“Hope, Again & Again”: A Poem

On Good Friday– March 30th, 2018– it was reported by Vanguard that four suicide bombers in the villages of Malumti, and Muna Zawiya, Nigeria, bombed a checkpoint. The blast killed three civilians and injured anywhere from 13-18 innocent people. Four Boko Haram members were also killed by Nigerian soldiers in these villages, according to Vanguard.

Indeed, the fact that Christ has Risen is something that is infuriating those who are apart of Boko Haram– and the enemy that is truly guiding them (satan).

It’s hard to see and hear of these attacks. It is heartwrenching.
Yet, when the attack of the enemy comes, we know who wins.

It is with this in mind that I wrote this poem, speaking to those who have been personally affected by these tragedies, as well as those who see it happen in the news, day after day. I pray it is encouraging, and blesses your relationship with Christ.


“Hope, Again & Again”

It’s hard to continue
to look upon tragedy
again and again.

It happened on Good Friday.
This day,
A day filled with sorrow and sadness,
turning out for our gladness,

That day was not “good” only because of what would happen.

No, it was good
not because of mere nails and wood
But because of what was actually taking place.

Face to face,
A man was dying.
A man very loved—
yet never loved as much as He Loved us

Dying, even for the sins of those
Who committed their crime
on Good Friday.

As I Iook upon the tragedies that have happened on this day
through the eyes of my Savior,
I realize that there is more to this
than it seems.

Friend, it’s hard to see this
again and again.
But the promise of what was done,
and what is up ahead
Is enough to let Hope flutter
inside a cage made of dry bones.

Because, even on the worst day of class,
My God is present. He
Sees the hurt, the carnage,
the news reports filled with body counts.
But there is no amount of relief
Like His
When we can look back at the Cross and say,
“Here it is:
Jesus Won. And Jesus Wins.”

god is present real.JPG

So, friend, when you are dying
to see the end of heartache,
the end of crying
Look to the One who sustains with His breath
Who promises an end to sin,
A stop to death,

His arms of comfort, on the way–
His nail-scarred hands to save the day.

Child,
Look this tragedy in the face.
It is okay to cry.
It is okay to wonder “why.”
But take hold of His Hand, my
grieving,
falling-apart-at-the-seams neighbor.
Lord Jesus,
May the Church do all it can to lift these people up,
to love them like You, the Creator.

Smile, sister: Jesus is Love–
And He has done enough.
May that Truth flutter in your ribcage,
free you from the despair, ready to consume.

You can live with Him forever, and He can be your Savior:
But only if you choose. 🔷

 

© Annalee Hoover, 2018

Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.
(Hebrews 10:23, NIV)

This is in tribute to the three civilians killed this past Good Friday. May Jesus come close to and comfort their loved ones.


Do you know Jesus?

Jesus Christ was a person. A person like you, a person like me: being tempted in every way possible, “yet He did not sin” (Hebrews 4:15).

We don’t have a high priest who doesn’t understand our common, day-to-day fragility. God is not some lofty deity, nor is He some impersonal force, such as “the Universe.” Hebrews tells us that Jesus is “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word” (Hebrews 1:3, NIV). Jesus was fully man, completely able to relate with us, yet is God. Read more about this amazing God, and what He came to do for you and I, here.



Please pray for (find a prayer sheet for this, here)…

– That the Chibok girls, as well as Leah Sharibu from the Dapchi kidnapping, would be freed. You can find some of the Chibok girls’ names, here.
– Those 18 people who were injured in these four separate bombings.
– The families and loved ones of those who lost their lives, this past weekend.
– That the local, and global Church would come together in unity and would lovingly support and aid those who need it most right now in Northern Nigeria.
– That the members of Boko Haram who did this would be brought to full Justice.
– That Christ would come soon; it is only then that real, lasting Peace and Rightness will be known.

Thank you for your prayers!

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The Resurrection & The Life

Today, early this morning, Reverend Billy Graham passed away to be with Jesus, the One who he had preached about for forty plus years.
As we pray for his family, loved ones, and those who are grieving Him– and anyone else today– I just wanted to say this: Jesus is so good. Because, as I was reading in my devotional today, I read about how Jesus says of Himself, “I AM the Resurrection and the Life– the One who believes in Me will live, even though they die” (John 11:25-26, NIV). If you’d like, you can read this incredibly beautiful passage of scripture in John 11 here.

I read about how diagnoses, divorces, pain, and even death do not have the final word– only Jesus does.

About how, even if we don’t see any fruit from the anguished prayers we’ve been praying for days, months, and years on this side of heaven, that we can still trust Jesus to be faithful to His Promises. 

That idea is scary, and heart-wrenching. That everything we have labored for may never actually be seen by us; and that Jesus could answer those prayers in the way we desperately hope He wouldn’t of. 

It is hard to look at Jesus Christ and say, “Jesus, I trust that You are Good,” in times like these. It seems insane, even.

