SARI BY DESIGN: BEAUTY… PURPOSE… HOPE

Ravi Zacharias shared a story about visiting a site known for making the highest quality wedding saris in the world. His account reminds me that God’s child can trust the Father for He has a plan for creating beauty and purpose from even heartache and sadness. Any hope perceived is based on the fact that God is trustworthy.

Ravi shared, “With such intricacy of detail I expected to see some elaborate system of machines that would boggle the mind in production. But this image could not have been further from the real scene. Each sari was made individually by a father and son team.

The father sat above the son on a platform surrounded by several spools of thread that he would gather into his fingers. The son had only one task. At a nod from his father he would move the shuttle from one side to the other and back again. This would then be repeated for hundreds of hours until a magnificent pattern began to emerge….

The son certainly had the easier task. He was only to move at the father’s nod. But making use of these efforts, the father was working to an intricate end. All along he had the design in his mind and was bringing the right threads together….

God alone can weave a pattern from the disparate threads of our lives – whether suffering, success, joy, or heartache – and fashion a magnificent design. Perhaps today if you will stop and reflect on it, you will see that the Father is seeking to weave a beautiful tapestry in your life.”

I gain hope from Ravi’s account. It reminds me that Father God is the Master Designer. It challenges me to trust my Father enough to follow His leading. Then He will accomplish a work of beauty and purpose with my life. That truly gives me reason to be hopeful!

“For we know all things work together for good to those who love the Lord, to those who are called according to His purpose.”  (Romans 8: 28)

“Let me hear Your lovingkindness in the morning; For I trust in You; Teach me the way in which I should walk; For to You I lift up my soul.”  (Psalm 142: 8)

KYLA MUELLER: STRENGTH & HOPE

If you watched the final night of National Republican Convention’s televised program last week, then you know there was a focus on “everyday Americans whose stories are filled with hope and patriotism.”

We met two Americans who are suffering huge loss and unending heart-break. Marsha and Carl Mueller of Arizona are parents of Kayla Mueller, a 26 year old humanitarian aid worker, who was murdered by terrorists of ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) in 2015.

Kayla was taken captive in 2013 while aiding Syrian refugees in Syria and Turkey. She endured brutal torture for more than 500 days until her murder. Kayla’s story moves us to tears, yet it also gives me hope.

In addition to this work in Turkey with an international aid agency, her previous causes include work in India with Tibetan refugees; in the Middle East; in Israel helping African refugees; in her own country and abroad providing free food, education, and medical care for those in need; and other causes to alleviate pain and suffering.

While working to help children at an orphanage in India, Kyla expressed, “I find God in the suffering eyes reflected in mine. If this is how You are revealed to me, this is how I will forever seek You.”

To say that Kayla’s life mattered is an understatement! She lived to make a difference, and she left this world a better place. She was described as “a devout Christian,” who lived her faith. She shared her God-given gifts wherever she went. I believe Kayla’s life gives hope to anyone who seeks to live a life with purpose.

Other captives who were released or who escaped were impacted by Kyla’s “strength and compassion.” Her concern for others was proven even to the point of giving up an escape attempt for other women’s opportunities for freedom.

After months of ongoing torture and brutality, ISIS members tried claiming she had abandoned her Christian faith in front of men prisoners, but in fact she defended it…. According to another captive, a Danish photographer, the men in the room “…were impressed by the strength that she showed in front of us. That was very clear.” Her faith was real and strong even in darkest trials unto death.

Kyla’s mother shared a letter that Kayla had written about 8 months after her captivity that had been smuggled out by another hostage. Mrs. Mueller said, “As we read it, we could see that God was holding her in His arms.”

This statement reminds me that no matter our trial — even surrounded by the enemy — God is the Source of comfort and strength for one’s soul. According to Deuteronomy 33: 27, “The eternal God is a dwelling place, and underneath are the everlasting arms….”

Kayla explained that she “felt tenderly cradled in freefall.” As a believer in such “freefall,” Kyla found there is a foundation on which to land. That foundation is “The Solid Rock,” “Rock of Ages” — Jesus Christ Himself. During the hardest experience of her young life, she must have relied on hope in Christ for strength to endure. Then she was carried in loving arms to her eternal home to rest in peace. At last.

