THERE IS HOPE!
For you, for me & for the world!
“So MAY GOD, THE SOURCE OF HOPE, FILL YOU WITH ALL JOY AND PEACE IN BELIEVING SO THAT THROUGH THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT YOU MAY HAVE HOPE IN ABUNDANCE.” – Romans 15:13
GREETINGS, SALUTATIONS & WELCOME!
I am so very glad that you have found your way here to my Blog! The sign above is based on a poster I saw 30+ years ago in an Abbey Press catalog, and it pretty much sums me up! It is my hope and prayer that you will find wonderful stuff here, and that you will be Blessed and encouraged by it.
First and foremost, let me reiterate: THERE IS HOPE! And that is a glorious, wonderful thing to know! This Blog is to ENCOURAGE you, and to remind you of how very much GOD LOVES YOU! I am here to share with you some really cool things. We are all on a magnificent Adventure with God, and I want to share my enthusiasm and passions with you on the Journey!
God loves us so very much! He doesn’t want us scared or worn down or frazzled or angry or apathetic. What He wants is for us to LIVE with a Spirit of Joy, Love and Hope. That is His Spirit within us- His gift to us.
So let me tell you a bit about myself. That way you will know where I am coming from as I write this to you. My name is Billie, and I LOVE GOD with my whole heart! I am His Beloved daughter, and He created me to Love Him and to Love people! AND I DO LOVE PEOPLE! This has always been my ministry- loving on people, and sharing God’s Love with them. (Oh, and I do cutsie, little drawings that help me visualize God’s Love and His message to me. Plus, I LOVE PINK in case you couldn’t tell! Don’t spaz about it- I like other colors too.) I have been married to my Bestest Friend for over thirty years, and we have two great adult kids. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education, and when I turned 50, I received my Master’s Degree in Ministry.
I tell you these things so you can understand a bit more about why I am writing this Blog for you. People would ask what I was going to “DO” with my Degree- perhaps be a church youth director, or keep working in women’s ministry, or maybe even start my own church. The answer, though, was that I ALREADY was doing what God wanted me doing. I was using the information I learned about God, and the training I received in Ministry to continue loving on people just as I have always done in every aspect of my life. I encourage them when they are down, I comfort them when they are hurting, and I celebrate with them when they are happy. Now I can do the same for you with this Blog.
I also Love writing, and stories of all kinds- the ones we live, the ones we watch or read, and the ones we create. And I freely admit it: I’M A GEEK! What does that mean to me? I enjoy all kinds of wonderful, eclectic, varied things in this life such as fantasy books, Star Wars movies, games, pop culture, Disney, COLOR, dancing, crafting, creating, and so much more. I see God in all these things, and Celebrate Him in them. I think it’s cool that God made each of us unique because it gives us a hint of how creative and diverse He is. We’re each made in His image, and we are all made to glorify and Love Him.
THERE IS HOPE!
One thing we all have in common is that we all get scared. Our world can be a terrifying place. Terrorist attacks, political upheaval, intolerance for what is different, hatred and crime and natural disasters are just a drop in the bucket of things that we fear.
But take heart! God promises that through it all, He is with us and will see us through.
“LET NOT YOUR HEART BE TROUBLED. YOU ARE TRUSTING GOD, NOW TRUST IN ME.” -John 14:1
“AND BE SURE OF THIS – THAT I AM WITH YOU ALWAYS, EVEN TO THE END OF THE WORLD.” -Matthew 28:20
We can see God at work in our world in many ways. His Presence and majesty are all around us. I am especially fond of the Bible Devotional called “Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young. She writes, “I [God] created beauty to declare the existence of My holy Being. A magnificent rose, a hauntingly glorious sunset, oceanic splendor – all these things were meant to proclaim My Presence in the world. Most people rush past these proclamations without giving them a second thought.”
Another way we see God at work is through people! Think about it. Whenever there is disaster or tragedy, PEOPLE are there – helping, encouraging, loving on those in need. What an encouraging thought. In the Bible, we often see people working some of God’s great miracles by being His hands and feet on this earth.
Take the story of Ruth, for example. It is through the actions of the three major characters that God’s happy ending comes to be. Ruth chooses to stay with her mother-in-law, to Love on her and console her and give her aid during her time of grief and despair. As Naomi began to recover, she in turn begins to watch out for her beloved daughter, looking ahead to the future for her. And Boaz cares for his kin with Love, honor and respect. As a result, all three were Blessed by God. And Blessed God!
When you get discouraged, remember that God is at work in the world, and FOR YOU!
“FOR I KNOW THE PLANS I HAVE FOR YOU, SAYS THE LORD. THEY ARE PLANS FOR GOOD AND NOT FOR EVIL, TO GIVE YOU A FUTURE AND A HOPE.” -Jeremiah 29:11
Look around and remember His majesty, but also look at those around you who RADIATE with God’s Love.
In what ways do you find Hope in fearful and discouraging times? How do people inspire you to be hopeful?
Until next time, Be Blessed! -BILLIE
P.S. Special thanks go out for making this blog possible. To God- for making my dreams of Sonshine Celebrations a reality and for His Love! To my Loving Husband- who has ALWAYS believed in, and encouraged my writing! To my daughter- who inspired me by getting her blog and books published, and showing me that I could too! And to my son- whose hard work and generous gifts of time and Love have brought this website into being! I Love you all very much!
“Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young
Bible translations: The New American Bible, and the Living Bible Paraphrased
*Photo courtesy of Ben Pinner
Banner inspired from artwork by Shadi Desjardins www.sharidesjardins.com