weekly grace and links

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This week has carried many of these small gifts of grace with it, and I have felt my heart taking hold of those moments of the brilliant light beaming. Things like a child’s joy, sharing the hard and vulnerable things with a friend, an unexpected compliment, an invitation, sunshine after rain, kind words, inspiration. These are small, passing moments — but they carry so much eternally.

I keep thinking about our sacrifices to God. I keep thinking of King David saying that he will not offer to the Lord that which costs him nothing. Giving to the Lord out of our abundance comes easily, which is why our offerings to the Lord should come with a price. These days I am working on finishing my Bachelor’s degree while working on my Master’s at the same time, and I am already then running out of time. Ministry, then, takes the rest of my time and more often than not, I am so tired. But I have come to realize that this is all what I am sacrificing to the Lord: it is not my time, it is all His to use.

Then the king said to Araunah, “No, but I will surely buy it from you for a price; nor will I offer burnt offerings to the Lord my God with that which costs me nothing.” So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver. (2 Samuel 24:24)

Great reads from this past week:

Why We All Need Spiritual Speech TherapyAs a Speech & Language Pathology student, this article resonated deep in my heart. Humans are all wired for communication, and we need language and words to do just that. However, our mouths speak what the heart is full of — and if our hearts are disconnected from God, this can lead to moments that do not bring life but rather bring death. It is so vital for us to speak the right words a in right way.

Don’t Give UpThis post is full of great encouragement for all of us, no matter where you are right now. Please read this, my friend.  “Wars are exhausting — especially long ones. That’s why you are often tired. Many soldiers, who experience the fierceness of combat, want to get out of it. That’s why you’re tempted to escape. That’s why you’re tempted to give up.”

13 Ways to Revive the Dying American ChurchThis post by Sam challenged me, in the best way possible. How can we build unity in our church, in our community, in our country? How do we reach out with love, instead of hate? Here are 13 ways to revive the church, today.

Desperate Measures & PrayersThis post by Jennifer spoke right into my heart. When you are too tired, too worn to pray for yourself, let your loved ones carry you in prayer. That is no failure; it is a doorway to a miracle and love.

10 Bible verses on hope

hope

He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense; I shall not be moved. In God is my salvation and my glory; the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God.” (Psalm 62:6-7)

“What joy for those whose strength comes from the Lord, who have set their minds on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. When they walk through the Valley of Weeping, it will become a place of refreshing springs. The autumn rains will clothe it with blessings. They will continue to grow stronger, and each of them will appear before God in Jerusalem.” (Psalm 84:5-7 NLT)

“For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39)

“Do not remember the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth; shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” (Isaiah 43:18-19)

And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” (Revelation 21:4-5)

“Nevertheless I am continually with You; You hold me by my right hand. You will guide me with Your counsel, and afterward receive me to glory.” (Psalm 73:23-24)

“He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall, but those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:29-31)

“Gracious is the Lord, and righteous; yes, our God is merciful. The Lord preserves the simple; I was brought low, and He saved me. Return to your rest, O my soul, for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you. For You have delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, and my feet from falling. I will walk before the Lord in the land of the living.” (Psalm 116:5-9)

“And you shall remember that the Lord your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and test you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not. So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord. Your garments did not wear out on you, nor did your foot swell these forty years.” (Deuteronomy 8:2-4)

“I will betroth you to Me forever; yes, I will betroth you to Me in righteousness and justice, in lovingkindness and mercy; I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness, and you shall know the Lord.” (Hosea 2:19-20)

to you who are tired of trying

There is no need to try so hard, to be perfect and to get it all right. The Lord is calling you to come to Him and find rest for your soul. Tell Him of your hurts and hardships, tell Him of your weakness and failures and difficult days. He will never turn away; He will never reject you. He is here, willing to heal you and bind you up. He is here, waiting for you to let go of the weight of this life and turn to Him. He is here. He is love.

weekly grace and links

Sometimes the greatest miracles are seen in the most commonplace things and people, and this is what I think I completely miss so often miss. Yet there is grace for every moment: a new beginning every day, a heart that still beats through the ache and the hurt, a sun that rises every morning with me. These are the small things in the midst of the mundane — but these are the things and the moments that matter.