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Discoveries of a Wanderer

Discoveries of a Wanderer

Hope Archives

A Prayer to Keep Our Neighbors Warm

posted by Jana Melpolder

The Polar Vortex is no joke – North America has recently experienced extremely low temperatures that’s made most of the country nearly shutdown. The negative temperatures outside have left many stranded in airports, unable to go to school and work, […]

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Fear on the First Anniversary of Sandy Hook

posted by Jana Melpolder

Tragedy struck the entire nation last year when a gunman killed 26 first-grade students and adults on December 14, 2012. The community has experienced grief beyond what most of us can understand. But with time, the slow and painful process of healing […]

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A Prayer to Ease Depression

posted by Jana Melpolder

Heavenly Father, When it seems that we are actually, finally at our wits’ end… and we’ve seen the end of all that we can do, that is when you are at your nearest, your most miraculous, your best. Sometimes, the […]

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Is There Forgiveness in the Trayvon Martin Tragedy?

posted by Jana Melpolder

Oakland, California is a small city filled with diversity and a powerful history that continues to unfold in surprising ways. The “not guilty” George Zimmerman trial verdict left many Oakland residents angry, and some even took to the streets to […]

A Prayer for a New Baby

posted by Jana Melpolder

The #royalbaby watch is underway, and throughout all the excitement, hope (and even annoyance for some), it’s a time to pray for the safety for the mother and child. But it’s also a time to remember the little ones born […]

End Violence Now: Turning Guns Into Garden Tools

posted by Jana Melpolder

Recently I had a chance to speak with well-known community activist Shane Caliborne, a Christian working in Philadelphia to reverse the city’s high gun violence rate. By combining his passion for healthy food access, community involvement, and peace, he is part of […]

Suicide’s Rising Rates and How Faith Could Help

posted by Jana Melpolder

Suicide rates among middle-aged Americans have risen sharply in the past decade. Brad Hirschfield, president of Clal-The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership, explains why suicide should be seen as a faith issue.   Reprinted with permission from Odyssey […]

Violence Against Women: The Faith Response

posted by Jana Melpolder

During their lifetime, one out of every four women will experience violence from an intimate partner.   Today, clergy are reaching out and   supporting those women who become victims in their own homes. Originally posted on Odyssey Networks.

Parents of Sandy Hook Victims Speak Out at Press Conference

posted by Jana Melpolder

This is a powerful piece. Simply put – love wins. Video comes from Odyssey Networks.

Comfort Dogs Aid Healing Process After Sandy Hook Shooting

posted by Jana Melpolder

Lutheran Church Charities K-9 Comfort Dog program landed in Newtown, Conn. less than 24 hours after a gunman killed his mother, 20 school children, 6 adults and himself. The program, which started in 2008 after a shooting at Northern Illinois […]

Christmas and Miracles

posted by Jana Melpolder

Originally published on Odyssey Networks.

Relying on Faith, NYC Beach Residents Weather Hurricane Sandy

posted by Jana Melpolder

Gerritsen Beach, a tight-knit community in South Brooklyn that is nearly surrounded by water on all sides, was devastated by Hurricane Sandy. Because Gerritsen was not deemed an evacuation zone by the city, many residents stayed in the neighborhood during […]

A Healthcare Clinic: “The Lord Led Us”

posted by Jana Melpolder

Nurse practitioners Mary Wysochansky and Anna Stinchcum founded and opened the Sumter Faith Clinic — a free clinic to treat the uninsured and underinsured in Americus, Ga., a community Wysochansky says has been particularly hard-hit by the economy. Fueled solely […]

Eating with the Enemy: Esther’s Story

posted by Jana Melpolder

Risk and sacrifice: a deeper look at Queen Esther‘s story. This is part of Odyssey Networks’ ON Scripture The Bible series.

Speech Can Unite or Divide

posted by Jana Melpolder

A beautiful reminder… Originally posted on Odyssey Networks as part of the Biblical ON Scripture series.

