Tag Archives: encouragement

2018: A Year For Hope (Week 14)

I just met “C” outside of the computer store picking up my laptop from weekend repairs.

Dear “C”
If you are reading this, I want you to know that everything below the dashed line was actually written by me last night on my cell phone.  In light of our meeting, I believe it is no ‘coincidence’ that I had scheduled to reblog something written by The Abuse Expose with Secret Angel.  I am sure you will find much on their website (and I hope by my own story, starting back in the 2014 blog posts) that will be of comfort to you as you are walking out your journey.    I am going to continue to pray for you, and of course you now have my name and phone number.    #GodIsBigger #TheDevilHasAlreadyLost  #ThisDoesNotDefineYou

——

Alas, I am without my computer (in for maintenance) and so instead of trying to type out my writings on my phone (I assure you, that would not end well), I am sharing this lovely poem entitled “A Pure Heart

With a shared passion for the abused and broken, I have been following The Abuse Expose’ with Secret Angel for several years. I highly encourage you to check out their blog.

https://wp.me/p3u5ZW-4fd

Blessings!

Words

The overflow from this mornings journaling:

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. (Psalm 119:105)

How precious is Your word to me oh Lord, how unfathomable Your ways.

By Your word I receive instruction for the ways I should go.

In Your word I find hope and refreshment for my soul.

When trouble gathers near, it is in Your word that I take shelter, on Your word that I firmly stand.

And while the winds roar, my footing is secure.

Through Your word I obtain victory for every trial.

Out of my mouth I shall declare what You have said; my words for Your words, Your words as my words.

And the walls collapse, victims set free, and the glory is Yours alone.

Morning Sips

Vincent D’Onofrio preached a good sermon!

A few weeks ago I had the strangest dream. As best as I can remember it (because it was rather weird … you know, one of those dreams that seems to jump around a lot but “bits and pieces” remain with you upon waking. Yea, one of those.

In my dream, Vincent D’Onofrio was what some might call or think of as a Pentecostal preacher. Like his famous Law and Order character, he was animated in speech and a little on the quirky side.

He swayed while he preached. Or more accurately, he “flowed” around the pulpit, as though moving with the ebb and flow, rise and fall of the Holy Spirit speaking through Him.

Most of what he preached I don’t remember, but I recall the feeling of agreement. He was preaching the Bible.

Then unexpectedly he paused, looked right at me from the pulpit, and said “Don’t smell another man’s offering.”

A few minutes later, he asked me what that (all of what he had just preached) meant to me.

I thought for a moment, took a deep breath to answer, and … woke up.

DON’T SMELL ANOTHER MAN’S OFFERING

I have been thinking about this ever since. What do you think this means? Do any Scriptures come to mind?

Morning Sips

2018: A Year For Hope (Week 4)

What are some of the lies the enemy tells you?  A friend of mine asked this  last week to a Facebook group.   The answers are honest, revealing, and familiar to us all.

You can’t outrun your past. | You are not enough.
You will fail. | You are unlovable. | You are a fool.
You will never succeed. |You’re too (insert insult here).
You are ugly. | You are stupid. | No one wants you.
You never finish what you start.
It’s too late.

I see a common thread … all intended to short circuit the promises of God.  They are all intended to strangle out the voice of HOPE.

Why is it that the voice of fear always seems to be so much louder than the voice of HOPE?  And at the end of the day, isn’t that really the only weapon the enemy of our soul uses against us?   “Did God really say that”? he asked Eve in the Garden of Eden (meant to instill fear in the credibility of God, or in best case the accuracy of her hearing).  “If you are the Son of God” he touted to Jesus in the dessert.  If we did a root cause analysis for every challenge or attack against HOPE, I think we would find fear is at the heart or origin of it.

The voice of FEAR always seems to be so much louder than the voice of HOPE.

She had almost forgotten about it, but something a friend said recently brought it back to her remembrance.  It was so long ago that she had last held it in her hands. Just the mere thought of seeing it again stirred up so many emotions – the disappointments still cut deep.

And yet, here she was.  Up in the attic, opening one dusty box after another to find it.

img_20180122_090031298_hdr862485380.jpg 

It was as she remembered, although the felt exterior was worn and perhaps a bit moth eaten. 

Her breathing became fast and shallow, and her hands trembled a bit as she slowly began to lift the lid.

Can she?  Dare she?  

Fear grips her and won’t let go.  She can’t breathe.  Slowly she fits the lid back into place and places the box with it’s precious contents back into storage.  Maybe another time.

“Oh my soul, you are not alone. There’s a place where fear has to face the God you know.

One more day. He will make a way. Let Him show you how you can lay this down. You’re not alone”

~ Oh My Soul, Casting Crowns

 

It can be terrifying to risk change.  To dare to dream, even if it means to risk failure … again.  To dare to love, even if it means to risk rejection.   To dare to trust, even if it means making yourself vulnerable to disappointment.   To dare to HOPE … hope that the promise of God is actually true … even if it means ….

