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2014-01-24 10.17.27Great is Thy faithfulness oh God my father;

There is no shadow of turning with Thee.

Thou changest not; Thy compassions they fail not.

As Thou hast been thou forever will be.

So says that glorious hymn I’ve sung for as long as I can remember. I sang it. I believed it, or so I thought. But in the last seven months, I KNOW I believe it. God’s faithfulness has been exhibited in this little Russian family as he has healed, helped, and heartened in innumerable ways.

Today, as I made my daily drive to school, I wasn’t alone. A Russian sprite was tucked firmly in her seat as she chattered along to me…asking questions, telling stories….all in English. As she rushed into the preschool room, after an absence of one month, she threw her arms wide and shouted,

” Ms. Lynda!” As if to say, here I am and really, didn’t you miss me?

I smiled as I continued on to my office. Our little Sofya (or Sofia L as she likes to call herself now) is firmly settled in her new country. She chatters on in English scarcely pausing for breath, and I have to remind myself this is the same girl who arrived just seven months ago chattering away in Russian.

One month ago her sister, Mariana, made her appearance…..perfect in every way. I will never forget sitting in that waiting room at 3:30 AM and hearing a quiet voice say,

“Mum?”

I turned and quickly walked to our son-in-law, who threw his arms around me  and burst into tears of joy, relief, thankfulness.  I will also always remember that wonderful nurse who, after examining Mariana, approached the foot of Noel’s bed and stated in firm, clear tones,

“Your baby is perfectly healthy. She is perfect.”

And then, today, a young mother stopped by the school to pick her little girl up. She carried a baby in and showed her off….a perfect little girl who is growing by leaps and bounds.  As I watched her share her blessing with the staff and students and accept the admiration of her lovely baby, I stepped back and swallowed hard.

Yes, God, great is your faithfulness……as You have been, You forever will be..

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IMG_6058Viv Walden

Hope. One syllable. 4 letters.

It seems like as I grow older I see sorrow all around me. Let’s face it. This world is filled with broken people.

Parents see their children walking headlong away from God.  Their shoulders sag with the weight of it all.

A wife loses her husband in what was supposed to be the happy, relaxed retirement years. She is lonely, sad and overwhelmed.

A family faces the death of a beloved child. Cancer has taken another and we are left bereft. Children see their parents grow old and feeble – and sometimes feeble minded as well. It is not easy. We live in a fallen world. Hard and sad things happen

. I wish I could grab handfuls of hope and give them out – like bouquets from an endless meadow. Or pass around blankets of hope for people to wrap themselves in so they could be warmed and comforted.

But hope isn’t something you can hold in your hand. You hold it in your heart. And it is not something that warms your body; it warms your spirit and keeps you alive.

Hope helps you breathe. It helps you get through the day, through all the days. And the place to find HOPE is in the word of God. CS Lewis says it wonderfully. ” Most people, if they had really learned to look into their own hearts, would know that they do want, and want acutely, something that cannot be had in this world. There are all sorts of things in this world that offer to give it to you, but they never quite keep their promise. “At present we are on the outside… the wrong side of the door. We discern the freshness and purity of morning, but they do not make us fresh and pure.

But all the pages of the New Testament are rustling with the rumor that it will not always be so. Someday, God willing, we shall get ‘in’… We will put on glory… that greater glory of which Nature is only the first sketch.”

So if you are looking for true hope that sustains, supports, keeps, encourages and is forward looking, open those ‘leaves’ of the New Testament and find the breaths, whispers, and shouts of hope. This God breathed book beckons to all who are weary and heavy laden. And it shouts, Yes, God is real!  Come, know Him and let Him show you a hope-filled present and a glorious future.