“…and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us…” (Romans 5:5)

I have—like many of you—been struggling since our regular lives have been getting shut down in the last week or so.  During times of stress—and I can’t remember of a time of more stress, fear, and worry—I believe it is imperative for us to not let go of the practices, rituals, and habits that keep us sane, grounded, and strong.

As I have been reading scripture for the last several days, I am seeing every lesson through the lens of what we are currently going through.  I believe that scripture divorced from life isn’t much help; just as I believe that life divorced from scripture is without foundation and direction.

And so, with Fran’s help, I would like to suspend the Encouragement series for now.  Instead, we will be sending a new series that will directly speak, I pray, to the challenges that are before us.  I would like to call this new series “Notes on Hope.”

My desire with this new series is contained in today’s scripture:  May hope not disappoint us. Let us hold fast to that promise.  Our greatest hope is that we belong to God, that we are not alone, that our God is with us, that He will guide and sustain us.

As often as God speaks to me through the words of scripture, we will post. I ask for your prayers that I might be given words of hope and strength and courage.

Blessings and peace and hope to all.    Jim+