Music Monday – I Have this Hope

The first time I heard this song was this past fall while working the Compassion table at a Tenth Avenue North concert. The minute I heard it I loved it so much and I couldn’t get the words out of my head.

Though I didn’t really realize it at the time, a major surgery, the death of my brother, and another surgery happening in the near future had me really out of sorts physically and emotionally.

For the next several months the song became like my theme song.

There were times when the physical and emotional pain became quite overwhelming. But every time I began to feel like I couldn’t take anymore this song would come on the radio and suddenly I would be singing it to God.

I have this hope
In the depth of my soul
In the flood or the fire
You’re with me and You won’t let go (lyrics by Tenth Avenue North)

As I would sing the words, I could feel his presence and the reassurance that he was right beside me through it all.

I have heard people say during hard times to cling to God, and I have done so. But how comforting it is to know that he is also holding on to me.

I have this Hope in the depth of my soul…..

Great are You Lord – Music Monday

As I cross through the valley of the shadows you never leave me to cross alone.

You are by my side with each step,

holding me steady,

helping me make my way through the shadow days.

You are a lamp burning bright,

my guiding light that I must always keep in sight.

You are my strength,

my comfort,

the breath in my lungs.

The only way I can ever make it through is when I walk with you.

You are my refuge,

Great are You Lord.


The Lord is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup runs over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever.   Psalm 23

A Hand Reaching Out

I was sitting on a beach enjoying the sunshine when suddenly the clouds that had been puffy white suddenly turned an odd shade of brown and started going together into a long roll. I stopped what I was doing and stood up watching, mesmerized as they rolled quickly across the sky coming to a stop over the water.

The clouds kept getting bigger and bigger and they started dipping down close to the water. The people around me started to panic and someone said, “oh my God it’s a tornado!” and then everyone started running.

Everyone was screaming and running but I couldn’t move because my feet were suddenly frozen to the ground. Everyone around me was panicking but I wasn’t scared at all. It was like I had this feeling of peace and a knowing that I was safe and I just stood there watching the clouds.

Chaos was everywhere and then in an instant it was if the world around me just stopped. All the people were all standing frozen in place now and there was no wind or rain to go along with the darkness. The ocean waves had stopped leaving the surface of the water still and dark black like a giant pool of ink. It felt as if the air went silent too. It was so quiet I imagine this is what deafness must feel like. 

I should have been scared but I wasn’t scared at all. It was like the hush I felt around me was also inside of me filling me to the depths of my entire soul with a perfect feeling of peace.

Suddenly out of the deafness there came a loud clap of thunder and the clouds began parting with rays of the most magnificent beams of bright light I’d ever seen shining through them and then a giant hand came out of the opening in the sky. The hand came down just above the water and opened turning palm upward. It began moving closer to us with beautiful colored light shining all around it.

Someone shouted, “it’s the hand of God!”  By then I was already crying and feeling in awe of his presence because I knew those words were true…Yes! This was the hand of God!  So many feelings were going through me now, feelings of joy and love and an unexplainable feeling of peace like I have never known. The hand moved around as if offering itself to all who wanted to grasp it but nobody moved. After a while it went back up into the clouds and the sky immediately went back to normal.

I was wrecked, falling to my knees to pray thinking those around me would join in…but it didn’t happen. Instead, the people just went back to their business as if nothing out of the ordinary had happened. It was as if nobody even cared what they had just been a part of.

I turned to a woman standing next to me and said, “wow the hand of…”  but she cut me off and said, “the hand of God, ya right, who cares!” and then she rolled her eyes!

God’s hand had been there, right in front of us, offering for each one of us to just reach out and take what he had to offer. It couldn’t possibly be true that nobody cared! They were all right there so close to being in in the palm of his hand, how they could pass that up it just made no sense!!! I started crying….

And then I woke up.

It had only been a dream!

Even though it was only a dream my heart was still pounding and I felt sick to my stomach and my face was wet with tears because I had been crying in my sleep.

I know it was only a dream but it felt so real!

