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Weekly Inspiration – Hope

By Ryan Kelly –

“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

Hope. Hope is a desire or expectation for a certain thing to happen. We all have hope for a better future, for healthy children, for happiness and prosperity. What person on this Earth doesn’t have hope for something? The question with hope is whether we place hope for a better future on our shoulders or on God’s. Further, do we hope for selfish ambitions or for the things that bring God glory and honor?

I like this verse in 2 Corinthians because it addresses may different aspects of the sadness or problems of our lives. Some of us are dealing with momentary affliction, others with lifelong disease or illness. No matter how big or small, we all hope that the problems will cease and that we can live at peace. This week remember that happiness is a fleeting emotion that is not driven by our spiritual standing, but joy and peace are constant and come only from God. When we stand with Christ, we have peace that goes beyond all understanding and carries a happiness with it that is truly something for which we should give hope.

This Week’s Thought

By Brad Campbell –

Just a thought to help start your week.

This photo of a portion of the Smithsonian’s Museum of the American Indian gives you an idea of the construction.  There are no sharp corners in this building.  The Indians believed that evil spirits lived in the corners, so in order to keep away the evil spirits, they did away with the corners.

Now we humans certainly cannot get rid of our “corners”.  However, we can invite the Holy Spirit to dwell in all of our corners.  In fact, that is where He longs to be — in every corner of our hearts and lives.

When the Holy Spirit fills the corners of your life, there is very little room for anything that shouldn’t be there.

Check your corners this week.  Dust them out if necessary, and invite the Spirit Who will protect you and lead you through life to move into those corners.  After all, who better to be in your corner than the Holy Spirit?!

Just a thought.

One Body

By Ryan Kelly –

The most beautiful thing in this world is the unity that Christians share as being part of a singular church body. No matter what theological denomination we belong to, we are all under a single faith in Jesus Christ. Our unity in the body works through the individual believer – you and I. Let’s keep the faith and continue to walk Hand in Hand as brothers and sisters in Christ!

“Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.”

‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭4:3-4, 6‬ ‭NIV‬‬

This Week’s Thought

By Brad Campbell –

Just a thought to help start your week.

I took this photo in the town of Amboise, France, after walking a steep city street past a castle and many small homes.  Near the top of the hill sat this beautiful home with its nicely manicured lawns and adornments.  It is a beautiful house.

But just a house it is.  What makes this particular house special is knowing to whom it belonged.  You see, this was the last home of Leonardo DaVinci.  We all “oooed” and “ahhhed” as we took our turns posing in by the front door for photos.  But it truly is just a house.

Let me pause here by reminding you, as Mr. Fred Rogers would have said from his Neighborhood, “You are special.”  But, truly, as a child of God, what makes us more special than any other characteristic we may have is knowing to whom we belong.

You see, as a Christian, I know that the Lord lives in my heart.  He calls it His dwelling place, meaning He set up camp there and he intends to stay.

As you face another busy week ahead, remember to Whom you belong.  Remember Who has taken up residence in you, and pause to let the world see Him in you.  They will be blessed.

Just a thought.

This Week’s Thought

By Brad Campbell –

Just a thought to help start your week.

Are you in a hurry?  Do you find yourself always rushing to get somewhere for something with someone somehow?  I photographed this sundial on the side of an 800 year old cathedral in the little city of Chartres, France, a couple of years ago.  In our churches these days, a clock on the back wall can make some folks nervous — or maybe I should say a lack of clock or time piece will make some folks nervous.

We live our lives in such a hurry that we can’t even sit still for a church worship service without checking to see how much time we have to make it to the all-you-can-eat buffet before the neighboring church folks get there.

It just so happens that we had a service of a different kind at our church yesterday morning with a concert by an awesome group.  No one cared that we went thirty minutes longer than usual, because we were all worshiping as we should.

Imagine a place where a sundial is good enough for timekeeping.  No clock or wristwatch to count the hours and seconds.  Just a sundial pointing us to the nearest hour.  No worries.  Just all the time in the world to live the lives we are called to live as children of God.

Can I challenge each one of us to forget what time it is this week?  Pay less attention to the rush of “how-can-I-possibly-get-it-done-in-time” and focus more on the hour at hand, knowing we are not promised another moment.  You have all the time in the world — the same 24 hours a day that everyone else has.  Use it wisely this week.  The very thought that someone who needed to see the love of God in us, but didn’t because we were too rushed to slow down and talk, ought to be motivation enough to ignore the sundial even.

May God bless your time this week.  But may you be an even bigger blessing to Him through the time He gives you – one moment at a time.

This Week’s Thought

By Brad Campbell –

Just a thought to help start your week.

