HOPE CALLS is a space to share that there is hope in our every day lives. Jesus Christ is real and He desires to have a deep relationship with us on a daily basis. HOPE CALLS will be posts about my life as well as the truth that God is revealing to me, through my relationship with Him. My hope is that as you read these posts you know that no one is alone, and there is hope.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Death of a Gift

It just so happens this 'even't fell in the perfect season for this share.  I recently bought my son this super cool toy. It wasn’t that expensive but none too cheap either. The price didn’t even really matter of course though because he is my son and I love him with all my heart and soul.  I loved getting him this gift, putting it together (which took this mama almost an hour mind you) and then enjoying it with him.
He would take my hand and want me to play with him in this new toy.  I myself got so much joy out of it- my heart just swelled at seeing him so happy! I felt so warm and fuzzy on the inside, to be able to bless my child with this gift as I know it brought him happiness. It gave him joy.  And the way his eyes lit up! You parents know what I’m talking about. Him including me was more than I could have asked for! I was thankful to be able to be a part of this with and for him. I loved hearing him say “come on mom!”  And his little hand would come grab mind and we would engage in playing together.  Even when I wasn’t in the room I could hear him play and talk to himself with it. I had “permagrin” :0)
So we had to leave for a couple of hours and then back home we came. Again, while in the other room I heard him play but then I heard other sounds. I came out of the room only to find him kicking this toy and ripping it apart. He was still smiling and didn’t seem upset at all.  I told him to stop because it’s his new toy and he will want to play with it later. He kept jumping on it and I’m seeing this new gift I got him start to crumble and become flat. (It would have taken a lot of patience and tape to fix it at this point but it was still salvageable).  As I continued to try and stop him from destroying this new gift I, his mother got him because I love him so very much; I heard the soft voice of the Father say to me “stay quiet. Let him.” And so I did-- with sadness starting to seep in. I felt so ‘let down’ and like it was a waste. It wasn’t appreciated.  I was so upset and even hurt a little. Still am even as I share this..
Not long after the death of this new gift as it were, in my saddened state of heart, ever so quietly I sensed the Father saying to me “I too feel this same sadness with the daily gifts I give to My children.” I quietly sighed... What do I say to that??…..What do any of us say to that???
Lesson learned and received?? Though we know He already does…Lord forgive us.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

18 Inches Away

I once heard that salvation from Christ Jesus is only 18 inches away (or there about) from head to heart. We hear about Salvation and we receive it in our minds but sometimes, for some of us, it can take a while to find a home in our heart.  That makes me think of God’s truth as a whole.  It’s “a process” that is continuing as we walk with the Lord. And our faith builds little by little as we live out His word in our daily lives.
Lately I know I’ve shared about a lot of trials that many I know are going through. My heart breaks for each and every friend. Sometimes there are ‘highs’ and sometimes ‘low’s’ in these trials. Sometimes these trials come to an end sooner that we thought and others there seems to be no end in sight. We can get so tired and weary. We get so burdened down that our spirit and heart tires and feels burnt out or we just have nothing left to give.
As I was lying in bed with my son last night I was thinking about these trials my friends are going through and how it affecting them and me. I recently shared on how we need to be careful in HOW it affects us as in losing hope etc. (Proverbs 13:12).  We do need to be very careful but this time the Lord showed me something different.
Colossians 3:3 “For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.” How many times we’ve read this verse. Underlined it. Circled it. Claimed it. Prayed it. Everything it. Yet this time the Lord showed me that when it says “your life is hidden with Christ in God” the word ‘in’ caught my attention.  Because our lives are now “hidden with Christ IN God”, that means He is on the “outside” of us and we are on the “inside” on Him.

To put it another way- when our life is hidden in God that includes our hearts and our thoughts as well. We are encouraged in many scriptures what our thoughts are to focus on and to protect our hearts. And it’s not all of these burdens, cares and heavy hearted situations and circumstances that we are to think on. Though they seem to bear down on us at times, to where we are almost suffocating and gasping for just a gulp of air it seems, but really, they are on God…first.

 This is where preparing our hearts comes into play and again that happens by getting to know Who He is, what His word says and our identity IN Him.  Jesus says to cast our burdens on Him as His burden is light (Matt 11:30). When casting our cares on Him and taking His light burden, we should not feel so weighed down as it were.  That’s  not to say we do not pray, intercede or feel heavy from time to time, but we do not take on ourselves what the Lord has told us to give Him. I’m not trying to take away anyone’s hurts or pain but we need to trust Him and continue pressing into Him with faith. For others and for ourselves.  

