Bible Studies · Faith · Inspiration · Life Hacks · Spiritual

Tag! I’m It.

 Not my ministry, not my work, not my relationship or marriage, not the movie I want to make, not the help I want to give, not the things I know, not the ideas I come up with, not all my good intentions.

It’s like we’re in a game of Tag, and God says to us “Tag! I’m it.” That’s not how the game is played we say. “It’s tag you’re it, so I’M it.” We say. Duh, God.

“An idol is whatever you look at and say in your heart of hearts, ‘If I have that, then I’ll feel my life has meaning, then I’ll know I have value, then I’ll feel significant and secure.” – Dannah Gresh and Dr. Juli Slattery (Pulling Back the Shades)
I said this quote over and over to myself before writing this post. My striving was exposed for what it was. I felt like I was watching a movie of my life plus the bloopers! I have made good things idols along the way. Some I recognized , and others I didn’t until now.

Can God fully and truly satisfy us minus all the other “good” things that we just must have? All the logical things that we just must have – that we are certain we need? Could we truly be satisfied?

The truth is I don’t have all the answers right now. But I hope to have the answers I need soon. My eyes feel like they’ve been opened. I had no idea that they were closed.

I’ve thought about Joseph. God gave him an amazing dream (two actually, but they were pointing to the same thing), but it took thirteen whole years experience what God had showed him long before. The dream was good – great even. I imagine what torture it could have been for Joseph if that’s all he thought about while being a slave and subsequently, a prisoner for a crime he didn’t commit?

How about Abraham? Father Abraham. God says to papa AB, “I’m going to give you a son. Like from your actual body.” He waits twenty-five years with his wife Sarah before that would ever happen. If all he ever thought about was having that child, what torture it would have been to wait without a set date? God didn’t tell him when. Not until a year before anyway.
God didn’t always tell people exactly when. Not Noah. Not David. He still doesn’t always tell us now. Wouldn’t it be torture if that’s all we thought about? When our God-given dreams would come true?

God doesn’t want us to look to any thing to fill us up. Even good things – especially good things – can become idols. God wants us to look to Him. He wants to be IT.

If I was really honest with myself, I would say that I would love to know what that’s like: A life of God completely satisfying.

I want to be full today. Always. Never wanting for anything. Come rain or sunshine. Through storms and stillness. To be truly full. Not ok. Not just ok.

I don’t want to strive anymore. I don’t want to push and claw through life. To have and have. I want my identity to be completely in Christ. My value, my significance, my happiness and joy, my peace, my hope, my adventures.

I know in my heart that the answer lies in saying, “Ok, God, Father…I give up. You be IT. Have it your way. I don’t like surprises but fine. Why don’t You decide where we’re going today? Why don’t You decide our activities today? You want me to go where?! Ok..? OK! I can do that. Do what?! Uhm..no problem. Wait? Err..sure. Anything You say is fine with me. I trust You with my life. You already gave me Yours. I’ve got absolutely everything to gain and nothing to lose if I realize that I’m not even mine.”

OK GOD. YESSS. I’M DOWN WITH WHATEVER. Yes, Lord, whatSOever.

Your turn.
 

Dreams and the Future · Faith · Inspiration · Spiritual

What if I Did it Anyway?

What if I did it anyway? What if I picked up my device and typed away? Would it be so bad if it wasn’t perfect? What if I say the wrong things?

I could go on and on about my multiple list of excuses for not blogging often. Well…you know what? I’ll give one more excuse and stop: What if people don’t read my posts? There that’s the last excuse I’ll make. So I’m done making it.

I really want my life to be relevant. I’m not much of a talker; in fact, I believe if I talk too much, I’ll probably say irrelevant or unhelpful things – maybe even hurtful. I think of blogging as talking. So you can see why I do it as scarcely as I do.
I’m thinking, maybe just maybe I need to “talk” a little more. There are probably people who are thinking some of the things I’m thinking or working out in my head. People who need to hear someone else say it or someone who’s perhaps worked it out in their lives. And maybe that someone could be me. You see how I’ve used the word “maybe” many times in this post? My insecurities are screaming.

I guess the real reason I don’t blog often is my insecurities. The fear that I don’t have much to say, and the fear that nobody would be listening. That’s going to change.

