1 Corinthians 13:13 But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love.
Consummation: noun, perfection, fufillment
Unswerving: adverb, turning aside abruptly in movement or direction; deviate suddenly from the straight or direct course.
Extravagantly: adverb, turning aside abruptly in movement or direction; deviate suddenly from the straight or direct course.
Love: verb, to have love or affection for another person; be in love.
I love this expression of trusting God steadily, having hope that is unswerving, and loving extravagantly. What an awesome use of big words in this Message. I love it!
Dear God, You are a God who love us extravagantly. Help us to do the same. Forgive us when we lose hope and shelve love. Thank you for bringing this verse to us today. Help us to ponder it and live it! Amen.
1 Samuel 2:6-10 God brings death and God brings life, brings down to the grave and raises up. God brings poverty and God brings wealth; he lowers, he also lifts up. He puts poor people on their feet again; he rekindles burned-out lives with fresh hope, Restoring dignity and respect to their lives— a place in the sun! For the very structures of earth are God’s; he has laid out his operations on a firm foundation. He protectively cares for his faithful friends, step by step, but leaves the wicked to stumble in the dark. No one makes it in this life by sheer muscle! God’s enemies will be blasted out of the sky, crashed in a heap and burned. God will set things right all over the earth, he’ll give strength to his king, he’ll set his anointed on top of the world!
There is fresh hope in these lines above.
God is with us through death and life. He is with us in our coming and our going. He is with us during the bad moments and the good. He is our Hope.
The word of the year HOPE is proving to be a good one thus far. I ordered a brass ring from Dayspring emblazoned with the letters HOPE. It is pretty cool I must admit. It is a reminder that God has brought me out of death and despair into the light of life and hope. Last year was rough. 2020 is proving smooth so far. Thankful.
I also ordered a Hope for Each Day flip calendar with passages from Billy Graham. It’s a good desktop tool for starting my day pondering the Light of the Lord. In addition to the ring & desk calendar, I got a coffee mug with Jeremiah 17:7 and Prayers to Share 100 Pass-Along Notes for Hope. I drink tea daily so the hot ceramic mug will be another sweet message of hope. The notes will hopefully be Light givers to friends I know. If you know my personally look for a note in 2020! If you’re an online blog reader shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with your address. I’ll mail you one! Snail mail is simply THE BEST!
Note: I’m not being paid or endorsed by Dayspring. I just like their stuff.
Dear God, You are our finest Hope. Forgive us when we try to make it in this life by our own sheer strength. We falter. We fail. Thank you for taking away death with the life of Christ. He shows us there is an everlasting life in heaven after this life here on earth. May we look around ourselves today and find ways to give gifts of hope–a smile, a note, a hug…to those in need. Amen.
Recently my medications changed. I now take a square pill. Yes, you read that right…a square. I have numerous pills and supplements that are oval or round and some are capsules and some are tablets. But, the newest anti-depressant that I take is square, and it works!
I feel square sometimes. I’m not like everyone else, but I guess who is?
The square peg doesn’t fit in the round hole.
Our world is a sphere which many people of many different shapes. Why should medication be any different. There are custom people so it makes sense that medications are customized by the size and shape and body chemistry of individuals.
The new square pill is Pristiq. It is really working to knock out my depressive symptoms totally. I now wake up refreshed with plenty of energy, a stark contrast to the months before when I could barely crawl out of bed only to retreat back to bed because my depressed mood was so severe. I am back to my old self. A lark.
PRISTIQ is in a class of medications known as SNRIs, or serotonin-norepinephrine re-uptake inhibitors. Serotonin and norepinephrine are chemicals that relay messages from one brain cell to another.
PRISTIQ is thought to work by affecting the levels of these two brain chemicals, both thought to play a role in depression. From FAQs of the medication, link above.
Now, I’m a lark that wakes early and retires to bed early, but fills her day with good stuff. I want to read my Bible, meditate, and pray. I also eager to write each morning. I am willing to browse social media and enjoy it. I’m able and wanting to exercise. I go to yoga twice a week and walk/jog everyday in between. I have an appetite now. I want to have sex with my husband. I have joy to share with my children in the form of attention. I am a changed woman. I absolutely endorse this square pill.
