Saturday, June 26, 2010


Everyday I am a little bit more astounded at the realm of technology in our world. A week or so ago, I dug out an old book that had become my friend many years ago when I was going through rocky waters of my life. I pulled it off the shelves, blew the dust off its pages and skimmed through it, wondering why its title had popped up in my mind  practically 30 years later. As I perused its pages, I knew...I had been Directed to it again to help me make sense of a situation that's arisen in the lives of people I love. I thought back to the one who'd written it, whom I had personally met "coincidentally" at a time when I needed to hear that hope still existed. God knew I needed to hear that truth once again working in the lives of ordinary people and so my mind reached back to that lady who spoke so passionately of the Hope that was in her. I wondered if she was still around all these years later...was she still living in that place of hope that she spoke so eloquently about? I did what anyone would have done these days when looking for an answer to a question...I Googled her. And there she was! Popping up, clear as day. Scanning down the page, an inch below I saw a YouTube link with her name...and of course, I had to click it. I was instantly transmitted back, 30 years, to 1980 once again. The year I lost my marriage when my husband walked out leaving me with 2 little children and my mother was killed in a terrible accident... To that night when I sat in the audience and listened to her share her life. Through the magic of YouTube, I sat in the audience again and, although older in body, she's a bit past 60 now, she was the same in spirit... I saw her still speaking, still hoping, still believing, still spreading her story and I rejoiced because she had stayed true to her self and true to her God, Who is also my God. And I found myself full of joy, that I, too, also had stayed true to Him. I watched five 10 minute video segments drinking in her words,  her talk to women today about finding the Source of True Hope. It was such a sweet expression of God's intimate love and care for allow me to, through the instant click of the mouse, to hear someone coming out of my past that had had such a significant impact on my life all those years ago. To be able to once again hear her voice tell of her life's journey, of what had transpired with her and, more significantly, in her,  over the past 30 years, to see the path that He had led her on...It was awesome to me. And near the end of her talk, she said something so rich that it made me stop the tape, back up, grab a pad and pencil and listen to it over and over again as I madly scribbled it down. It goes something like this:
"Through it all I have found that the deepest call of the Gospel 
is to go out (into life)  with the life that we've been given, 
transformed--as well as we have been able to surrender to that transforming Love,
and then, to give back in service to one another ...
(because God knows, this world needs it!)...
so...What do I do with the years left in this life? 
It's the same answer that I found years ago 
when I was so much younger and so broken...
I go deeper...
and deeper still.
And find....LOVE.
Cells of Love that exceed hatred, 
and Hearts of Love that speak louder than hate.
And as we embrace that Love, we begin to lift the world--
in the same way that the dear people in my prayer (group) lifted me...
all those years ago....
They lifted me..."---Paula D'Arcy

Thank you, Paula D'Arcy for following the path, the life that you've been given. It gives me hope to continue on, to trust, to lean, to follow step by step and day by day the path that I've been given, too.

I've found another kindred spirit in Holley Gerth. Here are some thoughts as she contemplated Hope from her inspiring blog, Heart to heart with Holley:

"A Different Kind of Hope says, It’s okay to not be okay....

A different kind of hope... holds on to Who not why.  
And He holds us right back...

Suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, 

character; and character, hope. 

Romans 5:3-4

When I first read this verse I thought it had a typo.

Wasn't hope supposed to be first on the list?

After all, that's how the world often portrays it—as a fluffy feeling that lets us float through hard times.

But it turns out that's not the way it works in the Kingdom.
Suffering produces perseverance...
We all know what that's like—those are the days when we simply get up and put one foot in front of the other by faith when feelings are nowhere to be found.
Perseverance, character...
If we do that enough days in a row, it changes who we are because of all we learn about who He is in the middle of our circumstances. 
And character, hope...
When who we are is transformed, hope comes to stay. Because we know in the core of our being that we can face anything with God.
Getting to a different kind of hope is a journey.
It doesn't happen all at once. It's the culmination of our hearts taking a thousand little steps of faith. And along the way choosing to say, "Yes, God, I will stick with you no matter what."
Real hope meets us where we expect it least and need it most.
So if life seems hard right now and you wonder how much longer you can go on,take heart...
Hope is already on the way.

A different kind of hope understands this handy little truth: sometimes you've just got to laugh because life ain't no peach pie after all.  (Sometimes you just have to take time for a pity party. Do it, and then... stop it!)

Do not compare your pain with others. The worst pain you will ever feel is your own. That does not mean you are selfishthat means you are human."

Each heart knows its own bitterness. Proverbs 14:10

Give yourself Permission....

Permission to be honest about what's not so great in your life right now. Not permission to wallow, mind you—but permission to acknowledge, throw the Pity Party and then get on with the real party of life.

 A different kind of hope shares rather than compares

Dr. Gary Oliver had lost a wife and son in the last few years as well as faced cancer. If anyone has the right to say, "My pain is bigger than your pain" it's him. His point was that when it comes to pain—it's far better to share than compare.

Turns out it works a whole lot better for us and everyone else to just say, "Yep, had a stinky day/week/decade." Then we can get on with healing and helping rather then denying ourselves right into exhaustion.

Hope is a flame that's lit inside us and no amount of darkness can overcome it. 

I imagine each of you also have a dream inside your heart that has flickered.

Yes, we know that feeling...the moment when light almost slips into darkness. But then, a divine spark comes and it is our choice to fan it into flame or let it fade.

A different kind of hope keeps shining no matter what.

Think about one of His names...Light of the World...

The candles within our hearts don't bear our own light—they bear His.

He came long ago to a manger in Bethlehem. But He also comes again here, now, when our hearts need Him most.

It is not new light that burns within us, brightening the path. 
No, the only true Light is the One illuminating all of eternity.

This is WHO we joyfully celebrate.

Jesus, Light of the World.

Yes, shine in us again." --Holley Gerth

    "My Hope".....sung by Hillsong.