Faith versus Hope

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1 NKJV[1]).

He [Peter] came to the house of Mary, the mother of John whose surname was Mark, where many were gathered together praying. 13 And as Peter knocked at the door of the gate, a girl named Rhoda came to answer. 14 When she recognized Peter’s voice, because of her gladness she did not open the gate, but ran in and announced that Peter stood before the gate. 15 But they said to her, “You are beside yourself!” Yet she kept insisting that it was so. So they said, “It is his angel.” 16 Now Peter continued knocking; and when they opened the door and saw him, they were astonished (Acts 12:12-17). Continue reading

Rules and Faith

At the end of “The Three Chickadees” I stated I wished I had rules so that if you were a chickadee, every time you went to my feeder, you’d be guaranteed to get seed. In this case, however, the chickadees are believers and the feeder is God. Let’s consider the difference between living by rules and living by abiding in our Lord Jesus Christ. Rules are easier, I think, because then you can check off the boxes and be assured you’ve done all you need to. The Pharisees of the New Testament kept all the outward rules but didn’t have compassion for anyone and were the ones Jesus rebuked most because of that. They liked to be highly praised by men but that was all they gained from their religion. They didn’t have a clue about what God wanted from them. And they had no joy. Continue reading

The Three Chickadees

           As I watched my bird feeder at breakfast, I saw three chickadees trying to get some seed, which they were sure was inside the feeder. They went all around the tray on the outside but to no avail. Then two of them even pecked at the plastic sides of the feeder. They could see the seeds inside, but they would not come out. Why not? Continue reading

Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Sometimes life is simply hard, isn’t it? Email prayer requests come daily, and some cause me to realize anew just how hard life can be. But take heart! The NIV Bible on my phone sends me a chapter early every morning, and today’s was Isaiah 43. This chapter has been dear to my heart for years and at the end of this message you’ll find a poem I wrote a long time ago. Today, however, I turned on my computer and read that selection from The Message Bible[1]. How directly it speaks to us when life’s hard places hit us and try to overcome us! Continue reading

Going Deeper in the River

If you had grown up in Galveston on the Gulf Coast like I did, you would have gone to the beach often as a child. We still live near Galveston and our grandchildren have enjoyed going to the beach and playing in the water. Often my husband and I simply drive there and watch families take their small children wading so that the water comes up only a little ways. Older children go in deeper, of course, and surfers like to go still further out to ride the waves into shore. Shrimp boats certainly aren’t within swimming distance but are easily visible, while the oil tankers and container ships are out very deep so they are barely seen on the horizon. I thought of this last week while I was reading in the book of Ezekiel. Continue reading

Making Something out of Nothing

Sound impossible? It is for us but not for God because Luke 1:37 tells us, “Nothing is impossible with God.” The context is important: An angel has just announced to Mary, a virgin, that she will have a son; furthermore, her older relative Elizabeth, who was considered barren, is in her sixth month of pregnancy. Then the angel pronounces Nothing is impossible with God.

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