"The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion — to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair." ~ from ISAIAH 61 Bible verse for this Blog

Showing posts with label Hope. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Hope. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 24, 2015


As I kinda mentioned in last FRIDAY FOCUS that I should change my PROJECT H.O.P.E. to my 'new' Project "ANYTHING" {since HOPE was My One Word in 2014, not 2015, I named it that last Lent} but it certainly is "ANYTHING" and ties up so well all my "anythings" here in Mexico. since coming here in 1996 to step out in faith and my calling since 6th grade {I waited} ... this one "Project" among so many others of a different nature ... is one that more or less puts all of my HOPE and all of my ANYTHINGS together ... so let's take a different kind of WALK On {thisWEDS. looking at the partial completion (which means - so far, but not yet finished) of my PROJECT ANYTHING

Unlisted Video

{PREFACE: I can't believe that I came back and am adding to this already "way too long" blog post but I just had to preface all of what is written here with I am not sharing this to say what I've done because it's not what I have done at all or alone, it takes many ... and this is just one of ever so many in need of much: HOPE or an ANYTHING project in this vast needy world in which we live ... this is what God laid on my heart, but it took more than me to accomplish this, to God be the Glory. I am not submitting this story to the ANYTHING PROJECT although this is exactly what it is. And it can be duplicated many times over and over to reach others and make a difference in His Story for His Glory and theirs in the Kingdom of God. I submit this here humbly as ...

"My Long "ANYTHING" Story: Testimony to God for His Glory"

When I came to Mexico in 1996 finally, I wanted to work with the kids (after all I'm a double major in Elementary  Ed. (K-6) and Spanish, so that only makes sense, right?) and have been waiting and preparing for this mission adventure since 6th grade with all my educational goals headed south of the border in this direction. So, of course, I was meant to seek out the "orphans" and ministries of this nature with kids because this is exactly what moves my heart. And that's exactly what I did do when I first came. After God spoke to me on the beach the year before I first came through Susana (my 108 year old inspiration), God altered my heart just a little to include "women" with the "children" --- those that may not have as many opportunities for education and learning about Jesus. Soon I readjusted once again to include teaching "English" through God's Word and Christian songs and began putting together lessons in English to go with this, which soon became just teaching English. (sigh) Little did I know that God had something totally different in mind for me. Something that I knew very little about but He spoke with an almost audible voice in one of my trips back to Mexico from Minnesota in 2007. I was certain I had heard Him wrong, after all, I knew absolutely nothing about "trafficked victims" of tourism or worldwide exploitation, but He was sure to confirm and show me. For many reasons, I will not go into the details of this course, but God began to open my eyes to so much more as I began to learn about this, the ministries and all that is involved; calling this my "Project A" ... {who knows, some day I may be able to share more on this "A" of Anything and who would have known when I labeled it Project "A" that the Anything Project would come along, starting with 'A'}.

God began putting together pieces of my own life, pieces of my life here since 1996-2007 and then 'outta the blue' something new showed up with the construction project on the house that I was renting ... or actually someone new. The workers that came to do the construction for the "Architect" were from an "albergue" {sorry, I realize that this a Spanish word and the closest that comes to that is a "Shelter for the Homeless"- the forgotten}. God had yet another plan that He would reveal through these workers, many of whom were new Christians, because their "shelter" was administered through one of the first churches I knew from here, "Espiritu y Verdad" which I had lost touch with because they had moved and moved and finally acquired land and began building a church in the "colonia" known as Villa Verde. {colonia/ colony is another word for just a specific section of the city; it is broken into many}. 

All of this previous explanation, is in part to show you when you step out in obedience, thinking you are ready for God's ANYTHING, He may have something entirely different from what you thought or had planned as meeting His will and following His way - your way, He will definitely pull out all stops to show you HIS way and then go about putting the pieces altogether, or running a silver thread from the beginning to the finale, for you to see how HE really was in this from the beginning and kept trying to get you to see it from His perspective. In the meanwhile, He allows you to "mess" up but He'll keep bringing you back to the ANYTHING He had planned. 

