Hope Rising

Monday, April 25, 2011


To give truth to him who loves it not is to only give him more multiplied reasons for misinterpretation.
George MacDonald

Friday, April 22, 2011

No one was half so compassionate...

The part of this quote that I am mulling over is that He somehow confronted sin, yet showed love to the sinner...how I need to learn that wisdom and grace!  So grateful for the sacrifice of this Man, my Savior.
 He was the meekest and lowliest of all the sons of men.  Yet he spoke of coming on the clouds of heaven with the glory of God. He was so austere that evil spirits and demons cried out in terror at His coming, yet He was so genial and winsome and approachable that the little ones loved to play with Him and nestle in His arms. 
His presence at the innocent gaiety of a village wedding was like the presence of sunshine.  No one was half so kind or compassionate to sinners, yet no one spoke such red hot scorching words about sin.  A bruised reed He would not break--His own life was love, yet on one occasion He demanded of the Pharisees how they were expected to escape the damnation of hell.  He was a dreamer of dreams and the seer of visions, yet for sheer stark realism, He has all of our self-styled realists soundly beaten. 
He was the servant of all, washing the disciples' feet, yet masterfully He strode into the temple, and the hucksters and money changers fell over one other in their mad rush to get away from the fire they saw blazing in His eyes.  In the end, He saved others, but at last, Himself, He did not save. 
There is nothing in history like the union of contrast that confronts us in the gospels--the mystery of Jesus is the mystery of divine personality.
James Stewart (New Testament scholar)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

A new tradition...

The Celebration Candles 

The prayer said while lighting the two candles:
We praise you, O Lord our God, King of the Universe, who brings forth light out of darkness.

Jesus said, 'I am the light of the world.'

As these candles are lit, and give light to all in the room, light our lives with the great love of Your Son, Jesus.
Reading the story of Passover

 I wanted my son to have an understanding of who Jesus really is--a Jewish man, the Messiah.  This tradition will hopefully help him to have a deeper understanding of the Last Supper and the relation between Passover and Communion as well...it was a special evening.

The Seder plate

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Love & the never-leaving Abba

"Sometimes God allows us to be rejected so we won't accept something less than what He ordained for us...If love has never failed you, how will you ever value unfailing love? If nobody's ever left you, how do you ever value the never-leaving Abba?" 
Beth Moore

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Worth your time....

When I got this book, I thought it would be mostly on becoming a woman of God. While that is the case, it was actually written by Elisabeth Elliot to her daughter, Valerie, right before Valerie's marriage.  Because of that, there was more emphasis on the marriage relationship than I was expecting.  That's not a bad thing! There is always room for all of us to evaluate our views of marriage, whether we are single or in a relationship.

Here are a couple of quotes that stood out to me:

On womanhood (p.53) "Womanhood is a call.  It is a vocation to which we respond under God, glad if it means the literal bearing of children, thankful as well for all that it means in a much wider sense, that in which every woman, married or single, fruitful or barren, may participate--the unconditional response exemplified for all time in Mary the virgin, and the willingness to enter into suffering, to receive, to carry, to give life, to nurture and to care for others.  The strength to answer this call is given us as we look up toward the Love that created us, remembering that it was that Love that...made us at the very beginning real men and real women.  As we conform to that Love's demands we shall become more humble, more dependent--on Him and on one another--and even (dare I say it?) more splendid."
On marriage (p.110) "...marriage is a vocation. It is a task to which you are called.  If it is a task, it means you work at it...you hear the call, you answer, you accept the task, you enter into it willingly and eagerly, you commit yourself to it's disciplines and responsibilities and limitations and privileges and joys.  You concentrate on it, giving yourself to it day after day in a lifelong Yes. Having said Yes to the man who asked you to marry him, you go on saying Yes to marriage.  This is easier for a woman to do, I think...even a woman who has a career when she marries finds it easy to make marriage her primary task, to lay down the career...in order to let her husband have first place..."

Monday, April 4, 2011

For He knows our frame, He [earnestly] remembers and imprints [on His heart] that we are dust...

God has been asking me to trust Him more than I ever thought possible.  Last week, I came to a hard place in my spirit that wanted to resist Him...I even told Him that I had gone as far as I could go in trusting Him. He spoke to me through this passage--reminding me of His Creator's heart, of the benefits of loving and trusting Him, of the way He truly understands me (in my humanity), and loves me, and wants what's best for me.  He broke through that hardness, and He has taken me to a wider, stronger place of trusting Him.  Praising Him today...with "all that is [deepest] within me."

Psalm 103

Bless (affectionately, gratefully praise) the Lord, O my soul; and all that is [deepest] within me, bless His holy name!

Bless (affectionately, gratefully praise) the Lord, O my soul, and forget not [one of] all His benefits-- 
Who forgives [every one of] all your iniquities, Who heals [each one of] all your diseases, Who redeems your life from the pit and corruption, Who beautifies, dignifies, and crowns you with loving-kindness and tender mercy; Who satisfies your mouth [your necessity and desire at your personal age and situation] with good so that your youth, renewed, is like the eagle's [strong, overcoming, soaring]!
The Lord executes righteousness and justice [not for me only, but] for all who are oppressed... The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and plenteous in mercy and loving-kindness.  He will not always chide or be contending, neither will He keep His anger forever or hold a grudge. He has not dealt with us after our sins nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.

For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great are His mercy and loving-kindness toward those who reverently and worshipfully fear Him. As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.

As a father loves and pities his children, so the Lord loves and pities those who fear Him [with reverence, worship, and awe].  For He knows our frame, He [earnestly] remembers and imprints [on His heart] that we are dust. 

As for man, his days are as grass; as a flower of the field, so he flourishes. For the wind passes over it and it is gone, and its place shall know it no more.

But the mercy and loving-kindness of the Lord are from everlasting to everlasting upon those who reverently and worshipfully fear Him, and His righteousness is to children's children--to such as keep His covenant [hearing, receiving, loving, and obeying it] and to those who [earnestly] remember His commandments to do them [imprinting them on their hearts].

The Lord has established His throne in the heavens, and His kingdom rules over all...

Bless the Lord, all His works in all places of His dominion; bless (affectionately, gratefully praise) the Lord, O my soul! 

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