Hope for Life Blog

Archive for September, 2007

My Grandchildren Really Are Most Amazing

by on Sep.27, 2007, under Hope

I know every grandparent says that their grandchildren are the most amazing and the most beautiful … but it’s only because we are sure that it is true. Avery Grace Gilbreth is our newest grandchild and everything is as new and amazing to us as it was with her brother, Jake Ryder, and her cousin, Anna Claire Ridgell. But I promise not to bore you with all the details, nor is this an article about family and resolutions to be the best extended family ever (though we feel that way). However, I do want to share with you the overpowering sense of legacy that we feel.

Just on our side of the family, Avery has four great-grandparents still living and they are all people of faith. We are people of faith, as are all of her aunts and uncles. Her parents are strong believers. I am confident that Avery will be a believer and carry on her heritage of faith, just as I believe Jake and Anna will. The world will not just be better because of them, but it will be changed because of them. All three of them were prayed for extensively before they were born (and even before she was conceived). And those prayers were not just for health and for faith, but that she would make a difference in this world.

I believe Avery, Jake, and Anna are destined for glory, honor, and immortality. That is her family heritage, and I pray it will be a legacy she chooses to follow. It is a decision that generations of her ancestors have chosen. But what her family has done really does not matter. It is up to her to make her own choice, just like we did. Some of those people of faith mentioned earlier have long legacies of faith, and some of them are first generation believers. It does not matter what your parents decided about Jesus, it matters what you decide.

So I pray for you, Avery, Jake, and Anna, that you each make a decision someday for Jesus. I believe that you will, and so will your children and their children after them.

If I can help you start a family legacy of faith … just let me know. Write me at steve@hopeforlife.org.


Clearing a Path

by on Sep.20, 2007, under Hope

I’ve learned there is a certain art to clearing a pathway. I’m an expert at clearing paths through people, storms, bushes, and just about anything else you can think of. I’ve always been willing to step out and be the first to go into unknown territory. The number one rule in clearing a good path is to always keep moving. There is nothing that will cause panic quicker than getting half way into the unknown and to see your leader get lost and stop. No matter what happens, keep moving forward! Change directions maybe, but always keep moving.

There are so many times in life that the world around me is full of confusing messages. It’s hard to know which way to turn and it seems impossible to find my way. The good news is that as a Christian I have someone to clear the path ahead for me. Jesus who came to earth has cleared a path through the snags and traps of this life. He was tempted and tricked in every way possible, but kept moving forward. Jesus has cleared a path through this world that leads straight to God. The example of Jesus’ life is the only guide we’ll ever need.

Just like the rule I use when clearing a path, Jesus never faltered as he pushed toward his goal. There were times of great trial and confusion, but he remained strong and continued to move forward. After fasting and praying for 40 days, Jesus was tempted by Satan, but he remained strong. While praying in the garden, Jesus knew that his betrayal was only hours away and he pleaded for another direction, but he never quit moving toward the goal of fulfilling God’s will. When everyone had abandoned him and his mother stood at the foot of the cross, he never turned from his purpose; Jesus pressed forward and cleared a pathway of righteousness, a path that we could have never found any other way.

You have made known to me the paths of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence.

Acts 2:28

You may have felt lost in this world like I did, but the good news of Jesus is for us all. I have found the way. I found the man to follow and his name is Jesus. He’s shown that he can survive every power of Satan and all we have to do is follow his example. The path to God is narrow and it’s easy to get lost, but just remember to follow Jesus and keep moving forward!

If you would like more information about finding the path of Jesus please contact me at skye@hopeforlife.org.


I COULD BE CONTENT IF…

by on Sep.12, 2007, under Hope

“Don’t worry. I made sure your rental has cruise control. After all, it’s a really boring drive.” That’s what the clerk at the desk told me. The strange thing about it was this was a drive to a preaching appointment in central Florida. I thought the ride was beautiful. There were gorgeous trees everywhere. For a preacher from West Texas, I was in sensory overload. How could anyone think it would have been a boring drive? Boy, if I lived in that part of the world I would never, ever take that scenery for granted.

Now where I live is a different matter. It is flat and there aren’t many trees at all. Oh sure, some people rant and rave that they have never seen sunsets as beautiful as those in West Texas, and…

I was doing the same thing as the clerk in Florida: taking for granted the beauty around me. I wonder if we do that in other areas of our lives. Is the grass really greener on the other side of the fence? And do my neighbors think that when they look at my yard? The truth is that most of life seems the same. Unless you are willing to move to a different part of the world every two or three years you will have the same scenery. Do I really have to have new scenery, new clothes, a new house, a new job, a new mate, a new “look”, and a new dog to make life fun and exciting?

It would be so wonderful to be content with what I have, no matter what the circumstances. How happy would I be if I learned to treasure and appreciate the things I have every day?

I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation…”

A man named Paul said that almost 2000 years ago, and I learned the secret from men and women just like him. And I can share that secret with you.

Write me at [mail=steve@hopeforlife.org]steve@hopeforlife.org[/mail].


I DON’T GET TECHNOLOGY

by on Sep.12, 2007, under Hope

I really don’t think I am afraid of my computer, the internet, and even my cell phone. I know there are all sorts of wonderful things you can do with technology. I can use the terms “Google”, “Facebook”, “IPod”, and “interactive”. I think it is probably true that I could be more efficient if I could learn to use all the features on the various pieces of equipment. I know that having that lady in my dashboard give me directions is better than a map folded over the steering wheel.

I don’t even get it when someone explains it to me. One of our websites, [link=http://www.hopeforlife.org target=_blank]www.hopeforlife.org[/link] has just been redesigned. It has video testimonies, articles, resources, and we are going to podcast and blog on it. I am very excited …and do not understand how any of it works. Our ministry team explained it to me, the design team explained it, even my friends (and their children) have explained it to me. I still do not get how it all works.

And yet… I like the end result. My ministry has been multiplied in amazing ways. I learn more, teach more, and communicate about Jesus more than I ever thought possible. Sometimes I even find myself doing things I never thought possible. The more I use it, the better technology seems to work for me. I am not even sure why I waited so long to get into this tech stuff. I shouldn’t have been afraid and it really lets you do some amazing things.

I think that is how life in Christ works. I know the terms, and I have heard lots of people explain it. But sometimes I just don’t get how it works. I do not understand everything about it. However, I do know that my life works with Jesus. So maybe I don’t have to know everything. I just know that the more I buy into a life with Jesus, the better my life works.

It really didn’t help me to talk about technology, or have someone tell me about it. It made a difference for me when someone showed me how to use it in my life.

I can show you how to let Jesus make a difference in your life.

Write me at [mail=steve@hopeforlife.org]steve@hopeforlife.org[/mail].



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