Abounding Hope

Have you ever made a mistake? I daresay, we all have. If there is breath, there is a possibility of error. How do you handle your mistakes? Correct them and move on? Or run and hide while beating up yourself? In the past, I did the latter. Thankfully, I’m learning this journey is a growing process.

Last week, I made a mistake for all cyber world to see. It may have escaped some, but I’m sure it was noticed by others. This mistake? I misquoted a scripture. Yep. I had everything correct but one thing. Where it was located. I quoted Hebrews instead of Romans. Sigh.

Maybe it was because I was thinking of my devotion. Maybe I had too many things open on my desk. Or maybe I just needed to know the world wasn’t going to end if I made a mistake.

Ever been there?

Of course, I know others have done the same thing because I’ve seen it several times. But rather than smirk at their oversight or correct them in the comments, I extended grace. Maybe they were having a bad day. Maybe I needed to pray for them. Or maybe they weren’t paying attention. Who knows?

Oh, why is it so much easier to offer grace to another, and yet fail to dispense it in our own situations? Honestly, I can’t answer that one, my friend. But we do it all the time. At least, I did in times past. But not this time. Well, maybe for a moment. 🙂  But before I could get the party started, I was gently reminded of Peter.

Precious, loveable, and impatient Peter. Peter who spoke when he should have been listening. Doubting Peter who tried to walk on water and failed. Impulsive Peter who whacked off a man’s ear. Cursing Peter, who denied the very One he had promised to protect. Hopeless Peter who thought all was lost and went fishing.

But then…

Jesus came by for a visit. There on the shore, Jesus sat and spoke with Peter about love. Afterward, we see Preaching Peter on the day of Pentecost. Believing Peter healing the sick. Teaching Peter in Cornelius’ house. Writing Peter penning God’s truths. Historical Peter crucified on a cross.

What if Peter had given up? What if he had stepped into the boat and sailed away never to try again? What if he hadn’t accepted the Lord’s grace and forgiveness? Thankfully, Jesus didn’t give up on Peter. And He doesn’t give up on us!

Whatever you do don’t give up! Don’t let fear stop you from trying. Keep fighting. If you make a mistake, don’t beat yourself up. Correct it and move on! Hope waits in front of us. All we have to do is reach out to Him and accept His grace. And then…extend it to ourselves and to others.

Here is the corrected poster. May it warm you to your toes! I know I need it this week! Brrr.

Happy Tuesday, dearest reader! ❤

coastline-1081897_1280 Hope corrected

 

 

Seeing and Believing

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14

In 1998, the movie Prince of Egypt came to theaters and my five-year-old-going-on-thirty watched the familiar story of Moses come to life on the big screen. He empathized with the slaves as the whips came down unmercifully on their backs. His heart ached as he watched Jochebed put her baby son into a basket and release him to the river not knowing if he would survive. And he laughed when the camel pulled Moses from the sand.

child-praying-hands-1510773_1920Of course, he had heard the story many times, but seeing it, brought it to life. Through the animated characters, he was able to experience their struggles and heartaches. So much so, that he wanted the captive set free even if he had to do it himself! “Take that, mister!” But nothing prepared him for the wall-to-wall deliverance in the final scene.

Imagine if you will, Moses and the children of Israel marching to freedom. All seems to be going well until they reach the Red Sea and realize Pharoah hasn’t kept his promise. All eyes turn to Moses. As Pharoah’s army approaches, Moses suddenly gets a familiar look on his face, lifts his rod Heavenward and thrusts it into the water. Suddenly the sea stands up and separates!

At that moment, my son turned to me and declared. “I want to be a Moses!” Throughout the years, I have often thought of my son’s response to God’s deliverance of His people.

So can we be a Moses? Joshua? Deborah? Elijah? Jeremiah? Peter? Paul?

Absolutely! On our knees, we can move mountains, calm seas, and defeat the enemy.

The truth is this world needs to see a miracle! As children of God, we may never turn a river red with blood, or unleash a plague of frogs, or part the waters to walk on dry land. But there is one thing that we can do. We can pray.

