Because Jesus Came Down, Love Will Never Fail

“Love is patient, love is kind.
It does not envy, it does not boast,
it is not proud.

It does not dishonor others,
it is not self-seeking,

it is not easily angered,
it keeps no record of wrongs.

Love does not delight in evil
but rejoices with the truth.

It always protects, always trusts,
always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails.”
1 Corinthians 13:4-8a

Don’t you just love the Christmas movies where love prevails? When a cold heart is melted? When a person’s life is changed for the better?

Sometimes all a person needs is one person in the world who cares. In The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, one little girl wormed her way into The Grinch’s heart. He hated Christmas and all the Whos down in Whoville who celebrated it. Christmas triggered a bad memory from his childhood when he was bullied and not accepted for who he was. But little Cindy Lou didn’t want him to be left out, and no matter how mean The Grinch was to her, she kept showing him she cared until finally the walls around his heart came tumbling down and his heart grew three sizes bigger. And peace was restored in Whoville.

Then there’s Jack Frost in The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause. He tried to take the warmth of love out of Christmas. He wanted it to be about him and his honor, not about love and giving. And again a little child leads, because along comes little Lucy Miller whose heart brims over with love. She hugs Jack Frost, and his cold heart melts and he becomes a better person. And peace was restored at the North Pole.

Even though some Christmas movies are make-believe and don’t speak of how love began with Jesus, there can still be an important message of love in them for our real world. Love changes things. One loving person can make an impact on others.

Sometimes we can get discouraged by all the hate, greed, and violence in this world, but love changes hearts, people, and circumstances. Because love came down at Christmas, peace is possible however impossible it seems.

When Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day, tragedy both in the nation and in his family shook him to the core of his being. A raging Civil War, a son crippled from war wounds, and his dear wife’s tragic death sunk him into a deep depression. The joyous ringing of Christmas bells seemed to mock his sadness. Hate is so strong. Where is the peace?

And in despair I bowed my head ;
“There is no peace on earth,” I said ;
“For hate is strong
And mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men !”

Don’t we sometimes feel the same way when troubles and losses abound and when we look at everything that is happening in the world around us?

But God poured His love in, and hope revived in the heart of Longfellow. In the final stanza, he penned:

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
“God is not dead ; nor doth He sleep !
The Wrong shall fail,
The Right prevail,
With peace on earth, good-will to men !”

Even though it may not seem so, love will prevail. Hope is still alive, because love came down at Christmas. Because Jesus came, love is possible in a world of hate, greed, and violence. Love can melt hardened hearts, change lives, and pour healing and peace into broken hearts and a broken world. Love that Jesus brought, love that can never be taken away, love that will be victorious forever.

Love Came Down
by Kim Walker-Smith

Love came down
Hope was found
A star lit the sky
The angels cried glory
Light broke through
The darkest night
Hope is alive
Hope is alive
Cause love came down
Love came down

May God pour into our hearts
His love, hope, and peace,
and may we pour it
out to others!

The Savior’s Hands Forever Reach Out to Us With Love

A few years ago I saved this picture from a Christmas card. It still fills my heart with awe. The reaching out of Jesus’ Hands forever in love is humbling and amazing at the same time. May our hands also reach out in love to others!

The following poem is on the backside of this photo:

In His Hands

The Hands that made the world
And gave the sun and moon their light
Are the tiny Hands of a baby
Born one cold December night.

 The Hands that still the wind
And tame the fury of the sea

Are the calloused Hands of a carpenter

Who lived in poverty.

 The Hands that held the power
To break the binding chains of sin

Are the gentle Hands that washed the feet

Of tired and dusty men.

 The Hands that cleansed the leper,
Healed the blind, and raised the dead

Are the praying Hands of one who cried,

“Not My will, but Thine instead.”

 The Hands that shaped the universe
And flung the stars in space

Are the nail-pierced Hands of a dying man

Who suffered in our place.

 The Hands of our Creator,
Lord and King of Heaven above,

Are the Savior’s Hands,

Forever r
eaching out to us with love.

 B. J. Hoff

When I searched for Bible verses about God’s hand(s), I was surprised at how many there are. I haven’t begun to find them all and I definitely can’t name them all here, so I’ll just share a few.

“My own hand founded the earth,
and My right hand spread out the heavens;
when I summoned them,
they stood up together.”
Isaiah 48:13 HCSB

“The life of every living thing is in His hand,
as well as the breath of all mankind.”
Job 12:10 HCSB

“Riches and honor come from You,
and You are the ruler of everything.
Power and might are in Your hand,
and it is in Your hand to make great
and to give strength to all.”
1 Chronicles 29:12 HCSB

“Your hands made me and formed me;
give me understanding
so that I can learn Your commands.”
Psalm 119:73 HCSB

 “For the Lord your God dried up the waters
of the Jordan before you until you had crossed over,
just as the Lord your God did to the Red Sea,
which He dried up before us until we had crossed over. 

