How To Push Back On Trouble

Jeff Hope

“The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; He knows those who take refuge in Him.” – Nahum 1:7 What a constant encouragement this verse proves to be.  Tell me a day when some one of us, in some place under some particular gloom, hasn’t needed to hear this encouragement.  I love the fact that my Bible …

When Your Nets Are Empty

Jeff FAITH, Hope, Ministry

“On one occasion, while the crowd was pressing in on Jesus to hear the word of God, He was standing by the lake of Gennesaret,   and He saw two boats by the lake, but the fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets.  Getting into one of the boats, which was Peter’s, He asked him to put …

Christmas Desire

Jeff Hope, Salvation

Jesus was born once upon on earth that we might be born twice for Heaven. Jesus was announced by angelic heralds so that we might learn the value of proclaiming Him as human heralds. Jesus was worshiped by blue-collar shepherds so that all classes of humanity might see they are welcome to do the same. Jesus was held by a …

Via The Whisper

Jeff Hope, Spiritual Growth, Vision

My son sometimes leaves the cereal boxes open and puts them back in the pantry.  The tops of those boxes have to be precisely opened because, if they get torn, the little tab doesn’t fit into the slot …and the top won’t close… and air gets in… and the cereal gets stale… and dad gets irritated.  You know how that …

True Love Will Not Look Away

Jeff grace, Hope, Love

It is probably good for me to go ahead and confess that I have been negligent in my ministry concerning one specific book in the Bible: The Song of Solomon.  Frankly, I have always been a little embarrassed by the content of this Old Testament book. I have no issues with reading it, learning from it or personally treasuring it …

Today

Jeff Hope

Among countless other opportunities, here are some options for you to consider today. Give today to others the love that you yearn for. Lavish today upon others the compassion that you hunger for. Extend to others today the mercy that you depend upon. Offer today to others the forgiveness that was once withheld from you. Bless others today with edifying …

Is God For Me or Not?

Jeff Hope

You have likely wondered on occasion whether or not God is actually for you.  Most of the time when this occurs there are some forces in play: guilt over some failure, fear of being misinformed about God’s goodness, unfavorable circumstances which show little promise of improving, or perhaps a memory of a painful loss which causes you to wonder why …

From ! to ? …And Back Again

Jeff Hope

“Blessed is the one who is not offended by Me.” – Luke 7:23 {ESV} That’s a beatitude from the Lord Jesus which rarely gets any press. This statement from the Son of God is found in one of my favorite passages in the Gospels. John the Baptist’s ministry comet had crashed. The baptizer went from the marquis name in prophetic …

Scorched Places & Soul Deserts

Jeff FAITH, Hope

I know what it is to live in dryness.  Days spent in a baked-earth reality have been my personal Christian experience more often than I care to admit.  Beyond the fact that it is embarrassing, I have a strong sense that it is simply wrong.  It is wrong for an individual who has been totally forgiven and welcomed by God …

Pregnant With Hope

Jeff Hope, Sundays

On the first day of the week for nearly two millennia, the followers of Christ have found a time and place to gather with one another for the purpose of worship and oneness. Most of us would casually deem these groups of people as “religious gatherings”, inadvertently diminishing the significance of who we are, what we are doing and why. …

No…Really, I Am Convinced

Jeff Hope

On this precious Lord’s Day I am reveling in the amazing reality that I have been graced to fully trust in the truth of God through Christ. As a former blasphemer, rebel, hateful and empty vagabond I know that there was nothing good in me that might have brought me to where I find myself today. All that has ushered …

So… Is God Really For Me?

