In today’s world with frightening headlines blasting the worst possible scenarios into our homes, and the stress of the daily responsibility of providing for ourselves and our families weighing heavy on our hearts, coupled with the unpredictable, unwelcome, unwanted, unbelievably hard or harsh circumstances like floods, fires, relationship strife, death and disease it is very easy to get depressed, discouraged and down-trodden.

But God has a solution for our despairing hearts!

Discovering Hope in the Psalms: Creative Bible Study Experience

While writing my newest book (co-authored with Bible teacher Jean E Jones and artist Karla Dornacher), Discovering Hope in the Psalms: A Creative Biblical Experience, Jean, in passing said, “Psalm 71:14 I think could be the theme verse for this study.” Intrigued, I immediately looked up Psalms 71:14:

But I will hope continually and will praise you yet more and more. (Psalm 71:14)

The word hope is a verb, so it is an action we choose, to wait expectantly for God to move. I like to say, “trust while you tarry” , or to wait patiently (and sometimes painfully long) for God

Psalm 71:14 Bible Art by Pam Farrel

to show up and show off! After doing a word study, to summarize the meaning, this hoping is to be exercised: surpassingly, repeatedly, increasingly, intensely, exceedingly, continuously, regularly, consistently, and perpetually! When I drew the verse in my Bible art journal, I pictured a geyser of ever-flowing hope!

My contribution to Discovering Hope in the Psalms is a series of inspirational devotionals that help women apply the psalms to their everyday lives and keep HOPE ALIVE. To help me keep HOPE ALIVE, in my bullet journal, I have pages I write my “God-Sized” hopes and dreams and I wrap them with scripture so I can pray the Word over my life.

Bullet Journal prayer page
from Pam Farrel

The key to securing a hope like an eternal spring is also in this same verse, “praise you more and more”. The “more and more” means to accumulate or gather praise—and in doing this gathering we fuel hope. One way to picture accumulating or gathering praise would be how you might walk through a garden to gather flowers to create a beautiful bouquet or through a mall gathering gifts for family and friends that will bring joy!

So to capture praises to fan the flame on hope, in my bullet journal, I have pages to accumulate praises. One looks like the sun with praises written on each ray. Another is a vase with praises on each flower petal. Accumulated praise could also be drawn as gift bags collected while shopping, presents under a Christmas tree, waves on the ocean, or shells on the beach– use your imagination to personalize your record of praise! 

(Download your Prayer and Praise sheet to keep Hope Alive!)

 

Pam Farrel hopes to help people around the world keep hope alive. She is and her husband Bill are international speakers, authors of 45 books including her newest Discovering Hope in the Psalms: A Creative Bible Study Experience. Stay connected with Pam at www.Love-Wise.com Learn more about Discovering Hope In the Psalms, and find numerous free downloads on creative Bible study at www.DiscoveringHopeinthePsalms.com

Pam Farrel with Kay Arthur

What an incredibly unique and creative Bible study Pam, Jean, and Karla have created! It’s multilayered, dimensional, theologically rich, touching the senses—enlightening the mind, capturing the heart. Well done, beloved Sisters! Thank you for this gift.

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinrssyoutubeFacebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinrssyoutube

My Favorite Book. It Is Yours? by Darlene Franklin

 

 

Since I’m an author, it’s not surprising that I read. Some books I never finish, some I’ve read five times. But even with my favorite books, I reach a saturation point and let them gather dust on a special shelf.

But there is one book I started reading as a child which I find as endlessly fascinating and worthy of study as the first time I opened it over fifty years ago: my Bible. No other book stirs so much discussion with friends and strangers. Whenever I’m sad, it gives me solace. I chose to memorize chunks of scripture to keep my aging brain active. No other book speaks life to me.

The written word, teaches me so much about the living Word of God, His Son. Whether I open it at Bible study, rehearse memory verses, read through the Bible, research a theme, look up a verse, or read the day’s passage in a devotional—nothing else convicts me, inspires me, teaches me, or draws me closer to God. Nothing is a greater tool for devotion, for prayer, for ministry.

