Hope Reflected

Encouragement and Hope from God's Word

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February 2022



More haste, worse speed

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"The thoughts of the diligent tend only to plenteousness; but every one that is hasty only to want." (Proverbs 21:5) Read more on hoepreflected.com

Striving for speed won’t make us get there any faster

Driving down the highway, you get stuck behind an extremely slow-moving vehicle. This usually only occurs when you have some place to be and no time to spare. So you get right up on their bumper, inching your way out in to the oncoming lane, looking for a window to pass.

We’ve all been there, and fight it though we may, we all understand that when we approach a slow-moving vehicle, the best way to get around it is by slowing down, staying back, and waiting for a safe space to pass. Keeping a distance between our vehicle and theirs allows us to see what’s approaching in the other direction.

Most of us have also experienced someone riding right on our bumper and blowing by us in a fit of road rage, even though we’re already keeping up with the flow of traffic. The irony is when both vehicles end up at the red traffic light at the same time, or pull into the same parking lot together.

Haste makes us miss out on the details

We don’t get anywhere faster or do the job right when we’re in a rush. As Albert Barnes wrote, “Undue hurry is as fatal to success as undue procrastination.” When we’re hasty, we often end up being further delayed and missing out on the details.

Haste is usually not described in the Bible as a positive thing. Proverbs 19:2 tells us, “Also, that the soul be without knowledge, it is not good; and he that hasteth with his feet sinneth.” We’re more apt to do things wrong when we rush. In the long run, it actually saves us time when we take the time to ask God for His guidance, look at all the angles, and gather information.

We waste time and learn the hard way when we speak too quickly, hastily jump into something, or form an opinion without all the facts – this is true in the decisions that we make, and in the relationships that we keep. There’s an old saying, “More haste, worse speed”. The more we strive to do things quickly, the slower we often end up getting things done.

What are we thinking about?

In Proverbs 21:5 we read that, “The thoughts of the diligent tend only to plenteousness; but of every one that is hasty only to want.” Though none of us would probably describe ourselves as hasty, each of us is guilty of not wanting to wait. Whether for a spouse, a baby, a job, a promotion, or some new thing, we want it all now. We don’t like waiting! Anyone can be hasty; it takes real courage to wait.

Anyone can be hasty;

it takes real courage to wait.

Hope Reflected

“Wait on the Lord, be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart; wait I say on the Lord.” (Psalm 27:14).   When we rest in Him, we do things right. We don’t have to fear the future, because the One who holds our future already knows. Before haste, remember, “But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.” (Luke 12:7). When we face delay it’s tempting to dismay, but God is always in the details.

Originally published as “More haste, worse speed.” Independent Plus. September 30, 2021: 5. Print. Web.

Read more about haste, waiting, and strength here.



February 2016



Hope Reflected: Haste Makes Waste

Written by , Posted in Christian Living, Published Work

Benjamin Franklin quote.

My Dad has always been one of the biggest encouragements in my life – especially when it comes to reminding me that I need to take time to slow down. It was my Dad who introduced me to Carl Honoré, the magnificent mind behind the slow movement, and it is my Dad who frequently reminds me that I need to take more time out for myself.

Ever get annoyed when someone says, “Don’t rush,” or “Take your time,” right when you need to be somewhere, or you’re in a serious time crunch? Well, the next time you’re feeling rushed, or overwhelmed with all the work before you, just remember Benjamin Franklin. It was Franklin who once famously said, “Take time for all things: Great haste makes great waste.” This is coming from a guy who had a whoooole lot on the go. I mean seriously, not only was Ben Franklin one of America’s founding fathers, he was also a renowned politician, a postmaster, a scientist (American Enlightenment, anyone?), a diplomat, and an inventor (you may recall the lightning rod, those bifocals you’re wearing, and even the Franklin stove). Still, Benjamin Franklin knew the value of taking the time to think things through, and to do things right.

So how can we learn to halt the hurriedness in our everyday lives, especially living in this age of technology and increased connectivity? Here are five practical points for using your time wisely, whatever goals you’re pursuing.

