And, I am hopeful.
- Jessica lives with us and suffers excruciating migraines....she patiently waits for mercy, healing, and hope to come her way...13 years...oh, there have been others who have waited long or longer...
- 12 years for the woman with the issue of blood...Matthew 9 "And behold, a woman who had been suffering from a hemorrhage for twelve years, came up behind Him and touched the fringe of His cloak; 21 for she was saying to herself, "If I only touch His garment, I shall get well." 22 But Jesus turning and seeing her said, "Daughter, take courage; your faith has made you well." And at once the woman was made well. "
- 18 years for the stooped woman...Luke 13 "And behold, there was a woman who for eighteen years had had a sickness caused by a spirit; and she was bent double, and could not straighten up at all. 12 And when Jesus saw her, He called her over and said to her, "Woman, you are freed from your sickness." 13 And He laid His hands upon her; and immediately she was made erect again, and began glorifying God.".
- Cristi sits in the hospital room with her three year old daughter Lauren and patiently waits for a heart transplant for Lauren. Cristi, Tim, Addison, and Brennan were with us at Pitman Saturday night in our showing of Fireproof. Grandma Schwamb sat with Lauren in the hospital. It was Cristi's first night away from Lauren in a long time. I sat next to Cristi and handed her kleenex as we both cried through the movie. After I posted one of the movie's theme songs as our song of the week on this blog, Cristi commented on yesterday's post: "Thank you for the music that I need to hear today! I'm going to copy down the words to hang in our room. I saw something about the song that credits Psalm 40:1 as part of the inspiration. It'll be my verse to memorize this week."
- Psalm 40:1-4 "I waited patiently for the LORD; And He inclined to me, and heard my cry. 2 He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay; And He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm. 3 And He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God;Many will see and fear,And will trust in the LORD.
4 How blessed is the man who has made the LORD his trust..."
- Nan, a transformed mom, lost her wonderful christian son Connor last month at the age of 12 to MRSA. Only those who have lived through something so tragic can testify to her through mercy and grace of the hope that is in store for her. I encourage Nan to grieve, cry out to God, be angry...
- Psalm 88:1-7 "O LORD, the God of my salvation, I have cried out by day and in the night before Thee. 2 Let my prayer come before Thee;Incline Thine ear to my cry! 3 For my soul has had enough troubles,And my life has drawn near to Sheol. 4 I am reckoned among those who go down to the pit;I have become like a man without strength, 5 Forsaken among the dead,Like the slain who lie in the grave,Whom Thou dost remember no more,And they are cut off from Thy hand. 6 Thou hast put me in the lowest pit,In dark places, in the depths. 7 Thy wrath has rested upon me,And Thou hast afflicted me with all Thy waves..."
- How does Nan find HOPE?
- John Mark, a visiting speaker told his story yesterday morning in our Bible class. It was a powerful lesson filled with HOPE. A story of a man who lived feeling these three words:
- FORSAKEN! How could God love him when his wife of two years died and his sixteen year old son died?
- FAILURE! How could God love him by allowing a divorce between him and his second wife?
- DEFICIENT! How could God love him if he could never "get it right"? ...when he always felt inadequate?
- Then, John Mark shared of his awakening to a different look at how God views His children...He takes away the old names that we call ourselves and gives us new names...here is one of the powerful scriptures of HOPE that merits much meditation..
- Isaiah 62:2-4 "...you will be called by a new name that the mouth of the LORD will bestow. 3 You will be a crown of splendor in the LORD's hand, a royal diadem in the hand of your God. 4 No longer will they call you Deserted, or name your land Desolate. But you will be called Hephzibah (My Delight), and your land Beulah (married to God); for the LORD will take delight in you..."
- Married couples all over this world are struggling. They are not "getting" what it means to truly "love and respect" one another. Our church family is addressing the needs. Sunday mornings and life groups the next six weeks will be spent on this topic. The movie FIREPROOF articulates words that are often heard in homes acround the world...
- "You constantly nag me and drain the life right out of me..."
- "If you can't give me the respect that I deserve than what is the point of this marriage?"
- "I don't understand her, she's so sensitive!"
- "He's so insensitive!"
- "If there's a God out there, He's not interested in me!"
- "Something tells me that you're doing just enough to get by!"
- "I have taken her insults and sarcasm..how am I supposed to show love over and over to someone who constantly rejects me?"
- "How are you an honorable man? Looking at those pictures on the internet does not show that you honor me!"
- TAKE THE LOVE DARE FOR FORTY DAYS: DAY ONE: James 1:19 "But let everyone be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger..."
If you have not seen the movie FIREPROOF...run to see it...rent it...make sure your friends and family see it....get involved with a church group that is discussing it. We are at Pitman for the next 6 weeks. Buy the LOVE DARE book and do it for 40 days!
Start today by extending mercy at home...and then look around you at a world in need of mercy, grace, and hope...
"BLESSED ARE THE MERCIFUL,
FOR THEY SHALL RECEIVE MERCY."