The Meaning of “HOPE”

On Easter Sunday morning I was pressed with what I call…

God Speaking

If you listen carefully He guides you in a perfect direction.

I kept hearing Faith*Hope*Love

At the Women’s Bible Study I lead, we had just finished studying about FAITH.

Coincidence? I don’t think so!

So, I felt that our next lessons would be on HOPE.

We met again at Burger King, where we have a lite breakfast and drink.

We talk awhile as we eat, and then I open with prayer.

HOPE was to be our next topic of study for the next few weeks.

Everyone seemed to think that was good idea.

We were to learn a lot about this word HOPE!

The definition of HOPE is:
An optimistic state of mind that is based on an expectation of positive outcomes with respect to events and circumstances in one’s life or the world at large.

As a noun HOPE means:

A feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen.

A feeling of trust.

A person or thing that may help or save someone.

Grounds for believing that something good may happen.

As a verb HOPE means:

Wanting something to happen or be the case.

Words that express this type of HOPE:

expect

anticipate

want

look for

hope against hope

plan

aspire

The SPIRITUAL meaning is:

A positive and potent spiritual practice with the power to pull us through difficult times.

EXPECT WITH CONFIDENCE!

These are some “light metaphors” of Hope

a ray

a beam

a glimmer of HOPE

break in the clouds

light at the end of tunnel

We found our worldly meaning of hope is quite different than the HOPE we receive in God.

And so, Lord, Where Do I Put My Hope?

My ONLY HOPE is in YOU!

Psalm 39:7

Now Faith is confidence in what we HOPE for and assurance about what we do not see.

Hebrew 11:1.

May the God of HOPE fill you with all joy and peace as you , so that you may overflow with HOPE by the power of the HOLY SPIRIT in HIM.

Romans 15:13

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. In His great MERCY He has given us new birth into a living HOPE through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

(HOPE IN GOD)

We expect things like Glory and Grace with confidence because the Lord has promised them to us.

Psalm 42

God is our Hope and Strength

We will not FEAR!

*And then today I happened on a book called,

“HOPE for Your HEART” Finding Strength in Life’s Storms

by June Hunt

Coincidence?

I say, listen to the small still voice of God.

He will guide and direct us in all things!

Written by: Marilyn Griffin

Member of Cardinal Hill Baptist Church

Louisville, KY

 

 

This entry was posted on April 24, 2019. 6 Comments

Gives and Takes Away

My Bobby will be gone for one year in 21 more days.

This past year I have had a very hard time.

My emotions run rapid.

My insides are in turmoil all of the time.

The tears still flow at the thought of him.

The only Peace I find is in nature, reading God’s word, praying,

Staying busy has become my catch phrase.

It is so hard to just take a step at times.

It is so hard to talk at times.

It is so hard to even breathe, which should come naturally.

adult air beautiful beauty

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I am trying to make me whole again. It will take a long time.

I thought the days I spent caring for my Bobby would be the hardest.

No, the hardest is not having him here with me.

You try to substitute others into that role.

Doesn’t work.

They didn’t love me the way he did!

They don’t know me the way he did.

They didn’t take me just as I was like he did.

They didn’t become entwined so tight that when he died my body was left half gone.

My mind aches with memories.

I turned to God.

I knew HE would be the only real help for my suffering.

I surrounded myself with people of like mind.

People who know that Faith, Hope and completeness only comes through God.

So, God…

we have a journey to go through.

How long?

Only YOU know that!

I will try my best to do what I hear whispered in my ear.

I know you will guide me, if I listen.

A lot depends on me!

I write this to let others know that what you are feeling in these circumstances it’s OK.

We are weak.

And the hurt is real.

But, turning to your Savior is your Peace.

HE will lead you in the right direction that HE already sees.

 

Job 1:18-22

Job had faith in the power of God. Job believed in God’s sovereignty, in the fact that God was in control. Thus, he did not view the death of his children as a natural disaster (though, in a sense, it was), but as an act of God. He said, “The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This entry was posted on April 7, 2019. 6 Comments

Walk in Faith, “Be the Best You Can Be”

We are still meeting at Burger King for our Women’s Bible Study.