Introduce one of the workers that stands out from the others and faithfully stays with the construction project from the beginning to the end. The short of this individual's complicated life story up to the age of almost 50 ... is he is one of those "forgotten" (abandoned child, left in the care of his grandma until she dies; parents never took care of him as they parted ways and moved on with others starting over with new families, which become his "step" family, half brothers and sisters; yet (until recently by some) he is never acknowledged as family ... in fact, his life went clearly off the deep end in the wrong direction and he was thought dead, so all that was his from his "abuelita" was sold by his mother and sister. He had nothing and no one and really no reason to live, until Christ came into his life on Dec. 20th, 2011 changing everything) ... he was one of those sent to work on this construction project. 

The significance in all this, is I was ready to go home to MN, call it quits (for now) when God showed me that this precious new Christian needed a 'Shelter' of his own that indeed God is Our Shelter and Our Refuge but He does have a plan for each one of His children. This individual needed to get away from other individuals in the "albergue"- the influence that could have pulled him back to his former old self (like me or you) and given a chance to grow in Jesus Christ with his own place to live. God tugged on my heart last year to begin in Lent, a Project to give him this H.O.P.E. thus began Project H.O.P.E. ... land was finally acquired, construction of his own house began in 2015. And the above video (a documentation of God's work) is where and what he has accomplished with God on his own (mostly) through the blessings of a few donations and months of saving and looking [for another version of this story, you can go to the original blog when I got this in my spirit HERE]

He and another Christian friend (brother in Christ) found this land and divided it to have their own place to live ... so already the HOPE was spread to more. His home is built in the colony of "San Antonio"  here ... {"San Antonio"/St. Anthony is the Catholic patron saint of "lost things" ... or lost causes, or patron of the poor} ... I don't believe it was just a coincidence that they found their land here, it was most definitely a GOD-incidence, and God put all of what I had hoped together in this one person, this one soul, who needed His Heavenly Father to provide and care for him, and I pray that God still will, because he will and has many needs yet to come. He is one child among many that somehow in society (whether it's in Mexico or right in our own community) slips through the crack ... never finishes their education, lives on the street, never is able to find acceptance in a family, never draws near to God or a church, for fear and lack of knowing that there is one God, who cares and is willing to go that extra mile to WALK with us to show us His Love ... His ANYTHING -  to make us SOMETHING outta NOTHING. After all, He's God of the Miracles and this one is just getting started. 
We have excellent programs to sponsor many children throughout the world, by supporting them each month, which I totally recommend and am all for ... it's easy to love a "child"; however, on the other spectrum of life, those of us that have reached beyond mid-life ... have been forgotten and quite often need support also. Many, even if they wanted to continue working to go on living, can no longer find employment and in third world countries, economics just don't take care of the aging ones without families to care for them. More and more, families cannot take care of their own, much less their aging parents and sadly too many have forgotten them. Much of what I admired in the Mexican culture of extended families, caring for sometimes 3 generations under one roof is fading and not much of a reality any longer, at least not for the poorest among them. {well, this is another dilemma and topic for another time and journey but meanwhile there are many that are being left "forgotten"  living on the streets, homeless} God forgive us. So many needs ... so much to do ... so many left by the road side

Luke 12:48b

The Parable of the Good Samaritan

Matthew 7:24-27

Matthew 9:35-38; Luke 10:2

"We instinctively tend to limit for whom we exert ourselves. We do it for people like us, and for people whom we like. Jesus will have none of that. By depicting a Samaritan helping a Jew, Jesus could not have found a more forceful way to say that anyone at all in need - regardless of race, politics, class, and religion - is your neighbor. Not everyone is your brother or sister in faith, but everyone is your neighbor, and you must love your neighbor."― Timothy KellerGenerous Justice: How God's Grace Makes Us Just "

Some more quotes to think about

"I have found the paradox that if I love until it hurts, then there is no hurt, but only more love. ~Mother Teresa

If you can't feed a hundred people, then feed just one. ~Mother Teresa

Never worry about numbers. Help one person at a time, and always start with the person nearest you. ~Mother Teresa

How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world. ~Anne Frank


will use


to do


if we are open and begin



by handing God our









who has




as their first


to show


to them







in Jesus' Name

Thank you for giving your ANYTHING!

In His Grace


*additional part to "This is My Story" 7 part series +
giving testimony to the many tests of my mission
a message from my messes; a triumph from my trials

"God Cares About Every Detail" should be the title of this WALK on WEDS. and was my intent until God moved me to "detail" this part or this much of my "ANYTHING". As you can see, I had much bottled up to share and pour out as I put together this video of our progress update to God's Glory that I just had to show how very much God cares, I care and we should care for others - one by one, WON by One ... please take the time to pop over to "Meet Me in the Meadow" to read the "Someone Cares" #4 for this week ... I'm sure it will bless you as it motivated me! 

