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Archive for the month “August, 2011”

Step Away From the Mirror


God’s grace is a wonderful, magnificent thing. It is something that is so amazing, yet we can’t fully grasp. And it is often something that we long to cling to for ourselves, but aren’t so readily to share it with others.

Each of us is in need of this amazing grace, but we can become so blind to the reality of this when we stand in the mirror too long gazing upon our own reflection. Yes, we do have an incredible need of God’s grace in our own lives. We have hurts. We have sins. We have failure and shortcomings that can only be redeemed and restored by the grace of God. But those that are around us are in just as desperate need of that grace as we are. Who are we to deny anyone of this grace?

“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32

“Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” Colossians 3:13

Somewhere along the path, we lose sight of how much grace God has poured out upon us. When we do this, it causes our vision to become blurry, and we fail to see how God’s grace can work in the lives of other people. We must not forget how much grace we have been given, so that we may show that same grace to the people around us. If we are to truly be the very expression of Christ in this world, then we must not hold grace as something that was made just for us. Instead, we must hold grace as something that is made for all people. Christ denied grace to no one. He instead, poured it out for everyone.

My challenge to all of us today (and everyday) is to step away from the mirror and begin to see the need for grace for all people. We are all NEVER BEYOND grace!

Grace and Peace

The Elephant in the Room


Have you ever heard the phrase, “The elephant in the room”? It is commonly used when referring to a topic or some other thing that everyone knows is an issue but nobody really wants to address it. I know I have dealt with my fair share of these so-called elephants, and they really are no fun to deal with. Still, they MUST be dealt with. Some of these “elephants” are sins we have committed, sins other people have committed, wrongs that have been done to us or others, secrets, attitudes. And the list could go on and on. Wait a minute, you say?! Attitudes? How can attitudes be an “elephant in the room”? Yep, our attitudes can sometimes be the biggest of all the elephants.

Think about it. Don’t our attitudes carry a lot of weight? I mean really. When we are dealing with a certain situation in our lives (work, friendships, kids, spouses), our attitudes can make a big difference in how quickly and smoothly the situation is resolved. Our attitudes also have a great influence on if the situation continues to be a problem and if it becomes an even bigger problem. Maybe it’s high time we stop pointing the finger at the other party( or parties) involved, and took a long hard look at the elephant in the room….OUR OWN ATTITUDE. I know that probably hurt a little bit just reading it, but it is the truth. Maybe your boss is giving you a hard time, or one of your co-workers is just plain rude to you,  but how is your attitude? Maybe you have a friend who is taking advantage of you or has hurt you in some way, but how is your attitude? Maybe your kids are being unruly and disrespectful, but how is your attitude? Maybe your spouse isn’t listening to you or doesn’t help you as much as you would like, but how is your attitude? We can’t always be the victim in every situation. If we choose to have bad attitudes in any of these situations or any other situation we might find ourselves in, then we are as much to blame for that bad situation and have no room to point fingers.

Confront the elephant in the room! Make an adjustment to your attitude and stop pointing the finger. Own up to your elephant and deal with it!  I mean who really likes the elephant in the room anyway.

“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?” Matthew 7:3

Grace and Peace

Never-ending Supply


Tonight I had a thought hit me. You know one of those “it has to be God bringing that to mind” kind of thoughts?! Have you ever had one of those? Those kinds of thoughts are pretty eye-opening and amazing. This one was no different. Ok, so enough about how I had this thought and on to what the thought was.

Have you ever felt kind of burned out on doing devotions? Have you ever just not felt like reading scripture or praying? Then you begin asking yourself, where do I go when I don’t feel like doing any of these things? Where do I go when I feel burned out on doing spiritual disciplines? Answer: JESUS! Yep, you heard me. When you feel burned out on doing devotions, you go to JESUS. When you don’t feel like reading scripture or praying, you go to JESUS. Seems kind of odd, maybe? I mean you’re probably saying something like, “Wait, I just said I didn’t feel like it. But now you’re telling me that when I don’t feel like meeting with Jesus, I need to go to Jesus? What?” Yep, that’s right.

Listen to what Matthew 11:28-30 says, “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”  (The Message)

I love how The Message puts it! Jesus says that when we don’t feel like it, go to Him! When we are burned out, go to Him! When we are worn out from all the spiritual disciplines, go to Him! We have a never-ending supply in Jesus! Jesus will always fill us. He will always refuel us, revive us, and rejuvenate us. Isn’t that awesome?!

So, I encourage you, if you are feeling burned out on devotions or just don’t feel like reading scripture or praying to go to JESUS. He will fill you. He will give the breath of fresh air that you long for.

Grace and Peace

This Could Really Be A Good Life


I love the new song by One Republic, “Good Life”. Every time I hear it, I have to crank it up. It’s just one of those feel good songs, and one that will put you in a good mood if you’re a bit of a struggle. It also got me thinking on how it would make a really good sermon topic. So, as my sweet husband has given me the opportunity to preach this Sunday, I will use part of this song in the message. Are we really living the good life according to how Jesus spoke of it? Or have we distorted it and warped it with our own way of thinking what the good life means? I want to be able to honestly say that this is the good life, and mean it in the way that Jesus spoke of it. 

(Read Matthew 5:3-12 for the good life Jesus spoke of.)

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