You know according to the Bible, hope is a very important thing. In fact, it’s part of the big three listed in 1 Corinthians 13: Faith, Hope and Love. Yet, we don’t talk about hope much. Everyone knows love is supreme and faith is mentioned almost every Sunday in sermons but what about hope?
I know it is difficult to have hope these days but without it life is a hard row to plow. Hope is essential to giving endurance to faith which ends in love. It is like the fuel that gets us going each morning and keeps us going through out the day.
So how do we have hopeful thinking each day? Well, I’ve found the best way to keep my hope tank full is to focus on God’s character, faithfulness and promises. To that end, I hope you enjoy the scripture art below.
Well, this months Rays of Sonshine post highlights two people who we’ve known for nearly 20 years. They are dear friends and long time advocates for people living with disabilities including serving on the Access-Life board of Directors for over 6 years from 2011 to 2017. They have served on 3 of our mission trips to Belize and helped lead the planning for the North Texas Expo since it’s beginning in 2012. However, what makes John and Lisa so special is not all that they do (which is a whole lot LOL) but their heart for people.
The so love helping people living with disability in their times of need. They do it everyday, too as the own and run a durable medical equipment store in Hurst, TX. They see, meet and make friends with individuals and families members living with disabilities on a daily basis. In turn, reaching out to these folks through Access-Life has been a natural fit. Helping them know that God loves them, has a good plan for their lives and wants them to live abundantly fill with His joy is a natural extension of what John and Lisa already do through their store and work.
Isn’t that a lesson we all need to learn and relearn every day? Letting God’s light and love shine through us leading others to true life only found in Jesus. A Life that gives hope, peace and joy. A life that is about overcoming and living abundantly making a difference for God’s kingdom and bringing heaven to earth each day. So let us each of us honor God with every word we say and every deed we do and please join us in celebrating this month’s Rays of Sonshine: John and Lisa Deeds.
You know the Bible says the joy of the Lord is our strength. I’ve known this truth for years and even believe it. However, not until recently have I really began thinking about it in a practical way. A way that actually has a daily impact on my life and the way I live. I don’t know about you but I definitely need God’s strength to get through each day. I need the strength that only Jesus gives to be motivated, energized and empowered to accomplish all the good He sets before me daily.
So where does this God given help come from? Joy, Joy in God! Dwelling on Him and His goodness. Thinking on Him and His holiness. Walking with Him in the light of His love. Living each moment focused on the hope we have in Jesus and the wonderful promises He has given. At least that’s when I find my joy tank full and my motivation gauge on the rise.
Like so many things in life, it comes down to our thoughts which then dictate our attitudes and in turn our feelings. They are all linked together so when we are anchored by joy in Jesus we have the fortitude to move forward through each day for and through Him.
I think Colossians 3 verses 1-3 sums it up best: Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
Reading this verse and thinking of God’s goodness and how this is what He truly wants from us: to climb up in His lap, rest in His arms, carried thru each day by Him, safe to enjoy the good blessings He gives each day. Simple faith, simple life, simple joy. That’s walking with Jesus.
Deu 12:7 “There, in the presence of the LORD your God, you and your families shall eat and shall rejoice in everything you have put your hand to, because the LORD your God has blessed you.”
This month’s Rays of Sonshine has really put some miles on the road since getting involved with Access-Life in 2013. In fact, while he lives in East Tennessee, He has spent almost as much time in TX and FL helping the ministry as in his home state’s backyard.
So how does he do all of this? By transporting our big trailer full of outreach equipment, docks, tents and supplies from TX to TN and then back to FL each year. That’s right he travels almost 2,000 miles annually helping get Access-Life things from one location to another.
The blessings don’t stop there though, as despite living in the 3rd quarter of life, he is one of the hardest workers we know across the ministry’s 3 state area. He actually, out lasted all our volunteers at set-up and tear-down during the recent Expo in North Texas, too. Of course, He shines brightest in the Volunteer state where he not only helps with the trailer transport, general set-up and tear-down and water and ice distribution but he also grades our gravel shore line and helps build our wooden boardwalk so each participant can have access to the boat rides, kayaking and fishing areas on site.
Whew, makes me tired talking about it so I’ll close by saying thank you to all our volunteers who do so much across TX, TN and FL and a special thanks to Jerry who travels across all three states to be this month’s Rays of Sonshine!
You know we all get down and have tough days but the great news as Believers in Jesus is that we always have Him with us to guide, protect, comfort and help. He is completely faithful and even in those times when we feel low, if we’ll look around we can see signs of His presence, care, love and blessings. So here are a few homemade scripture art pictures to hopefully encourage us all in these facts. :)
Our June “Rays of Sonshine” are a dynamic duo who live in Clovis, New Mexico. Anne Linville, who just happens to be Leanne’s mom, and her good friend, Pat Moody, whom we affectionately call the Queens of Clovis. Serving others is their motto and they do that on a regular basis in their neighborhood, church, community and here at Access-Life!
Even though neither of them live in an Expo area, Anne and Pat are always ready for a project and in turn, touch the lives of many in all the areas we serve. In fact we often get a call or text from one or the other asking us if we have a project for them to tackle. However, the main task they assist with on a regular basis is helping with signing, addressing, stuffing and mailing thank you letters after each Expo which we send to all participants, volunteers and exhibitors. As our Expos have grown over the years so have the numbers of letters and when we got to the point where we needed some help, God provided it through these energetic gals. As an added bonus, Pat is our official craft lady who assembles our Expo activity buttons and prayer magnets whenever we need them.
After serving behind the scenes for quite a few years they both had the opportunity to serve at the North Texas in 2016 as they traveled with the youth group from their church, Central Baptist, who came and served too. On Friday before the Expo they helped with prepping supply bins, name tags and anything else we needed done. On Expo day they served in the registration area assisting both volunteers and participants as they arrived. Anne says what she enjoyed most about serving at an Expo was “experiencing first-hand the happiness and enthusiasm of those volunteering that day, as well as seeing the joy of the participants.”
Having such close family and friends serving beside us even behind the scenes is such a blessing. It is also a joy to have people you have known for so long seeing the value in what God has called us to do and jumping in with both hands and feet to join in the ministry work. :)