Anticipation erupted into celebration on April 6 at 2:40am. 🎉

In the wee hours of the morning, Evangelene Peliah Hoag arrived into this world, blessing her Mom and Dad and extended family. She weighed a robust 6.11 lbs and stretched to 18.5 inches long. We welcomed this little one and blessed her as she fearfully and wonderfully reflected her kind and generous Creator God.

Evengelene already carries a rich story. At just five weeks in Emily’s womb, Evangelene experienced turmoil which sent Emily and Sammy to the hospital emergency room. Evangelene’s little life held on by a thread. After significant medical treatments and several nights enveloped in the light and love of God, Emily’s body settled down and offered a warm sanctuary for the development of this precious girl. Because of the uncertainty and difficulty surrounding Evangelene’s first twelve weeks, Sammy and Emily bestowed a powerful and significant name upon her. I loved hearing them describe the importance of their daughter’s name.

Evangelene, or Eve for short (as they call her), declares the truth that she represents life. This special girl, who almost lost her life, is alive! She brings a life-giving message with her very being. God sent His angels to bear up both Emily and Evangelene, sustaining her life (Psalm 91:11-12). I pray she comes to know the One who came to give her life to the full (John 10:10).

Peliah (Pel-eye-yah) declares the truth that Evangelene is a “Wonder of God.” Pela in Hebrew points to the wonderful deeds of God. The Psalmists employed this expression to praise God and remember that His acts demonstrate his marvelous, miraculous, and wondrous character. Additionally, similar to Nehemiah, Jeremiah, Zechariah, and others, adding “iah” offers noteworthiness. It is a form of yah meaning Yahweh. Therefore, ‘of God’, ‘from God’, ‘by God’, etc. depending on the translator and context. So Peliah announces that Evangelene is a wonder and marvel of God. Her life reveals the marvelous wonderful deeds of God.

Peliah – Wonder of God.

Eve’s middle name intrigues me. I find myself ruminating on it, wondering about God’s character, pondering His wonderful deeds. Where do I notice the wonder of God in everyday life? How does God reveal His marvelous character to humankind? Why does it matter if we pay attention to the wonderful deeds of God?

In my curiosity and reflection with God, it seems God reveals His wonderful presence and marvelous deeds through creation, conviction, compassion, and community.

Creation declares the glory of God (Psalm 19:1). Through birth God shines He grand creativity and provision: new humanity like Eve, new life in flowers and trees, and new beginnings through a morning sunrise. The details apparent in the balance of the solar system, the limits of the seashore, and the intricacies of plants, animals, and the human body shout of the wonder of God. The King of the universe reveals Himself in and through all creation, displaying His amazing wonder and beauty.

When did you last marvel at God’s creation?

God loved His creation so much that He sent His Son, Jesus, to live a perfect life and surrender Himself as the ultimate sacrifice, so that humankind might enter into a right relationship with God. Jesus made a way for reconciliation and restoration. This demonstrates the wonderful provision of God. When Jesus conquered death and rose from the grave, He promised a helper, the Holy Spirit. The Spirit brings conviction (John 16:8-9). By the Spirit, humankind experiences opportunities to live humbly by recognizing sin; those beliefs and behaviors that create distance from God. Conviction leads to godly sorrow and repentance which is a wonderful gift of God, as rebirth and healing follow this turning from sin (2 Corinthians 7:10). God made a way for restored relationship with Himself by bringing conviction and then cleansing so that reconciliation occurs. How marvelous!

Take a moment in stillness with God. How well do you live a confessional life? Notice any areas the Holy Spirit brings conviction. Will you humble yourself before the Lord? Confess your sin before the Lord. Receive His miraculous and marvelous gift of forgiveness and cleansing.

God’s compassionate care for His creation extols His wonderful and marvelous deeds. Written throughout the Scriptures, the steadfast love of the Lord surrounds and sustains all things. Compassion flows from the Lord to all humankind. The love of God draws those lost and languishing, struggling to find a purpose and path in life. God extends His extravagant compassion to all: the oppressed, lonely, fearful, proud, confused, searching, devoted, faithful, and mature. The compassion of God arouses praise and worship within our souls for His extravagant magnificent gifts.

In what ways do you experience the wonder of God’s compassion? Imagine the Lord pouring His steadfast love over your entire being, allowing His love to seep into every part of your soul.

Our triune God perfectly models community, revealing the wonderment of our mighty God. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit interact with each other, existing in communion and connection. We need community. The author of Hebrews exhorts followers of Jesus to meet together with other followers of Christ for the purposes of encouragement as well as admonition in love and good deeds (Hebrews 10:24-25). Satan’s greatest work occurs when we isolate and attempt life without honest feedback, fortification, and friendship. God designed us to be known by others and in need of others to journey through life. Marvelously, when we live in community, God uses people to bring miracles of healing into our lives. Community offers accountability, wisdom, diversity, connection, and support while ultimately reflecting our wonderful, miraculous triune God.

Consider the quality of your relationships. Are you attached to godly people who truly know you: your dreams and temptations, your weakness and strengths, your highs and lows, etc.? What does community look like in your life? In what ways are you involved in your local faith community? How well do those in your city know you?

Join me in celebrating the wonder of God. Live attentive to the mighty displays of His character through creation, conviction, compassion, and community. As we live alive to God’s character and deeds, we notice His invitations to be challenged by The Spirit and welcome opportunities for His transforming power to conform us to His image.

Journey with Jesus, filled with wonder for who He is and what He does. Take hold of authentic life as you hope in Him and pronounce His marvelous and wonderful deeds to others.

May we be attentive and alert to God’s wonder in our lives and the world. I pray we each resemble the meaning of Evangelene Peliah; bringing The life-giving message wherever we are while declaring the wonder of God.

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Drips from the Word: Muse about these Bible verses. Let these truths impact your living.

Psalm 75:1 – We praise you, God, we praise you, for your Name is near; people tell of your wonderful deeds.

Isaiah 54:10 – For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but my steadfast love shall not depart from you, and my covenant of peace shall not be removed, says the Lord, who has compassion on you.

Splashes from the Spigot: Drink from deep wells. Read these recommended books to fill your soul.

Faith Blatchford. God of Wonders: 40 Days of Awe in the Presence of God. Ada, MI. 2021.

Tony Evans. The Wonder of the Word. The Chicago, IL. 2019.

Sprinklings of Truth: Soak in meaningful songs. Check out these music videos to lift up your spirit.

Third Day. God of Wonders.

Chris Tomlin. Stand Amazed How Marvelous.