does the word “hope” say to you? I’ve
come to love that word, “hope”. To me,
one who has hope has confidence. A
person who is hopeful cannot help but be positive in their outlook.
have a goal of doing a Scripture word study on the word “hope”. Do you know how many times the word hope is
used in the Word of God? On the BibleGateway.com
website, I put in a search for the number of times the word hope occurs in the
New International Version of the Bible, and it gave me 174 times. 18 of those occurrences were in the book of
Job and 31 of those were in the book of Psalms.
The “weeping prophet” Jeremiah used the word hope 14 times in Jeremiah
and Lamentations (certainly some, but surely not all, of those were references
to when he had lost hope or the Israelites had lost hope).
29:11 says, “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’
declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you
hope and a future.’”
Lamentations 3:21-22 says, “Yet this I call to mind and
therefore I have hope: Because of
the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.”
Psalms 42: 5, 42:11, and 43:5 all say the same thing: “Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why
so disturbed within me? Put your hopein God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.”
have struggled on and off with feelings of “hopelessness” in my life. Sometimes these feelings come because of
physical difficulties. Sometimes they
come because of being emotionally drained.
But when I go to the Word of God and find Scriptures like the ones
quoted above, I cannot help but find comfort and peace in the Lord because He
is my Hope and my Comfort. He is my
Peace and my Salvation. He is faithful
to His word and He is the One I can praise. As I praise Him I find Hope!
time ago I was listening to a radio broadcast on my way to work. The program was about a man who had been a
minister of the Word for many years.
When he was age 47 he went through a very difficult time of depression
in his life. He had such a hard time
continuing on with his ministry. But he
did because he knew God had called him.
He stated the times before going to church on Sunday morning were
probably the darkest times for him. It
was most difficult for him to get the courage to go. But he did and he found that as he gathered
with other believers and worshipped the Lord, and shared the Word of God with
them, he was most encouraged and found great hope! It took time for him to come out of these
difficult days, but eventually he realized that when he focused his thoughts on
God and the Hope that he had in Him, he was able to get through each day
stronger and more hopeful than the day before.
– what does that word mean to you? To me
it is a confidence that I can have, even when days are hard, that God is with
me and He will get me through even the most difficult times. We don’t know what the future holds for any
of us. But we do have HOPE because we
know our future is in His hands!
– I know
Heaven is in my future! When my work on
this earth is done, however long or short that time may be, I have HOPE
(confidence) of going to Heaven, being
reunited with loved ones who have gone on before, and seeing Jesus face to
face. This has nothing to do with me –
it is all to do with what Jesus has done for me. What a glorious time that will be!
“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we
ask anything according to His will,
he hears us.” 1 John 5:14
By now, we are into the busy fall schedule at our
churches. We love summer and a time
away, but it is good to get back into a routine. What new or perhaps old responsibilities have
you taken on for this coming year in your church? Are you enjoying the work you
are doing for the Lord or do you already feel like you are overwhelmed or in a
rut? How many times do we decide to do
something, try something new, or even do the same thing we have been doing for
years without consulting God and His will for this ministry? We might wonder why a ministry is not
effective. Could it be because we do not pray in advance asking the Lord to
mold us into the ministry, to equip us by the Holy Spirit and to submit to His
leading? Maybe we did pray but on such
short notice that we did not give God the time to work answers in our
heart. Perhaps what is lacking is a
freshness & joy in our ministry from the very beginning because we started
what seemed good to us rather that this is of God’s will. Sound like something you are
experiencing? Jesus says in John 15:5 “I am the
vine, you are the branches. If a man
remains in me and I in Him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do
nothing.” Here is our hope, our
existence for life and our provision for ministry; it is Jesus Christ and Him
alone. Is it not Jesus and His will upon
which our ministries and we must rely?
May we return Jesus to His rightful focus in our desire to serve and be
the Master of our ministries.
here! The WMF Resource Manual is
ready. Some of the WMF groups who
attended WMF Day and Conference 2012 received their copies while there. These Manuals contain all the information
that you need as a WMF that is functioning or as a women’s group interested in
getting a WMF started. It explains the
set up and function of the WMF on all three levels (local, district and
national) with other information on Bible study helps, women’s ministry and
leadership development. It has project
descriptions, missionary information and program ideas for you to draw from and
also includes some history of how the WMF began and who has served as officers
throughout the years. We hope to get the
rest of the manuals distributed by the end of the year to those who didn't
receive their copies yet. The grant that
we received did not cover all of the expense of the manual, if your WMF group
or ladies would like to give towards this project please send a donation to our
treasurer Lois Grothe.
Theme Verse: “For I am confident of this very thing, that He who
began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6
Theme Hymn: “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing”
Morning Speaker: Pastor
Afternoon Speaker: Amy
September 22, 2012
Registration: 8:30 a.m.*
9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Sioux Falls, SD
I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you…
Speakers: PastorDel & Karen Palmer
is still time to send in registrations.
There is no cost to attend but the number of those who are attending the
rally are needed
the catered lunch by September 17.
A love offering will be taken.
605-371-3800 to register or if you have questions.
8:30 a.m. Registration
9 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Atonement Free Lutheran Church
Southwest Central Minnesota
October 13, 2012
9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Registration: 9 – 10 a.m.
