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Posts Tagged ‘hope in Christ’

You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing. You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy,

 

Grandpa smelled of comfort; the rich, warm scents of coffee and Aqua Velva. Quiet and witty, his brown eyes glinted when I’d beg him to play. Just one more time, pleeease. We’d construct palaces of red, yellow, and blue rectangles or clutch our stomachs as my words garbled together in earnest attempts to recite old-fashioned tongue twisters.

But, my favorite pastime with Grandpa was dancing.

Sliding my feet atop my grandfather’s, I’d gaze upward with confidence.  Whether my world was gliding by slowly or I was dizzied by the tilting and twirling of sudden dips and turns, I knew there was safety in Grandpa’s arms.

This sweet memory caused me to wonder…What if Jesus wants me to dance with him with the same sort of childlike faith?

There are human-rooted reasons for my not having been as trusting with Him as I once was with my earthly grandfather. But, Abba Father is patient and those tender, hurting places somehow grow light as I lean into Jesus. His all-encompassing strength calms my anxious heart and I gaze toward heaven.

This is what it means to be treasured and loved.

I can almost imagine a smile of pleasure splitting His face because I'm learning to follow His lead more and more.#dancingwithjesus#restoringhope#nomoreanxiety Click To Tweet

When laughter abounds and praise flows with ease, I slip into the presence of Christ. We dip and turn; I can almost imagine a smile of pleasure splitting His face because I’m learning to follow His lead more and more.

I Am the one who will guide you. 

During the dark times when I'm sure dancing is done? He wraps me in His arms and enfolds me in mercy.#theloveofjesus#mercylikethis#nomorefear. Click To Tweet

During the dark times when I’m sure dancing is done? I don’t slide my feet atop His. Instead, He wraps me in His arms and enfolds me in mercy. The frenetic whirling stills. The blur of decisions, fear, and circumstances grows small when my God–the King of the dance–is greater than any of it. 

He turns mourning into joy (Jeremiah. 31:13) and the dirge into dancing. 

Dancing with Jesus…it’s become a favorite new activity.

He’s there for you, too, friend. Slide your feet on top of His and let him lead you step by step through this life. The Father’s heart is to love and protect His beloved daughter and in the circle of His arms, you’ll discover a place of safety and security. Won’t you join the dance?

 

Peace and grace,

Tammy

I often link up with the following wonderful bloggers:

Mondays   InstaEncouragementsAnita Ojeda ,Mandy and MicheleKingdom Bloggers,

Tuesdays RaRa Linkup /GraceFull Tuesday / Tell His Story/Anchored Abode,

Wednesdays   Worth Beyond RubiesRecharge Wednesday Welcome Wednesday /LetsHave Coffee/Porch Stories

Thursdays Heart Encouragement  /  Tune In Thursday  /Salt and Light /  Five Minute Friday

Friday Counting My Blessings, Faith on Fire , Blogger Voices Network , Grace and Truth LinkupFresh Market Fridays

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Copy of courgeJust a few years ago, fear and depression nearly took him from me. Threatened to steal the world of his mischievous smile, the one that tilts the right corner of his mouth like the crescent moon on its axis. But, as I rejoice over his presence and delight in the strides he’s made toward healing, I’m reminded of the loss and tragedy dear childhood friends have had to brave.

Instead of delighting in healing? They have lived with the aftermath of a momentary decision too permanent to undo the pain of a mother’s heart. They have felt the emptiness of a home once filled with the laughter of a young one on the edge of adulthood.

People toss out platitudes and church-appropriate responses. This is all part of God’s plan. God never gives us more than we can handle. But, the words are misleading. Perhaps untruthful.

God is never the author of evil and while His will ultimately triumphs, man’s enemy is at work. Wreaking havoc. Whispering lies. Sowing destruction.

And boys on the cusp of manhood lose hope.

Brokenness is not God's plan. Depression. Chronic illness. Abuse. Suicide. We weren't meant to know of or experience any of these.#courage#hope#more of Jesus. Click To Tweet

Brokenness is not God’s plan. Depression. Chronic illness. Abuse. Suicide. Cancer. Stillborn death. We weren’t meant to know of or experience any of these. The Father who ushered breath into lungs of clay and called his creation good designed us for more.

He knows our condition, dear friend. Scripture refers to courage over one hundred times because in this world we will bear more than we can handle.

We need fortitude. Courage. Above all, we need to rely on Christ.

Why does God stay his hand in some situations and intervene in others? When two mothers kneels with all humility and beg the Father to spare their children the pain of abuse, why does he answer yes to one and no the other?

When cancer is the diagnosis and prayer warriors converge on a friend’s behalf they cannot know whether the Father will heal on this side of heaven or the next. But, the Healer is at work regardless and we are called to love and pray faithfully.

