Monthly Archives: August 2015

The Joy of “Hope”

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“Hope deferred (or delayed) makes the heart sick, but a dream fulfilled is a tree of life.” Proverbs 13:12 (NLT)

“Miss, can I talk to you in private?” asked Hope.  Over lunch period, Hope poured out her heart.  “I don’t know what to do.  I am so scared!”

Hope was a beautiful young lady, a student of mine.  She was gregarious, pleasant, fun-loving  with many friends and respected among teachers.  Her future was bright from all indications…until I shockingly found out otherwise as she proceeded.  “I have just found out that I have cancer” she lamented.  “My world is falling apart!”

Stunned as I tried to comfort, I was wrestling with the tragedy that confronted this sweet girl.  What future awaited?  Was she going to be ravished for the remainder of the year as she began treatment?  How would she cope with this, school work, her social life?  I thought and prayed for her often.

Years later during Open House, I recognized Hope as soon as she walked into my classroom.  Her radiant smile, vivaciousness and joy of living was bubbling from within.  “I am doing just fine now” she said.  “I have a son and life is great!”  Hope had triumphed and was living her dream.  She had started her own family tree with a son, the joy of her life!

Stately palm trees look regal but when strong winds come, the fronds bend, clustered together.  Especially was this apparent during Hurricane Iniki as the winds buffeted Hawaii and pelted it with rain.

When tragedy happens, it is easy to give into despair, depression and with many questions to even God.  “Why did this happen?  What have I done wrong?  How can you get glory in this?  Where do I go from here?”  When faith is shaken and sleepless nights long as I feel such winds of adversity and feeling as though I am bowling over, how do I proceed into calmness and peace of mind?  Do I pray for strength no matter what the outcome? Does God really care?”

Yes, He cares.  The Word says, “They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season.  Their leaves never wither and they prosper in all they do.” Psalm 1:3 (NLT) Situations may not change, but I am changed within as peace reigns.

Let me be resilient, Lord, in this life You have given me; ever looking to You from where my help comes in any and all situations.  Your leading is perfect for me!

Instruction God’s Way

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 The Lord says, “I will instruct you.  I will teach you the way that you should go.  I will advise you as my eyes watch over you.” Psalm 32:8 (God’s Word)

Hale Pa’i (House of Printing) built in 1834 on Lahainalua’s campus is where the first Bible in the Hawaiian language was first printed.  The missionaries had enabled the unprinted Hawaiian language to be reduced into an alphabet according to its sounds.  The printed Word of God could then  be  read by Hawaiian men studying for the ministry under missionary tutelage.  Lahainaluna today is a public high school that teaches standard curriculum.

Its students throughout the years have observed Rally ‘Round the Flag Pole near Hale Pa’i and pray over administrators, teachers, staff and students.  One unique year  the Lieutenant Governor of Hawaii, Duke Aiona (a devout Christian) urged all Christians to pray on each school campus on a designated Sunday.  At Lahainaluna, each door was anointed with oil while individuals prayed for all that would enter that classroom.

Recently our church located here on the Mainland invited school superintendents to share an evening with students, parents and teachers.  One superintendent spoke of wanting to see God’s blessing through him and through all the schools in his district.  Around 4,000 people attended that unique evening. The kids’ minister spoke on the theme, Love All-Serve All.  Jesus took time out for Bartimaeus and so he urged kids to be friendly and kind to all in their school.

God, Himself, is our own Life Instructor, no matter the age.  The text He uses is the Bible and the Holy Spirit is our tutor.  His lesson plans are in many subjects and guidance is carefully given through challenging and at times, easy homework.  Patience is His virtue, gently loving until we live out His objectives. We get our graduation day when He proclaims “Well done, good and faithful student!  You have been faithful with a few things.  I will put you in charge of many things.  Come and share your master’s happiness!” Matthew 25:23

God, you are so all-knowing what’s best for me.  You encourage me with such kind words for you said “I am the apple of your eye!”  What an absolute delight You are!

 

 

 

Jessica, Our First Grand Gal

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Grandchildren are the crowning glory and ultimate delight of old age, and parents are the pride of their children. (VOICE)

Jessica means ‘the Lord’s gift’ and we, too, were overjoyed she was coming into our family!  Our church in Kihei, Maui celebrated the excitement, too, in throwing a baby shower for this Grammy to send gifts to our first grandchild.  I opened them while sharing the excitement with the expectant Mommy by phone.  A flight attendant in our church later took the boxed items with her and mailed them from her destination on the Mainland.

We finally saw beautiful Jessica when she was a month old. What joy! Sadly, though, Jessi’s Mommy and Daddy divorced when she was five years old.  We  then had little contact with her but earnest prayer continued.

One year I was a teacher component of a team of educators chosen to represent the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.  At the private school we visited, seniors were required to make a public speech before graduating. I was amazed to listen to a young lady saying,  “My parents were divorced when I was young and I have not had the opportunity to establish a relationship with my Dad.  After graduation, my biggest desire is to find my Dad and to get to know him in a deep and meaningful way!”  She was designed by God to speak on that particular day on this particular subject that instilled hope.

Years later, that speech still resounded in my heart.  Last summer after high school, Jessi reconnected with us all and we celebrated our first Thanksgiving together.  This summer she moved here to be with her Dad, step-mom and family.

We often have entrenched, negative events in our lives that weigh us down.  At times we  wonder if God really is at work in these situations.  Does He care about these heavy burdens we carry? Yes, He is at work when He seems so distant.  This may take travail and intercession.  He does delight in giving us answers.  “…We can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good!” Romans 8:28 (MSG)

Remind me, God, of the saying ‘tears are a language You understand’. Your perfect will in all of life’s situations are designed with your ultimate goals at work.  Therefore I will praise and trust You!