Friday, December 19, 2008

Your thoughts?

I would love to hear what you guys think of when you think of "HOPE"? I have been asked to share/speak at a night of worship in New Braunfels on January 23rd and I think I will be sharing on please give me your thoughts!


  1.'s what I feel in the deepest nooks of my heart when I pray for those dear to me that don't yet know Jesus- and what gives me the ability to worship with words like "the nations will bow"- tasks SO incredibly big that I'd feel "hopeless" about if it were to depend on me....and it's what I feel in the morning when I'm not sure if I can face the day, it's the root of a supernatural strength that just comes in my moments of need....

  2. Hope to me is the eager anticipation of what I KNOW God is going to do. The anticipation of his promises to be faithful to me, to never leave me or foresake me and for him to always be glofified in my life.

  3. I was watching the movie, The Hiding Place the other day and the whole time I was blown away by how much hope they had. I hadn't seen that movie in a while and I think I've learned a lot about hope this semester from my own life and just watching you and Brian. One quote I love is in the middle of the concentration camp Betsy Ten Boom says, "Corrie, no pit is too deep that God is not deeper still."

    I think hope is walking in Truth and trust. The truth that God is bigger and deeper than anything we are going through, even good things, and trust that Jesus is who He says He is- the Redeemer. There's hope in knowing that He fixes broken things and makes things new.

    "He will redeem my soul in peace from the battle which is against me, For they are many who strive with me." Ps. 55:18
    "But now thus says the LORD,He who created you, O Jacob,He who formed you, O Israel:"Fear not, for I have redeemed you;I have called you by name, you are Mine." Is. 43:1

    Love and miss you, Steph. And I'm so excited about New Braunfels!

  4. For some reason, as I read this post, I immediately recalled a section of the book Velvet Elvis that really transformed the way I thought about suffering and persecution. These two concepts are always presented as very physical realities, such as being made fun in high school for standing up for your beliefs or for being killed for your faith. Rob Bell presents it as something subtly different. Those physical pains are included in his definition but he extends the meaning to possessing great hope in the face of such a despairing world. If you have the book, it's on pages 168-172. I'll share some of my favorite parts:

    "Not only is the way narrow, but it involves suffering. To truly engage with how the world is, our hearts are going to be broken again and again. Just this past week, I met a woman who is terrified her husband is going to beat her, and another woman who has a degenerative heart disease that is causing her face to freeze up, and I can think of at least five couples who are splitting up, get the picture. It is your world too. And so we are learning how to suffer well. Not to avoid it, but to feel the full force of it...

    Ultimately our gift to the world around us is hope. Not blind hope that pretends everything is fine and refuses to acknowledge how things are. But the kind of hope that comes from staring pain and suffering right in the eyes and refusing to believe that this is all there is. It is what we all need - hope that comes not from going around suffering but from going through it. I am learning that the church has nothing to say to the world until it throws better parties. By this I don't necessarily mean more balloons and confetti and clowns who paint faces. I mean backyards and basements and porches. It is in the flow of real life, in the places we live and move with the people we're on the journey with, that we are reminded it is God's world and we're going to be okay.

    Central to reclaiming creation and being a resurrection community is the affirmation that when God made the world, God said it was 'good'.

    And it still is."

    This really transformed how I thought of hope. It also demonstrated how suffering and hope are intricately linked. Steph, when you define hope as being brave, I think that is absolutely true. As Christians we choose to engage suffering instead of avoiding it. We let our heart be broken by all the pain that has existed, exists now, and will exist. Then we allow the Lord to develop hope in us. A brave hope against such daunting pain.

    The hope that the Lord gives us in these times is a powerful message to those around us of the Lord's goodness despite our current "reality."

    Long post, but those are my thoughts. (Plus Rob Bell's) :-)

  5. Definitely when I think of hope I think of eternity. Hope is getting through the stuggles of each day knowing there is so much more ahead. It is remembering why I was created. Not for this world and the things of it, which is a struggle sometimes for me. Hope is the promise that one day I will forever live in perfectness with my Savior!

  6. So, I'm not even sure if you will check this post, but for some reason in my meditations, I was reminded of this posting, so I decided to share.

    Recently, Ryan and I watched ALL of the Lord of the Rings movies in several days. I have seen them all before and loved them, but this time around, I was really, really moved by all of the spiritual truths in the movie. I haven't been moved by anything like these movies in a long time. I think if anyone is experiencing a period of overwhelming darkness, he/she could watch these movies and learn a lot about hope (as well as other cool things like community.)