Life can feel unfair. As though we’ve been treated less than someone else. That because God won’t bend to our will He isn’t good. But, our relationship with God isn’t about what we squeeze out of him. We cannot manipulate Him through pray, or fasting, or looking good as we show up faithfully at church.

One glorious, beautiful day all things will be restored and set right. Instead of death? Delight. In place of mourning? Celebration. Rather than injustice? More of Jesus.#praise#thankful#hope. Click To Tweet

We trust Him knowing that one glorious, beautiful day all things will be restored and set right. Instead of death? Delight. In place of mourning? Celebration. Rather than injustice? More of Jesus.

Hang on, friend. The waiting won’t be long.

Peace and grace,

Tammy

 

I often link up with the following wonderful bloggers:

Mondays   InstaEncouragementsAnita Ojeda ,Mandy and Michele, Kingdom Bloggers

Tuesdays RaRa Linkup /GraceFull Tuesday / Tell His Story/Anchored Abode, InstaEncouragments

Wednesdays   Recharge Wednesday Welcome Wednesday /LetsHave Coffee/Porch Stories

Thursdays Heart Encouragement  /  Tune In Thursday  /Salt and Light /  Five Minute Friday

Friday Counting My Blessings, Faith on Fire , Blogger Voices Network , Grace and Truth Linkup, Fresh Market Fridays

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We are more than overcomers because of our faith.-Suzie Eller (1).png

I lay in the shared room, my teeth clicking uncontrollably as waves of pain radiated throughout my postpartum body . The anesthesia wore off as quickly as it was injected and now, with my son safely swaddled and tucked in the neonatal unit, I begged for relief. The sure precision of the doctor’s blade had etched a wide path across my stomach and broad, grey staples spanned what represented my infant’s gateway into the world just minutes before.

Certain the new mother was exaggerating her discomfort, nurses only responded to my husband’s swift intervention. Finally, a blessed dose of Something Wonderful delivered relief from the throbbing ache.

A faint line still tracks across my lower stomach, testimony to the excruciating pain I once endured. A symbol of both suffering and triumph.

Pain of any sort holds to a set of laws.

Law #1 Pain is Prominent

Whether pain’s root is physical or emotional, it raps loudly on the door of self-awareness and announces its presence–each pound of the fist a reminder of its determination.

An unwelcome guest, pain is a loud, unrelenting tenant who penetrates a heart, mind or body like a tick imbedded in tender flesh.

Jesus, who chose pain on our behalf, never denied or romanticized its existence. Instead, he confirmed what we already know. “In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration”…

If he’d stopped there? Oh, the hopelessness! But, friend, keep reading.

“but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.] (John 16:32-33 Amplified Bible)

Because of Christ's death, love has already proclaimed the victory. Click To Tweet

Because of Christ’s death, love has already proclaimed the victory. The moment we move into eternity, we’ll exchange our robes of hurt, sadness and living-on-earth for those of joy, peace and Jesus-in-heaven.

Law #2 Pain is Passing

Even though pain may seem unbearable...the ache we feel today..will one day cease. Click To Tweet

Even though pain may seem unbearable and despite its unfavorable ability to create one shockwave after another, the ache we feel today or tomorrow or even next year will one day cease.

It may continue–for now–but we can tattoo God’s word on our hearts. Impress it in our minds. Immerse our souls in hope.

Scripture reassures, “Look! Look! God has moved into the neighborhood, making his home with men and women! They’re his people, he’s their God. He’ll wipe every tear from their eyes. Death is gone for good—tears gone, crying gone, pain gone—all the first order of things gone.” (Revelation 21:4-5 MSG).

Law #3 Pain is Productive

Like a woman in childbirth, pain produces an end result. This, though, is something in which we a choice. We can determine how we’ll respond to our experience.

Will our endurance result in bitterness or compassion? Antipathy or faith?

Romans 5:35 (NIV) explains, “We know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit.”

The Comforter dwells in us. When we invite him to minister to the needs of our spirit, the spirit within becomes apparent. Click To Tweet

The Comforter dwells in us. When we invite him to minister to the needs of our spirit, the Spirit within becomes apparent. He’ll guide us when we stumble. Intercede in prayer when we lack words. And, provide hope when we feel hopeless.

We can’t avoid the thrust of the proverbial knife in our lives, but our patient perseverance will lead us to a new life birthed in eternity. As teacher and author Beth Moore notes, “You can’t quit now. Your almost Home! Our time lines are an inch long against the backdrop of eternity. we can do this thing for the five minutes we’re here.”

Peace and grace,

Tammy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Our Enemy may destroy what he can, but he cannot touch the soul of saint.