Monday, June 2, 2014


"The HOPE Quotient"
Ray Johnston

raised my HOPE level immensely after I "measured it",
 filling me overflowing, as I am sure I will continue to study 
and "unleash HOPE" with this excellent book, 
going back to it often, and following the steps.

So giving this book the highest recommendation of 5 stars
just does not suffice 
for all that I've gained from reading

"The Hope Quotient"

discovering mine
and the areas I need to improve

"I will NEVER be the same!"
if I do them

...nor will YOU, if you grab hold of this...

I'm looking forward to going back now and methodically dissecting all the wonderful information, stories, insights and practical steps applying them to myself, my family, my marriage, my kids, my career, my church, my community, my world(which is Part 3)

for my life
in the simple package of this book

I have found out that truly the
greatest gift you or I can give anyone

After reading the book description (actually just the title really did it for me, with My One Word for this year, given by God for a specific reason, for such a time as this, being "HOPE"); I clung to every word morsel and saturated my being with HOPE and a much better understanding ... and a passion to pursue HOPE with the 7 key factors (Part 2), presented so well, stirring up in me --- HOPE to thrive --- that I want present in my life in 2014. This book was written for me, sent by God, through Ray Johnston through the many personal life stories and Biblical ones that finally clicked in a new, applicable way and struck deep chord of HOPE within me. Throughout my life, I have teetered with hopelessness and easily fall into that pit. This time, I fell "hook, line and sinker" for my Anchor in Christ Jesus, with the knowledge from this book and this one truth, along with so many others below that confirm this:  

" ... because when HOPE rises - everything changes."

And I believe it! just like another book I have that says "prayer changes everything" by another author. Even the book flap of "The Hope Quotient" motivates us with this: 

"Hope: It’s the one thing that can change everything!

When you have hope, eleven things are unleashed in your life:
  • You have more satisfying relationships.
  • You’re more productive.
  • You’re less affected by stress.
  • You’re more successful.
  • You’re more satisfied.
  • You’re more compassionate.
  • You’re more willing to help people in need.
  • You’re physically healthier.
  • You hold yourself to higher moral and ethical standards.
  • You’re more likely to assume leadership.
  • You’re more likely to see God as loving, caring, and forgiving."

Can you feel it?

my HOPE rising

your own HOPE rising

That's what reading this does and then motivates you for more.

Each chapter is filled with highlights and so many quotes that I want to share, and most likely will later, but these are some of the ones that stand out and even this is difficult to limit these ... however, to read more, if you're still not convinced that this is worth your reading and purchase it, you can read some of it on Ray Johnston's blog for "The Hope Quotient"

  1. Hope liberates. Hope releases you from your past.
  2. Hope motivates. Hope helps you bounce back.
  3. Hope initiates. Hope sets you free to dream again.
  4. Hope activates. Hope is the fuel that makes the world a better place."Ray Johnston

Ray Johnston writes with compassion and passion in how he willingly admits his human faults or failings, not a holier than thou attitude, as he comes across directly addressing us like one of us, only it's clear that God is using this 'pastor' mightily to communicate to us whether we are Christian or not, a sense of something that takes us beyond where we are at, to something better: HOPE! Although he uses biblical stories, his overall points and informative 224 pages are filled with insights that would fit anyone's life. His rich and varied professional background is evident throughout the book as a leader and communicator and yet he doesn't hold back from sharing personal and family stories. I will come back to this book often as a great reference and help personally and for others.

"Some wise person once said that we can live about forty days without food, about three days without water, about eight minutes without air—but not a single second without hope. And that is why . . . " To read the rest of "The Greatest Gift You Can Give" just click on it. 