Calvary Free LutheranChurch
1416 County Highway 111, Fergus
Theme: “Seasons of Thanksgiving”
Theme Verse: Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift! 2 Corinthians 9:15
Speaker: Pastor Connely Dyrud, Missionary-At-Large
October 13, 2012
10 a.m. Central Time
Theme: Walk Worthy
Theme Verse: I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk
in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all
humility and gentleness, with patience bearing with one another in love, eager
to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. Ephesians 4:1 – 3
Morning Speaker: Del Palmer
Afternoon Speaker: Karen Palmer
Workshops: Nancy Rice—Diabetic Education
Nyman—Photography & WMF Website
October 13, 2012
Our Savior’s Free Lutheran
Theme: “In The Potter’s Hands”
Theme Verse: “Yet, O Lord, you are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter. We are all the work of your hand.” Isaiah
Speakers: Pastor Nate and
AFLC Missionaries to Uganda
October 27, 2012
9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Theme: Bringing Good News Theme Verse: "How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in?
And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard?
And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?
As it is written, 'How Beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!'"
WMF Day, 2012, in Thief River Falls, Minnesota we were blessed to remember the
work the Lord has done for us and through us as we considered our theme,
far has the Lord helped us.”
were blessed to look back to the vision of the women who started the WMF of the
AFLC back in 1962. In those beginning
years, the concerns of their hearts were that women would have good Lutheran
Bible studies to study together in their individual groups and to support the
missionaries serving on the mission field.
was wonderful to be able to recognize the past officers of the WMF as well as
the missionaries who have served on the mission fields. We thank God for the vision that He gave them
as they answered His calling on their lives.
the women of the Women’s Missionary Federation of the AFLC in 2012 and beyond, where do
we go from here? In some respects,
we must continue with what the vision was of the founding women. We shall have good Lutheran Bible studies for
women to study together in their WMF meetings.
We shall continue to promote the projects that the WMF women so dearly
love to support – World Missions; Home Missions; Christian Education - Parish
Education, Association Free Lutheran Bible School, the Association Free
Lutheran Theological Seminary, and Cradle Roll; and the General Fund of the
WMF. Without your support of ALL of
these projects, our WMF will not fulfill the vision of helping to reach the
world for Christ. May God continue to
help us by igniting in us the desire to be faithful to do this.
John 4 we see Jesus visiting Sychar, a city of Samaria. He goes to the well to rest after a long
journey. He was obviously thirsty
because when the woman of Samaria came to draw water He asked her for a drink
of water. Here this woman was just doing
her ordinary work that had to be done when Jesus asked her for a drink of
water. He did not use any prescribed
method of evangelism to talk with this woman.
He met her in her everyday activities and spoke with her. Do you talk to your neighbors, friends, and
relatives about their work, their hobbies, and their families? As you befriend them they will get to know
you and you them. If you continue to get to know them, there will be
opportunities for you to share with them what Jesus means to you. There will be opportunities for you to invite
them to WMF or other activities where Jesus is presented to them. You don’t need to be shy about this. God will give you the courage you need.
are several scripture verses that address this issue of courage. One is Deuteronomy 31:6 (ESV) – “Be strong
and courageous . . . . for it is the Lord your God who goes with you.” Another is Psalm 27:14 (NKJV) – “Wait on the
Lord; Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart. . . .
exhortation that is specifically for women is this: “Older
women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor
enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good,so that
they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their
children,to be sensible, pure, workers at home,
kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be
dishonored.” Titus 2: 3-5 (NASB)
God has given us specific work to do. He
has given us the tools with which to do that work. He has given us the strength and courage to
complete that work. So where do
we go from here? I believe it is
imperative that we dig deeper into the Word of God together using the WMF Bible
studies. It is imperative that we
continue to support the projects of the WMF so we can assist in the work of
reaching the world for Christ. It is
imperative that we mentor and encourage one another. It is imperative that we reach out to those
outside our “comfort zone” so that we can bring them to Christ.
Challenges have been bombarding!
Circumstances are crowding in! People
are passing along their anxiety, fear, frustration,
and anger my direction! Life seems a tad
overwhelming to … I cannot handle it!
Does any of this sound familiar?
As challenges and circumstances overtake us, we do not need to be
overwhelmed. As we work with people, we
will not have perfect relationships because people are not perfect. We must point ourselves to the Word of God to
see how He would have us respond.
While reading Galatians 5, the Holy Spirit changed my
mind to a new way of thinking.
Stand fast in the liberty the Lord has given me. I have the power, through the Holy Spirit, to
choose a different response to life and people.
I can rise above circumstances, as if I was not involved in them, so the
Holy Spirit and I can choose a different response. I do not need to take on other people’s
anxiety, fear, frustration or anger. I
do not need to be anxious, fearful, frustrated or angry. I can help them by asking them how I
can pray for them instead. Satan is
prowling around ~ seeking whom he may devour ~ that’s us Christian. (1 Peter 5:8)
Satan does not want me to have the victory but I CAN have victory
through the Lord!
Don’t be tangled up with my past way of doing things which really is
bondage. The Lord can give me a new path
to follow ~ a new way of doing things.
When you stumble, you may ask, “I ran well … what happened? Who made me stumble from obeying the
truth?” The Bible says, “That response
did not come from the Lord!”
The Lord and I will have another mind ~ another way of thinking
as I allow Him to change me. I need to
stop and pray. He will transform my
thinking as I read His Word. (Romans
The one who troubles me will bear his own judgment. The Lord will deal with the other person’s
responses to life. I just need to
I should not bite and devour anyone so I will not be consumed by
anyone. I need to serve others through love instead whether that is through
prayer, giving them a Bible verse, meeting a physical need, etc. I need to love my neighbor as myself.
I have the freedom to choose the right way to live so
here are God’s strong words to us …