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We have also published the book shown below in the form of an e–book. We invite you to read, copy, or down-load it free at this web-site:
A Spiritual Autobiography
How God fulfilled the faith-based hopes
of an ordinary guy from Jersey City
Finding Good News in the Midst of Bad News
First, the bad news.
Recently I was experiencing a “not so good” week. Things were just not going right. I was having a lot of anxiety. There were the missing checks. Trying to get my blog post published on time. Dire warnings of the first snow of the season. A stopped up toilet, and on top of all that, it looked like there would be a problem during the birth of our grandchild. Finally, there was a growing backlog of what I call “personal administration” matters on my desk (paying bills, keeping the house in order, grocery shopping, doctor’s appointments, etc. ). It all seemed to be hopeless. It seemed that there was nothing but bad news. So I spent a lot of time praying. Asking God to please get me through all of this so I could get back to pursuing whatever God really wanted to be doing with me.
Now for the good news. God answered my prayers. It turned out that there was good news in the midst of the bad news. There was hope after all. The basic message of Ray of Hope Ministries, including this blog, Today’s Enlightenment, was and still is the truth. If what you are hoping for is in accordance with God’s plans for you, then God will assure that those hopes will be fulfilled, in God’s time and God’s way. Here’s a summary it all turned out as the week went by.
The missing checks – Recently I was running low on my blank checks, so I ordered new blank checks via the internet. A few days later I received a black box in the mail. I didn’t bother looking at the return address, but assumed that it contained the new blank checks. I absent-mindedly opened the box, put the contents on a shelf, and threw the box in the paper recycling can, which was picked up the next day. A few more days went by and I went looking for the new blank checks to put them in the drawer where they belonged. I couldn’t find them anywhere in the house. Then I remembered that I had disposed of the black box and it occurred to me that the checks must have still been in the box when I threw it away. I thought to myself “the blank checks are now in a mountain of paper at the county recycling center, just waiting for someone to find them and and even worse, someone might find and make fraudulent use of them. That’s all I could think about all night and the next morning. Anxiety was at an extremely high level. However, the next day, when my mail was delivered to my home, I found a package with a familiar return address. The address of the check printer. Guess what was in that package. My missing checks. It was then that God reminded me that the black box I threw away, never did contain the checks. It contained something else I had ordered.
The blog post – I finally published it, three days late. But I doubted that anyone was really upset about the delay in publication, except myself. God’s message to me was something like “get over it”.
Snow – Despite the hype on the weather report the night before, it really didn’t amount to much (a tenth of an inch). Joe, the man who does my snow removal, took care of it the next day.
Stopped up toilet – My biggest fear was that it would overflow. I still remembered experiencing that a good number of years ago. It would take days befoe I could get some one to fix it. But it didn’t overflow. God’s message to me was along the lines of “Don’t give up and don’t worry. Just keep flushing”. Which is what I did, and within a few more mintes the blockage was cleared. All was well, and still is.
Birth of our grandaughter – About 9AM Wednesday, January 7, we got a phone call from our daughter, Christine, that her baby was on her way,and they were on the way to the hospital. Hours went by and we heard no further news. We were getting worried, fearing that something had gone wrong. About 5 PM we got another call. There was a problem, but nothing serious. But it was going to take a while longer. We were still having some anxiety, not knowing just what was happening. Finally, about ten PM we received another call, confirming that our grandaughter, Alyssa Noelle Costello, had made her way into this world and all was well. We got to ear her crying . I suggested that maybe she was complaining about having to wait so long to be born.
With all of those anxiety producing issues taken care of, I had the next day to get all of my essential “personal administration” stuff out of the way, and even more important, time to thank God for “Hopes Fulfilled” and “Good News in the Midst of Bad News. It was time to get back to discerning God’s plans for me as I continued to develop new hopes, free from anxiety and worry, as I continue to experience a God-directed life in the future. All of this reminds me of the truth that “God is good, all the time, and all the time, God is good”.
Grace and peace, Ray
Thanks for your attention. We look forward to hearing your comments about our web-site. We also invite you to send us stories of your experiences and observations of present hopes and hope fulfilled, so we can spread them around the world via this web-site. This is one way we can all join together to help keep hope alive.