March Hope Whispers

Truths That Breathe Hope

❤️ God’s Love Faithfully Remains With Us ❤️

“Be strong and courageous.
Do not be afraid or terrified because of them,
for the Lord your God goes with you;
He will never leave you nor forsake you.”
Deuteronomy 31:6 NIV

❤️ God’s Love Graciously Forgives Us ❤️

“In Him we have redemption through His blood, 
the forgiveness of sins,
in accordance with the riches of God’s grace.”
Ephesians 1:7 NIV

❤️ God’s Love Fully Frees Us ❤️

“Because of the sacrifice of the Messiah,
His blood poured out on the altar of the Cross,
we’re a free people—free of penalties and punishments
chalked up by all our misdeeds.
And not just barely free, either.
Abundantly free!”
Ephesians 1:7 The Message

“When I’m kicking and screaming
When I struggle believing
God, You are always faithful
No matter what
When my eyes cannot see it
And my heart doesn’t feel it
God, You are always faithful
No matter what
No matter what…”

Spring Breathes Hope

The robins are here! Yes! Even though we’re still having cold days, it’s a sign that breathes life and hope. We so need that in these troubling times, don’t we? What part of spring breathes hope in your heart?

🦋 “And springtime rallies at the touch of the breath of God.” – Unknown

🦋 “Spring is far more than just a changing of seasons; it’s a rebirth of the spirit.” – Toni Sorenson

🦋 “A life without love is like a year without spring.” – Octavian Paler

Our Suffering Matters to God

All the violence, abuse of power, and painful losses in this troubling world is devastating. So many are suffering loss and pain at home and abroad. Because of this, we may tend to beat ourselves up when we murmur over our own troubles and struggles.

Do you ever minimize your own troubles because others have it worse? Do you ever feel selfish when you feel complaints in your heart over your own suffering? This month God used this blog post to remind me our struggles are always valid to Him. And it’s both necessary and healthy to acknowledge and grieve our own suffering. – Your Suffering Is Valid, Even When Others Have It Worse by Shannon.

“I understand what we are trying to do when we play down our troubles because they are small in comparison to what others are experiencing. We’re trying to put things in perspective so we can be grateful, avoid feeling sorry for ourselves, and be compassionate to others. However, I think minimizing our troubles can sometimes be harmful. It leads us to ignore our feelings, which can increase our stress, cause feelings of self-doubt, harm our self-esteem, and heighten our anxiety.”

“We’re not required to choose between acknowledging either our suffering or their suffering; we can acknowledge both our suffering and their suffering.”

Shannon from Of The Hearth

Nature Retreat

“Perhaps the butterfly is proof
that you can go through a great deal of darkness
yet become something beautiful.”
– Beau Taplin –

“Just when the caterpillar
thought the world was over,
it became a butterfly.”
– Chang Tzu –

I’ve been thinking lately of how a butterfly must struggle first to become beautiful and freed to fly. So this month my heart feels nudged to share some of the butterfly photos I took in 2012 at the butterfly house and to remember why I named this site Freed to Fly.

Remembering God’s Power

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“They did not remember His power
– the day He redeemed them from the oppressor.”

Psalm 78:42

The Israelites didn’t remember God’s power. The miraculous signs in Egypt, the wonders of the Red Sea and the Jordan River opening up for them, and so many other marvelous deliverances He got them through. They had a short memory span.

The disciples had this, too, when they were in a boat with Jesus. (Mark 4:35-41) A storm whipped up and raged, powerful waves washing over the boat. The boat was filling up, and it seemed they would be doomed to the sea. And where was Jesus? Asleep on a pillow.

They cried out, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” They didn’t see how safe they were with Jesus in the boat. Did they not remember all the miraculous healing they saw Jesus perform, even the casting out of evil spirits? Couldn’t that same Jesus rescue them?

When Jesus got up, He rebuked the wind and waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Immediately they calmed.

