Hope is Found in Jesus

My Hope is the Lord

Due to the recent events here and abroad, the news has caused my heart great sadness.  The loss of life in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, only added to that sadness. I hurt for the family who lost both father and son here in Texas. Though, I cannot fully fathom their loss, I do know what it is like to lose a loved one in an untimely manner. I have received the comfort that only God can provide. While the comfort did not happen right away, it did come over time. However, hope can be found in Jesus.

At church on Sunday, July 17, 2016, I was reminded that my hope is in Jesus.  As we sang the hymn, My Hope is Built on Nothing Less, before the sermon, I was reminded also that there is nothing else on earth that can put my hope in.

The aforementioned hymn is comforting because ‘I rest in His unchanging grace; in every high and stormy gale, my anchor holds within the veil. Christ is my solid rock and all other ground is sinking sand.’ There is comfort in putting one’s hope in Jesus.

In addition, Psalm 27 was the text for the sermon. Though Vicar read only the first couple of verses. I find comfort in the rest of this Psalm. King David knew to whom he could go to for comfort and shelter. He knew to wait on the Lord.

Therefore, I pray that the families of the fallen officers and those lives senselessly taken in Nice, France, will take comfort in God. I do hope that they will find their rest and stay in Him and that they can sing.

“On Christ, the solid Rock I stand;

All other ground is sinking sand,

All other ground is sinking sand.”

Prayer for Comfort and Hope

Dear Lord, as You know there are many hurting hearts today. Please God, comfort them as You alone know how. Ease their pain and let them not forget their loved ones. I ask for Your mercy and grace to the families and to put a stop to the senseless violence. Help them to be strong and  to wait on You. Give them your peace that passes all understanding.  Amen.

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Lives Forever Changed!

Lives changed

Read All About Lives Changed!

Are you looking for a book that shares stories of lives changed? Well, I have the book just for you! Finder Keepers Losers Winners by Kay Gray is the just the one for you. I consider her a dear friend of mine and she writes of lives changed at Oak Ridge Ministry through Jesus Christ and how God brought her to this ministry.

For one thing, Kay writes from her heart. She is forever changed by the men whose lives have been changed by accepting Jesus into their hearts. She shares openly and warmly not only their stories but her story also. Kay credits God for bringing her together with Joshua Harris and the Oak Ridge Ministry.

Moreover, Kay writes as if you were sitting down to the table with her. You will appreciate her honesty about the fact that some lives have not been restored because of the choices that were made. Yet, she rejoices of the lives that have been forever changed by the grace found in Jesus.

Equally important, Kay tells you how she found the Bible which led to her meeting, Joshua. The Oak Ridge men gave her the title of Bible Lady. Some of the men, lovingly, call her Mama Kay.

Hence, this book is filled with grace, truth, and love. You will read of a very special man who started Oak Ridge Ministry and the lives of men faced with addiction. You will read of heartache and the celebration of new life found in Christ.

About the Author

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Kay Gray is a retired teacher and former boutique owner. She lives in Georgetown, Texas, and attends Crestview Baptist Church. She enjoys working with special needs kids at the church camp. Kay is an avid a supporter and encourager of the mission of Oak Ridge Disciple House. She teaches women’s Bible studies and is beginning an outreach ministry through her website mamakaygray.com.

Read it for yourself!

Therefore, I recommend this book if you want to read how Jesus can change lives. Well, read Finders Keepers Losers Winners, for yourself. Click this link to order your copy.

 

Another review: The Truth About Happiness by JE Berry.

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Sky Is Falling! Need Help!

When you feel like the sky is falling.

Ever Felt Like Saying, “The Sky Is Falling!”

I am sure that you probably have. Like times when you felt like what you or a friend were going through was too much! And you wanted to cry out, “Why me, Lord?” or “Help me, Lord, I don’t know what to do.” Today, I have that sky is falling feeling for several of my friends. Yet, I know that God is greater than all of this.

I have friends and family who are either facing a recent cancer diagnosis, their own illness or a spouse has taken a turn for the worst. I cannot begin to imagine how they are feeling right now. If it were me, I would definitely feel like things were falling apart. My heart is heavy for my friends.

Personally, I am well and for that I am thankful. Yet, I found myself at loss for words when I went to pray for them. I know that my God is able to do more than I can possibly ask, so I cried out, “Help them, Jesus.” The Bible tells me that Jesus said that there would be trouble in this world but to take heart for He has overcome the world (John 16:33). Jesus is my rock in this storm of life and He knows what is going on in the lives of my friends.

I am called to be the one who stands in the gap for my friends, in prayer, trusting that God will supply all their needs (Philippians 4:19). The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. After all, there is nothing my God cannot do.

However, should you feel stuck check out Help, My Prayer Life is Stuck.

A Call for Help!