No matter what ever may come into our hearts, be it emotional, spiritual, mental, Jesus always gets the brunt of it first. Because we are hidden inside of Him. That is why He is our shield and our buckler (Psalm 91:4). A shield takes the blows for the one BEHIND the shield (that's us). 
 It’s never truly about others or even us – but Christ Jesus.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Tough Love

Loving others through anger is undoubtedly one of the hardest things to do. Be it a spouse or a mate, a close family member, a best friend, a not so best friend, a pastor, a co-worker or even an authority figure in our life, as followers of Christ, we are called to love at ALL times. We know what that kind of ‘love’ is. It’s the love of Christ Jesus.  Agape love.  The unconditional, all giving, no questions asked kind of love.  C.S. Lewis described agape love as “a selfless love, a love that was passionately committed to the well-being of the others.”
“Passionately committed to the well-being of others.” In the midst of red-hot anger that is a big pill to swallow!  It’s the last thing we think about to be sure.
The other night at two different times I received a call from different friends who shared some things that truly got my blood boiling.  Lately I’ve been receiving from the Lord about “not following your emotions but let your emotions follow God” (Ps?)- that I had to take a step back from my anger of hearing these bad things, count to 10 and calm down before I said anything I shouldn’t have or did anything that would make the situation worse for my friends.
So this morning I was up early seeking God on these situations and as simply profound as it always seems to be, “Jesus is the way” kept being whispered in my thoughts over and over. Zechariah 8:17 was the first word of the morning God lead me to:
 Let none of you think evil in your heart against your neighbor;
   And do not love a false oath.
   For all these are things that I hate,’
   Says the LORD.”
Along with:
You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. ’This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:30-31
We know exactly what these verses are telling us however to actually ‘do’ them, at least the second one is a lot harder than we realize when our inner mercury level is about to pop.  In Ephesians and Psalms it says to ‘be angry but do not sin.” And we know that to not sin, we need to prepare our hearts. In preparing our hearts to not sin in the anger that is trying to consume us, we need to know who Jesus is but also to have faith in who He is. He is the way, the truth and the life (John 14:6).
 John 10 talks about Jesus being the True Shepherd. Jesus tells us that He is “the door of the sheep.”  We are His sheep and it’s THROUGH Him (the door) that we are able to love others in the thick of our anger. We cannot do it in our strength. That was the truth that I needed to remind me how to love others though my anger.  In turn I was able to forgive in my heart and then take the action that was needed which is to pray and trust the Lord in it. Our hearts can be prepared for this kind of situations that will always come up in our lives, derives from Micah 6:8 “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?”  
Walk humbly with God, do justly, love mercy and do what is required….love. Even when it’s tough.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Hope does Call

Interestingly enough my blog is called “Hope Calls” yet I can’t remember if I’ve even blogged about ‘hope’.  And what is hope exactly? “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”(Heb 11:1). Hope is having faith and faith is having hope. As faith is not a feeling- neither is hope. It is a choice. It is believing in the promises of Christ Jesus.
The past few days my heart has been very heavy hearted for many people. I have been praying consistently for them. And it’s one of those things that you seem to be pressing in yet only hearing more negative things and hurts that just seem to flow faster than a raging river. It can be almost suffocating in the heart sometimes. Sharing a little with a friend, it made me realize that it was affecting my own hope let alone those who are hurting so deeply and their hopes.
There are many scriptures on hope in the bible. The psalms are filled with cries, prayers and songs for God’s hope. Really, both the Old and New Testament are filled with hope.  But for a moment, I want to touch on “hurting hopes”. Several people that I know are going through some pretty tough trials and sometimes those trials are filled with so much hurt that no matter which way you turn there doesn’t seem to be any hope. None.  And we all need hope. If just a crumb.
A verse that is highlighted, circled and marked in my bibe is “Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices; My flesh also will rest in hope.” (Ps 16:9). I’ve always read this verse as “my flesh (my heart) rests in hope. That always brought me some comfort. It’s our hearts that keeps us going both in the flesh and in the spirit. Our hearts are home for many things. Be it words, memories, actions etc. Our hearts are the well spring of life (Prov 4).  I view our hearts as the home of our emotions and our emotions need something to hang on to and that something- is hope. But even in that our hope needs an identity. The Apostle Paul opened a letter to Timothy writing that “our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ, (is) our hope.” (1Tim1:1).  Selah.
Christ Jesus is our hope. And hope does not let us down. Romans 5:5 says “Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” If we are told that hope does not disappoint and we know Who our hope is, then we need not get so burdened down that we leave the presence of the Lords peace. Another Selah moment.
We’re commanded to carry each other burdens “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Gal 6:2), but I don’t believe we are to carry them to where we are starting to “get down” ourselves and loose our own hope. Especially in Him. We need to be very careful and we need to make absolutely sure we are leaning on the Lord even more so in these times.
We pray and hope in the Lord for those we are lifting up as well as ourselves and we do it continually. “But I will hope continually, And will praise You yet more and more.”(Ps 71:14)
 Jesus is our hope. And Jesus is calling us.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Pruned Hearts