It’s convenient for most and the croissant breakfast sandwiches are pretty good.

We nibble on our breakfast choices as we wait for all to arrive.

Hot coffee for some of us to get us started for the day.

I was asked, “How are you accepted at the restaurant?”

I do see some interest from other people and only kindness from the employees,

asking us, “Would you like a refill?”, with a genuine smile.

Our small group is growing.

We try to announce the date and time on Sunday mornings and FACEBOOK is our advertisement to reach other women that might like to join.

Word of mouth is usually the best way.

Our busy lives and habits deter us from these type of things.

I am guilty.

But, as I was asked to do this small task for our church, I am enjoying the company of like women talking about our Walk of Faith with our Lord, the topic I chose.

People usually learn by talking to one another.

The conversation and discussing of what material I prepare brings forth good conversation.

We are all on different levels of our Walk in Faith.

Young and older.

All have had different experiences that have definitely brought us closer to our Lord and the scripture.

Things we brought away from our study.

  1. Be a good steward of talents given to you, using them in the tasks and circumstances God has given you.
  2. Matthew 6:19-20- Store up treasures in Heaven by doing the will of God, rather than fussing over the treasures of Earth.
  3. We as Humans want to follow the ways of the world, but to walk by Faith, you need to follow the ways of God.
  4. You will receive criticism from those around you making you to want to follow the ways of the World. but, as it says in Proverbs 3:5-6 it is explained- “Trust in the Lord with all , and lean not on your own understanding; in all ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths”.
  5.  The trials we face are there to give your journey strength and meaning.
  6. Although we may stumble and give into temptation, God will not abandon you.
  7. Prayer is the avenue to our Lord and hope to conquer our fears, needs, trouble and heartache..
  8. First Corinthians 10:31 explains, “Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”      Be the best you can be!

 

 

 

 

Wants (Materialistic) Needs (God Given)

I’ve never been too much on having the “BEST” of everything.

I am actually a Thrift Store, Peddler Mall, Second Hand shop shopper.

men s gray and black button up shirt on mannequin

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This is probably because I like older things if in good shape and usable.

I find that the quality of older things is usually better made than things now.

To bring something from old to new again with a coat of paint or just a good cleaning makes me happy and satisfied.

A saying I have hung in my kitchen is –

“When you LOVE what you have,

Then you have EVERYTHING you need.

Since my husband passed almost 11 months ago I have had to make all the decisions in dealing with the purchase of things.

My car was 5 years old and paid off.

My dilemma was to either keep my older car or to purchase a new one.

close up photography of silver sports car

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My mind was in a whirl!

I’m not one to just get rid of things as you can probably tell by my shopping admittance I made, unless unusable, broken or not functional anymore.

I asked a few people I trust for guidance in this decision, where as I usually would have had a partner in advising me.

The pros and cons.

A  list was made.

hand pen writing plant

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As I drove to the car dealership, I prayed for God to lead me in making the right decision.

person hands woman girl

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I would know the signs the Lord was giving me if I listened closely.

I had figures, make, model and even color in mind.

I had cleaned my 5-year-old car that we had kept serviced and clean.

I was proud to say it was worth what I wanted.

I didn’t want any more than that.

I was able to be truthful with all answers concerning my trade-in.

The car I got… YES!... I purchased my new car last Saturday.

WHY?

  1. The car I wanted was actually sitting right in front of the dealership’s door where I walked in.
  2.  The young man I talked to on the phone was right there, even though he had no idea I was coming.
  3.  Every aspect of price, trade in value, rate on loan and number of years financed was right on target.
  4.  I expressed how I was guided by the One I put my trust in.
  5.  I was given the words to say and able to keep a nice verbal conversation throughout the buying process.
  6. I drove home knowing I had made a wise decision with the guidance I was given

Before I even got home my interest rate was lowered even more and payment dropped by a few dollars.

The Lord doesn’t want us to put Material Items above Him.

He knows we need things to get along in this world we live in.

Transportation being one of them.

I needed a safe,  reliable car being a woman on my own now.

And He met all of my “needs!