Here is the part that I read that sank in and became my lifeline, because it rang so clear to me deep within, letting me know, if I DO this ... it will unleash HOPE ... I really will NEVER BE the SAME! I so want that by the end of 2014 ... (OK, maybe it'll take a little longer, depending on my HOPE QUOTIENT results, but I'm HOPEful)

"Let me tell you how important this is to me. Every year, I set goals. Sometimes they go well; sometimes they don’t. Five years ago, I had one goal for the whole year. I was going to work for 365 days to do one thing—raise my hope level. My goal was to be more hope-filled at the end of the year than I was at the start of the year. {this is mine also with My One Word being HOPE}
By that time, I had learned that hope would improve my relationships, my marriage, and my impact, and I would be a whole lot more fun to be around. Not too long into that year, though, I realized I couldn’t raise my hope level by wishing to be more hopeful.{after reading Part 3 and working through Part 2, I see this as do-able }
You raise your hope level by investing in The Seven. Why is raising your Hope Quotient job one? Simple—the ripple effect. Raising these seven leads to hope, which leads to fresh vision, which leads to great new things in your life, health, finances, and future. In short, raising your HQ changes everything, because you will finally be living with a solid, secure, emotionally healthy, and spiritually solid foundation.
{this is exactly what I want and need, how 'bout you?}
(emphasis in bold, underline and blue words are all my input briefly to what Ray Johnston wrote & how it hit)

So, how do you measure HOPE? and how do you raise it? ... by reading this book and doing what it recommends (after taking the test about your HOPE level), you'll know how much you need to RECHARGE your HOPE battery to become a person of HOPE; defeat discouragement, build a new future as you thrive with genuine HOPE and unleash this HOPE for others, too! 

How do you measure the success of a book and highly recommending it for you, your church or others? By whether the book and the author convey what you need through personal experiences with biblical truths and spiritual, practical ways to apply to your life and make an impact on you that changes or will change you for the better --- so "you'll never be the same"! Then you know and HOPE is unleashed in you. I consider this to be one of my top books

I would love to be in one of the churches that is piloting or promoting this book and doing 50 days of "Unleashing HOPE". What a great church study!

I received a copy of this book from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for an honest review. 
I am so thankful that Thomas Nelson made this available to me.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014


Deciding between Jennifer Rothschild's new recent release, "God is Just Not Fair: Finding Hope When Life Doesn't Make Sense" or her bible study "Missing Pieces" was a difficult choice, because I wanted to choose the BEST possible sampling by her as my first book, since I have waited so long to read one of so many of hers that are on my "wish list" but had not yet done so to learn the lessons that Jennifer shares of HOPE in the midst of life's struggles. If anyone knows about "missing pieces" and the fairness of God when life struggles keep us in the dark, reaching for the light, it would be Jennifer, who since her teens has encountered many dark moments after loosing her sight combined with all the other problems life throws at us all. She seems to handle it all so well and with such grace as she is so successful as a person, writer, speaker, singer, wife and mother ... yet in this recent book, she bares and bears, all in an honest, straightforward approach, daring to ask God what many of us may want to know (but don't admit it) with these 6 basic faith questions that show up when we encounter life's hardships: 

"God are you fair?"
"God do you err?"
"God, do you hear prayer?"
"God, do you care?"
"God, are you aware?"

"God, are you *(even) there?"
*{my insert}

These six questions form the parts to her book with 30 different "stories" sandwiched between "What I didn't want you to know" and "What I do want you to know?" with a wonderful "wrapped up" concept that Jennifer calls our "blanket of faith"; what we believe and what we experience in our relationship with God and our life journey. Some may be brand new or well and worn with "holes" yet each tatter and woven fabric show God's truth revealed to us. Jennifer Rothschild takes each of these questions and honestly deals with each one with real life situations faced while examining them in the light of Scripture and biblical examples like Job, Hagar, David, Jacob to New Testament parables and others, right up to current day ones. One of my favorite parts at the end of each section was "Threads of Truth" for your blanket of faith, which I will use to help me whenever I wrestle with my own questions of faith ... 

"If you are hurting, confused or just need a little reassurance that God does care, is there, is aware and hears your prayers, these “I promise” verses are for you. " So go READ Jennifer's "10 Promises for When You're Hurting" (Scripture verses of Hope) also grab a copy of her "Peace Giving Scriptures for Your Missing Pieces"

By the time, I had gotten to the 3rd, 4th, and 5th Questions, I knew that this was God's lifeline to me with even more for my heart while my head pursues the answers, because so much of what Jennifer was sharing resonated with my spirit and life, knowing that even if I had never asked those faith questions aloud, I had quietly whispered them in moments of frustration, disappointment, depression, failure or just times of "giving up" and in need of some real Hope. Since I have struggled with "clinical depression", I value how Jennifer shares hers. I don't think when I started out that I had ever asked God the first 2 questions, so I read on with an open mind searching, and knew when I hit the 3rd one that I had asked that one many times. And the pages of her book kept speaking deeper and deeper to me, from someone who understood and could justify asking God what I was not willing to face or voice until Jennifer spoke it forth. I know without any doubt that God cares, He's aware, He's here and there, but I just was not too sure about whether He hears my prayers until it hit me! He does! EVERY ONE! Because God is just! and God is fair! He IS so much more than just a vending machine God, He is a God that cares and loves unconditionally as He listens to me go on and on. No one cares for me as much as He does! 

