Through a Glass Dimly

Not All is Clearly Defined Therefore We See Through a Glass Dimly

Month: May, 2016

The Roar of Grace

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Mine is not the story of one who has it all figured out. Mine is the story of one who has needed and continues to need much grace.

“When grace finds you, you can’t keep it to yourself.” – Sheila Walsh

Grace is truly a gift, not a right. I’m only entitled insomuch as God says, “You are my son.”

Abba’s child. Mine is the story of a Heavenly Father who has relentlessly refused to give up the chase. No matter how hard I ran, I could never outrun His love, His mercy, His grace.

I am a Trophy of Grace. I’m not sure where I heard the term, but it stuck. Now, it has become a mainstay in my daily vocabulary.

Most trophies end up in a box in the attic or stored away in a closet as if it will someday be displayed again. But the truth is, it won’t. It will remain in the box until some future date, perhaps a move or a long overdue garage sale claims it. Gone. Forgotten.

Trophies are markers. They are rewards for a job well done. A reminder of a win. Trophies mark victories. Such is the nature of becoming a Trophy of Grace.
My win, however, is not about me at all. It’s about Jesus. It’s about the Father heart of God. Relentless. Patient. Loving beyond imagination.

As a trophy, I simply represent His win. His victory.

I would like to say that I’m polished and shined up, but I must confess that a closer look will reveals scars, cuts, chips and scratches. Reminders that the race, while ending in a full-on victory, is not quite finished.

It’s a paradox. The race will be won, but I’m still rounding a tight corner before the final straight and ultimately the tape. My role is to run to the finish line and complete the race.

I’m not alone in this race. The great cloud of witnesses echoes the roar of grace and I find new energy and regain my stride with focused intensity.

Of course I will finish and there will be a crown awarded, but I don’t want to lazily coast over the line, I want to finish well in spite of the setbacks, the scars, the failures, the false starts and the regret of poor choices.

I’m reminded of what Brennan Manning penned, “No evil can resist grace forever.”

And win I will, but it won’t be my victory alone, nor can it be. It will be the collective achievement of hundreds of grace-laced friends, family and even strangers who, along the way, have contributed to my race.

More importantly, it will be because a loving Father refused to give up on this rebel. The One who never stopped dishing out scoops of mercy and grace when it was anything but deserved. How I could I possibly resist His relentless and extravagant grace?

I have succumbed to the never ending barrage of love, mercy and hope . Surrendered? Yes! But even more, I have now embraced that same grace.

As a trophy of His grace on display, I can now say that I am truly a “Gracist.” Go ahead and advise me of the perils of the doctrine of grace, but I will simply love you anyway.

Once you have partaken of His pure unadulterated grace, anything less will be tainted and contaminated.

If grace is an ocean, I’m catching the wave.

Jesus, grace in an earth suit, is now not just a standard to be strived for, but a lens with which to view life through.

Grace wins for me every time.

Intentional Living

Every week as I get ready for church, I talk to God about my objective for the day. Some examples are a) add value to every person I encounter b) allow Jesus to love people through me c) see them through the lens of Christ d) value people as Christ values them, every person is soul for whom Jesus died. 
I call it “intentional living.” It’s one of my core values and it’s central to my daily rhythm. 

Today, as you prepare to gather with others to worship our Abba Father, focus on one thing you can do to build others up. Be specific, be intentional and then execute. What is your objective for today?

Joy in the Morning

Today is a new day. That’s right, we get a “Do-over.” A new beginning. A clean slate. No matter what transpired yesterday, this is a new day. Lean on and embrace the truth that “joy comes in the morning.”
Joy comes in the morning. Psalm 30:5

Every Day Grace

Grace has a name. As a follower of Jesus, you are a recipient, carrier and dispenser of grace. Look for opportunities to extend grace to others throughout the normal rhythm of your day.

Every Day Jesus

Bring Jesus into everything you do today. Invite Him to be an active participant in every task, every meeting, every email, every call, every interaction. This is an ongoing relationship, not a religious duty. #JesusLife #PracticingHisPresence

And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. Col 3:17

Good Questions

Have you ever asked God, “What adventures do you have for us today?” This simple question implies a partnership with God whereby everything you do is laced with His grace and presence.

Author Jan Johnson asks these questions throughout her day, “What would it look like to love others for the next 10 minutes? What would it look like to love God for the next 10 minutes?”

Circling Sinai – The Blessing of Pain

Pain is potentially a set up for the greatest breakthrough in your understanding of who Jesus is and what your mission is on this planet.

It’s not what caused the pain that brings the growth, it’s how you choose to respond in spite of it and in the midst of it.

Your intentional decision to forgive, extend grace and love unconditionally determines the degree of growth you will experience.

Hope is the Anti-Virus

Hope is the anti-virus for guilt, shame, fear and condemnation. As a carrier, you have the privilege of inoculating everyone you encounter. Be intentional today in imparting hope.

Raise the Water Level

Make it your mission today to build up those around you. Allow God to use you to raise the water level in your sphere of influence. You are a difference maker. Remember, it is Christ in you that is the hope (expectation) of glory (His presence). 

Represent Jesus Well

You have been given a gift today. It’s the opportunity to represent Jesus to everyone in your orbit. Be intentional today and keep your radar on.

I give little thought to coincidences or chance encounters. Every interruption was an opportunity for Jesus to demonstrate the kingdom. #IntentionalLiving #BeJesus #LiveInspired