Kyla acknowledged, “I have been shown in darkness, light and have learned that even in prison one can be free. I am grateful….” She experienced freedom in her spirit that reflected her inner condition not her outer circumstances. Her response was gratitude. What an example for me — for all of us!

Kyla added, “None of us could have known it would be this long, but know I am also fighting from my side in the ways I am able, and I have a lot of fight left inside of me….” That resolve required strength beyond herself. Those who do not give up surely have hope.

I do not see Kyla Mueller as merely an “everyday American” but as a hero of faith. She was clearly a rare human with extraordinary courage and strength, whose story does not end with her murder. I believe hers is an eternal story that will continue forever. That is reason for hope.

I pray for Marsha and Carl Mueller to have strength until that blessed day when they will reunite with their daughter, Kyla, whose Christian faith became sight, the result of the glorious hope that was in her.

“The Lord is the one who goes ahead of you; He will be with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”
(Deuteronomy 31: 8)

“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)

“For the Lord hears the needy and does not despise His who are prisoners.”
(Psalm 69: 33)

“From my distress I called upon the Lord; The Lord answered me and set me in a large place. The Lord is for me; I will not fear; What can man do to me?”
(Psalm 118: 5 – 6)

“Do not fear for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”
(Isaiah 41: 10)

“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to captives and freedom to prisoners; To proclaim the favorable year of the Lord and the day of vengeance of our God; To comfort all who mourn, to grant those who mourn in Zion, giving them a garland instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the mantle of praise instead of a spirit of fainting. So they will be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord that He may be glorified.”
(Isaiah 61: 1 – 3)

“Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You or thirsty and give You something to drink? And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in or naked and clothe You? When did we see You sick or in prison and come to You?’ The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine even the least of them, you did it to Me.’”
(Matthew 25: 34-40)

“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you. Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled nor let it be fearful.”  (John 14: 26 – 27)

“These things I have spoken to you so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”
(John 16:33)

“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His
purpose.”
(Romans 8: 28)

“Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor; not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer, contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation. Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men. If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, ‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord. ‘But if your enemy is hungry, feed him, and if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.’ Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”
(Romans 12: 10 – 16)

“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.”
(2 Corinthians 3: 17)

“We are afflicted in every way but not crushed; perplexed but not despairing; persecuted but not forsaken; struck down but not destroyed.”
(2 Corinthians 4: 8 – 9)

“For all things are for your sakes so that the grace which is spreading to more and more people may cause the giving of thanks to abound to the glory of God. Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”
(2 Corinthians 4: 15 – 18)

“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”
(Hebrews 11: 1)

“Let love of the brethren continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it. Remember the prisoners as though in prison with them and those who are ill-treated since you yourselves also are in the body.”
(Hebrews 13: 1 – 3)


“My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness… When all around my soul gives way, He then is all my hope and stay… On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand; All other ground is sinking sand….”
(from THE SOLID ROCK by Edward Mote)

“Rock of Ages, Cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in thee…
Nothing in my hand I bring,
Simply to the cross I cling…
While I draw this fleeting breath,
When mine eyes shall close in death… Rock of Ages, Cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in thee.”
(from ROCK OF AGES by Augustus Toplady)

100 YEAR OLD VETERANS: FLAGS & HOPE

Earlier this month I participated in a parade to honor a local World War 2 veteran on his 100th birthday. It was a privilege to join the surprise celebration for one of our Greatest Generation.

Decades ago he served and sacrificed to preserve freedom against tyranny and oppression. Today he maintains a model attitude and expressed well his appreciation for the unexpected honor.

Blue lives mattered, as the local police escorted the motorcade that consisted of many vehicles, motorcycles, and American flags. Surrounded by family and friends, the honoree enjoyed 20 minutes of the parade’s waves, smiles, and honks — all representing love and respect from many well-wishers.

I thought the prominence of so many flags spoke well of our American small town and its patriotism. It made me proud and gave me hope. I saw evidence of many patriotic Americans as flags waved all along the parade route.

With sadness I recalled the lack of respect shown in recent months by some athletes who refused to stand in honor of our flag that waved so proudly while brave individuals fought for our country so many perilous times. I cannot help but think that those who withhold honor due are woefully unknowing or just fail to understand the meaning and significance for which our flag stands.

