New This Month: Links, Quotes, Books & More

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“I have engraved you on the palms of My hands.”
Isaiah 49:16

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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 “R” Word:

❤︎ Redeeming Love ❤︎

“In Him we have redemption
[that is, our deliverance and salvation] through His blood,
[which paid the penalty for our sin and resulted in]
the forgiveness and complete pardon of our sin,
in accordance with the riches of His grace.

Ephesians 1:7 AMP

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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. 🙂

 I AM: A 60-Day Journey to Knowing Who You Are Because of Who He Is 
by Michele Cushatt

This summer I was so blessed as I read this devotional and soaked in the Bible passages that prove who we are because of who God is. I don’t think I can describe this book any better than through what is written at this book’s site.

“From the moment a woman wakes until she falls, exhausted, on her pillow, one question plagues her at every turn:

Am I enough?

After all, the pressure to do more, be more has never been more intense. Online marketing. Self-help books. Movies, magazines and gym memberships. Even church attendance and social media streams have become a means of comparing ourselves to impossible standards. Am I pretty enough? Hip enough? Spiritual enough?

We fear the answer is “No.”

When a brutal bout with cancer changed how she looked, talked, and lived, Michele Cushatt embarked on a soul-deep journey to rediscover herself. The typical self-esteem strategies and positivity plans weren’t enough. Instead, she needed
a new foundation, one that wouldn’t prove flimsy when faced with the onslaught of day-to-day life.”

Read more at I AM

Michele invites us to an online experience of identity transformation from October 2 – November 10! Sign up soon as it starts next week Monday!

 

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Hope Harbor

💞  Links That Inspire Hope and Healing 💞

💞  30 Days of Truth  – Being sexually abused as a child fills our hearts and minds with lies. Michele Viscuse shares 30 Days of God’s Amazing Truth that she discovered in her healing journey.

💞  The Trauma That Arises from Natural Disasters – “Like many causes of trauma, natural disasters can be sudden and overwhelming. The most immediate and typical reaction to a calamity is shock, which at first manifests as numbness or denial. Quickly—or eventually—shock can give way to an overemotional state that often includes high levels of anxiety, guilt or depression.”

💞  American Red Cross: Disaster Relief and Recovery Services 

To reach out for free 24/7 counseling or support, contact the Disaster Distress Helpline at 1-800-985-5990 or text “TalkWithUs’ to 66746.

“Disasters are upsetting experiences for everyone involved. Children, senior citizens, people with disabilities and people for whom English is not their first language are especially at risk and are likely to need extra care and help. But everyone, even the people that others look up to for guidance and assistance, is entitled to their feelings and deserves support throughout the recovery process.”

Nature Retreat

“God gives every bird its food,
but He does not throw it into its nest.”

~ Josiah Gilbert Holland

I love the view outside my office window. Usually the house finches take over the feeder and the nesting places (baby ones below), but once in a while a goldfinch will sneak in. The mourning doves hang around to eat the seed on the ground. The robins like to take baths, but they’re getting scarce here this time of year. This year I saw a Variegated Fritillary Butterfly and a lot of Painted Lady Butterflies on our Salvia plants. I didn’t get clear shots of the Painted Ladies, so I included a photo of one that I took at a park. Oh, and once in a while a ground squirrel decides to show up and fill his little cheeks with seeds from the ground. I love my summer visitors!








🐾 Breathtaking Blog – I can’t find the name of this photographer, but her photos depict an appreciation of nature and are awesome captures of its beauty. – “From the moment I go into the garden and surrounding countryside, it becomes an adventure, and I’m never happier than when I spot something of extraordinary beauty, but a thing of beauty is better when shared.” (A personal note from the photographer)

🐾 Ozark Grace – Connie is an illustrator and photographer who lives in the Missouri Ozarks, USA. She appreciates God’s wonders and shares the beauty of the Ozarks.

🐾 Burrard-Lucas Wildlife Photography  Awesome collections of wildlife from all over the world by a professional wildlife photographer

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Quotes

❤︎ Hearts are broken in ten thousand ways, for this is a heart-breaking world; and Christ is good at healing all manner of heart-breaks.” – Charles Spurgeon

❤︎ Suffering, failure, loneliness, sorrow, discouragement, and death will be part of your journey, but the Kingdom of God will conquer all these horrors. No evil can resist grace forever.” – Brennan Manning

❤︎ I know now, Lord, why You utter no answer. You are Yourself the answer. Before Your face questions die away. What other answer would suffice?” – C.S. Lewis

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Only God’s Truth Can Fill Up What Bullies Take Away

“You see, we have a bucket inside of us,” She spread her little fingers across her heart. “When someone is mean to us, it empties our bucket. But if they say they are sorry or if they say something nice, it puts something back into our buckets.”

“Oh, I see… So if I say ‘Kamryn, I love you. You are so special,’ will that overflow your bucket?” Her face beamed as if to say, “Yes! You got it, Grandma!”

This story my grand-daughter heard nearly four years ago in Pre-Kindergarten concerning bullying really touched my heart. So simple, yet so profound. Scoop by scoop, condemning remarks can empty us of our security in who we really are. We can start basing our value on what others say instead of who God says we are.

