Sunday, November 20, 2016

Hope Works

oftentimes the things that we repeatedly think about and the things we repeatedly say 
become who we are and what others remember about us

a photo of my daddy sits by my home monitor 
his soft gaze looks at me as i work in the wee hours of the night and early morning
oh how i wish i could talk to him in person
but the words i hear my daddy say to me in my mind are the words i heard him say so often
words of counsel
words of encouragement
words of love
but so very often the words of hope

my father was a spiritual man who drew strength and wisdom from the words of the scriptures 
that lucky for me he passed on to his family
one of my favorite things i heard my daddy teach about was hope
my father's adopted definition of hope was an "earnest expectation"
taken from one of my most beloved chapters in scripture, Romans 8 verse 19 
an earnest expectation
in an address at a conference of women Lisa Valentine Clark said
'when we don't know where to begin, we begin with hope.  hope has the power to change our attitude.  hope sometimes comes from our actions and sometimes comes through inner feelings."
we begin with hope
with earnest expectation of a change in how you feel or a change in an outcome
earnest can be defined as 'resulting from or showing sincere and intense conviction'
for me this anticipation of change in nature or change in situation 
must be coupled with a sincere and intense conviction in God's loving nature and his work and his glory
"to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man"  (Moses 1:39)
which can only come through the process of becoming
most importantly, becoming as Christ
oh the joys that come
but oh the pain and the strife
no one is exempt
which means that we are each others' learning material and experts on how to find hope
we have all felt it sometime in our life 
we have felt of its transformative power
its sustaining power
its restful power

because of this universal reality of the state of man
to learn, to grow, to be stretched, to rise, to fall, to find peace, to feel despair, to find rest, to find joy
it is my firm belief that we each must speak up and
"be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you"
we must share our stories of hope
even if we are in the middle of it
even if we have not seen the light yet
we can speak of the light in our hearts
our speaking can spark a hope in the hearts of someone else
it doesn't need to be on a public platform
you just need to have an open and willing heart 
that if the opportunity presents itself in speaking to another in need 
that you will be ready to share your story and give an answer for the reason for your hope
your sharing may just be showing them where they can begin

it has been my honor to learn from so many in my life through the sharing of their stories
through my podcast The LifeBeats Project I have been continually amazed 
at the willingness of my guests and my community members so many to share their journeys for the benefit of others
i continually seek out opportunities to hear from the brave ones willing to share
recently i was able to attend a brilliant and inspirational TED talk like event called
in which 6 speakers shared their life experiences and insights of how they feel hope and love
particularly through the light of the Savior Jesus Christ

as i listened to 

i was filled
there was no podium, no screen, no barrier between them and myself
it was if they were speaking just directly to me
i could feel their pain 
but oh could i feel their joy
there is a power in hearing others' stories
those LifeBeats inside of us connect with the LifeBeats within their story
those core desires within us all
to feel loved, to want to serve, to want to reach our potential, to be understood, to want to feel needed, to want to feel that what we are doing and how we are living has meaning

if you are in need of a little hope
i invite you reach out to someone you love, someone you admire, a place of inspiration 
and hear how others have found hope in their lives
i invite you to hear the stories of the inspiring guests of my podcast The LifeBeats Project
you can even listen to one of the speakers from the event Hope Works that i attended over on YouTube
friends make hope an earnest expectation in your lives
draw on the stories and strength from others
root your sincere anticipation of that rest, peace, and joy that will come in our Savior Jesus Christ
for hope lives
hope conquers
and hope works 

when have you felt hope in your life?  how did you find it?


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