Tag Archives: hope

Let Prisoners Run Wild

Story of the Day for Monday August 13, 2012 

 

Let Prisoners Run Wild

 

                    They will rebuild the ancient ruins. They will restore what had once been devastated.

                                                              Isaiah 61:4

 

 

In 1852, on Vancouver Island, British settlers founded the village of Victoria. The town was built by with beauty and Old World charm. Flowers were imported from England: hollyhocks, wallflower, and mignonette.  Every home boasted a lovely garden in the front yard.

The peaceful village of Victoria was truly idyllic.

 

But all this changed in a day. On April 25, 1848, most of the 450 residents were returning home from worship when an American boat, the Commodore, pulled into harbor with 450 passengers. Instantly, the size of the town had doubled.

Gold had been discovered. James Douglas, the governor of the area, had 636 pounds of gold dust. The colony had collected so much gold that he decided to send 800 ounces to the gold mint in San Francisco.

Once the secret was out, Americans poured into Victoria, the only port in the area, to get in on the action. Soon, the Sierra Nevada unloaded another 1900 miners. This was quickly followed by other passenger ships: the Orizaba and the Cortez.

The new residents stripped the surrounding hills of timber and quickly erected a rowdy shantytown. The cost of property exploded. A fifty dollar city lot now sold for three thousand dollars.

Within four months the beautiful village of Victoria exploded from 450 residents to 30,000.

 

The city of Victoria, once so charming, was overrun by those greedy for fortune, but who cared nothing for beauty.

But the city fought back, and their main weapon was the flower.  The city chose to reclaim their original British heritage. Their government buildings and hotels were constructed with an Old World design. Residents played cricket. But, more than anything else, they planted flowers.

Today, you would be hard-pressed to find a city of more abundant and beautiful flowers. The Butchart Gardens alone overflows with 55 acres of flowers – not to mention Finnerty Gardens, Abkhazi Gardens, and countless others.

Today, the various municipalities of the city hold annual contests to determine who has the most flowers. It is a friendly competition to be named the “Bloomingest Community.”

A Canadian survey wanted to know how much residents loved the city in which they lived. The residents of Victoria ranked number one. Conde Nast Traveller magazine ranked Victoria one of the best cities in the world, and number one in ambience.

 

Jesus’ first recorded sermon was in his hometown of Nazareth, and based on the words of Isaiah 61. He said he was the one God had sent to bring restoration. He came to restore broken hearts and let prisoners run wild. He was coming to give the mourning a crown of beauty, and to rebuild what was torn down.

As we survey the wreckage of our lives, don’t lose sight of the One whose goal is to rebuild.

(copyright by climbinghigher.org and by Marty Kaarre)

Let Prisoners Run Wild

Story of the Day for Friday September 2, 2011

Let Prisoners Run Wild

                     They will rebuild the ancient ruins. They will restore what had once been devastated. 

                                                                           Isaiah 61:4

 In 1852, on Vancouver Island, British settlers founded the village of Victoria. The town was built  with beauty and Old World charm. Flowers were imported from England: hollyhocks, wallflower, and mignonette.  Every home boasted a lovely garden in the front yard.

The peaceful village of Victoria was truly idyllic.

 

But all this changed in a day. On April 25, 1848, most of the 450 residents were returning home from worship when an American boat, the Commodore, pulled into harbor with 450 passengers. Instantly, the size of the town had doubled.

Gold had been discovered. James Douglas, the governor of the area, had 636 pounds of gold dust. The colony had collected so much gold that he decided to send 800 ounces to the gold mint in San Francisco.

Once the secret was out, Americans poured into Victoria, the only port in the area, to get in on the action. Soon, the Sierra Nevada unloaded another 1900 miners. This was quickly followed by other passenger ships: the Orizaba and the Cortez.

The new residents stripped the surrounding hills of timber and quickly erected a rowdy shantytown. The cost of property exploded. A fifty dollar city lot now sold for three thousand dollars.