We can become our own bully when we believe the lies cast on us by others or by Satan: What is wrong with me? I’m so ugly. I’m so dumb. I’m not good enough. I don’t deserve to be happy. I’m not worth it. I’m unlovable. I’m not strong enough. I can never do it as well as he/she can, so why even try?  And on and on… Shovelfuls of the “me God created us to be” go flying out of our buckets until there is nothing left to give.

Do you beat yourself up a lot? I’ll admit I do. I have a hard time liking myself. I wonder if it’s prideful or selfish to be kind to myself. But I am learning inch by inch that it’s not only ok to love ourselves, but it’s what God wants. This is not about self-adoration or narcissism. It’s about appreciating the unique person God created us to be.

“When you wound yourself with your words,
it’s the same to God as if you were doing it to someone else in your life.
Jesus said to love our neighbors as ourselves.
That means all of the ‘one another’ statements in Scripture
(i.e. be kind to one another, encourage one another)
apply in our relationship with ourselves too.”
Holley Gerth

So how can we be kind to ourselves? By filling our emptied buckets with God’s Truth. A solid, secure Truth that no one can steal from us. A Truth that will more than fill up what self-criticism or others’ bullying comments have robbed from us.

Every word of God proves true.
    He is a shield to all who come to Him for protection.”

Proverbs 30:5

God’s Truth for our emptied, wounded hearts:

💞 I am wonderfully made. (Psalm 139:14)

💞 I am His masterpiece, created anew in Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 2:10)

💞 I am redeemed with the blood of Jesus. (Isaiah 43:1)

💞 There is no condemnation for me when I belong to Jesus. (Romans 8:1)

💞 I am precious and honored. (Isaiah 43:4)

💞 I am His royalty, a crown of splendor in His hand. (Isaiah 62:3)

💞 I am His own special treasure. (Malachi 3:17)

💞 Nothing will ever be able to separate me from the love of God. (Romans 8:37-39)

💞 Because of His faithful love and mercy, I will never perish. (Lamentations 3:22)

💞 He will restore my ruins. He will rebuild what is broken. (Isaiah 44:26)

💞 He fills my emptiness with good things. (Psalm 107:9)

💞 I can do all things through Jesus who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:13)

We can’t always control the inward and outward bullies in our lives, but we can learn to be better equipped to handle them, both past and present. We can allow Jesus to fill our emptiness with His Truth, His healing, and His love. Then we will be able to base our identity, not in those negative voices, but in Jesus, who emptied Himself so our emptiness can be filled with Him. In Him, we are redeemed. In Him, we are secure. In Him, we are free.

“Beautiful”
by MercyMe

Remembering God Is Still King

Does your heart get discouraged with all the hate, violence, and abuse in our country and in this world? When you think of so many hearts devastated and hurting? So many crying in pain while no justice is done? Perhaps some of you have been through it yourself or still are experiencing it personally or in your family? Rejection, abuse, and disrespect that tears your soul apart?

This summer, after the Charlottesville attack, I was so overwhelmed and disheartened. I was driving in our van, and Natalie Grant’s song – The King of the World – came on the radio. These lyrics hit home like never before:

“When did I forget that You’ve always been the King of the world?
I try to take life back right out of the hands of the King of the world
How could I make You so small
When You’re the One who holds it all
When did I forget that You’ve always been the King of the world?”

Not immediately, but gradually, as this song kept replaying in my heart, I could lay my stress and people’s hearts into the King’s hands. God is still the King over this whole world. He knows all. He sees all. No pain is hidden from Him. And just because so much is happening doesn’t mean He has left us or doesn’t care.

When I heard hundreds of people singing “This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine,” my heart knew that’s what I need to remember, too. Hate can shout so loudly, but I must not let it drown out my voice and discourage me from spreading the light of Jesus’ love.

I easily forget that God is in control of everything, so I often have to remind myself of this truth. Here are several summer photos of God’s power and glory in the skies that help me to remember He is still the King of the World!

 

 

 

“The heavens declare
the glory of God;

the skies proclaim
the work of His hands.”

Psalm 19:1

 

My husband and I were visiting our son and his family in Omaha, NE, when a tornado hit the area. As we sheltered in a room in the basement, our grandkids admitted they were afraid. Even little Gracie, their dog, was trembling as she felt their fear. Thanks be to God, our lives were spared and not much damage was done to their home. The next town over wasn’t so fortunate, though no lives were lost. When we went to the open garage, I was speechless with awe as I looked at the display of God’s splendor in these first two photos. Do you see how God spread His light through the clouds, breaking up the rolling darkness of the storm? Oh God, how could I ever make You so small when You’re the One who holds it all?

The next three are photos of an evening sky here in Sioux Falls. My husband drove us further to the east where buildings wouldn’t block our view. Wow! Oh God, how could I forget You will always be the King of the world?


The last four photos are from my brother in Arizona. Awesome views of a monsoon sky!

God is and always will be the King of the world. He’s got us, no matter what pain we go through, whether through natural disasters or inflicted by evil human choices. He is never going to grow tired or weary of keeping us in His faithful love and care.

“Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The LORD is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and His understanding no one can fathom.”
Isaiah 40:28

“King of the World”
by Natalie Grant