Sunday, October 29, 2017

The Thrill of Hope

Christmas is coming!
That inner gasp happened to me this morning.   A thrill, if you will.  Anticipation that something really good is going to happen.   A vacation is coming and there is going to be a little something fun every day!  I’m thinking of the people, the lights, the music, the preparations, all pieces parts of the celebration.  But I love the anticipation!
When I was a young girl I would squeal when I got excited.  But now I tamp it down.  I tell myself not to get my hopes up.   Don’t raise my expectations too high.  Then I can’t get disappointed.  This is what life on earth can do to us, worry often replaces joy and maturity replaces fun.
So I said a mini prayer in my head.  I asked the Lord if anticipation is an ok thing.  Then I remembered that anticipation is just having high hopes.  And hope is all over the bible…
We have this hope as an anchor for the soul.  Hebrews 6:16
Be joyful in hope Romans 12:12
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
So it is good for us to have high hopes and excitement for good things to come.  I think God would be pleased if we let ourselves have the thrill of anticipation of the things He has promised.  So let’s read the New Testament and find out what He has promised, like help and love and heaven, and let it bring us sparks of excitement and happiness. 

Monday, July 10, 2017


What do you hope for?  Make a list. 

Now cross out every hope that God did not inspire.  If you hope your neighbor steps in a mud puddle cross that one off.

Some of our hopes are so clearly from God.  If you have heard God's voice then you know you have something solid to hope in.  One time I heard "let it go" when I was praying to restore my business.  I was shocked!  But then I knew to put my hope in moving on instead of holding on.

Some things on my personal hope list are, happy healthy grandchildren, wonderful jobs for my children, loving marriages...  Pretty basic stuff.  Yet, all God's ideas.  All good things.  Obviously this is my prayer list.

My hope list also includes guidance.  That's a biggie.  That I will be guided by the Holy Spirit.  I hope I can learn to trust. And that all those on my prayer list will hear the guiding voice of our loving heavenly father.  And that rebellion will gently fall away in the hope of God's goodness.

But I think it would be fun to make another list.  "Hopes that Happened".  Because we easily forget about those.  One time I hoped for a little doggie that would want to cuddle with me.  And he is on my lap right now.  Looking at this list makes my heart leap with joy.  It feels like love.  It is ok to be happy.

And to those hopes that didn't happen, God asks us to be patient.  He asks us to trust him anyway.  The story is not over.  Because ultimately our biggest hope is in heaven.

Hebrews 11:1- Faith is the substance of things HOPED for.
Romans 12:12 Be JOYFUL IN HOPE. patient in affliction,  Prayerful always.
1 Thessalonians 5:16 Always be joyful and don't stop praying. 

In other words, don't stop believing, and, get this party started!

Thursday, February 9, 2017

The ONE Thing.

I was in college in the early 80s.  I was not raised in a “Christian home”.   But for some reason I put this poster on my dorm room wall.
Looking back I wonder why.  I want to ask myself, “Hey Julie, what’s up with the Jesus poster?”  I was barely following Jesus.  I was doin’ my own thing.  Making my own way and accomplishing things.  I was a little bit type A back then.  Ok, very type A.  I liked things my way.  And I got things done and I overscheduled and achieved.  Dang it, I achieved!   Move out of my way or get run over.  But still I seemed to know one thing…Jesus loves me.

I am turning 55 this year.  I am happy.  I have a wonderful husband,  great kids who I respect and cherish, a new grandchild,  a successful business, a beautiful home, a funny little doggie, and bonus, my parents are still kickin.  And yet, I treasure above all that one thing.  Jesus loves me.
I have been broke.  I mean, praying for the next meal, daily bread, broke.  I have dressed in hand me downs, drove a rusty car, and filed bankruptcy.  I have felt shame and despair.  I have basically had a nervous breakdown.  I have been weak and sick and overweight.  I have lost my peace about things like buying and selling our homes, and sending kids to private school, or college, or home school.  I watched precious family members get sick and die before my eyes.  But alas, that one thing… Jesus loves me.

Life lifts you up and sometimes drops you hard.  I live in Indiana.  We can be sunny one day and sub-zero the next.  But I have been rescued many, many times.  I have been helped by friends, strangers, and (I believe) angels.  I have seen miracles. I have experienced healings.   I have had more prayers answered than I could ever record.   I have been led by the Holy Spirit. I have “heard” God’s voice in my head giving answers to my ugly questions.  The fact that I can understand the bible is amazing to me.   I have always been provided for and I have never been alone, why?, only that one thing, that one amazing thing.

Everyone who loves knows God because God is love.  God’s perfect love casts out fear.  And no greater love has ever been shown than the sacrifice of Jesus for us.

Jesus loves me.  He loves you.  He loves everyone.  And if I could tell you anything it would be
that one thing.