A good car, not the most expensive

A car with the essentials, not all the “bells and whistles” as they say that I needed

A great interest rate and a payment that is definitely manageable for me

Three nice gentleman I dealt with that seemed to have my interest as well as theirs in mind

This is what the Lord can do for you!

1 Timothy 6:6-8
Now there is great gain in godliness with contentment, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content.

1 John 2:16
For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world.

1 Timothy 6:9
But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction.

Proverbs 3:9-10
Honor the LORD with your wealth and with the first fruits of all your produce; then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This entry was posted on March 15, 2019. 3 Comments

Strong, Firm and Steadfast!

As I have said earlier, my Bobby passed away 10 months ago.

For those who don’t know, he died 3 years after a diagnosis of colon cancer and 49 years of being my husband. 

I struggle daily with this new way of life.

A widow.

A lonely person living in our home we made together.

woman looking at sunset

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Yes, I have children. Two wonderful sons.

Yes, I have family. A close sister and a brother, nieces, nephews, cousins and 3 of the most wonderful Grandchildren.

Yes, I have many friends.

But, with all that, my life is so miserable.

Keep busy they say.

I push hard to do that!

Read.

I do that. Finding it hard to pick up a book. Knowing it will probably have a relationship in it, which I have none now.

Scripture and my Devotional Book is my go to.

Searching for God’s Word to give me comfort

book sunglasses old nostalgic

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I prefer gloomy days to sunshine, because I have no sunshine in me right now.

The gloom and cold lets me hibernate in my house.

Lets me alone with my sad thoughts.

NOT GOOD! Even I know that!

My motivation can’t be stirred.

So, this gets me to the subject I wanted to express.

Bobby and I had a cat named Jill.

adorable angry animal animal portrait

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I still have her but, being 19 years old,

I fear that she will leave me too.

And to experience any more loss is overwhelming to me.

When Bobby got ill and was told he had terminal cancer, my old girl climbed upon me and never left my side during the whole time.

She lay on me feeling my heart beat.

She patted my face as if to comfort me.

She lay above my head at night.

I knew she felt my heartache.

When Bobby passed we both were surrounded by neighbors, friends and family.

They didn’t let me have a moment to grieve.

Wanting me to stay upbeat and to live.

And I did.

Thinking I was fine.

Thinking I was strong.

I was the One that had it all together.

Until 6 months to the day after my Bobby was gone.

The weather was changing.

The attention was waiving.

And the weight of my whole past life came in on me.

No more Bobby.

No more times together.

No more talking.

No more touch.

No plans to complete.

No joy!

My kitty and I hit rock bottom.

I can honestly say I was NOT mad at God.

I had seen many others suffer loss.

But, YES!

I was angry.

That the weight of loss is so bad!

The emptiness is so bad!

The tightness in my chest never leaves!

The tears come so frequent!\

sunset hands love woman

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They say, “The loss of true, strong, devotional LOVE will effect us this way”.

and I should be glad I had that.

Oh, I am!

but, the days experiencing this is most unbearable!

I want to be released from this “grieving”.

I want to not hurt so bad anymore.

I want happy again.

I want to function, without having to make myself!

I want Peace.

As I said, My Jill and I was at a very low point.

I began to hibernate in my home.

I said and did foolish things.

My emotions in high gear!

I felt I was justified in doing so.

My cat began to hibernate in an empty box I had gotten something in.

No contact.

No eating.

Habits changed.

and worst of all she didn’t even have it in herself to comfort me!

We were a sad case!

I do believe this is what opened my eyes.

I saw me in her!.

and knew things had to change.

Actually, I know the Lord was listening to my prayers, my petitions, when I got down on my knees.

He was slowly starting to heal me.

I felt a little life regaining its space in me.

My Jill came out of her box.

She started talking like she never had.

She expressed interest in her food.

Old habits of laying on me came back.

Patting my face in care.

Sleeping on a pillow near me.

We weren’t the same…

But, I got the message,  “We’re going to be alright.”

silhouette photography of people near body of water

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The God of all grace, who called, after you have suffered a little while, will Himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.

