Longing For a Heart of Love Like Jesus

“All those people goin’ somewhere
Why have I never cared?”

Brandon Heath sings and asks himself this as he breathes in the confusion and chaos of people in this world and as he longs to have the eyes and heart of Jesus.

It’s so easy to get caught up in our own lives and our own problems, isn’t it? To become blind or passive about the pain of others? Or perhaps numb, because we can’t bear to think of all the pain in this world?

I long to really see each and every person I meet, whether in person or online. I want to listen to the brokenness behind their pasted-on smiles and I’ve-got-it-altogether words. I want to care what is happening to them behind the scenes. I want to remember that each one carries a cross, sometimes hidden from the rest of the world, and to place their burdens in the hands of God who knows and cares.

There may be times when we hesitate to pray for some people.  Perhaps it’s someone who hasn’t treated us very well in the past?  Someone who has spread rumors or believed in the slander of our person?  Someone who has abused us in some way?

Personally, I find it hard to pray for someone who has hurt me. And even harder to pray for someone who has hurt my loved ones or defenseless children and adults. I confess that sometimes I don’t even want God to care about their souls. I hang my head in sadness and plead that I will become more like Jesus.

It’s not always easy, is it? Especially when the pain runs so deep. I’ve asked God – “How can I ask You to bless this person, Lord?” I feel in my heart that God hurts for me and understands why it’s so hard, and He is so patient with me as He helps me through this long and continuous healing process. Through His grace, I will eventually heal deeper and be able to see every person like Jesus sees them.

Oh, to have the eyes of Jesus! When He was suffering excruciating pain on the cross to save us from death and agony, He still looked at the people around Him with compassion. People who hated Him with a passion. Who drove in the nails and mocked Him. Who stripped Him of His dignity. And yet His first words were, “Father, forgive them…”

Jesus said, “Father, forgive them,
for they don’t know what they are doing.”
Luke 23:34a

He could have said, “Father, consume them. They don’t deserve Your love or forgiveness.” But no, He didn’t. His love for sinful mankind is far beyond what we can ever fathom.

We have just as much a part in crucifying Jesus as the ones who physically drove in those nails, and in disgracing Him to the lowest of the lowest.  And yet He still looks directly into our eyes and hearts with love and compassion. While His blood was pouring out to cleanse us. So there will always be hope for us. In spite of who we are or what we have done or not done, He prays for us and longs to redeem us.

Oh, to have a heart of love like Jesus!  A deep, true love for humanity!

“Give Me Your Eyes”
by Brandon Heath

“Give me Your eyes for just one second
Give me Your eyes so I can see
Everything that I keep missing
Give me Your love for humanity
Give me Your arms for the broken-hearted
The ones that are far beyond my reach
Give me Your heart for the ones forgotten
Give me Your eyes so I can see…”

Lessons From a Sea Turtle

Keep Following the True Light

When sea turtles hatch and dig their way out of the sand, they follow the light of the moon over the ocean, their home. Sometimes when clouds cover the light of the moon or there are too many beachfront artificial lights, they get disoriented. Recently in a movie, I saw some sea turtle protectors guide them on a cloudy night. The turtles saw another distant light, so they turned towards it. The protectors formed a line on their knees to block out the false light while one of them got on his boat and shone a bright light several feet from shore. The turtles turned again and finally arrived at their ocean home.

It sounds a lot like our spiritual journey in this life, doesn’t it? We may be following the True Light of love to dip ourselves into the healing waters of His grace, but distractions or temptations in this world can lure us and lead us away from Him. Maybe it’s not always intentional, but we get confused by all the artificial lights. Even Satan can masquerade himself as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14), and he constantly works to turn us away from the True Light. I’m so glad that He who is the Light of the world shines and prevails over all false lights and draws us to Himself, aren’t you?

“Jesus spoke to the people once more and said,
‘I am the Light of the world.
If you follow Me,
you won’t have to walk in darkness,
because you will have the light that leads to life.'”
John 8:12
Never Give Up When the Going Gets Tough

Green sea turtle babies are only 2 inches long. It’s a looong walk to the ocean. Then there are the obstacles. Can you imagine what a big footprint in the sand or a piece of driftwood would look like to such a tiny turtle? In a video, I saw one flip to its back because of the deepness of the footprint, but he flipped himself back upright and kept on heading to the ocean. They persevere and trudge onward.

Photo by Mark Sullivan, NOAA affiliate.

Our journeys here on earth can be filled with mountains of troubles and pits of difficulties, obstacles that set us back or make us want to sit down in despair and forget about putting one foot in front of the other towards our eternal home with Jesus.

These little turtles persevere in the midst of obstacles and challenges, even in danger from predators. Cannot the same God who created them and gives them strength to move on also give us strength to endure?