It’s been a day and a half and I still can’t shake it that dream. In the dream, it made me sad that God was right in front of us in such a spectacular display and nobody cared and nobody would take what he had to offer. This has me thinking about how there used to be a time in my life that God’s hand was right in front of my face and I didn’t see it. I also have to admit that there are still some days that go by and I miss him.

Years ago I didn’t see him because I didn’t want to see Him. I used to think he wasn’t real and now it’s hard for me to believe that I could have ever felt that way. How could I have gotten up in the morning to see a sunrise and never wonder how something so magnificent could have gotten there? How could I have had 3 children and never once questioned how something so perfect as a newborn baby could have formed without help from something more than just magically happening? I could go on but I know you know what I mean… flowers, animals, air, water, LIFE. It’s all because of Him.

God is real and God is always here in each and every second of every day. We may not see him as a big giant hand reaching out of the sky like in my dream but He is all around us in each and every single thing in each and every single day.

I don’t want to miss him, and I don’t want anyone to miss what he has to offer!

Open my eyes Lord.

Open our eyes, let us see your hand reaching out to us!

I know to someone who doesn’t believe in Him this may sound strange. I know because I have been there. I used to live my life without God in it. I also remember a time in my life that I felt that I was too bad and that there was no way he could ever want or love me. But that wasn’t true and even though I totally gave up on him and also on myself, he still never gave up on me. He has shown me time and time again that he wants me, and now that he is in my life He has been right here holding my hand for every single step I take. If you are reading this and in need of a hand to help lift you up, all you have to do is want Him in your life. Just tell him you want him and then grab on to his hand. He sent Jesus to save us and all we have to do is ask him in and he will come.

It’s truly that simple.

If He is what you want and you don’t know what to say, you can say this prayer –  Dear Jesus, I know you are the son of God, I know you came for me, I know you died for me. I ask you to come into my life right now. I ask you to forgive me for my sin because I want to make a fresh start. I want to live the rest of my life with you and for you. Amen

If you said that prayer for the first time or maybe you are just deciding to come back from a separation of some sort, know that now he has you in the palm of his hand. If you are there you will never be alone.

 “Can a mother forget the baby at her breast
    and have no compassion on the child she has borne?
Though she may forget,
    I will not forget you!
 See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands;
    your walls are ever before me. Isaiah 49:15-26

Have a great weekend!

Terri Siebert

 

Time Wisely Spent

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Why is it that whenever God gives me a job to do I always allow myself to get all worked up into a frenzy?


My biggest fear in the world is speaking in public.

Tomorrow is Compassion Sunday at my church and in order to present the kids waiting for sponsors I am going to have to speak in public.

Last week I was feeling excited for the opportunity to share these children with my church and was not feeling nervous at all.

But then Wednesday afternoon the child packets arrived…

Suddenly things felt different.

Suddenly I felt a huge responsibility to those children.

Within a matter of an hour of receiving the packets I began feeling nervous. By that evening, I began rethinking what I had planned to say in church on Sunday. I soon began writing down a plan and I began practicing what I was going to say over and over. Before I realized what was happening I had myself so worked up that each time I practiced, instead of getting better at what I was going to say I began to get worse.

Yesterday I thought about it some more, changed my presentation again, settled on what I thought was my finished product a few more times, and then finally ended up going to bed very late last night feeling sick to my stomach and panicky at the thought of speaking in front of the church on Sunday.

HELLO social anxiety!  

Did you forgot that you don’t live here anymore??!


After a restless night, I woke up this morning with God’s voice in my head saying, “stop worrying about what YOU can’t do and instead, remember what I CAN do!”

Suddenly I realized that I just needed to chill out and I needed to give this worry to God!  Nothing here has changed except I seemed to have forgotten God is the one who is in charge of all this.

I have already been in this place way too many times in the past so ya think I would have known the drill by now.

So like I have done every time I set out to talk in public, I took out a piece of paper and wrote on it the words, ‘I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.‘ I threw all my extra notes in the trash and put it all back into his hands.

Tomorrow instead of a bunch of notes in my hand I will hold his words as a reminder.

From this day forward when it comes to the God stuff, I have to remember not to spend my time thinking about what I should be spending my time praying about!