I'm so thankful that Jennifer walked me through this with such candor.  I recommend this highly for anyone dealing with thoughts and questions common to Christians and non-Christians alike in our struggle to make sense of life, especially when trials, tests and the hurting world around us brings them to light. When our life or world unravels around us, we need the hand of Almighty God to mend and end the pain with raw, honest answers. This is what Jennifer does and shares (you get a better glimpse of this if you read her "True Story Behind Why I Wrote..."). 

I'm so glad that I chose "God is Just Not Fair ..." because I think that it still gave me the "Missing Pieces" (which would have been the ideal choice, if I was doing it as a study with a group of sisters in Christ). From what I've read, I believe I made the better, more complete choice for me. Because on my own, these 30 lessons served a greater faith purpose on a personal level going deeper with God and me, through Jennifer and her use of God's Word with her real life situations and struggles. 

For now I'll just say ...

"the NOT FAIR prayer"
shared beautifully on Jennifer Rothschild Blog website

this Book's blog postsFacebook; Pinterest, You Tube, Twitter

... and REST IN GOD ...
placing my HOPE where it 
makes sense for my life

Looking forward to reading more of the books that Jennifer Rothschild writes on my "wish list" or future ones as I continue to check out her blog updates. 

wherever I read

Clearly, this was another great book for MY ONE WORD for 2014: HOPE! And rather than seeking if God is FAIR, or God is JUST or  God is just not FAIR, I was leaning in to Finding Hope, although in Jennifer's particular situation and desire for healing of her sight restored (which I totally get and empathize), she gives HOPE in her struggle and life journey to all of us, no matter what our struggle and need to have answers to these basic profound questions. 

I received a free e-book copy of this text from the publisher through the Book Look Bloggers in exchange for my honest review. 

My only regret is that I did not have my review ready on March 25th, when it was released. My apologies to this great author, Jennifer Rothschild and Book Look Bloggers for waiting and gifting me with this blessing. My dilemma was with my old laptop which contained the ebook copy and my new one with Windows 8 not being able to download it.

Zondervan Product page
for a book description and Scribd sample


Her teachings on LIFE Today for "Missing Pieces" (1) (2) shares many of the same ideas 
and stories that are in "God is just not fair" in better detail

This clip from the Life Today will help you understand  "blanket of faith" even though it's from "Missing Pieces", Jennifer shares much of the same in "God is just not fair ... Finding Hope ..."

So much more I'd love to share
but it's best if
you get any of her books
subscribe to her blog or follow
her various sites.

Thursday, November 7, 2013


Billy Graham

Billy Graham

Thomas Nelson Book Description 
"America’s Evangelist presents his masterwork.

Who would refuse rescue? This is the question Billy Graham asks throughout this book. The answer is sometimes surprising because there are actually people who refuse to be saved, even if they are in a hopeless situation. Why? Each chapter draws the reader in by posing questions for contemplation using relevant illustrations about what the world thinks in contrast to what the Bible says.  
As Mr. Graham has expressed for decades, his purpose is to engage the reader in considering his or her life in light of the here and now and the hereafter.  Who would refuse rescue from a plane crash, a sinking boat, an automobile fire, or an assassin’s bullet? True accounts are given that cause readers to ask what they think and how they would respond to similar experiences and to ultimately bring them to life’s most important question.
In what could be his final book, Billy Graham presents the core message that has guided his life and calling for more than 70 years. Filled with new stories and timeless truth, Graham once again calls the world back to its spiritual priority as only he can. The book coincides with a massive campaign of the same name by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association that will mobilize millions of people in the United States to invite friends and neighbors into their homes to hear the message of Jesus Christ through customized video and a new message from Mr. Graham."

Happy 95th Birthday Billy Graham!
Happy Birthday Billy
[source: faithgateway]
What an honor this is for me once again!