Jesus asked, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”

They were afraid before, and now they were still shocked and terrified. You mean even the winds and waves obey Him? They did not know Jesus well enough yet, they forgot how much His power was displayed in His miracles, and they underestimated that this power was available also for them.

Both the Israelites and then the disciples failed to remember God’s great mercies in the past.

A short memory span. I have that, too. I focus on the past and present storms in life and blind myself to see and remember all God’s past mercies towards me. So easily I forget God’s power shown to me in the past, His Almighty ability to rescue me from the deepest pit, His watchful care over every detail of my life.

I underestimate Jesus and His power for me, even though He’s given me proof of it again and again.

I forget about present displays of God’s power, too. Displays that should remind me how faithful and powerful He really is. In the cold winter months, when because of chronic illness, I can’t go out into nature, I miss all God’s creation. I tend to sometimes get downhearted. But as I sit here and look out the window, I see the sun’s power melting rooftops of snow even when it’s still below freezing. God faithfully sent that sun and the power behind it. When I see bunny tracks on the snow, I need to remember that it’s God who gave His creature a warm enough coat to survive the winter. When the snow comes down, I need to remember God’s special grace, how He has the power to wash me whiter than the snow. I need to remember that God’s power is displayed in His creation, including us, even when we don’t see it or remember it.

Isn’t God amazing? He just keeps on giving and giving and giving. Even when we don’t receive or give in return. When the Israelites turned their hearts back to Him and asked for His help, He again and again showered them with His long-suffering patience and powerful mercy and grace. When the disciples were afraid, He didn’t hold that against them, but He again showed love and mercy. And when I time after time doubt His power and faithfulness, He is so forgiving, loving, and caring.

I know it’s not always easy, especially when storms toss us to and fro and blindside our memory, but let’s try to help each other remember that the same power God showed in the past and faithfully displays each day of life on this earth certainly has the power to get us through whatever storms trouble our lives.

“Who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.” 1 Peter 1:5-7

Praying Jesus’ ever-faithful power
will fill our hearts and our lives
and give us courage to go on!

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Linking up with: 

Holley – Coffee For Your Heart 

Jennifer – Tell His Story 

Kelly – Cheerleaders of Faith

Bonnie – Faith Barista’s Beloved Brews

Book Giveaway: A Confident Heart

Precious in His Sight

Do you wake up in the morning condemning yourself? Do you feel like you’re never good enough? Does it feel like your life has no purpose or value?

Jesus knows our pain, fears, and doubts. He cries with us. But He wants us to go beneath the surface to understand what is going on in our hearts that is eating away our confidence and security. He longs to heal those wounded places. He desires that we find our identity in Him, not in all the negative voices that bombard and overwhelm us.

One of my favorite books that has helped me to deal with insecurity and to lean more on how special and valuable I am in Christ is Renee Swope’s A Confident Heart.

Renee knows by experience how insecurity can paralyze us and keep us from living a full and free life in Jesus. In her book, she helps us to find our identity in Christ and to see His Word is sent “like love letters from Heaven to fall fresh on our parched and tired souls.”

Chapter by chapter, A Confident Heart will help you:

  • Learn to fail forward even when life or sin sets you back
  • Live confidently in your God-given purpose, passion, and personality
  • Break free from people-pleasing and performance-based living
  • Exchange “against me” thoughts with scripture-based God is “for me” thoughts
  • Trust the certainty of God’s promises in the uncertainty of your circumstances and emotions

Powerful scripture-based prayers are at the end of each chapter, along with Bible study questions and a chart with thirty-one different promises to overcome our most common self-doubts.

With heartfelt thanks to Renee for her generosity, I am offering a free copy! All you need to do is post a comment answering this question: What is insecurity keeping you from doing in your life? If you are uncomfortable posting online, you can
Email Me, and I can post for you anonymously.

On September 30, I will announce a winner, so please check back!

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