Who Will Save Us? Not Politicians

posted by Jana Melpolder

I guess I am confused why it feels like so many Americans think that the government should or even could save us. Share your thoughts!

Household Chores Hold Girls Back

posted by Jana Melpolder

This was originally posted on Open Equal Free Young girls around the world are faced with a very difficult sense of reality. Often when one or both parents are unable to care for the home or family, a daughter will […]

Jesus Can Calm the Storm in Your Life

posted by Jana Melpolder

Watch an inspiring video that’s part of Odyssey Networks’ ON Scripture The Bible series.

A Life Behind Bars: Transformation Through Education

posted by Jana Melpolder

Antoinne Murphy is serving a 25-year-to-life sentence for homicide at Sing Sing Correctional Facility. Murphy grew up in a middle class home in Flushing, Queens and attended private school. At 16, he says he headed down the wrong path and […]

Give Us This Day OUR Daily Bread

posted by Jana Melpolder

I love this video that was just posted on Odyssey Networks. How does a Christian ministry help a Philadelphia community gain access to healthy food? One man in this video points out that The Lord’s prayer says “Give us this […]

Dreams: Finding Fear, Finding Faith

posted by Jana Melpolder

Dreams. What dreams don’t I have? Dreams to find a few moments to sleep. Dreams to live in the same state as my boyfriend. Dreams to one day publish a book. Dreams to pay off my student loans. Dreams to […]

The Story of a Bed Net – World Malaria Day

posted by Jana Melpolder

Today, April 25th, we turn the world’s attention to Malaria. It continues to kill children and adults in more areas than just Africa. Buying just one bed net can help save a child’s life.

YouTube Sensation Jefferson Bethke and His Faith

posted by Jana Melpolder

In January 2012, 22-year-old Tacoma, Wash. resident Jefferson Bethke posted a recorded performance of his poem “Why I Hate Religion, but Love Jesus” on YouTube. It was an overnight internet sensation, garnering more than 18 million hits and coverage in […]

Be Calm and Don’t Get Angry

posted by Jana Melpolder

“Anger is never without a reason, but seldom a good one.” – Benjamin Franklin

How Do You Get Over Being Cheated On? Part 2

posted by Jana Melpolder

Recently I spoke with one pastor who was devastated after his wife left him for someone else. Meet Jason Vallotton, a man who went through the pain and forgiveness of a complete life change. Check out the first part of […]

Living Life in Hard Economic Times

posted by Jana Melpolder

Meet one man that struggles to keep above water. His powerful story of faith and living amidst the everyday struggles of our modern economy helps me to be grateful. Watch his story and check out others in the Odyssey Networks’ […]

Prayer Flags

posted by Jana Melpolder

I never heard of prayer flags until I saw this video. Watch one woman write the names and obituaries of those lost on 9/11. Later she hangs the papers up and over time, the ink washes away. It is a […]

A Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and the Empowerment of Women

posted by Jana Melpolder

Meet Leymah Gbowee, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate who works to help empower women in her own community. She has been through the difficult struggles alongside women in her native country, and through it all she has shown great faith […]

Quotes for the Restless Heart

posted by Jana Melpolder

“Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear.” – Ambrose Redmoon “What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything?” – Vincent Van Gogh “The beaten […]

God Provides in Times of Need

posted by Jana Melpolder

This week has been incredibly cold in New York City. You walk around and the chill just gets to you. As soon as I could, I dressed in several layers to keep warm before I hit the streets of the […]

Psalm Sundays: Being Happy with God

posted by Jana Melpolder

Kick off a blessed and happy week with Psalm 84. Taken from Biblegateway.com  5 Blessed is the man whose strength is in You,          Whose heart is set on pilgrimage. 10 For a day in Your courts is better than a […]