When I read the book description by Thomas Nelson of "The Reason for My Hope:Salvation" by Billy Graham, especially the last paragraph, I knew that I had to get, read and review this book of Hope, not only for America, but for each person that the message of salvation must reach as America's Evangelist Billy Graham has shared for most of his life; in books, in crusades, in global outreaches and campaigns to win the hearts and lives of people throughout the world, giving them the only lasting hope that there is, in the gift of salvation that Jesus Christ gives us. Mr. Graham has always pointed us toward Jesus as Our Hope! And indeed, this book, is a treasure for me and a masterpiece of putting the message of salvation together with testimonies of real life to bring more souls to Jesus. 

I don't often give the book descriptions in my reviews however I'm not so sure that what I have to say about this book will be any better than what the book description has already made clear so beautifully and concisely. This is one book with a message that you will want and give to those you love as well as reach the many others in need with his great message of HOPE through this massive campaign of SALVATION: the key to our hope. No one can better deliver this message than Billy Graham with Jesus. 

Once again, a wonderful, hopeful masterpiece that I highly recommend adding to your collection that I know I will return to read again and use to bring the message of salvation and hope given by Billy Graham to all of us, but mostly for a nation and world so in need of the REAL HOPE that only comes through Jesus Christ! Don't just read "The Reason for My Hope"; use it and live it each day!

Disclosure of material connection:
I received this book free from the publisher through the book review blogger's program of BookSneeze.com  I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255

My Hope for America 
with Billy Graham

Click here to watch a trailer of “The Cross.” For nationwide TV listings of “The Cross,” visit www.watchbillygraham.com.
"The Cross"
{there are other videos of each of the testimonies given}

Please share this with as many as you can


bring HOPE to others in Jesus Christ

share your FAITH, your HOPE

it's never too late

"Millions of people are searching for answers to the crushing problems and fears that they face today..." - Billy Graham

of great songs done by 
Christian artists
to accompany

"Jesus, Take Me Home"Michael W. Smith
"Jesus, Take all of me" Amy Grant
"We Believe" Newsboys
"The Cross is My Confession" Kari Jobe
"Be my Rescue" Nicole Nordeman
"The Reason" Lacey Strum (testimony in video)
"Broken Pieces" Israel Houghton
and many more

Photo: "The Cross," the long-awaited message from Billy Graham debuts tonight. Join us in praying for and celebrating Mr. Graham's 95th birthday and sharing the message of My Hope. www.watchbillygraham.com

* Readers: All my Giving Thanks posts from Nov. 1st - 11th should publish below this as November Names of God Thanks Giving ... for 2 days and then the rest you can check in the Blog Archive of November 2013 in the right hand sidebar or above under the label GIVING THANKS PAGE below header of blog title and above blog verse of Isaiah 61.

This originally posted on Nov. 7th and remains until the 11th when I have another one planned to publish on another "treasure". 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013


Pete Wilson


Or even if you're not really beyond hope, but need to find more hope in your life, your immediate circumstances, a change in your life with a fresh dash of hope, then this is a great, easy to read book to renew your walk with God or life by learning how to make choices and "LET HOPE IN - 4 Choices That Will Change Your Life Forever" by Pete Wilson.

"I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you." Ephesians 1:18 NIV 

This seems to be a season of many seeking HOPE and this theme is a key ingredient right now in so many books, movements, sermons, etc., because HOPE changes everything, just like prayer; and there seems to be a deep need in many of us searching for answers in HOPE that this will end our struggle. Most of us have areas in which we struggle and hold on or search for HOPE! Pastor Pete Wilson's book will help you get UNSTUCK ... and find freedom and HOPE!

Ask yourself these questions: Do you ever feel as though your life has become a broken record? Do you have any regrets in life? Do you struggle with your past?  Do you have fears or worries? Do you struggle with pleasing others and God? Do you ever wonder if you are good enough or how much is enough? Do you have guilt and deal with sin?  Do you struggle with anger? Do you need to be more loving? Do you need to learn how to forgive better? Are you looking for a hopeful future? Will you transform or transfer? Will you choose to be okay with not being okay? Will you seek to trust or please? Will you free people rather than hurt them?

