the power of a word

The English language…it’s a beautiful thing.

We use words to praise, to celebrate, to thank, to chastise, to demean, to honor, to tear down…

And sometimes, we are smacked with unexpected, yet much needed and appreciated words…

of love

of thankfulness

of appreciation

of utterly unbelievable gratitude.

And sometimes, we are smacked with unexpected words…

of accusation

of hate

of anger

of utterly unbelievableness.

So, here we are…with words.

And we accept them…the good ones, the positive one, the negative ones, the ones that hurt, the ones that heal.

And we also reject them…the good ones, the positive ones, the negative ones, the ones that hurt, the ones that heal.

How much power do we bestow on a word?

When you talk, do not say harmful things, but say what people need—words that will help others become stronger. Then what you say will do good to those who listen to you. ~Ephesians 4:29 (NCV)

Thank you, Lori Briggs, for the good words, the positive words, the healing words.  I appreciate you and the powerful words you spoke to me last night.

grace.

 

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through the eyes of a child

How different life must look through the eyes of a child.

The stress of everyday life…the bills, the job, the marriage, the ‘busyness’…  To a child, this must look almost absurd.

Working.

Neglecting.

Bickering.

Complaining.

Grumbling.

Running to and fro.

Never resting.

Down time…what’s that?

Time with God…?

Especially at this time of year, it would seem that looking at the entire Christmas season through the eyes of a child would do all of us a lot of good.  The wonder.  The mystery.  The ‘prettyness’.  The excitement.  The joy.  The laughter.  The simplicity.

Peace.

Hope.

Love.

Receive the Gift.  Unwrap the Gift.  Treasure the Gift.  Share the Gift.

“Let these children alone. Don’t get between them and me. These children are the kingdom’s pride and joy. Mark this: Unless you accept God’s kingdom in the simplicity of a child, you’ll never get in.”  ~Luke 18:16-17 (MSG)

Who knows…maybe a new set of eyes will be under the tree with your name on the tag.

Open it, and discover the wonder that awaits.

 

grace.

do you hear what i hear?

a sound for Saturday…Anthem Lights singing Do You Hear What I Hear?

 

 

gracefully uncomplicated

Cast your troubles on the Eternal One; His care is unceasing!  He will not allow His righteous to be shaken. ~Psalm 55:22 (the Voice)

Chains.  Heavy.  Burdens.  Wavering steps.  Broken.

Ever been there?  A place where it feels that you can’t move, that you can hardly breathe?

Are you there now?

Freedom.  Broken chains.  Light.  Relief.  Focused and direct path.  Wholeness.

Want to be there?  A place where you can move freely, that you can inhale and breathe in the grace of God?

The recipe for freedom is Gracefully Uncomplicated…beautifully simple.

Easy?  No…but simple.

Cast (boot, chuck, heave, hurl, lob, peg, pitch, sling, thrust, toss) your burdens, your cares, your stress…on Jesus.

Is there something in your life that is crippling your spirit?

Unforgiveness? Bitterness? Guilt? Resentment? Sorrow? Worry? Regret? Comparison? If so, cut it loose, cast it off, and throw it away. God calls us sheep; and sheep are not pack animals. We are not meant to carry such burdens with these scrawny legs of ours. If we try, we will only bend under the pressure we were never meant to bear. – Sharon Jaynes

That really is a beautiful thing.  To live set free.  To live in freedom, not bondage.  We are not meant to live with crippled spirits.  We are created to be whole and complete in Christ.

The choice is up to us.

Will we hold on to the familiar, the ordinary, the way we’ve grown accustomed to living our lives….or will we decide, each day, to love and to cast all of our burdens on Jesus?

Will we chose to grow in grace (the God given ability to be and do what we could never be or do on our own)?

The choice is ours.

It’s gracefully uncomplicated.  Taste and see that the Lord is good (Psalm 34:8).  It’s tastefully simple.

 

grace.

no room

God’s power makes regular intrusions even when we make no room. –  Michael Youssef, Ph.D.