I’ve been on many different pills for mood balance and anti-anxiety/anti-depressant medications. Some work. Some do not. Some taper off and stop working. It is a road I’ve walked for 15+ years now. The medication road is full of joy and pitfalls of despair. I salute anyone who has to take medication for any reason. Health woes aren’t easy.
Please know that you have a friend in me and a friend in many people who take medicine to make it through the day.
Dear God, You are the Master of All Things under the Sun. Forgive me when I forget that you created me to be me. It’s okay if I’m odd, and you love me unconditionally. Thank you for the scientists and doctors who make modern medicine possible. Give each of us strength to follow the path that is laid out for us today. Taking one day at a time, we love you Lord. Amen.
[ Wake Up from Your Sleep ] Watch what God does, and then you do it, like children who learn proper behavior from their parents. Mostly what God does is love you. Keep company with him and learn a life of love. Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious but extravagant. He didn’t love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us. Love like that.Ephesians 5:1-2MSG
Well, I woke up from my sleep at the usual 5 a.m.-ish. It is colder here in Florida this morning (by cold I mean sub 50). The heat is running in our house, and the lights are low. I’m awake early, but surprisingly my husband is too! YAY! I have company this morning.
Today, I’d like to focus on the faith; hope; love. We have a God who is so very loving. He keeps us company even when we may feel alone. Christ, His Son, also loved us with an everlasting eternal love by living and dying and resurrecting.
Do you believe?
Our 13 year old in a fit of anger said he doesn’t believe in God recently. He feels that we are forcing religion on him, and maybe we are. But, that’s okay. We have the right as parents to drag our kids to church, and maybe they will listen and learn a bit…maybe not. Ultimately when they are adults they can choose who and what to follow. Until then, these two boys live under our rules and roof.
“He didn’t love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us. Love like that. ” <=== That is a wonderful text.
God doesn’t need us to believe. He gave His Son to love us with a rich life giving, serving, and dying blood on a cross so that we may believe in Him. So that we may love him. So that he could show his love for us. God became man. God dropped down from heaven in the form of a baby, and he grew. He grew into a teen too. He struggled with his faith just as we do, but he remained strong and learned a lot through the Hebrew teachers. He fulfilled the prophesies laid out in the Old Testament, and he died. He then became different again, by resurrection. He rose from the dead, and then he walked among the people again. They were surprised, but seeing is believing. They saw him, they walked with him, and they saw him rise into the heavens.
That is love folks.
That is faith; hope; love.
If I saw Jesus I’d probably believe more wholeheartedly too. Until I rise to heave, which I do believe in, I will trust and have faith; hope; love. I will live faith; hope; love out in this world, and to my children. I will give thanks for faith; hope; love. I will believe in God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit—the Trinity exists for me. Does it for you?
Dear God, You are faith; hope; love. Give me eyes to see you and an open heart to feel you today. Forgive me when I lose my way or my faith becomes a flicker. Give our sons eyes to see You too. Help ground them in faith; hope; love. Amen.
Genesis 1:26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”
How is it that animals just know how you’re feeling? They seem to have a sense of who needs a little more attention. The dog we have barks at strangers and is calm around our family. He seems to sense the stranger danger. He’s a 4 lb menace! His bark is definitely worse than his bite. Likewise our cat seems to know when you need an extra snuggle. Pets; they just know.
Our snuggling black cat is rich in soft fur. He will brush up against you when you wake so that he can earn the rough caresses of me. We both rise early.
When I don’t rise early, our pets still seem to keep me company. The dog will walk around the bedroom with a pitter patter on the wood floors. He needs to go out or be held.
The cat will lay with me for hours at a time when I’m just too anxious or depressed to get out of the bed. Or, on those days when I do get out of bed but return there when my duties are nil. I love the snuggles of pets.
