Thursday, October 13, 2016

The Light and Hope

In these crazy times it helps to remember this: “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” John 1:5 ESV

I read this scripture this morning as I was praying for this world and lamenting over all of the pain in it. I had been thinking, “Wow, if I see the little that I do and feel it this much, how must God feel?” He sees all the sin committed in the whole world! He sees all the pain it causes and hears all those who cry out because of it. But then the thought came, he also sees all of the good done in the world. He sees the ones who love others in word and deed. He sees the  husband and wife who adopt the orphan. He sees the man who makes it his life’s mission to rescue victims of human trafficking. He sees the person who smiles at everyone they meet just to bring a little joy to another’s day. Yes, he sees the evil and he will judge it. But, he also sees the good and will reward it. 

So, as these chaotic times tempt us to despair he sends us a reminder to not give up in doing good. He reminds us that he sees all and will restore everything to order in time. Lets’s continue to seek the good of the cities and communities we live in, continue to pray, and continue to be people of peace.

Yours in hope,


Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Poetry Corner

Image (Truth You Don't Want)

Do I want to see what’s really inside?
The evil which lurks
The bitter vine left unchecked
How quickly my blood runs cold when I don’t get what I want
How fierce my stare when I am angered
How heated the furnace of my wrath
Adding to the red mass boiling to the surface of Mount Self Righteous

Do I want to see the spoiled brat who didn’t get her way?
The unstable mental patient blubbering in the corner
The little girl abandoned, abused, and cowering in fear
The manipulating seductress plying her wares
All prisoners of their own devices

I look, I see, I face, I come to tears, I come to terms, I heal.

Do you want to see what’s really inside?
Or only an image
Of beautiful materials
How quick to share even the little I have 
How patient in the face of wrong
How loving and always willing to help
Hoping to ease the burden of others and truly have relationship 

Do you want to see the strong Godly woman?
The one who stands on the Rock and is full of faith
The young at heart who joyfully lives in awe and wonder
The bold speaker who is free to love rightly
All seeking to bring healing to others

Will you look, see, face, come to tears, and come to terms so that I may heal?

Truth sets us both free.



Struggling forward with crippled throws,
this is how my life toward Jesus goes.
Through push and pull, flop, and flail
I onward tread with much travail
Though weak I’m strong 
As He helps me along
Not power nor might will prove the day
But by his Spirit is the way.


Monday, October 3, 2016


We are still so unlike Jesus. The majority of people in his day thought he came to conquer those in power and take his kingdom by force. They thought they would be vindicated and secure in their earthly kingdom. Isn’t that still what we want, vindication and security? But he didn’t come for this. 

Instead of condemning others to the sword or judgement, he suffered and died for us all. His mission was to bring heaven to earth, to begin to set everything aright again. He spent his whole life teaching humanity how to love God and their neighbor so this could be accomplished.

Jesus gave up his kingly rights. He did not defend himself when accused of wrong doing. He came to bring peace to people’s hearts.

We are slow learners much of the time. We clamor for our rights to be fulfilled. We take offense when we are accused of wrong doing. With these weapons we unwittingly assist the Enemy by fueling the fire of disunity in people’s hearts.

I am ashamed at how little we, his disciples, look like him. We are to be the lights in the world to dispel darkness. We are not called to hide, but to shine brightly for His glory. We are to be the salt for seasoning and preservation. We, his children, are to point others to him and to work diligently toward reconciliation.

Lord, I repent for hiding my light from this world and adding to the darkness. Cleanse my heart so that I will love as you love and bring healing to this hurting generation. Your Kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven.

Yours in hope,


Friday, September 30, 2016

The Elder Brother and Grace

There is grace for the elder brother too if he repents. I’m being reminded of this because I so often live like the elder brother in the story of the prodigal son. Not because I’m angry or self righteous toward the child that has strayed and is coming home, I learned that lesson a long time ago. I was the younger brother too and I remember it well. But my default mode is still religion. I still fall into times of earning and controlling. So, when an area I’ve been striving to clean up in my life isn’t improving the way I want I get irritated. I get angry at myself for my weakness and angry at others who I feel may be hindering me (or at least not helping me) get to my goals. It is amazing how sneakily the enemy gets us to point the finger at one another and ourselves.

Our Pastor said that the devil does enough accusing of us before God, let’s not add our voices to his. At the time I was nodding in full whole hearted agreement. Yet, how soon until I was committing this very sin. Thankfully the Holy Spirit opened my eyes to it. He showed me another unclean area of my heart and offered to cleanse it. I responded, “Yes.” I am so grateful that he brings conviction in clarity, not confusion. He helped me write out all my anger and frustration in order to get to the bottom of it. He cuts past the goo to the bottom of the wound so it can be healed properly. And then, he’s so awesome, he brings glory to himself out of it.

So, here I am once again, on my face in the dirt. It’s almost funny how often I fall. But he picks me up, dusts me off, and sets me on my feet again. Like a kid learning to ride a bike, here I go again. A little more humble and grateful for the mercy and grace he has for the elder brother and the prodigal.

Your friend in hope,


Monday, May 16, 2016

Return to Contentment and Joy

Do you ever feel like something is going on with you but you can’t really put your finger on it? 

