Tag Archives: Audrey Assad

Finding Rest In A Restless World

restHe lets me rest in the meadow grass and leads me beside the quiet streams. Psalm 23:2Psalm 23:2
English: World English Bible - WEB

2 He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters.

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“God never asked us to meet life’s pressures and demands on our own terms or by relying upon our own strength. Nor did He demand that we win His favor by assembling an impressive portfolio of good deeds. Instead, He invites us to enter His rest.”   

—Chuck Swindoll

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Take it from a reforming workaholic…

Nothing is more important than your rest.

Without the proper rest?

Nothing in your work—works right!

So lay it down for now.

Let it go.

Rest.

It will still be there tomorrow.

Confident Hope

“Because the Lord is my Shepherd, I have everything I need!

He lets me rest in the meadow grass and leads me beside the quiet streams. He gives me new strength. He helps me do what honors him the most.”

Psalm 23:1-3Psalm 23:1-3
English: World English Bible - WEB

23 A Psalm by David. 1 Yahweh is my shepherd: I shall lack nothing. 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. 3 He restores my soul. He guides me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

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TLB


The Day is Done

The day is done, and the darkness
Falls from the wings of Night,
As a feather is wafted downward
From an eagle in his flight.

I see the lights of the village
Gleam through the rain and the mist,
And a feeling of sadness comes o’er me
That my soul cannot resist:

A feeling of sadness and longing,
That is not akin to pain,
And resembles sorrow only
As the mist resembles the rain.

Come, read to me some poem,
Some simple and heartfelt lay,
That shall soothe this restless feeling,
And banish the thoughts of day.

Not from the grand old masters,
Not from the bards sublime,
Whose distant footsteps echo
Through the corridors of Time.

For, like strains of martial music,
Their mighty thoughts suggest
Life’s endless toil and endeavor;
And to-night I long for rest.

Read from some humbler poet,
Whose songs gushed from his heart,
As showers from the clouds of summer,
Or tears from the eyelids start;

Who, through long days of labor,
And nights devoid of ease,
Still heard in his soul the music
Of wonderful melodies.

Such songs have power to quiet
The restless pulse of care,
And come like the benediction
That follows after prayer.

Then read from the treasured volume
The poem of thy choice,
And lend to the rhyme of the poet
The beauty of thy voice.

And the night shall be filled with music,
And the cares, that infest the day,
Shall fold their tents, like the Arabs,
And as silently steal away.”

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


SEEDS FOR TRUST #5

Rest
  

Never Losing the Light: Comfort Flows From Here

Oh, the comfort that flows from you now!

And… where has that comfort come from?

Was it born in the sunshine of soft green meadows?

Or, was it born with the wind and the rain of some holocaust whipping and tearing at you?

(We know.)

Many in My church have become rich, spoiled, and pampered. They like ease and pleasure. They have come to believe it is their right.

(Not you child.)

Do you hear Me?

I have plans for you and they don’t involve getting comfortable. That is not where comfort flows.

You are My spokesman to the hurting and hopeless. You will never find the comfort they need lolling around soft green meadows.

(I know.)

Yes, I allow resting places.

You shall always have those.

(I am a Faithful Shepherd.)

Never Losing the LightBut, you shall also always have storms.

(Not exactly what you wanted to hear.)

I have My way in the whirlwind and the raging storm. (Nahum 1:3Nahum 1:3
English: World English Bible - WEB

3 Yahweh is slow to anger, and great in power, and will by no means leave the guilty unpunished. Yahweh has his way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet.

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) Selah.

Your storms make you who you are. They bring expanse and magnification.

You are Mine. (Isaiah 43:1Isaiah 43:1
English: World English Bible - WEB

43 1 But now thus says Yahweh who created you, Jacob, and he who formed you, Israel: Don’t be afraid, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name, you are mine.

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)

(Selah, Sweet Heart.)

Comfort, oh, comfort my people…

(Come, I hear the sound of a mighty rain.)

Philip Yancey quote

“Comfort, Oh, comfort my people, says your God.” Isaiah 40:1Isaiah 40:1
English: World English Bible - WEB

40 1 Comfort you, comfort you my people, says your God.

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In The Silence of The Heart You Speak

You rule the oceans when their waves arise in fearful storms; You speak and they lie still. Psalm 89:9Psalm 89:9
English: World English Bible - WEB

9 You rule the pride of the sea. When its waves rise up, you calm them.

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acceptance with joyMother Teresa said, “In the silence of the heart God speaks. If you face God in prayer and silence, God will speak to you… souls of prayer are souls of great silence.”