Throwbacks to an era of the past, small towns exemplify life’s experiences in microcosm. Simple stick-built homes of varied colors stand testimony to the men, women and children whose families have forged a living from blue-collar industry or the fragility of seed and soil for more than a century.

The gnarled, callused hands of old men gathered in the local coffee shop curve around steaming mugs of liquid and some tip their heads back in laughter at a one-liner. Friends since youth, they share a brotherhood of unspoken bonds that traces itself through the towns’ past like the purple veins intertwined beneath thin, worn skin.

Women mingle in the honey-colored community center to celebrate the blossoming of a young woman’s stomach; her cheeks stained pink as generations–both children she babysat just a few years ago and friends of her grandmother–congratulate, tease, and praise. Blue and pink paper streamers drape from the ceiling as she carefully peels tape and wrapping paper from the package resting in her shrinking lap to reveal a delicately crocheted blanket. Tears gather on her lashes as she thanks someone dear for stitching love into each tiny loop and chain.

Still, the Enemy plots ill-will against those whom he hates and the lives within small towns are no less an object of his wrath than those without. One awful day, he marshals evil and sends it ricocheting among God’s people–stealing breath from infants with souls fresh from heaven and aging saints raising hands in worship.

He is like a lion devouring and destroying wherever he roams. His roar reverberates through small towns like Sutherland Springs, Texas as he claws and maims the innocent. The powerless. The defenseless.

But, God is the great Lion of Judah. His rule and reign are eternal while the Enemy belongs to a temporary coalition of spirit rebels who will bow a knee in submission to the Defender. The One who pronounces guilt and brings justice. The One who swallowed up the little lion by His revolutionary resurrection and assurance of eternal life for His children.

Our Enemy may destroy what he can, but he cannot touch the soul of saint.

 

Father, 

Our hearts ache for the lives of those lost and for their friends and families. We know the Enemy thinks he has had his way with your people, but You are the Mighty One who saves and we thank you for being with your children even in that last moment before they stepped into the throne room of heaven. Not one has been lost. (John 17:12) We pray for mercy and healing in the broken lives of families and a community ravaged by evil. Reveal yourself to the people of Sutherland Springs and heal our land.

In the powerful name of the Lion of Judah,

Amen

 

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In the still of the morning, my small world is quiet and peaceful. The muffled whir of the washing machine and rhythmic inhale and exhale of my old, sleeping dog just behind my writing chair are the only sounds. A few breakfast dishes litter the kitchen counter and I ignore a freshly dried pile of darks perched on the couch.

Enfolding a warm cup of tea in my hands, I pause and whisper a prayer of thanks. For a new day. For family and friends. For safety.

Yet, my thoughts continue to focus elsewhere—returning again and again to the images I’d seen splashed across the television screen. People franticly veering left and right, desperate to escape a madman’s deadly rampage during a country music concert. Mental footage of homes laid waste by raging winds and water like a child’s broken set of Lincoln Logs. The eerie, glowing skyline of California only broken by charred remains of what had once represented the lives of hundreds of people. A human right’s activist gripping photos of a recent Syrian massacre in which babies gasped helplessly for elusive, life-giving air.

Suddenly, my peaceful morning transforms and I’m overcome with feelings of helplessness.  Hopelessness. Grief.

What hope is there for a world that destroys itself? For people brought to their knees by forces beyond their influence? For victims of the evils of terrorism and hate?

I’m reminded of a moment of vulnerability and, perhaps, even accusation when Lazarus’ sister, Mary, runs to meet Christ as he approaches her home. “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”

Mary held Jesus responsible for her brother’s death. Why didn’t you come, Jesus? All of this pain—my pain—could have been avoided if only you’d done something.

Can you hear the unspoken words? Have you ever thought them yourself? Why, God? This just isn’t right.

But, the beauty in this story? Jesus wept.

He felt Mary’s pain. He felt death’s presence. He grieved the brokenness of a world meant for so much more.

The story doesn’t end there, though. With the trail of tears still wet on his cheeks, Jesus called Lazarus from death to life.

“Lazarus, come out!”

Healing cannot go any deeper than life reborn and that is what the Life-Giving God shouts out—to you and me. To the men and women crying out for hope. This isn’t the sort of Pollyanna, feel-good hope borne of positive thinking or some falsely produced, happily-ever-after emotion from within.

Hope is real, dear Friend, and His name is Jesus.

He sheds tears over the pain of His people, but He is powerful enough to break its chains.

There is a forever tomorrow.
There is refuge in Someone.
There is Light in the darkness.

Do you hear Him calling you today? “Child, come out!”

Blessings to you today,
Tammy

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