“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13)

Sunday, October 31, 2010


God must have a fully realized sense of humor. He likes to play “practical jokes” on me constantly!  Stuff that I just have to laugh at or I’d cry!
Wednesday night was the “first night” of the College group I offered to start at my lovely church.  I have really felt a calling toward college students for awhile now. It was in college that I personally found my relationship with Christ. Plus there has never been a college group here. We have youth group for the high schoolers, we have Sunday School for the kiddos, we have Bible Studies that cater to the “adults” aka parents and non-college age, but nothing for that vital time in life called college.  “See a need, fill a need.” – I just love animated movies, such great lessons they teach!! (from Robots for those less-animated movie-versed folks)
My worst fear was that no one would show up; that I would be left all alone at a table with no one to talk to. Hard to believe, I know, since I’m so quiet and reserved… ha ha ha.  So my prayer has been “God, please let someone show up.”   Sure enough, the Bible Study Coordinator announces my study and asks if anyone is here for the college group…. crickets.  I smile through the anxiety and sadness building up in me. I remind myself that ministry is not easy, or everyone would do it. I remind myself that God is always faithful; I just need to stay the course and continue to seek him.
After a moment, the coordinator realized that one of the regular Bible Study leaders was not there, and suggests that her members attend my Bible Study.  Six people made their way to my table. Isn’t God so faithful? No, it was NOT the way I expected him to answer my prayer that someone show up.  But it IS an answered prayer. He also taught me a valuable lesson.  Essentially my worst fear did come true. No college students actually showed up to my Bible Study this first week… but I survived! I got a “practice run” of leading a Bible Study again, which I haven’t done in probably 5 or 6 years (Holy Cow- I didn’t realize it’s been that LONG!) and got some great feedback and met some wonderful people in my Church Family. God taught me that even if my worst fears DO come true, He will always be there with me, the whole way, and WE will always make it through together.  My worst fears will not defeat me.
 6 "Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their forefathers to give them. 7 Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. 8 Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go."  (Joshua 1:6-9) (emphasis mine)
Reflection Question: Are you missing out on God's faithfulness and answered prayers because they are not happening the way You expected?

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Against Us

If we could get all the affirmation we need in life from the people around us, we wouldn't need to put our hope in God.

I work with a guy who is higher than me on the totem-pole, you could say. I don't officially work for him, but I do have to listen to him.  Every time I see an email pop up with his name on it, my heart starts to race as though my body knows that an anxiety attack is about to ensue. Then, after I read whatever non-sense he has sent, a rage builds up in me.  I usually want to either throw my blackberry down the garbage-disposal or take a hatchet to my computer depending on where I am. He Never has anything positive to say. And often gives directives that are wrong or don't pass the commonsense test. Ugh. I know you're probably following me here. You know someone in your life just like this. Maybe it's your mother-in-law or your neighbor. But certainly you know someone who can take a perfectly good day and ruin it just by sending an email or opening their mouth.

So if we can't get the encouragement we need from the People of this world where Do we get it??

Well, after my last post, I'm looking to God's word for what He says about me.

"If God is for us, who could be against us?" (Rom 8:31)

"...we are more than conquerors through him who loved us” (Rom 8:37)

Hmm this is a good one too ;)
"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit" (Rom 15:13)

"Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession-- to the praise of his glory" (Eph 1:13b-14)
Whoa- God has marked me?? as HIS??

"Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you" (1 Pet 5:7)

Just this week, while I was prepping for the small group of college students I'm going to start leading, I came across something that really hit home. “Our fulfillment in this life depends not on our skills to avoid life's problems, but on our ability to apply God's specific solutions to those problems.” (Search for Significance)

Reflection question: Are you letting the people around you determine your mood? Or are you taking it to Jesus?

Sunday, October 24, 2010


In the movies you hear God with a great big resounding voice that echos. Have you ever wanted to just Hear God like that?  Ahem, God.... I’d like to hear from you today.  Should I quit my job? What book should I read? Why is life so crazy lately??  I don’t hear God like they do in the movies.  But I do know that God writes to me... love letters you know. He says:

“All beautiful you are, my darling; there is no flaw in you.”Song of Solomn 4:7

“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.”Ephesians 2:10

Who of you wouldn’t love to get a love letter saying that you are a masterpiece and that you are beautiful with no flaw in you.... everyday?? Yeah, me too!!  Plus, I just Know that my Bible has power and that by reading and memorizing the actual Word of God I will thus have that power... but why is it so darn hard for me to get into it everyday?  I have no problem doing my devotional by some great Christian people, named “not-God”, but to actually read The Bible itself... hmm, not so much.  Why is that?