  1. Be proactive; don’t procrastinate. If you’re someone who works better on a deadline, or thrives in a fast-paced, high-stress environment, “unlearning” procrastination can be difficult; however, the rewards to being proactive are many. Proactive people are purposed in their work, principled, and they practice healthy habits.
  2. Be purposed. Sometimes you have to ask yourself the tough questions, like “is what I’m doing today helping me get to where I want to be tomorrow?” If the answer is “no”, then maybe it’s time to re-evaluate what you’re doing and what steps will help you reach your goal(s). We all need to have a ‘why’. What’s yours?
  3. Be productive. Stop wasting time being “busy” and start being productive. No matter what you’re doing, time is going to pass, so why not make your work matter? Start focusing on the right things that will take you in the right direction, and limit everything else. Take charge of your time, and don’t get caught up in outside distractions.
  4. Be realistic. There will always be more things to do than hours in a day, and that’s why it is crucial to focus on your priorities. You may ask, “How can I focus when everything is a priority?” Well, what’s your primary goal? Break it down and work specifically toward that. Keep in mind that not all hours in the day are equal. What time of day do you operate at your best? Use those hours to pursue your goals, and the rest of the time for lesser tasks.
  5. Get started. Mark Twain once said, “The secret of getting ahead is getting started.” One way to eliminate haste is to get started. Sometimes, you’ve just got to stop making excuses, and go for it!

It’s the little life hacks that help – get in the habit of setting up your breakfast before you go to bed each night, plan and prepare your meals for the work week in advance, set a weekly laundry day so you’re not scrambling to get dressed each morning, and reserve one night a week to take time to just be – plan for your best tomorrow by preparing today.

Originally published as “Haste Makes Waste”. Minto Express. February 25, 2015: 5. Print.



August 2019



What Listening Means

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It's no coincidence that the word 'listen' contains the same letters as the word 'silent'. | Read more at hopereflected.com

The word listen contains the same letters as the word silent

The earliest verse I can find in the Bible that references listening is Genesis 16:11, where the angel of the Lord tells Hagar that the Lord “has heard” her affliction. In the book of Psalms, David wrote several times about how the Lord listens and opens His ears to hear His people. In the New Testament James, John, and Paul all encourage their readers about the importance of hearing, taking heed, and listening. Whether we say them audibly or not, the Lord hears all of our thoughts and words. What else does the Bible say about listening? What are the qualities of a great listener?

Listening is an act of humility

One of the verses that I frequently pray for myself and Wes is James 1:19, “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:”.  Being swift to hear means to be quick to listen, and it’s something with which I struggle. Quite often, when we’re engaged in conversation, we spend more time thinking about the next thing that we’re going to say rather than actually listening to what the other person is saying. One of the qualities of a great listener is that they genuinely care about others and want to hear what others have to say. In that sense, listening is an act of humility.

Listening means that we’re “slow to speak”

A great listener understands that listening requires us to be as James 1:19 says, “slow to speak.” Great listeners not only care about what others have to say, they purposefully slow down to hear them. Great listeners are respectful of what others have to say, they don’t interrupt, and they sincerely want to understand what the other person is saying. Proverbs 18:2 says, “a fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but in expressing his own heart.” While we long to express our opinions, we have to be careful that we’re doing so respectfully. Proverbs 18:13 says, “He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him.” We play ourselves as fools when we make assumptions without first hearing the whole story, and we create awkwardness when we interrupt others before they’re finished speaking their thoughts.

Listening is peacemaking over provocation

Another quality of a great listener is being slow to wrath, or slow to anger. When you’re tempted to react in haste to something someone else has said or done, remember that it’s best to first take a deep breath, go for a walk, get some fresh air, or if time allows, sleep on it. Proverbs 21:23 says, “whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps his soul from trouble.” The great listeners among us are interested in peacemaking rather than provocation.

Stephen Covey said, “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” It’s no coincidence that the word listen contains the same letters as the word silent (also known as an anagram). We would all do well to keep that in mind the next time someone starts to speak to us.

Learn more about the blessings of listening here.

Originally published as “Listening.” Minto Express, Independent Plus, Arthur Enterprise-News, Mount Forest ConfederateWalkerton Herald-Times. April 11, 2019: 6. Print. Web.



November 2017



Bible verses for when you need strength

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10 Bible verses for when you need strength | See more at hopereflected.com

At any given point in time, we could all use more strength. When days are long and hard, and you find yourself weary, rest in the promises of God’s Word. He promises to be our strength, even when we have none.

Here are 10 Bible verses for when you need strength (OK there’s 13 verses here but who’s counting). Committing these verses to memory or writing them down will ensure that you can remind yourself of God’s strength and draw on His strength anytime.

