Hope

You live in what feels like a constant state of tension. Even your “good stress” is, well, stress. You check the news at least each day to make sure you’re on top of the latest thing to worry about. Your time is stretched so thin that any interruption or change of plans sends you reeling emotionally.

Your credit cards are loaded to the max, and your life feels a lot like your email inbox – loaded with clutter, junk, and unfinished business – some of which is actually important.

Your best sleep comes after 2:00 in the morning. You avoid those medical checkups because you already know what they’re going to say. Unless, of course, you need to get that prescription refilled.

And then…

…then, somebody comes along, usually on a Sunday, and says…

“Let’s worship Jesus!”

And honestly, it just feels like another reason to feel anxious.

What if I were to tell you that if you’re harried and helpless, stressed out or fried emotionally, the Bible actually gets where you’re coming from? If I could show you a way to magnificently worship the Lord Jesus, even when you’re at the end of your rope, would you be interested?

This is an Offering for the Overworked, overstressed, overeating, over-fill-in-your-blank.

Ready? Here it is: [click to continue…]

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Thunderstorm and lightnings in night over a lake with reflaction

It doesn’t take much for a breeze
To become a roaring fury –
Or a gentle, soaking shower
To become a fierce, howling squall.
In a matter of mere moments,
The elements that nourish you
Can soon threaten to destroy you
Or just paralyze you with fear.

That is true in the natural…
More so in the relational.
Sometimes the waves that pound at you
Are tides of public opinion.
Sometimes the winds that howl to you
Are the voices of the critics.
Sometimes the raindrops that pelt you
Are problems with no solutions.

When storms are raging,
It’s time for engaging
Your faith, your hope, and your love. [click to continue…]

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Hold Tightly in the Night

by Andy Wood on February 18, 2015

in Life Currency, Love

Comforting friend. Woman consoling her sad friend.

Closer than you may realize,
And darker than you can imagine,
Someone you know languishes now
Under black clouds of fear and despair –
Clouds that never seem to break enough
To let the light in.
The only hope that they have
Is the light that shines through you.
Believe fervently for them.
Hope confidently for them.
Love them gently
As you hold them tightly in the night. [click to continue…]

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Against the Wind

It’s one of the loneliest of all encounters,
The most agonizing of all relationships,
Where it seems as though the very air you breathe
Pushes hard against you as you try to move forward.
Yet move you must.
The calling is too strong…
The need is too great…
Press on …
Press on against the wind. [click to continue…]

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three candles 2

As you celebrate in the silent night or the joyful noise that is your Christmas, I joyfully lift my prayer to the Father of lights on your behalf – praying that you would discover the unique inspiration that comes from knowing what an inspiration to others you can be.

I pray that on this day you would find your way to the Chamber of your Beloved, to rediscover the awakened intimacy that comes from having your soul restored, realizing again the central message of Christmas, that you are completely loved.

I pray that in the coming year, when you engage with the terrible and the trivial in this world, that when others are desperately looking for the light of truth and hope, they find it burning brightly still in you.

[click to continue…]

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Set of three red candles burning in the dark

What stockings there are in this house are hung, and most all of the Christmas decorations are out and up for this most unusual of Christmases – one in which we are anticipating the birth of a grandson.

In the kitchen alone, the candles and stuffed carolers next to the miniature street lamp sing in inaudible celebration that it’s Christmas.  Five trees of some size or shape adorn the china hutch and island.  Candles and ribbons grace the table, and the Santa hat makes a nice addition to the ceramic pig that keeps watch over all things kitchen.  A stuffed snowman (that lights up, of course) perches on a chair in the corner.  And a healthy collection of Santa-and-the-Missus salt and pepper shakers give new meaning to that cliché of all Christmas clichés – ‘Tis the season.

But what most catches my eye is a little string of letters hanging down from the upper cabinet, next to the stuffed snowman.  Those four letters spell the word, H-O-P-E.

Isn’t that the renewable resource that is Christmas – the celebration of the birth of the Hope of the Ages?  That however sorry or desperate the world looks (have you read the news lately?), there still is hope?

We live in an age where linkin’ stinkin’ thinkin’ together has become an art form, and the cynics seem to be winning.  But this Christmas can be a reminder to me and to you that we’re not done hoping. [click to continue…]

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Sun Rays Behind the Clouds.Bright Sky 

But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day (2 Peter 3:8, NAS).

A Thousand Summers and a thousand more,
Your bride has waited and anticipated
That “blessed hope” You spoke in the language of forever.
Knowing we were born and born again for this,
We will hold on to Your promise and, if need be
Wait a Thousand Summers more.

So we wait, but never barren of Your presence,
And we hope, but never void of Your great care.
So we serve, with boldness standing on the promise
That a Thousand Summers never can compare. [click to continue…]

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Lighthouse 3

A lighthouse in a harbor stands on solid ground,
Declaring simple truth to all who would see.
“Here I stand,” it calls to the ocean.
“No wave formed against me will ever prosper
I bow at the mercy of no storm or sea.”
On a firm foundation the Lighthouse in the Harbor
Refuses to surrender, sound the retreat or compromise.
It stands in simple splendor, against the tide.
Though it may show signs of wear and aging,
Though it may look unimpressive to untrained eyes,
The Lighthouse in the Harbor yet still stands upon a rock –
And you… yes, you… are that Lighthouse in the Harbor. [click to continue…]

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Until Lambs Become Lions

by Andy Wood on August 12, 2014

in Conversations, Insight, Life Currency

Lion Lamb

(A Conversation)

I watched the Robin Hood movie again last night.

Kevin Costner?

No, seriously?  Russell Crowe.

OK.

I love the quote from there…

About rising and rising again?

Yeah… “Rise and rise again, until lambs become lions.”  That really resonates with me.

I can see why.  So are you rising and rising again?

Hardly.  More like “fall and fall again.”

Why is that? [click to continue…]

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Hope Community

Raise your hand if you want tomorrow to be better than today.

Raise your other hand if you would rather God give you prosperity than calamity.

Good.  I’ve got you where I want you.  Now give me all your money.

You and I were hard-wired for hope. Something in our DNA makes us want to believe that tomorrow can and will be better than today.  When times are easy, we tend to presume on that.  When times are tough, we go looking for it.

Maybe that’s why Jeremiah 29:11 has become such a popular verse in recent years. Go into any Christian book store or gift shop and you’ll see it on coffee mugs or on some idyllic painting or poster:

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Doesn’t that do something for you?  It certainly does for me.  It tells me something about the heart of my God for me as an individual, and for the people I care about.

Trouble is, we take it completely out of context. [click to continue…]

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