Tag Archives: hope

{Giveaway} Let Hope In

**11.16.13 Update: The two randomly selected winners are #4 (Rebekah) & #10 (Meghan). Congratulations to both of you! Check your email for details. :) Thanks to everyone else who entered…you can find the book here!**

Last month, I had the great privilege and opportunity of participating in the launch team for Pete Wilson’s new book, Let Hope In.

Let Hope In

If you missed my full review, you should definitely go check it out here. Word on the street is that the review was pretty helpful, but I’ll let you be the judge of that for yourself.

I won’t restate my whole review here (because you just clicked over and read it, right?), but in short, I still believe this book is powerful and freeing. For me and for you.

Because over and over again, its message points to the hope and truth of the Gospel.

In every past hurt and future unknown, the cross of Christ is constant.

And it is only in the person of Jesus Christ that we find the hope and freedom, the healing and wholeness, the grace and forgiveness, that we so desperately seek and crave.

“He [Jesus] clearly says, “In me.” When you immerse your current reality into my reality, that is where peace is found.” (p. 74)

Our hope, our future, our being, is secure in Him alone.

Pete outlines the fullness of this truth in four choices:

Choice One: Choosing to Transform Instead of Transfer

Choice Two: Choosing to Be Okay with Not Being Okay

Choice Three: Choosing to Trust Rather than Please

Choice Four: Choosing to Free People Rather than Hurt Them

And through each of these choices, we are encouraged to let go of who shame tells us we once were or who we think we should be according to our own standards, to lean into Christ, to understand our identity in Him, to trust Him, to walk with Him, to experience the richness and fullness of His presence, to breathe in His grace, and then to pour His love back out onto others.

Here’s how Pete himself says it…

{note: if you’re reading via email or a feed reader, you may need to click over to the actual post to see this video.}

Yes, I am a part of the launch team for this book, but this is a message I firmly believe in sharing. Because this message is literally life-changing!

And because I believe in it so much, I am super excited that the publisher has so generously offered to provide TWO copies to giveaway in this space!

To enter for a chance to win a copy, all you have to do is leave a comment telling me why you want to read this book. Or just say hello! Just be sure to use a valid email address, so I can get in touch with you if you’re one of the winners.

You can comment until midnight (EST) on Friday (November 15, 2013), and then TWO winners will be chosen randomly and announced/contacted on Saturday (November 16, 2013).

And just for the record, you can also order the book (or read some other reviews) here.

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A Weekend Word

Because this is too good not to share…

the God of hope

And who doesn’t need to hear this reminder, this encouragement, this TRUTH?

At the end of a weekend … full of many good and rich and wonderful things that in our weak moments threaten to exhaust and overwhelm?

At the beginning of a week … full of work and routine and busy that tempts us to get lost in the mundane?

In the everyday … as we learn to trust Him more one moment at at time?

Trust the faithful God of hope.

Be filled with joy and peace.

So that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit alone.

—–

ps: just for fun, if you happen to love this print as much as I do, check out StudioJRU for this & others!

Let Hope In

When I first heard about Let Hope In by pastor/author Pete Wilson, I thought it sounded like a solid, Gospel-centered, and timely message for this generation – any generation, really – about hope, a message of truth that I wanted to be a part of sharing, but I didn’t think it was necessarily for me because I just couldn’t identify a particular hurt from my past that was stopping me from living fully in the present.

Let Hope In

But I was wrong. My perspective was too narrow.

My past is no where near perfect. It has its own set of hurts and regrets. But beyond that, over and over again as I read, I saw just how relevant this message is for my present circumstances and how necessary this message is to continue walking with Christ in the unknown of my tomorrows.

We’ve all either experienced some sort of pain in our past or we’re going through something in our present or we’ll come across a new hurt in our future.

But the one constant, the one thing that remains central in every such hurt (and just for the record, every joy, too), is the same: The cross of Christ.

“God has come in the person of Jesus to set you free. There is no story in the world like the story of redemption, and it can be your story.” (p. 53)

So, this message of hope and freedom as only found in the person of Jesus Christ? It’s for everyone.

My life seems to be a mess more often than I’d like these days. But what I think I’m realizing (yet again) is that the mess is just part of my flesh and every time it’s in conflict with the Spirit (which is often), it’s going to get messy. But it’s in that very place where God’s strength is made perfect and where His grace abounds … in the weakness, in the uncertainty, in the sometimes getting it wrong, in the mess.

And there’s such a gift in this realization, even in the mess, because it reveals just how desperate and in need we really are. We have to understand the reality of our mess – our hurts and sins – to see the radical beauty of God’s continual presence with us made possible only through the cross.

