Hope Creates Lifetime Goals

Because I recently achieved one of those milestone birthdays, I meditated and prayed about God’s will for me in this new season of life.Hope word

The answer came as a whisper to “Check out Psalm 92.” Within the Psalmist’s words, I found a description of what I want to be and do in the years to come.

Of course, only God knows the extent of my timeline and the eventual plan he has for me.

But the Psalmist recorded some practical and wise advice that I plan to journal through and cache within my goal-setting process.

  • Flourish in the courts of our God

Whatever I do and wherever I am, I hope to flourish – to do my work with simple trust and hearty obedience, to finish well and make a difference in the Kingdom.

  • Grow in grace and bear fruit in old age

Jesus didn’t face old age, so we don’t have a divine model. But we can look at examples from Scripture to find out how to grow old with grace.

Noah accepted new assignments even when they seemed improbable and a bit crazy; i.e. building a boat while rain was just a weird unknown.

Elizabeth trusted God for the impossible and discerned how he was working in the world she inhabited; i.e. she mentored the mother of Jesus and trusted that her own womb bore God’s messenger.

John wrote the words that would encourage and inspire believers for centuries. Did he realize that one of the greatest hooks of all time would come from his pen? “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was from God and the Word was God.”

  • Be full of spiritual vitality

I want to be so filled with the Spirit and emptied of myself that the love and compassion of Christ precedes me into each room. I want my eyes to portray love and my voice to echo with the truth in a way that draws people to its life-giving source.

  • Rich in trust, love and contentment

I don’t want to be a saint who spends time griping about my aches and pains or the state of the country or the problems of younger generations. I want to be an example of what life-long trust in the God of the universe means – sharing his love while grateful for the breath of each day.

  • A living memorial to show that he is upright and faithful

The memorials of Lincoln and Jefferson focus on the words and grand living of these statesmen. How much greater and a broader goal to be a living memorial of who God is and how he is faithful to every promise.

Psalm 92:13-15 contains the rich truth and goal-setting ideas I can hang my hat on. As I march into this next season of life, even as the birthday ice cream slowly crystallizes in the freezer, I want this to be a fulfilling time of joy – while processing through whatever God desires for me.

He knew me before he made the world, what he planned for me, the good works he prepared for me to do. May that plan be exactly what happens and may it result in hope.

©2015 RJ Thesman – Author of the Reverend G Books http://www.crossrivermedia.com/portfolio/1624/gallery/fiction/

An Alcoholic Grandfather Finds Hope

Today I welcome a guest post by Sharon Garlock Spiegel, author of the newly-released book, “Generations.” http://www.crossrivermedia.com/Generations.htmlsha  


Edward Garlock’s progression from a fun-loving kid at age nine—to a raging abusive drunk at age forty-four didn’t happen overnight. His craving for alcohol escalated and his personality deteriorated. 

While his wife prayed for him, his children feared him and the town mocked him. Even cronies who spent hours in the tavern with him spoke ill of him behind his back.

His expertise in handling horses could have brought in a fortune to take care of his ever-growing family. But he was ruled by an insatiable thirst that drained him of his finances and his integrity.

Then one day, Edward attended a camp meeting conducted by Maria Woodworth Etter. He was amazed at the mercy and power of God. Edward met Christ and knelt at the foot of the cross. He then believed God for anything and everything. His life was turned completely around by divine intervention.

However, neighbors and associates labeled him a fanatic. The gossipmongers of Woodbury, Connecticut, laughed openly as they ridiculed him and his new-found faith. His own father, a well-respected veterinarian, would not speak to him. 

Human nature. Who can understand it? To be held captive by addiction—lashing out violently at those he loved….or labeled a fanatic—trusting and believing God.

Rejection of family and friends hurts, even when you’re trusting wholly in God. 

But it did not deter Edward Garlock from staying true to the one who rescued him from a life of misery and destruction. 

The change was real, and his experience was authentic. But the mockers never stopped. 

Over and over, Edward saw the miraculous happen in his life and in others. But the price to pay was total surrender and trust in God. 

I’m so glad my grandfather, Edward Garlock—along with my grandmother, Jessie May Garlock—chose the “fanatical road” which led them away from the road to destruction.

Sharon Garlock Spiegel

Sharon Garlock Spiegel is an Assembly of God minister, school administrator, and self-described ‘Missouri Yankee.’ She keeps busy pastoring, teaching, and being a wife, mother and grandmother. Still, one of her favorite activities is writing with purpose, sharing things that bless others. She and Roger, her husband of nearly fifty years, live in western Missouri and have three children, fourteen grandchildren and two cats.