you were such a blessing in my life.  I feel comforted by the fact that I was given you even for a short time to feel and love.  For whatever reason, God chose to let you come live with Him in Heaven, and although I would have given my life at one time to let you live, I do understand that it is what it is.  God needed you more up there than I did in this crazy world we live in down here.  He is providing for you far better than your Daddy and I ever could. 
Around this day of the year such a wide range of emotions overwhelm me.  I go from aching to hold you to abundant joy that you are in Heaven.  I go from crying to laughing.  I go from feeling empty to feeling abundantly full.  It's so hard to explain, Sydney.  I love you so much.  God has not given us any other children and I am fine with that.  You were enough.  I tried for so long to have you and other babies, but eventually I realized that I had to stop trying for what God was not going to allow me to have. 
I'm so content in my life right now.  Daddy and I are very happy.  We have a good life on earth and have our hope in Jesus, our Lord and Savior.  You know what our lives are like on earth.  We go to work, we come home, we spend time together with our family....we're happy.  I have some wonderful friends I met just because of you, honey.  Thank you so much for coming into my life even for such a short period of time.  You helped me meet my best friend in the whole wide world! 
I do miss you but I know that everything is alright and as it should be.  Who am I to question why God took you?  I wonder sometimes, but I know that it's not for me to question so I try to focus on something else. 
Today you would be six years old. 
Next year you will be 7.  I love you, honey, and want you to know that not a day goes by when you aren't in my thougths at one moment or another.  I love you and I miss you and I pray that God would keep watch over you.  Don't go crossing those streets of gold alone without holding on to a big angel's hand, okay, little angel? 
Until next year, Sydney. 

Monday, June 28, 2004

Power Verses for Today:

Ephesians 4:26 (NIV) Let no unwholesome talk come out of your mouths,
but only what is helpful and for building others up according to their
needs that it may benefit those who listen.

Psalm 141:3 (NIV) Set a guard over my mouth, O lord; keep watch over
the door of my lips.

Psalm 63:3 (NIV) Because your love is better than life, my lips will
glorify you.


Father, help me to speak and think in the way of Philippians 4:8: Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things.

I don't want any unwholesome talk or thoughts to be in my mind or depart from my lips. If that makes me a prude, a goody two-shoes, then so be it. I'm doing it for You. I'm not perfect so I expect to sin and be tempted to sin, but Father, I know with Your great love and support that I can be a woman after Your own heart, one who speaks and thinks in obedience to Your commands.

In Jesus' Name I pray,

Thursday, June 17, 2004

Lord, Please be my strength where I am weak (2 Corinthians 12:9). Flood my heart with Your amazing peace (Philippians 4:7). I praise You for supplying everything I need today to live a godly life for You (2 Peter 1:3 &4). Thank You that You are transforming me by the power of the Holy Spirit. I trust You with my life. In Jesus' name I pray, amen.

Thursday, May 20, 2004

1 John 5:14-15 says, "This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him."


DISCERNING AND ACTING on God's will does not mean you'll never have difficult days or feel lousy sometimes. But choosing to live in alignment with God makes you more joyful, compassionate, and peaceful, even on bad days. Debra K. Farrington, Hearing with the Heart

GOD GUIDES us first through his Word, then through our heartfelt desires, then the wise counsel of others, and then our circumstances. At that point we must rely on our own sound judgment… . God gave each of us a brain, and he expects us to put it to good use.
Bruce K. Waltke, Finding the Will of God

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Dear Lord, it's hard to be holy and Christ-like when I feel so PMSy! Help me, please, to maintain a sense of peace and not to feel as though I want to yell, "Get to the point!" to an innocent caller on the phone. I'm so sorry I have let my hormones get the best of me but I know You are greater than they are. I'm hoping more of You will kick in and less of the PMS. Also, I feel like I'm laying an egg. Please let it either be golden and worth something or take the pain away at the very least. Thanks, God. I know You're watching over me, even when I feel like the wicked witch of Mississippi.

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your
paths straight." Prov. 3:5-6

That's me, Lord. I don't understand all the trappings of my earthly body. Somehow make me a blessing to someone today. I lean on You and acknowledge that You are my God, my Great Physician, who can set me on the path to follow Your will and Your direction.

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Only a Sunday God?

In a topic that had more to do with maternity clothes than wearing pants to church on Sunday I blog:

Aquaintance "does not approve of" women wearing pants to church on Sunday. There's food for thought. I had always been brought up in churches where you wore dresses Sunday morning and more casual clothes, pants or even jeans, on Sunday nights and Wednesday nights. At a church we visited recently on a Sunday morning I saw the women my age dressed in pants. Other women who were older than I wore pants also. I was surprised but not offended or put off. I just thought, "Cool, the times, they are a'changin'." I asked a friend the next day (whose church we are going to visit next weekend) if members of her church (much bigger church, same demonination) wore pants. She said, "That's all I wear. In fact, I wear to church what I wear to work." I'm thinking, "This is good!" I love wearing nice pant suits and it would certainly add variety to my church wardrobe to be able to wear them.

So anyway, I'm in the bathroom just a minute ago and the snippet of what my aquaintance "does not approve of" popped in my mind.

I think my aquaintance is perfectly entitled to wear what she wants to church. She wasn't judging anyone but her pregnant daughter who could only fit into pants at the time and she didn't approve of her wearing them to church but I don't think WWIII broke out over it.

So I'm washing my hands in the bathroom, looking at my pretty butterfly dress in the mirror (it is beautiful if I do say so myself) and my thought was, "Is God only a Sunday morning God?" If it stands to reason that we must wear dresses to church on Sunday (morning's especially) as a dress code out of respect to God, would it not also stand to reason that since God is always with us we should always wear dresses? Things that make me go hmmmm.......

