Tag : hope
Tag : hope
He is not afraid of bad news; his heart is firm, trusting in the Lord (Psalm 112:7).
Our Mini Goldendoodle, Jewel, provides a lesson sometimes so I thought I’d share what she brought to mind this week.
Often, Jewel will lay down outside our bedroom door, sprawled across the entry. She doesn’t move a muscle when we try to get through the opening, so we are forced to take a very large stride over her. She seems at peace that we will not step on her when going from one room to the other. I’m amazed at her trust!
I thought, What if we would trust God like that? What if would relax so much that whatever we face, we‘d know He is in control? Do we believe He’s not up there waiting to step on us? He loves us and is a good God.
This week I learned that a co-worker and friend from my television days, Rosenda, was in Hospice, and subsequently passed away. I also worked with her husband at a San Antonio TV station, and our sons went to school together and played on the same football team, so our lives intersected in many ways. She was a strong businesswoman who balanced career and family well. There are many mourning her loss.
Then another news anchor, Bob Johnson, who I worked with in my first television job in Chattanooga, Tennessee, died after a long battle with Parkinson’s Disease. I found out about both Bob and Rosenda the same day, fueling one of those “blue” days. I wanted to be like Jewel, hanging limp in my heavenly Father’s arms, trusting that He had all this in His hands, but I did not do it. I was anxious and the workload facing me seemed more overwhelming than usual. I almost passed out the morning I learned about both of these past colleagues. Must Be Stress, I thought. I am a Christian leader. Shouldn’t I handle all this better?
That’s the problem. I had wrong thinking. We are not designed to “handle” it alone. We are supposed to load these burdens on our Savior who has the ability to carry them for us. Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28–30).
And when we give our anxieties to God, He always answers with hope.
After Bob died, a mutual friend and former Sports Director at Chattanooga’s WTVC, Darrell Patterson, who was very close to Bob, posted a YouTube video of Bob singing His favorite Gospel songs. It was beautiful. We were all very young when we worked together, and I never knew where he stood faith-wise. Back then, I was only a believer, not a follower, so I really did not walk out my faith. But when I watched the video, it’s as if God was saying, “I’ve got this Lisa. He’s with me now.”
What about you? Does all this COVID stuff have you tied up in knots? Are you reeling because you feel out-of-control? Take a lesson from Jewel. Relax—and trust God.
And if you want to feel hope like I did, here’s the YouTube link to Bob Johnson’s medley of Gospel songs:
Is your life lacking variation right now because of COVID-19? Are you wishing this Coronavirus would die a quick death or go back to where it came from? You’re not alone, but we all have to remember that even in the midst of these difficult seasons, God can still provide something beautiful.
On Thursday I came across this verse in the Psalms: “He split open a rock, and water gushed out to form a river through the dry wasteland” (Psalm 105:41). The verse is referring to the scene in Numbers 20 when the Israelites camped in the wilderness of Zin and complained because there was no water to drink. God told Moses to speak to a rock and water would pour out, however Moses struck it twice instead. Water still gushed from the rock, but for disobeying God it did cost Moses an entry card into the Promised Land. That, however, is not the point I am making here. I never realized the water that poured out formed a river in the wilderness. I thought it was more like a garden hose that turned off and on or like a quick burst of tap water from the kitchen faucet. But according to Psalm 105, this gush of rock water formed a “river.” A river in the wilderness.
It made me think about the rivers that I’ve experienced during this never-ending COVID-19 wilderness.
One river is simply the back yard that I love so much. Now that I’m home more, I have thanked the LORD numerous times that I have such a pretty view from my kitchen table where I work. It’s especially beautiful now that the Crepe Myrtle is blooming.
When I take my morning walks, the street is lined with Crepe Myrtles, my favorite trees. They’re a gift. Desert streams.
I am grateful for the river of marriage, and that I do not have to shelter alone—but if you are feeling alone for whatever reason, know that you are never alone—Jesus is always with you if you believe. “Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from his heart’” (John 7:38).
I have also praised God for the river of “purpose,” as we are still doing our topical and evangelical POP Talk television and radio shows, this week reaching the 100 thousand mark on Facebook Live and going into a potential 133-million homes through the Faith Unveiled Network. That’s more like river rapids!
Then there are others I know who are experiencing a river in the wilderness. Yesterday, my friend and Christian Women in Media Founder, Suellen Roberts, got married to a wonderful man, Stan Burke. Stan was the teacher of her Sunday school class and she had recently become the director of the class. If it had not been for COVID-19, they probably wouldn’t have worked so closely and fallen for each other. A river of love.
I have a longtime friend who just told me she had contracted COVID-19. She felt really bad for one day, better the second day, then resumed her walks on the third day. That’s a river of healing.