Then "Let Hope In" is the book to open the door to Hope and Healing. It's the beginning of a long conversation as if you were sitting down with Jesus, or Pastor Pete Wilson, who writes as if you are there with him and he relates to you like a friend that has been down this road and knows so well as he encourages you to "Let Hope In" and how. 

"Your past is not your past if it’s still impacting your present." ~Pete Wilson~

The book is broken into sections for the 4 Choices we need to make in this process of letting hope in, with chapters under each one explaining more about each:

Choice #1: Choosing to Transform Instead of Transfer
Choice #2: Choosing to Be Okay With Not Being Okay
Choice #3: Choosing to Trust Rather Than Please
Choice #4: Hurt People, Hurt People, But Free People, Choose to Free People 

I'd like to tell you which chapter was the most beneficial or difficult for me, but at this point, every one of the 14 had something to impact my life, past and present with choosing HOPE for my future. Right from the start, "leaving shame behind" (Chapter 2) and "no regrets" (Chapter 3) all the way to "trusting vs. pleasing" (Chapter 7), to "breathe grace" (Chapter 11) and "trusting fully"- the last chapter, let me know that this book was definitely meant for me and I could not put it down. As a Christian, our hope is in Jesus Christ and God's promises in the Bible for our eternal destiny, but I think this book would help even someone not a Christian if they are willing to look at the biblical stories just as people in need of hope in their messy lives as we all are if we admit it. It has good counseling insights with great wisdom in processing our pain or poor choices in exchange for a better plan showing us "anything is possible" when we "let hope in." Everyone needs HOPE, we just look at it differently once we believe in the hope that God calls us to embrace. We can fill our past with the light of His hope. 

I'm looking forward to joining Pastor Pete Wilson and Cross Point Church in January 2014 as they do this as a series together, especially after reading the book and having "Let Hope In" to blend with another one and a personal purpose that I have chosen for me for 2014, before encountering all these books, God spoke His Hope to me. Pastor Pete just gave me the tools to challenge me to transform my practical life with my spiritual one through God's Word, through Biblical truths and stories like (once again Joseph) David, Tamar, Hosea and Gomer, King Hezekiah, etc. as well as his own and other's personal life experiences. Pastor Pete illustrates God's ultimate plan for healing by letting hope fill the dark places of your past.

I highly recommend this book for everyone, it will change you, transform you and help you make practical choices. His writing style is much like he is, very approachable and compassionate, down to earth real. He puts you at ease as he relates to us not having it all figured out and making mistakes. I do not know him personally but feel like I do. You really need to read this book and share it with others. 

I will choose Hope and this book hopefully has given me a fresh plan to
"Let Hope In"
as it will for you
Jeremiah 29:11
reassures us

"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope." (NKJV)

Pete Wilson
"Let Hope In" website

Songs I chose to accompany this as I:
"Let Hope In"
"Hope for the Hopeless"
"Hope for the Hopeless" Sheila Walsh
"Oh You Bring Hope for the Hopeless" Hillsong United

Disclosure of material connection:
I received this book free from the publisher through the book review blogger's program of BookSneeze.com  I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255

* Note to Blog readers: I hurried up with my last wonderful book so I could read this one and review it with hopes of getting another one before November by Billy Graham to go with his campaign, yet I had another one in the waiting as well, so I had to squeeze these reviews in between my series or I may have missed being able to review them in time. Otherwise, I might have waited until 2014 for this one. Booksneeze does not let you have your next book until you review your current one (makes sense), so when another one comes along or you see one that you want, you need to hurry up. I'm sure that I will be going back to this book again especially with the church doing it the beginning of 2014. I know I will gain much more from this and it will be a book I will return to ... and I know that I need it. Thus, "Beyond Hope" ... as you might of thought I was ... when you read this title, I am not, I'm fine. Thank you! 31 Days "Revealing Jesus as Our Peace" and Letting Go series follows below and continues ...

Thursday, December 6, 2012

GRIEVING GOD'S WAY ~ The Path to Lasting Hope

Margaret Brownley
Haiku by Diantha Ain

"Grieving God's Way" by Margaret Brownley with Haiku by Diantha Ain helps lead the reader to a path of hope and healing through a 90 day devotional that starts you on the process of grieving in a healthy way; God's ways. The book is divided into four parts of healing: I. the grieving body, II. the grieving soul, III. the grieving heart and IV. the grieving spirit along with a Bible verse and devotion for each day and an inspirational haiku by Diantha Ain. My favorite part however was what she shared from her heart and in the section "Healing Way" at the end of each day.

