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Posts Tagged ‘hope’

Faith-based

July 14, 2010 Leave a comment

Everyone lives by faith.

Everyone.

People are either living by faith in mankind or faith in God. But everyone lives by faith.

For those who are trusting in mankind, it is a sad existence. They keep hoping for man to be redemptive and instead, mankind fails them. Crime rates increase, sin abounds, oil spills grow, and the world becomes an increasingly pornographic and sinful place. Mankind has little power for good and even that little power comes from God Himself.

For those who are trusting in God, it is a content existence in a fallen, sin-cursed world. Man’s disobedience in Genesis 3 led to the world we live in. We call it the Fall of man. But God is redemptive. He brings good from bad. We who are trusting in Him have hope. Hope in this life and greater hope in the life to come everlasting! Our hope is not in mankind but in a good and loving and redemptive God Who is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

Now, who are you trusting in?

The implications of this for counseling are this: 1) are you going to trust in man’s theories/ideas of psychology and go see a secular therapist? OR 2) are you going to trust in God’s Word and the power of the Holy Spirit?

God is sufficient. We need no one and nothing else. We need only Him.

-Mark (trusting in Christ alone)

What is your hope in?

February 6, 2010 Leave a comment

Is your hope in the economy? Is your hope in your job or finances?

Is your hope in the government? Is your hope in someone you know and love? Is your hope in temporal things on this earth?

Why not “hope” in the character of God! God will be just as wise as He was last year. God will be just as good to you as He was last year. God will be just as faithful, loving, kind, just, holy, and righteous as He was last year. So place your hope in Him because He never changes.

That hope is different from the world’s idea of hope which really means a “hope for” or “hopeful.” Our hope in Christ is a sure thing. It’s a done deal because of the character of God.

-Mark (hoping in Christ not mankind)

A year ago…

October 19, 2009 1 comment

I was at the funeral of my life-long, best friend. It was deeply sad for me as I don’t think I’ve ever been that sad before, except for the death of my grandfather when I was 7.

Grief, or deep sorrow, must be experienced and not stifled. Don’t stuff your grief.

But through that time, I had to be very intentional in my thinking. I had to replace some bad thoughts with good ones. I did NOT do that alone as I had several godly people speaking God’s TRUTH in LOVE to my heart. It sunk in over time and though the period of sorrow seemed like forever, I am now moving forward.

I feel for many of you who lose a loved one: child, spouse, parent, friend, etc. It is very tough. We have people who will be compassionate toward you and will meet with you while you grieve so that the truth in love will begin to replace any maladaptive thinking you may be having. Let the body of Christ minister His love to you during this time. Biblical counseling will remind you that this earth is not our final destination as we are just passing through. We are on our way to heaven only because of the great love of the Father Who sent His Son to pay our sin debt and clothes us in His righteousness now (John 3:16).

Really, this world is not designed to be a place that we want to stay in. We should long for the new earth and new heavens when we will be with the Lord forever under His loving care.

-Mark (I would be lost withouth God’s truth and the hope of His Second Coming)

Hope for Japan – 2009

January 26, 2009 Leave a comment

One of the many blessings of serving Christ in this ministry is to meet committed believers who share a burden for hurting souls. In the past 3 years, the Lord crossed my path with Steven Taylor who has a burden for hurting souls in Japan!

Steven and his wife plus 3 children are in Japan now. They are learning the language now – though Kyehee has a head start as she is fluent in Korean and has a real knack for languages.

Their blog is http://blog.hopeforjapan.com/ – we are grateful to be supporting them in ministry. If you’d like to support them, also, they are missionaries with T.E.A.M. at www.teamworld.org or you can donate to our ministry as well (just specify so that we will know to give it to them!). 

Japan is one of the most spiritually dark countries in the world meaning that less than 1% are Christian there. They need the life-giving, hopeful message of the Gospel. If ever a place needed biblical counseling, it’s Japan.

-Mark (saddened that a reported 600 suicides occur WEEKLY in Japan)

CURIOUS CASE: Benjamin Button

January 2, 2009 2 comments

Last night I had the opportunity to catch a movie with some fellow believers.  We watched the new Brad Pitt motion picture “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”. I will preface what I am about to share with the fact that I am NOT a movie critic.  However, I am a Christian who tries to reconcile the things that my eyes see and ears hear through my God given Biblical Perspective.  The movie is centered around a young boy who is born old. As he grows, he actually is becoming younger.  Life in reverse.  As I left this morally lacking movie, I asked the Lord to give me something from the time invested s0 that I can look back on the experience in a positive light as a learning opportunity.

As I began thinking more about it,  it became clear that this movie exemplifies how hopeless we are without a Savior.  As we grow up, in Christ (EPH 4:15) He provides us with hope through the possession of an eternal perspective.  However, if we do not find Christ and grow in Him we only become more fixated on a hopeless world and the end which awaits all of us. 

I am thankful through a healthy diet of God’s Word,the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, and God authoring my steps, He protects me from being drawn away, deceived or discouraged with the world’s lies regarding faith, hope & love….

Bottom line, the movie wasn’t enjoyable but the lesson from God was!

 

-Jason  (all things work together for the good of those that love the Lord….Romans 8:28)

New Year’s Resolutions…. Got vision?

December 29, 2008 4 comments

It’s that time of year again… As the last few days of 2008 find their way into the history book, what do you find yourself saying “Next year I am going to…” about?  There are plenty of typical New Year’s Resolutions ranging from Losing Weight, Managing Finances, Working Out, Better Family Time, etc….  What about Spiritual resolutions?  What really matters long term?  When it comes to your walk with the Lord, are you closer to Him now than this time last year? 

The Bible states that without vision, the people cast of restraint. Proverbs 29:18  It is absolutely crucial for us to have short term and long term vision  (resolutions as they are called this time of year).   What are you focused on?  If it’s God, then you are bound to have a vision outside of your own abilities. You see, God is the great vision giver!  He wants to use us for His good purposes.  Everyone quotes Jeremiah 29:11,  but have you seen in the verse that it’s God that gives us the future and hope. And they are both tied to one another!

vision

 

 

So if you aren’t currently following a God given vision, what better time than New Year’s to get your schedule cleared and begin to listen to Him.  He has your plan. He holds your future. He is your hope….

WHAT VISION ARE YOU FOLLOWING?

 

Jason (Writing down the vision so that others may see)

Everette Shoub – final post

October 9, 2008 1 comment

Thank you all for praying and for your encouraging words to me. One of my dearest friends died today and it’s really thrown me a curve. There will be a memorial service for him on Monday, October 13th in Mobile, Alabama. I’m not sure when or where, but I’ll be there to grieve my friend. I think it’s important to grieve, not as those without hope, but as one who has hope in Christ.

I Thessalonians 4:13-14 says: “But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. 14 For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep.“** Those who are “asleep” are meant to be those who are physically dead. 

My hope is only in Christ. I only trust Him to resurrect me from the dead when I die just as He was resurrected from the dead by the Father when He died on the cross and was buried in the tomb.

**The Holy Bible: English standard version. 2001 (electronic ed.). Good News Publishers: Wheaton.

One bit of good news from all of this is that I have re-acquainted with some of my closest friends from the last 25 years. Many of them I’ve not spoken to in over 10 years, I’m ashamed to say. Everette brought us back together and I plan to stay in touch with them.

A final note – Everette was an organ donor. Because he was so young, some of his organs were very strong and will end up helping many people. God is redemptive meaning He brings good from bad situations.

-Mark (grieving my own sin but recognizing that I’m forgiven in Christ because Jesus is Lord)