HOPE IS A FOUR-LETTER WORD

 

HOPE IS A FOUR LETTER WORD post in MyRedJournals blog--my journals with God since 1983

Liza as Joanie in the musical “Waltzin’ Matilda” at Lucas Christian Academy, 2006.  Joanie is a traveling companion with Matilda, who are both on a journey to leave their familiar, loving homes to discover more about life.  They find out that they need God to protect them and that His love is enough.

Hope is addicting.  It keeps you going.  You look for it everywhere and will accept the tiniest morsel.  You can put your hope in many  things–people, nature–but those do not have an eternal, non-ending supply of hope.  Those will fail and fall short eventually and they don’t have your best interest at heart.  To some, believing in the unknown is any bad four-letter word ready to spew us out like sour milk.  To others, hope is l-o-v-e.  Undying devotion to a divine promise.

I believe I was born with hope.  I don’t have a wiz-bang, up-from-the-ashes conversion testimony.  I’m pretty boring when it comes to that.  I’m more of a day-to-day, one-on-one, live-my-simple-life-as-best-as-I-can-with-Jesus kind of testimony.  I’ve always believed in Jesus–His story, love, hope, and heaven.  And I look for Him and what He’s doing everywhere.  I want to know what He wants my part in His plan to be at that moment.  That is adventurous living in my book.

The journal entries below are me praying to God and Him giving me hope through His Word.  At the time of these entries, it is my family’s one-year anniversary of no job and hope was our only income.  Here, hope is manifested in my new job, Greg’s next interview, and God’s promise for restoration and blessings.  With hope, the outcome is always unknown, but the possibility of what God will do in the process is exciting and endless.

Monday, January, 13, 2003

Another good morning.  Purpose ensues.  I pray for continued awareness of my immediate purpose.

Wednesday, January 15, 2003

Thank You, Lord for taking me to Lucas Christian Academy.  I was hired yesterday and it is clear that Your hand is over this.  Thank You.  Please let me let go & let You lead me through to find the right script first of all and then guide through each step that follows.

The sun shines today.  My heart is glad & I can’t wait to tell of Your amazing story with me!

Yes, I continue to pray for Greg & his career opportunity.  Please continue to progress his opportunity with Perot.  Please alter Darcy’s opinion of Greg to a positive.  Open his mind to see Greg’s accomplishments & possibilities.

We pray for swift movement with the Perot job for us.

In Your awesome power all is attainable!

Amen

Friday, Janauary 24, 2003

Could today be the day?  Could today be the beginning of our end & beginning?

Dear Lord–How and what do I pray for now?  I have continually asked & repented & given for over a year.  I have learned considerable patience to the point where everything in life is bland.  No need to get excited if it’s all going to dash–just wait.  That is not me.  I’m a passionate person.

Smiles are frequent usually, dancing unexpectedly is common & expected quite frankly.  I have grown closer to You, but I’ve become a different person.  I’m calm, but boring.  I’m yearning, but not obviously.  I’m here, but mute.  Can we strike a balance?  I want all the changes You’ve made in me, but I need to dance, Jesus.  I need to dance from deep down within.  With an obvious spring well of Your love from You.  I won’t be quiet!  I’ll praise You to everyone at every turn!  Bless me today Lord with all of the blessings that You have been preparing all this time!

I pray that You prepare the hearts & minds of the men &/or women of Perot that who will meet with Greg today at lunch.  PLEASE let them spark at Greg’s opportunities & his potential for positive leadership & growth for Perot.  Move like a freight train, Lord!

A miracle on 24th Jan because…”all has ended now.  The weeping of July, August, October and January have ended…your baskets will overflow.”

So much is riding on You Jesus.  It’s been You only that we’ve relied on, please let everyone know that You are there for them too because You were there for us.

Amen  (continued Jan. 24th)

I am quiet to hear You.  Clear-headed.  Quiet.

