I don’t have great pictures to tantalize today. I have words. Words with meaning so deep—so fished from the depths of my heart that I hope just one can visualize and absorb and praise our great God.
This past Sunday was the first Sunday of Advent, the celebration of Hope.
Don’t we all need hope?
I need hope for today and tomorrow. I need to know I’m loved and supported and that someone will never, ever give up on me no matter how ugly I can be, even though I don’t even want to be that way, I don’t try to be that way, but I still find myself falling far short of my own expectations—let alone God’s. Anybody else?
All the times I’ve said a negative word about another, I need forgiveness and love. All the times I’ve licked my own wounds instead of attending to another’s, I need forgiveness and love. All the times I’ve failed to listen close and I’ve heard only what I want or need to hear, I need forgiveness and love. All the times I’ve failed to give what every other person who comes across my path needs because I’ve been too focused on what I need, I need forgiveness and love.
And the good news? The hope we all have?
He knows we are made of dust.
He knows we have fallen to unimaginable depths of self-centeredness.
He knows the pain we cause others and ourselves and Him and Father and Holy Spirit.
And yet . . .
He saves everyone from the black-hole implosion of self-seeking will.
Is that not HOPE?
Tell me, has anyone figured out a better way?
I say, undoubtedly, no.
No one has figured out a better way to set us free from ourselves and from the inevitable destruction that self-centeredness brings upon human-kind, upon ourselves.
Jesus is our hope—our only hope.
He came here!
He came to this fallen earth He and Father and Holy Spirit created perfect!
He came to RESTORE what I damaged—what WE damaged . . .
Relationships. Relationship with each other. Relationship with the perfect environment He created. Relationship with HIM!
And how much do we really want Him?
How much do we really long for Him, in this season?
My heart hurts . . .
Feelings of obligation.
Over-extending for those who already have enough—too much.
I cry for my child in Uganda who just wants his first pair of shoes—ever . . .
I cry for my child in India who just wants to learn a trade so she won’t be sold as a sex slave . . .
Oh Lord! Change our hearts! Change our minds! Change our wills!
This season of waiting?
What are we waiting for?
For His ways?
Oh Lord, let it be so!
You are our hope!
You are our only hope!
As we watch the news and we hear of Israel surrounded and all her allies slowly but surely pulling away?
Surely, You will never pull away!
Surely, Your plans will prevail!
We praise you, LORD!
Let us bow our heads and our knees this Advent Season and seek YOU!
Let us bow our heads and our knees this Advent Season and serve YOU!
And serving need not be earth-shaking . . .
Visit someone lonely.
Say a kind word to someone—anyone—everyone.
Smile at someone—anyone—everyone.
Pray for someone—anyone—everyone.
Think about a new kind of Christmas . . .
Think about how to give something—anything—that costs NO MONEY—but might just cost something more costly than money . . .
Give a gift of an hour to listen—to really listen to someone—and to ask questions to keep them talking. Believe me—this gift is in short supply but greatly wanted and needed.
Give a gift of helping another in some small way . . .
Buy a bag of groceries for the hungry . . .
Give a hug to anyone who will let you . . .
Say “Thank you!” to everyone who serves you this season . . .
Give a genuine compliment to anyone—to everyone. Think of things to praise people for.
These are but a few ideas.
Write back and give more? Please? Can we be creative together and make this the best Christmas ever–giving gifts that cost time and effort and humility, but no money?
And for those of you, like me, who are facing very hard times—very gut-wrenching decision times—times where we don’t know what we’re doing or where we’re going—but we trust God anyway—because we know His track record is perfect . . .
Hold on, dear sisters and brothers! I stand with you! I will stand with you in prayer, knowing that prayer moves mountains—provides ways where there seems to be no way. I stand with you! Message me! I will stand with you in prayer!
So, this week, celebrating the first week of Advent—of waiting—of anticipating—the coming of our Savior . . .
He’s already come . . .
And He is still here . . .
God with us.
There is not greater gift.
Nothing money can buy can equal.
For God—for His hope—I am grateful forever.