This is so that all the people of the earth may know
that the Lord’s hand is mighty,
and so that you may always fear
the Lord your God.”

Joshua 4:24 HCSB

“My enemies surround Me like a pack of dogs;
an evil gang closes in on Me.
They have pierced My hands and feet.”
Psalm 22:16 NLT

“See, I have engraved you on the palms of My hands;
your walls are ever before Me.”
Isaiah 49:16 NIV

“Sing a new song to the Lord,
for He has done wonderful deeds.

His right hand has won a mighty victory;
His holy arm has shown His saving power!
Psalm 98:1 NLT

“Don’t be afraid, for I am with you.
Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you.
I will hold you up with My victorious right hand.”
Isaiah 41:10 NLT

Your Hands
by JJ Heller

“When my world is shaking, heaven stands
When my heart is breaking
I never leave Your hands…”

May God hold you in His loving Hands!

November Roundup: Links, Quotes, Books & More


The Light of the World
by Lauren Daigle

“The world waits for a miracle
The heart longs for a little bit of hope
Oh come, Oh come Emmanuel…”

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 another “M” word for Jesus’ Love.

❤  Manifested Love 
“For God expressed His love
for the world in this way:
He gave His only Son
so that whoever believes in Him
will not face everlasting destruction,
but will have everlasting life.

John 3:16 VOICE

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. 🙂

Surrendered Hearts: An Adoption Story of Love, Loss, and Learning to Trust by Lori Schumaker

“In a true story of learning that trust means surrendering your version of how the story should unfold, Lori and Bryan finally let go – of their dream, of their daughter, of their fears and frustrations. And in that relinquishment, God began to move.”

“But God…” took on an even more powerful meaning in my heart as I read this story of adoption. I’m awed, not only about how God miraculously brought Selah home to her forever family, but also how God worked in and prepared Lori’s and her husband’s hearts. Even in the hearts of their other two children. I highly recommend it not only for those who have adopted or plan to adopt, but for anyone who desires a closer relationship with God. This is an inspiring story about living surrendered to God’s plan and His perfect timing. We all need to learn more of that, right?

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Hope Harbor

💞  Articles/Blog Posts That Inspire Hope and Healing 💞

💞 When Trusting God Takes Courage by Joann Fore – “But this courage God offers is his! When he bids us, “take courage,” it’s as if he stands before us, arms extended wide, offering the very courage we need to face and overcome whatever situation in front of us. This courage, this Truth of his Word, it’s ours for the taking.”

💞 I Have Trust Issues by Lisa TerKeurst – “But life doesn’t add up. People don’t add up. And in the rawest moments of honest hurting, God doesn’t add up. All of which makes us hold our trust ever so close to our chests until it becomes more tied to our fears than to our faith.”

💞 When It Feels Like Your Dreams Are Kinda Dying by Laura Story – “Like Mary and Martha, we can call on Jesus to heal those who are sick. But if Jesus doesn’t show up like we think He should, we can’t conclude that He doesn’t hear us, doesn’t care, or doesn’t love us.”

Nature Retreat

“The greatest cathedral of all is nature itself.
It simultaneously humbles and pulls up giant emotions
that cannot be fully expressed in mere words.”
Rodney Cobb

This summer was more rainy than usual, so the Falls here in our city of Sioux Falls were really roaring at times. It’s fascinating to be still and soak in the sights and sounds of the rush of water. It puts me in awe of the beauty and power of our God. Here are just a few pics I took a couple of days after a big rain.

 

A female Mallard Duck contemplates crossing. This is below the biggest falls.

Here you can see her crossing and what she could be pulled into.
It was amazing. She made it! God surely has equipped
ducks with strength to paddle against the current.

🐾 Nature Wonders – Lots of breath-taking photos of natural wonders in a variety of countries

🐾 Janette Hill Images – Awesome wildlife and nature galleries

🐾 34 Rare Sea Animals – Oh my! These are animals I’ve never seen before. Imagine what else is in the sea!

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Quotes

New quotes this month are about Gratitude.

❤ The discipline of gratitude is the explicit effort to acknowledge that all I am and have is given to me as a gift of love, a gift to be celebrated with joy.” – Henri Nouwen

“If you concentrate on finding whatever is good in every situation, you will discover that your life will suddenly be filled with gratitude, a feeling that nurtures the soul.” – Rabbi Harold Kushner

“When it comes to life the critical thing is whether you take things for granted or take them with gratitude.” – G.K. Chesterton

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

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