There was no room in the inn.  Love was born even still.

No room in our hectic schedules, and yet Jesus pursues us with passion and patience.

Jesus pursues us, calls us, invites us…

We avoid, ignore, and decline the invitation.

Today…the choice is ours, the choice is mine.

Will I make room for Jesus?

…room for Him in the center of my thoughts, in the center of my emotions, in the center of my relationships, in the center of my frustration, in the center of my worry, in the center of my confusion…

How would my moments be changed if I was aware of and invited His presence into everything and made my life open to receiving His presence?

I don’t want to miss seeing the miracles….do you?

grace.

the fellowship of the unashamed

I am a part of the Fellowship of the Unashamed. The die has been cast. The decision has been made. I have stepped over the line. I won’t look back, let up, slow down, back away or be still.

My past is redeemed, my present makes sense and my future is secure. I’m finished and done with low living, sight walking, small planning, smooth knees, colorless dreams, tamed visions, mundane talking, cheap giving and dwarfed goals.

I no longer need preeminence, prosperity, position, promotions, plaudits or popularity. I don’t have to be right, first, tops, recognized, praised, regarded or rewarded. I now live by faith, lean on His presence, love with patience, live by prayer and labor with power.

My face is set, my gait is fast, my goal is heaven, my road is narrow, my way is rough, my companions are few, my Guide is reliable and my mission is clear. I cannot be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, turned back, deluded or delayed. I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the presence of adversity, negotiate at the table of the enemy, ponder at the pool of popularity or meander in the maze of mediocrity.

I won’t give up, shut up, let up or slow up until I have stayed up, stored up, prayed up, paid up and spoken up for the cause of Christ. I am a disciple of Jesus. I must go till He comes, give till I drop, preach till all know and work till He stops me. And when He comes for His own, He will have no problem recognizing me. My banner is clear: I am a part of the Fellowship of the Unashamed.

By: Dr. Bob Moorehead

 

grace.

grow in grace

…grow in grace and in the true knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus. ~2 Peter 3:18 (the Voice)

grace – the God given ability to be and do what we could never be or do on our own

 

to mature in grace

to thrive in grace

to increase my understanding

to develop stronger roots of faith

 

yep. grow in grace. that’s what I want to do.

how about you?

 

grace.

the agony of defeat

I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world. ~John 16:33 (NLT)

defeat. despair. hopelessness.  chaos.

Ever been there?  Ever lived there?

“We cannot allow ourselves to get to such a desperate place that defeat seems like the only option, where defeat comes easy to us.  We were made for more.” – Lysa Terkeurst

Friends, we are made for more!  Living in defeat and despair is NOT the only option.  We do have hope.

Christ’s love for us has broken the shackles of hopelessness and despair that impede our progress, and the Holy Spirit in us allows us to live victorious lives.

Triumph.  Confidence.  Hope.  Peace.

Yes, there is agony in defeat…but there is peace, sweet peace, in Jesus.  He has defeated and overcome all of the things that get us down, that bind us, that hold us captive.

He is our desperate place.  He is our only option.

We were made for Him.

grace.

sounds for Saturday

I have a penchant for music.  So, I am setting aside Saturdays for the enjoyment of the talents and abilities with which God has blessed so many artists.

Please enjoy and may this selection draw you into worship today.

grace.

Emmanuel

Behold, the virgin shall become pregnant and give birth to a Son, and they shall call His name Emmanuel–which, when translated, means, God with us. ~Matthew 1:23 (AMP)

 

Sometimes, they are all-consuming, ever-present, constant.

The thoughts of despair, of loneliness, of impending sadness…the frustration, the overwhelming moments (or days), the unsettledness…

And there…in the center of all of that mess…I hear God saying…”I am here.”

I stop and breathe that in…

Peace.  Comfort.  Grace.  Hope.

Now, here, in the middle of whatever ‘stuff’ is surrounding you, stop. breathe in God.

He is here. Emmanuel.

grace.

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