Monthly Archives: May 2014

Facing My Failures, Embracing God’s Grace

God's love reaches into me warming me like hot tea - peace - he restores my soulIt’s hard to see my own shortcomings.  I don’t want to look at my ugly wounds.  But, if I desire to heal – to be restored – I must first face these flaws.  Then, I must be still and allow the Great Physician to free me from the habits-rooted-in-lies that keep me doing the same destructive things over and over.  Sometimes God’s knife must go deep – it can’t be helped – to get to the root of the lie.  The results are definitely worth it:  true healing, and with it, profound joy.

Father, forgive me for my haughtiness, my rudeness, my feeling of superiority, of trying to jockey for position, or importance.  Help me to be an instrument of your peace, not of my own pride. Thank you for restoring my soul.

The deeper my soul reaches toward Truth, the more deeply God’s love reaches into me, warming me, like a cup of hot tea on a cool morning.  In the safety of His embrace, I can celebrate my God-given identity, value, belonging and calling independent of others’ fluctuating opinions, or influence.

Each time I manage to turn around and face my failures, the brilliance of God’s grace takes me by surprise

Why do I forget this?   How can I learn to remember?Hebrews 4:16 let us approach God's throne of grace with confidence

2 corinthians 2:19 my grace is sufficient for you

Psalm 23:3 he restores my soul

Do you ever find yourself running from yourself?    What prompts you to remember the brilliance of God’s grace?

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God's grace is brilliant - joy - God's love

Wait, and Hurry Up

by Lydia Floren

Have you ever been driving and in a hurry? Have you ever, when you were running late, come upon a long line of vehicles stopped in front of you, and impulsively swerved off the main road, barreling down side streets to avoid waiting? Then, found yourself repeatedly checked by school zones and stop signs, eventually had to admit to yourself that you would have been better off just staying on the main road?

Sometimes God’s work in us is visible, and sometimes it isn’t.

If we jump in to try to move things along, it will often just slow us down.  Lack of discernible movement does not indicate lack of progress – quite the opposite, in fact.  Much of God’s most important work is accomplished in us through our waiting.

John 5:17 My Father is always at His work to this very day  Isaiah 40:30-31 Those who wait for the LORD will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles

Being still doesn't mean we are not making progress. Patience

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Enjoy the Music, and Give Thanks

giving thanks for what God has done through us

Love is spontaneous, but it is not random.

God sees an opportunity:  one heart open and willing to give, another heart ready to receive.  His Spirit prompts, and we respond. He uses us “in the moment”, to love and encourage someone who crosses our path.  And we both are blessed.  Occasionally, often after the fact, He will show us what He has been about.  And then our joy multiplies.

In those moments, we must remember to give thanks.  The practice of thanksgiving acknowledges God at work through us, and keeps us from seeing His work as something we can take credit for.  It reminds us that our identity, value, belonging and calling come from Him alone, not from what we do.  We are following our Shepherd in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.  Thanksgiving assures the continued flow of God’s love through us, toward those around us.

give thanks for what God is doing and has done through us

Enjoy God working through you, but make sure you are directing attention and praise – yours and others’ – to Him for what He is doing, not to yourself.  You are an instrument, not the musician – a violin, not the maestro.  You do not create or play the music.  It moves through you.

If you become comfortable receiving accolades, you will start to think that you don’t need the Maestro.  You might think you can sit and play a ditty, and expect people’s hearts will be touched and changed.  They won’t.

I am the instrument, God is the maestro

Beware of giving yourself pats on the back for God’s work though you. Then, pride multiplies. And a sense of self-sufficiency, and the false belief that you can love, as God calls you to, on your own.   Nothing kills the movement of the Spirit in our lives quicker than this kind of attitude.

We must always be careful to give thanks for what God is doing, and has done, through us.

Enjoy the moment. Enjoy the music, and the part you get to play in sharing it with the world.

And, always, always remember to give thanks.

give thanks for what God is doing and has done through us give thanks for what God is doing and has done through us give thanks for what God is doing and has done through us give thanks for what God is doing and has done through us