Because of faith, you can have hope…

“Hope sees the invisible, feels the intangible, and achieves the impossible.”

Helen Keller

Hope – Seeing what isn’t there – yet…

Hope – Feeling that you are on the right path, even when no evidence exists to substantiate that fact.  

Hope – Achieving the impossible comes as a result of persevering through the doubts and the trials.

Faith – What gives hope its legs…

Do you have hope?

“My idea is to give hope, because where there is no hope, there is no vision, and where there is no vision, people will perish.”

Oprah Winfrey

I had to wrestle with this quote for a bit in my mind this morning. At first it felt like a “chicken or an egg” statement. How can you have hope without first having a vision? But on the other hand, how can you summon the energy to craft a vision for the future without first having a sense of hope about what could be? Is it hope that helps you craft the vision or the vision that allows you to have hope?

Then I thought about it from the perspective of who said this quote and the context of what it means through that particular lens. Oprah has done a lot of tremendous good in the world. She has actively lived a life that represents the power of making a positive impact and demonstrated what can happen when a person puts forth tremendous blood, sweat, and tears to pursue their dream (vision). If by living her dream outwardly and setting a positive example for others, she can inspire hope and spark others to pursue their vision, she is seeding hope into the world.

I particularly love how Oprah linked her idea of seeding hope with this verse from Proverbs. “When there is no vision, the people perish.” Proverbs 29:18

Find the hope you need to inspire yourself to discover and engage in a brighter vision of the future. You don’t have to create the vision yourself, but you do have to summon the hope needed to move you towards a brighter future. Without hope, vision dies. Without vision, hope dies. Without hope and vision, you will perish, even if your body lives on and you are just going through the motions of life. That is no way to live…

Hope rises…

“Nothing that is worth doing can be achieved in a lifetime; therefore we must be saved by hope.”

Reinhold Niebuhr

Hope is what gives meaning to life. Hope is what gives purpose to our efforts. Hope is how we focus our actions and energy. Hope is what rises again…

Happy Easter!

Properly gauge your disappointments…

“We must accept finite disappointment, but we must never lose infinite hope.”

Martin Luther King, Jr.

When you look back at life what are your greatest disappointments? At the time did you recognize them as disappointments or is it only through the lens of time that you recognize them as regrets?

I find that there are many times I am disappointed by something that happens within daily life, but when I take a moment to pause and think about what is truly important I realize that whatever minor setback or disappointment I am dealing with at the moment isn’t all that important. In a month, a year or five years, it won’t even matter… What will matter is focusing on what is truly important.

Do you know what is truly important? Do you have a clear definition of what WILL MATTER in a month, a year or five years? Are those things clearly defined and serving as a compass in your life? What is the anchor for your hope?

This quote reminds me of this verse from Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians. “So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

Regardless of your religious beliefs, do you have a clearly defined compass for your hope? Are you using that compass to properly gauge your daily disappointments?

Just go help someone…

“The best way to not feel hopeless is to get up and do something. Don’t wait for good things to happen to you. If you go out and make some good things happen, you will fill the world with hope, you will fill yourself with hope.”

Barack Obama

There is nothing worst than sitting around feeling sorry for yourself. Get up. Go do something. Anything.

Sometimes all it takes is simply deciding to do something and that is what makes the difference. No one ever accomplished great things sitting on their rear end. Go find something good to do for someone else. Not because you feel like it, but because it will mean something to another person.

That’s why we are here right? To make a difference in the lives of others, to give them hope for a brighter day and a better way.

How are you going to make a difference for just one person today? Don’t answer this question later, answer it now. Then do it.

Happy Easter!

“Easter is meant to be a symbol of hope, renewal, and new life.”

Janine de Giovanni

Easter morning is a great time to pause and reflect on our hope, opportunity for renewal, and the new life before us. It is natural to do this on Easter but what prevents us from pausing more regularly through the year to do the same thing?

This thought reminds me of one of my favorite books and movies to read and watch during the holidays; “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens. At the end of the book Scrooge utters the line “I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.” How different would our lives be if we did the same thing through the lens of Easter? What if you simply made what many of us do naturally on Easter a much more regular and intentional act?

“Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” John 11:25-26 ESV

He is Risen! Happy Easter!

Slow down…

“Slow down and enjoy life. It’s not only the scenery you miss by going too fast — you also miss the sense of where you are going and why.”

Eddie Cantor

The Christmas season always seems to go by too quickly. It is an endless stream of activity and events and then you blink and it is just gone. I feel this way every year.

This is an example of life itself. We can become so focused on getting to the goal, that we forget to pay attention to what is going on around us. I can easily see where you might even forget where you are going, and why.

I am committed to slowing down a bit these next few days and really focusing on the WHO I am spending time with and WHY we are celebrating together.

Take it all in, the time will pass by far too quickly…

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