Honestly, nothing feels particularly special to me about the middle of the month of March. I guess that’s the perfect opportunity to change. Because I’m forced to change even when I don’t feel like it. Even when there’s nothing propelling me like a brand new beginning of a brand new month or year.

So I’m writing today about insecurity and I’m writing about writing. They go hand in hand – many writers can relate (I believe 😊).

Here’s my decision: I’m going to write more often on faith. About faith, yes, but on faith. In faith? I’m going to write even when I doubt myself. I’m going to encourage you and encourage me. It’s the ‘write’ thing to do. 😉

Hey! Any souls out there? Come on over and join me here as I make this journey into God’s heart. It’s a beautiful, simple and hard road. It will test us, and it will make us. It will make us beautiful.

See you soon 😊. Soon because I’ll be writing.
Cheer up!

Dreams and the Future · Faith · Inspiration · Life Hacks · Spiritual

An Invitation to Fear

I wrote that heading to get your attention; I would much prefer to title this post, “An Invitation to Trust.”


Anyway…

We are constantly being spoken at, being pushed and pulled from all sides. Life with it’s devilish gifts makes us offers of multiple dimensions, hard to ignore. Loudest above all the noise of the throng is the invitation to fear, often written in the elaborate ink of fact, and possible fact.

Fears of many sizes: big fears, small fears, medium sized fears. 

Are they valid? Absolutely. Are they fact. Yes indeed. People die for no good reason. Lives are wasted everyday. I’m forced to believe in the futility of life. But…

But what is my hope? What did God say about me, and what does He still say?

“All the promises of God are yes and amen in Christ Jesus.” 1 Corinthians 1:20

“And I will be with you always to the close of age.” – Jesus Christ (Matthew 28:20)

I’m constantly tempted to fear. And who am I in the face of the tsunami of life, hitting again and again everything that I am and have, and everything I care about?

I am the Beloved of God, surrounded by the surest promises. Kept by the Lord. Shielded by His Spirit. Given every resource of heaven to make me victorious. “The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?” -Psalm 27:1

“[I] will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. A thousand may fall at [my] side, ten thousand at [my] right hand, but it will not come near [me].”‭‭ -Psalm‬ ‭91:5-7‬ ‭

And then I hear the voice of God sending out to me an invitation to trust. To believe in Him who made all things and in whom all things consist. The One that says “I am the Lord, is there anything too hard for me?” The God that calls me His own. The One who sent to die in my place, His only begotten Son. The One who loves me and gave Himself for me. 


He has made promises. We are not alone. Fear not. Fear NOT; words He says to us in His word so many times. And He still says now.

Jesus said, “Have faith in God.”- (Mark 11:22) Put your confidence in Him. Steadfastly trust in Him. Hold on to Him. Let go to Him. Ask Him and don’t give up asking. Seek Him. Hold on to His promises. Hold on to His word. Don’t let go.

Bible Studies · Faith · Inspiration · Life Hacks · Spiritual

They Believed the Lie.

book_heart-wallpaper-1366x768.jpg“They believed the lie”. This phrase lifted out of the 2Thessalonians 2:11 verse is a foreshadowing of danger, and as well a present reminder of the fact that we could fall prey to lies. I am not merely speaking of lies that people tell, but a deception by the real enemy of mankind, which is the devil.
For many, the idea of the devil in a personified figure is laughable but for others, it is true.
In 2Corinthians 2:10 and 11, Apostle Paul writes to the Corinthians to forgive a certain fellow believer and also to do so in order that “Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes.”
Paul says this knowing full well that if the church didn’t forgive this brother, it would create an opening for hurt and all kinds of dissension and distractions. The latter part of the statement gives us insight to the mind of God for His children. He doesn’t want us ignorant of the enemy’s schemes. He wants us to be aware that we could fall into mind traps by the things we choose or choose not to believe.
Sometimes we find ourselves going down certain paths, knowing there’s something wrong but not being able to get off the path. I know this all too well. I’ve found myself believing all kinds of lies. Lies like “this is all there is to life”; lies like “you have or had no other choice”, “God doesn’t care about that part of your life”, “being pure is impossible” and so many more. There are a billion and one lies for the picking.
The thing is, we may not always immediately recognize these lies and that’s why we need a standard. For some people this may sound cliche, but the word of God ought to be our standard – our weapon against the lies of the enemy. This is what Paul calls “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” in Ephesians 6:17.
All I’m saying is, whenever you find yourself being overwhelmed by a thought or even your feelings, remember Jesus our Lord, being tempted in the wilderness by the devil. He came to Jesus with all kinds of lies wrapped up with just a tiny bit of seeming truth and attempted to overwhelm the Christ, but we know what happened in the end. Jesus said to him, “it is written…”. It is written, “the word of the Lord is a lamp to my feet”(Psalm 119:105).
What I know for sure is that God intended us to live a full life…a life of love…a life of honor. Whatever is acting as a barrier to that, we can put under the microscope of the word and see clearly. And live free!
Sometimes, all you need to do is see the truth clearly.
I dare myself to believe the word of God above my thoughts and my feelings. I dare myself to actual know the word of God about any and every one of my circumstances. And I dare you. I dare you to believe the truth.

