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Hope that is Magnanimous and Humble

When we live with hope, we begin to move beyond our circumstances. In the New Testament epistle of Hebrews we read these words:

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. (Hebrews 12:1-3, NIV)

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Immediately before this, the writer had addressed heroes of the faith who pursued God with faith and hope during their earthly lives even in the face of challenging circumstances and though, at times, they never fully experienced God’s blessing in this life. Building from that, the writer calls his readers – and us – to hopeful perseverance by looking at the examples of Jesus.

When we look at Jesus hopeful approach to His earthly life, we see two companions of hope – two attitudes or approaches – that marked His life.  Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on April 12, 2013 in Discipleship

 

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A Brief Response to the Critique of Christian Hope

ThumbnailSome critics of Christianity say that Christian hope is just wishful thinking. Some say that Christianity is just a pipe dream – an unattainable hope.

Frederick Buechner, an author of numerous books about the spiritual life, addresses this in his own comments about Christianity and hope. He writes this in his book, Wishful Thinking:

Christianity is mainly wishful thinking…

Dreams are wishful thinking. Children playing at being grown-ups is wishful thinking. Interplanetary travel is wishful thinking.

Sometimes wishing is the wings the truth comes true on.

Sometimes the truth is what sets us wishing for it.

When people critique Christian hope as simply an unattainable dream, we may respond by saying that perhaps another name for our wishful thinking is faith. Further, perhaps faith is a way not of avoiding reality, but of accessing a reality that is not readily apparent to our senses. Even further still, perhaps the reason we dream about such a thing like Christian hope is that the truth has birthed such a dream in us at the first place. Perhaps God, the Creator, has made us with a yearning for something more because that is actually the way things are and fighting against it is more wishful thinking than pursuing it.

[This is a continuation of this week's theme of "Beginning to Live with Hope."]

 
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Posted by on April 11, 2013 in Books and Quotations, Discipleship

 

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A Song of Hope – “You Never Let Go”

I talked with a few different people this past week who are in the midst of some challenging situations. In the midst of our focus on hope this week, the following song came back to my mind. It speaks hope into our lives with the simple, yet profound, truth that God walks with us through the ups and downs of our lives. I hope it’s an encouragement to you today.

[This is a continuation of this week's theme of "Beginning to Live with Hope."]

 
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Posted by on April 10, 2013 in My Spiritual Journey, Video Shorts

 

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Jackie Robinson and Hope that Is Unseen

Jackie RobinsonIn 1947 there was a lot to be hopeful about. World War II was over. The world, and the United States as a nation, was settling into a renewed peace. But there were some whose hopes were limited. There were deep racial divides in our country and it seemed like a glass ceiling existed on the hopes and dreams of some simply because of the color of their skin.

A new story of hope began unfolding, however, when on April 15, 1947, Jackie Robinson took the field for the Brooklyn Dodgers. He was the first African-American baseball player called up into Major League Baseball since the 1880s. For over sixty years, like so many other aspects of our society, baseball endured segregation, encouraging the hopes of some while limiting the hopes of others. During that first game and season, Robinson endured all kinds of verbal – and even physical. It seemed that perhaps the glass ceiling would hold him – and others – down.

But things soon changed. Robinson soon became a figure admired not only by African-Americans, but by Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on April 9, 2013 in Biography, Discipleship

 

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Hope in Unexpected Places

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This past weekend, I continued our “Beginning to Live” series at Eastbrook Church by focusing on “Beginning to Live with Hope.” All this week, my blog posts are themed around the topic of hope.

In the Gospel of Luke, we come upon an interesting story shortly after Jesus’ resurrection. Two men who had followed Jesus throughout His earthly ministry are walking from the small town of Emmaus to the capital city of Jerusalem. It’s about a seven-mile walk. A stranger comes up to them as they are walking and asks them a question: “What are you discussing together as you walk along?” (Luke 24:17).

Now, the writer, Luke, lets us in on the secret that it is the resurrected Jesus who has come up to them, but these men do not know it. They still think that Jesus is dead and buried. And because this is the truth they are living under, their hopes are sinking.

Not realizing who He is, they respond to him:  Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on April 8, 2013 in Discipleship

 

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