Lately I have been thinking about the word grace. It is one we don’t often talk about but it is an important word.

Ephesians 2:8-9
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God— not the result of works, so that no one may boast.

So what is this grace? It is an example of God’s love for us. By grace he accepts us as the flawed human beings that we are. He understands how we can go astray and be unkind toward one another. He understands the hatred and the violence. He understands the discrimination toward others not like us.

God gets it all. But there is that word “grace.” The word that holds his love and understanding of all that we do. With faith we have been saved from ourselves.

Yes, grace matters.

It is a decision

I-Believe-In-GodDuring this time where we all are living differently than usual there may be many questions we would like to ask God.

Why did this happen?

Did you let it happen?

What kind of God would do this?

Is this punishment for our sins?

Some people will give answers depending on their point of view. Some people may decide that if this is the kind of God we have they don’t want it. Some people will blame God. Some people will blame themselves or others.

This is a theological conundrum.

The truth is the answer is a matter of faith. It is, mostly, in your image or idea about God. No one can prove any answer. Answers need belief not proof.

Bad things happen to good and bad people. It has been that way from the beginning of life. You have to decide what that means to you and how you will move forward with what you believe.

Nothing can trouble

Last night before going to sleep I listened to this music which is also a prayer…for ourselves to find peace. It strengthens me when I am anxious and remind me that I don’t have to rely on my own strength. I hope that this hymn can give you hope.

I am posting a video with words and then my favorite which is in Spanish.

 

A Holy Lent

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Today is Ash Wednesday. I was crushed because things conspired against me getting to the service. I love Lent. Some people find it depressing but I see it as a time to reflect, to read something uplifting and search ourselves. It is a time to think.

Whether you choose to give up something for Lent or take something on or both Lent can bring us closer to God. Have a Holy Lent.

[ The Call of Matthew ] As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax booth; and he said to him, “Follow me.” And he got up and followed him.

Coincidence or miracle?

It’s my experience that we’re much more afraid that there might be a God than we are that there might not be.  from The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron

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Are we willing to believe that God loves us and is present in our world? Many times things happen that we slough off to coincidence when it could be a miracle. Do you have your eyes open to see the works of God? Pay attention. Miracles happen every day.

Grace

Ephesians 2:8-9 [Full Chapter]

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God— not the result of works, so that no one may boast.
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In my youth I believed that good works would get me into heaven. The thing is, that made getting into heaven up to me. If I was good enough, if I worked hard enough, if I kept on the straight and narrow I could earn my way.
My belief has changed. It is important for me to be a good person and strive to be what God wants me. However, God’s grace has been given to me as a free gift. That is so hard to grasp. Does it free me from responsibility for my behavior? No but I am not perfect and never will be. It is only God’s grace that can save me and it has been freely given.
Thanks be to God!

God never moves

If God seems far from you who has moved? unknown

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God never moves. No matter how you feel…whether lost or alone…God never moves. Sometimes our emotions and feelings get in the way and we feel deserted. Down in the depths of darkness when we can’t see, can’t pray, immobilized, God is still there with us. We have to remember that.

 

 

 

 

Know therefore that the Lord your God is God, the faithful God who maintains covenant loyalty with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations,
Psalm 23:4
Even though I walk through the darkest valley,[d]
    I fear no evil;
for you are with me;
    your rod and your staff—
    they comfort me.

There will be signs

Advent 2019: December 6

Luke 21:25-33

Jesus said: “There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and on the earth distress among nations confused by the roaring of the sea and the waves. People will faint from fear and foreboding of what is coming upon the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see ‘the Son of Man coming in a cloud’ with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to take place, stand up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”

sea and waves

This sounds pretty scary. Something like some of the climate changes that we are seeing now. This could be a projection from the climatologists. For many centuries there have been prophecies about the end of things. Many have come and gone. We are still here.

The people of Jesus’ time expected him to return in their lifetime. That didn’t happen. Will it happen? We don’t know. We can only live in our belief that he will come in glory. Whether we will see it in our time no one knows. It doesn’t matter. The point is when He does come it will be a time for rejoicing. He will come again.

 

Faith is everything!

Today I was watching part of “The Crown.” It is a popular series on Netflix. I often have things just out at me that you don’t think of finding in a docudrama. In series 3 Phillip (queen’s husband) is talking with his mother. She had a horribly difficult life and has recently been brought to England because of uprisings in Greece. She was a nun running a small clinic in Greece.

She asks Phillip about his faith. He tells her it is “dormant.”

Her reply is: “Find yourself a faith. It helps….No not just helps….it is everything!”

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I do so agree with this statement. Having a faith that supports and nurtures you when everything around you is falling apart is everything. It is the one thing that allows you to rest in the strong arms of God and be held. God will be with you through any crisis…small or enormous. His love will fill your heart and soul and bring you peace.