March Hope Whispers

God Promises Us

“For God so loved the world
that He gave His one and only Son, 
that whoever believes in Him
shall not perish but have eternal life. 
For God did not send His Son
into the world to condemn the world,
but to save the world through Him.”

John 3:16-17

“And if the Spirit of Him who raised
Jesus from the dead lives in you,
He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead
will also give life to your mortal bodies
through His Spirit, who lives in you.”

Romans 8:11

Hope Quotes

“God doesn’t sweep the broken up into a dustpan and discard it. In order to reach the broken in our world, God Himself broke, allowing His own Son to die a broken death on a cross for us. God brings beauty in the broken. God loves the broken. God uses the broken.” – Elisa Morgan

“We can trust that our Painter is exposing us, lifting us onto His brush, placing us in the intense pressure between the bristles and the canvas for something more beautiful that we can imagine (Ephesians 3:20-21).” – Becky Elie

“Your Heavenly Daddy loves to be with you. Not because you are doing anything for Him, but simply because you are His.” – Renee Swope

Nature Retreat

“Stop every now and then.
Just stop and enjoy.
Take a deep breath.
Relax and take in

the abundance of life.”
~ Anonymous ~

Thank you to my brother John
for these stunning photos.
🙂 Please respect copyright laws. 🙂

Hummingbird Nest in My Brother’s Backyard
The eggs are as small as coffee beans.
You can see how small the nest is compared to the thorns. An average nest is only 1.5 inches, about the size of a large walnut.
Las Cienegas National Conservation Area
Did you know a Pronghorn can run up to 60 mph?
Black-Tailed Prairie Dog
Old Historic Ranch also at Las Cienegas NCA

The Tomb Is Empty!

empty-to-life

Our lives can feel so empty when loved ones leave us, whether through death, family or friends leaving home or moving, or troubles that take their minds or hearts away from us. Empty chairs. Empty places. Empty hearts.

But not every empty is sad.

I remember a story of a 9-year-old boy with Down’s Syndrome whose Sunday school teacher made certain Philip was treated like everyone else. But some children left him out, because he was different.

A week before Easter, the teacher said, “I have a plastic egg for each of you. Find something that reminds you of life. Put it inside your egg, and bring it back next week.”

The next week the teacher gathered together all the eggs. One by one, he opened the eggs and found a flower, a blade of grass, a butterfly, and even a stone. Then he opened one that was empty.

“Someone did it wrong,” said some children.

As the teacher stared at the empty egg, a hand tugged his shirt.

“I didn’t do it wrong,” said Philip. “The tomb is empty!”

The teacher used this empty egg as an illustration of the glorious Easter message.

With mourning hearts, some women visited Jesus’ grave. Their hearts felt so empty of Jesus. When they arrived, they saw the stone that closed off the grave was rolled away. An angel sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing was as white as snow.

Shaking with fear, probably with rounded eyes and gaping mouths, they were speechless.

Then the angel spoke to the women. “Don’t be afraid!” he said.
“I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified.
He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead, just as He said would happen.
Come, see where His body was lying.”
Matthew 28:5-6 NLT

Looking in the grave, they found it empty of Jesus. He is not here! He is risen!

Though still frightened, their empty hearts filled with new life and joy as they ran to tell the disciples as the angel had instructed them.

On the way, Jesus met them. They ran to Him, grasped His feet, and worshiped Him. And Jesus again told them, “Don’t be afraid. Go tell My brothers. They will soon see Me.”

Jesus is alive! Because the tomb is empty, our hearts may be filled with life everlasting! Our hearts no longer have to feel so empty. There is hope. Death has been conquered and defeated. Abundant life is possible and freely given.

freedom

“Dance Your Shoes Off” or “Rise Up”
by Second Baptist Church in Houston

I know I shared this before, but I’d like to share it with you again. It still gives me goosebumps and lifts my spirit to rise up in praise along with them. I hope it will fill your empty hearts with hope and joy. More than 2,000 people gathered to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus. The purpose of “Dance Your Shoes Off” was to proclaim the resurrection of Jesus Christ in a powerful and celebratory way. Each participant left a new pair of shoes on the field for those in need.

“We claim the victory
He won on Calvary
Celebrate the King of Glory
So rise up
People of the Lord, rise up.”

cutecolorsplantline1

Linking up with: 

Holley – Coffee For Your Heart 

Jennifer – Tell His Story 

Kelly – Cheerleaders of Faith

Barbie – Weekend Whispers

OneWordCoffee Linkup

God Can Breathe Life Into Your Voice

voicematters
A Child's Trust
Joining Faith Barista’s writing prompt:
Finding Your Voice

I’ve been struggling with this writing prompt. How can I write about finding my voice when it sometimes feels like it’s still trapped inside of me?  I really don’t know how to describe it, but sometimes it feels like there is this pressure deep in my soul crying to get out, to be the real me. But when my voice starts peeking out, that’s when the lies hammer me even more persistently. And I want to shut down again. 

I was about to give up writing this post until I read Bonnie Gray’s post: The Top 5 Lies of Perfectionism, and she encouraged us to take the Love Dare Challenge. To just take the next step that reflects only on the unconditional love of God for us. To let ourselves be loved.

So even if this post sounds as mixed up as my “real” voice does sometimes, I’m going to take the Love Dare Challenge and write anyway. I’m trying hard to JUST BE ME and not feel guilty about it. To not feel selfish if I nurture the true voice of my soul. To not feel I don’t deserve to be healed.

Deep down in my soul there are seeds.

Unique seeds God planted that make me different.

Seeds that have a special purpose in His plan.

Seeds that are meant to grow and bloom.

Seeds that have been smothered with negative words and actions.

Seeds that I’m trying to allow God to breathe life into again.

There is hope in the story of the dry bones in Ezekiel 37. The Spirit of the Lord brought Ezekiel to a valley of dry bones. A jumbled up mess of dead, dried up bones with not a speck of life in them. But what happened?

Feel the shaking of the ground. Hear the thundering and rattling as thousands of bones connected to each other. Then muscles and tendons, flesh, and skin covered those dry bones. But they still needed God’s breath to come alive.

“Thus says the Lord God to these bones: Behold, I will cause breath and spirit to enter you, and you shall live.” (Ezekiel 37:5)

God breathed a spirit of life into dead, dried up bones.

So I tell your heart and mine…

You sometimes feel your voice is so buried,

That it will never come to fullness of life.

Take courage in this story.

God can bring dry bones to life,

And He can resurrect your true voice

To fully live and love as He created you.

Truths About Legalistic Christianity

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.” ~ Steve Jobs

Signature