Hopeful Thoughts

Things I Need to Remember

For those of you who know us well, you are aware that we are dealing with several unknowns. I have been having a very difficult time keeping my focus on the truth of who God is as Provider. I feel the need to know exactly was is going to happen and I am disappointed when things don’t work out the way that I expect them to.

Today I just want to reflect on some passages in God’s Word that remind me who He is. I am reminded to trust Him and have hope when all seems hopeless.

Jeremiah 29:11

11For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Philippians 4:4-9

4Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!5Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.6Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

8Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.9Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

Matthew 6:25-27

25“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?26Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?27Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life[b]?

Reading in Spanish

While no final announcement has been made, I’m pretty certain that my trip to Argentina will be postponed. I really don’t think it will be completely cancelled, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it was pushed as late as the first week in September.

In some ways, I am grateful that we will most likely have more time to prepare. The list of things we are supposed to accomplish has grown to 7, and it was pretty overwhelming at the two or three we started with.

In addition to the planning, there’s the whole issue of the language barrier that we are going to face. I have wanted to travel to a Spanish speaking country for YEARS, as that is what I studied in school and I knew I would never really get it if I wasn’t forced to speak it. I took some really basic Spanish in kindergarten, another year in 8th grade, three years in high school, and two semesters in college. But, now that I am finally traveling to a Spanish country, it’s been 12 years since my last class! I’ve forgotten so much!

So, today I went to our local Recycled book store and purchased a couple of reference guides. I hope to be able to brush up on vocabulary and verb conjugations so that I can be better prepared. Yesterday I pulled up the Spanish NIV Bible on the web and tried to do my daily reading. That was tough!! So, my plan is to add a bit of Spanish reading to my day between now and departure.

Reading and Learning

I missed my Friday post of what I am currently reading, but the current pick also lends itself to my Monday topic of what I’m learning about God.

I read the first book in the Chronicles of Narnia as a teen, but never really got into the series like many people. Since I learned about what it really means to walk with God back in my college days, I have heard again and again about C.S. Lewis. Several times I have attempted to read “Mere Christianity” or the “Screwtape Letters”, but I’ve had a difficult time getting through them. His writing is so deep that I felt bogged down as I had to read and then re-read passages to keep my train of thought. Never have I made it through one of his theological works.

Two weeks ago, I started meeting with a group of friends to read through “Screwtape Letters.”

screwtapeIt has been much easier going this time around. I don’t know if it’s the slower pace that we are taking or the intensive training I went through with BTCL.

The book is teaching me a great deal about how Satan attacks. It’s a great reminder about how he can sneak into the small places in life and distract us from our focus on God. I’m also really enjoying the insights of the others in the reading group. We’re having a great time studying the book together.

Read it At Last

One of my all time favorite reads has been the Mitford books by Jan Karon. I got into them after most of them were already out, but early enough that I had to wait in anticipation for the final book to be released before I could read it. When I found out that Karon was going to continue the story of Father Tim in a new series, I was ecstatic, but the waiting began again. Once the book finally came out, I still couldn’t read it because I was working full time and had too much going on to read anything for fun.

Now that summer is here, reading time has returned. While I was at my parents’ house in early June, I was finally able to borrow the book from my mother. I had to let me sister read it first, but I was able to bring it home and finally dig into it myself.

It was SO worth the wait!! Characters briefly mentioned from Father Tim’s past in the original series now come to life as Father Tim travels back to his home town. And BOY does he have a past! We learn about the trials that he experienced as a child that lead him to become the lovable, balding, Episcopal priest of the Mitford books.


Of course, now I am left with the problem of waiting again until the next book is released. It’s not slated to come out until 2010!!!!!