I’m amazed that the snuggles come alongside of my mood. I am thankful for both our dog and our cat. They have kept me company when the house is quiet…kids at school…husband at work. They warm my mornings well. Pets; they just know.
Dear God, You are Creator of all things especially animals and humans. Forgive me for forgetting that your mighty hand made these creatures to interact with one another humbly and happily. Thank you for your blessings that come through pets and animals in the wild too. Your creation is glorious! Give me eyes to see and appreciate the animals today. Amen.
Joshua 2:8-11 Before the spies were down for the night, the woman came up to them on the roof and said, “I know that God has given you the land. We’re all afraid. Everyone in the country feels hopeless. We heard how God dried up the waters of the Red Sea before you when you left Egypt, and what he did to the two Amorite kings east of the Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom you put under a holy curse and destroyed. We heard it and our hearts sank. We all had the wind knocked out of us. And all because of you, you and God, your God, God of the heavens above and God of the earth below.
In Joshua Chapter 1 the words are encouraging and light filled. But by chapter two, the people are hopeless. That still rings true today. One day we are courageous and then the next we feel like all hope is gone.
We live in a seemingly hopeless world. There is war, famine, discrimination, and a host of other world problems that could leave you hopeless. We hear of bad news and our hearts sink.
Is there really a God? Why would he let our hearts and minds become hopeless and depressed? I’ve asked those questions many times.
You see, I struggle with depression and anxiety. I worry. I fear. I question.
I have had many a hopeless moment, days, weeks, and even months at a time.
“Dr. Aaron T. Beck reported in a recent study that suicidal wishes are present in approximately 1/3 of individuals with a mild case of depression, and in nearly 3/4 of people who were severely depressed. It is estimated that as many as 5% of depressed patients do actually die as a result of suicide. This is approximately 25 times the suicide rate within the general population. In fact, when a person dies of a depressive illness, the chances are 1 in 6 that suicide was the cause of death.” (Dr. Burns, Feeling Good The New Mood Therapy 1980) These were the stats in 1980. What are the stats now?
These numbers are staggering. There is a lot of hopelessness in our country. Especially the young people, struggle with being hopeless. Suicide is not the answer, but what is?
Faith in our Father is one tract of saving grace. If our faith is strong then our mental crisis may not end in death, but rather in hope. However, there are still individuals who are believers in higher powers and still commit/attempt suicide. Why?
I believe it is because the dark sometimes overcomes the light.
My husband said there are a lot of references to HOPE in the new Star Wars Film. I have yet to see it, but now I want to. Perhaps when it hits DVD/Netflix. Until then I’ll read about hope and hopelessness. I know that both exist. This pull between light and dark.
Dear God, You are the Light and the presence we need in the dark. Forgive me when I go to the dark side and lean into the path of ease versus the path of faith. Give me the strength to remain Light filled. Thank you for the morning light each day and the gift of rest at night so that we can be renewed, refreshed, and once again serve you by day. Be with all of those that feel hopeless. Guide us back to the Light. Give us grace.
1 Samuel 17:32“Master,” said David, “don’t give up hope. I’m ready to go and fight this Philistine.”
1 Samuel details the story of David and Goliath. This is a classic Bible story that many of you may be familiar with. If not click up above to read the Full Chapter.
David was ready to fight. He told his master “don’t give up hope…I’m ready to go and fight….” Are we ready to fight or do we give up hope too easily when the foe looks bigger than our faith?
Saul and the troops were terrified and lost all hope (1 Samuel 17:11).
Don’t be like Saul. Be like David. Fight; don’t give up hope!
I pray that in the new year my faith will continue to grow, and my courage to fight the seemingly tough battles remains. I have hope as my personal word of 2020. I think it’s a good one with life application.
What is your word for 2020? Think on it. And share it in the comments if you have one. Or simply write HOPE if you will join me in fighting the foes of this life with the faith from Our Father!
Dear God, You supply courage and hope. Forgive me when my faith is weak. Give me strength to fight the fights of each day. Thank you for Your Word, Your Presence, and Your love. Amen.