Category Archives: Hope

Are You Feeling Surrounded?

One of the attorney’s I work for is a weekend diver. Nothing thrills him more than a clear day and some deep water.

Well, I take that back…one of Jeff’s cakes does cause him to stumble a bit…but I am talking about a really good day. The kind of day you anticipate the night before.

I remember when my baby sister, Aimee and I went to North Carolina for the She Speaks Conference last summer. We both had trouble sleeping the night before.

Mine was due to the fact I was busy crossing the “t’s” and dotting the “i’s” on the material we were to have ready….Aimee was busy “thinking”…packing, and most likely cooking for the family she was leaving at home. She left them with “reheating” instructions and a solemn promise of her soon return.

The trip was filled with excitement and incredulity. We were first AMAZED that we made it through Atlanta unscathed. Or, to be more specific…that we didn’t scathe anyone else. Secondly, it was incredible to find ourselves in the same room with the “best” Writers, Speakers and Women’s Leaders in the world! Well, maybe not the world—but at least in the Southeastern United States. How’s that?

However, upon coming back home, life invaded our dream world. Our world of where we could buy that little house or bookstore and turn it into an inviting Tea Room, filled with books, soft music, Jeff’s cakes, cookies and the best hot coffee or cup of tea, and always a friend or a soon to be friend browsing the shelves in search of the next best read.

Yes, life resumed. Actually, I think it picked up pace. As in every one’s life…there are days when we feel surrounded.

Just when you think you are swimming serenely alone, you find yourself suddenly surrounded by a cloud of Baitfish. Just as this picture of the Sea Turtle, he was minding his own business and became enveloped by the Baitfish. The Baitfish are EXACTLY what the name implies. Bait. For bigger fish.

Finding himself encompassed by Baitfish will cause the heart to quicken it’s beating, the diver explained. The “cloud of Baitfish” is so thick, you lose your vision. You lose sight of where you are. It becomes a vertiginous dive. Dizziness overtakes you and you don’t know which end is up.

You know that you must get out of the overwhelming cloud—somehow—because you know what could be coming. A hungry fish. Very hungry. Hungry enough to possibly chomp on a hand—arm—foot—even part of your face.

Isn’t that what sometimes happens in our lives? We are surrounded with feelings of doubt, insecurity, and many times the overwhelming desire to “give-up”—a feeling of hopelessness.

In talking with a young mother months ago, the feeling of a life filled with emotional vertigo was overtaking her. I could clearly see what she needed to do. I could give her immediate instructions which way to paddle her swiftly sinking boat. But she was so surrounded by the Baitfish in her life she couldn’t see or hear me. It wasn’t until the predator fish was about to overtake her did she comprehend the whereabouts of her help.

I lift my eyes to the hills–where does my help come from?
My help comes from the LORD,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot slip–
he who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
Psalm 121:1-4
There are many days when it seems life is running faster than I am. I have to press on—and press in to have my time with the Father–to keep the “things” of this world from crowding out that precious time. My time with Him—keeps everything in proper balance—the baitfish will not loom as a dark cloud when He’s the CENTER of my attention.
What about you?
What are you distracted by this week?
© The Knightly News 2009
Credit for the photo—Diver/Attorney—Thanks R. E. C.! Credit for any big words I use–Attorney/English Professor—Thanks D.J.

Mediocre Life

What kind of life is that? Sometimes—many times it is what we settle for instead of perservering before the throne—or pushing ahead and believing God for what He wants for us in the first place! He does NOT want mediocre for His blessed children!

Jeremiah 29:11 says “For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future”. (NIV)

This morning at 2:34—well, probably just a few minutes before that, the Lord woke me from a deep sleep. I woke, rolled over and snuggled deeper, only to hear Him in my heart/head beckon me from that nestled postition. Well, old flesh immediately says, “I hate it when You do that…wake me up from sleep…YOU know how much I love sleep….” I was instantly rebuked, “No, Lord, I’m sorry, I don’t hate it…. You know I love YOU more than sleep.”

So, I rolled over on my back, as if to ready myself to “listen”. His instructions are clear. “Get up-go to your prayer room, lay before me in prayer.” I try just for 2 seconds, to reason with Him, that I can pray here….but no I can’t. I pray out loud when He instructs me like this…and I KNOW already that this will be an outloud prayer. Not a whispered or silent type.

As I roll the covers back, my thoughts begins to “wander” down the corridor of my mind filled with pictures of family. Is someone in distress? The brink of disaster? A fire? A tornado? (There was that one time of the tornado—an old post…don’t remember which one–you’d have to hunt back to last year sometime…)

I go to the bathroom, then on through the dining room, where the Bibles, books and computer is arranged, just as I’d left them hours before…walk into the kitchen and look at the clock, thinking surely it must be almost “getting up time” anyway. Not so. Only 2:34. Good sleep being missed. Girls you have no clue how much this youngin loves to sleep!

I walk into the prayer room/library. Small room. Only big enough for the “granddaddy chair”, two book cases and a desk. Just enough floor space that I can lie down and meet the Master of the house. So I take my place. Same place everytime.

