Our Powerful and Faithful God Breathes Hope Through His Creation

Opening our ears to the sweet symphony of nature, our eyes to its calming palette of color, and our understanding to our Creator’s faithful care cannot but give us hope in times of uncertainty. Its steady rhythm reminds us that some aspects of our lives are not affected by the chaos and destruction of the coronavirus.

God’s Almighty power created the heavens and the earth, and it is so evident He is still in control. He faithfully brings the change of seasons, no matter what is happening in this world.

“As long as the earth endures,
seedtime and harvest,
cold and heat,
summer and winter,
day and night
will never cease.”
Genesis 8:22

Every moment He faithfully watches over and cares for His creatures. Every morning the birds start an early chorus of praise to God. Unfettered by the cares of this world, it’s like their focus is fixed on their Creator alone.

“Look at the birds of the air;
they do not sow or reap or store away
in barns, and yet your
heavenly Father feeds them.
Are you not much more
valuable than they?

Can any one of you by worrying
add a single hour to your life?”
Matthew 6:26-27

No, we can’t add a single hour to our lives or others’ lives by worrying, but I see and hear worry everywhere these days. In my own heart. In the eyes and voices of so many. Behind the tough exteriors of those who try so hard to be strong. In the text of our young grandson when he heard I was sick again and was being tested for Covid, how he expressed his worries of me as high risk and how they were praying. When he found out the test was negative, his words soothed my soul, “God has a plan for you and it doesn’t stop now.”

Yes, God has a plan for us. Even in the midst of uncertainty, sickness, and loss. We may rebel and think our plan would be better, but it’s not. There is going to be suffering and dying, cold and hunger, and loss of all kinds in this world. Do we always understand it? No. Can we make sense out of it? No. Can we run our lives better? No. From our side things look like a mess, like the threads on the underside of a weaving, but what God sees is the total picture of His plan, beautiful and glorious beyond compare. And we are included in that plan and never forgotten. We are the ones He calls much more valuable than the birds of the air He faithfully cares for.

“I lift my eyes toward the mountains.
Where will my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.”
Psalm 121:1-2

When you allow your senses to soak in God’s creation, whether outdoors or from your window or doorway ( or even from photos), does it breathe hope into your soul? What does it say to you about God’s faithful character?

All of the bird photos were taken through my tinted office windows.

My view from my office window. A house finch pair built a nest! The little ones have now hatched and are being fed.
Here is Papa!
“Flowers appear on the earth;
the season of singing has come,
the cooing of doves
is heard in our land.”
Song of Solomon 2:12

The sun feels much warmer than the snow!
On the same day, this robin was also trying to keep warm.
This same robin devours seeds like he’s starving. He throws out the safflower seeds and seeks for the sunflower chips. Maybe when it’s warmer, he’ll check out the worms and bugs?
A chipping sparrow has been visiting.
The goldfinches left for a while after the big snow we had on Easter, but now they’re back. Hooray!

Maker of the Stars
by Demetrios Leiloglou

“I sat and watched the evening sky as it turned shades of red
One by one the stars came out like diamonds in a sea of black
And as I started to count them all I realized they had no end
That’s the way it must be with God’s love… the Maker of the Stars…”

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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Thoughts on Courage

Courage Is Possible Through God’s Grace
He Is With Us
He Will Never Leave Us

“Be strong. Take courage. Don’t be intimidated.
Don’t give them a second thought because God,
your God, is striding ahead of you.
He’s right there with you.
He won’t let you down; He won’t leave you.”
Deuteronomy 31:6 The Message
I have told you these things,
so that in Me you may have
 [perfect] peace.
In the world you have tribulation and distress and suffering,
but be courageous
 [be confident, be undaunted, be filled with joy]; 
I have overcome the world.”

[My conquest is accomplished, My victory abiding.]”

John 16:33 AMP
“But when I am afraid,
    I will put my trust in You.
I praise God for what He has promised.
    I trust in God, so why should I be afraid?
    What can mere mortals do to me?”
Psalm 56:3-4

Courage Quotes

(Some of my favorite courage quotes from my Quote Page.)

“Courage, the original definition of courage, when it first came into the English language — it’s from the Latin word cor, meaning heart — and the original definition was to tell the story of who you are with your whole heart.” – Brené Brown

“I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea 
that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It’s when you’re licked 
before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what. 
You rarely win, but sometimes you do.” 

- Atticus Finch in Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird

Courage means not allowing your limitations to eclipse God’s possibilities.” ~ Christine Caine

“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I’ll try again tomorrow.” – Mary Anne Radmacher

Courage Resources from Renee Swope:

Don’t Throw Away Your Confidence

Promises to Personalize

When have you been afraid and needed courage?
What Bible verse has strengthened you?
Do you have a favorite courage quote?


“Take Courage”
by Kristene DiMarco