The Miracle Of Grace

Only God, and his ability to forgive us, keeps the chain of grace continuing on….


What does grace actually look like…..and the miracle of grace?

 

Psalm 145: 8-9
“The LORD is gracious and full of compassion, slow to anger and great in mercy. The LORD is good to all, and His tender mercies are over all His works”.

 

Miracle of Grace cover

Standing on the edge of a mountain top, I look across the range. Storm clouds have passed and I’m standing under the blue. Feeling the sun from within, I know God is abounding. Reverently, the valleys are shaded from harm; I can see God’s grace protecting them. What a breathtaking sight! Standing 10,000 feet up, I know everything below my feet is blessed by grace from God’s eternal love. Infinitely, the animals protect their offspring and the balance of power is ultimately His. Even the dead branches serve in His kingdom….a perch for those that prowl.

Oh, but the meanings of grace (biblically called Charis), are far and wide. Grace by itself is a miracle to behold. It may be the birth of a child, the lame walking; a devastating accident and the victims walk away unscathed; a tree slides from a mountain top and lands in a creek right side up yet it still lives for years to come. Disasters happen but we should give God the glory for His merciful grace.

It’s also a miracle that two lost souls may find their way back together again after a lifetime of disappointments – only by His grace, my friend. Everything works out to the glory of God. There’s nothing better than happy endings! Love, by far, is the most powerful gift of grace. We share the miracle of grace tonight.

 

Miracle of Grace 3

 

Only God, and his ability to forgive us, keeps the chain of grace continuing on. As the sun reaches to the west, we give thanks for another marvelous day. We pray for those less fortunate….may God’s grace be bestowed upon thee. I thank God for the opportunity to just to sit here and think about the blessings He has brought me- the Grace of His love never-ending.

Miracle of Grace 1

We all are to be so thankful, for God gives grace to those who have faith, are humble, and forgiven. We receive forgiveness according to the riches of God’s grace, and grace drives our sanctification.

 

Ephesians 1:7
“In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace”.

 

I pray for His grace, comfort and protection, like the mountains and valleys do after a fearless storm has passed. God bless you, all my friends!

 

Hebrews 12:28
“Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear”.

Gallant Valor

August 28, 2017

texas


It’s Sunday evening….some are about to return to church, some about to sit down for a wonderful dinner; some may be ready to slide back in their recliners to watch the evening news or some football. But let me interject some thoughts….

“God Bless Texas”

These courageous folks…. not the police or military; but the humanitarians who launch their boats on the highways into uncharted waters. They travel rooftop to rooftop, listening for stranded victims. Unless you have been involved in search and rescue as I did, you can’t imagine the danger. The sewers flood out, alligators and snakes, and the mosquitos will carry you off. Then there are the caskets that surface.

Here is where black lives matter! White supremacists could care less what you and the rest of America thinks. This is war friends – Texans against nature’s worst. God is the only entity prayed to here.

You talk about coming together as united people? Well snowflakes, take a lesson – WAKE UP! This is how America was and will always be. People with dignity respecting those with integrity. God bless them!!!

Gallant Valor

By the grace of God, there is no color of race nor ethnic coupe. There are no boastful rednecks. They instead drive for hours to launch their boats on interstates to save those in dire straits.

Praise those who give their time! They leave their families behind to help the survived. They certainly command a medal to commemorate their valiant duty.

God bless them!

How Many Ways Can I Say….

….the solidarity I hold as you make an example out of me.


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It’s a gloomy, soggy Sunday. I rock in my recliner and post thoughts about those who won’t be in church this morning. How ungodly are they? Reflecting on the news of the day, I can’t imagine there is much love as it’s “every man and woman for themselves”. I’ve lived, somehow, long enough to see this rerun played out long before now. There is no God in times of bloodshed. In my faith, Christ shed that for me. I’m eternally grateful that my love of God permeates.

Here, by my side, are years of writings. Some are sad, but some I rejoice in how many ways can I say I love you, God. Like rainy days, my heart pales and the sky’s gray reminds me of my past. The failures, Lord, that you brought me through; the times I stumbled and you caught me as well; and the accidents where You saved me.  Dear God, how many ways can I say I love You?