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God speaks in whispers.

Whispers that are barely audible—most of the time.

Whispers that you can hear only with a heart that leans in.

What do I mean by that?

A heart that leans in is a heart that is hungry for, searching for, something MORE.

It is thirsty and desperate.

It is not afraid of silence.

It is willing to be still and wait.

It is wanting to listen and listen hard.

A heart that leans in, wants more than the empty chaos and noise this world offers…

More than its own heart’s futile thoughts and opinions.

A heart that leans into the unseen world—waiting and listening for something more?

That is a heart that seeks.

That is a heart that finds God.

Confident Hope

You rule the oceans when their waves arise in fearful storms; you speak, and they lie still.  You have cut haughty Egypt to pieces. Your enemies are scattered by your awesome power.  The heavens are yours, the world, everything—for you created them all.  You created north and south! Mount Tabor and Mount Hermon rejoice to be signed by your name as their maker!  Strong is your arm! Strong is your hand! Your right hand is lifted high in glorious strength.

Your throne is founded on two strong pillars—the one is Justice and the other Righteousness. Mercy and Truth walk before you as your attendants. Blessed are those who hear the joyful blast of the trumpet, for they shall walk in the light of your presence.  They rejoice all day long in your wonderful reputation and in your perfect righteousness.  You are their strength. What glory! Our power is based on your favor!

Psalm 89:9Psalm 89:9
English: World English Bible - WEB

9 You rule the pride of the sea. When its waves rise up, you calm them.

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SEEDS FOR TRUST #4 Mother Teresa

Challenge of Jesus In A World of Brokenness

If not us, then who?“What we are faced with in our culture is the post-Christian version of the doctrine of original sin: all human endeavor is radically flawed, and the journalists who take delight in pointing this out are simply telling over and over again the story of Genesis three as applied to today’s leaders, politicians, royalty and rock stars. And our task, as image-bearing, God-loving, Christshaped, Spirit-filled Christians, following Christ and shaping our world, is to announce challenge of Jesusredemption to the world that has discovered its fallenness, to announce healing to the world that has discovered its brokenness, to proclaim love and trust to the world that knows only exploitation, fear and suspicion. So the key I propose for translating Jesus’ unique message to the Israel of his day into our message to our contemporaries is to grasp the parallel, which is woven deeply into both Testaments, between the human call to bear God’s image and Israel’s call to be the light of the world. Humans were made to reflect God’s creative stewardship into the world. Israel was made to bring God’s rescuing love to bear upon the world. Jesus came as the true Israel, the world’s true light, and as the true image of the invisible God. He was the true Jew, the true human. He has laid the foundation, and we must build upon it. We are to be the bearers both of his redeeming love and of his creative stewardship: to celebrate it, to model it, to proclaim it, to dance to it.

“As the Father sent me, so I send you…

…receive the Holy Spirit; forgive sins and they are forgiven, retain them and they are retained.” That last double command belongs exactly at this point. We are to go out into the world with the divine authority to forgive and retain sins. When Jesus forgave sins, they said he was blaspheming; how then can we imagine such a thing for ourselves? Answer: because of the gift of the Holy Spirit. God intends to do through us for the wider world that for which the foundation was laid in Jesus. We are to live and tell the story of the prodigal and the older brother; to announce God’s glad, exuberant, richly healing welcome for sinners, and at the same time God’s sorrowful but implacable opposition to those who persist in arrogance, oppression and greed. Following Christ in the power of the Spirit means bringing to our world the shape of the gospel: forgiveness, the best news that anyone can ever hear, for all who yearn for it, and judgment for all who insist on dehumanizing themselves and others by their continuing pride, injustice and greed…

The gospel of Jesus points us and indeed urges us to be at the leading edge of the whole culture,

…articulating in story and music and art and philosophy and education and poetry and politics and theology and even–heaven help us–Biblical studies, a worldview that will mount the historically-rooted Christian challenge to both modernity and postmodernity, leading the way…with joy and humor and gentleness and good judgment and true wisdom. I believe if we face the question, “if not now, then when?” if we are grasped by this vision we may also hear the question, “if not us, then who?” And if the gospel of Jesus is not the key to this task, then what is?”

