Sunday, March 17, 2013

We are Children of God


Sunday Scripture

and a

Song


"But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. They are reborn—not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God."
John 1:12-13


Enjoy Third Day as they perform "Children of God"
And believe...



Subscribers please click on Hope to find to view this video on my blog site. Thanks!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

When We Need Hope


Another winter storm blew through here yesterday depositing a fresh layer of fluffy, white snow. Strong winds blew the sparkling powder into even deeper drifts. 

Mother Nature has a sense of humor, don’t you think? And I don’t believe she has much regard for our Groundhog Story, either.


The landscape is endless white, as far as the eye can see, with just a little frosting on the trees and shrubs. It used to seem pretty. But it’s March, and we are yearning for a change, and we would sure like to see some color return to the landscape. 


In my previous post about endless winter, I shared photographs of a recent snowy day in my yard. Today, I am going to blast this page with the colors of springtime in order to bring hope to the winter-weary among us, and to assure us that spring truly is right around the corner.

I’ve been telling friends that I have visions of tulips dancing in my head. Last year was my first year to view the nearly 100 tulips I’d planted in my gardens, and I can’t wait to see them again this spring! These are pictures of my gardens from last year. Spring will come again, my friends, I promise.


We need hope in so many areas of our lives, wouldn't you agree? I know I need hope just to begin the day. I need hope when life gives me problems that seem insurmountable. When I am weary and sad, I need the hope that comes from blessed rest.


Where do you find hope?



For myself, I find hope in my relationship with God. We share conversations every day, and He knows my heart better than anyone. He touches my spirit with His love, and I can begin to see hope for another day.
 

I have complete trust in the One who saves me. He even saves me from myself, sometimes. He has saved me from the pit of despair. Knowing that God is always at my side brings me comfort, and I know that no matter what trials I must face, I will not face them alone.

This amazing trust has been built through years of doubt and questioning. Trust is built through relationship. I know I can give any of my myriad emotions to God and He will understand. And oftentimes, He guides me in ways I never would have imagined.








“Let us acknowledge the Lord; let us press on to acknowledge him. As surely as the sun rises, he will appear; he will come to us like the winter rains, like the spring rains that water the earth.” Hosea 6:3










As surely as the sun rises and a new day dawns, so will the earth turn for its seasons. Spring will come. We can put our hope and belief in that. And we can place our hope and trust in the One who said, “ I will never leave you.” 



 




"As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. "  Isaiah 55:10-11 


Friday, March 1, 2013

The Winter of Our Discontent




Shakespeare! Again! This quote came to me while I pondered life and love as I drove through the rising dawn and viewed our endless winter. Snow is falling again, and though I still see beauty and feel some excitement as the white flakes fall, our Midwestern winter seems to drag on and on. As winter’s cold and gloomy days stretch on, it’s hard not to feel heavy laden, and to feel the darkness begin to seep into our spirits.

And yet, there is beauty to be found. The canvas of white outside my window is etched with the angular shapes of bare tree branches, which catch and hold the snow like frosting on their limbs.



I love to follow animal tracks in the fresh snow, and try to determine who the critter was and when they passed through.

Oh, and when the sun comes out! When the sun comes out! Especially after a crystal snowfall, when millions of diamonds sparkle at my feet, I am filled with wonder and awe.

Truly winter has its beauty. It just sticks around too darn long.

Likewise, when we are living through a winter of our spirit , we may feel that the heaviness seems to last forever. We are weighed down by our burdens, and instead of singing, we turn inward and want to crawl back under the covers.

But every cycle of life is always changing. Deep under the drifts of snow, down in the frozen earth, I imagine my tulip bulbs beginning to awaken. Soon, the days will warm and hope will renew as life returns to the natural world around us. What joy we will feel in the delight of the first blossoms, and that incredibly bright shade of new spring green that the trees and shrubs will wear. It will happen. It will come, as surely as the sun rises each day.

And thus, so shall the darkness of our spirit come to a time of lightening. We will begin to feel our burdens diminish, and in time, hope will dispel our sadness. Though sadness may pervade our thoughts, and languish in our hearts, joy will one day find its way into the dark places and the light will come again.

Like the sun warms and nurtures the earth, we need to nurture our spirit with all that is good. Be kind to yourself. Take the time to treat yourself to whatever it is that makes you feel happy. Honor your sadness, but don’t let it linger too long. The spirit longs for peace, and though our discontent may last for a season, even seemingly endless winters will end.

“Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God, for I shall again praise him, my help and my God.”
Psalm 42:5-6 & 11