I had read Exodus 16 this morning (I began reading the Bible in  a year) about You feeding the Isrealites with ‘manna from heaven.’  I also continued reading the books of the prophets.  In Haggai 2 (after the previous chapter saying that August was not the right time to rebuild) You said, (3) “October remembers the temple as it was before…beautiful it will be again.  Then, in December (10) You said that what was done before as a ‘service’ to You was wrong, but that it is (15) all is different now, you have begun to rebuild the temple. (16) Whereas before You expected a 20-bushel crop, there were only ten. (18,19) But now note this:  From today, this 24th day of the month, as the foundation of the Lord’s temple is finished & from this day onward, I will bless you.  Notice, I am giving you this promise even before you have begun to rebuild the Temple structure & before you have harvested the grain.”

Then in the next book of Zechariah 3:7-10, “The Lord Almighty declares: ‘If you will follow the paths I set for you and do all I tell you to, then I will put you in charge of my temple, to keep it holy…Don’t you see?–Joshua represents my servant the Branch whom I will send.  He will be the Foundation Stone of the Temple that Joshua is standing beside & I will engrave this inscription seven times: I WILL REMOVE THE SINS OF THIS LAND IN A SINGLE DAY.  And after that, the Lord Almighty declares, ‘You will live in peace & prosperity & each of you will own a home of your own where you can invite your neighbors.'”

The 4th chapter describes visions that angels gave Zecheriah about the (2) ‘gold lamp stand holding 7 lamps & at the top there is a reservoir for the olive oil that feeds the lamps flowing into them from 7 tubes.’ (11) Then Zecheriah asked the angel about the ‘two olive trees on each side of the lamp stand & about the 2 olive branches that emptied oil into gold bowls through 2 gold tubes (13) ‘Don’t you know?’ the angel asked. ‘No sir,” I (Zech) said.  (14) Then he told me, ‘They represent the 2 anointed ones who assist the Lord of all the earth.’

There are more visions in Chapters 5 & 6.  Chpater 7 tells to keep all promises of God; follow His commands exactly or it will all deplete.  And finally, Chapter 8 leads to God being angry at what everyone has done wrong to her (Jeruselum).  The Lord Almighty says, ‘Get on with the job & finish it!  You have been listening long enough!  For since you began laying the foundation of the Temple, the prophets have been telling you about the blessings that await you when its finished.  Before the work began there were no jobs, no wages, no security.’

It ends with the 11-23 verses about the end of fasting & the promised prosperity!!!

So sayeth the Lord to me this morning.  Thank You, Jesus.  I pray to You humbly, excitedly & with great ancipatoon.

I pray for courage with accepting Your answer & for abiding Your commands exactly forever.

I dance for You!

 

Advertisements

Gemstones in the Wasteland

Liza, senior portrait ala Hollywood glam per her acting career choice.  Her heart for her Savior is exquisite.

Liza, senior portrait ala Hollywood glam per her acting career choice. Her heart for her Savior is exquisite.

Liza's 1st day of 5th grade-same age she gave her heart to Christ.

Liza’s 1st day of 5th grade-same age she gave her heart to Christ.

Liza in a church youth play; she's holding the pot lid that has the boy's lines tape onto them for a little assistance.

Liza in a church youth play; she’s holding the pot lid that has the boy’s lines tape onto them for a little assistance.

Read today’s blog and it seems that God was answering all of our long-awaited prayers.  And according to these journal entries, He was..a job after a year of searching, moving back to Texas from Canada into a month-to-month apartment and now preparing us to move into our dream home & a good school.  But none of this came true.  Not that job, that house or that school.

God had a much better plan.  His plan, always at work, included so much more than the paychecks and mortar (of course, I shouldn’t worry about such things and should do as the flowers and birds and know that God will provide water, food and shelter).  We were by no means hungry, in danger or roofless.  But, come on!  A year!  We had been job hunting, living in a temporary state of the unknown, clinging to God’s every word for so long.  We called our Frisco apartment ‘John’s cell’ where we were dependent on God in a hovel.  And we kept telling our kids ‘God is gonna, God is gonna’.  Ok, so go already!

