Hope Reflected

Encouragement and Hope from God's Word

life Archive



December 2017

Hope Reflected | The Fountain of Life

Written by , Posted in Christian Living, Published Work

"For the Lamb... will lead them to living fountains of waters." (Revelation 7:17) | Read more at hopereflected.com

The Fountain of Life

Easily one of the most recognizable tourist attractions in Rome, the Trevi Fountain is a masterpiece of Baroque architecture. It took thirty years to construct, is one of the oldest sources of water in Rome (the fountain is built at the end of the Aqua Virgo Aqueduct, which was used as early as 19 B.C. as water in the ancient Roman baths), and attracts thousands of visitors each year.

Throughout the Bible, our Lord is referred to as many things, one of the most fascinating of which is the fountain of life. Several times throughout Scripture, a parallel between God and a fountain or spring is drawn. During times of spiritual struggle, discouragement, or deep valleys in our lives, looking to God as our source of water, as our fountain, can provide just the relief, encouragement, and light that we need.

God is our source of life. “…on that day all the fountains of the great deep burst forth, and the windows of the heavens were opened.” (Genesis 7:11) In the midst of seasons when we are tired, drained, and wondering where we’ll muster the strength for the day ahead, recall this to mind: God is our source of life. While we don’t know when exactly David wrote Psalm 36, we can be sure he was looking to the Lord as his source of strength: “For with you is the fountain of life; in your light do we see light.” (Psalm 36:9). In Christ alone, we live and move and have our being (Acts 17:28). When our strength seems small, or even when it seems like we’ve got the world wrapped around our finger, we need to claim Christ as our source of life.

God is our source of abundance. “A fountain will flow out of the LORD’s house and will water the valley of acacias.” (Joel 3:14) All that we are and all that we have comes from the Lord. As our source of abundance, we can rely on God to provide for our every need, even the things we haven’t thought of. It’s not until we learn (and will we really ever learn in this lifetime?!) to rest in Him, rather than our own power, that we will truly understand the blessing of relying on God as our source of abundance. He truly is able to do exceeding abundantly above all we can ask or think! “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10)

God is our source of security. “For the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.” (Revelation 7:17) In a previous column, I wrote about God as our Shepherd. Just as a shepherd protects his sheep, God also protects His children. He’s our source of security (Isaiah 41:10). He is our Great Comforter (Psalm 23:4). He is our fortress (Psalm 91:2). Psalm 46:1 opens with the statement, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”

One of the things that I love about the metaphor of God as our fountain is that throughout the Bible, we read how fountains flow down into valleys. Psalm 104:10 says that “He sends the springs into the valleys”. Isaiah 41:18 says that God opens “fountains in the midst of the valleys.” God is our source of life, abundance, and security. No matter how low or far down we may feel, God can reach us, especially in our valleys.

Originally published as “The Fountain of Life.” Minto Express, Independent Plus, Arthur Enterprise-News, Mount Forest Confederate. November 2, 2017: 7. Print. Web.



February 2017

Wednesday Wisdom | A Firm Foundation

Written by , Posted in Christian Living, Wednesday Wisdom

firm foundation wednesday wisdom a purposeful life is built on a foundation more than mere possessions

“A purposeful life is built on a foundation stronger than mere possessions.”

A few weeks ago, my Wednesday Wisdom post resonated with many of you. I heard several comments from several readers who agree with the adage that “when you love what you have, you have everything you need”. An attitude of gratitude certainly is one of the components to a joy-filled life. On another, deeper level, we also have to realize that in order to live a purposeful (or purpose-filled) life, we need to build our lives on a foundation that’s stronger than mere possessions.

Life isn’t about how much ‘stuff’ you have; life is more than an accumulation of ‘things’. Each of us was created for a unique purpose, and until we start building on the foundation that God formed us and created us and has a plan for us, we’ll just be wandering through this life without real purpose.

You may think that love, or success, or even sunshine and warm weather, will help you live the life you want to live, however without the proper foundation, ultimately your life will amount to nothing. As we’re told in 1 Timothy 6:7, “After all, we brought nothing with us when we came into the world, and we can’t take anything with us when we leave it.” Your life is about more than mere possessions.

A purposeful life is built on a foundation stronger than mere possessions. What foundation are you building on?

 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock. Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell—and great was its fall.” Matthew 7: 24-27



January 2017

Hope Reflected | The Importance of Being Prepared

Written by , Posted in Christian Living, Published Work

the importance of being prepared

The Importance of Being Prepared

An old adage says, “A Saturday well spent brings a week of content.” There is so much truth packed into this little saying, as what you do over your weekend has a lot to do with how your week rolls out. Taking time before the week begins – to prepare meals, study work notes, finish home work, and get ready for any meetings – to prepare for each day can make a huge difference in both your confidence level and also achieving the goals you set!

Benjamin Franklin was famously quoted, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” If you don’t spend time getting yourself ready for the week ahead, or preparing yourself for tomorrow, you’re essentially missing the most crucial step towards success.

