Poems, Personal Stories, and Observations

Posts tagged ‘hope’

Thank God for the Fleas

When my parents were World War II refugees, they lived in various Displaced Persons camps run by the U.S. and other Allies. Sometimes it would be so cold that there was frost on the INSIDE walls of their “accommodations”.   (I don’t know exactly what their living quarters were like,)  At some point in there, my older brother (a baby!), one paternal uncle, and my paternal grandmother also lived in the same camp(s). At least they had shelter!  Traumatic as it all was, thank you Allies (and, ultimately, God), for keeping my family alive!  Others, as you know, suffered considerably more: in concentration camps, in battles on land, sea, and sky, and elsewhere.

LIFE IS A GIFT! And, I’m so grateful to live in a home with heat and hot water.

Corrie ten Boom was in a concentration camp during World War II, because her family had hidden Jews in their home.  She decided to take seriously the Scripture, “… give thanks in all circumstances …” (1 Thessalonians 5:18), so she gave thanks for the fleas in her barracks.  Sooner or later, she learned that the guards would avoid her barracks as much as possible, because of the fleas.  In that way they did not get as much abuse as they might have.  Perhaps most of us are not as faith-filled as Corrie ten Boom, but there is certainly a lesson to learn from her.

War is probably horrific for everyone touched by it, but perhaps it’s appropriate to also remember the positives.

Why do some (or perhaps all of us) encounter great trials and tribulations?  I propose a few reasons here, several or all of which could occur together:

  1. We are being tested by God.  It can be an opportunity for growth, to trust in Him more.
  2. We are being chastised by God.  ” … for the Lord disciplines those whom He loves, and chastises every child whom He accepts.” (Hebrews 12:6).  This is a good thing, because it shows that God loves us enough to correct us.
  3. We are suffering for our own or other people’s poor choices.  We make bad decisions, or others take out their frustrations on us.
  4. It’s just part of the fallen human condition.  Because of original sin, we all suffer consequences such as illness, accidents, death, etc.

No matter the reason, we must trust that God is with us through these difficulties.  I don’t see any other reason to hope.

 

 

 

All the Difference

One life, Jesus’ life … has made all the difference.  Because of Him, we can have light instead of darkness, hope instead of despair, forgiveness instead of condemnation.

He was born in poverty, not riches. He was born without fame or popularity.  He was born to teach us how to give, not grab.

You, too, can make a difference by loving your neighbor and forgiving your enemies.

Cling to the Cross

Cling to the cross
And trust its might power.
Remember what He did for you
In every minute, hour.

Focus on Him
And keep your eyes above.
Let earthly cares now fall away,
And drink His cup of love.

Take up your cross;
With grace your burdens bear.
Let not your cross bring bitterness —
Have hope, and don’t despair.

Carry your cross,
And one day there will be
A glorious crown, a shining light;
Make love your destiny.

Hope


What You Need

You don’t need that gun,
That automatic rifle,
To show that you have needs —
The hate that anger breeds.
To show that no one cares;
At least that’s what you feel.

You don’t need that rotten drug
To make you feel good and snug —
An empty self you’re trying to hug.

You don’t need that candy,
Or doughnuts by the dozen,
Or calories galore —
You need something more.

You don’t need that woman or man
To satisfy your lust —
You need to learn to trust
That God will meet your every need —
Love you without condition.

False self you must uncover,
And then you will discover
Hope and truth and grace
Through friends in the human race.

You need a sense of belonging;
For that you have been longing.
Let Jesus fill your heart —
Then begins your beginning.

 

On Prejudice (Mine)

I am prejudiced — but, hopefully, each day I get less and less so.  I attend regular meetings of Prejudiced People Anonymous (well, at least in my mind).

It started early in life.  It was in the air, in my culture, all around me.  “That group …, ” “Those people …,” “That church …,” people around me would say.

But, as I grew older, I realized that prejudice was wrong.  Sadly, the damage was already done.  I fought against the ideas in my head, but they still came.  I felt helpless, knowing that my attitude was wrong.

It didn’t help when some people would confirm my prejudices.  Yes, some people who were “different” did bad things to me.  But others were good and kind.

Over the years, it helped to learn about other cultures and religions, their background, and what they have suffered.  The more I had contact with people who were “different,” the less prejudiced I became.

One of my turning points happened like this:  I had been attending night classes at a state university.  I was walking on campus to my car, when a woman of an ethnic group that I felt most afraid of (or most angry at?) was coming from the other direction. She said hello and was very friendly and had kind words. Suddenly it hit me that I did not deserve her kindness, after the bad thoughts I’d had against her particular group.  It was a grace received, again — undeserved.  I realized that it wasn’t the person’s group that mattered, it was who they were individually that mattered.

There is hope for sinners, even for people like me!  God can change our hearts!  If you are prejudiced, pray for God to show you the beauty of each person.

Ignorant

[Jeremiah 29:11, Proverbs 3:5-6]

I don’t understand much,
But I’ve been given a gift —
A gift I didn’t ask for —
Life.

I can’t change my existence,
But what do I do with it?

Yes, it’s a mystery —
My own life history —
And that God has a plan
That I don’t understand.

I don’t understand,
I don’t understand,
I don’t understand …

Plans for my good
And not for harm,
Plans for a future
And a hope.

I must trust in the Lord with all my heart,
And not rely on my own insight.
I must acknowledge Him in all my ways,
And He will make my paths straight.

Some People

Some people don’t have it together.
Their home is a mess,
Things everywhere —
Do they not care?

Some people don’t have a car.
They walk everywhere,
Or maybe on bike,
Or the bus not on strike.

Some people don’t have a living.
They’re tired of giving
All of their energy.
They need a strategy.

Some people still haven’t learned,
They often are spurned,
They don’t have a life,
Their life full of strife.

Some people need so much hope.
They don’t need the dope.
They need Jesus Christ,
Who alone can give life.

God Sees the Best in You

No matter who you are, God loves you.

No matter what mistakes you’ve made, God loves you.

No matter what you’ve failed in, God still believes in you.

If you think you’re a mess, if others think you’re a mess,

God sees the best in you; He see what you can become.

Never give up; turn to God.

Become His child and let Him love you.

The Reason I Garden

I have a passion for plants and gardening. Perhaps this video will explain why:

Please pray for the boy in the video.

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