+++God, I will worship You any time, any place. You are with me when I'm in my pj's in the morning, when I'm in dresses at work, in jeans afterwards or shorts on the weekends. Thank You for telling us not to worry about the clothes we wear. In Christ's Name. Amen.+++

Monday, May 10, 2004

Father, make me a nonconformist - not in a denominational sense, but
in a dynamic sense. Forgive me if I have allowed the world to squeeze
me into its own mould. Change my way of thinking to Your way of
thinking. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

Thursday, May 06, 2004

Today is the National Day of Prayer. My heart was lifted as I listened to Focus on the Family. I wish I had gotten to hear all of it. The speaker was Marilyn someone who talked about, of course, prayer! I pray for the spiritual renewal of our country, that the institution of marriage would be upheld. Genesis 2:24 says: "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh." I pray that we would fight to keep marriage sancitified. I pray that our President would stand strongly for what he believes in and lead our nation, not only politically, but in the way God would have him to. We are commanded to pray by God. Matthew 6:5; Romans 12:12; 1 Thess 5:17. I pray that we would not only pray but listen. Marilyn someone gave a good analogy this morning. She said that when she took her child to the doctor she told the doctor, "She has an ear ache, she is running fever, and her throat is sore." She said if she had just told the doctor her child's symptoms and had not listened for the answer (which would contain the prescription) the child would certainly not be any better off for it, and neither would she!

God, I pray for our nation. I pray for our President, the Vice President, all our federal leaders, state leaders and local leaders. Help them guide us to turn our nation back to You. I fear for the world, Lord. The sanctity of marriage is under strong attack from satan, people are saying, "Oh, it's no problem for gays to be married." It is! Father, Your own word tells us that! Help us turn back to the Bible and soften the hearts of people who want tolerance yet are not willing to stand up for what they believe in. Help us to bring everything to You by prayer and petition, trusting that You, not just the words we pray, will be faithful and just to us. The slogan "Prayer Changes Things" is so misunderstood. It is You who changes things through our prayers. You hear us, Lord, and I praise You for that. Thank you for sending Jesus to die for the sins of all mankind. I pray for my friends who are not Christian, that You would prompt them to make a decision that will change their lives forever and enable them to reign in eternity with You. Help me to be selfless instead of selfish. Help me not to gossip and to be directed by You throughout my day. I love You, Lord, and I praise Your holy Name.

In Jesus Name I pray,

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

How much longer before You come for us, O God? I read an article in the newspaper about an 81 year old woman beaten, 81! What in the world would someone want to beat an 81 year old woman for? You were with her, though. She called out to You silently in prayer and her attacker immediately stopped and ran! You are our Helper in times of trouble indeed, Lord. This morning I read an article about a baby thrown away, less than a day old. Suffocated. Oh, God, how can You continue to let us live like this? What is our world coming to? Surely You will come back for Your people soon. I don't understand why bad things like this happen. I mean, I know it's sin in the world, Adam and Eve and all that, but God, why must it be so bad? There is such an increase of violence in our country (and others) and the Godlessness is horrible. I used to not know anyone who didn't claim You as their Savior, but now I know more people who are not Christian than those who are. You tell us in 2 Timothy 3:1-5: "In the last times perilous times will come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, truce breakers, incontinent, fierce, despises of those who are good, traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God. Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof, from such turn away." We truly are living in the last times, aren't we? I trust You with all of my heart to provide and protect us in our daily lives. Help me to live a life of hope and not fear or depression. Lord, help me find more good stories to read! Help me see the good in the world instead of all the bad. Dear Father, I need You in order to live a life worthy of Your calling. I acknowledge that I have sinned against You by directing my own life. I thank You that You have forgiven my sins through Christ's death on the cross for me. I now invite Christ to again take His place on the throne of my life. I surrender all to You once again. Fill me with Your Holy Spirit as You commanded me to be filled, and as You promised in Your Word that You would do if I asked in faith. I pray this in the name of Jesus. As an expression of my faith, I thank You for directing my life and for filling me with the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

I thank You that You are more powerful than any of my circumstances. Today I ask You to increase my faith and to extinguish the fear that threatens to sap strength from my soul. Please help me to focus on You, not my fear. I lift up my shield of faith in the name of Jesus, amen.

Tuesday, April 13, 2004

Romans 12:1 states: Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God--this is your spiritual act of worship.

It's said that the problem with living sacrifices is that they can sometimes crawl off the alter. Well, look at me. That's just what I did! How can I remain a living sacrifice, God? My dad has gotten my dander up again. I need Your peace, again. And I will again later, I'm sure.

1 Thessolonians 5: 16-18 says: Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. Okay. So I can pray continually for Your guidance and keep surrendering myself to You each time I try to crawl off the altar. I know You want more from me than the act of surrender. You want a life of surrender. Your Word, in 2 Cor 12:9-10, says: But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. Father, I am weak in this area of caregiving. Please be my strength and give me a servant's heart. Help me to know that after I get some rest, good rest, that I'll be back to my normal self and not be so muddled. I love You, God, and I praise You for Your strength. Please work in my life according to Your will and purpose. I give You free reign. I feel better already! In His Name, Amen.

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Magnificent Love

"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it
is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily
angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in
evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts,
always hopes, always perseveres."

(I Corinthians 13:4-7)

God, help me to be patient, kind, free of envy, not boastful or full of pride. Help me not to be rude or self-seeking. Help me not to have a quick temper or be a historian of wrongs done toward me or others. Help me never to delight in evil but to rejoice in your truth. Help me always to be protectful, always trust others, always hope and always persevere - and in doing those things, I will be "Love" just as You want me to be.