Quotes About Christmas

posted by Jana Melpolder

“He who has not Christmas in his heart will never find it under a tree.” – Roy L. Smith “Joy is the true gift of Christmas, not the expensive gifts that call for time and money….Let us pray that this […]

Psalm Sundays: Psalm 23

posted by Jana Melpolder

Here is one that many know by heart. Psalm 23 is taken from Biblegateway.com A psalm of David.  1 The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing.  2 He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, […]

Psalm Sundays: God Watches Out for You

posted by Jana Melpolder

Don’t let your mind drive you crazy about what’s next. God keeps watch over us and takes care of our futures. We should enjoy the moment and the day. Psalm 121 from Biblegateway.com 1 I lift up my eyes to […]

‘Dance in the Rain’

posted by Jana Melpolder

Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about learning how to dance in the rain… -Vivian Greene

Psalm Sundays: Give to the Lord

posted by Jana Melpolder

This comes from Psalm 57 found at Biblegateway.com Enjoy! 7 My heart, O God, is steadfast,    my heart is steadfast;    I will sing and make music. 8 Awake, my soul!    Awake, harp and lyre!    I will awaken the dawn.  9 […]

Psalm Sundays: Thanksgiving and Praise!

posted by Jana Melpolder

Thanksgiving is right around the corner. It’s a time to reflect on what we are grateful for in our own lives. I thought this psalm was an ideal way to praise God for all the things He has done. What […]

Psalm Sundays: Have Hope for the Future

posted by Jana Melpolder

It’s been an intimidating week and one that makes me feel insecure. It’s always exciting but difficult to move to a new place, make new friends, and learn where to find everything. For me, this is a good reminder that, with God, […]

Psalm Sundays: Don’t Let Anger Control You

posted by Jana Melpolder

This week I wanted to share Psalm 4. It talks about peace and what we can do to feel better. This NLT version is taken from Biblegateway.com Psalm 4 1 Answer me when I call to you,       O God who […]

A Prayer for the Unemployed

posted by Jana Melpolder

The unemployed may feel lost, depressed, and emotionally exhausted. Whether you or someone you know is without work, here’s a short prayer that can help. Taken from Book of Common Prayer, 1979. Let us pray. For the poor and the […]

Just Take That Next Step

posted by Jana Melpolder

Here’s a quick motivation to help you. God can help you through the rough spots! Keep working hard for what you believe in!

Psalm Sundays: Be Loved

posted by Jana Melpolder

This is a simple reminder to enjoy the love offered to us. Parts of Psalm 18: Taken from Biblegateway.com 1I love you, LORD, my strength.  2 The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;    my God is my […]

More Than ‘A Tree Grows in Brooklyn’

posted by Jana Melpolder

Think New York City is just the bright lights and busy streets? There are surprisingly many quiet spots you can find – if you just know where to look. Check out photos from my recent trip to Brooklyn’s biggest park, […]

Psalm Sundays: Take Heart and Do Not Fear

posted by Jana Melpolder

Each Sunday I plan to publish a Psalm that reflects something that many of you might be feeling. This Sunday I chose a Psalm on courage and peace. It helps me feel better, and I hope it reaches out to […]

Meet a Nobel Peace Prize Winner

posted by Jana Melpolder

Leymah Gbowee is a peace activist who has played a remarkable role in ending the war in Liberia. This Nobel Peace Prize Laureate is also a Lutheran, and she knows that faith has played a large part in her life. Watch how this inspiring woman […]

A New Kind of Journey

posted by Jana Melpolder

I have recently joined the American (and) global club of being unemployed. Whew, it’s tough to even write that. Besides my sweet deal here at Beliefnet of being a blogger, I’m looking for new jobs so I can get back into […]

What Is Meant By the “Politics of Hunger”?

posted by Jana Melpolder

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

Feeling Stuck? Get Out of It!

posted by Jana Melpolder

It could be up to you whether you move yourself to a new direction or stay put in a rut. You can do it! You can change your life!      “You are not stuck where you are unless you decide […]