As I began, I told Him, “I don’t know what You’ve called me here for ….but that’s okay. I don’t have to know.” My prayer began slow, as He blew the sleep from my heart, I began to weep before Him with the urgency of NEEDING Him to hear my plea. Not knowing who or what I was praying for, I left it up to Him. Many of you were prayed for. Many of you that I converse with on a daily basis via e-mail or a visit to your blog were on my heart. So, your name was called.

The Lord prompted my spirit….”it’s not about the numbers, Angie. It’s about the message.” I asked for the message. For the annointing. For His Spirit to rest upon me and pour into me what needs to be said. To the hurting. To the damaged. To the brokenhearted. To you and, yes, to me. He pours it in….I pour it out.

I can’t tell you how many times a day I think about what the Lord wants to use my life for. What He’s up to. But girls, it is all up to Him. Whatever He wants to do with me, use me for I am His. Totally.

I love my precious family. My sweet darling man. My girls, their husbands, their children, my parents, my siblings…but I belong to the Lord. For His work….I don’t know what it’s to be. It may only be to get up at 2:34 a.m. and pray for someone I don’t know. Someone I’ve never had the pleasure of a neck hug. But that’s okay too. If the Lord crosses our paths here….then it is for a reason. I question Him not.

Dear sweet sister-in-Christ, it is not about the number of visitors I have or you have. Nor about the comments or who they come from. It is about the message of Christ….and getting it out to the lost and dying. It’s about Him. All about Him.

Now, I am off to bed again. I have prayed. Laid back down, couldn’t get you off my heart and mind. So I got BACK up and went to the computer. I needed to tell you that we don’t have to live a mediocre life. That He has a plan and purpose for EACH ONE OF US! YOU and me! All we need to do is be obedient. (I’m not even checking this one for boo-boo’s…so please excuse—I am tired—I’ve never posted this early.)

I Hope

“Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only [so], but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.” Romans 5:1-6 KJV

Have you ever heard the phrase, “Don’t get your hopes up” ? I have. I’ve said it many times as well. To myself, to my kids, probably even to my sweet man. Expecting a check? Don’t get your hopes up. Expecting a vacation at a certain time of year…don’t get your hopes up…something always happens…But that is not a good attitude. And I know it. I should be planting hope…not ripping it out of the ground. But I just couldn’t help it. I have had my hopes dashed more times than I want to count. But I realize why. Displaced hope.

Hope in God, never disappoints. Never. Ever. Hope in mankind or your circumstances or position in life? Disappointment. I won’t say always, nor will I say 9 times out of 10…or even 50% of the time . . . but I will say many times.

Hope is a wish or desire accompanied by confident expectation of its fulfillment. That’s the definition given by the American Standard Dictionary.

Hope implies contingency. Or, a “hope-so hope”. You ask a student in high school, “Are you going to graduate with honors?” The answer, “I hope so”. Their answer is contingent upon them putting forth every effort and doing everything possible to make it happen. And then hoping that it turns out the way they have planned. But what if they get side tracked? What if they miss some classes due to some unforeseen circumstances…they can only “hope”.

“Will the surgery be successful?” “I hope so. Barring no complications of infection or problems. I hope so.”

But the Biblical term here in these verses is not the hope-so hope…but rather a “know-so hope”. It is absolute. Concrete. Solid. God is the God of hope.

“We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they are good for us-they help us learn to endure. And endurance develops strength of character in us, and character strengthens our confident expectation of salvation.” Romans 5:3-4 NLT (emphasis mine)

“And this expectation will not disappoint us. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners.” Romans 5:5-6 NLT

How I love the fact that every time I place my hopes in Christ I can be confident that it is secure. It is solidified with the power of the Holy Spirit. Immovable. Unshakable. As long as I keep my hope focused on Christ…and not man. Nor me.

Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the LORD his God: Psalm 146:5

The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him. The LORD is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him. Lamentations 3:24-25

My hope is in Him. I have hope. Thank you Father, for the hope in my heart. For the love I feel, even when I am most unloveable. Thank you Lord, for the forgiveness that flowed. From the cross~freely to all who will ask~to all who will believe~to all who will have hope. Thank you Father, for my hope. My hope is in Christ. Thank you for Your nearness. For Your soon coming. Help me Lord to do all I can~help me to hear Your voice. Help me to share that Hope. In Your awesome name I pray~Amen.

Thankfulness from a Heart full of HOPE

Iris has labeled today’s thankful journey “HOPE“. “And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:5-8

I am numbered among the “ungodly” that Christ gave His life for. I am one without strength…that He freely gives strength to in my time of need. I am one with the glorious HOPE that fades not away…(1 Peter 5:4 And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.)

I am thankful for peace and protection. I am thankful for love of family. I am thankful for healing for Wanda—(HOPE is what He gives—-TRUST is what we do)
I am thankful for the blessings of my Father—freely given to one so undeserving as I. God bless you tremendously today!

Visit Iris at Sting my Heart for more thankfuls!

God of Hope

Fill us Lord with Your Presence as we wait on you. Fill us with peace as we watch You work. Fill us with Your joy as we search Your Word for comfort —-in our waiting. We give praise and thanks in advance for what You are doing in Wanda’s life and what you are going to continue to do! Praise Your holy name!