How the Sand Dollar Points to Hope, Love, and Peace

“The legend of the Sand dollar
That I would like to tell
Of the birth and death of Jesus Christ
Found in this lowly shell.

If you will examine closely,
You’ll see that you find here
Four nail holes and a fifth one
Made by a Roman’s spear.

On one side the Easter Lily,
It’s center is the star
That appeared unto the shepherds
And led them from afar.

The Christmas Poinsettia
Etched on the other side
Reminds us of His birthday,
Our joyous Christmas tide.

Now break the center open
And here you will release
The five white doves awaiting
To spread good will and peace.

This simple little symbol,
Christ left for you and me.
To help to spread His Message
Through all eternity.”

– Anonymous –

The five doves inside are something I found out about recently. Doves. Signs of hope and peace. Signs of God faithfully sending His love. Signs that He will never forget us.

I have several sand dollars, but only one has five holes or lunules. There are several species of sand dollars. Key Hole Sand Dollars have lunules. All species do have the five doves inside which were actually their teeth when they were alive. God’s unique designs of His multitudes of creatures are fascinating, aren’t they?

Sand Dollar Facts Video

8 Things You Don’t Know About Sand Dollars

I’m taking off for the remainder of this year for a needed time of reflection, rest, and renewal. May God flood our hearts with the joy and hope-filled expectation of the celebration of Christ’s birth this Advent Season.

I hope to be back the first Tuesday in January.

“May the God of hope
fill you with all joy and peace
as you trust in Him, so that you
may overflow with hope by
the power of the Holy Spirit.”
Romans 15:13

Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love
by JDWood

“We long for Hope
When hopelessness is found
We pray for Peace
When violence abounds
We thirst for Joy
To lift our heavy hearts
We wait for love
To shine out in the dark
Then unto us a Son is given…”

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!

When Hope Came Down

Weighted down by the heavy yoke of oppression from Assyria, God’s chosen people lost hope. The royal family, once a mighty tree with its branches spreading far and wide, was cut down. Only  a stump remained, its roots decaying to nothingness.

It was from this hopeless stump that a tiny shoot sprouted forth. Unnoticed, ignored, and despised by many. Jesus, fully God, was born on the humbled ground of broken humanity. He became like us to suffer with us and for us.

“God became like us so that we might become like Him.
He came to this dung-filled dungeon we call earth and sat with us,
touched us, loved us, and called us to Him.
He also enters into the dungeons of our hearts
and transforms them.”
Diane Langberg

Is your heart deeply troubled? Does it seem like everything is crashing in on you and around you? Does the enemy of our souls pummel you with lies that there will never be any hope for you? That Jesus didn’t come for you, because you are too dirty and worthless?

God has sent His hope for each of us. Not one of us, no matter how badly we have sinned or how dirty and shamed we feel because of sin against us, is too hopeless for God to rescue and redeem. It is His delight to touch us with His love and grace. His arms are open wide to receive us. His passion for our deliverance seeks after us and draws us.

But sometimes our hearts can feel so dark and despairing that we have a hard time believing it, right? The devil works hard to keep our eyes and hearts closed to the hope Jesus has brought to this world. We look within us and are overwhelmed by our brokenness. We look around us and think there is no peace on earth.

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!”

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!”

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

In the history of Israel, God proved He reigns and His hope will prevail. Though His people suffered yet many more years of oppression at the hands of enemies, God showed that His sprout of Hope gained the victory. The enemies fell away and decayed while the Sprout grew and flourished. The King over all laid down His crown and was born in a stinky stable. Messiah, our promised Deliverer, came to pile on His love and mercy. To pull us up out of the pit. To invite our starving souls to His rich banquet of unconditional love and bottomless grace.

“He knocked tyrants off their high horses,
pulled victims out of the mud.
The starving poor sat down to a banquet;
the callous rich were left out in the cold.
He embraced His chosen child, Israel;
He remembered and piled on the mercies, piled them high.
It’s exactly what He promised,
beginning with Abraham and right up to now.”
Luke 1:52-55 The Message

“When Hope Came Down”
by Kari Jobe

“Oh! May the God of green hope fill you up with joy,
fill you up with peace, so that your believing lives,
filled with the life-giving energy of the Holy Spirit,
will brim over with hope!”
Romans 15:13 The Message