Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Where There is Hope {GIVEAWAY}

“The LORD delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love.” 
– Psalm 147:11 (NIV)

Have you ever thought about how precious the gift of hope is? How lost we feel when we don’t have it? If you have ever been hopeless, you know exactly what I mean. I remember many years ago, when I had wandered away from God and made a mess of my life, feeling hopeless. I didn’t know where to turn or what to do. But in desperation, I reached up to Him and He made me whole again. It wasn’t overnight. It was a process. But as I trusted His love for me, I began to see it becoming a reality.

In today’s world, so many are without hope. People who are chronically ill. Those who are homeless. Orphans. Widows. Immigrants. Addicts. The list could go on.

And don’t get me wrong. Hopelessness isn’t always obvious. Sometimes, we can look great on the outside but be dying on the inside. I know that because I’ve been there.

This holiday season, I am going to take some time off from my blog to spend some much needed time with my family. It is the first time in three years that I’m not grieving a loss, in chronic pain, or worrying about a hospitalized relative battling a serious illness. After three years of trusting in the Lord’s goodness, through some hard times, the sun is finally peeking through the clouds and so we are going to celebrate!

I know that some of you are not in that same place of celebration, however. Perhaps you are hanging by a thread, or maybe you’re waiting for a miracle. Regardless of your circumstances, I want to encourage you to continue placing your hope in God.


Psalm 147:11 says that the Lord delights in those who put their hope in his unfailing love. He hears our cries and meets our needs in His good time. Sometimes that is not our timing, but I have learned during my journey of faith that God really does know best!

I remember waiting to become a mother, which didn’t happen until I was 40 years old. Oh, how painful those years of infertility were, and the adoption process wasn’t easy. But when I held my daughter in my arms for the first time, I understood God’s perfect plan. I wouldn’t have been ready for motherhood when I first began making plans for it. I was only ready when it finally happened. My hope was in the unseen answer that was to come…and it has been rewarded in so many ways!

Wherever you are today, I would like to give you the gift of hope that Jesus has to offer. It is through Him that we find salvation and relationship with a heavenly Father that loves us beyond compare. It is through Him that we have new life…abundant life.

I would also like to share the gift of hope with others who are hurting as well…those in chronic pain due to illness, and those who just need encouragement. I can’t do it without your help, however. Can you assist me? For EACH of the following actions you take, I will enter your name into a drawing for Lee Strobel’s book The Case for Hope: Looking Ahead with Confidence and Courage.

Here’s what you can do to win:
1) Subscribe to my email list, so you can stay up with Spring Sight posts;
2) Follow me and like this post on Facebook and share it with your Facebook friends;
3) Follow me on Twitter and tweet about this post.

For each of the above actions, you will receive one entry. Once you’ve completed the actions, please comment below and let me know what you’ve done. I will announce the winner on my Facebook page and via email on December 20, so make sure you’re on my subscriber list for the notification. Thank you for helping to share hope!

God bless!

Linda

Where There is Hope originally appeared on Spring Sight blog, by Linda W. Perkins. Click here for more posts. Get even more encouragement by following me on Facebook and Twitter

Many of Spring Sight's posts can also be found each week on Crystal Storms' Thoughtful Thursday,  Kelly Balarie's #RaRaLinkUp, Holly Barrett's Testimony Tuesday, Holley Gerth's Coffee for Your Heart, and Woman to Woman's Word Filled Wednesday. I also link up often with Jennifer Dukes Lee and Dawn at Journeys in Grace, as well as with Lori Schumaker.


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Tuesday, November 15, 2016

In Government We Trust?

“Some trust in chariots, and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.” – Psalm 20:7 NIV

It’s been almost a week since the United States presidential election and protests directed at President-elect Donald Trump have become a daily occurrence. The LGBT community, Muslims and Hispanic immigrants are expressing concern over Trump’s campaign rhetoric that brought with it support from white supremacist, far-right wing groups that have become more vocal in recent days. Many are also outraged at his comments to and about women.

We in the chronic illness community have responded as well. Many didn’t appreciate the apparent mocking by Trump of a disabled man at one of his rallies. Many others have rightfully been concerned about healthcare. Most of us with chronic illnesses applauded Obamacare for its mandated coverage of pre-existing conditions, and yet, insurance rates under Obamacare have skyrocketed – especially for those in the middle class, without subsidies – making it a mixed bag of blessings and curses, to be sure.

As I sit in the middle of it all, I have watched both sides of the debate. I have seen the anger of my friends with small businesses and the self-employed, who were genuinely hurt by Obamacare. I have also seen the fear of those disabled by rheumatoid arthritis and other chronic illnesses, who desperately need and rely on government-sponsored healthcare.

Who will help us?

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Familial Guilt: Is It My Fault? Is It Theirs?

"Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he would be born blind?" – John 9:2

I received a call from a dear family friend the other day. I hadn’t heard from her in a while and she needed to talk. After we got through a few minutes of small talk, she said she had to share something important with me: her teenage daughter had been diagnosed with glaucoma.

It began with a straightforward statement and explanation of the doctor’s finding. But then, mid-sentence, she broke down in tears.

“I feel so awful!” she cried. “The doctor says it’s genetic. It’s my fault!”

I listened as my sweet friend poured out her heart to me, so broken that her own genetic makeup – including several chronic illnesses – had been passed down to the next generation.
Familial guilt is all too common…and all too painful.
Just ask the parents of a child who has gone astray. No matter what they may have done right, their question is always “Where did we go wrong?” We blame ourselves when our perfect little babies don’t stay so perfect.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Doing Good in the Face of Evil

“Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good.” – Romans 12:9 (ESV)

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about listening to the Holy Spirit for wisdom. In that post, I was referring to wisdom in the context of caring for ourselves. Today, I’m going to talk about it in a different context.

In James 1:5, the Bible says that if anyone asks God for wisdom, it will be given to him. Isn’t that a great promise? So how is it, then, that we are less than a month away from the U.S. election, and there are so many of us seeking wisdom, and yet we still don’t know what the right decision is with regards to voting?

One of the most life-changing Bible studies I have ever done is Experiencing God by Henry Blackaby and Claude King. In it, the authors discuss different ways in which God speaks to us: through the Bible, prayer, church, wise counsel, circumstances, and of course, through the Holy Spirit.

The Bible is filled with men and women who made poor choices, so we can’t look to them as examples of what we should or shouldn’t do. What we can do, however, is look at what God himself – through His encounter with Moses and through Jesus – tells us about His will for our lives.