Saturday, March 04, 2006

Flowers are a Gift from God

My African violet bursts into bloom during the winter. It was a gift from a friend a few years ago. But God gave it as a special gift to brighten my days, over and over!

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Respect in Marriage

Respect - To feel or show differential regard for; esteem.

Whatever happened to respect in our culture?

People don't seem to show to respect to others. I hear broadcasters call our President ... Mr. Bush. Americans think they can say anything about anyone at any time because we have freedom of speech. What happened to kids showing respect to their teachers?

When you follow the thread, it unravels at home. How much respect do husbands and wives show each other? Why are we nicer to the clerk at the grocery store than we are to our spouses?

When men and women are able to respect and accept their differences then love has a chance to blossom. John Gray

Ephesians 5:33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

1 Peter 3:7 Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.

1 Peter 2:17 Show proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king.

The interesting part of these verses on respect is that they are no conditions. They say we are to respect (period, the end). It is not stated that they have earn it or deserve it. The Bible talks about respect in a way that is unconditional.

Many of us (including me) have been wrong in the way we treat our husbands. We try to change them, implying that they don't measure up as they are. Disrespect. Respect of our husbands conveys the idea that they are accepted and esteemed, just the way they are, even if they never change.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Hope doesn't disappoint

Hope is faith holding out its hand in the dark. George Iles

Carve a tunnel of hope through the dark mountain of disappointment. Martin Luther King, Jr.

A strong link exists between hope and experiencing adversity. As we suffer trials, and adversity in our life, the depth of the pain seems to be related to our ability to find hope. Pain can be a very positive motivator in our lives or it can destroy us. When we have physical pain, we try to do something immediately to get rid of it. I would even say that our ability to endure physical pain is often more related to the extent we have suffered emotional pain. People who have suffered a lot of emotional pain are often able to endure great physical pain because they have learned how to disconnect their mind from the pain.

Adversity can motivate us to find solutions. When there are no solutions in our resources, we turn to God as a last resort. Turning to God for answers, for hope, will strengthen us. Turning away from God, being angry with God, as we go through adversity can destroy us with bitterness and resentment.

God is not only the author of our hope but He is also the object of our hope.

Romans 5:3-5 is a great verse that talks about the suffering cycle.

Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

My question with this verse was always about the rejoicing part. How do I rejoice in suffering? When I have been through enough suffering to know that it can make me draw closer to God and make me more like Him, then I can rejoice. I know I will be more godly when I pass through that season. The passage clearly shows us that our hope is God. As long as we hold onto Him, he will pour out His love into our hearts.

He will not disappoint us.

Sunday, February 26, 2006


There are no hopeless situations; there are only people who have grown hopeless over them.

Hope seems to be the most important attribute in the heart of man for survival and success. When we become hopeless, we slip slowly into depression. I have felt hopeless before. I had no hope for my life to turn out the way I thought it should. I had no hope for anything to be different or better.

Many believe that people die without hope. Viktor Frankel survived Nazi concentration camps and wrote a book, Man's Search for Meaning. He describes the psychological process men would go through. He described a death look that would overcome some men. When they moved to this stage, they had given up hope and died. He learned to go to men as they entered their building and talk to him about staying alive for his family when he got out. Every man had to have the hope that his family would survive. Without hope, he died.

A Latin quote "Dum spiro, spero" says "While I breath, I hope."

Where do we find that kind of hope? I don't know how people find hope apart from God. He transcends our circumstances. He can give us the ability to live above our circumstances. He is a God of Hope!

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13

What is our part? Our part is to trust Him.

I have asked a lot of people what it means to trust God. Most people will say to have faith or to believe. I think all of those are true but they are synonyms, they don't describe the process. What would it look like in our life? I think it means to follow God's leading through His word and His Spirit and leave the results up to Him.

What is God's part? The God of Hope fills us with all joy and peace. He is the author of our hope, not the object. He says that we will overflow with hope because of the power of the Holy Spirit who lives in us.