Jeff Hope

You have likely wondered on occasion whether or not God is actually for you. Most of the time when this occurs there are some forces in play: guilt over some failure, fear of being misinformed about God’s goodness, unfavorable circumstances which show little promise of improving, memory of some painful loss which causes you to wonder why God did not …

Amid The Chaos & Clamor…A Throne

Jeff Cultural Observations, Hope

Twelve years ago today some of our enemies did great harm to us.  Terror was introduced as reality and no longer could be pushed to the outer edges of our thinking.  The bad guys brought to the core of our national fabric the reality of our vulnerability.  Proud America would no more be allowed the illusion of invincibility.  Our national …

The Need For Two-Eyed Bible Reading

Jeff Endurance, Hope, Uncategorized

The Bible does an amazing job at balancing the human experience  with a divine dosage of reality.  Perhaps one of the easiest ways to bring harm to the cause of Christ is for us to upset this balance by a one-eyed reading of Scripture.  Let me explain:  God’s word is constantly revealing both the negative and the positive about our …

When Will Your Battles Cease?

Jeff Heaven, Hope, Victory

There is some news of which we stand in need of regular reminding.  This is not theory nor fanaticism nor false alarm.  What I wish to remind us of today is plain and simple fact which everything within you wants to dismiss and everything around you wants to suppress.  Whether you are a follower of Jesus Christ as I am …

My Ungoodness, God’s Impenetrable Grace

Jeff grace, Hope, joy

Sweet relief is ours this morning with a precious promise from on high. In a heated and hostile world, where does the Christian find hope for his or her continuance? How in the world will we ever experience the eventual outcome of victory and lasting rest? You might have been taught that this potential rests on your own ability to …

The Verse Christians Really Don’t Believe

Jeff FAITH, Hope, joy

As I take a look around me, the world I live in, the head I think with, the heart I feel with, the church I pastor and the people in my life, it is becoming more and more clear to me what the problem is.  Yes, there is a problem.  There’s a whole slew of problems, actually.  I’ll just pick …

One Thing I’m Sure Of

Jeff grace, Hope, Victory

The calendar has turned, the confetti has fallen, the hangovers have passed and life’s grind resumes for everyone as holiday tunes and Auld Lang Syne fade out for another twelve months.  One of the wisest humans whose feet ever shuffled through earth’s dust once said, “What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will …

Christmas Remembrance: Today, Tomorrow & Tuesday

Jeff Hope

It is the Sunday before Christmas and I cannot wait to preach from Luke 2 this morning.  My plan for our annual Christmas Eve service tomorrow is to share briefly on the “Fear Not’s!” surrounding the birth of Christ.  We will meet tomorrow evening at Meadow at 5:30 pm and enjoy singing, a time for the children to minister in …

Stay Thirsty, My Friends

Jeff General, Hope, Spiritual Growth

There’s a series of beer commercials here in the United States that are well put together.  Don’t send me critical emails because I’m not a Baptist pastor endorsing the product but I am a man with a decent sense of humor applauding the marketing team that conjured up the “Most Interesting Man In The World” for the Dos Equis commercials. …

Peddlers Of Hope

Jeff Cultural Observations, Hope

Before the first week of November is finished I will have long grown weary of this political season in America.  I already know the man for whom I will vote and so do most of you who are reading today.  Between now and Tuesday November 6, our senses will have been assaulted with hundreds upon hundreds of campaign ads, debates, …

Dealing With Disarray

Jeff emotions, General, Hope

Our minds cloud easily.  Clutter enters one worthless piece at a time and, before long, our thoughts are in disarray.  Somewhere along the line our emotions become tangled up in the nest also and we find ourselves having difficulty in discerning what we should think, how we should feel and where we must turn.  In the meantime there are our …

Untouchable

Jeff General, Hope, Mercy, Praise

Wait…hope…rest…trust…pour out your heart.  Now this is great advice for every Monday. Hear it:  Wait… hope… rest… trust… pour out your heart.  One of the beautiful things about the bible is that it fully discloses the frailties that define the human experience.  Not one of us has felt strong and capable for all of his or her days.  At best, …

Help For The Lousy Christian

Jeff General, grace, Hope, Spiritual Growth

Whatever you do, if you seek to hold on to the hope that you are a competent Christian, if you don’t wish to be convicted and have the wind knocked out of you, if you don’t desire to think deeply upon your response to the saving grace of God…whatever you do, don’t read the resolutions written by Jonathan Edwards.  The …