Within four months the beautiful village of Victoria exploded from 450 residents to 30,000.

 

The city of Victoria, once so charming, was overrun by those greedy for fortune, but who cared nothing for beauty.

But the city fought back, and their main weapon was the flower.  The city chose to reclaim their original British heritage. Their government buildings and hotels were constructed with an Old World design. Residents played cricket. But, more than anything else, they planted flowers.

Today, you would be hard-pressed to find a city of more abundant and beautiful flowers. The Butchart Gardens alone overflows with 55 acres of flowers – not to mention Finnerty Gardens, Abkhazi Gardens, and countless others.

Today, the various municipalities of the city hold annual contests to determine who has the most flowers. It is a friendly competition to be named the “Bloomingest Community.”

A Canadian survey wanted to know how much residents loved the city in which they lived. The residents of Victoria ranked number one. Conde Nast Traveller magazine ranked Victoria one of the best cities in the world, and number one in ambience.

 

Jesus’ first recorded sermon was in his hometown of Nazareth, and based on the words of Isaiah 61. He said he was the one God had sent to bring restoration. He came to restore broken hearts and let prisoners run wild. He was coming to give the mourning a crown of beauty, and to rebuild what was torn down.

As we survey the wreckage of our lives, don’t lose sight of the One whose goal is to rebuild.

                                                         (copyright by climbinghigher.org and by Marty Kaarre)

Not Just “Pie in the Sky”

Story of the Day for Wednesday July 13, 2011

Not Just “Pie in the Sky”

                  Hope that is seen is not hope, because if he sees it, why does he still hope for it? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it patiently.

                                            Romans 8:24

 One of the marks of our secular age is the loss of hope. If we believe that the future will not fulfill our longings, then the result is despair. Hopelessness means not only that the future will be bleak, but the very realization means that our present lives will be marked by gloom.

John Maxwell talks of a small town in Maine that stood in the way of a proposed hydroelectric dam. All the residents were told that their town would be submerged by the dam and they would have to relocate.

As construction began on the dam, the town changed. No one painted their house. Roads and sidewalks were not repaired. Long before the dam was finished, the town looked shabby and abandoned. One resident noted, “Where there is no faith in the future, there is no power in the present.”

When modern man abandons God, he abandons hope. Sigmund Freud was honest enough to admit, “My courage fails me, therefore, at the thought of rising up as a prophet before my fellowmen. I bow to their reproach that I have no consolation to offer them.”

Many ridicule our Christian hope. They see it as a illusory dream which lulls us into inactivity in the present world. “Pie in the sky by and by.” But that is not how hope works. It does not weaken our daily actions but invigorates them.

To break the back of the South and end the Civil War, General William T. Sherman marched through the heart of the South. As Sherman’s army pushed toward Atlanta, his adversary, General Hood circled north and began attacking his supply line. Hood’s men tore up nine miles of the railroad that supplied Sherman’s huge army. Then the Confederates moved toward the Union’s main supply post at Altoona, which held over a million and a half rations for Sherman’s army.

The Union army had less than 2000 men under Brigadier General John M. Corse to defend Altoona Pass from an advancing Confederate division of over 3000. After furious fighting, Corse had lost a third of his men and was forced to retreat to another position further up the pass. How much longer could Corse hold out?

But then, General Sherman, on the top of Kenesaw Mountain twelve miles away sent a signal-flag message to Corse to “hold fast; we are coming.” Corse’s men let out a cheer. Although the fighting was fierce, Corse’s outnumbered men stubbornly refused to surrender or retreat. They fought valiantly because they knew that help was on the way. It was that hope that enabled them to hold the pass and save the Union supply depot.

The Bible says, “We rejoice in the hope of God’s glory.” But this hope is not just “pie in the sky.” Hope gives us power to persist through all adversity. And that is why Scripture continues, “Not only that, but we also rejoice in our trials, because we know that trials produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character hope. And hope does not disappoint us. . . “

(copyright by climbinghigher.org and by Marty Kaarre)