My prayer for my friends: Dear Merciful Father, hear my prayer. You know the friends that I care about and You love them with an everlasting love. Surround them with Your reassuring presence and increase their strength. Fill their loved ones with Your peace that passes all understanding. May they trust Your all-sufficient grace. I pray that You would supply all their needs according to Your steadfast love. In the name of Jesus.

 

 

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Count It All Joy When Facing Trials!

Joy

Joy in All of My Trials, Seriously?

My Conversation with God

 I am not sure about this, God. Let me get this right. You want me to count it as joy when I meet trials of various kinds. This remains a mystery to me. I don’t think it means to be happy about the trials but to be joyful in that the trials serve a purpose, right? Forgive me when I forget to count it as joy and I whine about it instead. Reading a bit further, I see that the trials that I face aim to perfect my faith to be complete and lacking nothing. Lord, help me to see things in a different light and come to understand Your mercy and grace. After all, Your word tells me that You discipline those You love. You also tell me that pruning is necessary. I must admit that I am not so welcoming of the pruning, however, knowing You more I know that You can be trusted. It is well with my soul when I surrender to Your good, pleasing, and perfect will. Lord God, hear my plea that I will do my best to consider it joy as trials come my way. Alleluia, Amen. 
James 1:2-3 is the scripture reference. Trials serve a purpose to smooth out the rough edges in us and grow us to be more like Jesus. God does have my best interest in mind and will not give me more than I can handle. He will enable me to withstand the toughest of trials. The testing of my faith produces steadfastness. Therefore, with God’s help I will strive to count it joy in the face of my trails. His grace is sufficient.
There is a hymn that comes to my mind, It Is Well With My Soul.
Related Link: God’s Message Back
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Sweet Serenity, How is it Attained?

Serenity

How is Serenity Achieved?

Serenity Prayer by Reinhold Niebuhr

  I am sure that most people are familiar with the first part of the Serenity Prayer.
God grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
And wisdom to know the difference.
But how many know that there is more to it? The second part is where serenity is truly sought.
Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
As it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
If I surrender to His Will;
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life
And supremely happy with Him
Forever and ever in the next.
Amen.

Discussion

It is in asking God to help me live one day at a time and one moment at a time. God helps me to be in the present not dwelling on the past or worrying about the future. Accepting hardships as a pathway to peace, now this is another matter. God helps me to understand that the struggles that I go through serve a purpose. No it is not fun nor easy but God has a purpose and a plan for me. 
 
Taking, as Jesus did, this sinful world as it is. Jesus did after all tell us that there will be trouble. Yet, He has overcome the world. Now comes trust.  I am to trust in Jesus because He will make all things right if I surrender to His will. By my surrender to His will, I will be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy in the next. Again, there is no greater joy than knowing Jesus.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, may others come to know You more so that they, too, can know serenity. Amen.
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Trusting in Jesus, Easier Said than Done!

Trusting in Jesus

What Does Trusting Jesus Look Like?

I had a dear friend ask me how does one know if he/she is trusting in the Lord. I told her that I would have to explore that some, so I turned to my Bible dictionary and trust means to have confidence in. To trust in the Lord is to place one’s confidence in Him that He is there with you whatever comes your way; having confidence that He will comfort you when you are hurting, give you the strength to stand or the words to say. It is also having confidence that He will keep His promises to never leave nor forsake you. It is taking Him at His word. Therefore, I will be trusting in Him in good and in bad times.

No, we are not promised a rose garden. Jesus said that there will be trouble but to take heart He has overcome the world. The joy of the Lord is our strength. This joy comes from knowing Him intimately and knowing that this world is not our home. Yet, while we are here we are to love and serve Him and let His light shine in us that others can come to know Him, too. There is no greater joy than knowing Him.

  Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock.  Isaiah 26:4 ESV

David trusted God to give him the kingdom long before it happened. Noah trusted God when God told him to build the ark and time and again when Noah sent the dove out. Peter trusted Jesus when Peter first stepped out of the boat but when he took his eyes off of Jesus he began to sink. Thus,  David and Noah placed their confidence in God and not in themselves. Peter fell short when withdrew his trust. Therefore, trusting is placing one’s confidence and hope in God and no one else.
 
One of my favorite verses is in James is chapter 1 verse 5 where it tells me that God does not find fault in me when I ask for wisdom, therefore, I do not believe that God will find fault in me if I ask for Him to help me trust Him more. One of my many favorite hymns puts it together so well is Trust and Obey. The link has the lyrics to this simply beautiful hymn.
“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,
whose trust is the Lord.
He is like a tree planted by water,
that sends out its roots by the stream,
and does not fear when heat comes,
for its leaves remain green,
and is not anxious in the year of drought,
for it does not cease to bear fruit.”
Jeremiah 17:7-8 ESV
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