It is right that we pledge and salute our American flag if we are grateful for our freedom and liberty. Our country is not perfect since imperfect citizens make up its populace, but I challenge anyone to find a better one!

I am thankful for one man who remains a proud American even at age 100 years. Birthday blessings to you, Mr. Hamilton!

Today I remember another birthday…. Today is my father’s birthday, and he would be 100 years old if he were still living. He was also a WW2 veteran and a patriotic American. I appreciate learning to respect and honor our flag from his example.

Thinking of my father’s generation gives me hope. Happy birthday, Daddy!

As long as I am physically able to stand, that is how I will respond to our Red, White, and Blue. Long may Old Glory, the Star-spangled Banner wave in freedom for all. May the hope that I feel when I view our flag spread to others along with peace and unity throughout our post-Christian nation.

I believe that God will bless America as America blesses God. That understanding gives me hope as I recall the following Scripture from the Old Testament.

If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”  (2 Chronicles 7:14)

MOTHER’S BIRTHDAY: PRAYER & HOPE

For years I have appreciated Henry Van Dyke’s literary works that touch my heart and often offer hope. One of his beautiful poems is entitled, “A Prayer For A Mother’s Birthday.”

Today is my own mother’s birthday. Although she no longer lives on Earth, her love and influence remain with me. One of the greatest blessings in my life was to have a mother who prayed for me.

I present the poem below in memory of my beloved mother. I am thankful for her consistent love, Christian character, and teaching of Biblical hope.

A PRAYER FOR A MOTHER’S BIRTHDAY

Lord Jesus, Thou hast known
A mother’s love and tender care:
And Thou wilt hear, while for my own
Mother most dear I make this birthday prayer.

Protect her life, I pray,
Who gave the gift of life to me;
And may she know from day to day
The deepening glow of Life that comes from Thee.

As once upon her breast,
Fearless and well content I lay,
So let her heart on Thee at rest
Feel fears depart and troubles fade away.

Her every wish fulfill;
And even if Thou must refuse
In anything, let Thy wise will
A comfort bring such as kind mother’s use.

Ah, hold her by the hand,
As once her hand held mine;
And though she may not understand
Life’s winding way, lead her in peace divine.

I cannot pay my debt
For all the love that she has given;
But Thou, love’s Lord, wilt not forget
Her due reward — bless her in earth and heaven.”

(Henry Van Dyke)

BOLDT CASTLE: LOVE & HOPE

In 1900 there lived a wealthy man named George Boldt, who loved his wife, Louise. He hired the best architects and hundreds of construction workers to begin building a “castle” for her to commemorate his love. Its setting was a heart-shaped island — Heart Island — in the Thousand Islands area of New York.  This may sound like a fairy tale beginning, but it is a true story without an ending of “happily ever after.”

Sadly Louise was frail physically, and she died of heart failure in 1904 before the castle was completed. George was broken-hearted. He ordered work to stop on the castle and never set foot on Heart Island again. He would never see his dream of a six-story 120-room modern-day castle become reality. His dream of sharing a grand home almost beyond imagination with his wife that He adored and his plan of spending the remainder of his life with her would never be his reality.

Even without his romantic love story, castle dream, or tragic loss, George Boldt’s story is interesting. He had arrived in America as a penniless 13-year-old Prussian immigrant, who became a self-made millionaire because of hard work, personal moral character, wise business practices, and hotels that included Waldorf-Astoria and Bellevue-Stratford. Unfortunately his great wealth could not buy the life and love that he lost.

Boldt’s story brings more sadness than hope. However it reminds me of a true story that does give hope. There are other mansions built because of love. There is a love even stronger than George Boldt’s love for his wife. There is a work that will not be stopped because of life’s losses or tragedies.

Jesus Christ Himself is the Architect, Designer, and Builder. He promised a dwelling place prepared especially for His true followers. That promise and His other promises motivated by and given in love offer me hope today.

Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me.
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.
And you know the way where I am going.”
Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?”
Jesus said to him, “I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.”   (John 14: 1 – 6)

JULIE HERSH: FROM DEPRESSION TO HOPE

Depression is a real problem that can have devastating effects to many individuals and to their loved ones. Today in a world of pandemic concerns and social-isolation, symptoms of depression may develop or worsen in those who already struggle with it.

Too often those who suffer do not seek help. This is unfortunate, because it is possible to move from depression to hope. Today’s post features an important resource that candidly shares how its author learned to move from depression to hope.

One author is living proof that mental illness can be managed. Her informative book offers hope. She genuinely wants to share help and hope and knows from personal experience with clinical depression that hope is possible.

An advocate for mental health, Julie Hersh is well-credentialed. She earned a BBA at the University of Notre Dame. Her blog, Struck by Living, is a feature on the Psychology Today website. Hersh is a guest blogger on the Menninger Clinic website, ”Say No to Stigma.” She was awarded the Mental Health America Ruth Altschuler Community Advocate Prism Award and is President of the Hersh Foundation.

Thankfully Hersh has authored STRUCK BY LIVING: FROM DEPRESSION TO HOPE and is donating proceeds from book sales to help programs on, research in, and victories over mental illness. Hersh shared, “Despite medical advances, too many people die by suicide, because they are afraid to seek help.”

I agree with this author’s statement and am sharing about her important book. Now it’s your turn. If you or someone you know may benefit from STRUCK BY LIVING, then please check out this book that has been called a story of courage, love, hope, and victory. Do it today, because hope may be desperately needed now. Tomorrow may be too late.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (24-hour crisis hotline):  1-800-273-8255

Confidential online chat is available @ suicidepreventionlifeline.org

The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”  (Psalm 34:18)

TIM HUGHES: WORSHIP AND HOPE

Timothy Hughes may be unknown to you unless you know modern worship music either as an active participant or contemplative listener. Those who have been blessed by this style of music may know well and even love his songs. His beautiful music does more than give pleasure — it gives hope and connects us with God.

British Tim Hughes has written songs that have led believers in worship all over our planet. “Here I Am to Worship,” “Happy Day,” “Beautiful One,” “Jesus Saves,” “At Your Name,” and “The Way” have won Dove Awards.

Here I Am to Worship” is even considered by some as the greatest modern worship anthem ever, and Hughes earned two Dove Awards while still in his twenties.

Tim Hughes, born July 23, 1977, celebrated another birthday last week yet is definitely still young in this blogger’s opinion. I am thankful that he blesses others with his talents and leadership activities.

A worship leader, a singer, a songwriter, and an Anglican priest, Tim also leads Worship Central, an international worship training and resource centre. Once the director of worship at a large Anglican church in London, he was later ordained as a minister in the Church of England and appointed Vicar of St. Luke’s in Birmingham in central England.

Tim’s heart, efforts, and music bless our world with hope, because he understands that he is here to worship Jesus Christ. He accepts Christ as the only One worthy of worship and leads us to join in a hopeful, worshipful, and life-changing experience.

HERE I AM TO WORSHIP

“Light of the World,
You stepped down into darkness,
Opened my eyes, let me see
Beauty that made this heart adore You,
Hope of a life spent with You.

Here I am to worship,
Here I am to bow down,
Here I am to say that You’re my God.
You’re altogether lovely,
Altogether worthy,
Altogether wonderful to me.

King of all days,
Oh so highly exalted,
Glorious in heaven above.
Humbly You came to the earth You created
All for love’s sake became poor.

Here I am to worship,
Here I am to bow down,
Here I am to say that You’re my God.

You’re altogether lovely,
Altogether worthy,
Altogether wonderful to me.

Well, I’ll never know how much it cost
To see my sin upon that cross.
Well, I’ll never know how much it cost
To see my sin upon that cross.
Well, I’ll never know how much it cost
To see my sin upon that cross.

Well, I’ll never know how much it cost
To see my sin upon that cross.”
(Timothy Hughes)

BEAUTIFUL ONE

“Wonderful, so wonderful is Your unfailing love.
Your cross has spoken mercy over me.
No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no heart could fully know
How glorious, how beautiful You are.

Beautiful One I love You.
Beautiful One I adore,
Beautiful One, my soul must sing.

