Wednesday, April 17, 2013

A Light For Patty by Michael Plemmons Guest Blogger

In our world, millions of anxious souls greet each new day on a quest for light, a light that would push aside the despair of their broken heart. Patty was such an anxious soul, caught in the grip of heroin addiction. She had seen both her husband and daughter die from aids which they had contracted by using dirty needles. She longed for a light that would shine far brighter than the inward shadows of despair and fear. She knew that life could be hard and uncertain. The question of her heart was whom can I turn to for answers?
Out of control, Patty finally turned to prostitution to support her habit. On a cold February night she was standing on a street corner wondering if she should end her life. She needed 20 dollars to rent a room and get off the street. In her hopelessness, she mustered a small silent prayer not expecting any help.
Meanwhile, in another part of town the lord began to deal with a Pastor’s heart. Getting his coat and car keys, he left his home not having any idea where he was going. He drove around aimlessly for a time not knowing that God was guiding him.
He soon found himself on a street in a part of town to which he had never been. A woman was standing on the corner and the Lord prompted him to pull over and speak to her. Patti got in the car and the young pastor somewhat sheepishly told her he had been sent by God and to give her 20 dollars. Patti was amazed to see her prayer answered so quickly. Weeping, she accepted Jesus into her life and received His light.
Over two thousand years ago despair and fear filled the hearts of the disciples of Jesus as they left the upper room where they had been staying. Slowly and deliberately they made their way from the city to the Mount of Olives. Jesus had told them that he would soon leave them. The weight of the awesome task ahead grieved Him to the marrow of His bones.
It had been three years since he had begun his public ministry, and during that time he had been the voice of the light with his teaching and miracles. Yet all of these things were but a prelude to what was yet to come. He knew that he must die the next day and by that death purchase eternal freedom for every lost soul.
John the Baptist had told of the light to come, a light to the world. Jesus was that light. He asked his Father to remove this cup from him, but he bowed to the will of his Father in order to open the door to the light of His Father. He died so that each wounded heart, each soul filled with grief, every individual should find not merely forgiveness, but an eternal connection to the Father through belief in his Son.
Yours may be a heart wounded by the loss of a loved one, the loss of your job or your home. Your body may be wracked with the pain of disease, or your mind depressed with loneliness or fear.
Whatever you may be facing, Jesus’ mission was to bring the light of life to you. Do not despair. He will fill your heart with His glory, a new internal vision. The light of that glory will drive away the voices of self-loathing and despair, and replace them with love and acceptance, which can only come from the Father of love, the Father of light.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The Daily Scroll:
Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.(Matthew 5:3-5)
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Saturday, April 13, 2013

A horse Called Hope, by guest blogger Richard Spangler

Those of us who watched Superbowl 2013, may remember the advertisement with a Clydesdale foal.
The story was about a man who raised a foal. He bottle-fed it, slept with the foal when it became sick, and played with and trained it. The man and the young horse bonded. Then one day a company truck came and took the horse away. The man missed his companion.

Three years later the man goes to a parade and the Clydesdales go by. The horse sees the man and as soon as he is free of the carriage, charges off and the man and his horse are reunited. The company asked people to help name the foal seen in the first part of the commercial. Well after more than 60,000 tweets and Facebook comments, "Hope" was one of the most popular names; so the horse is named Hope.

This led to a simple and true realization that people are looking for hope. This is the heartcry of those who submitted the name "Hope" whether they realize it or not.

A constant drumbeat of negativity is tearing individuals down. People are losing or have lost hope. We see this in the "I don't care", "What's the use", "Nothing will ever change" attitudes gripping our world today. People are giving up, losing faith and losing hope. Some are killing themselves, their families and others because they see no hope for the future.

We as believers can also lose hope. I have lost hope from time to time. There have been times in my life when the circumstances of life have caused me to say, "What's the use? I give up. Nothing's going to change." And yes I have prayed, "Lord, take me home." This has occurred in my life when I lost sight of God and I let circumstances draw me away from my relationship with God.

But, there is hope! The Bible states, "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 (NIV)
God is a God of hope. He wants each of us hope in Him. Many say, "I have been lied to so many times. Promises have not been kept. Why should I hope? Why should I believe?" God is not human and does not lie, He keeps His promises.
"God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?" Numbers 23:19 (NIV)
"In the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time," Titus 1:2 (NIV).
We as believers must continue to place our hope in God, Our Father, in spite of the circumstances we see around us. This is not always easy, but we must set our minds and hearts on Him. If you trust His timetable and that God loves you, knows what you are going through and will keep His promises, He will restore your hope.

What about those who live in the world and do not know these truths? They do not understand that God loves them, that He is Hope and that He keeps His promises. We, as believers know these truths and we have the responsibility to tell those who are hopeless, "There is hope." We must be willing in these times to stand up and say, "There is a hope and that hope is in Jesus Christ."

This hope is not just for the sweet by and by or when we all get to heaven; but it is for the nasty here and now. God is Hope and He is willing to give Himself to you if you are willing to receive Him.

© Copyright 2013 Richard Spangler(used by permission)