 

img_20180111_203901963_hdr854888339.jpg
untitled –  a work in progress, PHTW 1.15.18

Well here is the thing my friend. All the promises … ALL the Promises … ALL … every single one is TRUE! (2 Corinthians 1:20).   And it is from a position of knowing that, that’s ‘the place where fear has to face God’ ... AND FEAR WILL BOW!

As you listen to this song (and I hope you do), imagine yourself lifting up your hands … perhaps lifting up a certain situation or need … perhaps empty hands, empty of hope but ready to receive HOPE. Lift your hands and lift your heart in surrender to the One who loves you. He is faithful and will show you how to move forward into all that He has for you … a life that is limitless and free from the chains of fear.

 

 

 

If you have been following along, above is the initial sketch for the word picture along with it’s progression to the current state in the larger picture.   There are components of this piece that are going to be revealed as this blog series continues, so please keep coming back to watch the image in my head/heart come to life on paper.  
What do you think would be a good name or caption for this particular word picture?
Also, I would love to hear your thoughts and comments about any of the word pictures in this blog series, or any other of my posts.  My prayer is that they will speak something unique to your heart/spirit, and I would be honored to know how they move or impact you.
_____________
All sketches and watercolors posted on this website are the sole property of the author and are for exclusive display on the website PuttingHopeToWork.com.

 

2018: A Year For Hope (Week 3)

She closes the door and leans up against it, but it does no good. She can still hear the cutting rants of her stepson as he shouts to the world how much he hates her, how he wishes his dad never married her, and begs her to go away and leave them alone. Sometimes she thinks it might be better if she did leave, as her rejection by the kids has created a chasm between her and her husband as wide as the Grand Canyon. They married three years ago. She thought things would be better by now, that they would find a way to work things out together … as a family. She slumps to the floor and softly weeps.

Behind-the-veil glimpses like the one above and those shared in the prior week’s reveal and remind us that we all experience trials and hardships, pain, and disappointments in life and to varying degrees.

Broken homes
Harassment
Family conflict
Financial strain
Loneliness
Unhealthy environments
Abuse
Loss
Addiction
Betrayal
Health issues
Abandonment
Peer pressure
Strained relationships
… and the list goes on…

And it is during the absolute darkest moments of these trials that the enemy of our souls is quick to whisper (or sometimes shout):

“It / he / she will never change”.
“You will never change”.
“There is no hope”.

While praying about the content of this post, my spirit ached for those weighed down by these types of heartaches while my mind recalled my own darkest days. A dysfunctional and abusive upbringing.  Abandonment.  An abusive marriage. Years of nightmares. The hard work of healing and restoration. In those days, hope seemed evasive and there were seasons when by all appearances hope just flat out left and moved to another country altogether!

But you can’t experience HOPE until you know how deeply and completely you are loved.

And what exactly is “hope” anyways? If you ask Google for the meaning of hope you get the following:
1. (n) A feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen
2. (n) A feeling of trust
3. (v) Want something to happen or be the case

And according to Wikipedia,  hope is an optimistic state of mind that is based on an expectation of positive outcomes with respect to events and circumstances in one’s life or the world at large. As a verb, its definitions include: “expect with confidence” and “to cherish a desire with anticipation”.

As accurate as those descriptions of hope may be, they pale in comparison to Bible-Hope. Bible-Hope is a better kind of hope, for Bible-Hope is tied to a promise of God, or a truth found in the Word of God.

 

img_20180111_203901963_hdr854888339.jpg
untitled –  a work in progress, PHTW 1.15.18

But you can’t experience Bible-Hope (hereafter referred to as HOPE) until you know how deeply and completely you are loved. Why? Because if you don’t know-that-you-know-that-you-know that you are deeply loved by God, you will never be able to trust (confidently reply upon) Him or His promises.

 

An old song comes to mind … one that brought me a lot of comfort during some of my darkest days.  I pray you will listen to it with an open heart, and let the Lord speak to you of His deep and all consuming desire to cherish you, treasure you, and love you completely.   “You Can Belong To Me”  by Joanna Carlson.

 

 

If you have been following along, above is the initial sketch for the word picture along with it’s progression to the current state in the larger picture.   There are components of this piece that are going to be revealed as this blog series continues, so please keep coming back to watch the image in my head/heart come to life on paper.  
What do you think would be a good name or caption for this particular word picture?
Also, I would love to hear your thoughts and comments about any of the word pictures in this blog series, or any other of my posts.  My prayer is that they will speak something unique to your heart/spirit, and I would be honored to know how they move or impact you.
_____________
All sketches and watercolors posted on this website are the sole property of the author and are for exclusive display on the website PuttingHopeToWork.com.