A Prayer of Thanks

posted by Jana Melpolder

I like this Christian prayer of thanks – it reminds be to be grateful for simple things like the sunshine and good friends. Check out other prayers in Beliefnet’s Prayer Library.   For each new morning with its light, For […]

Encouraging Words for Hard Times

posted by Jana Melpolder

“It’s in the difficult times that we’re growing and you can’t just rebuke everything hard. We’ve got to endure it and fight the good fight of faith and pass the test.” – Joel Osteen “Ever have days when life just […]

Push Yourself Out of Your Comfort Zone

posted by Jana Melpolder

“Ease destroys bravery, trouble…creates strength.” – Maimonides, Guide for the Perplexed   Check out other inspiring quotes and resources: Motivational Quotes on Strength The Lord Is My Strength: the 23rd Psalm 8 Bible Quotes for the Depressed India’s Last Typewriter […]

Video: A Glimmer in the Shadows of 9/11

posted by Jana Melpolder

  Video: Finding a Cross Amid the   Rubble of The World Trade Center       View the Clip Here    

Serving the Families That Lost a Loved One on 9/11

posted by Jana Melpolder

Written by Jana Melpolder   America has been through a long and difficult journey throughout its 10 years after 9/11. This decade of loss and recovery not only belongs to Americans, but also to the family members that lost a […]

Have the Courage to Push Yourself

posted by Jana Melpolder

Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear. – Ambrose Redmoon     Check out other inspiring quotes and resources: Motivational Quotes on Strength The Lord Is My Strength: […]

Inspiring Quotes for Challenging Times

posted by Jana Melpolder

“It’s always too early to quit.” – Norman Vincent Peale   “Never let the fear of striking out get in your way.” – Babe Ruth    “You are never a loser until you quit trying.” – Mike Ditka   “There’s […]

What One Thing Would YOU Give Up?

posted by Jana Melpolder

What would you give up so that others could have life-giving water and food? Right now over 12 million in the Horn of Africa are in danger of dying simply because there isn’t enough food to go around. Around 30,000 children have […]

Watch What Sponsoring Just One Child Can Do

posted by Jana Melpolder

Video created by Jamie Flora  

Featured Blog: Christian Quotes for Comfort

posted by Jana Melpolder

This is a featured post written by my friend, Beliefnet blogger Ashley Mcdaniel. Check out her blog Whole Living.   I pray these quotes bring peace and joy to your soul. You are not alone. Take comfort in these quotes. Psalm 9:9 […]

World Humanitarian Day 2011

posted by Jana Melpolder

How will you be a humanitarian? World Humanitarian Day is today, August 19th. Some people devote their time to helping those in other countries… …and some give their time to helping those right at home. Either way, we can all […]

Words of Comfort

posted by Jana Melpolder

Looking for a break from your high-stress day? Check out these quotes that will give you some ease and comfort. “The more you have, the more you’re occupied; the less you have, the more free you are.” – Mother Teresa […]

5 Ways Children Inspire Us

posted by Jana Melpolder

Let’s face it. We laugh when they laugh. We smile when they smile. Children remind us what it’s like to be happy with the simple things in life. Check out five inspiring ways that kids can help us to get back to […]

A Tiny Drop of Inspiration

posted by Jana Melpolder

“We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.” – Mother Teresa  Discover Inspirational Summer Quotes Movie Mom’s Best Movie Quotes 21 Ways to Do a […]

A Letter to the Mothers and Fathers of Bolivia

posted by Jana Melpolder

I am happy to say that this post was recently featured on the World Vision blog!   To the incredible mothers and fathers of Bolivia, This journey has been an opportunity to give a voice for the voiceless. To put a […]

There Are a Lot of Cute Things in Bolivia

posted by Jana Melpolder

Puppies. Babies. You name it – Bolivia’s got it. All photos courtesy of Amy Conner with World Vision.    