I have truly tried lately to make it a point to read the Bible. To do it in an order, or even just read Something!  But yet somehow I always get in my own way. I make an excuse, I do something else, gosh sometimes I just don’t even think of it at all!

Hebrews 4:12 says “For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart." Sharp, Living and Active. Those are the way I want God's Word to be in my life. I want the Holy Spirit along side me every step of the way.

Reflection Question: Is the word of God alive and active in you? Will you ask Him to make it so?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


6 months ago yesterday, an American Hero gave the ultimate sacrifice. I had the honor of serving his family as their Casualty Assistance Officer. My Hero left behind a 21 year old wife and 18 month old daughter as well as a loving mother, father, sister and brother.  I laughed and cried with my new family as I did my best to ensure they had all of the available resources afforded to them, but no matter how much help I brought, it would never bring back their Hero.  He knew the risks and faced them anyway. I wear my bracelet to remember this Hero in my heart always.  May we never forget.

As I reflect on the sacrifice of My Hero, I can’t help but think about the fact that we are not guaranteed another day, we may not have a tomorrow. If you knew that tomorrow you would face your maker what would you do differently?  What if you would face Him in a month, or a year? Would you spend that year loving your neighbor? Would you spend more time in prayer? Would you finally find a church to be active in?

James 4:13-17 13Now listen, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money." 14Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 15Instead, you ought to say, "If it is the Lord's will, we will live and do this or that." 16As it is, you boast and brag. All such boasting is evil. 17Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it, sins."

This very same reflection changed my life the day after the twin towers fell on 9/11.  I realized that my number could come up Any day and I wasn't going to make excuses for living for God when I was out of college or when I had more time or I got married anymore. I turned my heart over to Him on September 12, 2001. Now I could never go back for He is faithful!

Reflection Question: What excuse would you make to God for not giving Him your all if you met Him today? How are you going to stop procrastinating TODAY?

**This Blog Entry is posted in Honor of ALL Gold Star Family Members**

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Keep Your Eye on the ..... Quarterback

One fall afternoon at a little league football game, a young boy named Josh was playing defense. He was really good at his job of tackling the quarterback. Too good. The other team double teamed Josh, and he was still getting through. One of the blockers was obviously getting frustrated and on the next play he grabbed Josh’s face-mask and took him down. If you know anything about football, you know that grabbing a face-mask is not only against the rules but dangerous.  Josh was angry. He ran over and told his coach what happened, and the coach calmed him down and said “Josh, don’t worry, the ref will catch it next time.”

On the next play, the offensive lineman did the very same thing. He grabbed Josh’s face-mask and threw him down... still no call from the ref. Josh was furious! He ran back to the sideline and asked the coach what to do... same response from Coach. “Josh, just keep doing your job, the ref will call it.” Josh was more than visibly agitated at this time, and as he ran back on the field he told the ref that he better be watching number 77 because the offensive lineman keeps grabbing his face-mask.

Before the next play was run, Josh’s dad said to the coach, “I’ve seen that look before; this isn’t going to go well.” Sure thing, during the next play, the offensive lineman went to grab Josh’s face-mask, but this time Josh was more than ready for his revenge. He picked number 77 up and dropped him on the field, not legal. Then he proceeded to grab the kid’s pads and drive him into the field over and over again, definitely not legal!  You can believe that the ref caught that one.  The worst part of all, was that if Josh would have look up for a second, and not focused solely on his revenge, he would have seen that the quarterback was only 2 feet away!! The prize, the goal, the whole reason Josh was there was so close but he was so focused on revenge and blinded to the fact that his prize was so close.

Don’t we do this all the time?  Our prize is Jesus and God is our referee. God doesn’t always make the call right away, but it’s His timing.  Sometimes he lets things happen to build our character. Sometimes it’s to build theirs. And sometimes we have no idea why he doesn't make the call right away. Often we tend to focus all our time on something that is just in our way of Jesus -- our prize. We focus on the road block and get caught up with moving the entire road block in stead of going around it and focusing on the goal destination ahead.