Do you stand out in the crowd?  The very thought of such a thing scares many of us to death.  Others live for the moment when they are the center of attention at any gathering.  Landmarks like the Statue of Liberty or the Washington Monument or the La Tour Eiffel (Eiffel Tower), as seen here, all stand out in their respective landscapes.

For example, the Eiffel Tower in Paris can be seen from many parts of the city during the daytime.  Then at night, it is lit up, blinking on the hour, and can again be seen from all around.  It is indeed something to experience.

In a very similar way, the Statue of Liberty is pointing proudly toward a land of freedom, and the Washington Monument stands proudly as a reminder of one great leader in particular.

 

As a Christian, we should stand out the crowd – in a good way, of course.  The world is full of those who are looking for someone to act as a light or a guide in this world, leading them to something or SomeONE much greater than they.

 

So how’s that for a challenge this week?!  BE the Eiffel Tower!  BE the Statue of Liberty!  BE the Washington Monument!  Stand out as a Christian in your world, shining the Light and pointing others toward Him.

 

Just a thought.

This Week’s Thought

By Brad Campbell –

Just a thought to help start your week.

As a very young child, I was taught to appreciate nature and God’s creations all around me.  I’ve always been a lover of flowers, and I’m thrilled when my yard blooms each year.  But another thing I also learned a long time ago is that there will be no flowers if there is no rain.  These beautiful red roses would never bloom in my yard again if we never had another rain.

I realize many of you have had plenty of rain lately.  We, however, have not — that is until now.  Yesterday’s “gully-washer” was nothing compared to the one we have experienced over the last 2 or 3 hours this morning.

The old familiar hymn says, “There shall be showers of blessing; This is the promise of love!”  Every rain drop is a blessing from above.  Every shower is yet another fulfilled promise from God that He will take care of your everything!

The chorus of that same hymn reads, “Showers of blessing, Showers of blessing we need;  Mercy-drops round us are falling, But for the showers we plead.”

One drop would do, but Lord we pray for showers today and in the week ahead.  Bless us so that we may be a blessing to You and to all those around us.

Thanking God through the rains, this is….

Just a thought.

 

This Week’s Thought

By Brad Campbell –

I believe I’ve told you before that I sometimes have the feeling that I’m being watched.  This feeling doesn’t frighten me, but it sometimes makes me wonder why in the world anyone would find me worthy of watching.

Recently I had heard some rustling and chirping on the porch just outside my office window.  I went around the corner to look out the door and then stood and watched two or three little birds flying about, apparently looking for breakfast.  In fact, one little fat chirping fellow sitting near my fern had just caught a flying insect of some kind and was singing his own praises while holding breakfast in his beak.

But it was then that I realized I wasn’t the only one doing the watching.  The rustling I had heard was nearer to me than the birds I had just seen around the fern, so as I backed up and allowed my bifocals to refocus on what was right in front of me, I saw this little fellow in the picture.  He had been rummaging in my wife’s wreath and was staring at me through the window.  He even thought me worth watching enough that I had time to go get my phone and come back to take his picture.

Why do I tell you all that?  My main thought is this.  Be careful how nosey you get when checking out the world around you this week.  You are being watched by those much closer to you than you realize.  Their eyes are wide open, you are in their sight, and however you respond, especially as a Christian, could make or break their spirit.

Just a thought.

This Week’s Thought

By Brad Campbell –

Hi all.  Just a thought to help start your week.

This week, we celebrate our great Nation’s independence.  I dare say that the vast majority of Americans will never fully understand just exactly the sacrifices that have taken place and continue to take place in order to make this a free nation.

My photo this week is a little dark, but it is a night time view of our United States Capitol building.  In the darkness of the night, you can see the lights glowing.  That majestic place has always been a symbol of the freedom and liberty we as Americans enjoy.  Yet, we are the same Americans who cast even more darkness upon the place.

Regardless of your political leanings, surely you recognize the fact that our Nation and our leaders are all under attack – brutal, godless, vicious attack.  Satan is alive and well.  But guess what?!  God is too!!  And He will always remain the only reason why we continue to see the light amidst the darkness.

As you celebrate this week, I beg of you – whoever you are, whomever you voted for, wherever you stand – to pray for our Nation’s leaders.  They need the prayers.  We need the prayers.

And hear me well — Don’t you dare stand and sing God Bless America until you first take a knee and pray for America!

Weekly Inspiration

By Ryan Kelly –

Take a moment to look around you. What you will see is a world with people with histories, concerns, pleasure, pain, doubt, loneliness, fear, and hopefulness. What you will see is a soul created by God that may or may not know Him.

When we are told to love our neighbor as ourselves, it means to look through the exterior and see the interior. God deeply loves each one of us, and as followers of a Christ we should do the same for every person. Everyone needs Jesus, and they can see Him through you!

Be the light of Jesus and show unfailing love to all.