A Blank Only God Can Fill


Excerpt from

“The Word For You Today”

Maranatha Bible Church

“The heart is a God-shaped blank, and only God can fill it.” In “Through the Valley of the Kwai: From Death-Camp Despair to Spiritual Triumph,” Ernest Gordon writes about American soldiers who were captured, tortured, and starved by the Japanese in the Malay Peninsula in World War II. As a result they started acting like animals, clawing, fighting, and stealing food. In an effort to turn things around, the group decided to start reading the New Testament. And as Gordon read it to them, they were converted to Christ, and this community of animals was transformed into a community of love. That’s because God lives in Jesus, and Jesus is willing to live in the hearts of those who trust Him. He offers joy, peace, a transformed life, and assurance of eternal life to all those who place their trust in His atoning death. So what are you using to try to fill the void in your life? Material possessions? Mood-altering substances? Sex? Career success? The pursuit of intellectual growth? Excitement? You may as well give it up now–it won’t work! Paul explained it like this to the philosophers in Athens: “God…made the world and everything in it…He…gives life…to everything…He satisfies every need…His purpose was (that we should) seek after God…feel (our) way toward Him and find Him–though He is not far from…us. For in Him we live and move and exist” (Acts 17:24-28). In the words of the time-honored hymn: “Now none but Christ can satisfy; none other Name for me. There’s love, and life, and lasting joy, Lord Jesus, found in Thee.”



Hope is the word for today!


“Know that wisdom is such to your soul; if you find it, there will be a future, and your hope will not be cut off.” -Proverbs 24:14
The first time the word hope is found is in the book of Naomi. A woman filled with hopelessness. Her husband and both sons died, and she was left in a strange and godless land broke.

However, Naomi as bitter, sad, and devastated as she was possessed great wisdom. We see her operating in wisdom throughout the book, leading her daughter in law Ruth to finding God for herself and securing a Godly marriage with the greatest man of that time.


We often quote, “There is a hope and a future for you,” and that is true; but there is something we must do too. That hope and future just doesn’t appear from nowhere. You must know what that great future is for you. It’s found in God and God alone. In seeking God, we find wisdom. He leads us to His great purposes. Wisdom comes from God.
Hopelessness comes the enemy to steal, kill, and destroy our faith and dreams. It paralyzes us, stopping us dead in our track. We must understand truth to fight off that feeling. It’s a feeling that is caused by terrible circumstances, and the lie of the enemy.

Let me remind you it’s a feeling. Yes, it might be true your stuck in a bad, and horrific place. But you are not hopeless. God will show you a way out. His wisdom isn’t like yours or mine. He sees a path out. He does have compassion for you.

We have hope when God reveals his plans, his dreams for our lives. When his wisdom is given to us, it creates dreams in us. We begin to pursue those dreams. We don’t just grab any plan that comes our way, but we go after his plan, His perfect plan that will give us a hope and a future, unafraid, waking by faith and wisdom.


Wisdom isn’t going our own way, and doing our own thing. Its following the path outlined by God for our lives. Ruth said, “Wherever you go I will go!” Can you say, ” God wherever you lead me I will go?” Ruth left everything – parents, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends. She even left her gods. She was operating in hope, trust, faith, and wisdom. She knew her mother-in-law. She saw her mother-in-law was a wise woman.


Once hope is realized, that hope comes by wisdom in knowing who God is, and what He can do when our hope and trust is in him brings us into a venturous life. Let’s pursue wisdom with all we got. Let us be men and women of great wisdom and understanding. Let us pursue our dreams with hope in God. When we fully understand we serve a sovereign God who had great purposes and plans for our lives we are being wise.

Do you have confidence in God? Fearing God is the beginning of all wisdom. Let’s put our hope, trust, and faith in a unfailing, trustworthy, all knowing, wisdom filled God.
Then, that hope helps us dream. Hope helps us find and think about our future in God, Hope helps us pursue our ventures with honor and dignity.


We have hope purely based on the confidence that a sovereign God is for us, and not against us, equipping us to fulfill our destiny He created us for, equipping us for all good work. God gives us a thrilling impulse, one that we can’t help but fulfill. Its called a specific strategic plan to fulfill his plans for you.


I love how the book of Naomi ends.  Once again, Naomi praises her God. He had been good in the middle of her disaster. She still remained, assured, full of confidence in the power and goodness of God, exhibited in her life and that of her daughter in law. The mercy and goodness of God always remain with us regardless our situations and circumstances. God is full of mercy, goodness, and love.


“Then IF you FIND it you will have a future and your hope will not be cut off.” Get this point clearly, wisdom is what we must find. Wisdom leads us to all truth. Who’s truth? His truth. Knowing truth brings us hope. Hope leads us to a great future. Don’t let your hope be cut off.


