Tag Archives: peace

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.

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

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.

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

Photo of the Week: Forty Seven

photo of the week 47

Another glimpse of Christmas decorations around here…

Somehow, there’s joy hidden in this photo of the week. I don’t know exactly where or why or how. But when I look at it, it makes me smile. Maybe it’s the color or the different perspective or just the opportunity it provides to pause and reflect.

But I know I need more of it. More joy. More peace. More reflection. More perspective. More truth. More of His presence.

“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14 (ESV)

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*linking with Shannan for Money Shot Monday*

{Day 31} It’s About Resting More

“Behold, a king will reign righteously … And the work of righteousness will be peace, and the service of righteousness, quietness and confidence forever.”

Isaiah 32:1, 17 (NASB)

It’s only in the quietness of soul … in the peace, in the rest … that perspective is rightly restored to full confidence in Him.

Because when my mind is working on overdrive, when I’ve got a tight grip on my own future plans, when I don’t make the effort to stop and spend time with Him, when I let go of the quiet, I believe the lie that I can do this on my own.

But in the quiet, I recognize my desperate need for Him. For His direction. For His peace. For His presence.

And from that place, I lean into Him. I trust Him. I depend on Him in full confidence. Because He is. And He always will be.

This quiet confidence … this life … it’s not about trying harder. It’s about resting more.

{Day 29} I Don’t Serve a Small God…

“…for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose.'”

Isaiah 46:9-10 (ESV)

I don’t serve a small God … so why do I act like it?

When I think I have to write the details of my own story, I act like I serve a small God.
When I act like taking a wrong turn on this faith journey is the end, I act like I serve a small God.
When I worry so much about and agonize over which direction is right, I act like I serve a small God.

But just because His timing is different than mine, just because He allows me to make mistakes that ultimately draw me into deeper dependence on Him, just because I don’t perfectly understand what He’s doing or where He’s leading, just because I can’t see the whole picture, doesn’t mean He’s a small God.

Quite the contrary.

He’s such a big and mighty and powerful God that He knows each detail from beginning to end. He knows how all the pieces fit together because He sees the big picture … the whole picture … while I can only see one very small miniscule part.

He knows the eternal story because He wrote it.

I’ve spent far too much time worrying about what comes next in my story.

But this quiet confidence.

It doesn’t worry.

Because there is peace in His presence and confidence in Him who holds tomorrow.

{Day 18} Ping-Pong Thoughts

“You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock.”

Isaiah 26:3-4 (ESV)

From the journal . . .

Feeling unsettled in the aftermath of the interview, I’m having one of those days where it feels like my thoughts are playing ping-pong from all the if-this-then-this but if-this-then-that planning going back and forth in my mind that just will. not. stop.

It’s exhausting.

I’m fairly certain I could whip up an impressive multi-column, color-coded masterpiece of a spreadsheet to map out these hypothetical plans if I was so inclined. But I’m not. Yet.

And the only place in the plans that brings any peace is complete surrender to HIM.

My spreadsheets have nothing on the artistry of His Master Plan anyways.

So I force myself into quiet. Even though I don’t feel quiet, even though I don’t feel peace, I start to pray.

And as the words come out of my mouth, somewhat forced at first before beginning to flow more freely from my heart, as I recall Scripture, as I recall His goodness and faithfulness.

It may not all be perfect, it may not all make sense.

But I can know rest. Because I know Him.

And I can release the details of the spreadsheet to Him. Because He never really asked for my help with the plan to begin with. He just said to follow.