ANNA WARING POEM: HOPE BEYOND MEASURE

Until recently I wasn’t familiar with Miss Anna L. Waring (1823-1910). She was a woman of various talents and was involved in multiple interests.

Anna was a Welsh poet and hymn writer. She was a philanthropist who supported and was personally active in a prison ministry. She was a serious student who learned Hebrew to study Old Testament in the original language.

Anna was known by peers for her compassion, good humor, and actions commited to doing good. Today I appreciate her poetry that expresses her beliefs and relationship with God.

I believe poet Anna Waring drew inspiration from Psalm 23 and other Scriptures and knew hope beyond measure. I also think she experienced God’s peace even in the midst of life’s storms. Anna followed the Good Shepherd, and her confidence and hope was in Him.

I am blessed by one of her poems shown below. It reminds me that, like the poet, I cannot measure hope God gives when I abide in heavenly love.

IN HEAVENLY LOVE ABIDING

“In Heavenly Love abiding,
No change my heart shall fear,
And safe is such confiding,
For nothing changes here.

The storm may roar without me,
My heart may low be laid,
But God is round about me,
And can I be dismayed?

Wherever He may guide me,
No want shall turn me back;
My Shepherd is beside me,
And nothing can I lack.

His wisdom ever waketh,
His sight is never dim,
— He knows the way He taketh,
And I will walk with Him.

Green pastures are before me,
Which yet I have not seen;
Bright skies will soon be o’er me,
Where the dark clouds have been.

My hope I cannot measure,
My path to life is free,
My Savior has my treasure,
And He will walk with me.”

(Anna L. Waring)

“The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want.

He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters.

He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You have anointed my head with oil; My cup overflows.

Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.” (Psalm 23: 1-6)

 

COVID-19: FAITH AND HOPE

Fear… Anxiety… Worry… Despair… Uncertainty…. Our planet has an abundance of these feelings that seems to increase with each diagnosed covid-19 (coronavirus) case. Is fear to be the most prevalent emotion in our future?

Not for one who believes the Bible! Not for a child of God Who trusts the One Who calms the storms of life! Consider the following gospel story if you’re struggling with feelings of fear.

One day Jesus said to His disciples, ‘Let us go over to the other side of the lake.’ So they got into a boat and set out.

As they sailed, He fell asleep. A squall came down on the lake, so that the boat was being swamped, and they were in great danger.

The disciples went and woke Him, saying, ‘Master, Master, we’re going to drown!’

He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm.

Where is your faith?’ He asked His disciples.

In fear and amazement they asked one another, ‘Who is this? He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him.'” (Luke 8: 22 – 25)

Just as surely as this world often has fearful circumstances, the Bible is filled with verses to comfort and reassure us when we are fearful. We can trust the One Who commands the winds and water, the One they obey, and the One Who promised to never leave us. No one cares for us like Jesus, and no one can give peace that passes all human understanding like He can.

The disciples should have taken hope in the fact that Jesus said, “Let US go over to the other side of the lake.” He was with them in the boat, and there’s the hope. Yet we sometimes overlook the fact that He’s with us as well (if we know Him as Savior and Lord).

Let’s remember He is with us and look to Him to either calm our storm OR to calm us. If he does not take the storm away, then He will be with us in it. His Word is true, and He is faithful. I will trust Him, and I will not fear.

There are hundreds of verses that show He does not want us to live in fear. We need to be familiar with them. We need to read, memorize, and quote these verses often then repeat as needed. This action will strengthen our faith and increase our hope.

Know faith; no fear. Know fear; no faith. To choose faith is to choose hope.

“Do not fear” does not mean to be foolhardy. Heed warnings and take safety precautions when possible. Don’t panic. Don’t stress out. Be wise. Pray, and as 1 Thessalonians 5:17 instructs, “Pray without ceasing.”

God’s got this pandemic problem — and everything else. This knowledge gives hope. Try Him… trust Him… receive hope. Be a strong and courageous example in this fearful world.

 

Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the LORD your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6)

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.” (Psalm 23:4)

God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change and though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea; Though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains quake at its swelling pride.” (Psalm 46:1-3)

Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me.” (John 14:1)

“And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:7)

For God has not given us a spirit of timidity but of power and love and discipline.” (2 Timothy 1:7)

TERRENCE K. WILLIAMS: MAN OF HOPE

Terrence K. Williams was born in Oklahoma City and grew up in foster-care and in unstable home situations. Despite the odds against him, Williams has become a man of hope and a voice of reason in unreasonable circumstances. He has learned to express himself using both comedy and common sense.

