Tag Archives: hope

This New Year Deserves Hope

I thought about all the days ahead in the year, fresh and new. For years, people regarded the new year with hope. They looked for improvement in their lives, countries, and the world. After the upheaval of 2020, people may regard 2021 with more apprehension.

But 2021 deserves hope. Even if it isn’t the glittering, shiny-bright hope of past years in which we (I) thought circumstances would instantly be better with the changing of the date, there is hope. There is hope that this year, on a scale of 1-10, with 1 being the worst and 10 being the best, if 2020 was 1, maybe 2021 will be a 3, or a 4, or maybe higher. Perhaps not a 10, but it doesn’t have to be a 1, either.

How can I say that? Consider what we saw last year: people picking up groceries or needed medicine for family, friends, neighbors who couldn’t go out; people organizing food drives or drives for personal goods for those hard-hit by the pandemic, financially or otherwise; musicians who ordinarily would perform in person playing online to raise people’s spirits; artists painting murals in towns; people literally going out of their way to help others. People connected with their families more, perhaps learning new technology to do so; parents, teachers and school districts navigated regulations and technology to enable students to learn; people merged necessity and creativity to do what needed to be done. People went outside in larger numbers, finding the benefits and joys of doing so; they took up new hobbies; they discovered resilience they didn’t know they had. People tried hard to make the circumstances better.

Out of the turbulence of 2020 came clarity—not only with family and what really matters, but also with hidden problems that came to light in large and small areas. When problems are in the light, they can be dealt with. On a small, personal scale, I see character flaws that need worked on. I can’t be content with sweeping them under the rug anymore. Those flaws affect all areas of my life. If I can’t take care of them entirely, I can put up a fight, and make progress. I know I have unhealthy thinking patterns; I am trusting that with God’s help, those will be changed. I have hope.

If each person does what he or she can every day to make the world a better place, even a little thing, such as holding the door open for someone struggling with packages, or “paying it forward” in some way, 2021 has hope.

“Treat others as you want them to treat you.” The Golden Rule, Matthew 7:12 (CEV)

©P. Booher

 

 

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Diving Into A Sea of Books–How to Live in Fear–Mastering the Art of Freaking Out

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Photo credit: Pexels.com

As an avid reader, I get excited about the great number of books out there to read, either for entertainment, education, inspiration or with some books, all three. The quantity available in print, audio, and e-books reminds me of the vast amount of life in the oceans, so I call these book reviews “Diving Into A Sea of Books”. As with diving into an ocean looking for interesting objects, diving into books means you come across mixed results: over here, a book you don’t bother to finish, over there, a “treasure”–one that you like so much you can’t wait to reread it, and over there, a book you read and think, “Meh”.

I first came across How to Live in Fear–Mastering the Art of Freaking Out in a Christian bookstore. I thought that was a little strange, with a title like that. “Fear” and “Christian”  don’t go together. But the longer I leafed through the pages, the more I realized the title fit perfectly with the theme: being able to live with faith in God while having anxiety/panic attacks.

Pastor Lance Hahn has experienced severe anxiety attacks since boyhood. For a few years the attacks left, then they came roaring back into his life. He describes what it’s like to be a Christian, and the senior pastor of a large church–a pastor who suffers from panic attacks. Continue reading

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It Takes Faith–A Word About An Empty Tomb

“…the women…found the stone rolled away  from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.”  (Luke 24:1-3) (NIV)

Although I didn’t go to church often when I was growing up, I knew Easter Sunday was the day Christ rose from the grave. I didn’t connect that fact to anything else in my life–it was just a “religious fact”.  Christ came; He died; He rose. The tomb is empty. That’s good–but what’s that mean?

Years later, that empty tomb–that knowledge I have by faith–gives me hope. The empty tomb gives me hope because Christ was (and is) too big to be held by it. If He is too big for that, He is certainly big enough to handle any and all of the problems I have now or ever will have. He is not at all bothered by any of my problems. He is not fretting about what to do. He has it under control!

The empty tomb gives me hope because it means Christ is living. If He is living, I can reach Him through prayer. I have access to all His comfort, all His kindness, all His understanding of me. He can give guidance, ease my fears, cancel my worries.

That is what the empty tomb means to me now. It takes faith.

©P. Booher

 

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It Takes Faith–Resurrection Sunday

And he (Jesus) said, The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.”  (Luke 18:27) KJV

Today Christians celebrate Easter Sunday, also called Resurrection Sunday, because Jesus  the Messiah arose from the dead on this day over 2000 years ago.

For me, the spring bulbs that come up every year are among the proofs God offers for belief in Jesus’ Resurrection.

The first time I took the dirty brown crocus, daffodil, hyacinth and tulip bulbs  out of the bags I thought, “You mean I’m supposed to plant these;  they’re dead!” But you know what–the following spring beautiful colors emerged from the soil where those dead bulbs lay. Every year, the flowers come up. God enables life and beauty to sprout from death.

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Hyacinths all in a row

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Daffodils–sunshine in flowers!

In the same way God enables life and beauty to come into our lives and then from our lives as we are in relationship with Him. For many years I lived  without hope that  life is truly worth while. Now I realize that because of Jesus’ death and resurrection there is hope and there is possibility.

If you are wondering if life is really worth while, I urge you to consider the cross and the empty tomb. Cry out to God Who loved you enough to die for you and then three days later, create a miracle and rise for you. Dare to believe He did the impossible then, and He’ll do it now. It takes faith.

P. Booher

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