The Case for Hope {book review}

I didn’t expect a book by a legal editor to be so beautiful
Lee Strobel may have spent the first part of his career chasing newsworthy stories,
but his focus now is sharing ugly-beautiful stories of redemption

  

From the first page, the hope the author knows
was evident and inviting
The experience only became better as I continued to read

Strobel weaves together sayings and stories
to craft a precious gift of encouragement
that will touch the heart of the reader

He takes true stories of utter darkness
and combines them with scripture
allowing the light of hope to overcome the dark

The physical elements of the book – cover, typography, etc. –
package the contents in such a way
that it truly makes a wonderful gift

A precious gift of encouragement for a believer,
grounding him in the “hope that does not disappoint,”
as well as for the unbeliever, presenting hope as a gift he may have too

I have meditated long and hard on the subject of hope
– it was my “word for the year” in 2013 –
and I must say, Strobel did the topic justice

Note:
I received this book free from the publisher through BookLook
I was not required to write a positive review
The opinions I have expressed are my own

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I never pictured it this way

Almost two years ago
I posted a poem with this title on my old blog
{you can read it here}

Today I revisit the idea…with minimal revisions
I’m surprised and almost brought to tears
at the beautiful lesson that He is still teaching me

 

I never pictured being here or doing this…

How many times have I said that these two years?
How many times have I made that basic statement:
that I never pictured myself living this life God has me living?

Why not?
Why not dream the big dreams God has for me?
Why not claim more territory for His glory and the blessing of others?

Because I don’t know.
I don’t know what are God’s dreams for me and what are my own imaginations.
I don’t know how to have faith to step into the great unknown territory He’s opening up.

It’s a hard line to walk.
On the one side are the desires God gives me.
On the other, the desires He asks me to give up to Him.

But there’s more than that.
What about the things God has for me that I’m not sure I want?
What about the things I’m sure I need that He doesn’t seem to be giving me?

Almost half a dozen years ago I sang this song with my mom.
Even then I could look back and marvel at where God had brought me.
But I couldn’t have imagined where He would bring me in just six short years.

I never pictured myself here.
So why do I try to imagine my future?
God has something bigger planned. Something I can’t picture.

And that’s a glorious thought.

what are stories made of?

What are stories made of?

Sugar and spice and everything nice

Is that what stories are made of?
Not stories worth the telling.

Intrigue, battles, misunderstandings, suffering, darkness, accusations…

These are the makings of a good story.
Think of the greatest stories – books we are reading decades or centuries after their creators are in the grave. What makes us read and reread them?
Conflict. Hardship.

And the ultimate triumph over them.
Think of the Greatest Story – a Book written over decades and centuries by our Creator. What makes people across cultures and generations turn to it again and again?
Conflict. Hardship.

And the Ultimate Triumph over them.
Each of us has a story.

Will yours be worth the telling?

is God good?

photo credit: Moriah

Do you believe that God is good?

Do you really believe that God is really good?

Do you live like you believe that God is good?

 

What does it mean that God is good?

Does it mean that all that He allows is good?
Or only what He gives directly?
And how does a mere mortal distinguish between the two?

Does it mean that His children will never know sorrow or suffering?
Or that they will only know sorrow and suffering if they need it as punishment?

No?
Then what?

If God is good…then what is good?
Is not God?

Perhaps in order to know good, one must know God.

God is not found by looking at His world.
But once He is found He is clearly seen in His world.
Even then, one must be careful to always return to the Source.
All good – every good and perfect gift – comes from above.
From God Himself.

So then, what does it mean to live like you believe that God is good?

It means searching to find Him everywhere.
The incessant hunger to know Him.
The constant running after Him.
And then, to allow the finding and knowing and loving to flow out.

One who has been justified by faith
and made righteous through the one man, Messiah Yeshua,
walks and lives in righteousness.
And God does not withhold one good thing from those who walk righteously.

Can you truly believe, then, that God will not keep any good thing from you?

And if God is good, then He will not hide Himself from you?