“The Lord is coming, always coming. When you have ears to hear and eyes to see, you will recognize him at any moment of your life. Life is Advent; life is recognizing the coming of the Lord.” ~ Henri Nouwen
“A prison cell, in which one waits, hopes – and is completely dependent on the fact that the door of freedom has to be opened from the outside, is not a bad picture of Advent.” ~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer
“You could more easily catch a hurricane in a shrimp net that you can understand the wild, relentless, passionate, uncompromising, pursuing love of God made present in the manger.” ~ Brennan Manning
“Let’s approach Christmas with an expectant hush, rather than a last-minute rush.” ~ Author Unknown
Before I published this post, I listened to a song a blogging friend, Lois Flowers, shared. God knew exactly what I needed to be reminded of. Do you have questions that don’t have answers and tears that just keep on running?
“…When your questions don’t have answers and you just can’t understand it When your mind just won’t stop running and the tears just keep on coming You don’t have to explain it He hears you before you can speak Come with me, let’s take it to Jesus This is the place you can rest for a while If you need to just fall apart Lay down your worry, He’s not in a hurry, take all the time you need This is the place you can rest for a while…”
God Promises Streams In the Desert
“Then will the lame leap like a deer, and the mute tongue shout for joy. Water will gush forth in the wilderness and streams in the desert.” Isaiah 35:6
Are you feeling downhearted with no hope in sight? Here is a powerful video to watch as you read Isaiah 35:1-7 & 10. Imagine yourself in this waste-howling wilderness and the joy you will feel as God sends streams of joy to quench your parched soul.
God Knows & God Cares
“When God sends no answer and “the cloud remain[s],” we must wait. Yet we can do so with the full assurance of God’s provision of manna, water from the rock, shelter, and protection from our enemies. He never keeps us at our post without assuring us of His presence or sending us daily supplies.” – Lettie B. Cowman
“The matters we or the world might consider trivial, He cares about and wants to remedy. He longs to relieve our worries and has promised to supply our most fundamental needs.” – Charles R. Swindoll
“God knows what each one of us is dealing with. He knows our pressures. He knows our conflicts. And He has made a provision for each and every one of them. That provision is Himself in the person of the Holy Spirit, indwelling us and empowering us to respond rightly.” – Kay Arthur
“If you truly love nature, you will find beauty everywhere.” ~ Laura Ingalls Wilder ~
First of all, my brother shares some bird beauty. 🙂
It was so dry here that even sprinklers couldn’t keep the grass green. Then one day God blessed us with 4 inches of rain! The next day we went to the Falls. What powerful sights and sounds to see and hear as the water rushed over the rocks and pooled out into some dry areas!
“But the most celebrated water in ancient Palestine did not come from wells; it rose in the natural springs that fed enduring streams and rivers and communal reservoirs. In the Old Testament, flowing or “living” water stands for God’s faithful and lasting provision for His people.” – Sarah Ruden
I’m amazed how God speaks straight to my heart by sending butterflies to cross my path, whether I am in the house looking out a window, sitting on the patio, walking, or riding in the car. He whispers hope, “I am with you always, My child.”
Sometimes there are situations out of our control in which we hurt for and with someone who is hurting so deeply. But God… God is still with us, even when it doesn’t feel like it, and He has the power to heal and restore anyone and to change the hardest of hearts.
How has God spoken to you this month? What has brought you hope in the midst of the hard?
As early as I can remember, nature was a solace to my soul. There was always something that drew my heart in and calmed me. Even before I appreciated the Creator of it all.
When I couldn’t be outdoors, photos of nature drew me in. As a child, I loved a large nature scene in our living room. I remember it had trees and water. It was such a calm scene, far from all the evil and pain in this world. When my thoughts were jumbled, troubled, and confused, I loved to imagine myself sitting on the bank feeling the coolness of the water on my feet.
I’m now 66, but I still imagine myself sitting or walking in calm nature scenes. 🙂 When the cold winters keep me housebound, I sometimes search out old photos, including the one above from one of my favorite nature retreats. Now wouldn’t it be lovely to sit on one of those rocks and soak in the sights and sounds?
Here are a few more pics from this soul-soothing retreat:
“Some people, in order to discover God, read books. But there is a great book: the very appearance of created things. Look above you! Look below you! Read it. God, whom you want to discover, never wrote that book with ink. Instead He set before your eyes the things that He had made. Can you ask for a louder voice than that?” – St. Augustine
I am always delighted when my brother in Arizona shares photos with me. They always refresh my heart. He graciously allows me to share them with you.