Friday, October 30, 2015

3 Ways to Restore a Sense of Wonder

Restoring Wonder

Day to day life has a way of making us feel jaded. Many of the tasks that demand our effort can feel mundane or frustrating, and far from wondrous.

As I read Psalm 9 this morning, I stopped on the word "wonders" and pondered how to restore the joyous awe that can fuel my soul.

Three things came to mind from recent experiences.

1. Noticing beauty in the world God created. 

The photo is from a recent trip to the north shore. But we can spot amazing nature in our own backyards. A leaf. A cloud. A raindrop. They all coax us to praise God for what He's made.

2. Marveling in other humans that God designed.

We have a new grandson, and each picture of him, each sound of his cry over the phone line fills me with awe. New babies are an easy source of wonder. But so are friends, family, even strangers. The relentless uniqueness. The precious points of connection. The mystery of love. Relationships also call us to praise.

3. Worshiping the One who loves us completely.

Time spent focusing on God can work deep change in our spirits. In a gathering with others to sing and praise. As we read God's love letter to us in Scripture. In our quiet moments of prayer. Soon, like the Psalmist, we find we are once again praising Him with all our hearts.

Lord, open our eyes and our souls to Your wonders! Amen.

Would you like to move toward more wonder at God's interaction in our lives? I invite you to download and explore this free devotional guide that digs into the amazing ways God uses ordinary people on extraordinary faith journeys.


    Sharon Hinck

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Bonus Scene - Restorer's Journey - Lukyan

After Chapter 14


Wade and Jake left my cottage in such a hurry they didn’t slide the door closed. Bracing myself against my chair arms, I eased to my feet. Each of my bones grumbled a reminder of my age as they took my weight. I was too old for all this chaos and danger.

I limped to the doorway and looked out at the trees. “Holy One, is it time for me to come home yet?” I whispered. “I long to serve where you need me, but the times are growing so dark, and my strength is growing frail. I’m ready to join You now. Look into my heart. It’s breaking with the knowledge that Your people are being deceived.”

 I slid the door, shutting out the view of Braide Wood, wishing I could shut out the vivid picture of the clans trapped in confusion and doubt. Why would the One have allowed Cameron to create false Verses? How could He expect the people to know whom to follow? Had my counsel to Jake helped? I rejoiced in the young man’s passion to protect the true Records, but could such an untried youth stand against so many powerful enemies?

 You were an untried youth once, too.

The gentle reminder tugged a smile from my lips. “You’re right, Blessed One. Jake doesn’t walk alone, and neither do I. Will you join me for my meal?”

I took a small bread loaf from the basket on my table. Tara had brought them over yesterday. Always thinking of others, even when supplies were scarce. Indulging in a small luxury, I set the loaf on a heat trivet. Tara’s bread was already delicious, but warming it filled my home with a yeasty, nutty scent. Picking it up, I tore the loaf in half and lifted the pieces.

 “Creator of this fragile flesh,
Sustainer of my life’s brief length,
Provider of all humble needs,
I thank you for this gift of strength.”

The childhood prayer comforted me. Some songkeepers were sure that the longer we lived, the more we would understand the Verses, grow in character, and follow the One with faithfulness and purity.
I took a small bite and chewed slowly. A lovely theory. My love for the One did grow with years of knowing Him. But my failings became even more obvious to me, more frustrating, more ingrained. And the more glimpses I had of the One’s work, the more I longed to see Him face to face, away from the shroud of this troubled world. My old teacher often told me that straining to see around the next bend in the road would cause me to stumble over the stones on my current path.

Carrying my bread and a mug of lukewarm clavo, I settled into my chair. Each songkeeper felt a unique calling to various aspects of the Verses. Many loved teaching, studying, reviewing, and analyzing the meaning of the genealogies and the parts of the Records that looked to the past. Others drew joy from the practical counsel and rules for serving the One and others in each present day. But I’d always been most intrigued with the Verses that looked to the future. The Deliverer who would come.

As a young songkeeper, I asked the One each day when that promise would be fulfilled. As a grown man, seeing ever growing threats against our clans, I asked again, often with earnest tears. In recent seasons as danger piled upon danger, I continued to ask. Each time, I heard a quiet voice answer, “Soon.”

More of a habit than a new conversation, I asked again. “Creator of our land, Protector of our people, how much worse must we face before You come as our Deliverer? Isn’t it time?”

Before you draw your last breath, Child. You will see the Deliverer.

The morsel of bread caught in my throat and I coughed so hard, I doubled over. Fumbling for my mug, I gulped some liquid, wiped the tears from my eyes. Had I heard correctly? I knew the only sensible response to the One’s words was, “Let it be so.”

But this answer was so unexpected, so specific. The skin rose on the back of my neck. My limbs trembled, as they sometimes had when the mist lowered on worshippers in the Lyric tower. “What? When? How can that be? Have you noticed how old I am? Do you mean I’ll see a vision of Him? You can’t mean . . .”
My objections finally stammered to a halt. Oh, the foolish babbling that overcomes us when we are in the presence of all holiness and wisdom and love. I eased from my chair to my knees and lifted my arms as far as my stiff shoulders would allow. Wonder and gratitude stole my voice. But my heart exploded in song, a song of two words, over and over in ever rising pitch. “Thank you.”

Read more in The Restorer's Journey by Sharon Hinck

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

His Voice

Lord, You speak to us in whispers and thunders, through the might and beauty of nature, and the quiet compassion of a friend. Help us to hear You today. Amen.

Sharon Hinck

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

The View From Here

On a recent hike, my stamina was exhausted and I lay flat on the trail to rest. When I recovered enough to open my eyes, I was astounded by the view of golden birch leaves against a clear autumn sky.

There are times when problems flatten us and knock the stuffing from us. But even when we're prone, weak, and empty, God can coax us to look up. He can help us discover beauty from the midst of our pain. Those glimpses of beauty encourage our souls as they remind us of His power and love.

How is your view today?

Sharon Hinck

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Loud Clashing Symbols

Loud Clashing Symbols

One Sunday we sang the hymn, "Earth and All Stars."

The second verse proclaims - "Trumpet and pipes! Loud clashing cymbals! Sing to the Lord a new song!"

But the person who typed the lyrics for the screen projector wrote, "Loud clashing symbols."

I got the giggles. I poked my poor hubby and whispered, "It's like a comment from one of my critique buddies telling me I'm mixing metaphors. Clashing symbols. Get it?"

I was giggling all day. Maybe it's just warped writer humor, but I love the image of my writing being full of loud symbols that offer the Lord a new song.

Do you ever find delight in a typo?

Sharon Hinck

Monday, September 21, 2015


When each day dawns with a new mountain to climb, it helps to remember that we are loved, that we never travel alone, and that our strength comes from the Savior who has conquered every evil.

What is your daunting challenge today?

Dear Lord, we need You. Help us to more than conquer each hardship today because of Your love and mighty presence in us. Amen.

Sharon Hinck