Beside me are my shoe box monuments. No one can imagine in this day and age, the solidarity I hold as you make an example out of me. Graced with your anointment, my course has turned. I woke one early dawn and I wrote my precious first piece – “Jesus In The Backseat”.  My life now prophesized, God has ordered my mission.

My steps now lighter, my heart resides in forgiveness. My love and Your messages are now spreading around the world. How many ways can I say…I love You, God?

 

Readers:  How many ways can you say….”I love you, God”…..in my life? How has He changed your life?


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You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. (Deuteronomy 6:5)

Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words. And the word that you hear is not mine but the Father’s who sent me. (John 14: 23-24)

Let everything that has breath praise the Lord! Praise the Lord! (Psalm 150: 6)

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. (James 1: 17)

Looking In The Mirror

….I have longed for contentment where God’s concerned


(R.I.P. Michael Jackson)


A cool breeze penetrates my soul as the warmth from above has grown cold. The summer’s heat has turned into fall as the rainy weekends set the stage for the upcoming holidays. I so love the extravagant colors! Things so green turn brightly bold in shades of brown, yellow and gold. But the shades of gray tell the story. Reflecting on my moonlit night, I sail my heart onto calm waters. Thanking God for the gift of life, I finally made it to my golden times.

The winds whirl from around the edge and gathering summer’s foliage becomes quite an obstacle. Raking up the flower beds, my little pansies are about to bloom.

Even in our darkest days, we all want flowers to warm our spirits.  Sunflower

Coming inside to escape the chill, a hot shower may thaw my weary soul. Shedding the layers, I catch a glimpse of something in the mirror. Taking a second look, it must have been my mind playing tricks on me. So a steamy resolute will resonate my body, cleansing my thoughts. My eyes closed, I ask only for forgiveness and my heart is cleansed.

Realizing this is only second best to a full blown baptismal in the Jordon River, I’m rejuvenated. God can use me for what’s next. Opening the door, a steamy mirror clearly sends me a message…

All of us, sometimes, wonder if our direction is correct.

A sense of relief has assured my intent. My life full circle, a man with many directions, had shunned religion as I followed my own path. Wronged so many, consciously speaking, I have longed for contentment where God’s concerned. And there on my mirror just one word – “Blessed”.

Looking in the Mirror


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And I will make them and the places round about my hill a blessing; and I will cause the shower to come down in his season; there shall be showers of blessing. (Ezekiel 34:26)

But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:19)

Know therefore that the LORD your God, He is God, the faithful God, who keeps His covenant and His loving kindness to a thousandth generation with those who love Him and keep His commandments (Deuteronomy 7:9)

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)

I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules. (Ezekiel 36: 25-27)

Engraved Hurts

Like soldiers on a battleground, our persistent thoughts are marching on….


We sit across the table from each other and the tension rises like ocean waves before a hurricane. Our hearts ache from the daily frustrations. Words fly like cannonballs across the bow. The night is lighting up from the fiery hurts and our broken souls is damforgiveness 2aging our spirits. There is not a “sorry” that can mend the fury; no kindness is coming from giving; no hugs healing the hardened hearts; just short little snippets that become too repetitive to hear. I’m asking for grace to bring some peace to the table. But when two hearts aren’t in sync, God has His work cut out for Himself. Our love is souring like month old milk.

Love, like spring pollen, carries off to a neighbor’s lawn; walls are retaining the temper and silence is becoming enemy number one. So my conscience knocks on heaven’s gates and I’ll pray for our Lord to hear my heart. But like statues in the wind, the prayers are standing guard of the present. Life, cruel at times, has no invitation. Joy, the ultimate restorer between two hearts, is waiting on the other side.

mignon mclaughlin

I’m in awe watching the tears as they flow and sorrow can’t explain the reckoning. Blame is passing like vegetables at Thanksgiving. There is no rhyme or reason. Our Lord sits at the head of the table trying to join our hearts in prayer. Stubborn though, our minds are overruling the prayers. Like soldiers on a battleground, our persistent thoughts are marching on…. I’m carrying the flag trying to surrender but our guns are still drawn.