—  N. T. Wright, The Challenge of Jesus

You’ve got a smile
That lifts me out of here
When I’m all tripped up
And turned around
Down in the trenches
Where you lift me up again
My heart and mind so far away

For the longing, the aching and the call
There is no denying her at all now

Beauty leads the way
Beauty leads the way
To the glory of the world
We were made for
Beauty leads the way

Look in the spaces
Where the separation thins
To dislocated cracks of light
Under the surface
Up above it’s all the same
You’re everywhere but hard to find

For the longing, the aching and the call
There is no denying you at all now

Beauty leads the way
Beauty leads the way
To the glory of the world
We were made for
Beauty leads the way
[x2]

our brokenness

Take you by surprise
Go right into the flames
Measures the sacrifice
‘Cause beauty leads the way

She’s like the morning sun
The answer to your shame
Rescued from where you were
Beauty leads the way
Beauty leads the way
Beauty leads the way
Beauty leads the way

Tears, brokenness & broken hearts

“Heaven knows we need never be ashamed of our tears, for they are rain upon the blinding dust of earth, overlying our hard hearts. I was better after I had cried, than before–more sorry, more aware of my own ingratitude, more gentle.”
― Charles Dickens, Great Expectations


 

A Cup of Hope: Resting in the Promise of God’s Faithfulness

A Cup of Hope Emilie BarnesA Cup of Hope by Emilie Barnes is just one of those books you stumble upon, and you suddenly know, “This one is going to change everything!”

I blog about hope.

I can’t breathe in this busted broken world a single moment without it—but sometimes—the candle of hope in me burns low. And, when it does I beg the LORD for a fresh infusion; a fresh outpouring from His Spirit to mine.

Thanks Emilie, for being His conduit.

I’ll let Emilie speak for herself for the rest of this post. Her words shine still in this dark world. They come to us straight from the shores of heaven, to all of us here today, to light our way.

~  FAITH FOR THE CLIMB  ~

You just can’t see as much when you’re climbing the mountain as you can from the top.

I guess that’s obvious if you’re hiking in the Rockies or the Smokies or the Himalayas. But it’s not always so evident when you’re just trying to get through life.

Sometimes it’s hard to tell which of the two tempting directions is the best to take. Is it better to take the meandering trail or the steep climb over the rocks? Should you push on harder to reach the top? Should you rest and take your time and risk bad weather later on?

A Cup of HopeAnd sometimes you get so confused and discouraged and downright weary, you’re tempted to just give up hope altogether.

But it helps to keep in mind exactly what’s going on.

You’re climbing a mountain, remember, and one day you’ll reach the top. One day you’ll be able to stand and look out over all the valleys—even look back at the winding path that brought you to the top—and it will all become clear.

I try to think of that on the days when I’m fatigued or in pain or just discouraged, when I’m confused and worried about what will happen next.

I’m still on the mountain, so I’ve got to remember that my perspective is faulty. I just don’t have the whole picture the way God does, the way I will have it someday.

Oh, I have some pretty good hints. I have instructions from the One who created the mountain. I have stories from climbers who have gone on the path before me and companions who are climbing with me. (How I depend on their help and encouragement!) And of course I have those moments along the way when wonderful vistas suddenly unfold before me, when I round a corner to see the checkered valleys spread out below and the summit shining whitely up above.

A Cup of HopeI have all that to enable me as I climb up this mountain called Life. You do, too. I really believe that the God who created us and redeemed us has equipped us with what we need to make it to the top.

Still, we have to face the fact that some of the time, maybe most of the time, we won’t be able to see exactly where we’re going.

But that’s where faith comes in. Faith always travels hand in hand with hope—it’s what enables us to keep our hopes up when the way becomes rockier and more obscure. Faith is what we need to keep moving on, moving up, trusting our Guide, trusting it will all be worth it.

Trusting that if we continue on, we’ll make it to the top and everything will all be clear.

And yes, I know that’s hard to remember when you’re stuck on the mountainside. But it might help to follow this brief checklist for keeping your hopes while you’re climbing hard or when you think you might be lost:

  • Trust the climbing map—God’s word—and pay attention to your Guide. You’re not expected to make this climb without help.
  • Pace yourself—you don’t have to make it all in one day. Without adequate rest you’ll never make it to the summit.
  • Remember where you are and where you’re going—but try to accept that your perspective is limited. (That’s why you have the map and the Guide!)
  • Refresh yourself by remembering the goal—and those moments when it was all clear to you.
  • Look back to where you’ve been and be grateful for your progress.
  • Help and enjoy your fellow climbers.
  • Take care of your equipment—your body, mind, and spirit. They’ve been issued to you by God , and they’ll help carry you to where you need to be.

A Cup of Hope Emilie BarnesA Cup of Hope is out of print but used copies are still available on Amazon at the link below:

https://www.amazon.com/Cup-Hope-Resting-Promise-Faithfulness/dp/0736907726

A Cup of Hope Emilie Barnes