Bible Studies · Faith · Inspiration · Spiritual

The God of All Comfort

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.” -(2 Corinthians 1:3,4)
These verses of scripture are the reason I blog at Hope’s Diaries. I was reading the book of Second Corinthians in the New Testament and saw this verse in a new light. I realized that it captured my intentions – my hope for this blog.
The thing is, I often read other blogs from many amazing people. I must confess that I feel insecure sometimes about my blog because I find that they are so direct about their experiences in ways I wonder if I have failed to be.
I don’t have the “say it as it is” flair that I have seen in a few others, but my heart is all for the seeking reader out there. My heart is for you.
I’m constantly learning, and I hope, also improving. And I want to be able to give my very best to those who need it, so that somehow, my love would intersect with your need and create a kind of magic.
I myself have received and do receive comfort from God. I’ve seen darkness and known love. I’ve known hopelessness and heard the Voice of hope calling out to me with an indescribable love and devotion.
I can say that I love God, but I can say more certainly that He loves me. That He loves you.
Whatever doubts or questions or troubles, God is the answer. But my hope and prayer is that you’ll know Him. The real God and not the stuff of men’s imaginations. That you’ll know love and peace. May the God of ALL comfort give you comfort.
So please let’s go this journey together. We don’t have to be alone. If you need more honesty or more anything or less anything, let me know. Shoot me an email! Leave a comment! I’ll value it. I’ll appreciate it. And I hope I’ll also act on it for your benefit and mine.😊
And finally, thank you. Thank you for reading. Thank you for following Hope’s Diaries. You are loved!cropped-image12.jpgIMG_3545

Bible Studies · Faith · Inspiration · Life Hacks · Spiritual

The Waiting And Following Faith

IMG_3811Our lives are constantly revolving around things-the elements. Sometimes we find ourselves clawing and scratching, desperate to get whatever it is we think we want the most. We never really get it as one day leads into the next. We get things however, and we aren’t satisfied.
For us it is an outrageous proposition that we choose peace. We want peace but we do not choose it. We want everything.
Is my dream life a possibility? Could I really dare to choose less? Less when everyone says more? For me it is no longer an option as I have only one master, Jesus the Christ.
Wanting many things and everything is natural, but there’s a deep desire at the very core of my being, and that desire is the Person of God. I want to know Him and I want to be with Him and then truly be like Him.
He calls us every day to the extraordinary in the ordinary. He dares us to see with the eyes of our spirit and to really want what’s beneath the surface. This requires trust and faith; a daily surrender of ourselves to our known God in the face of the unknown.
I want many things but I have a Great Father and Shepherd of my soul who knows what I need. I must pause when He says pause and move when He says move. I must because He knows – He really knows. He is the author and finisher of our faith.
It takes a whole lot of faith to slow down in our fast paced world. It takes a lot  of energy to swim against the current. But without faith it is impossible to please God. So faith it is!
God opens doors we do not always anticipate and we have this urge in our spirits to walk through. Then we should even when we don’t know what’s on the other side. Some other times God keeps doors shut and we feel like we are waiting forever. We aren’t.
In these times, there is a way to wait. There are ways we can be faithful to God when we feel like not much is happening. Whatever it is we find to do, we should do with all our hearts no matter how small. This is the time to notice our neighbor and to know our neighbor so that we can love our neighbor.  This is when we can pray. This is when we can show kindness and ultimately have the opportunity to share the good news of our salvation. This is when we should cling to God’s word and know it. When we know it, we’ll know God and we’ll know ourselves in Him.
So don’t waste the wait. Don’t rush the time. Don’t panic or fret. Don’t look around but look up! Let us choose each day to follow. Let us choose because that’s what it means to be followers – our choice and the daily giving of ourselves to God.
Surrender. Wait. Trust. Wait. Trust. Surrender. And amen!