No, it’s not easy, but God’s powerful love and mercy are more than enough, and He is always available, regardless of what situation we’re in. Yes, maybe we will feel flipped upside-down and unable to flip ourselves right-side-up again to keep going. But He promises us that His power is made perfect in weakness. He never said there won’t be troubles in this world, but He has promised He has a plan for our good and He’ll get us through.

“But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you,
for My power is made perfect in weakness.'”
2 Corinthians 12:9a
“But You, Lord, do not be far from me.
You are my strength; come quickly to help me.”
Psalm 22:19
“I have told you these things,
so that in Me you may have peace.
In this world you will have trouble.
But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
John 16:33


“A Living Prayer”
by Alison Krauss

“In this world I walk alone with no place to call my home
But there’s one who holds my hand
The rugged road through barren lands
The way is dark, the road is steep
But He’s become my eyes to see
The strength to climb, my griefs to bear
The Savior lives inside me there…”

“I pray that from His glorious, unlimited resources
He will empower you with inner strength through His Spirit.”
Ephesians 3:16

April Roundup: Links, Quotes, Books & More


“Safe”
by Victory Worship

“I found my fortress, in You
And my soul is anchored, with You
My resting place, is in Your name
Forever safe”


Thank You
to anyone and everyone who recommend
links, books, quotes, etc.

ABCs of Jesus’ Love

Visit this page anytime and let me know if you’d like to add to the words describing Jesus’ love along with a verse supporting it. Remember, there is also a print-out of the original list.

 This month I have added an “S” Word:

❤  Shepherding Love 
He tends His flock like a shepherd:
    He gathers the lambs in His arms
and carries them close to His heart;
    He gently leads those that have young.

Isaiah 40:11

Books

I am not always able to keep up with the abundance of books that promote hope, healing, and freedom, so I haven’t always read every one I post here and on the Books Page. Though many are on my long wish list. 🙂  Many will be from recommendations of online friends. If you ever know of a book that is not listed and that supports this website’s mission, please let me know. 🙂

Dear Jesus: Seeking His Light in Your Life by Sarah Young

“From your heart’s deepest cry to life’s joyful praises, nothing is off limits to Jesus.
Knowing Jesus on a deeper, more personal level means sharing all aspects of your life with Him…every day. In Dear Jesus, Sarah Young exemplifies what it means to do this-to dialogue with the Savior. She begins each of the 120 devotionals by sharing intimate struggles and longings that weigh on the heart-being preoccupied with problems; being dissatisfied with oneself, and other spiritual issues. Jesus then responds in His loving way by giving guidance and encouragement, using Scripture as the foundation from which His words flow. Readers will be drawn into the presence of God through these spiritual letters of grace.” (Amazon Review)

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Hope Harbor

💞  Links That Inspire Hope and Healing 💞

💞 You Don’t Have to Understand God – “When we don’t understand something about God, some people are tempted to discredit him completely. My friend Andy Stanley said, ‘You don’t have to understand everything to believe in something.’ In John 9, Jesus met a man who was born blind and forced to beg just to get by. Jesus’ disciples wanted to know whose fault it was that the man was blind: Was it his fault? Or his parents?…”

💞 Hurt, Hope, and Making It Through Life’s Hard Times – Holley Gerth reminds us that hurt and hope are a part of every hard experience. Hurt and hope both need to be felt, not ignored.

💞 Hope Verses – Hope verses Bill from “Unshakable Hope” has put together. Suffering from Lou Gehrig’s disease, Bill has learned that hope is one of the things that cannot be shaken.

Nature Retreat

“In every walk with nature
one receives far more than he seeks.”
~ John Muir

More photos from my brother in Arizona. 🙂 John took a two-hour hike along a river in search of the elegant trogon he was told was in the area. He was finally rewarded. Isn’t this bird beautiful?! The other photos are of a leaf-footed cactus bug, a rattlesnake, and a wolf spider.


🐾 Kevin Barry Photography – Galleries of splendid nature photos of landscapes, insects, mammals, reptiles, birds, alligators, and more.

🐾 Kinnara Bosworth Portfolio – This photographer travels to see and photograph natural wonders from all parts of the globe to share with the rest of the world. There are fantastic photos from different countries.

🐾 HD Nature Photos: Stunning Royalty-Free Landscape Images – Breath-taking photos of landscapes and wildlife including serene pictures of trees, lakes, plants, flowers, outdoor animals, seascapes and more.

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Quotes

New quotes this month are about Faith.

❤ “Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.” – Corrie ten Boom

 “Faith is not the belief that God will do what you want. It is the belief that God will do what is right.” – Max Lucado

 “Faith is the bird that sings when the dawn is still dark.” ~Rabindranath Tagore

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