How has God provided rivers for you during this season? Sometimes we are so focused on the wilderness that we miss the river.
Lord, will you help us to take our eyes off of everything bad and open our eyes to the good that you are working in the midst of the turmoil? Show us the rivers we can’t see and quench our thirst for hope.
We hope you will join us for our next POP Chat, July 29th on ZOOM at 6:30 p.m.. Dr. Lynnette Simm will be teaching about “How to Find Your Peace” and Renee Rollins will lead our worship for this beautiful one-hour of fellowship. Here’s the link to sign up: https://share.hsforms.com/15bHBupdrTBugXxD9Y8Q_MQ3jo4z
Today has been a very hard day. In fact the last few days have been very hard, very emotional, and very overwhelming. normally I would label these days as “blue days.” However, I don’t think it’s because I am feeling depressed, due to my chemical imbalance that I have struggled with my whole life; rather, I’m depressed with what is going on all around us. There seems to be a constant strain over communication with pretty much everybody. So because of that I am not going to write a blog. Instead I’m going to share music.
Here are some songs that I hope will bring you hope, strength, faith, and love.
First look up David Dunn’s song Starting Now.
Then look up TobyMac’s song, Move (Keep Walking).
Look up Zack Williams’s song (with Dolly Parton) There Was Jesus.
And just for fun, Electric Light Orchestra’s Mr. Blue Sky.
Finally, a simple, straight forward song about love. The Beatles’ All You Need is Love.
My hope is with these songs you have your day brightened, you mood lifted, and your heart opened to what the new day holds. Only God knows each day, but we know HIM, so Everything’s Gonna be Alright. (Yes, I went there with some Bob Marley)
Our guest blogger today is Janice Stroman, Ed.D. Jan, a native of Hot Springs, Arkansas, now lives in Las Colinas, Texas. She is the Founder and Director of “Ladies in Touch,” a ministry group that connects with God and others. She is a Bible Study Leader and Teacher, Writer and Blogger of “Jan’s Jewels for Jesus,” that can be found on the Ladies in Touch website, www.ladiesintouch.com.
Jan is also a private music teacher and an Irving League of Volunteers Member and an Irving Salvation Army Advisory Council Member. She has extensive experience in Educational Leadership and Teacher Training and has taught all ages and grades from Elementary School through Graduate School. Both her Masters and Doctoral degrees are related to research on how to teach the reading-writing process more effectively.
Jan’s Hobbies include decorating, gardening, photography, cooking, and entertaining. Most of all she loves, and is dedicated to helping others discover the reality of a faith-based life. She is married to David, her husband of 55 years. They have one son and two handsome grandsons who are the joy of her life.
Are you currently in a Life Detour that has you worried or scared? Or maybe you’re thinking that you are completely alone and Jesus doesn’t care? Perhaps your situation has depleted you of both emotional and physical strength to the point of feeling numb and depleted of all energy.
Please allow me to share with you, my precious friend, that I have been there. In fact, I am right there with you as I write and share these thoughts. Yes, the detour I’m experiencing seems impossible and without any hope. Ever been there? Are you there now?
Jesus tells us in the Bible that He will never leave us or forsake us. He reminds us of that one lost sheep that He took time to find and rescue. Maybe you are the sheep that needs help or rescuing. Could it be that someone very close to you might need to be rescued? Do you ever literally feel like crying out to God, “HELP! AND MAKE IT QUICK!
I am once again reminded that Jesus says in His Word, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes to the Father, except through me.” It is only through Him and by Him that any of us can find our way out of darkness and despair. He longs to be our dearest and closest friend. He says that we are to cast our burden upon Him because He will never give us more than we can endure. “For my yoke is easy to bear, and my load is not hard to carry.” He asks us to believe in Him with all of our heart, body, mind, and soul, and as we travel though this rough time or detour together, when we do what He asks, we will feel His presence walking along beside us. If we are too weak to walk, He will carry us. Jesus will never leave or forsake us if we keep focused on His everlasting and precious love for us.
So if something or someone has caused you to feel afraid, sad, lonely, rejected, or without hope, think of the words of the familiar chorus entitled “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus.”
“Turn your eyes upon Jesus. Look full in His wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim, In the light of His glory and grace.”
A friend who is currently fighting a fierce battle with cancer often sings this chorus when the battle she faces begins to wear her down. I’ve literally seen fear and distress disappear from her face as she sings this chorus. Peace and joy instantly replace fear and distress.
Why? The answer lies in the words of the chorus I shared with you. When you look into the face of the One who is Love personified and trust in Him as a child, then and only then, will you find that everlasting peace that passes all understanding.
Try looking into the glorious face of Jesus. Feel His loving arms surround you and His enduring peace rest within you. “Be still and know that I am God” (Psalms 46:10).