But in these incredibly hard moments, we can cling to Truth: Jesus IS the Resurrection, and the Life. And because of His sacrifice on the cross for our sins that put Him there, those who believe on Him and His sacrifice “will live, even though they die; 26 and whoever lives by believing in [Him] will never die.” Jesus will continue to be faithful to His Promises to you, even if nothing looks like it. You can trust Him, even with your eternal soul, just as the Reverend Billy Graham– and millions both before and after Him– have. Do so, today.

This post is in tribute to the God who saved, led, and used Billy Graham in such a powerful way, to bring others to Himself. May He continue to raise up people to bring others to Him!

 

Jesus, at the end of what He says in John 11:26, asks Martha, “Do you believe this?” I pose this question to you, today. Read more about this faithful God– this God who gives eternal life, and never breaks His Promises to us, and why He died on the cross for you– here.

 

Joy & Victory Amidst Sorrow: Prayers for the Taylor Family

This week, I have been very focused on suffering; and today, I have learned that Joel Taylor, the CEO of Bethel Music, has both of his children in the hospital with an incredibly dangerous E. coli infection. It is one that has caused his youngest, 2-year-old Jaxon, to get the painful and life-threatening illness, Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS): a syndrome caused by E. coli infection in children, causing kidney damage, and subsequently other organ damage, in those who have it.

As this infection sweeps over these two precious children; as people pray and plead for the healing of these two children; there are two things that will never change: The fact that Jesus just didn’t stay dead, but rose again, and is alive, sitting at the right hand of the Father (Acts 2:56).

Listen to Matthew 28:5-6.

The angel said to the women, ‘Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay.‘”

(Matthew 28:5-6, NIV)

This was the Angel’s message: “Do not be afraid. Come and see how Christ rose from the grave!”

Our God overcame the grave!!! There is nothing too big for Him; there is nothing our God cannot do.

A Joyous Commission

Our God is mighty. Jesus said, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth” (Matthew 28:18, NIV). It is with this in mind that Jesus gave us the great commission: to make disciples of all the nations. With Jesus as our brave, victorious captain, we are free to tell others about Him; free to tell them of His Love, Grace, and Gospel, free to witness to His transforming power in our lives.

Let us always remember Jesus’ amazing resurrection– His complete Victory in our lives.
And let us always remember Jesus’ amazing commission– the fact that we can tell others of Him– that in our struggles, we can testify of His Goodness in a real and lasting way– and that we can tell of His Good News for all men, everywhere.

Our pain, struggles, and trials are real. There is no denying that.

But there is also no denying the Power, Love, and Salvation of Jesus; and His Love alone is a Love that makes us more than conquerors, through everything we might face (Romans 8:37).

So, cry out to Jesus. Run to Him. And watch Him move.

If you are struggling right now, or if you look around you and see immense suffering, may you keep this in your heart: Our Lord Jesus is in control.

And He will help us. Always.

Please pray for the Taylor family during this horrific trial. If you would like to donate money to help them during this time, you can do so at their GoFundMe page, here. Keep up to date with how Addie and Jaxon are doing by visiting Joel Taylor’s instagram page. While major improvements have been made in Jaxon’s health (Praise Jesus!!!) there is still a long road in his recovery.

***UPDATE: On January 17th, 2018, the Taylor family was able to GO HOME from the hospital after both Jaxon & Addie Taylor recovered from their E. coli infections, and the HUS that resulted from it for Jaxon!!! PRAISE JESUS!!! THERE IS NOTHING OUR GOD CANNOT DO!!!***



Do you know Jesus?

Isaiah 53 describes the way Jesus Christ would die for the sins of humanity. But that is not all it foretells. Isaiah 53:11 says, “After he has suffered, he will see the light of life and be satisfied; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities.

There is no other religion that has a Savior, a Messiah, who not only died for others, but rose again. It is Jesus’ resurrection that causes our Victory in Him to be complete, and our sin completely paid for in full. Read more about this amazing, still-alive Messiah, here.


Please pray for:
– Jaxon’s kidneys. As the HUS has shut down his kidneys, Jaxon has been on dialysis. Please pray that his kidneys would be restored to full health.
– Jaxon’s brain. This infection shut down some parts of his cognitive abilities, but those abilities have grown stronger in the past few days. Please pray his brain would be fully restored.
– Jaxon’s lungs. His lungs were full of fluid a couple of days ago. Please pray that his lungs would gain strength and that the fluid would be gone.
– Jaxon’s heart. His other organs have suffered because of his kidney failure; please pray for full healing in his heart.
– Jaxon’s intestines. The E. coli started a leakage in his gut; please pray this leakage would be healed, in Jesus’ Name.
– For sweet Addie, Jaxon’s older, four-year-old sister. She has gotten the E. coli infection that Jaxon originally had, and is on an IV drip as well at UC Davis. Please pray she does not get HUS from this illness, and is able to recover quickly.
– For Joel and Janie Taylor, Jaxon and Addie’s parents. Their pain, sorrow, and anxiety as parents over their sick children is unimaginable. Pray they would be comforted and encouraged by Jesus during this time, and that they would entrust the beautiful babies He gave them, to Him, now and forever.

Thank you for your prayers!!!