Tag Archives: grace

Grace, So Amazing

9 Oct

The word “grace” has come up several times in conversations, during reading, and in small group study over this past week.

Is God trying to show me something? Reveal a truth? I ponder the word…slowly. Taking it all in. I wrap the word around me, as I contemplate what my Father is trying to tell me.

Grace…..this short and simple word, I quietly utter it. It slides off my tongue. This word that is meant for me.

Grace through salvation. Yes. Jesus, God in human flesh, took my place, unto death. He died for my sins. He pardoned me because He chose to, not because I did anything to deserve it. He bestowed grace. He gave me Himself. But, grace is more than that one moment in time. My relationship with Christ is ongoing. Every day. Daily grace.

Are my days about abiding in His grace towards me? Am I filled with His grace? Do I, could I possibly understand, what it is to live this grace? This gift? Right here. Right now. Not as just a word, but as the very air that I breathe. Am I showing grace to others? Or do I hold back? My fist gripping onto what was so freely given to me? Eyes so easily blinded to what truly matters.

I’m learning. Always learning.

Grace, so amazing.

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**************************************************************************************************************************************************************   2 Corinthians 12:8-9 Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Acts 4:33 And with great power the apostles were giving their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all. Acts 11:22-24 The report of this came to the ears of the church in Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch. When he came and saw the grace of God, he was glad, and he exhorted them all to remain faithful to the Lord with steadfast purpose, for he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And a great many people were added to the Lord. John 1:15-17 (John bore witness about him, and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.’”) And from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 5:10 And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. Romans 3:20-24 For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it — the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus Ephesians 2:4-9 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ— by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. Read more: http://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com/20-inspirational-bible-verses-about-grace/#ixzz3FNk45ZHk

I Am Covered

15 Sep

I believe that there is no such thing as coincidence, only providence.

God’s divine guidance. There are no mistakes.

How many times am I guilty of being blind to the extraordinary of the every day?

My heavenly Father gives me the gift of Himself.

His handprints are all over this life that I am living.

There is no moment that is too small, or too insignificant.

There is no crisis too big, or too difficult for Him.

This life is woven in the tapestry of His grace, and I am covered.

Each moment is a gift.

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Today I am thankful for: 

*the golden colors of the fields, ushering in Fall

*the soft muzzle of a horse

*the unbridled enthusiasm of a 65 pound puppy

*fingers that fly painlessly over the keys

*popcorn popped in the old fashioned way

*brothers and sisters in Christ, singing truth

*wedding band glinting in the sunshine pouring through the kitchen window

*memorizing scripture, food for the soul

*fresh vegetables, given by a friend

*numbers on the scale going down

*a new stage in life, that even though difficult, is growing me

*health, may I never take it for granted

*the love of family and friends

*Jesus, who makes all things new

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!  2 Corinthians 5:17 

The Next Chapter Of My Story

25 Apr

I knew what I wanted to do since the time I was sixteen. I had always felt God called me to work with the special needs population. My desire never wavered, even when my friends were indecisively changing their college majors. Following college graduation, a career began that spanned decades. I found myself in a small town in the mountains of Tennessee, the suburbs, the inner city, and now the rural farmlands of the Mid-west. I’ve witnessed poverty up close, seen what drugs and alcohol can do a family, and became hardened by working in an area known for drive by shootings. I’ve also been privileged to see smiles, watch children grow, and go on to live fulfilling lives. Teaching is, and always has been, more than just a job.

I never did go back home to Maryland. My parents divorced when I was nineteen and the house was sold. The road to home became someone elses. My mom and sister moved to Tennessee, where I lived. Through those years, I found out that home isn’t a building. Home is where I am, with those I love.

When I turned twenty-four I married a man that was a Tennessee native. A few years later we had a son. Time passed and my husband was diagnosed. The doctor’s words were both surreal and scary. A little over a year later, I watched my young husband laid in the ground. It was a damp gray day in early November. The tears escaped from eyes squeezed shut from the scene in front of me. Death is hard and jagged. It cuts deep. Even though the marriage wasn’t perfect, the finality of my husband’s death wore heavy on my heart. I remember looking down at the grave site and seeing the sweet soft hand of my five year old son enveloped in my own reminding me of the preciousness of life. We would be okay.

God is good. He always is, even when we don’t feel His goodness, or acknowledge it. Our lack of understanding does not change Him.

And over the next several years I was reminded that His grace truly is amazing………

 

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We Need To Get Over Ourselves

26 Mar

I read something recently that left me feeling uneasy. The article contained some controversial material, but what really bothered me was the way Christians were fighting with each other. It grieved my heart. There is a world watching us, and when we fight amongst ourselves, tear each other down, what does that tell the greater population? Now, I’m not saying believers should ever water down the gospel of Jesus Christ. I am not saying to compromise core values and beliefs. What I am saying is that, as Christ followers, in many circumstances we need to get over ourselves. We are not, nor have we ever been, perfect. Sinners…..each of us, deserving of Hell.

I am a sinner…saved only by the unmerited grace of a living and loving God. I never deserved Christ’s forgiveness and I sure couldn’t earn it. In fact scripture reminds me that, “All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.” Isaiah 64:6  NIV   In other words, none of us are perfect and even when we try to do “the right thing”, we can never meet the standards of a Holy and Just God. That is the whole reason Christ came to this broken, sin cursed world. He came to save us. We needed Him to stand in the gap between us and God. When God looks at me, He no longer sees Dawn covered in her sin, but He instead looks at me in the shadow of His perfect and righteous Son. Jesus has me covered.

