The Daily Register - Harrisburg, IL
Finding the sacred in everyday life
Day 30: Using memorial stones to strengthen hope
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Marketta Gregory never meant to be a columnist. \x34I trained to be a newspaper reporter -- one who tried to her best to be objective. I covered religion for a few years and felt like it was the best job a curious woman like me could ever have. ...
Simply Faithful
Marketta Gregory never meant to be a columnist. I trained to be a newspaper reporter -- one who tried to her best to be objective. I covered religion for a few years and felt like it was the best job a curious woman like me could ever have. Every day I got to listen as people told me about the things that were most important to them, the things that were sacred. But the newspaper industry was changing and few papers could afford to have an army of speciality reporters. So, I moved to cover the suburbs where, as luck would have it, they have plenty of religion, too. Eventually, children came into the picture. One by birth and another two months later by foster care/adoption. I struggled to chase breaking news and be home at a decent hour, so I made the move to what we journalists call the dark side: I took a job in public relations. (Don't worry. I work for a great non-profit, so it's not dark at all.) When I gave my notice at the Rochester (NY) Democrat and Chronicle, the executive editor asked me to consider writing a column on a freelance basis. She didn't want the newspaper to lose touch with its religious sources, and she still wanted consistent faith coverage. I was terrified. It took me about 10 months to get back to her with a solid plan and some sample columns. And so it began, this journey of opening up my heart to strangers.
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By simplyfaithful
March 19, 2013 11:30 a.m.

 I’ve mentioned Sandra Fox and her devotional, Lord Renew My Hope, several times during this 40-day project. Today, you get to hear directly from her. Be blessed, my friends…

I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness…,

Yet this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope:

For His compassions never fail…great is your faithfulness.

Lamentations 3:19-23

We all want peace in our lives and families.  But many times all we see is bickering and fighting. Our jobs can be in question. Prices rise. Our health declines.  Where is peace?
We are told that the greatest of these is love.  However, people spend time gossiping and not speaking to each other. Families and marriages crumble. Where is “love”?
The Word says that without faith it is impossible to please God. We can be weighted down with disappointments and discouragement.  Where is your faith when you feel nothing will change?
Maybe you haven’t lost faith—you have lost hope. Hope can ignite faith, peace and love.
An interesting sign reads-GODISNOWHERE.  Some read this as God is nowhere.  Others see it as God is now here. So what can we do to remind ourselves that God is here now-in our circumstances?  The verse in Lamentations says to remember God’s faithfulness.  One secret to surviving the storm is to remember all the times that God has been with you in the past.  Start to remember all the times God has delivered you and answered your prayers.  Remember where to put your hope.  He calms the storm!
We need to make memorial stones in our lives for what God has done for us.  They will increase your hope because as He has helped you in the past-He will help you again, and again.  Stones help you to remember when you’ve crossed over a difficult time in your life.  Memorial stones of when He has provided for us.  Stones of when He planted our feet on solid ground.
Even stones to teach your children.  Joshua 4 talks of memorial stones.  They were to put stones in a pile after they crossed the flooded Jordan River. Joshua 4:6 says, “Let this be a sign among you, so that when your children ask, what do these stones mean, then you can tell them what God has done for you.”
Too often we forget what God has done for us.  We need to be reminded.  It will give us hope.
We need to make some memorial stones in our lives for what God has done.  What has God spoken to you to encourage you to know that He is by your side?  You might underline those words.  You might write it on a card to be placed where you can see it each day. You could paint that word on a stone and place it on your kitchen counter.  Let it be a reminder of what God has done for you-a hope remembrance stone.
The Lord is our “Rock” and He  will be there giving us rest and peace. Let hope renew your faith.
sandyI am a wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother.  I am also a retired registered nurse. I have served as a women’s bible study and Sunday school teacher for 30 years.  I presently live in Penfield, NY with my husband, a dog and a cat.

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