Sometimes it takes me a while to process things.  Our Monday night bible study was one of those nights where the Lord showed up in the quietest of ways. With that being said, I continued processing what was shared into the next day asking Him to show me more and the Lord being who He is…showed that which you just never see coming. Ouch.
Deuteronomy 28 talks to us about blessings and cursings based on obedience and disobedience to the Lord for our lives. It tells us how God gives us the pros and cons as it were, of both. Obedience obviously reaps good things and disobedience not so good things. You get the point.
         That led me to a verse one of the girls shared in John 15:4 “Abide (live) in Me and I in you.” In this particular verse I thought of the blessing and cursing.  And about obeying Christ Jesus and the fruit which grows or doesn’t grow in those choices that we make.  In fact it led me to read John 15:2 “Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit”.  The Lord (what I like to call) is “holy highlighting” this verse for me but also a particular word in this verse. Prunes.
Pruning is getting rid of that which is bad so good can grow. In this though, the Lord was telling me that He is pruning my, our, hearts. We have ‘bad’ in our hearts i.e. thoughts, attitudes, even the words we speak begin in our hearts (Luke 6:45). God wants to ‘cut’ that away so good can grow. Yet only good can grow because we abide IN Christ. Because we obey Him. And the good is the blessing part of this. Pruning starts and finishes with obedience.
Many times we have prayed from Psalm 19:4 “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O’ Lord, my strength and my Redeemer” but sometimes we are not fully aware or we just easily forget of how closely our heart is looked at by God. It’s the heart he judges of us. It always starts and finishes in our hearts as far as the Lord is concerned and Jesus truly is our perfect example.  So it makes sense that it’s our hearts He is pruning.
I read this statement from my friend Julia and it struck me at again how important the direction we have our hearts go in to be pruned which ultimately leads to a blessing or not.  “Living life with a negative attitude takes away from the things you should appreciate and are blessed with....you lose time that could be directed on the blessings in front of you.”

King Jesus, with a dose of humility and a big pinch of obedience, Your pruning is welcome and our hearts receive the greatest blessing of all...to know You more.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Things That Go Crash In the Night

So it's coming up on year since I've blogged last.  Just recently a couple of peeps have asked me if I'm going to start blogging again? I guess I'm not real sure why I even stopped but if this what the Lord wants, then I'm on board.

 Well allot has happened in the past year. On January 2nd of this year my 2yr old son and I were in a car accident. Everyone is fine praise God! A high school kid ran a stop-sign and hit my side of the car- we spun and landed on the guide wire on a dark county road on the way home from church that Sunday night. Needless to say I do believe that it WAS Divine and it set allot in motion for many things that have come on my plate this year.  I won't go into all of it but to touch on the main reality of .... we ALL need Christ Jesus.

After the accident and my son and I were in my friends car watching my car be towed away (it was totaled) and my hero of a husband was taking care in talking to the police etc, I asked my friend Gloria who was with me to go and get the young man so I could talk to him. (Bless his heart he was so very apologetic from the moment he hit me). I remember asking him if he was okay and his friends. all fine he said. I remember asking him if he knew Jesus Christ. He said yes, he does. He also shared with me that just seconds before he rolled through the stop-sign and as his friends were talking--he was thinking to himeself that he needs to "get his act together." His life is going no where right now and that he needs to get right with God.  I told him I agree with him and this was God's mercy on his life to get his attention. I remember seeing the 'lost' look in his eyes that night.

I've thought of this boy several times this year and wondered how he is doing. I've thought of contacting him to see what's going on but God told me not to. I sit back now and think of him, of the accident, of those who came and helped. And then I think of Jesus and how He knew we needed help. We all have that 'lost' look in our eyes. He knew that we need Him. He wants us 'right' with the Father- so He did what He had to do to get our attention. (to me that is a forever 'selah' moment).

The Lord gave me a verse as I share this story this morning:
"But as it is written: “ Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”" 1 Co 2:9

as the Lord did what He had to do for this young man back in January- Christ did what He had to do for His lost creation. And it's up to us to respond to Him (just like the boy) and know that He HAS a plan for our lives that "no eye has seen or ear heard for those that love Him".

Monday, November 8, 2010

Humility is Key

With my friend Amanda's permission, I am posting what was shared at church last night that God gave her. It brought conversation for many of us that really didn't seem to have an end in itself. There is much to share on this, but for now I will let these notes speak for itself as you read it with the Holy Spirit's leading. 

To Be Spiritually Teachable
*References in NKJV
 unless otherwise noted*

Psalm 71:8 Let my mouth be filled with Your praise and with Your glory all the

The purpose of any of this: RELATIONSHIP WITH THE FATHER.First & foremost be
humble in spirit; Christ-like. Hunger & thirst & be filled!

Matt. 11:29-30 “Take My yolk upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and
lowly in heart; and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and
My burden is light.”

John 13:5 After that (Passover feast & before Judas betrayed him) He poured
water into a basin & began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with
the towel with which He was girded.

Phil. 2:8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became
obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.

James 4:10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.

1 Peter 5:6-7 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He
may exalt you in due time, casting all your cares upon Him for He cares for you.

Proverbs 15:33 The fear of the Lord is the instruction of wisdom, and before
honor is humility.

A humble heart yields:
-rest for our souls
-an easy burden

The Lord rewards us at every turn when we seek Him earnestly.
We are better prepared to respond lovingly to any trial, test or hardship (LIFE)
when we are first humbled in the presence of the Lord. (Matt. 5:6)