Snow had fallen over night and the darkness had given way to a cold but beautiful winter morning. The earth, at least from my window, which was brown the day before, was now glazed in shimmering white. “NO SCHOOL” scrolled on the TV screen. It’s a SNOW DAY! An unexpected holiday and because we all have 4-wheel drive, this small inconvenience stops no one I know.
Suddenly the perfect white carpet of snow turned into 10,000 footprints, sled marks, and shoveled heaps of snow turned into forts to protect the soldiers from in-coming snow bombs. The beautiful and peaceful looking Christmas card picture was now in complete shambles and chaos. Even though I love that Christmas card scene, the joy I felt as the grandchildren made their marks was truly priceless.
How does God view this picture from “On High”? 1 Corinthians 14:33a says, “For God is not the author of confusion but peace…” Chaos was only what I saw. The joy and peace God saw, and that the grandchildren brought us with their presence, was truly a gift. Shalom.
Last spring the youth group at our church sponsored a fishing tournament. The team of two paid an entry fee of $25.00 with all proceeds going to their summer work/witness trip to Arizona. My 16 year old grandson willingly agreed to be my partner. That in itself was a BLESSING. Sure, we started with great expectations, it was a beautiful day and we had some great ponds to fish. We walked the pond edges several feet apart, but within talking distance if needed. We encouraged each other, shared lures and helped each other net our catches. We had some valuable one-on-one chat time between locations as we drove from pond to pond. Keith even lifted or pushed down the barb wire fencing as grandma crawled, or rolled through, which led to a few laughs. We were just grandma and grandson spending a day together. What a wonderful young man he is. He is a special gift from God. It was GRAND!
This is what our Heavenly Father wants from us, our time; and it is our choice. That personal relationship as Father and child. Believe it, it is GRAND! How else will He know who we are and how else will we know who He is? Psalms 100:1-5 say, “Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands. Serve the Lord with gladness: come before His presence with singing. Know ye that the Lord He is God: it is He that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are His people, and the sheep of His pasture. Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise: be thankful unto Him and bless His name. For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting; and His truth endureth to all generations. AMEN.”
As a child, my mother and I would make our own clay to shape and mold designs. I actually have a recipe: flour, salt, creme of tartar, water, corn oil and food coloring. It was fun to play with and all I had. Our girls played with homemade clay and then purchased play dough (which by the way has the ingredient, wheat). We were all told not to eat it, not that it would kill us, but it was just not a good idea. Why is it that when we are told or asked not to do something, we instantly wonder why it is forbidden and then automatically want to do it? Romans 7:15 says: “For I do not understand my own actions. I do not practice or accomplish what I wish, but I do the very thing that my moral instinct condemns” (AMP).
This is where my story actually begins. My 2 year old grandson was playing with play dough at the kitchen table while my daughter was doing her morning chores around the house. She peeked around the corner of the hallway into the kitchen to see how the little guy was doing and she observed him taking a bite of play dough. She was not quick to scold him, waited a moment to see what he would do and his response was, “Don’t look at me.” Her response then was, “Gus, please don’t eat the play dough,” and again he repeated, “Don’t look at me.” There was no need for an urgent correction, however my daughter, much to my grandson’s dismay did put the play dough away for later, when he was a little older and more understanding of “Don’t eat the play dough!”
The Bible is full of instructions or commands from God on why we should not do some things. It is also full of stories with sad endings when people did not heed God’s directions. Do we ever tell God, “Don’t look at me,” hoping that God won’t see us doing hurtful things to ourselves? God tells us that bitterness is harmful. Hebrews 12:15 says, “Exercise foresight and be on the watch to look after one another, to see that no one falls back from and fails to secure God’s spiritual blessing, in order that no root of resentment shoots forth and causes trouble and bitter torment, and the many become contaminated and defiled by it” (AMP). But do we hold on to bitterness against family members or neighbors? God tells us to not fear. Proverbs 29:25 says, “The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever leans on, trusts in and put his confidence in the Lord is safe and set on high.” God tells us not to worry. Matthew 6:25a says, “Therefore I tell you, stop being anxious and worried about your life;” and Matthew 6:27 says, “And who of you by worrying and being anxious can add one unit of measure to his span of life?” Matthew 6:34 says, “So do not worry or be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will have worries and anxieties of its own. Sufficient for each day is its own trouble” (AMP). Do we hope that God “will stop looking” so we can have our own way? Did you know that many medical conditions are rooted in bitterness, fear and worry? Jesus, “The Word,” is the answer.
Just as my daughter wanted the best for my grandson, God wants the best for His children. Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome” (AMP).
Thank you to all who donated food, items, and baked goods for our Fall Fundraiser Food Stand at Pancake Day! It was a BEAUTIFUL day. As of today, all of the food is gone except some Bake Sale goodies, which we will have available at New Hope Counseling Center this week if you would like to stop by and pick up something for a donation!
