Deep breath- it’s Monday

Part of the goal for Redeemed In Grace is to help you extend grace to yourself, as you learn to do this for others. And let’s face it, Mondays are the worst day to practice grace for most of us. The beginning of another week is a true gift, but it can also feel like the start to the daily grind. In order to help each other shift our gaze from the mounds of paperwork, laundry, phone calls, (fill in the blank), to an eternal mindset I have written a prayer for you today.

Because I believe that when our perspective changes so can our hearts. Gratitude begets a gracious spirit. So while the responsibilities and circumstances of life in general may not change, our attitude toward those tasks can. And hopefully you can discern this as a sincere effort to encourage you and not preachy. Because that is my prayer for you-  to be encouraged here in this little online space.

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Father,

May we rest in our salvation and pursue satisfaction in You.

Knowledge, love and faith are all gifts from Your Hand.

We acknowledge that our greatest gift is Jesus-

Prophet, Priest, and King.

He is worth following, worth living and dying for.

Christ is worthy of our worship at all times

from every nation.

Let us taste the fullness of joy that we already have in Jesus.

 

May we make You known by our choices, speech and actions so that this world sees the light of truth in us.

Awake us from the things that deaden our spirits and grace Your Church with zeal under the banner of Love.

Teach us to remember Your truth so that we sense Your Presence in this day.

In the strong Name of Jesus,

Amen

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Summer storms

I know the rain is coming. People with bad knees feel it in their bones. I get a sinus headache 12-24 hours in advance.

The water leaks out of the sky first like tiny droplets. Then rain pours down harder and harder, as if someone climbed on top of the roof with an endless bag of pebbles to drop on my back porch.

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Thunder is my favorite- it comes from the deep recesses of the earth, grumbling and booming to make its presence known. I believe God orchestrates each rainstorm like a symphony- the rhythmic order of rain falling from the heavens harmonizes with thunder and lightning.

Ping ping,

Pitter patter,

Tap tap,

Whoosh-

Boom!

Boom!

Flash.

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The wind sometimes contributes with a howl. Its a grand theatre of the dramatic right in my backyard. Then all is hushed and the show is over just as fast as it began. The musical numbers are all alike, yet never the same are they? It’s part of the allure in watching a thunderstorm- the familiar sounds mixed with the unknown of when each part takes a turn.

I smile with satisfaction at His creative genius, the One who controls nature. His fingerprints are every where to shout out the truth we all know-

God is more real than the rain He lets fall on our faces.

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Grace upon grace,

April

When words won’t come

Words matter. They carry weight to last beyond your lifetime and mine (think the Bible, classic literature, letters, etc.). Lately though all of my words seem stuck, lodged firmly in my throat. It’s twisty and there are so many thoughts swirling about but no real connection to any of it.

I don’t think it’s a coincidence that I’m studying the book of James right now with a friend. It’s the go-to Scripture for warning against a hasty tongue. Sometimes we are to just hush our mouths. But there is also everything right with speaking out against injustice, speaking words of encouragement to someone in need, but what about when you can’t find the right words to say anything at all?

When this happens author Emily Freeman advises to wait and listen. Then there are the honest words from my seven year old: “waiting hard!” At least he gets it. Waiting IS hard no matter how old you get.

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But it’s worth the waiting for, trusting that words will come. Sometimes we don’t need to say anything, but just be present with someone who needs you. I know it doesn’t feel that way but God really does know best. He understands the specific situation or season of life you’re in. God knows that our summer routine at home is a whole different beast from the rest of the year, so my energy is depleted more. I have less words, less time, just… less.

And there is grace for that. Grace to show ourselves as we recognize our limitations.

The truth is I’m tired and my memory is becoming more and more like the lovable but forgetful blue fish Dory. This post is just to say that yes words do matter, so we should be careful with what we say- in person or online. Sometimes it means we listen to a friend without interrupting (because a listening ear is healing for the one who needs to talk it out); or we wait before weighing in on a issue; or simply sit in the hush of God’s presence, receiving His Word.

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So when words won’t come? When the verbal strait-jacket won’t budge? Listen. Be quiet. And wait. God is the Master Wordsmith- He gives us our words when we need them.

 

Grace upon grace,

April

Strangely Glorious

The more I press into God the more I realize how little I know of Him. You think it would be reverse. Yet He is so vast, so rich and inconceivable to the human mind and heart. The Lord reveals to us as much as we can stand, to behold His Glory.

Just like my sin, if I really understood the horror and magnitude of it all, it would crush me. So God graciously puts believers under the knife of life-long sanctification. Some incisions cut deeper than others, but all are necessary to shed the dragon layers that keep us from complete intimacy with Him.

As when Moses’ face shone with the glory of being in God’s Presence, God knows His Shekinah Glory is more than mortals can bear (Exodus 33:12-23; 34:29-35). Instead, He mercifully shines His reflection in the face of Jesus- and there we behold Him. It is through the loveliness of Christ we see who we really are.

I am covered by His blood and can say I am His daughter. Simple though I am, He is patient to teach me for eternity (Isaiah 54:13).

 

Grace upon grace,

April