Tag Archives: Hope

What Are We Eating?

                                               What Are We Eating?                                                     (Image by Geralt on Pixabay)

At this point in my life, I am blessed with nine grandchildren, ranging in age from twenty-eight to three. They are all wonderful of course. As I interact with them, I am aware that there is one principle about relationships and facilitating another’s growth that is universal.

We all grow best when we are fed healthy, positive thoughts. What a difference it makes when we envelop a child or an adult in praise. I remember years ago when my own children were young, we arrived at a point where we were experiencing problems with our middle child. Each morning, when I placed my feet on the cold floor, I would promise myself – Before I scold my beloved son today for doing something wrong, (for I knew it would happen), I will find something positive to praise in what he has done or who he is. Some days that was a difficult promise to keep. Once I got started, I discovered that gradually the task became easier. As I fed my son healthy positive statements, his behaviour began to improve. The reality is we all respond better to love and praise than to criticism and denigration.

Today, I’m considering this principle in relation to our world. For the last decade and longer, the news media has fed us mostly information about the violence and destruction in our world. Many of us have reached the point that we try not to listen to it anymore. Some of us seem to delight in repeating the horror that is happening. WE ARE BEING FED HOPELESSNESS.

I believe it’s time to introduce some healthy, positive knowledge into our diet. It’s time to hear about the good things that are happening in our world. It’s time to be presented with the love and generosity, the random acts of kindness, the loving responses to disaster, the goodness that is present in our world. I believe that over time, the people of our world will hear the good, take it in, and rise up to become the people that God created us to be.

How can this turn-around happen? Once again, it will take each of us to promise to to search out and identify the positive things, the moments of honesty, caring, compassion, generosity that are happening. We can do it, because God is with us, and nothing is impossible with God.

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things… And the God of peace will be with you.” (Philippians 4:8-9 NIV)

Plant a Tree? Why?

tree-1034150_1920

Buy a field – Plant a Tree

In both our front and back yards, we have trees – maples and cedars. They were planted by the first owners of our house ten years ago when the house was built. Already they are tall enough to provide a little shade for our lawn. Trees amaze me. They offer so many gifts beyond their cooling shade. They not only give back to the earth; they breathe in carbon dioxide and breathe out life giving oxygen. As a child, I learned that trees were my friends, especially one with a big low-lying branch that served as a doorway to my leafy playhouse, up high above my world. Today I am grateful for our trees, even though none are big enough yet for climbing.

Planting trees is a sign of hope for the future. In today’s world, their slow growth means that the planter may not be around to enjoy the tree’s blessings. I think of education as a planting trees. High school youth can become impatient with school. What use is this? When will it be over? Do I really want to do this homework? Especially today when the world is so chaotic, job insecurity is an epidemic. Post- secondary education is a monumental expense, yet education is also a sign of hope for the future. 

Living a life of faith is a sign of hope for the future of our world. It’s easy to say, “Why bother? God doesn’t care.” I believe that God does care. In the Bible we read about the prophet, Jeremiah. War was raging around him. His own king had imprisoned him for speaking out about his own people’s behavior. Jeremiah had warned his king that linking up with Egypt would not save the country from the Babylonians.  From prison, Jeremiah listens to God’s message, “Buy land in your hometown. There is a future for you and your people. The day will come when you will prosper again.” And so Jeremiah makes the purchase. (paraphrase of Jeremiah 32:8-15)

Living a life of faith today means that we, too, are called to speak out about climate change, justice issues, and God’s promises. We too are called to take action, to make room for people different from ourselves, to feed the hungry, to get our education, to plant trees for the future. We are called to be like Jeremiah, and invest our lives for our future and the future of the world. We are called to trust in God’s promise for a new world filled with love and justice and joy.  

Yes, like our trees, the world’s growth towards goodness for all is slow. Still we can see growth happening. Already, there are small patches of shade here and there around the world. Already there is food for some who were hungry, freedom for some for some who were imprisoned unjustly, peace for some who were at war.

We can step out in faith and add goodness to God’s world. Each loving act, each step for justice, each gift of loving mercy for ourselves and others makes a difference. We can be God’s blessed trees, a breath of new life in this world. We can live God’s plan for us. We can be God’s hope.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  (Jeremiah 29:11

bird-1558884_1920

 

 

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

potters-410292_1920

I am clay. I will choose the God of Hope as my potter.(Isaiah 64:8)

The Bible uses the metaphor of God as the potter with us as the clay. The metaphor breaks down when we consider that the clay has no choice in the potter’s skillful hands. As human clay we have choices. We can totally turn our minds away from God. We can refuse to bend to the pressure of the potter’s fingertips.

On this last evening of the first week of Advent, our free will as human beings lies uppermost in my mind. Free will is a two-edged sword. Having control over our lives feels good. That same control carries a mountain of responsibilities. We can choose to believe in a God of Hope working through us to create a world of peace and love.  OR  We can choose to believe in a God of chaos, remote, judgmental, or non-existent leaving us helpless in the face of this world filled with violence and hate.

Tonight, I choose the God of Hope. I choose to see the goodness that is shining a light in the darkness of our world. The God of Hope is at work moulding us into masterpieces of love and care for others and for our environment. Today and every day as part of my Christmas preparation, I say yes, to the God of Hope, my potter.

I am clay. I will choose the God of Hope to be my potter.

A Thought For Your Day

Thank you God for...

During Advent I’m using a resource titled The Uncluttered Heart by Beth A. Richardson. She talks about an ancient tradition of the Christians Church in which pilgrims would ask of their spiritual leaders, “Give me a word of life.” Following in this tradition, I will be offering you “A Thought for Your Day” throughout the season of Advent as part of my preparation for Christmas. My hope is that you will carrying this thought with us will help us to keep centered on
opening our heart to Jesus. I’m starting three days in posting these so today you are getting three at once. Choose the one that speaks to you. Think about it through the day. Please let me know what effect focusing on God does for your day. Blessings Janet

Advent – Week 1    Hope gives power to life’s journey.

December 1      Give God 5 minutes today. God is waiting.

December 2      Thank you God for…