Instead of arguing and condemning, maybe we need not be so scared to extend grace to others. The more we, as individuals, realize how lost we were before Christ found us, the more likely we will be to give a hand to others who are desperately in need of Him.

 

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Live In Grace

5 Feb

It is Wednesday, dead in the middle of winter. This season of cold and snow has wrapped the Mid-west in its white blanket. I’m not feeling all that great today. I hope it is just a passing thing and not real sickness that has come for a visit. I have felt well enough to read some blogs and status’ this morning. One friend wrote something about her life, something I did not know. She was brave to write the words from her heart. While reading her words I was reminded about how much we are all loved by The Word, Jesus Christ.

My memory verse from last week, for the Jesus Project, is from John 1:16.  “Because He was full of grace and truth, from Him we all received one gift after another.”  He gives us His grace. So many times we hear that word, we know that word, but we find it difficult to live in that word.

Instead of writing an entire post today, I chose to pull up one of my favorites that I wrote awhile ago.

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It’s All Grace

I had just returned  from an early morning walk.

I was struck by the beauty of this scene…a  scene right in my front yard.

I’m so glad I took the time to snap the picture.

My peaceful morning picture.

I enjoy looking at it. Over and over again.

Saturday night I was completely awestruck by the beauty of the “super” moon. The moon was huge. And perfect.

The light it cast was reflecting on the winter lake across the road. Out here, in rural America we have “winter water lakes” .  The lakes are not real lakes. In our case, the farmer across the road has a low spot in his field. The rain and snow melt cause a lake to form. It doesn’t last forever but, for now the geese and ducks love it….and so do I.

The moonlight rippled across the water. The black silhouette of a still bare tree. The moon. The beautiful moon.

I had a difficult time pulling my gaze away from the scene.

I could hear frogs croaking in the darkness, along with the shrill sound of a killdeer.

I attempted to take a picture. I wanted to capture the beauty of the moment. Alas, my camera was unable to accurately copy the night time scene. My picture was dark.  I wonder if  catching moonlight is even possible?  I ended up with a dark picture with a white spot in the middle…which was the moon. No aura. No still beauty. No moonlight.

I wanted to savor the moment so I grabbed my Eurcharisteo journal…and I gave thanks.

#281  bright moon, close to Earth

#282  cool night air

#283  silhouette of bare tree under moonlight

#284  moon mirrored in the winter lake, in the field

#285   enjoying the beauty of God

#286   afternoon nap

#287  snuggling

#288  breath taking views

#289  pink

#290  the awe in the Almighty

#291  warm sweater

#292  smooth hair

#293  my tall son

#294  blue tennis shoes

# 295  Jeremiah 31:9

#296 comfortable clothes

#297  early morning quiet

#298 breakfast

#299 sunlight on the barn

#300 the mail van stopping at my house

It’s all by His grace. Every bit of it.

As I’ve been writing down in my notebook…. filling it with eucharisteo, I have become more and more aware of this fact.

If you are interested in reading more, click on the Multitudes on Mondays graphic in the right hand column.

We Are All In Need Of God’s Amazing Grace

20 Jan

Yesterday was Sanctity of Human Life Sunday.  Sanctity…the quality or state of being holy, very important, or valuable.

It is a special time to think about that which is important. Lives should be valued. Cherished. Respected.

Life should always be valuable, because it is valuable to God. The Creator, Himself, tells us of those moments before we even took our first breath in this world.

13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. 14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. 15 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, 16 your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. Psalm 139 NIV

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His wrinkled skin and a thatch of dark hair, a loud cry escaped as his lungs were introduced to the strange new air of this world. I counted fingers and toes, stared into those eyes for the very first time, and worshiped God who made this life possible. A sense of awe and responsibility washed over me as never before.

It pains me to hear the media of today vehemently preaching that life doesn’t begin until the baby is born. Some officials have even given interviews stating that babies aren’t really people until they are close to two years old. What? I don’t understand their reasoning. They say that unborn babies are just a mass of cells and tissue. They attempt to make the living baby, impersonal and not human. That line of thought makes it easier to soothe a seared conscience.  Those words are dark, and  straight from the father of lies.

If we don’t value life, be it an unborn child, an elderly person, the disabled, or those trapped in earthly horrors such as abuse or human trafficking, then what does that say about us as a country?

The slope becomes slippery. What is right becomes unclear.

If we don’t stand up for life, then we all fall.

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I have many readers of my blog, people from all over the world. Some of you reading this post might be in pain right now. You might be pregnant and scared and confused, considering your options. You might be a woman that daily lives with the consequences of a choice you made to have an abortion. You might be a man who feels guilt over pushing abortion to get “it” taken care of so you could “get on with your life”. I don’t take your feelings lightly. My heart aches for you. The decisions you made weigh heavy.

You are desperately in need of God’s grace…not just to know the word, but to live in it. Grace is God’s love and mercy to each of us, not because we have done anything to deserve it, but because He chooses to give it to us.

We are all in need of God’s amazing grace.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV

Opening Up A New Year

1 Jan

I wrote this post a few years ago, but it truly does sum up how I feel about the new year……

One of my favorite quotes, from one of my favorite books….

“I don’t really want more time;

I just want enough time.

Time to breathe deep & time to see real & time to laugh long, time to give You glory & rest deep & sing joy…

I just want time to do my one life well.           —-Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts

What better goal could I have for this new year, all fresh and open to possibility?

I long to live my one life well.

Yes, that is it.

As this day unwraps a new year, may you become more aware of God’s miraculous, redemptive, love-filled…

amazing grace.

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Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.  John 17:3 NIV

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