Philippians 3:12-14- 12Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Reflection Question: Where are you trying to get revenge that is blocking you from seeing the prize? 

Story borrowed with permission from Charles Martin

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Mean Girl

From the beginning of time we were selfish.  Eve wanted to “be like God” so she ate of the forbidden fruit (Genesis 3). Adam and Eve’s son Cain killed his brother Abel, not because Abel did anything to Cain, but because God found Abel’s sacrifice to be worthy of His blessing and He found Cain’s to be lacking (Genesis 4).  He was jealous of his brother’s good favor.

Why do I do this? I am frustrated with something... maybe something from work, or some person who cut me off while I was driving. The next thing I know I’m yelling at my kids because they’re laughing too loud (yes, laughing... Really laughing?!?) or I’m being snappy or critical of my husband for something he’s done that is helpful for the family!! Ugh!

I want TO LOVE!

1 Cor 13:4-8
4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  8Love never fails.

I want to be able to say “Loren is patient and kind; she is not self-seeking, easily angered, rude and keeps no record of wrongs”. I can’t say that about myself. Right now I feel more like “Loren is impatient and mean; she is selfish, easily angered, rude and holds a grudge.” So where does that come from? Why do I do these things and feel this way? How do I combat this?  

We are in a spiritual war for our hearts everyday. Our decisions and actions point to the condition of our hearts. We have the ability to choose which way our hearts are going to point. I can pray and trust God to change my heart to be of love, like His.

Reflection Question: Are you going to let the devil control your heart or are you going to give it over to God?

Sunday, October 10, 2010

I Found HOPE Today!

I had some extra time for lunch and since I didn't get to do my devotional in the morning, work gets in the way sometimes, I set off for some time alone.  I decided I was feeling a little bloggy. I had no logical reason for bypassing my usual "God Spot" of Starbucks to tryout Greenbeans Coffee Shop for THIS "God Time". They had a Greenbeans at my base in Iraq, and that was a wonderful haven for escaping reality for me then, but I still prefer my Starbucks now that I'm stateside.

When I got to the register for my Chai I noticed the girl's name-tag said "Hope" which made me smile since I was there to spend time with the Lord of Hope, AND my Blog's name is Overflow with Hope. :)  I ended up writing and publishing my last blog post right from my iPhone. Hope was kind enough to let me take a picture of her name-tag to include with this post.

We can find Hope anywhere! But really, I think that God wanted to send ME some specific encouragement. He wanted to send me a present in the way only He can. God gives us these little gifts because, like us, he likes to be romantic. Most people just aren't observant enough to receive them and be thankful to the giver. I have been reading "Captivating" by John & Staci Eldridge and during one of the chapters John talks about him going to the beach and God giving him the gift of seeing a whale. John is wild and adventurous and a whale is exactly the gift John would have wanted. He told his wife Staci about it and she asked God for her own whale.  God, in his infinitely love, didn't give Staci a whale that day... He brought her to find bunches of Starfish! Much more Staci's style, gentle, peaceful and lovely. He is so good! He calls to our very own hearts. I literally asked God for MY whale and he gave me HOPE.

Reflection question: What romantic gifts have you received this week that you have yet to thank the lover of your soul for?

Thursday, October 7, 2010

How Do You Describe God?

How would YOU describe God? What kind of adjectives come to mind? Go on, really think about it for a minute before you continue reading. I already know what I think.

Most people think of God as a man. Man was created in God's image right? So calling God Him and thinking about Him in
masculine terms just seems to go hand in hand. How would you describe a man then? As strong? Confident? What about provider and protector? Yes yes yes! My God is all those things!

But I think God is more! "He made them in His image...male and female he created them." (Gen 1:27) Let's think now about how you would describe a woman. As compassionate? Nurturing? Would you even say romantic? Adventurous and beautiful?

Wait just one second, assuming you're following me here and that maybe you can agree, how many of you had beautiful in your original descriptive words about God?

It just makes sense though doesn't it? What about that sunset or the amazing colors the leaves make before they fall? All stunningly beautiful. That wonderful beach haven that calms your soul, coincidence? Beauty is so inherently God and so inherently feminine.

A woman knows she yearns to bring beauty to this world, as does God.

Reflection question: How are you misconstruing God in your mind? Who is He really?