And then the apparent end is in sight!  All questions answered in a neat package.  The next blog post will show that wasn’t true.  

Now, way on the other side of ‘the journey,’  God’s plan was perfection, as always.  So rich.  Full of gems that couldn’t be unearthed without the wasteland.  Like my Liza’s Jesus moment in 5th grade (see below).  She gave her heart to Jesus while she lay in the bedroom she shared with Lena and their matching butter yellow matellasse coverlets.  That isn’t the only time she committed.  Lena and Liza describe how they went forward (or actually down the multiple flights of stairs and onto the arena floor) at a Billy Graham event at Texas Stadium as grade schoolers and publicly accepted Jesus.  Don’t we honestly accept Him over and over?  Like a child, we say ‘yes’ every time.

Liza’s heart for Jesus now is exquisite.  She has believed since she was little and then her fire blazed strong the summer before college.  So much like Greg, she is a quick study & has taken every nuance God has taught her, internalized it and put it to quick action.   She is what I call ‘a kamikaze prayer warrior.’  She’ll pray with anyone she sees needs prayer, diving in, ready to give of herself completely for the Cause.  Oh Lord, cover her as she does Your bidding.  

Wednesday, September 25, 2002

All that Greg and I could say yesterday was “You are awesome!”  We saw the house on St. James again Monday & Tuesday and it feels right.  The realtor showed us homes that were bigger, more nooks & crannies, more trees, but this house is the one You planned for us.  Our miracle home.  It has a future.  We can create our own style with this land & home.  We feel that settling anywhere else would be going against what You have made clear is what’s right for us.  We want to honor You & do what is asked of us & offered to us.

And then there’s the schools.  After last’s week’s phone call with Lena’s math teacher, many concerns & questions created panic in my heart.  So I checked on all of our options.  Private schools are not around–not Christian without uniforms & not close enough.  I’ve thought through home schooling and still know that it’s not for us.  So McKinney is it.  We were thrilled to find that Lena will be going to a new Jr. High. But the elementary for Liza and Cody is where You worked Your wonders.  The school that we saw was disgusting.  After no other options being available, we went to look again & found the other new, remodeled side.  Wow!  And then we met the Principal.  She is going to be a God-send.  I asked You while in the office of that school to change my heart & You did.  So much so that I am excited.  In fact, we get to pick their teachers!  You are awesome.  Thank You.  Thank You.  Thank You!  I want to tell everyone our testimony about how You worked everything.  We asked the mountain to move with only our faith because You said we could.  Ask in faith, confidence & assuredness.  Ask continually, unwavering & steadfast.  Believe through it all.  Call on the Comforter all the while.  Dismiss all doubt around you.  Cling to you Christian friends.  Read the Word.  Let my Friend guide as He wishes and be awed that even after all of these blessings coming to fruition, all because we asked to serve & believed, that He still has more incredible plans for our lives.  For my life.  “And I say Wow!”

Where’s the highest mountain that I may shout “Hallelujah!”  and spread Your message?!  Oh, that I might bring someone to Christ.  Please.

Monday, September 30, 2002

Lord, tell me what to pray for.  We wait again.  Everything is lined up–the house, mortgage, schools; we just need the contract on the job.

Jesus said, through Paul, “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”  1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

So we continue to be very thankful for all that You have done & will do.  We will pray over & over for Your will to be done.  We remain steadfast in You.  I am finite, You are infinite.  I am weak and need Your energy to keep going & praying.  I am submissive to Your will.

Lord Jesus, I pray for Your guiding hand over the choreography of the musical today.  I always look so forward to creating for You; spending a Holy Spirit-filled time with You.  The high that I get from You working through me is outstanding & incredible.  This time I need to give more public thanks to You for Your gifts.  I pray for Your presence today.  I pray for focus.  I pray for organization.  I pray for creativity!  Through You I can do anything!

I pray to be an active listener & not a passive listener of You.