Powerful, so powerful Your glory fills the skies.
Your mighty works displayed for all to see,
The beauty of Your majesty awakes my heart to sing.
How marvelous, how wonderful You are.

Beautiful One I love You,
Beautiful One I adore. Beautiful One I love You,
Beautiful One I adore, Beautiful One, my soul must sing.

Beautiful One I love You.
Beautiful One I adore,
Beautiful One, my soul must sing.

You’ve opened my heart to wonders anew.
You’ve captured my heart with this love,
‘Cause nothing on earth is as beautiful as You, Jesus.

You’ve opened my eyes to wonders anew.
You’ve captured my heart with this love,
‘Cause nothing on earth is as beautiful as You, Jesus.

And You’ve opened my eyes to wonders anew.
You’ve captured my heart with this love,
‘Cause nothing on earth is as beautiful as You, Jesus.

Beautiful One I love You.
Beautiful One I adore,
Beautiful One, my soul must sing.

Oh, my soul, my soul must sing,
My soul, my soul must sing,
My soul, my soul must sing,
Beautiful One.

Oh, my soul, my soul must sing,
Oh, my soul, my soul must sing,
Oh, my soul, my soul must sing,
Beautiful One.”
(T. H.)

Great is the Lord and highly to be praised.” (Psalm 145:3)

“Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power….” (John 4:11)

FORTY-YEAR MILESTONE: WISDOM & HOPE

A forty-year birthday marks a milestone that I can hardly believe my son has reached. It does not mean that he is old or “over the hill” as some say — but perhaps it does indicate that his parents are!

How well I remember his birth as a time of joy, hope, thankfulness, and with prayers for him and his future. Having him as a son still fills me with the same feelings of joy, hope, and thankfulness. I continue to pray for him, his future, and his beautiful family with whom he is blessed.

So many prayers have been answered along his life’s journey so far. I have experienced exceeding parental pride through these 40 years. I have loved watching his gift of encouragement impact others. I have learned the value of wisdom for his life perhaps through recognizing its need in my own.

Proverbs, a book of Wisdom, is a good reference for living well. It offers wisdom for all generations — mine, my son’s, and his child’s. It offers hope that all of us need at every age of life.

Today my prayer is for my son to always know God’s  Wisdom and Hope. They are found in the Bible and can be easily instilled in the head by reading. They can only be deeply ingrained in the heart by God’s Holy Spirit. They are worth the sacrifice of time and study.

Happy birthday, my beloved son! May your life be full of Wisdom and Hope always!

“My son, do not forget my teaching,
But let your heart keep my commandments;
For length of days and years of life
And peace they will add to you.
Do not let kindness and truth leave you;
Bind them around your neck,
Write them on the tablet of your heart.
So you will find favor and good repute
In the sight of God and man.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.
Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the Lord and turn away from evil.
It will be healing to your body and refreshment to your bones.
Honor the Lord from your wealth, and from the first of all your produce;
So your barns will be filled with plenty and your vats will overflow with new wine.
My son, do not reject the discipline of the Lord or loathe His reproof,
For whom the Lord loves He reproves,
Even as a father corrects the son in whom he delights.
How blessed is the man who finds wisdom
and the man who gains understanding.
For her profit is better than the profit of silver and her gain better than fine gold.
She is more precious than jewels; And nothing you desire compares with her.
Long life is in her right hand; In her left hand are riches and honor.
Her ways are pleasant ways, and all her paths are peace.
She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her, and happy are all who hold her fast.
The Lord by wisdom founded the earth, By understanding He established the heavens.
By His knowledge the deeps were broken up, and the skies drip with dew.
My son, let them not vanish from your sight;
Keep sound wisdom and discretion,
So they will be life to your soul and adornment to your neck.
Then you will walk in your way securely, and your foot will not stumble.
When you lie down, you will not be afraid; When you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.”  (Proverbs 3: 1 – 24)

BIBLICAL WISDOM: BIRTHDAY HOPE

“Nobody grows old by merely living a number of years. People grow old by deserting their ideals. Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up interest wrinkles the soul.” (General Douglas MacArthur at age seventy-eight)

As wise General MacArthur realized it is one’s  outlook more than one’s age that makes one old. Today is the birthday of my beloved. He has spent decades studying Biblical wisdom, and this is a good example the rest of us could follow. He maintains interest in this study; perhaps he will never grow “old.”

