Jesus: The Light of the World

Just as the sun shines its beautiful life-giving light upon the earth, so God shines into our hearts the light of His glory and His love. We were meant to have that light shining into and through our lives.

“For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ”  (2 Corinthians 4:6)

If we look at the natural world around us we see the trees of the woods, the grass and crops of the fields, and all the beautiful flowers. What do they do to keep the sun shining on them? They do nothing; they simply bask in the sunshine when it comes. The sun is millions of miles away, but over all that distance it comes, bringing light and joy. We depend on the sun, with its life-giving light. We need it for our very existence. Do we do anything for it? No, we simply count on it, and receive it, and enjoy it.

The only difference between nature and grace is this, that what the trees and the flowers do unconsciously, as they drink in the blessing of the light; is for us, through faith, to be a willing and open vessel for accepting His love and grace. God’s light is infinitely brighter and more beautiful than the sun.

Just as the trees and the flowers day after day stand soaking up the sunshine, growing in beauty and fruitfulness, so it should be with our Christian life just to abide in the light of God, letting it fill us with Love. You may ask, can it really be that simple to bask in the light of our Lord’s love? Yes, it can be when we open the shutters of our hearts to God. God’s light will dispel the darkness in our lives. The light of God in our lives will be an unceasing source of joy and gladness. Through His light, His grace, we will blossom and bear fruit.

Faith, simple faith in God’s word and love, is to be the opening of the eyes, the opening of the heart, to receive and enjoy the unspeakable glory of His grace.

Rediscovering Prayer

Hope Shack

What is prayer?  When and where do we pray?  Why do we pray?

For many of us, the very concept of prayer comes with struggles.   We get tripped up trying to get it right, find the time, or even doubt whether it will even work.   Sometimes we focus so much on the skill of praying that we’ve forgotten about the relational side of prayer, the chance to get some time alone to talk with our Father.  In our struggle to get it right, is there something we may be missing out on?  Let’s take a look at what the Bible says God really desires from us in our prayers.

Rediscovering PrayerAn Invitation

“Look at me. I stand at the door. I knock. If you hear me call and open the door, I’ll come right in and sit down to supper with you.”

– (Revelation 3:20 MSG)

This is an invitation to share an experience with God, something akin…

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Monica’s Story

Hope Shack

This is Monica’s Story, linked below, and written in her own words.  Her battle is with depression and losing her Faith in the process.   What she found reveals that maybe it wasn’t the faith that she lost, rather the expectations of a life without struggle.   This is a beautiful story of just how loving, patient, and forgiving our God can be.   If you or someone you love struggles with depression, I hope you will find this as encouraging as I did today.   Click below and Read on…

Losing Faith, Finding Hope: A Journey With Depression

krissy2“Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” – Matthew 10:39

Follow Monica at


Read More Stories                                               …

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Ashleigh’s Story

Hope Shack

This is Asheigh’s Story, shared below, and written in her own words.  Fear can be crippling and immobilizing.   She knows this side of fear, and she tells us of how His perfect love drove it out.   Many of our readers will relate to the moments she describes.   There is hope, and you are not alone.  Read on…


Ashleigh’s Story

This year my life changed. I have always been desperately passionate about Christ. I have had struggles, but not like the kind that have faced me this year . . .but I guess I did ask for it.

Just after New Year I spoke to the Lord and said, ‘’Lord, I am stagnant. You know I have always wanted you deeply. You know I am here willing to serve you, but I am just living. I want to go even deeper into you. I want to keep growing…

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When the real You meets the real God.

Hope Shack

We’ve been exploring the subject of prayer for the last few posts.  We began looking into how God wants us to pray, learned to approach God as children needing their Father, and how cynicism can get in the way of being comfortable with prayer.   All of this has shown me that I don’t want my prayer life to be phony.  I want to meet God the way He wants us to meet Him.  If the real me was created to encounter the real God in prayer, then the Bible must have something to say about this.

A Model Prayer

“Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come,
your will be done,
    on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our debts,
    as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,

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Camille’s Story

Hope Shack

This is Camille’s Story, shared below, and written in her own words.  She tells of her childhood growing up without her father, finally meeting her father, and the struggles that led to.  Her story of her father’s life is hard and tragic, but she ends with forgiveness in the most beautiful way.   I hope you’re as encouraged by her story as I was.  Read on…

Shared from the Original Source: The Bio-Dad — The Chapters of Camille


The Bio-Dad

Born in the early 60’s to a sixteen-year old, young man and a seventeen-year old, young lady, I was born into what I call a generational curse. My mother grew up on a farm in a home where daily abuse took place, (that will be another chapter).  I don’t know a lot about how my biological father grew up, just that his childhood was not as bad as my mother’s. Throughout…

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Work Matters

Hope Shack

Do you feel like your work matters?

In my last post calledTimeclock Perspective,we explored how we can approach our work in a new way, with a clearer picture of who we are and what our rolesarein God’s big picture of life. I want to stay here just a little bit longer and dig deeper into what it is about our work that really matters to God, to us, and to the people around us.

The Kind of Life He LivedWork Matters

18-20You who are servants, be good servants to your masters—not just to good masters, but also to bad ones. What counts is that you put up with it for God’s sake when you’re treated badly for no good reason. There’s no particular virtue in accepting punishment that you well deserve. But if you’re treated badly for good behavior and continue in spite of it to be a…

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Savannah’s Story

Hope Shack

This is Savannah’s story, shared below and written in her own words.  With a load of transparency, she writes of her struggle to make it on her own and how she finally found Hope in surrender.  I’ll let her fill in the rest.  If you are feeling overwhelmed with odds stacked against you, and are finding it difficult to trust in something you can’t see, then I hope you are as encouraged by this story as I was.  You are not alone. 

Read on…

Shared from the original source: Chasing the City Lights


My Testimony by Savannah Rae Ross

I feel like honesty is the best policy, so here’s the truth, walking with Christ isn’t easy, it’s not pretty, & you are going to fail on your side of the relationship more than once. But wait, there’s more truth to that. You see, no matter how many times you fall off…

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Amber’s Story

Hope Shack

This is Amber’s story, shared below in her own words.  This is a tragic story of loss of innocence and abuse, but it doesn’t end there.  It took courage and strength beyond her own to walk away, and to write out her story for you.   If you’re suffering from suicidal thoughts, enduring abuse or assault, or found yourself in a place where you’ve become numb to the pain like Amber did, read on…  There is hope.  You are not alone.   – Christina

Shared from the Original Source: Letter From a Suicide Survivor


Letter from a Suicide Survivor

I want to start this off by issuing an apology to anyone who is about to read this and be shocked by what you see. Those of you reading this who knew me back then—back before I really met my Savior—you didn’t actually know me.

If I had to describe my old…

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The Pecking Order

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Hope Shack (8)

Have you ever watched chickens chase each other around the coop?  The pecking order is something that is very important within the chicken community.  If new chickens get introduced there is always a struggle for a while until a new pecking order is established.

The older group of chickens already seem to have a routine and an order in which they function, but when new birds are brought into the flock there is a lot of fighting and jockeying for position.  Some birds will become dominant and those birds most often go to the top of the roost while the others take a spot closer to the floor.

With those birds on top it becomes very important for them to exert their continued dominance over the flock.  I have watched as some birds sit at the top of the coop even when the others are out enjoying a feast roaming…

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