Prayer…

  • unleashes the power of God.
  • sets the captive free
  • heals the broken-hearted
  • meets the need
  • changes circumstances
  •  brings victory

Remember, there is nothing too hard for the Lord! Let us lift up a prayer for our world. Together we can make a difference.

Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

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Weeds and Flowers

The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Psalms 19:1

I built my patio nineteen years ago from blocks obtained from an old utility room when I was pregnant with Lindsay. For years, hubby has tried to convince me to rip it up, offering to build me a better one. I have refused every time.

DSC00827It may not be the prettiest thing, but it holds the best memories. My late father-in-law used to come for chats under the oak tree. My kids spent hours going ’round and ’round on their Little Tikes car and motorcycle. We enjoyed birthday parties, late night talks around a fire, and grilled suppers on it. In the summers, I strung lights in the oak, and we enjoyed late night swims. I’ve wept and prayed, written songs and verse while surveying the beauty of creation.

Every year finds me on hands and knees pulling the weeds from cracks. And every year, my family asks, “Why don’t you just spray the weeds?” I point to the flowers. They peer at the flowers growing between the cracks. They understand. They kneel and begin pulling weeds.

The weeds in this life are a nuisance. If I had my choice I would choose a life without weeds. But the flowers often found among them are precious.

Trials and tests are like those weeds. I would often choose a life without them. But the blessings I have received among them are priceless.

How about you?

Would you choose a life without weeds if it meant no flowers?

 

 

 

 

Love Is A Marvelous Thing

Every artist leaves his mark. Whether it’s his signature scrawled in the bottom right-hand corner, initials stamped on the underside, or a clue within the masterpiece itself, there is always something to identify the creator.

Physically marked or not, a person well acquainted with the artist will recognize his work immediately. Brush strokes, fingerprints, a chisel mark, are indicators of his talent.

Just as an artist leaves his mark, we as the Lord’s vessels should be marked. People should immediately identify us with our Creator. Jesus speaking to His disciples said,

“By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.”

    John 13:35

 Love. It’s a marvelous thing. Mankind has climbed mountains, crossed oceans, and changed the world around them.

Love Can Heal A Wounded Heart

With love all things are possible. Lives are changed all because of this one little four-letter word!

So how did they change the world?

  • Their love for that one thing consumed them
  • They remained focused on their goal no matter the obstacles
  • They allowed their love to guide them when all seemed lost
  • Nothing deterred them from their vision

So how can we change our world?

  • Allow His love to consume us
  • Stay focused on His commission no matter the obstacles
  • Show love one for another even when things seem hopeless
  • When loving someone is hard, remember His love for us

This month is all about showing the one you love how much you care. Just think, if we showed everyone His love what a difference a month would make.

Today, show some love to those closest to you. Then, while out and about, show some love to the stranger you happen to meet. Who knows? You might just change a world!

 

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At Your Word

They had toiled all night with nothing to show for their labor. The morning found them ashore washing their nets. Then Jesus entered Simon’s boat. At His request, Simon took the boat out from the shore.

The Miraculous Draught of Fishes ~ James Tissot (1894) public domain

The Miraculous Draught of Fishes ~ James Tissot (1894) public domain

After he taught the people, the Lord commanded Simon Peter to launch out into the deep and let down the net for a catch.

Peter replied, “Master, we have worked hard all night and caught nothing. But at your word, I will let down the net.”

Luke 5: 6-7 says the multitude of fish was so great they needed help to gather them to shore.

 

The difference?

Jesus.

Something to Ponder

When reading this story many questions come to mind.

What if Peter had not been willing to stop what he was doing and obey?

What if he had continued with the task at hand—washing his net?

What if he had refused to soil the net again?

What if he had ignored his visitor?

Something to Learn

As with every story, there is a lesson. When Jesus approached Peter, he first requested an action and then waited for Peter to respond. Today, He waits for my response.

Next the Lord gave a command and waited. Today, He commands me through His word. It is my choice to obey.

For his obedience, Peter redeemed his losses from the night before. Today, I will be blessed for my obedience.

I always have a choice.

Never give up.

Be sensitive to His presence.

Mornings follow even the darkest nights.

Learn to recognize the voice of the Master.

Trust and obey.

It’s not over until it’s over.

Truth

At Your word, I will reap the harvest You have planned for me!