He was determined to find “his true calling” while being frustrated with America’s growing unrest and has used social media to post videos about controversial topics. After going “public” and consequently “viral,” he suddenly has millions of viewers.

Now Williams is dedicating his platform and career to improve the lives of underprivileged children. Today Williams shares his own story of hope  “to teach and inspire kids that they can be more than their circumstances” according to his website.

He is an example of the best which can happen in America… an underprivileged kid can rise above his circumstances to impact the world in a positive way and bring hope to others.

Visit terrencekwilliams.com for more info about Williams and his activities that share hope.

Vindicate the weak and fatherless; Do justice to the afflicted and destitute.”  (Psalm 82:3)

“Learn to do good; Seek justice, Reprove the ruthless, Defend the orphan....” (Isaiah 1: 17)

But Jesus called for them, saying, ‘Permit the children to come to Me, and do not hinder them for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.’” (Luke 18:6)

I have no greater joy than this, to hear of my children walking in the truth.” (3 John 1:4)

INDESCRIBABLE GOD: INDESCRIBABLE HOPE

Lou Giglio is pastor of Passion City Church in Atlanta, Georgia; best-selling author; Passion Conference speaker; and communicator that shares hope in Christ and truths about the God Who spoke our universe into existence and Who wants a relationship with us.

I’ve just experienced Giglio’s 43 minute video, “Indescribable” (available on dvd or by downloading). I’m letting you know it is a must-see, must-experience! It includes scientific data, mind-blowing measurements, and unforgettable images from NASA… and signs of God’s glory.

If you have doubts or questions and seek answers and the truth about God as Creator and about the origin of the universe, then you NEED to see this video.

If you seek to understand how big our God is as Creator, ponder the vastness of the “known” universe, and are in awe over His creative power, then you will LOVE this video.

“Indescribable” may leave you nearly speechless, or it may leave you praising God like never before. I dare say it will not leave you untouched. I urge you to watch it and allow its message to change your life!

I think you’ll agree that  God, the Creator of the Universe, presented by Giglio is INDESCRIBABLE… TOTALLY AWESOME… and UNDENIABLE!

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” (Genesis 1: 1)

“The heavens are telling of the glory of God; and their expanse is declaring the work of His hands.” (Psalm 19: 1)

“By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, and by the breath of His mouth all their host….

Let all the earth fear the Lord; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him.

For He spoke, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast.”
(Psalm 33: 6 – 9)

LONGWOOD: HOPE IN FINISHED WORK

If you have visited Natchez, Mississippi, then you may have seen Longwood, an antebellum mansion and the largest octagonal home ever built. Designed to be an opulent home with the most up-to-date features of its time for a wealthy landowner, it has the distinction of remaining unfinished due to the start of the American Civil War in 1861 and the owner’s death a year before the war ended in 1865.

Today tours of this registered historic home allow visitors a unique opportunity to see a home under construction that was left at a standstill. Even workers’ tools were left where they were last used and never moved. From the outside Longwood appears to be a beautifully designed home, but its empty shell inside reveals a sad reality of unfilfilled purpose.

It’s interesting to me that generations of the Nutt family lived in the 9 basement rooms rather than the originally planned 32 rooms that remain incomplete. Although Longwood was frozen in time, life continued for the inhabitants. They adapted to their circumstances and lived their lives.

Perhaps the family managed to live in nice accomodations under the circumstances, but those circumstances were far below those of the initial plan. A finished work was beyond their control, so they missed out on reaping the full benefits of an inheritance meant for them.

The Longwood story reminds me of our living on earth trying to make the most of life in the basement when our intended home is above. If we are in God’s family, then we have a heavenly home with features that are absolutely perfect compared to those of living below.

My hope is in Christ Jesus Who completed the work at Calvary that makes it possible for me to someday move up to a place He prepared for me. Salvation is not our work but His; based on our work it is impossible.

Longwood is no comparison to heaven, but it is a reminder of that which awaits Christian believers. Heaven is a perfect home for God’s family. Thankfully our salvation is a finished work that no war or spiritual battles could halt. Our future home will be beyond our greatest expectations and something we don’t want to miss.

When we trust Jesus our hope is in the One and Only One Who could fulfill God’s plan. It won’t be necessary to live below thanks to the Master Builder Whose blueprint for our lives includes an eternity with Him.

“In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you.  If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.” (John 14: 2,3)

Therefore when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, ‘It is finished!’ And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.” (John 19:30)

” For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8: 38, 39)

“That if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.” (Romans 10: 9, 10)