Bright Hope

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To say that 2013 went “down in the books” as one of the more memorable years for me would be highly accurate. If you ask me to remember back to 2004, I would tell you that was the year my youngest son was born. If I took my memory back to 2007, I can recall building our dream house. The year of 2011 brought the publication of my first book. All good memories.

But I can’t actually recall a lot of things that really happened in 2005 or 2008 or 2012, for that matter. Nothing truly significant is indelibly written on my brain for those years. At least that I can recall. And I wouldn’t be able to pull up an old journal to verify anything that really happened.

Mainly because of the year 2013.

When January 1, 2013, rolled around, I had no idea that six months into the year our family would lose our home and all personal belongings in it to a fire. I didn’t know that on June 29th, I would spend the last day in our home in the pleasant condition it was in. I didn’t know that I would cook for the last day in that kitchen. Or wake up in my bedroom for the last time. 

You just never know what a day will bring. But, rest assured, you do know Who brings the day.

I suppose that has been what has carried our family through this past six months. It’s been trying at times. It’s been frustrating. It’s been exhausting. But it has not been devastating because of where our hope was. And is. And will be.

Our hope is in God. The King of Kings. The Creator of the universe. The All-Sufficient One. Our Abba.

Regardless of what situations years past have brought into your life, know this: He is still the same…yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8). He was with you in the valley of the shadow of death (Psalm 23) and He will be with you on that mountaintop that provides you miles of viewing pleasure. He will never leave you or forsake you (Joshua 1:9). 

As the hymn Great Is Thy Faithfulness says, he provides, “strength for today, bright hope for tomorrow…”

Rest in that, friend. Rest in that.

The Most Important 5%

Hey y’all…hop on over to LeadingandLovingIt.com and check out today’s post. I’m sharing from Leading On Empty: Refilling Your Tank and Renewing Your Passion by Wayne Cordeiro.

 

The Good Shepherd

I was 19 years old when my dad died. 

I kept a few things of his that were sentimental. Like this old, gray sweatshirt that was so soft because he wore the heck out of it and for the last 24 years, I’ve worn the heck out of it. He also gave my mom a gold, diamond pendant in the shape of a heart that she passed on to me. Those things are lost now. Gone.

But probably my most favorite thing that he made was a ceramic Nativity Scene. It was beautiful. Stunning, really.

It was a cream color with a darker brown in the creases of each piece. There were camels and wise men and cows and sheep. There was a manger with the baby Jesus, his mom, Mary, and his earthly father, Joseph. 

And of course there were shepherds.

Friend, would you believe that all of the pieces were burned or broken except this shepherd? It’s got some burn marks on it but it’s lovely to me.

Isn’t that just like the Lord to show His kids that He is watching over them?

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. 
He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, He restores my soul.
He guides me in paths of righteousness for His name sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil, for you are with me.
Your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. (Psalm 23)

Shop Around The Clock

I haven’t shopped this much in the history of ever.

I feel like I have purchased so many items over the last two weeks and yet, when we move into another friend’s home next Sunday, we will easily be able to put everything we own into two cars and make the fastest moving trip known to man. Some of the shopping has been enjoyable, like when Natalie and Christi went shopping with me for clothes and dressed me up like a barbie doll and gave me a thumbs up or thumbs down as I modeled each outfit. And thank God they did. Because when you are fashionably challenged and have little to no design talent, shopping can be overwhelming and depressing.

Please don’t hear that as a complaint.

The fact that my sons are all alive and that I wasn’t planning a funeral two weeks ago has placed an unquenchable desire to offer praise and thanksgiving to God. However, this new reality that I need to replace so many material possessions just to function each day can make one’s head spin.

So, I take each day as it comes. 

When the temptation comes to think about what paint colors to choose in the home we will build or replacing Christmas decorations, I just stop and place that far away from my mind. Like five months away. That is not something I need to “commit to worrying about” as my friend Kim says. I just don’t have the mental capacity to do that. 

And quite frankly, neither do you.

How often do you find yourself going into the future in your mind and take on the concerns and cares of things that may never come? I know you do it. It’s so easy to go there. 

But allow me to encourage you to not go there. 

When you start to put together scenarios in your mind about what you think may happen, just stop. Count your blessings in the here and now. Praise God for where you are today and what He is doing in your life.

Because He is up to something good, something very good. 

Even if you can’t see it.

Attention Pastor’s Wives!

Hey fellow pastor’s wives! If you live within driving distance to Tulsa, Oklahoma, check this out!

This is an event entirely for pastor’s wives. It starts the day before Beth Moore’s Living Proof Live and Beth will make a guest appearance at the event! So click on the picture above or go to this link: Between Us.

I’ll be there doing a session as well as participating on a panel. Would love to meet you!

 

 

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