Recently have I have begun the practice of praying the Bible. What a freeing experience! I no longer need to know someone’s exact needs today to know how to pray (although it helps). I pray for unknown situations and never met people, missionaries, the unsaved, leaders—simply by praying God’s word. Not the mention the insight I get into God’s answers for myself and known needs by praying His word.

How about you? What excites you about the Bible, about prayer? Do you struggle with Leviticus and freely pray the Psalms, like I do? So dig in to the daily spiritual nourishment from the Lord. Enjoy the mountain tops in the Psalms. I learn something new every day.

Darlene Franklin is a contributing author to the currently available Daily Wisdom for Women 2018 Edition (http://www.barbourbooks.com/product/Daily-Wisdom-for-Women-2018-Devotional-Collection,14789) (and to the upcoming 12-Month Guide to Better Prayer for Women (TBR Feb 2018). I’m also the author of Praying Through the Bible in a Year, TBR in Nov 2018.Darlene Franklin is a contributing author to the currently

Darlene Franklin

available Daily Wisdom for Women 2018 Edition oduct/Daily-Wisdom-for-Women-2018-Devotional-Collection,14789) (and to the upcoming 12-Month Guide to Better Prayer for Women (TBR Feb 2018). I’m also the author of Praying Through the Bible in a Year, TBR in Nov 2018.

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinrssyoutubeFacebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinrssyoutube

DSC_0811-1 copy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It's Grace Fox with a devotional thought to start your week.

Sometimes life leaves us baffled or bruised. We wonder if God is as wise as He claims to be, and we question why circumstances don’t happen how and when we wish they would. When I feel this way, I take courage from the Scriptures.

Recently I read about the prophet Samuel’s boyhood. One word—meanwhile—popped up several times in the account. It reminded me that, no matter what life looks like, God’s at work behind the scenes to accomplish His purposes. 

  •  “And the Lord gave Hannah three sons and two daughters. Meanwhile, Samuel grew up in the presence of the LORD” (1 Samuel 2:21).
  • Meanwhile, the boy Samuel grew taller and grew in favor with the LORD and with the people” (1 Samuel 2:26).
  • Meanwhile, the boy Samuel served the LORD by assisting Eli. Now in those days messages from the LORD were very rare, and visions were quite uncommon” (1 Samuel 3:1).

Events both good and bad unfurled on a daily basis at that time. Meanwhile, God was quietly raising up a prophet who would honor Him and faithfully proclaim His word.

The beauty of meanwhile remains true today. A couple years ago, Stonecroft Ministries asked me to produce a DVD-based Bible study to accompany my book, Moving from Fear to Freedom: A Woman’s Guide to Peace in Every Situation. I had no funds and no clue how to do this. The thought of producing such a resource made good sense, but it also unnerved me. And so I prayed: “God, if You want this project done, then You’ll need to bring me a team of skilled people to help. And you’ll need to work out all the details including funding.” 

For the next year, I went about my usual business of writing, speaking, and ministering overseas. Meanwhile, the bi-weekly women’s Bible study that my daughter-in-law organized lost its teacher.  “Can you teach it now, Mom?” asked Cheryl. “Preparations won’t take long if you teach from Moving from Fear to Freedom because you already know the material.” I thought about the DVD study. Using this opportunity as a test run seemed divinely orchestrated, so I agreed and started writing the lessons. 

Meanwhile, I met a man in my church who’d specialized in audio-visual work while a missionary in Africa many years prior. He had a local friend who owned two filming cameras. Both agreed to help. 

Meanwhile, a national women’s ministry set aside money for projects such as this. One day the president handed me an envelope containing a grant application. “Fill out the form and ask for funding,” she said. I applied, and the committee approved. Within a year, the DVD-based Bible study became a reality. 

Perhaps you’re facing a challenge today. You’re not sure what’s goin’ on, and life looks like a puzzle with a few pieces missing. Pray and take courage in the Scriptures, especially in the word meanwhile.

You work. You wait. Meanwhile, God is on the move behind the scenes to fulfill His plan.

 

Visit www.gracefox.com/blog for more devotional thoughts. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinrssyoutubeFacebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinrssyoutube