Shattered Dreams & Disappointments

– I’m sure I’m not the only one to “go through,” or to experience disappointment, heartaches or broken dreams. But  I have faith and I am sure that my God is, and is a present help in time of trouble and is near to the brokenhearted. God has His way and His plan in such times, and we His believers must trust and obey for Him perform what He promised for us in due season. — Josephus-Joppa

Today’s Prayer,

Dear God, You are great and greatly to be praised. Oh, how I wish that everyone would praise you and give you first priority in their lives. This world would be a better place…and individual lives would be so much better, so much happier. I am so burdened for those who are unemployed, underemployed, or not able to work. They try to exist on what little they have. Some of them receive help from charities and  government programs; others scrape here and there to earn a little; others have nothing. I pray that you will lift up these people. I pray that you will encourage them and guide them and show them the way. I pray that you will meet their EVERY need–whether for deliverance from sin, sickness, or some shackle that holds them down–for a job or career and financial needs–for shelter–for medical care–for counseling–for friendship–whatever they truly need. For some their greatest need is to find a purpose and a feeling of worth. I pray that they will lift up their eyes to you, from whence comes their help and their salvation. Please have mercy and help them. Please show me what I can do to help them and enable me to do so. Please intervene. And  may you receive all the glory and praise for great things you will do and are doing. In the name of Jesus I pray, amen.


Shattered Dreams
TGIF Today God Is First Volume 1, by Os Hillman

“Then Elimelech, Naomi’s husband, died; and she was left, and her two sons. Now they took wives of the women of Moab: the name of the one was Orpah, and the name of the other Ruth. And they dwelt there about ten years. Then both Mahlon and Chilion also died; so the woman survived her two sons and her husband.” -Ruth 1:3-5

Naomi’s life was going well. A great husband. Two fine sons who had two wonderful wives. Then the unthinkable happened. Her husband died. A little time later both her sons die. Her and her daughter-in-laws find themselves in the midst of shattered dreams. This isn’t how life was supposed to be.

How did Naomi react to her situation? “…for it grieves me very much for your sakes that the hand of the Lord has gone out against me!” (Ruth 1:13) Ah, we see her true feelings about the situation. “How could a loving God let this happen?!” “Do not call me Naomi; call me Mara, for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me. I went out full, and the Lord has brought me home again empty. Why do you call me Naomi, since the Lord has testified against me, and the Almighty has afflicted me?” (Ruth 1:20-21)

Mara means bitter. She knew where she was. She was bitter toward this so called God of love. “How can I possibly reconcile this?!” No life insurance. No widow’s fund. “What is going to happen to me and my daughters?”

The Bible says the rain falls on the righteous and the unrighteous. Naomi and Ruth move to a community where some of her relatives lived. Ruth goes out to work in the fields to put food on the table. She just so happens to work in the field of a wealthy farmer named Boaz. When Ruth tells her this the first ray of hope penetrates her bitter heart. Even she can recognize the hand of God.

So she told her mother-in-law with whom she had worked, and said, “The man’s name with whom I worked today is Boaz. Then Naomi said to her daughter-in law, ‘Blessed be he of the Lord, who has not forsaken His kindness to the living and the dead!'” (Ruth 2:19-20).

Hebrew custom was for the next in kin to care for the widow in the family. Boaz was to be this man. He would eventually marry Ruth. She would bare a son, Obed. He would be the father of Jesse, the father of David. Jesus would come from the same lineage.

Shattered dreams often lead to a world-impacting destiny. But getting there is often a process where we must work through honest feelings before we can see the God who redeems even the most devastating shattered dream.

Disappointments
TGIF Today God Is First Volume 1, by Os Hillman

Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life. – Proverbs 13:12

Life is filled with disappointments. Many of God’s greatest servants experienced deep disappointment in their journeys of faithfulness to God. Joseph, after spending years as a slave and in jail for crimes that he did not commit, revealed deep disappointment when he was forgotten another two years in prison. John the Baptist, when awaiting execution, doubted whether Jesus was, in fact, the Christ because he was sitting there awaiting his death. Elijah, losing all hope and despondent to the point of death, asked God to take his life in the desert; and Peter, who left his fishing business and invested three years of his life only to watch his Savior crucified, wondered whether the purpose of those three years could be justified.

When life doesn’t add up, it leaves the heart sick. When we have done all we know to do and the formula has not worked, it leaves us questioning. These are times that try the very souls of men. There is no human sense to be made of it. We are left with a choice: to cling or not to cling. There are times when holding on to our Master’s robe is all that we can do. It is all that He wants us to do.

The heights by great men reached and kept

Were not obtained by sudden flight;

But they, while their companions slept,

Were toiling upward in the night.

Standing on what too long we bore,

With shoulders bent and downcast eyes,

We may discern-unseen before-

A path to higher destinies!

~Longfellow

There is only one answer to life’s disappointments. Like the psalmist, we must “Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from Him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; He is my fortress, I will not be shaken” (Ps. 62:5-6).

Today God Is First (TGIF) devotional message, Copyright by Os Hillman, Marketplace Leaders.

It Won’t Be Long

My dearest of readers and followers, this be Josephus “Joppa” (and pardon my horrendous English and grammar usage) coming to you for the first time in months- yes, months; to tell you I may be absent for yet at most just one more month… or less, okay? Instead of constantly popping in and out, writing a post every now and then, saying Imma do this or that over and over again, I’m just gonna say that I’m going on a definite hiatus for a little less than a month. I know, I know; there’s no need to cry for me though. I’m going to be all right, and I’m going to return soon.

When I return to the land of blogging though I have some things to decide on; I’m trying to figure out what to do to improve the road… I’m thinking of a page redesign, trying to decide on whether or not to keep two pages/blogs (this one and Word Play, Joppa Say) or create a parent homepage with the links to the two separate blogs…I’m thinking about all this…and more… When I do return I’ll have something done though for sure.

And so, I guess that’s it; until I get it right with more time to sit and blog with you all in about a month or so, I’ll be logging off, saying see you all later and may God bless and keep you… It won’t be long…

 

Josephus-Joppa

Set Your Sights on Jesus

Today’s prayer…
“Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Pet. 5:8). Dear Father God, I am so aware of how Satan picks at me and tries to trip me all the time. I know there are spiritual dangers around me. Please help me to remain alert and to be under the Holy Spirit’s control at all times. I want to draw near to you, so the devil will flee. Please protect me and my family from harm and evil. Thank you for your love, concern, and protection. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Prime Time With God

Set Your Sights on Jesus
by Kathy Slamp

“How long, Lord, will you look on? Rescue me from their ravages, my precious life from these lions. I will give you thanks in the great assembly; among the throngs I will praise you.” – Psalm 35:17-18
Go Deeper: Numbers 7:66-9:14 Luke 2:41-52; Psalm 35:11-18.

On a family road trip one year, our caravan was accidentally separated. We didn’t have cell phones or GPS at this time so the solution wasn’t as simple as sending a text to make sure everything was okay. My parents had taken our son in their car, and we kept our daughter with us. It took the better part of a day before we finally reconnected. In retrospect this shouldn’t have evoked the amount of anxiety between my husband and I as it did, but our thoughts went to the worst possible scenarios. What an empty, helpless feeling it was!Joseph and Mary attended the Passover in Jerusalem every year. When Jesus was bar mitzvah age, they took him along. This was a big deal for Jesus and his parents. They probably prepped Jesus like we do today: “Remember, son, this is a important occasion. Don’t do anything to embarrass yourself or your family. There will be a big crowd, so stay close. We don’t want to lose you.”

Jesus’ parents left him with the other boys at the party and went their way, meeting friends, socializing, and enjoying the feast. When the celebration was over Mary and Joseph noticed that Jesus was absent. They were uncertain and fearful. Where could he be? Is he safe? But Jesus was not lost, they had just lost sight of him.

We begin our journey with Jesus among us. It is easy to get overwhelmed and caught up in our busy lives. However, when we aren’t daily grounded in Jesus, we open up space for anxiety and fear to seep in. Instead of just getting by, set your sights on Jesus and allow him to guide you through each day with strength and courage.

Ground yourself in Jesus.

The Word in Real Time © copyright Kathy Slamp, Vessel Press/Vessel Ministries.

Happy 3rd, Joppa Road!

happy birthday joppa roadimage credit: Yahoo images

Yep,  it’s been three years since I got started…so today marks the third birthday/anniversary of the founding of Welcome to Joppa Road, my delving into the blogging world to share my faith and tell my story. This is Joppa (real name “Josephus”),  coming to you writing about it myself; this is not a prewritten or copied message, okay? Cool.

Looking back on it, I don’t really remember what caused me to jump into blogging other than being a writer and wanting a space to do my writing thing (but there’s a difference between a blogger and a writer), but no matter what I just went ahead and did it- and the rest is history. Three years later, I have a Christian-oriented blog being read around the world. Where do I go from here? Up. I pray for increase…

But increase really isn’t going to happen if I don’t do my part, what I can do. Keen-eyed followers would notice the time lapses between posts and note that I’ve been off and on, start and stop for few months now and it’s hard to maintain consistency. I say that it’s so because last year I was blessed with a full-time job, keyword being full-time- I barely get time to stop and write my own letters from Joppa Road to tell how I’m doing (I’m alive! I’m alive okay everybody!), and certainly I haven’t finished any pieces that I already started on; blog posts, poems, songs I’m writing, nothing’s getting finished. (Pray for me…)

Recently, a friend of mine posted a meme picture on Facebook that I later commented on and he told me that he missed me, and that caused me to stop and think for a moment- man, I miss me! (No, don’t get me wrong, I missed my bro too and I told him so, but understand my meaning.) So that started the idea for a poem I’m writing titled “I Miss Me (Remnants)”, I’m taking my time with it so it can be genuine. It’ll be posted over on my poetry & creative writing blog Word Play, Joppa Say in the next few weeks or so, and be the first one I finished since 2013’s Moanin’ at Midnight (yes, I’ve been off the horse that long).

Well, that’s it; I gotta say bye for now, thank you much and Gd bless you all for reading, following, stalking whatever it is you’re doing (ha ha). Hang in here with me, I’ll be back with more soon.

– Joppa

Walk as Jesus Did

Today’s Prayer

Dear God, Your love is everlasting and far reaching. It touches my soul and lifts my spirit. Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. No matter what gift I have, perhaps if the gift of prophecy, and understand all  mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and thought I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing. Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil, does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth, bears all things believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. Thank you, Father, that your love never fails. May I be more like Jesus, with love pure and true, and share your love with others always. In Jesus’ name, amen.


Walk as Jesus Did
TGIF Today God Is First Volume 2, by Os Hillman
02-14-2015

“This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did” (1 John 2:6).

I have always found the above verse very intimidating. It says that if we are truly living in Christ, we must walk as Jesus did. How did Jesus walk? He healed the sick. He perceived the needs and situations of others supernaturally. He spoke boldly into the lives of the unsaved. He met the needs of people by leading them to the Kingdom of God. Jesus says we must walk as He did. So, I can only conclude from this verse that if we are each called to live this way, He will also equip us to live this way.

How did Jesus walk? He walked on earth as a human being, not as God, yet He was God. His miracles were done as a human being who tapped into the power of His Heavenly Father. This is why he can exhort us to live like He did not as deity, but as a human being who could appropriate all the Father had for him. This is what He means when He says “live as He lived.” We are to exercise obedience and faith just as He did.

I believe we live in a day that requires more than proclamation evangelism to break through in the workplace. We live and work in a skeptical society. It takes more than reasoning to see those in the workplace come to Christ. The workplace is trained to see past phonies. So, it will require the genuine love and power of Christ to be manifested to break through to a Muslim co-worker, a power-driven executive, or a foul-mouthed customer.

Jesus modeled a way of reaching the lost. He did not use reasoning to convince a person to follow him. He often operated in the supernatural revelation about a need in that person’s life. Such was the case of the Samaritan woman. This encounter not only led to a woman placing her faith in the Messiah, but it led to the transformation of a city.

Next time you have an encounter with an unsaved associate, find out about a need they have and ask God how you can meet it through His power.

Today God Is First (TGIF) devotional message, Copyright by Os Hillman, Marketplace Leaders.

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