“He is not like us. He is faithful even when we’re faithless. We can trust Him. Especially in our brokenness.” (p. 72)

I’m dealing with perfectionism-driven insecurity affecting at least a couple of different aspects of my life right now, and this book has not only helped expose some of that, but also directed me towards the freedom and courage to move beyond it. To walk in victory over the try-harder, perform better, pretend more mentality. Before its grip is any stronger or its roots are any deeper.

I’m not saying it’s an instant fix and I’m not saying there won’t still be some struggle, but it’s a step towards leaning further into Christ and trusting Him more and finding my identity in Him, and that’s stepping in the direction I want to go.

“He [Jesus] clearly says, “In me.” When you immerse your current reality into my reality, that is where peace is found.” (p. 74)

And reaching that? Walking in healing and wholeness from that? It’s only in and because of the person of Jesus Christ. Our hope is in Him alone.

In the book, Pete takes us through four choices:

Choice One: Choosing to Transform Instead of Transfer

Choice Two: Choosing to Be Okay with Not Being Okay

Choice Three: Choosing to Trust Rather than Please

Choice Four: Choosing to Free People Rather than Hurt Them

And through these four choices, we see that this message…

It’s about letting go of the pain and regret from the past and letting go of the worry for the unknown future.

It’s about the freedom of walking in our identity as found in Christ alone.

It’s about walking in victory over sin. Yes, as believers we still make mistakes and sin, but it no longer rules us. Its power is gone. And that doesn’t mean we don’t repent of the sins we commit. We most certainly do, but then we walk in the freedom of what’s already been done on the cross, knowing that we’re forgiven, we’re covered, we’re redeemed.

It’s about walking with Christ and trusting Him more and experiencing the beauty and fullness of His presence.

And it’s about fully receiving this freedom and grace, so that we can love others well.

“You can’t breathe out what you haven’t breathed in. Breathing grace totally hinges on your moment-to-moment dependency on God.” (p. 154)

This message of hope and grace – it blows me away!!

But isn’t that just God? Isn’t that just grace?

It’s shocking and surprising and stunning.

And for some reason, maybe because of this recent battle with insecurity, it hit me with a such a freshness and newness and I am undone and overwhelmed.

I come away from this book grateful and humbled and amazed. Knowing more deeply that I am loved. I am forgiven. I am free.

“The goal here is to fully trust God in this moment. To trust in his grace. To trust that you are forgiven. To trust that this very moment, as imperfect as it might be, is actually a gift.” (p. 130)

So why do I think you should read this book, too?

Because read prayerfully with a heart seeking Christ, this book is a burden lifted.

It’s one more step on this road of walking with Jesus Christ in grace, in freedom, in fullness by choosing Him and trusting Him and hoping in Him.

So much truth. So much freedom. So much Jesus.

“All of Scripture points to one man, one God, not because he gives us everything we’re hoping for but because he is the One we put our hope in.” (p. 196)

So yes, this message is solid, Gospel-centered, and timely.

And this message is for you.

But this message is also for me.

Because this message is for everyone.

Let Hope In.

—–

*for the record: I was a part of the launch team for Let Hope In, which means I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. this post reflects my honest thoughts on how the book impacted me and why I believe this message is important and worth sharing.*

The Part About Moving I Don’t Remember Hearing

This moving thing.

It’s messing with me in all sorts of ways.

With my routine. With my comfortable and familiar. With my control. With my ownership of, well, anything.

And I’m not even moving that far away.

I suppose any move involves a certain degree of figuring out and re-organizing and shuffling around and re-prioritizing.

But this is new for me.

I haven’t moved all that much, and this weekend, I’ll be moving for the first time in 5 years.

That’s right. I’m the single 20-something that 6 years later still has the same job I began the summer after I graduated college and still has the same roommate in the same rented townhouse I moved into one year later.

And now that roommate is buying a house. And so I’m moving with her.

the part about moving i don't remember hearing

And truth? There are parts of this move that scare me. There’s some unknown here. There are fears I haven’t yet fully figured out. Even some of the irrational ones (because even I know I’m being ridiculous about certain things…).

But when I share things about this move that are hard, no one seems overly surprised. Everyone seems to understand how disorienting and frustrating and draining a move is.

But it’s not something I remember hearing.

Oh, the living out of boxes thing, yes. The inconvenience of it all, sure.

But this heart stuff? Not so much.

But if there’s anything I’m learning in the process, it’s that this move is not just a physical thing.

And in some ways, because of that, it might be a catalyst for something really good. An opportunity to be pruned and refined.

But it’s hard. And some of it hurts. And I just can’t seem to get a grip on it.

I can’t get a grip on what’s going on in my own head. I can’t make myself think a certain way or react a certain way.

