Archive for the ‘Christian Living’ Category

Give Thanks

Saturday, November 28th, 2009
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Well Thanksgiving (I hope it was a day to give thanks.) has come and gone. Next stop on the dash to the year 2010 is Christmas. How it is celebrated in the U S of A is certainly different than when I was a little’un in North Alabama too many years ago to think about. Since we were poor country folk and the family attended church very little seems like we kids, my sister and I, just looked forward to Christmas day when we might have a present to open.

Thanksgiving was good this year as it has been since the year 2005 when we first had our first Thanksgiving here at Hope Fruit and Berry Farm. All the children and their spouses were here with all our Grand Children except for last year. Little Lathem went to be with the Lord four days after he was born but his presence (not physical) was with us. We were so grateful for God’s Marvelous Grace to help us through the death of a precious child. But He wanted Lathem home with Him. God’s Amazing Grace as John Newton penned the song over two hundred years ago rings sweetly in my ears.

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me –
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now, I see.

T’was Grace that taught –
my heart to fear.
And Grace, my fears relieved.
How precious did that Grace appear –
the hour I first believed.

Through many dangers, toils and snares –
we have already come.
T’was Grace that brought us safe thus far –
and Grace will lead us home.

The Lord has promised good to me –
His word my hope secures.
He will my shield and portion be –
as long as life endures.

When we’ve been there ten thousand years –
bright shining as the sun.
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise –
then when we’ve first begun.

How wonderful to pause and bow our heads before Almighty God who provides all the blessings . When I think of those who are not a Child of the King I become very sad and want to shed a tear for them because my question is, “Who can they thank for their life and the blessings they have enjoyed?”

So Christmas is coming. That will be the day we celebrate the birth of the One who gives us all blessings. We’ve just given Thanks to our God Almighty and the Lord Jesus. Now can we look forward to celbrating His coming into the world as a man because of His Great Love for us? So can we give thanks for Life in Him. I hope so. I hope He is the center of each life. Praise Him, We can Worship Him for Life eternally if we believe and have faith.

Sola Christus

May your life be richly and wonderfully blessed in Him.

Dewey Wise
November 29, 2009

The Hope that Gives Life

Friday, November 13th, 2009
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What is hope?

Firstly, hope is the fuel that runs us moment by moment and day by day. It is what gives us the energy to get up in the morning, to go to work, to do house work, to be a parent, to be a husband or a wife, to dream dreams, to pray, to accomplish some great human work, to be a missionary, to build buildings. It is the fuel necessary for existence as a human being. It is a vacuum within us searching, searching to be filled with something that is good for us. This vacuum was created by our Creator to move us through life while we exist in this earthly body. It is a gift of God.

On an internal, mental level it is an expectation with desire for some future event or circumstance that we long for day by day. It is not easy to put the longing into words but it is there within our mind. It is closely related to expectation which is a state of mind, not necessarily associated with a desire though. Expectations just look for an event that is to occur in the future. There is no maybe about the future event, there is a “yes” it will occur. Expectations can get us into trouble with our spouses or those who we relate to because when they don’t do what we expect, we can get upset, frustrated or just plain mad. On the other hand when our expectations occur we can be very happy. So expectations can be good or bad for our emotional state. Hope has a goodness quality to it which moves us to get out of bed and go to work. It is future looking to a good that will occur.

Hope is a more powerful mental state than expectations are in that hope comes from a powerful desire for a “good thing” which is seldom satisfied in material things or relationships with people. It is more than a specific event. It is more of an internal longing based on a need which hunts for something good. We believe the need is something that can satisfy. We sometimes label our hopes as just “I hope such and such occurs.” We see it in little children, “Oh I hope I can play ball with Dad this afternoon.” “I hope I will get a Transformer for Christmas.” (You know about Transformers. Not the big objects on a power pole, but the little objects that we step on when a child has been playing with them.) Hope pulls us to something that we believe will fill our vacuum, but it seldom, if ever, does. However there is one hope that will satisfy all our longings. It will give us something to look forward to eternally and will NEVER disappoint.

On this earth we can try to build our life on hope, but if the object of our hope has no lasting quality then disappointment is the result. When all hope is gone within a person, we call this a “depressed state”. Depression sets in when one’s mind sees no hope that the future will be good. Most people look at the short term future in trying to fill their vacuum. How short sighted this is. And our culture promotes this shortsightedness. Ever bit of our waking moment is filled with people or things that tell us “Get your wants and wishes nowl you can feel good.” Fast cars, dream houses, big boats, planes, instant communications by cell phone or texting are all things for instant gratification of our desire for the good things. When our hope which pulls us through life is founded in these things, how can we wonder that depression is at an all time high in America and becomes more common daily? We see more people today in treatment for depression than ever before, and each year there is an increase. The big question is “WHY?”. Our mental vacuum is being filled by “junk” – this is the reason. We live roller coaster lives going from one hope to another hope which never satisfies. So what is the ANSWER?

A very simple answer can be found in God’s Word. Between the first page and the last page of the Bible we can and will find the answer if we read God’s Word. Hope is written all over each page. In Romans 5:1-2 we read this:

Therefore having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into his grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope for the glory of God. (NASB)

Paul connects faith and hope here to God’s Glory. Faith and hope are also connected in Hebrews 11:1. But how does he connect it? He says faith justifies us and we can have peace with God. Hey! Wow! Now we can look for the TRUE Hope and not some phony, fleeting hope. The vacuum can be filled but it is or can be so good that we want more. Now we have eternity to look to because it is joy divine. We don’t have to go from hope to hope in hopes we will be satisfied. We can get up each day with a longing for more. And ironically the vacuum is filled but we are never satisfied on this earth. More and more we want God, we want His presence, we can’t get enough of studying His Word, we thirst, we hunger for more and more of Him. Now we know we’ve found the hope. And what is that hope? Paul says it is “. . . through our Lord Jesus Christ.” There is the object of our hope. He is IT. There is nothing else. Only through HIM can we have the hope that satisfied but never satisfied. He is IT. We can shout, we can sing, we can praise, we can worship. Our longing is now focused and we can get out of the “rat race” because we have hope built on a rock. IT IS CHRIST JESUS OUR LORD.

Do you have that hope? My desire is that your hope rest in HIM.

With this insight about HOPE which is the fuel for day to day activity let’s put our faith in THE ONLY HOPE. You need to know that you cannot generate that faith. That faith comes from HIM.

Through faith alone by grace alone in Christ Jesus alone can we have hope. All other hope is on sinking sand. He is our ONLY HOPE.

Dewey Wise
Hope Fruit and Berry Farm
Nov 12, 2009