The Raffle for the very cool Artisan Crafted 40″ Rustic Metal Windmill Hanging Light with Chain and 11 Qt Ball Jars will go on until Nov 1 with drawing at 5 pm. It will be on display at our Hope Chest Thrift Store – 309 West Van Buren in Centerville, Iowa.
Raffle for an Artisan Crafted 40″ Rustic Metal Windmill Hanging Light with Chain and 11 Qt Ball Jars.
-Drawing Nov 1 at 5 pm-
On Display at Hope Chest Thrift Store
309 West Van Buren in Centerville, Iowa
All proceeds go to the Ministries of New Hope:
New Hope Counseling Center
Hope Pregnancy Center
Hope Chest Thrift Store
Hope Loan Closet
New Hope Prayer & Worship Center
2017 – New Hope Training Classes
Join the Warrior Brigade!
New Hope Counseling Center is in need of additional Counselors and Prayer Partners to meet the current and future needs of the people on our waiting list. We will hold an 8-week Biblical Counseling Training on Thursday evenings beginning Sept 7th through Nov 2nd from 6-9 p.m. The only charge for the Training Class is to cover the cost for printing the Counselor/Prayer Partner Handbook and Starter Kit items ($37.50). No counseling degree or experience needed. The program is designed for the Counselor and Prayer Partner teams to simply follow the Counseling Handbook to lead the Counselee through it. The program is called “Turning the Battle.” Whether it is addiction, depression, or any other emotional, relational, or spiritual problem, beginning this will mark “the turning point” in the person’s battle. These New Hope Materials were developed to deal with main root problems in people’s lives from which all other problems and issues stem. Perhaps you’re ready to move from a soldier to a warrior for Jesus, or know of a wannabe warrior you could encourage to join our crusade to “Turn the Battle.” God uses ordinary people to accomplish extraordinary things.
Personal testimony from a New Hope Counseling Graduate: “I was in bondage for many years, even as a Christian I had a lot of knowledge, but still had many issues dwelling in my heart. God used New Hope to reveal the lies that I had believed about myself and about God. I once struggled with anxiety, but now I have peace. I once was heavy in depression, but now I have joy. Where there was bondage, I now have freedom. God has used New Hope to bring redemption, healing, and wholeness to every area of my life.”
Call Cindy Johnston (NHCC Counseling Director) if you have questions or to sign up for the Training: 641-856-3326.
New Hope will also be offering a 4-week Discipleship Training Class, beginning with Book 1 of our “Becoming A Warrior of the King” program materials, on Monday evenings beginning Sept 11 from 6-8 p.m. This class helps equip the Body of Christ to disciple those who want to know who God really is and how to have a relationship with Him on a deeply personal level (with no denominational slant). It takes people from the point of being a child of the King to becoming a warrior of the King. We have developed a way to make Discipleship easy. People will look at the Handbooks and say: I can do this!
Personal testimonies from people who have gone through this study:
“These materials are phenomenal, life-changing. It’s what I wish I would have been taught when I first became a Christian.” -Paula
“All through Seminary and Bible College I never came across material that affected a person’s spiritual life as this material does. I can only say if you want to see the life of an individual change or a congregation change, invite them to use this material.” -Pastor David
“It is a spiritual feast, amazing, I am in awe and grateful.” -Pam
“These materials were so very beneficial for me. Each section was like stepping stones (advancement) in my getting more knowledge and getting to know my Father better.” -George
This Discipleship Program not only helps to strengthen and deepen a Believer’s walk with the Lord, but also equips them to serve and minister to others in their local church or neighborhood. Imagine what your church or neighborhood, filled with warriors of the King could do… What it could do in our communities… In our world… We want to help make Disciples, to help equip God’s people to Disciple others, who will then in turn serve and minister to others in and through their local churches and the community.
Cost of the Training is $20.00 for the Discipler Book 1 and Starter Kit items. Seating is limited. Call soon to reserve your spot. This small investment of time can transform your life, and the lives of countless others. For more information, or to register for the Discipleship Training, call New Hope at: 641-856-3326.
Another Great Year!
We want to express a big Thank You, to everyone who helped make Rummage Mania another incredible success. It really was our best Rummage Mania ever! Most Volunteers we’ve ever had…Most shoppers we’ve ever had…Most Silent Auction bidders we’ve ever had…Fastest clean up we’ve ever done…What a blessed week we had! As always, we were abundantly blessed by the outpouring of items. Hundreds of people and families were blessed because of the generosity of people who live in this area and the surrounding counties. We heard words of praise and thankfulness from many people. Donations were around $4800, with a few more still trickling in, which will help us continue offering our Biblical Counseling services free of charge. Some of the remaining items went to our “Hope Chest Thrift Store” here in Centerville at 309 W Van Buren. The rest were donated to C.R.O.S.S. Ministries, located in Osceola, IA, a wonderful Christian Ministry with a variety of mission works. THANK YOU to everyone involved!”