Greetings and Welcome!

My goal is to share encouragement, grace, and hope from God’s Word, and to brighten your day. Mission trips abroad have enlarged my heart and reminded me once again that regardless of our skin color or location we all need a savior, and His name is Jesus. I pray that my articles will lift your spirits and point you to the One who loves you most.

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This Month's Message

The Anchor Holds

By Fran Caffey Sandin

Several years ago my husband, Jim, and I took sailing lessons. The gems of classroom instruction were not clear until we set sail. For instance, a boat anchor is not adequately tested in normal operations.  It is during the storm, when the waves are crashing in and the boat is pitching in all directions, that the anchor’s integrity is evaluated.  Likewise, it is during our times of depression or despair that we can be assured that God is our anchor of hope.

Sometimes when we are disappointed, it is difficult to believe Him. Things are not always like we want because we live in a fallen world. Our trust is put to the test when a terrorist attacks, a loved one dies, a severely handicapped child is born, we hear a poor diagnosis, or a husband loses his job. We wonder--Where is God? Does He really care?

Jim and I have had the painful experience of burying two sons: Jeffrey, who at the age of 17 months succumbed to bacterial meningitis; and Steve, a physical therapist, who died at 43 of cystic fibrosis and kidney failure. On both occasions we were devastated but comforted by God’s Holy Spirit, His grace, and the loving support from our friends. Also, the sorrow of my Dad’s suicide and all the questions and remorse surrounding that event shook my faith.

Trusting God’s sovereignty is the key when life doesn’t make sense. Hebrews 11: 1 states, “Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see” (NIV). In his book, Trusting God, author Jerry Bridges states, “We honor God by choosing to trust Him when we don’t understand what He is doing or why He has allowed some adverse circumstance to occur. As we seek God’s glory, we may be sure that He has purposed our good and that He will not be frustrated in fulfilling that purpose.”

Prior to Jeffrey’s death, we knelt in the hospital chapel where Jim prayed that God would use our loss for our good and for God’s glory. I was reminded of that tearful prayer many years later as I handed out free copies of my book, See You Later, Jeffrey, translated in Russian, to hundreds in the Ukraine wanting help. Through years of seeking answers to my own questions, the Lord enabled me to write His words to soothe the heavy hearts of others.

Faith and trust are intertwined. As declared in Romans 15: 4, “For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope” (NIV). Our part is to immerse ourselves in God’s Word and meditate on the blessings God gives us. We can always be thankful for something and have a grateful heart, especially for Jesus and His sacrifice for our sins.  Someday Jim and I will be reunited with our sons and my father, a believer (see Romans 8: 38).

To feel His comfort and encouragement, we can choose to trust God, as Paul said, “by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5: 7 NIV). Nothing is more exciting than to live each day trusting God.  He is our hope. He will hold us, and He won’t let go.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You came to earth in bodily form through Your Son, Jesus, that we might know You and have a meaningful relationship with You. Please help us enlarge our faith and trust in You each day. In Jesus’ name, Amen.