Even when I know my approach is all wrong. Even when I can see (when I force myself to look at it somewhat objectively) that I’m being ridiculous and self-centered and unChristlike.

But by trying so hard to wrap my own head around what’s going on in myself, I haven’t been seeking Christ nearly enough.

With all of my margin pushed out and my mental energy spent, I just plain haven’t been spending the time with Him that would actually begin to make the somewhat uncomfortable and unknown seem less like a big deal.

And I know that the more I seek to get Him right in front of my face, the more my own thoughts and inadequacies fade from significance and prominence.

And I know that the more I’m in His Word and intentionally mindful of His presence, the more anything seems possible because my hope and security and trust is firmly rooted in Him and His Word and His promises.

And I know that more than anything, I need Him in the midst of this.

Desperately.

I don’t expect a change in me to happen overnight. I will likely continue to handle aspects of this move ridiculously and immaturely and all wrong.

But I also know my hope … my trust and my security and my stability … is in Christ alone.

Even when my life is in boxes. Even when I’m spent and I’m at the end of myself and I have nothing left.

So through the hard and the hurt of this move, I still choose Him. I press on. I lean in.

And I pray with everything in me that through it all, He does in me what I cannot do in myself.

That He changes the parts of my heart that need changing. That He conforms me to His image. That this move, in all of its momentary discomfort, doesn’t win. That I would be more firmly grounded in Him.

“This God – his way is perfect;
the Word of the Lord proves true;
he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him.
For who is God, but the Lord?
And who is a rock, except our God?”
2 Samuel 22:31-32 (ESV)

Tragedy & the Hope of the Gospel

This is a conversation that I would much rather have with each one of you over coffee. While listening to your story and sharing some of mine. And interjecting a healthy dose of encouragement throughout what would no doubt be a rich discussion. But although it doesn’t seem complete enough in this limited format, although there’s so much more I could say, the message is far too important to not share at all. And maybe for today, simple is best.

tragedy & the hope of the gospel

Tragedy is hard. The fallenness and sinfulness of humanity is painful.

In the wake of recent events such as the shooting in Newtown, CT, the unrest in North Korea, the bombing at the Boston Marathon, and the earthquake in Pakistan (just to name a few…), it becomes obvious that we are not guaranteed tomorrow.

But on days like today, I want to say in no uncertain terms that in Jesus Christ there is a foundation that is solid and a hope that is secure.

He is an immovable, unshakable anchor. He is the only guarantee in this uncertain world full of hurt and pain and heartache.

He alone fills the emptiness for more and satisfies the longing for different.

His victory is secure.

He’s hope. He’s peace. He’s salvation.

Eternally.

Do you know Him?

Do you trust Him?

Do you follow Him?

If you do, then would you acknowledge His presence and lean into Him even closer today? Would you pour out your heart before Him and unashamedly trust in His faithfulness, in His goodness, in His sovereignty? And would you pray for those affected by the horrors and tragedies of this world?

But if you don’t, would you pause for a moment and consider that you’re not guaranteed tomorrow? Would you consider that there is a greater purpose and a greater peace for this life? Would consider your urgent need for Jesus Christ and that through His sacrifice there is forgiveness for sins and the promise of a perfect eternity with Him? Would you consider that He’s extending an invitation for you to draw near to Him and all you have to do is call on His name?

“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
– Jesus Christ (John 16:33, ESV)

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If I can answer any questions, suggest resources, or simply listen to your story, it would my privilege to do so. You can contact me via email at theinnerharbor(at)gmail.com.

Joy Unspeakable

joy unspeakable

When my head hit the pillow last night, I immediately thought that what I really needed was a do-over.

But from the crazy bad mood of yesterday that fear would have had me believe was more of a permanent shift not to be easily overcome arose a calm, yet firm, hope and possibility for today, and the opportunity to leave what may have just been a bad day behind and move on.

Turns out the finding of joy in that photo was no mistake.

Only the Lord can answer a prayer for more of His joy and more of His peace that I didn’t even fully appreciate I was praying because the sentences didn’t seem complete enough and the words didn’t seem eloquent enough. Though I most certainly was praying … from a place of greater desperation than I realized.

And then this morning, this:

“For from His [Jesus Christ’s] fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.”

John 1:16 (ESV)

Not exactly a do-over. But joy unspeakable.

Thoughts redirected and a heart full of hopes, possibilities, and dreams.

Deeply felt, but loosely held.

Because they’re better in His hands.

—–

*linking with Emily Freeman for tuesdays unwrapped at chatting at the sky*

{Day 30} Fix Your Hope

“Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”

1 Peter 1:13 (NASB)

Hope. Faith. Confidence.

In Christ alone.

In His grace. In His promises. In His faithfulness.

“Oh, my hope is in the Lord, forevermore…”