Morning arrives and a tranquility, like the dew from the night before, is falling over the engraved flowers. Hearts are listening to subconscious minds as we cease fire. Over early coffee, our guns are holstered. An anointing brings a smile as the sun breaks through the thunder. Love is being restored and the sun is warming little petals. God, the only true peacemaker, is reigning over the battlefields of our minds. We sit in peace and the quiet sermon is coming as the gentle breeze rings the wind chimes.

I’m asking myself, could this have been avoided? Unequivocally, yes, if God is first and past hurts are left by the headstones of our deceased memories. We’re limping away, now handicapped from the wounds encountered from the night before.

Mandrell

So, here we are off on our busy day….people to meet, bills to pay, and our Lord is holding down the fort. We are marching off, alone, to fight our own personal battles…

 

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EDITOR NOTES:  Did you ever hurt the person you loved?  Did you say unwanted things?  If you have hurt someone you loved, it is not easy to repair this mistake.  It is time to seek forgiveness.  You may have to go to great lengths to win over the trust once again.

Watch your words in a fit of temper and weigh the pros and cons of every word you utter. If you want to express your anger at an event, target the incident and not the person.

Be truly repentant…

 


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A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. (Proverbs 15:1)

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; … (1 Corinthians 13:13)

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.   (1 Peter 5:10)

 


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Grace Estates

…if only I knew what I wish was possible as God calls from upon the hill


Sometimes life is truer than fiction. You finish reading an excerpt and while walking away, you wonder if it’s true. And then there are times when God puts things so squarely in your face you miss it! You absolutely can’t even see what He’s trying to do. The examples are too numerous.

As I drive every morning, the sun rises over the foot hills and my vision blurs. It’s a winding, little back road that not many use. It’s in disrepair with lots of curves. But there’s a place I pass every morning and afternoon and I dare not stop. A wrought iron gate is ajar; the invitation is so inviting but I’m not worthy to enter so I drive on with a mere glimpse. How I would love to live there!

Passing the gates, I break. I sense God’s calling but I, a mere pauper, could never fill the proprietor’s shoes. I might, though, be lucky enough to get the mail or take the garbage to the end of the hill but certainly not to own a mansion such as this.

Though I pass by and dream, reality is just a few miles away. But oh, how could I not dream of sharing my life with the one I love behind the gates called Grace Estates? Only God opens doors to let us peak at what’s in store. Though we gaze out into the wild yonder, held captive by reality, the presence of God is abundant.

Whisking through another week, so far I’ve heard God’s calling ten times. How I wish I could turn left and enter in the gates ajar! I dare to trust. My faith restrains my spirit; if only I knew what I wish was possible as God calls from upon the hill. I fear only my lack of faith while flying down the back roads, running late. I guess God’s going to have to wait; too many bills that I must pay. And I realize the metaphor – my windows are rolled up.

God, I pray your hands control my very existence – no time to stop and smell the roses. But someday I’ll stop and get out of my car. I’ll put my right hand on top of the open gate and walk up the hill of Grace Estates.

 

Grace Estates

 


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For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. (Jeremiah 29:11)

And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:29)

The reward for humility and fear of the Lord is riches and honor and life. (Proverbs 22:4)

Reflections in the Lily Pads

A special dedication to Kirk….


The sun peeks above the trees; it glistens in the creek between me and another shore. It’s a beautiful morning to contemplate on thoughts that run like a road map. Some roads I’ve traveled and some I’ve never seen. Standing in the middle of my meditating, God bears my aches and pains. Memories, like autumn leaves, fall around my body; I wander on repeatedly ….

Life is as delicate as the pristine mornings; I sit and watch life come alive. I feel the warmth of the morning glare that pierces where I love. God grant me the serenity where evil looms in the minds of many. I’d rather not be on a road where darkness resides. This is where God intends me to be – in a place to reflect on life; the maybe’s, hopes and disillusionments that make us stronger in faith every day. Last month was no exception….

A dear friend I lost in time, has found me – a reunion of enormous proportion! Memories of our childhood exhilarates a gift; God, somehow knew, life’s altercations would never sever the ties. Two boys that played from the time they could walk, found diversity in puberty. Now life turns a corner; for what was forgotten, is born again in the minds of two old men.

God grant us grace as hearts reunite for the first time in years; for what should have been the end, is really just the beginning. It’s now ‘our time’ to share and enjoy in our parents’ blessings.

Kirk and Dana