Happy birthday, Dear! May you always have HOPE. Below are some verses especially pertinent to one who is accumulating years and wisdom. I am thankful that God and His Word never change despite radical changes in our world. I am also thankful to share your golden years and God’s blessings.

“For You are my HOPE; O Lord God, You are my confidence from my youth. By You I have been sustained from my birth; You are He who took me from my mother’s womb; My praise is continually of You…. But as for me, I will HOPE continually, and will praise You yet more and more. My mouth shall tell of Your righteousness and of Your salvation all day long; for I do not know the sum of them. I will come with the mighty deeds of the Lord God; I will make mention of Your righteousness, Yours alone. O God, You have taught me from my youth, and I still declare Your wondrous deeds. And even when I am old and gray, O God, do not forsake me until I declare Your strength to this generation. For Your righteousness, O God, reaches to the heavens, You who have done great things; O God, who is like You? My lips will shout for joy when I sing praises to You; and my soul, which You have redeemed.”  (Psalm 71: 5, 6, 14 – 19, 23)

“They will still yield fruit in old age; They shall be full of sap and very green,”  (Psalm 92: 14)

“The glory of young men is their strength, and the honor of old men is their gray hair.”
(Proverbs 20: 29)

“Even to your old age I will be the same, and even to your graying years I will bear you! I have done it and I will carry you; And I will bear you and I will deliver you.”  (Isaiah 46: 4)

MORE WARING POETRY: MORE HOPE

In Heavenly Love Abiding,” a poem by Anna L. Waring, was featured at this blogsite on March 27, 2020. If you missed it, look back and read “ANNA WARING POEM: HOPE BEYOND MEASURE” to learn a little about the poet and to let that inspired poem bless you as it does me.

In view of the continuing global pandemic, I think it is time for another dose of hope; hence more Waring poetry. Find another inspired poem below that expresses the love which I desire to become true in my life.

Read it over and over to let it speak to you personally. Allow it to soak into your soul. Look to the One Who is the Object of the poet’s devotion. Ponder the poem’s message. Do not fear, wait on Him, and have your spirit filled. Receive His strength and hope that we all need today.

FATHER, I KNOW THAT ALL MY LIFE

“Father, I know that all my life is portioned out for me,
And the changes that are sure to come I do not fear to see;
But I ask Thee for a present mind intent on pleasing Thee.

I ask Thee for a thoughtful love through constant watching wise,
To meet the glad with joyful smiles and to wipe the weeping eyes;
And a heart at leisure from itself to soothe and sympathize.

I would not have the restless will that hurries to and fro,
Seeking for some great thing to do or secret thing to know;
I would be treated as a child and guided where I go.

Wherever in the world I am in whatso’er estate,
I have a fellowship with hearts to keep and cultivate;
And a work of lowly love to do for the Lord on whom I wait.

So I ask Thee for the daily strength to none that ask denied,
And a mind to blend with outward life while keeping at Thy side;
Content to fill a little space if Thou be glorified.

And if some things I do not ask in my cup of blessing be,
I would have my spirit filled the more with grateful love to Thee,
More careful not to serve Thee much but to please Thee perfectly.

There are briers besetting every path that call for patient care;
There is a cross in every lot and an earnest need for prayer;
But a lowly heart that leans on Thee is happy anywhere.

In a service which Thy will appoints there are no bonds for me;
For my inmost heart is taught ‘the truth’ that makes Thy children ‘free,’
And a life of self-renouncing love is a life of liberty.”

(Anna L. Waring)

“…I love You, O LORD, my strength.”  (Psalm 18:1)

Wait for the LORD; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the LORD.”  (Psalm 27:14)

Serve the LORD with gladness; Come before Him with joyful singing.”  (Psalm 100:2)

Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”  (Matthew 5:16)

Then Jesus said to His disciples, ‘If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?”  (Matthew 16:24-26)

And hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”  (Romans 5:5)

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”  (Romans 15:13)

Not that I speak from want for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”  (Philippians 4:11-13)

Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians: 16-18)

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.”  (1 John 4:18)

For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome.”  (1 John 5:3)