Hope

Taking the First Step: You Have the Key

You look ahead with such despair
and feel all hope is gone,
for life has been so difficult
already you feel worn.

But living life in happiness
is not so hard to do,
first make somebody happy
and joy will come to you.

But if you fear rejection
of love you have to give
and fear to reach your hand out
you'll never learn to live.

The first step is the hardest,
just take it and you'll see
that life is worth the living
for now you hold the key.
~ Ruth March 1978

Jesus the Optimist?Premium Content

Is Jesus an optimist? How about His followers?

I’ve been writing this week about optimism. I created A Reluctant Optimist’s Code in an attempt to counteract my natural inclination to perceive that The Half Empty Glass Is Leaking.

Today I’m wondering what the Bible says about my half-baked ideas. Since I just posted my list of 100 Significant Scriptures that shape my personal theology, I started there.

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100 Significant ScripturesPremium Content

This is easily the longest article I’ve ever written. Check out the next few sentences and you’ll see why.

A while back someone asked me to define my “life verse.”

I suppose if I HAD to choose a single passage I’d pick Romans 8:28.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

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Do You Question God's Strength and Ability to Help You?

I will strengthen thee. Isaiah 41:10

God has a strong reserve with which to discharge this power; for He is able to do all things. Until you can drain dry the ocean of omnipotence, until you can break into pieces the towering mountains of almighty strength, you never need fear.

When We are No Longer InvinciblePremium Content

My flesh and my heart fail;
But God is the strength of my heart
and my portion forever.
Psalm 73:26

The older I get, the more I become aware of my own frailties. When we’re young, particularly if we’ve been blessed with good health and strength, we fall into the trap of thinking we’re invincible: someone else may step into the street and get mowed down by a truck; someone else might get cancer and die before their thirtieth birthday; someone else may drop dead of a heart attack in the middle of shooting hoops with friends. But not us.

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Reasons for Not Worrying

George MacDonald tells of a castle in which lived an old man and his son. Though they owned the castle, they were yet very poor. They could scarcely get enough bread to keep them from starving. Yet all the time there was great wealth, which, if they had known about it, would have supplied all their wants. Through long generations there had been concealed within the castle—very valuable jewels, which had been placed there by some remote ancestor, so that if he or any of his descendants should be in need, there would be something in reserve.

Press On!Premium Content

I press on towards the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:14

When the load becomes so heavy & you feel like you can't go on –
lay it down at the feet of Jesus & Press On!

When your critic’s try to waste your time – With their faithless chatter –
Just ignore them & Press On!

When you get lost in the darkness of the night –
Keep stepping out in faith & Press On!

If you’re sick and tired of the hatred –
Press On!

If you’re tired of the condemnation & shame –
Receive His Grace & Press On!

I know that your heart was broken – But it’s time to forgive –

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Living a Life of Secrets: Becoming a Character of FaithPremium Content

You can live the life you love, even in the face of the most challenging circumstances. While sometimes it may appear that life throws more obstacles in your path than you can handle, you can always choose to be happy. Yes, you are that powerful. However, at the time of accounting we should not be surprised at the place that we have earned in the heart of Christ. Romans 8:18 states For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

Becoming a Character of Faith

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Hope: Stories Worth Telling (Part 2)Premium Content

I believe your story might be your greatest gift.

We all live in stories. God reveals Himself through stories. Your particular story incorporates a unique combination of experiences and relationships. It’s a gift, and the highest use for any gift is to enjoy it and share it in service to others.

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Teach Me to Pray


"Lord, teach us to pray!" Luke 11:1

A little child missed her mother at a certain time every day. The mother's habit was to slip away upstairs alone, and to be gone for some time. The child noticed that the mother was always gentler, quieter and sweeter after she came back. Her face had lost its weary look--and was shining! Her voice was gladder, more cheerful.

"Where do you go, mother," the child said thoughtfully, "when you leave us every day?"

"I go upstairs to my room," said the mother.

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