Dreams and the Future · Faith · Inspiration · Spiritual

A Little Hope

I wrote the following sometime in 2014. I found it when I was looking through some of my notes and thought to share. 😊


25 SeptemberI am grateful for the start of a new day. The day is so full of promises and I feel the richness of the events that would unfold from now on. God is with me. He cares for me. He will never leave me.

I smell the quiet air and feel the coolness of the weather. I feel as the clouds feel when they are full. Rain is coming. 

Pick up your pen, wear those running shoes, knock on that door. Its only a matter of time before your actions bear fruit. We have a clean slate, a clear ground, an open hour. We can do this. 

I’ve come a long way to this very day. I’ve stumbled, and fallen on my face; God has picked me up and dusted me again and again. I hope my trickling words stirs something up in you. I hope you’ll choose to hear the quiet even in the noise. I hope you’ll look at the end of the path, lift up your head and smile, knowing that that’s where you’ll be…someday. 

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” -Jeremiah 29:11

Inspiration · Life Hacks · Spiritual

Completeness

I love reblogging posts from Ms Alheri’s blog.😊 This blessed me.

Ms Alheri

This is a lovely follow up from yesterday’s post from My Utmost. Do enjoy.


Completeness

Whenever anything begins to disintegrate your life with Jesus Christ, turn to Him at once and ask Him to establish rest. Never allow anything to remain which is making the dis-peace.

Jealously guard your rest with the Lord. If there’s anything bothering your heart, especially at the time of prayer, check it before it wrecks you. Don’t take your rest with the Lord for granted, it is your divine right as a child of God!

Take every element of disintegration as something to wrestle against, and not to suffer. Say — “Lord, prove Thy consciousness in me,” and self-consciousness will go and He will be all in all. Beware of allowing self-consciousness to continue because by slow degrees it will awaken self-pity, and self-pity is Satanic.

“Well, I am not understood; this is a thing…

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Life Hacks

For God’s sake only

Yes. We must love God for Him😊.

Ms Alheri

Very often when I think about my choice to be a christian, I think about all the good benefits. The companionship with God, the ever present help in time of trouble, the safe haven, the assurance that my life is in His hands. You know, I think of His amazing provision, His love, His care. Everything.

I recently came across something that made me rethink my reasons for being with God. That just sounded like God and I are in a romantic relationship, right? Lol. It’s that and everything else. 😀 😀 😀

I think about it as having a friend. Am I with this friend because they have money to spend on me? Because they give me attention, because they buy me gifts and provide for all my material and financial needs? Or am I friends with them because I genuinely love them and love to spend…

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Life Hacks

The purpose filled life and the idol of purpose

I’m so encouraged by this! I did a similar post some time ago but I think Salma did a great job here. Please read on and be blessed.😊 Thanks Salma, and thanks Alheri for sharing!

Ms Alheri

It’s welcome for me from my unofficial break. I’m refreshed and ready to attack the rest of the year. Today I have a post from an old friend, Salma Alegeh and it’s a lovely, lovely, read. I hope you enjoy it. If you want to write for the blog, please email me at msalheri@gmail.com I really want a lot of features this summer, so send them innnnn!


THE PURPOSE FILLED LIFE AND THE IDOL OF PURPOSE

Purpose is the ultimate culmination of a life lived in complete obedience and submission to the will of God for us. It’s not the job I think I should have, the degree from whatever university I think will make me happy, it’s that moment when the Lord entrusts to our care the portion of Kingdom business that is ours to grow and cultivate.

In Christian circles, we often hear a derivative of this sentence…

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