I’ve been wrestling like crazy lately. Struggling with depression and anger and trying to figure out how to wash it all away. My circumstances are way less than desirable and enough to stress anyone out but I know where my salvation lies. This is what baffles me sometimes. Even though I know the truth about these things I still fall prey to my unstable emotions and my sin nature. We have been going through a rough patch with a particular issue for some time so it is understandable I would begin to weaken. However, I get the sense that this is not the only problem here. I feel as though these things are being used to get at something deeper. God is always getting at something deeper, isn’t he?

When I look closely at what is irritating me so much I realize I am self righteous beyond belief. I want to think of myself as a good person but the fact that someone else isn’t doing things the way I think they should, and I am paying the price for it along with them, irks me to no end. Why can’t I trust that God will take care of everything? Why don’t I remember that I can’t control myself well let alone someone else. Through all of this I see God reminding me to let go, to really let go again. To let him have all of my worries, my hurts, and my dreams. He has clearly given me some things to do and I can’t see how I’m ever going to accomplish them. So, I fuss about other things and distract myself from the real issues. On top of that I make an idol out of the very thing he has asked of me. 

Meanwhile, he keeps calling me back to him. He reminds me to simply love him, let him have control, and rest in his steadfast love. I have been listening to Soul Keeping by John Ortberg on my drive home from dropping kids off at school. Something he said Dallas Willard told him hit home. “Arrange your days so that you experience total contentment, joy, and confidence in your everyday life with God.” Many of us know that we are to trust God and not our circumstances. And we know the phrase, let go and let God. But when it comes to practicing that we don’t know how to do it. We often default to walking around in some sort of denial of what is happening. We tell everyone we are fine and keep a smile on our face, mostly. Those at home get to see the real us though. We are often less guarded with family and take them for granted so we take things out on them. We wouldn’t dare do that to the people at work or at church whom we are trying to impress. We’ve got to crush that image idol and be real with ourselves, God, and others. But like Dallas said, it starts with our relationship with God. That’s where I think he’s calling me deeper. I do my devotions, pray, journal, and even talk to him throughout the day, but I know there is more. 

I feel like my soul is needier than most. I am feeling the sheer abyss that it is without God to fill it. It is ever hungry for more of everything. So, I get sad and agitated, or just plain depressed and angry because nothing on this earth will fill any part of the void within me. Jesus is my only way to be whole. I am his creation and his masterpiece. I simply must remember he isn’t done with me yet. And I must simply embrace truth in my inner most being. Truth with God and myself. After that, truth with others will come naturally. And I think that contentment and joy Dallas spoke about will follow as well.

A Prayer:
Oh Lord, wrap me in your embrace and comfort me. Remind me I am yours and you are mine. Calm these tumultuous thoughts raging in me. Settle these hands that pick apart what you have made. Bridge the gap in my fractured mind. Bring healing where there is sickness and cleanliness where there is filth. Grace where there is anger, peace where there is war, and love where there is fear. Whatever it takes Lord do your work. I am uncomfortable and squirm at your touch when I should relax into you, but I know you never give up. I know you complete the work you have begun. Here I am Lord, wretched, poor, blind, sick, and yet so often thinking I am anything but. Take me as I am but do not leave me so. For the glory of your name and in Christ Jesus let it be. Amen.

As always feel free to leave comments. Have a blessed week!

Yours In Hope,

Angela Bowland

Saturday, March 26, 2016


March is almost over, how time flies. I've been thinking a lot lately, letting God get into those thoughts as much as I can. I need him there to make it through each day well. There is a lot going on in my house right now. Many changes coming and going and more on the horizon. He has been reminding me to trust him with everything. Each decision is His to govern. With so many opportunities to be fearful he has reminded me that the opposite of fear is not courage but it is love. During this season of remembering Jesus' death, resurrection, and return to Our Father, he broke through some of the madness in my mind to give me this poem. These times are so refreshing to my spirit. So, I thought I would share it with you. I hope it touches you deep in your soul and reminds you of what love did and still does for you every day.

What love is this that time does not deform
That reaches out beyond the grave
To conquer death and bring new life
To one who does not deserve it
One wretched soul formed from dust
Who to dust will be returned

What love is this that sees beauty in the broken
That completes the work in process
To heal the disease in creation
To hold his children everyone
One bride for him from many
Who will be perfect through his blood

What love is this that loves the unlovely
That brings light to the darkness
To comfort the harlot and the thief
To teach what is right and true
One sacrifice for us all
Who was murdered on our behalf

He is the love we barely comprehend 
Who speaks peace into our darkest night
To bring hope out of despair
To offer joy unspeakable
One; Father, Son, and Holy Spirit
Who loves us forevermore

Blessings to you! I hope this Sunday is wonderfilled, not just candy filled. As always feel free to leave comments below. 

Yours In Hope,

Angela Bowland

Thursday, March 17, 2016


I remember I don’t belong here. I am an alien in this place. Sometimes I get comfortable and forget, but then it comes back. The realization that there is more, that I am more, that this is not my home. I am royalty and not the pauper I seem to be. I am a child of The King. Stranger in a strange land what I experience and what is in my heart doesn’t fit. It’s like all that I see, hear, and feel isn’t even real. It’s all a dim washed out version of something else. A shadow of a world so beautiful light emanates from everything. Glorious grandeur that even our most opulent artists can’t imagine. When will I get to see this home, to rest in its marvelous embrace? I get glimpses of it now and again through a vanishing sun or a friend’s smiling eyes and I want to meld right into them. My heart is at once filled with intense joy and fierce longing. In this I am reminded there is a reason I am here and a reason I can’t forget where I belong.

Remember comments are always welcome. I love to chat.

With hope,