In Jesus’ name

Amen

Monday, October 7, 2002

Dear Lord, I have so much to be thankful for this day  What a wonderful weekend full of laughter and celebrations.   First & foremost, a ‘Yea God’ for answered prayer #1: as quoted from Liza about me, “You were a messenger.”  Yesterday You taught Liza a valuable lesson to ‘let go & let God’ and You let me be the messenger of the good news!

For the past two weeks, Liza has been in an awful mood.  Last night was the final straw & I left her in her room to calm down.  Later when I went to check on her, as You told me to instead of unloading the dishwasher, I had a revelation.  you helped me to realize that all the frustrations & struggles Liza was going through these past few weeks was due to Liza trying to solve all of her problems herself & not letting You do it for her.  Wow!  Once I told her all of that, her beautiful big eyes wet with tears, got ‘it’ & truly understood that there is no way without You.  She prayed & gave it all up to You.  Thank You. Now I will pray again that You give Liza peace over what she can’t control & please guide her path of her life & Your purpose for her.  Take her struggles away.  Thank You for teaching her that angst feeling of the devil trying to do it all so that next time she can stop again & pray ‘Let go & let God!”

Then, Lord Jesus, Lena asked to talk because she feels left out.  Liza just had a ‘yea God’, Cody got baptized & Greg & I are walking with You.  Lord, she’s on the edge ready to commit to You.  She said she knows fear is in her way from accepting You in her heart.  Oh, Lord, work on her heart.  Push the devil far away.  Help her to this defining moment that she will give all of herself to You.  Just now, you reminded me of something You have taught me about Lena through those past 11 years; Lena always gives an initial indication that ‘the big step’ is going to happen at any moment & then it doesn’t happen until moths later (such as taking her first step, potty training, reading, learning multiplication, commitment to dance).  You are telling me to be patient…again.  Okay.  I trust You & pray that You take all fear away, far, far away.  And thank You for giving Greg & I the words to talk with Lena about accepting You.  Lord, Greg & I both prayed that we could help bring someone to You , but we didn’t know it would be our own daughter.  Thank You.  On my knees, thank You.

THE CHRISTMAS POST, 2002 set Greg built & I partially designed.  There's a revolving door to Herzog's Department store & the 2 side pieces rotate for other scenes.

THE CHRISTMAS POST, 2002 set Greg built & I partially designed. There’s a revolving door to Herzog’s Department store & the 2-sided pieces rotate for other scenes.

IMG_5010

Half pouffe for the store lobby & half fountain for outdoor scenes, with working water:)

IMG_5011

This half is the Sporting Goods Dept.; the other side is a Christmas tree (see in the full set pic). So much love & time given to all the sets Greg & I did together for our church at the private school.  We would do it all over again.

Finally, thank You for all that You gave me for the musical.  We are cooking!  You were all over the weekend, & prior, to put together some awesome stuff for the play.  And we had a blast learning, as usual.  Laugh, laugh, laugh!  You are awesome! Amen.

Today’s Dailey Bread led me here to Zechariah 8:11-23.  It’s a long one, but here are Your main points:  12 “For I am sowing peace & prosperity among you.  Your crops will prosper, the grapevines will be weighted down with fruit; 13…For now ‘Judah’ is a word of blessing, not a curse.  ‘May you be as prosperous as Judah is,’ they’ll say.  14,15 …I did what I said I would…16 Here is your part:  Tell the truth.  Be fair.  Live at peace with everyone.  18 Here is another message that came to me from the Lord Almighty: 19The traditional fasts & times of mourning you have kept in July, August, October and January are ended  They will be changed to joyous festivals if you love truth & peace!”

The rest of the scripture talks of people from around the world going to Jerusalem to attend theses celebrations.  I feel You are telling me to replace ‘your house’ with ‘Jerusalem.’  That we will be immensely blessed and will bless others.  Thank You, thank You.  Praise You, oh heavenly Father!  You woke me up at 5:30am “Get up!  There is so much to be thankful for!  Let’s go!

“And I say, Wow!”