Through the author's own personal experience with grief after the loss of her oldest son, she showed me how to grieve God's way instead of how I have been dealing with my losses, mixing some of man's ways with God's ways and not being able to let go. Weeks, months and even years go by without visible signs of improvement or change on their special days, wondering about that person. "Then one day, it happens ... we are no longer consumed by our loss and our thoughts turn outward. These are the first signs of healing." "Grieving God's Way" offers and inspires a different course of action than our society tells us that says "get over it", stuff itforget it, suppress it, "shouldn't you be over this?", move on ...

I. Man's Way: Numb the pain 
God's Way: Heal the pain through healthy choices
II. Man's Way: Don't dwell on your loss. Keep busy
God's Way: Slow down. Take your time. Share your pain. Heal through Beauty, Art and Nature
III. Man's Way: Grieve alone *
God's Way: Grieve with the help of family &friends
IV. Man's Way: Time heals
God's Way: Faith heals
~Margaret Brownley~

Time definitely has not healed the loss of each person no longer here in my life. Each death is different and each of us deal differently with the death of a loved one. The pain is very real. But "out of the pain comes a gift of a deeper faith" (Day 87). I have experienced death from illnesses, sudden death and the traumatic death of a suicide. Not one is the same. I felt that Margaret walked honestly through her grief and how she shared it like she "gets it". I had done many of the same things that Margaret shares throughout her book but especially Part II. I love the opening introduction of each section but Part IV's spoke the most to me from this beginning part:

"When grieving God's Way,
peace of mind is the reward
we receive for faith ..." 

through her message to the very last words on that page

"Grief is a very dark cave with no visible way out. Hope and joy are distant memories. Faith deserts us ... We cry out to God ... We question His wisdom and purpose. This is how the spirit grieves."

"Fortunately, God doesn't hold a loss of faith against us; ... This is the wonder of God's aMazing Grace."

"The spirit heals when life becomes meaningful again and we face the future with hope, courage, and a more lasting and mature faith."
my spirit received the healing that flowed from these words  ... 
Thank you, Margaret!

I am now moving forward after reading this like a devotional for the past 90 days (finishing up on the exact day 3 years after my most recent devastating personal loss from suicide of a special significant friend of mine for the past 13 years here in Mexico ) with a new hope and hopefully a more healthy way to cope that will be lasting. In some ways, reading this at this point only surfaced the pain once again but this time I was able to take hold of God's truths and ways to cope and deal better. I'm learning how to embrace my grief with hope and promise, realizing that I don't have to 'let go' of the people but can express my grief in a healthier way by continuing to love them. Now I'm pressing on to learn and apply this in an entirely different kind of grief: the entire loss of our home and belongings to a fire.

The final author note of Margaret Brownley seemed to help me the most summing up her journey so beautifully and truthfully with these words: 

"Grief knows no end, but neither does God's healing." ~ Margaret Brownley ~

Grief is an inner journey and Margaret Brownley captures it and the healing necessary to start over, hold on to our memories and look forward with hope that is lasting through her words and God's Word, we can heal God's way finally through "Grieving God's Way". 

I have read only one other book that has helped me at all, although I'm noticing more and more available. I do recommend this book for those grieving and even for helping others you know or yourself to understand more completely grief, loss and a path to healing. I know I will go back often when I'm in that valley so I can lift up my eyes to the hills from where my help comes(Psalm 121)...

Disclosure of material connection:
I received this book free from the publisher Thomas P. Nelson through the BookSneeze.com book review blogger's program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

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Thomas Nelson daily deals

* although I found, that there are now many sites and support groups to help us deal with our loss and our grief, I prefer to be surrounded by Christians with like beliefs.
My problem was that I am out of the country and do not feel comfortable enough to share in Spanish as I would back home. However, I was not able to talk with family and friends back home about these things, there are places you can. And for me to share with or even see the family here bought back painful memories and increased my heaviness. 


On July 18, 2017, I drafted almost 3000 blog posts that I had published since 2008 when I began blogging rather than edit each one. So if you clicked from somewhere and ended up here and the post was unavailable, I am sorry. It would be too much work for me to go back through each one and fix. I guess I'm still learning. I apologize also to anyone who subscribes that perhaps received many old ones in your email. There's somewhat of an explanation on 7/19/17.
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