The Bible talks a lot about the importance of being prepared. While it’s not always easy, here are just a few things that the Bible says about being prepared:

  1. Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today. “Say not unto thy neighbour, Go, and come again, and to morrow I will give; when thou hast it by thee.” Proverbs 3:28 Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today. Procrastination can quickly become a bad habit; choose to practice diligence and make preparedness a good habit. Being prepared is something that we practice daily to bring it into effect.
  2. Trust God, and do your best. “He who observes the wind will not sow, and he who regards the clouds will not reap.” Ecclesiastes 11:4 In Barnes’ Notes on the Bible, he says, “Unforseen events come from God; and the man who is always gazing on the uncertain future will neither begin nor complete any useful work: but do thou bear in mind that times and circumstances, the powers of nature and the results to which they minister, are in the hand of God; and be both diligent and trustful.” Just because you don’t know what’s around the corner is no excuse for not being prepared and doing your best. The key is trusting God, Who is in complete control of our future.
  3. Learn from the wisdom of others. “Go to the ant, you sluggard! Consider her ways and be wise, which, having no captain, overseer or ruler, provides her supplies in the summer, and gathers her food in the harvest.” Proverbs 6:6-8 Take a cue from successful people. Most successful men and women aren’t ‘fly by night’; they’re prepared, they’re thoughtful, they set goals and they achieve them. Even ants are prepared! Learn from the wisdom of others.

To be prepared, don’t procrastinate! Give thought to what you need to do, write down and set goals for yourself, and then create a plan to achieve and succeed. Don’t postpone things, do your best, and learn from the experience of others. Remember, sometimes the best way to get things done is simply to begin. Being prepared pays off in the long run!

Originally published as “It pays to be prepared: What the Bible says about being prepared.” Minto Express, Independent Plus, Arthur Enterprise-News, Mount Forest Confederate. January 19, 2017: 7. Print.



April 2016

Hope’s How-To: Build A Robin’s Nest – Part 2 – The Robin’s Eggs

Written by , Posted in Christian Living, Gardening, Hope's How-To

robin's eggs

Robin’s nest update for you all: The robin has laid two — count it, TWO — eggs! Yes, that’s right! Robin’s eggs! Yesterday afternoon, I noted whilst driving away from the house that the mama robin was in the nest. Sure enough, last night when we checked, you can imagine my delight upon the discovery of two beautiful robin’s egg blue robin’s eggs.

My initial exclamation was something about how exciting this promise of new life is; Wes’s initial exclamation was about the future of the robin species. The robin deciding to lay her eggs is a beautiful example of a delicate, fragile new beginning, right on our porch. Whatever way you choose to look at it, we are  absolutely thrilled with the prospect of two baby robins starting their lives and learning the ropes from the comfort of our porch.

robin's egg - hope's how-to build a robin's shelf

We are being careful not to be disruptive while the mama robin incubates and raises her young [although I have to say in hindsight I wish we’d set up a time lapse camera to capture all the action; note to self for next year].

Here are some fascinating facts about robins and their eggs:

  1. The incubation period for a robin’s egg is 12 to 14 days.
  2. The female robin typically does the incubating, rarely leaving her eggs for more than 5 to 10 minutes at a time.
  3. After birth, baby robins spend an average of 9 to 16 days in the nest.

Stay tuned for more action as we keep an eye on the mama robin and her young. Anyone else have robins planting roots in their yard this year?



September 2014

Hope, She Wrote: Get Inspired

Written by , Posted in Christian Living, Published Work, Uncategorized


If you can read this, I want you to know that you are a precious human life, you are alive today for a purpose, and you – yes, YOU! – can make a difference wherever you are, even if you think you’re insignificant.

Completely preaching to the choir here: Too often I find myself getting all caught up in the day-to-day responsibilities of life. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge advocate for responsibility; what I mean is, sometimes I am so caught up doing all these “things” that I completely lose sight of what’s most important in life – living!

Ever find yourself in a rut, where you’ve got all this stuff happening at work or at home that you get discouraged and feeling run down? Someone’s words have hit you like salt in a wound, somebody’s got a major attitude problem and they’re taking it out on you (hurting people hurt people), or you smile or wave at someone to be nice and they just stare at you (like, who does that?!)

Yeah. I’ve been there, too. As recently as last week, in fact. And IDK about you, but when I get in one of those ruts where things just are not happening how I think they should, it’s hard to climb out of that hole and feel inspired again.

For me, I really had to take some time this past weekend to regroup and refocus, and get inspired. After a trying experience or even just the hum-drum-dull-daily-grind, here are a few helpful ways to get inspired:

  1. Learn something new. My friend Nicole and I decided that in 2014 we wanted to do something big – turns out, trips around the world are kind of expensive, so we thought we’d expand our horizons and … learn another language. Some might think it silly, but learning is FUN! Growing is a great way to really live, and to keep your mind moving.
  2. Get outside. A walk around the block, taking your dog out on some trails, or even just sitting around a campfire – getting outside helps me realize that there is so much more in this world than just me. Getting outside is a great way to experience the miracle of creation that is right in front of us!
  3. Do something you love. Personally, I’m a bookworm. Like C.S. Lewis once said, there is no cuppa tea large enough or book long enough. I love reading. You might be really into art, collecting, sports, volunteering, or even gardening! Take some time for you to do something you love – making time for yourself is a critical component to getting inspired.
  4. Do something for somebody else. Spend some time with a lonely soul, tell someone close to you how much you appreciate them, send someone flowers. Not only will it inspire them, you’ll find yourself feeling lifted.
  5. Step outside your comfort zone. Ahhh, there are days when I dread this! Trying to do one thing every day that scares you can be a HUGE challenge, especially for those days you’d rather crawl back in bed. But try it – guarantee at the end of the day, you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment and inspiration.

There are so many ways to get inspired, it’s impossible to list them all. I’ll leave you with a favourite quote by Eleanor Roosevelt: “The purpose of life, after all, is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.”

Robertson, Hope. “Getting Inspired.” Minto Express 10 September 2014: 6. Print.