Let’s read this powerful verse once again:  “Know that wisdom is such to your soul; if you find it, there will be a future, and your hope will not be cut off.”

Teresa Allissa Citro,
Founder & President, Thread of Hope, Inc.

After The Fall Of Pride Comes Wisdom

“Where there is strife, there is pride, but wisdom is found in those who take advice.” -Proverbs 13:10

Fools do not listen to counsel. They like to think their way is better, won’t listen to reason and will ultimately fail. Chaos ensues when the prideful behavior comes. Pride clutters our brains and hearts, leaving no room for discipline and correction. It clogs up our effectiveness to learn from others. It causes us to fail and will humble us when we fall from it. Pride closes down the ability to gain wisdom, and that, dear friends, is not a good place to be. So, how does one dismantle pride?

When we fall off of our high horse of pride, humility and humbleness follows up right after. How we choose to react after that fall shows what wisdom we have gained from that experience. Are we bitter or better after that fall? What do our actions show? Do we try to lash out to others or do we laugh at ourselves, dusting off the humility and be truly humble? Are we so humiliated that we hide or face in shame and slither away, never to be caught up in the pride factor again? Can we truly pick ourselves up, shake off the humility, look at what pride did to us and truly gain wisdom from that life lesson? It is a deliberate choice how we react. We’ll lick our wounds, put a bandage on our egos, then rise up with a new and refreshed sense of being and start again with a profound learning of our newfound faith of stepping out in humbleness.

God loves a humble heart. He honors obedience and gives us wisdom when we take His counsel and the counsel of those who are wiser in God’s ways. Read His holy Word, adhere to it and be wise.

No Worries

Don't Worry

Pray more, worry less.  God takes care of the birds and the beasts, the flowers and all of nature… what makes you think He won’t take care of you?  Worry will not add anything positive to your life!

See what Matthew 6:25-34 has to say.

  • 25“That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing?  26Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are?  27Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?  28And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing,  29yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are.  30And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?  31So don’t worry about these things, saying, What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’  32These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs.  33Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.  34So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.”



Change your thoughts; Change your life!

Ruth Strait

Vice President, Thread of Hope, Inc.

Wisdom: Our Solid Foundation


“Everyone then who hears these words of Mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock.”

-Matthew 7:24 

We all know what happens when a sand castle is built it eventually gets washed away by the ocean or perhaps someone comes along and steps all over it, destroying the masterpiece created. Sand, by itself, is not a solid component to build anything on. If we were to build a house on the sand, rain would easily wash away the sand which in turn will make the ground shift thus making the house fall down, deeming it uninhabitable.

Obviously, we are to build our structures on something solid, like concrete. Sometimes, if we know we are in a flood zone, the house needs to be built on a solid, raised platform with concrete, a strong, durable wood or steel beams to hold it up. In order for the house to withstand winds and the storms that may come, the beams have to be deeply buried in solid ground. The house may rock and sway with the wind, but it won’t come crashing down because of its solid planting.
This foundation we are to stand upon, as Believers, is Jesus Christ, He is solid and cannot be crushed or knocked down at all! We build our wisdom from Him by studying Scripture, seeking it from God in prayer, learning from life’s experiences and applying it daily. When we listen to God’s Word and do what He says, we are like that wise person who builds his home on a solid foundation. We won’t be easily swayed and knocked down. We can stand firm knowing that God is truly sovereign over all and that His Word is Truth! We can go boldly into the world each day, proclaiming His goodness and mercy to everyone who will listen.
Child of God, in order to build and maintain our strong and solid foundation in life, it is imperative to not only just hear God’s Word, but to live it out loud. In order to know God’s Word, you got to read it and apply it. The more we seek Him, the more we listen and obey, the wiser we get. Wisdom is a priceless gem to have. It saves us from embarrassing moments, and it keeps us from looking the fool.

Ruth Strait

Vice President, Thread of Hope, Inc.

Grace & Mercy


“Is there any encouragement from belonging to Christ?  Any comfort from his love?  Any fellowship together in the Spirit? Are your hearts tender and compassionate?  Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose.  Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves.  Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.  You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.” -Philippians 2:1-5

Grace and Mercy
Do everything in life as Jesus wants you to do as He is right there by you.  Do it all with excellence.  Be merciful, full of grace, and be kind.  Be firm as needed and do it with love.  Do it all with the best interest of others and not for selfish gain.  Take care of others like you want to be.

Ruth Strait

Vice President, Thread of Hope, Inc.

Be Humble

Be Humble 1

“But he gives us even more grace to stand against such evil desires. As the Scriptures say, ‘God opposes the proud but favors the humble.'” ~James 4:6

Don’t allow the pressures of your situations to take precedence over your obedience to God.  That is called pride, thinking you can handle things better than God.  You will ultimately fail when God is not the center of your life.


Ruth Strait

Vice President, Thread of Hope, Inc.