  1. Psalm 22:19 “But You, O LORD, do not be far from me; O my Strength, hasten to help me!”
  2. Psalm 28:7-8 “The LORD is my strength and shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him. The LORD is the strength of his people, a fortress of salvation for his anointed one.”
  3. Psalm 46:1 “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.”
  4. Isaiah 12:2 “Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid; For YAH, the LORD, is my strength and song; he also has become my salvation.”
  5. Isaiah 40:29-31 “He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall, but those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.”
  6. Habakkuk 3:19 “The LORD God is my strength; He will make my feet like deer’s feet, and He will make me walk on my high hills.”
  7. Nehemiah 8:10 “Do not sorrow, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.”
  8. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 “And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
  9. Ephesians 6:10 “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the LORD and in the power of His might.”
  10. Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

What are your favourite Bible verses about strength, and what are the verses you recall to mind when you feel weak? We are told in Psalm 1 that the man who makes the law of the Lord his delight and meditates on the Lord day and night “shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper.” (Psalm 1:1-3) When you feel like you don’t have the strength, look to the Lord. He will not let you down! He will uphold you with His right hand!



March 2017



Hope Reflected | The power of the tongue

Written by , Posted in Christian Living, Published Work

power of the tongue james 3:8

The power of the tongue

One thing that we all have in common is that at some point or another, each one of us, – inevitably, – is going to say something we don’t mean. You may make a comment in the middle of an argument, or maybe it will be something you say behind someone’s back, or perhaps you’ll speak words to someone that just don’t come out right. Or, as Wes experienced this past week, you may say something about a complete stranger that you instantly regret. The tongue. At some point in each one of our lives, our tongues are going to hurt someone else and cause us trouble.

The problem with the tongue is that once you say something, you can’t take it back. James 3:5 tells us, “Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things. See how great a forest a little fire kindles!” We all need to learn how to guard our tongues and watch our mouths.

There’s the old saying that goes, “God gave us mouths that close and ears that don’t so that should tell us something.” It’s so true, isn’t it? How often we speak words in haste when really we should be just as quick to listen. I write that quickly, like it’s no big deal and easy to do, when the reality is more often than not quite different. I struggle at least a couple of times a day to listen when everything in me wants to interrupt. It’s like, sometimes when someone else is speaking and telling me something, the time I should be spending listening to them, I’m actually formulating my response to them in my head. That’s not right. We are called to be “quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath.” (James 1:19) Don’t underestimate the power of the tongue.

  1. Once you say it, you can’t take it back. “There is one who speaks like the piercings of a sword, but the tongue of the wise promotes health.” (Proverbs 12:18) Like the toothpaste leaving the tube analogy, once you speak words, you can’t “un-speak” them. That’s why it’s so important to consider our words before saying them aloud.
  2. Actions speak louder than words. “Let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.” (1 John 3:18) There’s the saying that goes, “You can preach a better sermon with your life than with your lips.” The way you live is just – or more – important than the words you speak. There is no such thing as a part-time Christian. Living a life that is pleasing to God happens every day of the week, every where, – whether you’re in the barn or in the office, – authentic Christian living does not just happen on Sundays while you’re in church.
  3. Take a step back; give it some time. “He who guards his mouth preserves his life, but he who opens wide his lips shall have destruction.” (Proverbs 13:3) If you’re anything like me, sometimes you just need to take a step back before you react. I’ve learned the hard way – and learned several times, actually – that in the heat of the moment is the wrong time to hit the ‘send’ button on that reactive email or to say something out of spite. Usually, the best practice is just to sleep on it. Give yourself some time to cool off before you answer anyone in a heated tone. “Even a fool is counted wise when he holds his peace.” (Proverbs 17:28)
  4. It’s never too late to apologize and ask forgiveness. “’Yet even now,’ declares the LORD, ‘Return to Me with all your heart.” (Joel 2:12) In earthly terms, words can be forgiven but not forgotten. But God, when we truly repent, He forgives and God has the ability to wash our slate clean and make us white as snow. If we’re truly reflecting a life lived for Him, we’ll seek forgiveness to those we’ve wronged through our words (and our actions). It’s never too late to seek forgiveness, and you might be surprised how well received a sincere apology will be.

Proverbs 18:21 reminds us that “death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” James 3:7-8 shares that “For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and creature of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by mankind. But no man can tame the tongue.” It may be small, but the tongue is a mighty weapon. May each of our words speak love and truth.


Originally published as “The power of the tongue.” Minto Express, Independent Plus, Arthur Enterprise-News, Mount Forest Confederate. March 9, 2017: 8. Print.