One Bolivian Mother’s Prayer Request

posted by Jana Melpolder

We were lucky to meet Moses, a little boy that will receive massive chest surgery on Tuesday, August 9th. Moses’ mother asked the World Vision bloggers to pray for her son – join us in the prayer we said for […]

The Domino Effect of Sustainable Development

posted by Jana Melpolder

Bolivia can give a new meaning to the word community. The family structure is very important – and the bonds that people have together can be inspiring to lonely hearts everywhere. Luckily, a whole community can benefit from even one […]

The Deaf Can Hear

posted by Jana Melpolder

Sadly, the children with special needs in Bolivia might be overlooked. There can be many reasons for this. The parents might work and be away from their children. Another possibility could be that they suffer from drug addiction. They might love […]

The Force of a Tiny Mustard Seed

posted by Jana Melpolder

I have arrived in Bolivia. It’s cold. I’m freezing. And it’s awesome to be here. Our first day marked an incredible tour of the World Vision sites in the Cochabamba area, which lies in the vast mountains of Bolivia. We […]

How Do YOU Create a Better World?

posted by Jana Melpolder

Soon I am going to travel to Bolivia to write on how international donors are making a difference in Bolivian communities. Some individuals (like myself) are inspired to travel far to help those in need. Others prefer to help those […]

Quotes for Perseverance

posted by Jana Melpolder

“Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.” -John Wooden   “A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.” -Chinese Proverb   “Past experience should be a guide post, not a […]

A Deeper Look at Poverty

posted by Jana Melpolder

What is the definition of poverty? What does it mean to be poor in today’s modern world of multi-car families and HD television sets? Does poverty have the same effects all around the world?   Apparently, no. Poverty can be […]

Have You Seen This Guy?

posted by Jana Melpolder

Have you seen this video of one man dancing with people in 42 countries?   Check out how different people around the world might be more alike than we think.  

A Trip to Bolivia with World Vision

posted by Jana Melpolder

The opportunities that God places at your doorstep can be amazing.   On July 30th I will be traveling with World Vision staff members and several other American bloggers to Bolivia – a country full of history, mystery, and hope. […]

Discovering the World

posted by Jana Melpolder

It is with great pleasure to extend to you a personal hello.   The world needs to hear the stories and voices from the ones that can’t easily speak up for themselves. People have such incredible lives of overcoming obstacles – […]

Previous Posts

Slavery Still Exists in the Modern World
Slavery. Human trafficking. Kidnapped victims who are often smuggled or forced to migrate across borders. Slaves in today's world are faced with daily fear and a lack of legal protection, leaving them without a voice when it's needed most. Human trafficking cases have been reported within every sing

posted 1:55:35pm May. 24, 2014 | read full post »

5 Surprising Things You Didn't Know About the Super Bowl
It's time for the Big Game! Americans, including myself, will be all too-happy to indulge in two of the USA's favorite traditions - food and football. Check out this video from Odyssey Networks that gives us surprising facts to the Super Bowl.

posted 3:32:39pm Jan. 31, 2014 | read full post »

A Prayer to Keep Our Neighbors Warm
The Polar Vortex is no joke - North America has recently experienced extremely low temperatures that's made most of the country nearly shutdown. The negative temperatures outside have left many stranded in airports, unable to go to school and work, or just frustrated by the relentless cold. Sadly,

posted 5:12:35pm Jan. 07, 2014 | read full post »

The Most Powerful Moments of 2013
This past year has been one of growth, happiness, and challenges, both for the world and for myself personally. What has 2013 meant to you?

posted 11:04:52am Dec. 30, 2013 | read full post »

Fear on the First Anniversary of Sandy Hook
Tragedy struck the entire nation last year when a gunman killed 26 first-grade students and adults on December 14, 2012. The community has experienced grief beyond what most of us can understand. But with time, the slow and painful process of healing and forgiveness has already began. The Newt

posted 7:14:00pm Dec. 11, 2013 | read full post »

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