In the Winter of the Soul

“He who lives in hope dances without a fiddle.”
Unknown

In the winter of the soul
Reach from your cold room toward a window
Reach toward a cracked door
Reach forward, reach outside that room
To a warm and sun-filled place beyond yourself

In the winter of the soul
Reach—pull—climb out of the dark places
Stretch to the light—to help—to hope
Look out, look up to the source of all comfort,
And love will shine in on you, and you will grow.



We might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold on the hope set before us: which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast…
(From Hebrews 6:18-19  KJV)

The Wings of the Wind

Dear God, Oh God,

How dare I to write to you, You who walked on water? I read this morning in the book of Daniel how you walked in the fire with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. I read them in Psalms how you walk on the wings of the wind.You said in Job that you have entered the springs of the sea and walked in the recesses of the deep (not only on water, but in it and under it.) But you have also called me your child and I have a question or two.  I have many questions, as children often do. You have called me friend and I cannot even fathom that. You have called yourself my brother. How can that be?  But back to my original question. Why did you walk on water?

 I know that you created all things, including water, fire, and wind. When you spoke to Job you told him that you measured the sky with a span and you weighed the ocean in the hollow of your hand––a scar-free hand then. You know what they consist of, how they function and how to use them. You know their properties and how to control them. 


You wrapped the earth in clouds like a baby in a blanket. You watched the ocean gush into being. You set boundaries and divided light; and set the stars in their courses.  Why am I so amazed that you could walk through the fire and on the water? Yet, I am amazed.


I can understand the reason you came and walked with the three Israelites. They were being punished because they wouldn’t worship a statue made by King Nebuchadnezzar. They said before they were threatened with the fire, “Our God whom we serve is able to save us from the blazing furnace and he will deliver us from your hand. But know this, even if he does not, we will not worship your gods or bow to your golden idol.”

Now, this made the king so angry he demanded the furnace be super-heated, the three men to be tied up with ropes, and strong soldiers to heave them into the furnace. When they did, the flames killed them almost instantly, the soldiers, that is. The rope burned off the three men and the King watching saw four men walking freely about in the fire, but not burning. That extra was you!

This astounded the king who asked how many did you throw in? “We threw three,” they answer. “But I see four walking around loose in the fire unharmed, and one looks like the son of God.” The king called the men to come out and they did not even have the smell of fire on their clothes and no hair on their heads was singed.

Such an amazing story and I love every part of it. Their courage, their strength of faith. Your allowing the whole thing to be carried through so they were thrown into the fire and then you walked them out, saved them. The martyr doesn’t die, can’t die, just meets you and walks on.
You walked across water during a storm, not to show off, but to save your friends from the perilous sea. Peter asked when he saw you if you would allow him to walk to you. He walked too and I wonder because this is not a case of threat and punishment for faith. It seemed almost just for fun. Why did you do it? Were you building faith in Peter or trying to show him something?


I think it must be that you were showing him your power so that when the Roman soldiers came and took you and nailed you to the cross, Peter would know it was not something you couldn’t have saved yourself from? That it was a death you resigned yourself to accept. If a man can walk on water and stroll around in a fire, he must be able to save himself from a cross and a mob. You gave your life freely.


O Lord my God, you are very great! You are clothed with honor and majesty, who wraps yourself in light as with a garment: who stretches out the heavens, who lays the beams of his chambers in the waters: who makes the clouds his chariot: who walks on the wings of the wind. Psalm 104:1-3

©2014 Elece Hollis, author of   Limitless Grace 

Limitless Grace: Devotions Inspired by the Beloved Classic Grace Abounding

Light

 Count on it—God intrudes in glorious and myriad ways.
Joni Eareckson Tada
Light
by Elece Hollis

You are the light outside my window 
Streaming in through cobwebbed panes
Bringing truth to free me from
All my dusty shame
You are the light streaming in,
Pure from heaven,
Pulsing its way
Even into the murky and hopeless
Places of my soul.
I have tried to make my own light,
But man-made oil runs out
Flames flicker and die
Through it all,
You are there Jesus,
You light my life.
You help me see the words,
So I can sing!

Just as a father has compassion on his children, 

so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him.

For He Himself knows our frame;  He is mindful that we are but dust.”

 Psalm 103:13-14  

Fireworks

Open your eyes and the whole world is full of God.
Jakob Bohme

Like a bursting firework rocket
Shouting out the praise
Of God the master craftsman
Crafting wonderful displays.

Tight inside a sprouting seed
Bulging up the stalk and now,
Building, growing, bursting bud
From inside out kapow—oh wow!

Grow me up inside, Jesus;
Fill me up with your true life
Stuff me so full I swell and burst 
A colorful blossom sparked with fire.



© 2014 by Elece Hollis, author of  A Celebration of Family with Helen Steiner Rice   http://bit.ly/1m7uCeK
Find Elece’s other blogs:  http://whatsgoodabouthome.blogspot.com/       http://prairieplaces.blogspot.com/

Letter to a Rose Painter

Dear God,

I just want to say how much I admire your artwork. Everwhere I look, from children’s faces to the bark of trees, to wild animals like the giraffe to the sea shells washed on ocean shores, everywhere are wonderful beautiful things that you have designed. There are waterfalls crafted by your hand. There are sunsets too pretty to forget. There are flowers that delight with colors and such petals!
The birds, just the ones in my part of the world, are colorful and arresting. Their songs each original, their nests of certain grasses and rootlets. Then there are all the ones in other places that I have never seen. It amazes my heart. How wondrously you have made all things.

You knew how I would relish every bloom and every leaf. How I would love trees and rocks, shells and stones. You thought up the best colors yellows, reds, pinks, greens, purples and blues. The color of straw. The color of cornsilk, of bluebonnets, of pearl, of sky. Like love letters to us.
Thank you, Jesus for this swirl of silken rose, for this pink with tinge of yellow and wisp of white.
Love you,  
              Elece

Letter to a Rose Painter

Dear God,

I just want to say how much I admire your artwork. Everwhere I look, from children’s faces to the bark of trees, to wild animals like the giraffe to the sea shells washed on ocean shores, everywhere are wonderful beautiful things that you have designed. There are waterfalls crafted by your hand. There are sunsets too pretty to forget. There are flowers that delight with colors and such petals!
The birds, just the ones in my part of the world, are colorful and arresting. Their songs each original, their nests of certain grasses and rootlets. Then there are all the ones in other places that I have never seen. It amazes my heart. How wondrously you have made all things.

You knew how I would relish every bloom and every leaf. How I would love trees and rocks, shells and stones. You thought up the best colors yellows, reds, pinks, greens, purples and blues. The color of straw. The color of cornsilk, of bluebonnets, of pearl, of sky. Like love letters to us.
Thank you, Jesus for this swirl of silken rose, for this pink with tinge of yellow and wisp of white.
Love you,  
              Elece

Let There Still Be Roses

 Dear Jesus,

 I read in Isaiah 55 these words:
 “So you will go out with joy, 
and be led forth in peace. 
The mountains and the hills will burst into singing before you 
and all the trees of the fields will clap their hands.
Large cypress trees will grow where thornbushes were.
 Myrtle trees will grow where weeds were.
 These things will be a reminder of the Lord’s promise,
and this reminder will never be destroyed.”

 I love roses on their thorny bushes. 
I love roses and can’t think that heaven on earth could lack them.
 Oh, Jesus…….
Oh, please, Lord say there will still be roses!