1 Peter 5:10

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This entry was posted on March 4, 2019. 7 Comments

Growth of MY Redbud

When I was just a very young girl I brought home a Redbud Tree from school.

beautiful girl bench blur dress

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I imagine it was for Arbor Day. An organization for planting trees.
arbor day

I proudly carried “my” tree home and presented it to my Mother like I had won a great award.

I loved nature. Growing up on eight acres in the county.
We had an abundance of trees, flowers, bushes, woods and a running creek.

My Mother was as happy as me, and knew immediately it’s name.

She immediately picked a spot to plant “my” tree.

On a small hill, overlooking the lower part of our property.

green tree on green grass field under white clouds and blue sky

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She dug a hole.

Placed the roots in with care.

Pulled the loose dirt back over and watered it.

I believe I looked at my Redbud every day.

The process was slow. But, one day I could tell it had begun to grow.

beautiful bloom blooming blossom

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Tiny buds began to cover the small branches.

And now “Mother Nature” (God in all HIs wonder),

sent rain, warm days of sunshine and with the nutrients in the Earth,

growth began.

This is how we are when we first feel that Love of God coming into our bodies.

Like a Spring Day.

We feel the warm sunshine spreading to our limbs.

I think of that as God’s LOVE.

We feel our buds sprouting.

Our minds obtaining the words He left for us to guide our lives.

We feel the rain washing us clean.

As our sins are taken on Jesus’ shoulders.

We smile and burst forth with blooms, and people are in awe of our transformation.

green tree photo

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As I was,

watching my Redbud Tree establish it’s roots and bloom in all it’s glory on that small hill.

What a beautiful sight!

References-

1 Peter 1:5

Colossians 1:10

2 Peter 1:3-15 (Growth In The Faith)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This entry was posted on March 1, 2019. 5 Comments

My Lord Leads

I attend and have joined a small church, Cardinal Hill Baptist Church in Louisville, KY.

My way of giving to my church?  I  prayed for that leading quite a while.

To be active in a church setting, I feel the giving of yourself has to be something you totally enjoy.

My talents that God has given me consists of writing, art (painting and drawing) and hospitality… In the sense of decorating, organizing events, welcoming visitors.

I love having company in my home.

My writings stem from the loss of my husband of 49 years this last April 29, 2018.

and my way of finding Peace again.

I am hoping you enjoy my writings from a member’s perspective.

by, Marilyn Griffin

When I was in Elementary School we could still read from the Bible and say the Pledge of Allegiance to the American Flag.

white and red flag

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I was not taken to church but, I could go freely with my friends.

I was asked one day as was typical in our classroom to read a verse from the Bible.

I was almost petrified to do so, being a shy little girl.

But, even then, the Lord was leading me to become a child of His.

I opened the Bible and this verse was presented to me.

English Standard Version

Matthew 4:4

sliced bread beside wheat on table

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But He answered…

“It is written, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.”

Did I understand the meaning…

Not sure.

but, I certainly do now…

Because the words God left with us to help  guide and teach us lead only to the best for us.

I have accepted His word for Truth…

but, it took me over 25 years to do so.

I was already married with two small sons.

I have my husband to thank for this.

He talked of God as his best friend and my husband’s mannerisms’ attested to his goodness and love for all.

I knew when God called me.

I remember the moment, what I heard Him say and where.

Yes, I heard His still quiet, calming voice say, “Give her time”…

I took that to mean, time to get up, grasp what was happening and make my way to the alter of a church we had been attending.

When this happens, it is something you never forget…

but, it’s just the beginning of a learning processorchestrated by Jesus…

and I knew then, “Who I Was!”

A child of a Heavenly Father

calm sky

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Abiding in HIM, living in a family of Believers

Looking forward to HIs return and the life He was giving me

Confidence, to tell others of what Jesus did for me

No shame. Happy to be a part of such amazing grace.

I read and read the Bible at this point, awed by the beauty and wisdom in black and white lettering accented in red with the words of the Christ who awakened me into such delight.

References-

Luke 19

John 17:14

First Peter2

First John 2:28

First John 3

Romans 6:20, 5:8, 5:6

 

to be continued…

mkg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This entry was posted on February 25, 2019. 2 Comments