Update… Somehow I forgot to push publish on this post last night so figure I may as well finish the story with what happened today.

So I went to bed last night in peace and then woke up this morning with this crazy notion in my head that because we already have so many child sponsors in our church most likely we would not have many kids sponsored today.  Yep, you guessed it I was already thinking way too much again! Thankfully I caught myself and went for a drive before church and prayed.

God set me straight and I arrived at church excited and knowing in my heart that God was going to make something big happen today. Sure enough, I soon found myself with a front row seat watching as another one of his amazing stories began being played out before me!

From our worship pastor starting us off speaking his own sponsorship story to our pastor’s Compassion tailored sermon everything went great.  It wasn’t about any of us presenting the story today as much as it was about God uniting his children with one another.

27 children received new sponsors today but also at the same time 27 sponsors also received new children.

Many blessings are in the making for all those involved I’m sure.

There was never any need to be nervous or worry.

No need to second guess.

Just show up is all that was required … because just like He always does, God also showed up in a mighty big way in our church today!


If you would like more information about sponsoring a child or Compassion Sunday visit www.compassionsunday.com or contact me through the contact link at the top of this page.

Thanks for reading and have a great week!

Terri Siebert

I am an Enabler

Churches on the StreetsRecently Christy and I were serving with a local Christian-based ministry to the homeless, Churches on the Streets, in downtown St. Louis. The ministry provides clean clothes, a nutritious meal, and hygiene necessities in a friendly, loving atmosphere. Volunteers spend time talking with and spending time with people who are often viewed and treated as if they have no value and their lives don’t matter. Most importantly, the homeless are shown they do have value in God’s eyes, Jesus does love them, and He has not forgotten them.

Toward the end of the evening, a nicely dressed, middle-aged couple walked through the area. As they approached me, I made eye contact with the lady and smiled. As she passed, she grabbed me by the arm and angrily said, “You know you’re not helping these people. All you’re doing is enabling them. You’re not helping them at all!”

Since that evening, we’ve been thinking about what the lady said and if it’s true.
Does providing food, clothing, blankets, hygiene products, and the love of Christ encourage homelessness? If Churches on the Streets stopped providing essential life services to the homeless would they get jobs, pay taxes, buy homes, and become model citizens? If we stopped serving the homeless, would homelessness be eliminated?

Many of the homeless we encounter are veterans. Some are mentally ill. Some are convicted criminals or drug and alcohol abusers. Some have made horrible, life changing decisions which spiraled out of control and put them on a path to homelessness. All are God’s children.

The fact is, not one of the people we serve has ever said, “Because of you, we don’t have to get jobs or pay a mortgage.” Not one has ever said, “Because of you, we’re able to live freely on the streets with no responsibilities.” Not one has ever said, “Because of you we’re able to live with no worries or concerns.”
As Christians, our call is to show the love of Christ in such a manner that it points others to Him. We’re to be the hands and feet of Christ in a lost and hurting world. James 2:15-16 says this about faith: “Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, “Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it?” God’s love comes with no qualifiers, no limit, and no warning label indicating its overuse may lead to homelessness.

So after several days of reflection what did I conclude? I was able to conclude that Christy and I are both enablers. I concluded we’re teaching our sons to be enablers also. Many of our friends and the people we serve with at Churches on the Streets are enablers as well.

No, we’re not enabling men and women to remain homeless. We are enabling them to have at least one nutritious meal on Thursday. We’re enabling them to have clean clothes, a warm blanket, and hygiene at least one day a week. Most importantly, for at least a couple of hours a week, we’re enabling them to feel valued as human beings and to experience the unlimited, unequivocal, and unashamed love of God!

I am an enabler! 


What you just read is my friend Walt Streicher’s Facebook post from a few days ago. It’s a very powerful message wouldn’t you agree?

Every since I read it I’ve spent a whole lot of time thinking about the things he said and this morning I knew this message was one that needed to be shared. So with Walt’s permission, I’ve shared it with you today.

I have also decided that I too want to be an enabler!

How about you? Do you want to be an enabler?  Or are you already an enabler?